Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Farewell to Spring at the St. Vrain 400k/600k/1000k!

Riders could enjoy really fine conditions on this wrap-up of spring brevets ... while looking back on the winds, heat, cold, and snow mere weeks before.
Rarin' to go at the ride start.  -- Michelle Grainger photo:

 We had visitors from afar, including our friend Deb Banks formerly of Boulder.

Michelle, Irene Takahashi, Cathy Crame, and Deb Banks (below)
Michelle photo:

Tailwinds up St. Vrain Canyon made for a refreshing climb to the Peak-to-Peak.
Michelle zooms toward Meeker.  Steve Le Goff photo.

I even had my picture taken.  Another excuse to stretch the legs.
Paul Foley photo:

Meeker Peak looking refreshing:

And Longs maybe not quite ready for high-season climbing:

At the Meeker Park Lodge, "Cheery" Vernon Smith and Paul Foley take a break,
shoes removed as per lodge store etiquette:

A pleasant backroads interlude at the mouth of Big Thompson Canyon:

Not all was tranquillity, however, as Steve Le Goff tried to extract a cyclist
from a predicament.  - Michelle photo

A blackbird surveys Longs and Meeker, now in the distance:

And the day winds down on some satisfying kilometers:

Hope your season has been rewarding so far!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Crossover between the randonneuring and competitive ultra world has been a natural phenomenon lo these many years.  Lon Haldeman, multi-time RAAM champion was also the Ultra-Cycling Marathon Association (UMCA) liaison to International Randonneurs (the US rando organization in the 80's and into the 90's) ... and a brevet organizer ... and multi-time Paris-Brest-Paris finisher.

I read Lon's account of a soggy PBP'87 and wondered how I would do, slogging through drenching conditions and sleeping on bales of hay.  It colored my preparation.

Nancy Guth (right, below) and Mary Florian (left), both Colorado Last Chance 1200k veterans, will be starting the Race Across America (RAAM) on Thursday as a two-person team, Team RAAMBoomers:

Maybe you have friends or bike pals who are doing RAAM.  I do.  We wish all of the RAAM participants a safe ride and the best of luck!

p.s. Tim "Foon" Feldman points out that our local friend Tom Lavalee from Denver is now under way at solo RAAM.  We  certainly  send our best withes to Tom, an accomplished ultracyclist!  Hopefully this good finish at last year's Last Chance wil l buoy him up!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

PBP Registration Starts June 11 - Details ...

Registration details from RUSA Brevet Coordinator Mark Thomas:

Registration for PBP opens Saturday, June 11 (Paris time) - or Friday afternoon in the US. Because the US did not fill up its quota of entries during the pre-registration process, ALL riders can register at this time regardless of pre-registration status. (Over 200 spaces are left as of this morning).

New 2011 riders (and any other rider that did not complete a brevet in 2010) do NOT have to wait until preregistration places free up on June 20.

Preregistered riders must make their registration at this time. [This must include at least three of your four qualifying events, with certification numbers. -jle]  Ideally, they would do so before pre-registrations are released after June 19, but our quota status may make that less important. In all events, registration must be completed before July 17.

As cautioned before, everything from RUSA about PBP is unofficial. RUSA does not manage PBP. Official ACP information on PBP registration can be found here: omment_sinscrire2

and here lement

(especially Articles 5-7)

Registration Form - We have not seen the registration form, but here's my best guess as to what to have available when you go online to register:

  1. The homologation (certificate) numbers for at least three of your four qualifying brevets; i.e., your 200, 300, 400, 600 brevets in 2011 (or longer, if you are substituting a longer brevet for a shorter). If you don't have all four, you must add the last one by the time registration closes on 7/17.
  2. A credit card to make payment for the ride.
  3. For pre-registered riders, please also have the Dossier Number (US-###) and password from your pre-registration. Check your confirmation email from you preregistration for these. If you can't find them, contact me for help.
Homologation Numbers - To get the homologation (certificate) numbers for your brevets in the US, you can go to the RUSA results search page. From, select "Search For . . . Results" from the left hand menu. Enter your RUSA number to get your results. If the certificate number is blank, that means that RUSA has not yet received the certificate number for that event from the ACP.

For your information, the process that results in certificate numbers being posted on the website is not instantaneous. First, your RBA needs to submit the results to RUSA. Then the RUSA brevet coordinator  (me) batches those up and submits them to the ACP. Then the ACP numbers the results and sends a spreadsheet back to RUSA. Then the RUSA brevet coordinator posts those numbers to the website.

If a qualifying brevet was done outside the US, you will have to contact the organizer for the certificate number.

Once registration starts and we see the actual form being used, we can update this information with any other registration requirements.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Pleasantest Lefthand 400k Yet?

After a spate of typical spring blustery, snowy weather, we had mild, dry, and only occasionally breezy conditions for the Lefthand 400k.  A coyote crossed the parking lot as riders assembled - guess it was a good omen?  26 riders started:

Ray Rupel - here on the Foothills Highway - rode 54 miles to the start from his home in Littleton (making sure he's doing long enough rides in the ramp up to Paris):

 The Indian Peaks still have lots and lots of snow on them!

Riders were treated to lush, green landscapes, thanks to recent rains, and the smell of freshly-cut hay near Platteville.  Heading into a stiff breeze on the homebound stretch past Wellington, riders found a pleasant distraction in the form of dozens and dozens of mint-condition antique cars, hot-rods, and what have you cruising up and down our route, part of a giant car show near Loveland.

Some folks upped the camaraderie, like this group taking a break at the Johnstown control: Brian Rapp, Foon Feldman, John Flanigan, Michael Henderson, Lloyd Jones, and Paul Foley:

It's nice to have a brevet occasionally where you're simply riding and enjoying the day, not jousting against the elements!


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Lots of "quality" miles on the South Park 400k!

May 28 saw the inaugural South Park 400k out of Colorado Springs.  A big thanks to Vernon Smith for putting this together and trying something new. 

Tom Knoblauch, Beth and Brent Myers, and Billy Edwards at the start (Vernon Smith photo):

PBP-aspirant Billy Edwards gives his take ...


That was tough. I am not sure if it was the course, the winds, or riding that long solo. I missed my aero bars with a passion in those windy sections.
  • Altitude was taxing on the system, harder to maintain power.
  • 27 mile stretch of damaged road was mentally and physically taxing.
  • Headwinds up Red Hill Pass and all the way to Fairplay, started to get comical.  Ok, finally got a screaming tailwind for first part of trip away from Fairplay, a welcome reprieve.
  • The hills and then shifted to headwinds south of Hartsel were never-ending.
  • That out and back was just mean, but a tailwind back to the loop actually was easier than the headwind down to the RV store.
I was pretty happy to hit that light at Divide and know it was pretty much downhill to CO Springs. 

In a typical rando moment on the much gentler Lefthand-Raymond 600k the week before:

Vernon, your route was ridiculous, but I am tougher for PBP. I am glad I got to ride down around the Springs. I hope you and Tom had fun. Next time, I will bring a tent or make sure I have someone to share the wind with.
- Billy Edwards
Now PBP Qualified

Vernon adds: "It will never be again on Memorial Day. Too busy, although I was spared from most of it.  People liked the Tarryall area but not the new construction. Highway 9 south of Hartsel all the way to Parkdale is fantastic. The climb, once turning off of Highway 9 and onto County Rodd 11 (the Gold Belt Tour) is incredible, as are the views up on top. Saw hundreds of deer in the evening. The 110 miles from Fairplay down to Parkdale and back up to Divide were low, low traffic."

I'll just add earnest congratulations to everyone on this ride!