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 »

2017 Ohio 200K

 Posted by on April 4, 2017
Apr 042017

Okay, our 200K is in the books, and now we look forward to the upcoming 300K. We had 24 riders registered for the 200K, and the weather was nearly perfect for the ride. It was cloudy with spots of sunshine and nearly 70 degrees. Veteran randonneurs and a few “newbies” all hit the road at 8:00 am. Larry Graham set a brisk pace on the great course put together by local randonneurs and tweaked by Dave Miller. Some riders used nearly all of the thirteen and a half hours allotted. Two finished after dark, which brings up the need for proper reflective gear and lighting. I was glad I did not have to DQ anybody for the lack of gear. RUSA requires front and back lighting, reflective vests and reflective ankle bands. If you put yours away after last season, you may need to dig them out for the 300K. There will be a bike inspection (that goes for Elipitigos too) and reflective gear and lighting inspections. Rider safety is paramount. Please refer to the RUSA website to make sure you are compliant.

There were some new faces at the 200K and, a first for any brevet that I can remember, an Elliptigo ridden by Scott Blower. Some veterans were skeptical about Scott’s machine but he finished, with rubber bands and duct tape holding everything together, in a very respectable time. I think he was glad to actually sit down afterwards. Way to go Scott. Laurie Skul, who joined RUSA on the day of the ride, also finished very strong. Charan Babu Puthumbaka, forgot his water bottles, but one of our veterans made sure he had one going out to the first control, and I had a full water bottle waiting for him when he got there. Charan noticeably had a great time on his first brevet and, although randonneurs are supposed to be self- sufficient, our riders welcomed him, and encouraged him. I’m pretty sure he’ll be back. Continue reading »

December 2016 Update

 Posted by on December 27, 2016
Dec 272016
Ohio Randonneurs 2017 Brevet Series – Northeast  Ohio

The 2017 brevet series will be starting in Macedonia, Ohio in the northeast corner of the state. We started the 2016 series in Findlay, Ohio and crossed into Michigan and Indiana.  This year’s routes will take us into Pennsylvania. On the 400, we will give those of you seeking multi-state awards the opportunity to get two states on one ride.

Paul Bacho and his “crew” have put together the 2017 routes, which promise more climbing. Cindy Watkins and Susan & Lloyd Peterson have been busy scouting and pre-riding the routes, checking for possible control locations, and making sure we have decent roads. Cindy reports that not only are the routes challenging, they’re also pretty. There will be a couple of hotels at the start to choose from but the start will be at the La Quinta Inn & Suites. Kevin Madzia of Century Cycles in Peninsula, Ohio has shared some of his knowledge of the area and assures us that we will enjoy lower traffic, plenty of hills, and nice riding when we head east. David Miller, our routes and cue expert, is reviewing the routes with his Ohio Department of Transportation expertise. Dave works with RUSA to assure the routes meet their requirements and provide a safe experience for all our riders. It is great to be surrounded with such quality people who make my job much easier.

When we finalize the details, more information and the routes will be posted on our website.

Fall Populaire

 Posted by on September 12, 2016
Sep 122016

populairepincompressedRandonneuring 101: You have ridden a couple of centuries, you rode Pelotonia, you have the ability to ride long in all sorts of weather, your friends said something about “randonneuring”, and you want to give it a try, but don’t know where to start. Ohio Randonneurs is offering the opportunity to dip your toes into randonneuring.

Once again, we will be offering a 100K Populaire starting at
9:00 on October 29, 2016.

We will use the same route as last year – A ride from the Cyclist Connection bike shop in Canal Winchester, Ohio to Granville, Ohio and back, followed by food to replenish the burned carbs. We will include a cue sheet, brevet card, brevet controls of each available type and a few hills, all to give you a sample of randonneuring and how it works. It is not a race. The fee will be $10, and you may register here at our site. The fee covers administrative costs, insurance for non-RUSA members and, of course, the food.

For more information about randonneuring, go to RUSA.org. If you are a randonneur and are looking to complete your P-12, this ride counts. Get your friends out and show them what you do on those long rides you complete. Teach “newbies” what it is all about.

August 2016 Update

 Posted by on August 29, 2016
Aug 292016

2016 ACP Brevet Series- We have wrapped up our 2016 ACP Brevet offerings. The full 200, 300, 400 and 600K series started in Findlay, Ohio and our 1000K Coast to Coast to Coast brevet had the option of riding portions of it in the form of two 200K and/or two 300K brevets. We faced all sorts of weather during the series. The 300K that went to Ft. Wayne, IN. and back had low temperatures and high winds. During the 400K, riders had to dodge rain, ride through Hell and back, and fight wind. During the 600K, riders rode in high temperatures and more wind. What we gave up in hills in Northwestern Ohio, we made up with wind.

Frank Seebode, of Bike-Ohio, created, administrated and staged the 1000K again this year. I am still waiting for final stats from Frank, but I can include a couple of quotes from riders that participated. Scott Weinberg posted on Facebook “I finished the full ride yesterday, and it was great (and hard). Super support, good food at the controls, and most importantly, the entire route was marked with arrows. That’s amazing effort to mark every single turn on a 1000K.” Another rider, Roger Pesket, posted “I traveled from Arizona and also finished this month’s CtoCtoC 1000K: an interesting route, and the Dan Henry’s were a useful feature.”

David Buzzee staged and administrated our flèche this season. Originally five teams were scheduled to participate and finish at the same point and time. Due to weather and team numbers, only three teams finished.

We have one more ride scheduled at the end of October, a RUSA certified Populaire. We hope to see you in 2017. Continue reading »

April 2016 Update

 Posted by on May 3, 2016
May 032016

April is known for its Spring Showers and, but for a few days, it was mostly wet. We did have a nice day for the Brevet though but ended the month with a rain soaked day for our Flèche. I just hope that we have good weather for our May 300K coming up on May 14th. We had a great turnout for our 200K which, by a stroke of bad planning, was scheduled the same day as Bill Watts’ Indianapolis 200K. He rode as captain of one of the Indiana Flèche Teams that participated in our Ohio Flèche. He reported that he had a decent turnout for his 200K. I guess there were riders who wanted the hills south of Indianapolis, and other riders who preferred the flat Ohio 200K that had more wind turbines than hills. We had some Indiana Randonneurs and he had some Ohio Randonneurs.

It’s nice that we have other brevets available nearby, including Tom Dusky’s Detroit Randonneurs 200K the following week. I remember when I started randonneuring in 1999 that there were not as many choices. Riders could do the Ohio rides, the Kentucky rides, or travel out to Chicago to make up a brevet in the Great Lakes Randonneurs’ series.

We had two outstanding local randonneurs volunteer to man controls for our 200K. Scott Elliot from Michigan manned the turnaround control at Blissfield since it was only eleven miles from his house, and Jacqueline Campbell volunteered for the first control since it was literally in her neighborhood. She mentioned the fact that our having manned controls the last few years was a real plus and that she basically wanted to “pay it forward”. Jacqueline Campbell has volunteered to help out with our 300K if we need her. She says she can drive to the control. We may see her in Ft. Wayne with yours truly at the turnaround picnic. People can be great if we just let them be, and recognize their sacrifice. Just like my Brain Trust. Continue reading »

February 2016 Update

 Posted by on February 17, 2016
Feb 172016

The 2016 Ohio Randonneurs ACP Brevet Series.

Let’s get this season going! The 2016 ACP Brevet Series will start at Findlay, Ohio at the Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, 903 Interstate Drive, Findlay, Ohio 45840. I’ve spent two weekends in Findlay this past few weeks, and stayed at two different hotels, and checked out many others. I was looking for a mid-priced to budget hotel to serve as the host hotel for the series. There are several to choose from within walking distance or a five minute bike ride or drive from the Country Inn & Suites. You have lots of choices, and although I haven’t talked to Larry Graham directly, he may know of places to stack bikes and riders. More specific details pertaining to each brevet will be found elsewhere on this website.

The 200K this year will be heading north to Michigan via North Baltimore, Bowling Green, and Sylvania, Ohio. It may actually have more gain in elevation than the 300K which will be heading to Ft. Wayne, Indiana. There are very few hills or rollers to choose from, but I did notice several wind turbines. The 400K will give you a chance to “ride to Hell and back”. Yes, we will be heading for Hell, Michigan. It will be an extension of the 200K. I can’t wait for that pre-ride talk. The 600K will possibly be a big Horseshoe that covers Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana all on one brevet. That route is still undergoing some polishing. If any of you have ridden the Hancock Horizontal Hundred at Findlay, you may remember that the biggest hill was an overpass over I-75. We had hills last year, this year is flat. Next year we will be starting in Northeastern Ohio. Continue reading »

May 2015 Update

 Posted by on May 25, 2015
May 252015

A pretty dry day for the riders………….300K May 16, 2015

The 300K is in the books. We had twelve riders registered, two riders did not start, and two riders abandoned due to a serious mechanical issue. There was rain all around on Saturday, but for the most part, our riders were able to avoid it. Debi was in Austin, Texas buying me some socks and a water bottle from Mellow Johnnies bike shop. You know, the one that Lance is associated with, and has a shrine devoted to him in the basement. Debi got some really nice pictures for me, and still managed to put together a batch of date bars for the 300K before she left. Volunteering, with a little arm twisting, Ben Slay and Dawn Mettler manned the turnaround picnic in Logan, and by all reports, and what I personally witnessed, they did a great job. Thanks Ben and Dawn. Ben came up with the idea of donating all the extra food and such to the Logan Fire Department. They were very appreciative, I just wish I would have thought of it first. Further proof, that along with David Buzzee, David Miller, Ted Meisky and Ric Noland, that I am fortunate to surround myself with great people. Matt Taylor finished first at 6:30 pm, and Eve Hush, David Rudy, and John Sanchirico finished to beer and pizza at roughly 10:00 pm., well ahead of the 2:00 am cutoff. Continue reading »

April 2015 Update

 Posted by on May 1, 2015
May 012015

The rains stopped, the clouds parted, the sun shown down and made for a great day for the Ohio Randonneurs 200K brevet. No one complained about the tail wind the last 34 downhill miles of the course either. We had 23 riders start, and 22 finish, including a few newcomers to the “dark side” of cycling. Having to share the start with the COP Spot ride proved to be of little consequence since our riders were out on the road well before most of the Spot riders arrived, and finished well after most of the spot riders had finished. A big thanks goes out to Ric Noland and the Cyclist Connection crew for hosting our series this year. Rob did a great job on the grill. He kept the burgers and hot dogs coming hot off the grill for our post ride picnic. His wife gets a big thanks for getting a new grill and charcoal at the last minute, when it was discovered that the Cyclist Connection grill had broken down. Debi’s date bars and some liquid refreshment from the “cooler” showed our appreciation. I want to personally thank, as most of the riders did, the volunteers that manned the controls. On the 300K we’ll have more tubes available at the controls thanks to Cyclist Connection.

Continue reading »