Tuesday, September 6, 2011

2012 Ride Dates - Now with Real Dates

We submitted the following dates for the DRR's events:

March 3  - 100k

March 17 - 200k
April 14 - 300k
May 26 - 400k
June 16  - 600k

Sept 15 - 200k -- A nice warmup for a SIR 1000k and/or an ORR Bikenfest.

These dates are submitted as Audax Club Parisian and RUSA sanctioned events. More detailed information about the events will be posted about one month before. We anticipate that the rides will begin in or near Richland, WA. We have established routes for the 200, 300, 400 and 600km events - and there's a good chance we'll revisit those routes. See you out there, then.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

2012 Ride Dates

We're constructing the schedule for 2012. Our group is leaning towards a full series, spaced so that we have one Brevet per month: March (200km), April (300km), May (400km) and June (600km). We may also have a 200km in September. Stay tuned for details.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It's Official

We have a new RUSA region: WA: Tri-Cities. The Desert River Randonneurs.

A warm thanks to Susan France, who sponsored our rides as part of the Oregon Randonneurs for the previous three years. During that time, we've had a large number of riders and rides. Thanks to the riders who have ridden and the volunteers who have helped. We are looking forward to great rides, and more riders.

This is a list of the riders and volunteers who have helped get Randonneuring started in Eastern Washington. We hope to see you all again. Let me know if I've missed someone:

Bill Alsup, Robert Anderson, Tom Barocan, Tracy Barill, Nat Beagley, Andrew Black, Kenneth Bonner, RB Buschman, Norm Carr, Ken Carter, Jennifer Chang, Barry Chase, Gregory Cox, James Cox, Dan Davis, Steve Davis, William Dussler, Adam George, Bill Gobie, Edward Groth, Dean Gull, Dean Gull, David Harper, Joanne Heilinger, Ali Holt, Roger Holt, Noel Howes, Chuck Hoffman, Dan Jensen, Paul Johnson, Kole Kantner, Jason Karp, Steven Kasper, Martin Knowles, Alexander Kohan, Keith Kohan, John Kramer, Jerry Lentz, Albert Lutz, Ken Mattina, Sallie McFarlane, Matt Mikul, Jim Moberly, John Morris, Vincent Muoneke, Ray Ogilview, Greg Olson, Sal Ortega, Susan Otcenas, John Pearch, Scott Peterson, Gary Prince, Cecil Reniche-Smith, John Richards, Mike Richeson, Theo Roffe, Bill Schell, Ian Shopland, Gary Smith, Cathy Smith, Eamon Stanley, Karel Stroethoff, John Vincent, Ken Ward, Paul Whitney, Julie Whitney, Chris Willett, Steve Williamson, and Peg Winczewski

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Kahlotus Othello Ridges Loop Permanent

Note: the application/approval is pending for this permanent. This is the permanent version of the first loop of the DRR Loopy 600.

This route is 237km which features a ridge-road from Pasco to Kahlotus Washington. After Kahlotus, the route goes to Kahlotus to Connell, and then to Othello. A plateau is featured from Othello to Basin City - then a run south through the agricultural lands in Eastern Washington.

Warning: there isn't a good water stop until Connell. So, the first ~70 miles require provisioning on the bike.

Ride start/end: intersection of Leslie and Gage Blvd in Richland, WA

The route is shown here.

Elevation gain/loss: 1295m/4250ft

Monday, May 30, 2011

Columbia Loop Permanent

Note: the application/approval is pending for this 129km excursion around the bend of the Columbia River. This is also close to the route of the middle loop in the DRR Loopy 600.

The route starts/ends at the services at the intersection of Leslie and Gage in Richland, WA. The route heads towards the Columbia River, and continues along Columbia River Park. Heading out to Pasco, the route crosses over the Snake River. The bridge offers a choice of a wide shoulder and a bike path. An information control near Wallula provides an opportunity for another view of the Columbia. Heading Right/South on US730 puts one shortly into Oregon - and a good amount of time/distance is spent along the Columbia. A stop at the Tesoro in Umatilla for refuel and refresh is followed by another river crossing, and then a climb up Plymouth Rd and rapid descent down Clodfelter to complete the loop.

About 870m/2850ft of elevation gain/loss.

The route is shown here:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

400km Results - May 2011

We had nine riders start on a day with a weather forecaster to make a West-sider drool. Then the rain came. We could see it in the West and to the South. Right where we were headed. So we had the rain. We had flats. Coffee. Candy bars. Assorted energy-food items. Great support. Numerous views of the Yakima River. Sun. Stars. Moon. Clouds. We had a 400km.

Thanks to everyone who came out to ride and to Cathy Smith, who supported the ride.

Some pictures are posted on facebook, and can be found by looking for info on the riders on May 21/22. Steve's ride report, with more pictures, is here: http://volpetales.blogspot.com/2011/05/may-21-desert-river-randonneurs-400km.html. If there are more reports, or groups of pictures, let me know so I can add them, or add the link in the comment field.

Some times/spaces:
First Last       Time
Gary  Smith      24:05
John  Kramer     21:23
Norm  Carr       Zillah
Paul  Whitney    25:10
Scott Peterson   22:44
Steve Williamson 22:44
Steve Kasper     19:54
Susan Otcenas    25:10
Theo  Roffe      19:54

Monday, May 16, 2011

400km Pre-Drive Report - May 2011

We drove most of the route Sunday. This resulted in changing the cue sheet to better match the road signs, and expanded the control list at some of the stops. This is, I think, the final cue sheet. The route is identical to last year.

The drive on Konnowac Pass Rd (past Moxee, before Zilla) was very nice. I hope some of the riders get to this in the daylight.

The primary issue to note is that there is a detour on Track Road in Wapato. The detour is readily manageable, and early in the ride when the riders will likely still have their wits about them, so we won't alter the cue sheet to reflect the deviation. I have sketched the detour below.

View Larger Map

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Results from the April 2 DRR 300km

Thirteen hardy randonneurs set out from the scenic parking lot in Richland, at the intersection of Leslie and Gage Blvd. It was a windy day, even by Tri-Cities standards. The riders flew to Waitsburg with a tail-wind, and then it got interesting. Cathy Smith and Paul Whitney had a way-station set up in the excellent Pioneer Park in Walla Walla. The riders had to work against the wind from Waitsburg to Walla Walla; the reported  pedaling with effort to get any kind of double digit speed down-hill. Despite, or perhaps because, of this they were all in great spirits when they arrived in Walla Walla, and most pressed on to Pendleton. The wind remained a steady companion throughout most of the remainder of the ride. As expected in such conditions, riding in a group is a near-necessary advantage. The first group came in around midnight, the next clustered around 1:00am and finally, really getting their money's worth, a couple of riders came in with 9 minutes to spare. The rider times are below. Thanks to all the participants for coming out for the day. Also, thanks to Cathy Smith for supporting the ride, and retrieving a couple of riders from Pendleton.

A few pictures from the ride are here. Steve's write-up is here.

 Name            Time 
 Chris Willett   DNF 
 Dan Jensen      19:14 
 Gary Smith      DNF
 Ian Shopland    18:00
 Jennifer Chang  DNF
 John Pearch     18:05
 John Kramer     18:05
 Kole Kantner    19:51
 Noel  Howes     19:00
 Norm Carr       DNF
 Steve Davis     19:14
 Steven Kasper   19:09
 Vincent Muoneke 19:51

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Desert Rivers Region 400km - May 21, 2011

Ride: Desert River 400km
Organizer: Paul Whitney - post questions to this blog
Ride Date: Saturday May 21, 2011.
Start time: 6:00am, Registration - 5:30-5:55am. Sunrise/set 5:24/8:23
Start/End Location: Albertson's Parking lot; Leslie&Gage - in Richland, WA. 690 Gage Boulevard, Richland, WA.
Finish by: 9:00am May 22
Registration: Pre-register here.
Entry fee: $15 (+ $5 for non-RUSA members). Checks should be payable to "Paul Whitney".
Medals: Available directly from the RUSA online store.
Route Sheet: Final is here.

We will be using last year's route - with the modification that the start/end is the Albertson's parking lot. Here's the link for last year's. Stay tuned for the pre-drive report of the route.

Some night riding is almost inevitable for 400k's in the continental US. Accordingly, be sure and have:
  • A front and read light attached to the bike
  • A reflective vest/sash
  • Reflective ankle bands

The route extends the 200km route and continues exploring desert rivers. We take the same route out from Richland to Toppenish. From Toppenish, the route parallels the main highway on Track road, sidestepping back onto the main road before Track Rd veers right. There's a gradual climb on the south side of Yakima to Wiley City. Note: the Wiley Market has no restrooms - but, there are options before in Union Gap and after in Yakima and Selah. After Wiley City - the ride cuts across to Summitt Road, and over to the bike path system to cross to Selah. From Selah the ride goes through the Yakima River Valley up to Ellensburg - the control and turn-around point in Ellensburg is the Safeway. Then it's back through the canyon, into Selah, the bike-path, and controls on Nob Hill Blvd. From there we circumnavigate Moxee, and head down to Zillah - to take advantage of the services along the Interstate. We head through Zillah to the Yakima Valley Hwy - which changes names while passing through Sunnyside (more services), Grandview (more services), but essentially is a direct route to the Prosser control (more services). From Prosser, we essentially backtrack to Richland - w/ a good intermediate stop, if needed, in Benton City (you can't miss it:).

The longest stretches w/o easy access to services are through the Canyon between Selah and Ellensburg - this amounts ~50km.

Ride Finish: The finish will is staffed - Cathy will greet you, take your card, and offer you a Sonic Burger. All in the same great location as the ride start.

Most of the route segments are available on 'Bike Route Toaster', in order:
Richland to Prosser: http://bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=121177
Prosser to Toppenish: http://bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=113269
Toppenish to Wiley City: http://www.bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=115590
Wiley City to EBurg: http://www.bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=117165 - note that this link puts one on the main road, as opposed to the bike path (see the route sheet).
EBurg to Yakima: http://www.bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=117167
There's a bike path to be used from Selah to Yakima - instructions on the route sheet.
Yakima to Zillah: http://www.bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=117170
Zillah to Prosser: http://www.bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=117171
Prosser to Richland: http://www.bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=115613

The route starts in Richland and heads West along the Yakima river valley. Here is a view of the 'out' to Ellensburg portion of the ride:

View Larger Map

And here is a view of the 'back' part of the ride:

View Larger Map

DRR 600 - June 11-12, 2011

Ride: Desert River Loopy 600km
Organizer: Paul Whitney - post questions to this blog post. Register here: http://www.orrandonneurs.org/bin/brevet_register.
Ride Dates: Saturday June 11-12, 2011.
Start time: 5:00am, Registration - 4:30-4:55am. Note: Sunrise/set 5:05/8:50
Start/End Location: Days Inn 615 Jadwin Avenue, Richland, WA.
Finish time: 9:00pm June 12, 2011
Entry fee: $15.
Medals: Available directly from the RUSA online store.
Route Sheet: Final. The ride broken into three loops out from the Days Inn in Richland, WA. Maps of the candidate loops are below. They are mostly accurate, with a minor deviation or two from the route sheet.

Please note:
This running of the DRR Loopy 600 will be almost entirely unsupported. A rider with a well provisioned room in the Days Inn (or other nearby establishment) should be able to comfortably execute the event.

The first loop is 235km out to Kahlotus, up to Othello and back south to Richland.

The second loop, 130km, follows the Columbia river around the bend into Oregon, and then climbs Plymouth Rd up and over the crest down into Richland.

The final loop, 230km, has the riders taking a loop around the river, and then reprising one of our routes out to Toppenish and back.

March 5, 2011 - Results

Detailed results forthcoming. We had eight riders sign up and five finishers. The weather on March 5 bordered on fantastic. Good sun. Light wind, with (at least for this rider) a modest tailwind pushing towards home. Thanks to all who came out for the third annual DRR 200km, notably our guests from near (Yakima) and far, to Cathy for the sign-up and greeting the riders as they returned, and to Norm - who was slammed with subfreezing conditions the week before on the pre-ride.

Our riders:
Gary Smith     9:42
Jim Moberly    NF
John Kramer    8:59
John Richards  NF
Ken Carter     9:48
Nat Beagley    NF
Norm Carr      Frozen Finish: 13:11
Paul Whitney   11:33

Next up is the 300km - April 2. My favorite of the DRR routes, so far. Hope to see you there.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

March 5 200km - pre-ride notes

Pre-ride notes for the upcoming Tri-Cities-based 200km, on March 5, 2011

Courtesy of the intrepid pre-rider, Norm Carr.

The Tri-Cities 200Km pre-ride was completed with temperatures below freezing for much of the day, which created its own challenges, primarily frozen bottles and Camelbak tubes. Wind was generally light, although, as usual, just enough to be annoying along WA-22 from Mabton to Toppenish. Although very cold, it was mostly a beautiful sunny day. Fortunately the current forecast for the weekend of the brevet is milder, but with a chance of some precipitation.

This is a good choice for an early-season 200Km, as the route follows the Yakima valley and there are a few lumps, but no large climbs. The most challenging is probably the climb back over from Benton City to Richland with tired legs at the end of the day, and, for some, in the dark.

Paul has made some improvements to the course this year. There's a pleasanter route through Benton city, avoiding the busy main street. The same control is used both out and back in Prosser (well-appointed with plenty of provisioning choices), and there is a new route from Prosser to Mabton on the out-bound leg. This replaces a portion of the exposed and, frankly, somewhat bleak section of WA-22 with a much more interesting trip through some typical Eastern Washington farmland. The return trip from Toppenish through Zillah, Granger, Grandview, remains as before.

Things to look out for:
Roadworks along Keene Road in Richland, near the ride start, cause lanes to narrow. Most of the route is through working agricultural landscapes and communities. Roads are all surfaced and generally well-maintained, but expect occasional mud and gravel spillage from farm traffic. Especially if conditions are wet, surfaces may be unexpectedly slippery. You will meet plenty of dogs, sometimes, annoyingly, unsecured. I've never felt especially threatened by any of them on the roads hereabouts, but caution is, of course, advised.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tri-Cities 300km - April 2, 2011

Ride: Desert River 300km
Organizer: Paul Whitney - post questions to this blog
Ride Date: Saturday April 2, 2011.
Start time: 6:00am, Registration - 5:30-5:55am. Sunrise/set 6:35/7:27
Start/End Location: Intersection of Leslie and Gage, in the Parking lot between Albertsons and Albertsons Express, in Richland, WA. Here.
Finish by: 2:00am April 3
Registration: Pre-registration will be here.
Entry fee: $10 (+ $5 for non-RUSA members). Cash preferred. Checks should be payable to "Paul Whitney"
Medals: Available directly from the RUSA online store.
Route Sheet: The route information is here. The bike route toaster data for the route is here. Note - the bike route toaster information does not show the bike path over the Columbia River, which is correctly shown in the route sheet. There may be other minor deviations.

Ride Finish: The finish, at the same location as the ride start, will be staffed. Bring a pencil or pen - for completing you card and for the information control.

This is the same route as the previous two years. It was a great ride. See earlier in this blog for some pictures from last year's pre-drive.

This route heads toward the Blue Mountains - getting close (Waitsburg) but not quite. We then head south, and get a chance to admire the excellent Pioneer Park in Walla Walla. Further south is Pendleton, and then we head through the Umatilla river canyon from Reith to Echo. From there, it's a nearly straight North ride back to the start - heading through Hermiston, Umatilla, Plymouth, over the ridge and back down to the city lights of Richland.

The ride is mostly unsupported, except for some drinks and snacks at the beginning and perhaps a person in the park at Walla Walla near the information control. There are plenty of services, great scenery and some lightly trafficked roads. The approximate elevation gain (and loss) for this route is ~2500meters.

It's likely that the ride will finish in the dark - bring lights and reflective gear accordingly. Headlight, taillight, reflective vest or sash and reflective ankle bands are Randonnear USA requirements, not to mention extremely useful, for night riding.

The approximate route is shown in the map below:

View Larger Map

Monday, February 7, 2011

Tri-Cities 200km - March 5, 2011

View Larger Map

Ride: Desert River 200km
Organizer: Paul Whitney - post questions to this blog post. Register here: http://www.orrandonneurs.org/bin/brevet_register.
Ride Date: Saturday March 5, 2011.
Start time: 7:00am, Registration - 6:30-6:55am. Note: Sunrise/set 6:28/5:49
Start/End Location: Intersection of Leslie and Gage, in the Parking lot between Albertsons and Albertsons Express, in Richland, WA.
Finish by: 8:30pm March 5, 2011
Entry fee: $10 (+ 5$ for non-RUSA members). Checks should be payable to "Paul Whitney". Cash is simpler.
Medals: Available directly from the RUSA online store.
Route Sheet: This route sheet is final - pdf and excel versions. Bike-route toaster renditions of the route are separated for out and back.

The course is similar to last year's edition - with some adjustments to increase the food-diversity at the 3 major food/water controls, and to get us a little more out of the wind.

The pre-drive and our pre-rides of the segments shows some very nice and scenic stretches through the rural/agricultural parts of Eastern Washington. Norm's pre-ride notes are here.

It's likely that some of the riders will finish in the dark - please bring lights and reflective gear accordingly. Headlight, taillight, reflective vest or sash and reflective ankle bands are Randonneur USA requirements for dusk/night, not to mention extremely useful for seeing and being seen while on the road.