2019 600K

 Posted by on June 10, 2019
Jun 102019
 

The Ohio Randonneurs ACP Brevet series wrapped up with a 600K that offered a bit of everything. The first 200K was dry with a downhill that had some riders reporting 49.1 mph the last time they checked their computer, only to find later that their max speed was higher. Ron Selby shared that at the first control, manned by Christine Graham, that it was the first time he had seen a horse and buggy tethered near the gas pumps at a service station. The second 200K had unrelenting rain the full distance. There was no riding out of it. The third 200K was dry, but the last 100K had a headwind. For those riders who are counting, the brevet covered two states.

Several riders qualified for their first PBP. All necessary numbers for completing registration are available at the RUSA website. Paul Bacho was training for his ninth trip to PBP. I knew he was all set when he pulled out a familiar long slender sandwich wrapped in foil.  Paul knows how to manage his time and nutrition. I hope all the other riders have figured it out.

Randonneuring is about self-sufficiency but, make no mistake, riders only have success if they have a strong team. It was nice to see some of the riders “teams” at the ride. Larry and Christine Graham are a team. Tim Argo’s team was there. The Vajda team was there and some members of the team were excited to go to the hotel pool. James is not going to PBP but, his year was a training year where he got to push himself. He is well on his way towards a future PBP. I hope the hotel has a pool.

The Ohio Randonneurs team of Dave Miller, Ted Meisky, David Buzzee, the volunteers who manned controls this season and the hotel clerks and managers was there as well. Being the RBA is easy when you surround yourself with good people and let them do what they do best. My wife Debi was there with her date bars. She is not a volunteer (she got drafted) and the season hinges on her loving support and patience. Just as your team does, she lets me go outside and ride my bike. Riders did the pedaling, the teams did the rest.

I would like to thank Johnathan Karpick for creating and sharing team pins. The design is great and the pin doesn’t leave a hole in my shirt.

Spring Training is over, Summer Camp is done. It’s time to crank it up, let’s go out and do some hill repeats or interval training.

 

June 2019 RBA Update

 Posted by on May 28, 2019
May 282019
 

Based on the finishing percentage of the 400K, Dave Miller, the principal author of all Ohio Randonneurs routes, wishes to remind PBP riders that it can be cold and rainy in France. After battling the leftover winds from this weekend’s tornados, I would like to remind riders that there may be a drought and winds in France also.

Understand, your first 400K will be your fastest. The second will be a bit slower due to nutrition, and the lack of adrenaline that carried you through the first 400K. Your last 400k will usually be slower yet, due to inadequate nutrition on the second 400K. I would suggest that if it is daylight, you need to be pedaling. Dick Seebode, five time ancien of PBP, suggested I pedal on to Carhaix before sleeping if I had daylight. Most riders stop at the overcrowded Loudeac Control. Your choice.

On this month’s 600K, PBP riders are advised to ride it straight through, not stopping at the 400K mark where you have a hotel room. Jared Schwartzentruber took advantage of the washer and dryers at the hotel to combat the rain we had on the 400K. David Miller suggests that the riders who had fenders or Camelbacks in 2007 had a better chance of success.

Spring training is over, Memorial Day, to some, is the start of summer. Let’s do Summer Camp. It’s time to taper. This brevet has less climbing than the 400K, so I am told. Yes, we add distance. Nutrition is critical. Please make sure that any potential mechanicals are taken care of. It’s time to finesse your time management. Let’s do this, let’s crank it up.

May 2019 RBA Update

 Posted by on April 29, 2019
Apr 292019
 

The 300K was completed by all who started. As promised, the route covered some of the same ridges as the 200K, but from a different direction. David Miller put together a great update of one of his earlier routes. It was much safer getting in and out of Chillicothe and he even threw in a “secret control” that he manned on what riders reported was a downhill. A few riders struggled with nutrition and time management. It was a great day weather-wise but some riders lingered at the turnaround control too long, in my opinion. Of course, the fact that Dawn Mettler and Ben Slay manned the control and fed the riders whatever the asked for may have been a factor. Dawn and Ben deserve a big thanks for volunteering to man the control and take any surplus food to a fire station that especially enjoyed the surplus cookie gift. Riders need to understand that there will not be a Speedway on every other corner with roller dogs and greasy pizza at PBP. I had difficulty even locating a chilled soda in France.

Next Up: Team Flèche

David and Lucy Buzzee will be hosting the flèche again this year. They will open their home to two teams, one from Indiana and one from Michigan. Word has gotten out to the randonneuring community that the Ohio Flèche is one not to miss.

For riders who are not experienced at riding at night, the 24 hour team event is perhaps the best way to learn how to manage nutrition and safely make it through the night. We always try to place it as a natural step up from the 300K to prepare for the 400K, where riders, in most cases, have to finish in the dark and lights and reflective gear are required. The flèche is also required for the R5000 award.

Toshiyuki Nemoto’s 400K

This year’s 400K is based on routes that both David Buzzee and Bob Waddell have used in the past. The ride starts at The Quality Inn at Blue Ash, near Cincinnati, across the road from the original start at The Red Roof Inn. Last fall, when I told Toshi I was considering this 400K route, he went out to check to see if the original route was viable. It needed improvement for safety and traffic concerns. Toshi photographed every cued intersection and made necessary changes. He also suggested that we move the start. Hugh Walsh was out for a leisurely ride on the route last week and found that we may need to make a change or two due to construction. It’s nice when “locals” can help keep us current. Lynn Clark is helping improve the 600K route that starts in Macedonia this year, from the route that we used just a few years ago.

Dave Miller just submitted the improved route to RUSA for approval. We always try to get any up-dates to any of our routes posted on our website the Tuesday before the ride. Even with that diligence, there may be changes made the day before or even the day of the ride. Rider safety is our primary concern.

Spring Training continues, Let’s crank it up!

March 2019 Update

 Posted by on March 28, 2019
Mar 282019
 

Lancaster – Jackson 200K Recap

The temperature was cool and the sun shined brightly. There were two DNF’s on the 200K. One was due to a mechanical, the other was quite possibly due to the early season start coupled with the climbing. I congratulated Ron Selby on finishing a tough ride, and he said thanks. The next words out of his mouth were “Is David Miller still here?” That is usually followed by some question about the accuracy of the cue sheet. This time Ron wanted to thank Dave for a great route. Dave was still there, and actually working on the finishing touches of the 300K route. Tim Argo was the first to complete the 200K, and he does not use a GPS. He relies on the official route that Dave has spelled out on a very detailed and accurate cue sheet. After sharing a few stories, both Ron and Tim were treated to the usual sandwich and other foods that Debi serves up. Jon Sanchirico headed back to Michigan with a few extra date bars, but he has been heard to say that they never make it across the State Line.

Spring Training has begun. As promised, we’ll work on your legs this season. Let’s crank it up…

Next Up: Canal Winchester-Logan 300K

The 300K will cross a few of the ridges we crossed on the 200K, just from a different direction. We will be starting and finishing at Cyclist Connection. Ric has a shower at his shop for post ride cleaning up. A very short distance on a bike path will lead riders to Brew Dog if they want to replace carbs post ride. Make sure your machine is mechanically sound and that you have all the required lights and reflective gear.

 

2019 Brevet Series

 Posted by on March 3, 2019
Mar 032019
 

Welcome to the
2019 ACP Certified, Paris-Brest-Paris Qualifying, Ohio Randonneur Brevet Series

I agree, that is too wordy, but completion of this series will help qualify you for what I believe is the greatest amateur bicycling event that exists. Remember that PBP precedes Le Tour de France in history, and it only comes around every four years. You know, kind of what the Olympics used to be.

There are “arcane” rules as Ted Meisky has referred to them, but they try to level the playing field. There will always be faster and slower riders, fancy, high priced machines and run of the mill weekend ride bikes. Riders can use GPS, but PBP limits the length of any aerobars. There is a brevet card that must be presented at the end so your results can be certified. Riders will ride some of the same roads that the other big cycling event covers with the same scenery.

A rider contacted me through our website the other day and asked what he had to do to go to PBP this year. I informed him that he would have to complete an ACP brevet series this year, that registration was open already, that there would be a cut off of riders, and that one of the tools that PBP would use to whittle down the numbers would be the distance of the longest ACP brevet that a rider completed last year. It would be possible, but not likely that he would qualify this year.

In 2003 when I went to PBP, I rode with a rider who had simply ridden the ACP series and got accepted. He was a securities trader from New York. After he parked his bike on the soccer field and headed for the clubhouse to officially register, he slipped on a damp wooden ramp, fell and fractured his wrist, and then went on to complete the ride.

In 2001 when I went to Boston-Montreal-Boston, there was a rider who lost his brevet card. The officials still checked him in to each control but warned him if he did not find his card, he would be disqualified, even if he completed the full distance. A local bike path rider saw something on the side of the road, picked it up, and thought it might be important. She called the number on the card, and informed whomever she talked to that she found a card that might be important. The rider got credit for BMB when the card was turned in after the ride.

My point is that one must really prepare and train for PBP. Over the past couple of seasons we have worked on your mental and physical abilities with headwinds, all sorts of weather, and flat courses where there was little opportunity to coast. We want you to have success at PBP, so we are going to work your legs in the hills this series. Hopefully you have been around randonneuring enough that you chose to go south to warmer weather to qualify, and all you have to do now is train. If not, you still have time, but managing your time is paramount. As I said, it doesn’t matter if you are fast or slow. The key to PBP is best managing your time.

It’s time to crank it up. Let’s train.

20th Anniversary RUSA rides

 Posted by on September 10, 2018
Sep 102018
 

I knew that there was something missing from both of my pre-ride speeches. I “forgot” to mention the possibility of having “Secret Controls”. The Populaire had a secret control and the 200K had a manned control that was scheduled to be a merchant control. I manned the Populaire secret control, and Dick Sebode, five time ancien of Paris-Brest-Paris, manned the South Bloomingville control on the 200K. Yes, Dick’s license plate does read, “Allez”. On P-B-P, sometimes you hear that at 2:00 in the morning from fans on the side of the road.  Dick and Steve Barbour are most responsible for dragging me to “the dark-side”, randonneuring.  Rider Scott Ebbing found a $100 bill on the 200K route. His remarks concerning the find were, in effect, “it pays not to be in the ‘breakaway’”. The fast guys missed the reward.

Thank you to Ric Noland for opening his shop and shower for our rides. He left Damon Howard, a former student of mine, in charge while he went on vacation. Damon had an emergency at home and he left my wife Debi in charge of Cyclist Connection. She still did not give me a discount. Instead, she made sure that all the randonneurs were well fed and had Dick Denning refusing offers of more food. She SAG supports me. She promises that “Debi’s date bars ” will return for the P-B-P qualifiers.

Thank you to Ted Meisky for coming up with a safe 200K route that proved to be a preview of next year’s brevet series. Dick thanks you for giving him a control with shade. Ted works miracles.

David Miller and I have already been out working on safety improvements on next year’s 200K. We got his new car dirty checking out route options. Dave takes my rough ideas, tweaks them and comes up with the best and official route and cue sheet.  The Lancaster-Jackson-Lancaster 200K was the first brevet that I rode in 1999, a P-B-P year. Dave Miller said that if it had been “his first brevet”, it “may have been his last”. The route can be found out there on the Internet. Ted will post the “Ride with GPS” file and the final cue on Tuesday before the ride. I now know how easy it is to load a route to a GPS but, remember, the cue sheet is the “final route”. Dave Miller takes care of us.

Our 100K Populaire convinced a few new riders to come to the “dark-side” of cycling. I’d originally estimated 30 riders, 20 for the Populaire and 10 for the 200K brevet. We ended up with 14 200K riders, and 25 Populaire riders. Tom Dusky, the RBA in Michigan, will be sending us additional medals. I have a new order of Ohio Super Randonneur shirts, and will send all of the cards and awards out as soon as I can.

Next Up:

March 23: Ohio Randonneur’s 2019 ACP 200K.

Lancaster-Jackson-Lancaster – This year we trained your mind. In 2019 we will train your legs.

Let’s crank it up…

July 2018 Update

 Posted by on July 22, 2018
Jul 222018
 

The Tour de France is going to Brest this year. Pay attention to the scenery if you get a chance to catch any of the race. Look at some of the roads they are riding, and look at the churches. On Paris-Brest-Paris, randonneurs from the United States learn that in the wee hours of the morning, a church spire means a town and possibly a control. Brest is the turnaround on our big out and back next year. The scenery you see on The Tour is the same scenery randonneurs travel through on PBP.

Our 600K: The best story from our 600K involves our guest rider from California, Becky Berka. My pre-ride inspection observations were confirmed. She rode the 600K on a “fixie”. Five-foot-something Becky had two six-foot-something riders, Timothy Argo and Jim Koegel, drafting her.

The next story from this year’s ACP series is about all of my volunteers. Ben Slay volunteered at three controls and Andrew Clayton covered two. Dawn Mettler made sure Ben took care of things at two controls. Ted Meisky, David Miller, David Buzzee, my wife Debi, and a host of others made this series a success. I await the homologation numbers for the 600K, and will send out brevet cards and earned Ohio Series Ohio Randonneur Super Randonneur t-shirts

Ohio Randonneur Series Super Randonneurs:

Timothy Argo
Robert Schopis
John Hoban
Tetsuo Jinnai
James Vajda

Next Up:
We will be offering our Introduction to Randonneuring 101: 100K(65 miles) and a Bob Waddell 200K updated by Ted Meisky. These two rides will be RUSA 20th anniversary rides. We will have separate start times, but everyone will get a chance to enjoy a cookout put on by Cyclist Connection and Ohio Randonneurs. Ric has a shower available at the end in case you actually sweat. It is time to train. I suspect that either Ted just needed time away after nursing me through another ACP series or his trip out to Colorado and requested 200K are part of his training for PBP 2019.

Let’s Crank it up. Be safe out on the roads

OR 400K 2018

 Posted by on May 28, 2018
May 282018
 

Good rides always have stories. Probably one of the best stories this ride is Ron Selby’s tale of two moons in the wee hours of the morning. Ask him about it.

Another good story is the fact that new RUSA member Ben Slay and his girlfriend Dawn Mettler volunteered to man the turnaround control. After all of the riders had passed, they took the excess food stuffs to the volunteer fire department of Camden.

Robert Schopis was able to get what he needed at Countryside Bike Shop in Greenville, and yet finished with a bloody elbow and knee. James Vajda was seen sporting the new Randonneurs USA kit, while riding around his own neighborhood. Apparently Ted Meisky and Dave Miller chose some favorite roads of his when constructing the route. All riders who started, finished.

The other story from the ride is the fact that some riders need to refresh themselves on randonneuring rules from their RUSA handbook. The rules pertaining to brevet cards and reflective surface.

Next up…. The OR ACP 600K

The first 400K of the 600K will be the same route as the just completed 400K. To that, riders need to add the first twenty miles or so from the 200K and a new stretch to Bucyrus and back. The 600K can be ridden straight through or broken up into two rides with a sleep stop tucked in the middle. Traditionally, riders who aspire to longer distances ride the 600K straight through.

This year’s flat routes have forced riders to pedal continuously and deal with headwinds, tailwinds, and storms. All these test riders mentally. Next year we will work on your legs.  For those interested in Paris-Brest-Paris next year……..LET’S CRANK IT UP.

May 2018 Update

 Posted by on May 14, 2018
May 142018
 

The weather is finally beginning to cooperate, allowing us to get out and get needed miles completed. We completed our Spring 2018 300K and flèche. It’s time for what some riders view as the toughest ride in the series, the 400K.

Our 300K was a success, and as I often say, “it is not a good ride unless there is a story.” The big story from the 300K was the 80 plus miles of tailwind inbound the second half of the ride. That in itself is worth mentioning, but there is another side to it. Eve Hush and J. Andrew Clayton completed the same route as a pre-ride with 80 plus miles of 20 mph headwind inbound, and then manned controls for the scheduled event all day long. Pictures are available. The Co-MVP’s for the 2019 300K are certainly Eve and Andrew.

Continue reading »

Epic 200k Brevet

 Posted by on March 26, 2018
Mar 262018
 

Congratulations to all the Ohio Randonneur volunteers,
Debi Orr and Kelly Cox


You staged what one randonneur was heard to describe as an ‘Epic Ride”. I always say, ‘It’s only considered a good ride if there is a story’. Apparently the 28-42 degree temperatures and the 16-20 mph headwinds generated a lot of stories, including the last ten miles into the wind with absolutely no wind cover. MVP for the ride is Doug Oda who suffered all but the last five miles of the ride. It was getting dark, and he realized he did not have the proper lighting to finish within the rules, and he abandoned. Integrity.

 

Next up: The 2018 Ohio Randonneurs 300K . . . Let’s crank it up!