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!

February 2018 Update

 Posted by on February 7, 2018
Feb 072018
Welcome to The 2018 Ohio Randonneurs ACP Certified Brevet Series

It’s time to:

Make sure your equipment is ready for the new season.

  • If you haven’t already, get your bike tuned (Support your local bike shop)
  • Clean out your seat-bag (Refresh what you might need to be self-sufficient)
  • Make sure you have the proper fit (Support your local bike shop)

Get some miles.

  • The trainer counts (Get outside when you can)
  • Ride a “Permanent” (It teaches you control protocol)
  • Ride a “Permanent” (It teaches you how to ride a cue-sheet)

Nutrition: Think about it. Pose questions to our Facebook page or our Google group.

Be safe out on the roads

David Roderick
Regional Brevet Administrator
Ohio Randonneurs

Next Up – Fall Populaire

 Posted by on July 31, 2017
Jul 312017

Next up is our “Randonneurs 101 Populaire”, coming on October 14th at 9:00 a.m. Hopefully everyone is having a successful cycling season. Do some of your friends and family wonder what that “randonneuring insanity“ you do involves? Do you want to introduce a rider or two to randonneuring? Do you see someone who is showing potential as an ultra-distance cyclist? Let’s corrupt them. In October we will have a sample of randonneuring that includes cue sheets, brevet cards, all the different types of controls they might encounter, a few hills, and a 65 mile out and back course that runs from Cyclist Connection in Canal Winchester to Granville and back. See what randonneuring is all about…rain or shine. If we are real nice, Ric and his guys will have a cookout at the end of the ride for all participants. We may even work something out with the new Micro Brewery nearby. Stay tuned for details.  Be safe out on the roads in the meantime.

[table “19” not found /]

ACP Series/600K Summary

 Posted by on July 16, 2017
Jul 162017

Stop if you have already heard this one.

An Engineer, an Artist, a Librarian, and a Teacher decided to stage the 2017 Ohio Randonneurs ACP series…………………..and with the help of several of you……………………………I can say: “We Did It”.

The Process

During my first year as RBA for Ohio Randonneurs, I decided that it would be fair to all members if we moved each series to the four corners of the state. To that end, I told Paul Bacho, a long time randonneur, that I needed some routes that started in Northeast Ohio. After covering Southwest, Central, Southeast, and Northwest Ohio, it was Northeast Ohio’s turn. I have to admit that I badgered Paul every year to get some routes together, and with Cindy Watkins and a host of others, this year he was able to do so. This past winter when the snow was flying deep in the Northeast, Cindy and I went out to preview the route that they had put together. Word got out and soon other randonneurs in the area chimed in on the route. Lynn Clark, as well as Kevin Madzia of Century Cycles, offered solutions to some of the problems we were having. After another trip to preview the route with another randonneur, Steve Gassman, we finally had something to turn over to the engineer.

Continue reading »

2017 Ohio 400K – Stories

 Posted by on May 31, 2017
May 312017

I have been heard to say that, “The ride has to have a story to be a good ride.”. Based on that criteria, and the number of stories that I heard about the 400K, last week’s 400K must have been a great ride. As a former English and History teacher, I love stories. There are stories about sights, suffering, fatigue, as well as stories about success and gratitude.  There is great knowledge and experience to be found post ride sitting around together sharing stories.

Saturday stories started early in the ride. In order to convince riders to pedal on and complete a ride, I quote a good friend and former randonneur, who always told me to ask myself, “Can I make it to the next control”. I have often done so when the mental challenge of what we do kicks in. The reasoning follows along these lines. I can get refreshment, get off the bike, just sit down, and attempt to recover and refuel before going on. I tell my volunteers to always have a smile and encouragement when they man a whole control from open to close. It helps the riders to see a friendly face, and perhaps receive some minor or major SAG at the control. Plus, we know where you are.  Dave Miller and my wife Debi spent an awful lot of hours waiting for ALL the riders to come through. Of course, they end up with stories to share too. Continue reading »

2017 Ohio 300K

 Posted by on May 1, 2017
May 012017

We’ve got another ride in the brevet series completed, now we look forward to the 400K. Some randonneurs say that the 400K is the toughest ride of the series. On the 400K, riders are forced to ride in the dark. Most of the time riders will ride the 400K straight through. I always have, but last season some riders grabbed a nap during the 400K. Riding in the dark requires proper equipment. On the 400K,  riders will get more spaced out along the route.  It can be tough riding alone in the wee hours of the morning. I often recommend that riders who have not ridden in the dark should first attempt a 24 hour team flèche .  The distance is nearly the same, the pace can be a little slower, and riders can motivate and keep others riders awake. I’ve been part of several interesting conversations in the middle of the night, mixed in with some singing here and there.  Good luck to the riders attempting Ohio’s Fleche this year. David Buzzee does an excellent job of arranging for, and checking the routes, making sure that they comply with RUSA rules. May 6th and 7th is fast approaching, consider joining or forming a team.  The rules are slightly different than the usual brevet. Check out the RUSA website for more information.

This year’s 300K provided some interesting challenges. It was colder than expected and that caught some riders off guard. There was also a “cyclocross” section on the bike trail portion of the ride. Barricades around the repair of a bridge forced riders to “port” their bikes around and over the huge blocks of concrete.  Remember that it’s not a “great ride” unless there are stories. This ride had plenty. Being in Amish/Mennonite country, many riders encountered many buggies. Sightings of very young children driving teams of huge draft horses made for some interesting stories. Hazards and obstacles on the route bring up another opportunity to understand some of the rules of randonneuring. If riders encounter a section of the route that requires them to dismount their bikes, that section can simply be ridden around, leaving the course where necessary. I’ve walked around barriers, crossed creeks walking on guard rails, and had cases where the road has completely washed away. It happens. While it might require “bonus miles”, it also provides some pretty interesting or funny stories after the ride. If this happens, call the RBA and inform him of your plans. He or she may be able to supply you with a simple remedy and can warn slower riders of the problem. Rider safety is paramount. Those of you that ride with GPS can usually identify an alternative route, those without GPS can usually find an alternative by going back to the last intersection. Continue reading »