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  • DCRand-Fleche04-20-2024 07:0016 Registered

    03-04-2024 18:20
    04-22-2024 03:00
    ACP Fleche
    Sunrise at 6:22:20 AM Sunset at 7:52:04 PM
    Ride Leader(s):
    William BECK
    Emily RANSON

    Get me there
    935 N Stafford St
    Arlington, VA 22203


    Overnight Ride
    Social Gathering Before/After

    Fleche documents.

    Many randonneurs consider the fleche to be one of the most fun (and often challenging) events on the schedule.

    What makes it fun? You’re riding with friends and team mates, all working together toward a common goal.  Plus there is the fleche breakfast, where friends and riders gather, regardless of whether they rode or finished.

    What makes it challenging? It’s a 24-hour, 224+ mile ride.  You may be on a team whose route is more or less challenging.  And … the timing of the fleche is usually determined by the week after Easter, which of course is variable.  So some fleches are characterized by bitterly cold weather; for others, heat may be a challenge.  Sometimes the weather is lovely, others the weather is appalling.

    Most teams will want to start riding the fleche at around 7am on April 20 so that they can finish 24 hours later at the fleche “target,” and join other exhausted and elated riders for the celebration breakfast and to share stories about their adventures.

    Critical deadlines for forming a team, getting a route approved, or becoming a team member are shown further below.  But first …

    What is a fleche and what are (some of) its rules?

    fleche (French for “arrow”), is a team event in which each team rides different routes toward a common finish location, like arrows toward a target. Minimum distance is 360 km, which must be covered in 24 hours.  Most people who have done a fleche consider it to be one of their favorite randonneuring events since riding together as a team for 24 straight hours builds strong bonds between team members, and is great fun.

    Fleche target:  the IHOP, 935 N Stafford St, Arlington, VA 22203, where on Sunday April 21, teams will meet for a hearty post-ride breakfast.  (Note that the target does not have to be the team’s final control.)  Breakfast is not included in the fleche fee.  If you would like to bring a guest, please do so.  This IHOP is a block from the Balston Metro, for an easy departure by transit.

    Allowed start times:  Most teams will want to start at about 7AM on Saturday morning so that they can finish at 7AM on Sunday morning and join other exhausted and elated riders for the celebration breakfast. Team members are welcome at the fleche breakfast whether or not they successfully completed the fleche.

    Fleche rules:  The fleche has its own set of rules that are somewhat different and more arcane, than those for a standard brevet. Some of them are summarized here:

    • Each team must consist of three to five bicycles. (Note that a tandem counts as a single bicycle, so teams will sometimes contain more than five riders.)
    • Teams can start at any time between noon on Thursday and 10AM on Saturday, and must finish 24 hours later. (However, as noted above, we encourage teams to finish around 7am (between 6AM-8AM) on Sunday morning so that they can join together for the brunch.)
    • The traditional fleche route starts at some distant location and then heads for the target, but a loop route is also allowed, as long as the start location is far enough from the finish to be considered as a different postal jurisdiction.  You may not use the same road twice in the same direction.  And only small out-and-back sections are allowed, for control purposes.
    • As in a standard brevet, the routes must contain control locations chosen so that the shortest bicycle-safe, bicycle-legal route through the controls is equal to at least the minimum distance of 360 km. However, the fleche has an additional requirement that one of the controls must occur exactly 22 hours after the start and be at least 25 km from wherever that team finishes. Note that this requirement, as well as the one that states that no rest stops can be longer than 2 hours, ensures that teams take nearly the full 24 hours to complete the ride.
    • The 22-hour and 24-hour control rules (Articles 10 and 11) have recently been changed to allow an exception in case you are unable to obtain on-the-spot control verification.  But … we suggest that you use this exception as a last resort, since its use requires ex-post route validation, which inherently increases the possibility of disqualification.
    • For the complete fleche rules, click: here

    A full understanding of the rules, especially for the 22-hour control is essential for achieving a successful finish. Team captains are welcome to contact me with questions. And many experienced captains even recommend bringing a printed copy of the rules on the ride since they can be hard to recall at 4 in the morning.

    Fleche Team Deadlines

    To participate in this special event, riders should start forming teams now. Each team must have a captain who is responsible for designing the route and submitting it for approval. The schedule will be:

    Captains, see “Fleche Captain Application”.

    Team members, be sure to register!

    Captains and team members must register online at dcrand.org/, entering all of the information requested–especially phone numbers and emergency contact–and following the payment instructions there.  Note: For insurance reasons, RUSA membership is now required to ride a fleche.

    Team captains are responsible for collecting applications from their team members and submitting them on time, the second deadline noted above. In other words, team members should send the forms to their captains, and then the captains should submit them as a group. Please contact Bill Beck (william.a.beck@gmail.com) with any questions. We also have many experienced fleche captains in the club who would be excellent sources of advice. If you are thinking of forming a team or looking for a team to join, the dcrand listserve is one good way to connect with other riders.  Planning and training are essential for finishing and enjoying a fleche. So I encourage all new teams to schedule at least one or two shakedown rides together, perhaps on a 200km (or even 300km) permanent route.

    In case of Inclement Weather:   Because each team rides its own route, weather conditions might be acceptable for some routes while unacceptable for others.  If the weather forecast looks questionable for the region, team captains will be contacted, and they will be required in turn to contact their team members.  For this event as for all events, it is up to each individual randonneur to decide based on the best information that they have available whether they think it is safe to proceed.  Whether or not you ride (or complete) your fleche, you are welcome at the fleche breakfast, which will proceed as long as the hotel is open.

    Fleche Team Captain Applications

    Fleche captains will submit four items.

    1) Registration form by, March 31

    2) Route application form, by March 31

    3) Fleche Team Tracking Sheet, by April 06

    4) By April 06, Captains please confirm that all of your team members have registered online and note that in the tracking sheet.

    Routes that do not include a completely-filled out DCR Fleche Route Application will not be considered.  Note that if your proposed route has been approved within the last three years, you will not need to fill out the detailed Route Justification section.  All other routes will require detailed route justification.  This is no more and no less than what is required when you submit a route to RUSA for approval.  So … if you’ve submitted a route to RUSA, you know what to do; and if you get a fleche route approved, then you’ve had good practice for submitting a route to RUSA!

    It is up to prospective fleche captains to take the time to justify the route.  The organizer’s job is to review the justification — typically that can take an hour per route — not to work out the justification for you.
    The route information can be submitted electronically to william.a.beck@gmail.com in PDF, MS Word, or MS Excel format. Ideally you will include a route file created in RideWithGPS; Garmin Mapsource is also acceptable; either of these will be much appreciated, but not technically required.

  • Michaux-Meander-300k05-04-2024 06:00None Registered

    02-21-2024 19:12
    05-03-2024 13:30
    ACP 300
    Sunrise at 6:04:55 AM Sunset at 8:07:51 PM
    Ride Leader(s):
    Emily RANSON
    William SMITH

    Get me there
    Home2 Suites
    4850 Buckeystown Pike
    Frederick, MD 21704


    Social Gathering Before/After

    This is a return to a 300km Nick Bull designed out of Frederick.  It follows part of the first day of the Pigeon Hills 600.  The name of the brevet comes from the lovely Michaux State Forest.

    Check in is currently TBD and will either be at the Home2 Suites, Dunkin Donuts, or Sheetz next to the hotel. Check in opens at 5 AM and will require a bicycle safety inspection requiring lights and reflective gear.

    Leaving Frederick, the route heads north to Thurmont, climbs up MD550 and then picks up the Ye Olde Frederick 300km route through Fairfield and Arendtsville. In the Michaux State Forest, we forego the grinding climb over Big Flat for a slightly more mellow route through the woods in Pine Grove Furnace State Park. Once across South Mountain, the route heads past a Sheetz where riders should resupply, then up to an info control in Newville.  Turning south and west,  riders begin the reverse of the “Four States” 400km route. After a control in Mercersburg, riders continue due south through Williamsport to Sharpsburg and a control in Shepherdstown.  From there, they head back to Frederick, climbing over Gapland and MarLu on the way.

  • Kinder-Gentler-400k05-18-2024 05:003 Registered

    03-04-2024 20:09
    05-17-2024 13:00
    ACP 400
    Sunrise at 5:54:21 AM Sunset at 8:20:51 PM
    Ride Leader(s):
    Emily RANSON

    Get me there
    Holiday Inn Express
    410 Holiday Ct
    Warrenton, VA


    Last rode in 2018, never believe a randonneur when they say, "This is a kinder, gentler 400!" But this is a lovely route that meanders through Virginia and finishes in good old Warrenton.

    Get your hotel room ASAP and you may want to get a refundable room if you are not sure you are riding.

    NOTE: 5 AM START TIME instead of traditional 4 AM to give riders more time to travel in the morning.

  • South-Mountain-Redux-Revisited-60006-01-2024 04:001 Registered

    03-05-2024 13:32
    05-29-2024 13:30
    ACP 600
    Sunrise at 5:42:40 AM Sunset at 8:32:33 PM
    Ride Leader(s):
    Mimo DeMarco
    Emily RANSON

    Get me there
    Hampton Inn
    1565 Opossumtown Pike
    Frederick, MD


    Overnight Ride
    Social Gathering Before/After


    South Mountain Redux Revisited is revised, rejuvenated, reimagined, and of course redundant version of Lynn Kristianson's Pigeon Hills 600, which was first ridden by DC Randonneurs in 2006.  In 2018 this was reworked to be the South Mountain Redux, which avoided the Pigeon Hills and their ugly aftermath.  Still, the ride proved quite challenging, so this renewal does more significant surgery, and lengthens the first day to about 400k, and accordingly reduces the second day by about 40k.  How does that work?

    SMRR entirely skirts Big Flat, including the false summit, with a bigger indulgence in the majestic Michaux State Forest.  A new control in Mt. Holly Springs improves the supply chain in the first leg of the route, which also ducks down to Shippensburg to eliminate the overlong stretch of unserviced road into Mercersburg.  From there things are unchanged until you cross back over the Potomac, where a few more miles of modest terrain are added before overnighting where you started.

    After that respite, Day 2 has the advantage of being 25 miles shorter than before.  It now heads to Union Bridge, where the chance for more frequent re-supply begins.  Up at its northern end this day hits its high point, with about 50 miles to go and a fairly mellow pass through the battlefield in Gettysburg, then Emmitsburg, and Thurmont on the way back to Frederick.

Sunrise and Sunset courtesy of Sunrise-Sunset.org