Sunday, August 19, 2012

2013 DRR Rides: Outline

It's that time of year when we start planning for next year. We'll have a full series again next year: 100/200/300/400/600. This will be followed up by a 100 and 200 in late summer and fall, respectively. Any suggestions, volunteers etc, please comment and/or email. Details to follow...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

March 17 200km - 11 riders start; 11 riders finish

Windy day, and reports of tough slog out to Toppenish and then a quick return to Richland. Finishing times are below. Will have more pictures, and links to the same, as they arrive. Thanks to Cathy Smith for registering riders, meeting them in Toppenish and doing the close-out paperwork at the ride end. Outstanding rides by all. Thanks for joining in.

Rider Time
 Norm Carr 11:23
Ron Shaw 8:27
Jess Troyer 10:54
Jared Carr 10:00
Ian Hoffman 11:04
John Kramer 9:04
Greg Olson 9:45
Nat Beagley 11:23
Shun Yamamoto 9:14
Gary Smith 10:00
Seth Solbrach 8:26

 Here's the view from Emerald Road:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Monday, March 5, 2012

Brevets in the NW US

Norm put together a table of upcoming brevets in the northwest US. Here is a link. Below is a view of the table. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

DRR 200 - September 15, 2012. The Grimpeur.

Organizer: Norm Carr
Start/Finish location: Yokes Fresh Market, Road 68, Pasco, WA
Start at: 9/15/2012 07:00
Finish by: 9/15/2012 20:30
Route: Spreadsheet, map.
Sunrise: 06:35
Sunset: 19:07

Lights and reflective gear required.
Fee: $10 -- cash preferred

Register; see who else is riding.

Nearest accommodation:

Sleep Inn
9930 Bedford Street
Pasco, WA 99301
(509) 545-9554

Holiday Inn Express
4525 Convention Place
Pasco, WA 99301
(509) 543-7000

In the UK (and elsewhere, for all I know), there’s an informal tradition of naming particularly hilly randoneés as grimpeur (“gram-purr”, French: climber) routes. I’m using the term a little ironically. Eastern WA doesn’t have high passes like the Cascades to the west, but this route visits the most notable summits local to the Tri-Cities, and climbs around 5,000 feet - twice as much as our regular “Flat Yak” spring 200 Km event. We will spend a substantial portion of the ride in the Horse Heaven Hills. Bounded by the Yakima valley to the north and the Columbia river to the east and south, and named after the herds of wild horses that used to roam here, it’s now land intensively farmed for wheat and wind. There’s the opportunity for awesome long-distance views from up here, south across the Columbia to Oregon, north across the Yakima valley, and on a good day you’ll have a simultaneous view of Mts Hood, Adams and Rainier to the west.

The ride starts on Road 68 in Pasco which is well-appointed with plentiful services. We head down to the river then take the riverside bike trail to cross the Columbia on the 395 “Blue Bridge”. Next we wiggle through Kennewick on some back streets, then begin the recently rebuilt climb up Clodfelter. From the top of Clodfelter (about 1850’) we begin the long, straight trip west across the Horse Heaven Hills. The course gently drops then climbs again before we turn onto Township Road. Then very soon the pavement ends and about 7 miles of dirt road begins. It’s well-maintained dirt and will be a problem only for particularly skinny and feeble road tires. This section also includes the high point of the ride (about 2000’) and the reward is excellent views and even less motorized traffic, if any.

We rejoin pavement at the junction with the Mabton-Bickleton road and head north down a fast but twisty descent into the Yakima valley. If you’re desperate for sustenance, the roadside burger joint and couple of bars might be open in Mabton (100Km, no grocery or convenience store), but if you can wait, options for refuelling are much better in Grandview (115 Km). The control at Grandview Safeway is hard to miss, but remember to leave on Wine Country Road (heading E), not the way you arrived (from the W).

Next it’s a quick stretch to Prosser, further optional services, then the steady climb up SR-221 (locals call it “the elevator”) to the Horse Heaven Viewpoint and info control. From the viewpoint we continue back east through yet more wheat fields until eventually arriving at the top of Webber Canyon - another local cyclists’ favorite hill. It’s a fast and fun descent on a good surface, but keep half an eye over your shoulder for occasional traffic creeping up on you. There’s a Conoco at the bottom in Benton City for refreshment. The last stage back to Pasco, beside the Yakima for a bit, through Richland, over the Columbia and back to Road 68 and the finish, is gently rolling - with any luck there’ll be a tailwind.

There’s effectively no services of any significance until after the first half of this ride, at Grandview (115 Km). Please carry plenty of food and drink from the start. Bear in mind that, even in September, Eastern Washington temperatures can sometimes be in the 90s (sunscreen!). Up in the hills there’s little or no cover and if we’re unlucky the prevailing wind might be against us for the first 100 Km or so.

DRR 600 - June 16, 2012

Well, the previous text in this blog was wrong. The route will not be the same as last year. Clodfelter is still being re-arranged, and the Days Inn is sold out (and riders are still looking for hotels). Adjusting for both, while still retaining the loopy characteristics of last year's version of the event.

Ride: Desert River 600km
Organizers: Paul Whitney, Norm Carr, Cathy and Gary Smith - post questions to this blog or email.
Ride Date: June 16, 2012
Start Time: 05:00am, Registration - 4:30-4:55. Sunrise/set: 5:05/8:52
Finish by: 09:00pm, June 17, 2012
Start/End Location: Motel 6 at 1751 Fowler Street in Richland, Washington. Entry Fee: $15 (route cards/sheets, snacks/drinks at Kahlotus).
Medals: Available directly from the RUSA online store.
The DRAFT route sheet is here.
Register for the event.
See  who's riding.

The route's loops will look like this:
Loop 1:
Loop 2:
Loop 3:

These are all anchored at the fabulous Motel 6 on 1751 Fowler St, Richland, WA. Recommend getting your rooms now.

Some night riding is almost inevitable for 600k's in the continental US, even near the height of sunlight in the North. Accordingly, be sure and have:
  • A front and rear light attached to the bike
  • A reflective vest/sash
  • Reflective ankle bands
The above, and other rules for Brevets are available on the RUSA web site.

Some final considerations --
  • Your ride is self supported, take advantage of your hotel room to restock with food, water, parts, rest etc.
  • It's likely to be nice and sunny -- sunblock may be advised.
  • There could be tackweed - maybe bring an extra tube or two over what you'd normally bring for a 600k

DRR 400 - May 26, 2012

This route will be identical to the previous two versions of this event. This ride turns out to be more challenging than it would appear based on the elevation profile. The ride will be largely unsupported.

Ride: Desert River 400km
Organizer: Paul Whitney - post questions to this blog or email.
Ride Date: May 26, 2012
Start Time: 06:00am, Registration - 5:30-5:55. Sunrise/set 5:13/8:37
Start/End Location: Albertson's Parking lot; Leslie&Gage in Richland, WA. 690 Gage Boulevard.
Finish by: 9:00am, May 27, 2012
Registration: Pre-register here. To see who else is riding, check here.
Entry Fee: $10 (Insurance, route cards/sheets).
Medals: Available directly from the RUSA online store.
Route Sheet: Updated 5-21-2012: Draft (last year's final) is here. Maps for out and back are available on Ride with GPS.

The ride-end will NOT be staffed. Please have your card signed at a local establishment (the Albertsons is always open) and place in the indicated vehicle.

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 above, and other rules for Brevets are available on the RUSA web site.

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 this control 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.

DRR 200 - March 17, 2012

Ride: Desert River 200km
Organizer: Paul Whitney - post questions to this blog or email.
Ride Date: Saturday March 16, 2013.
Start time: 7:00am, Registration - 6:30-6:55am. Sunrise/set 7:05/7:06.
Start/End Location: Intersection of Leslie and Gage, in the Parking lot between Albertsons and USA Gas, in Richland, WA.
Finish by: 8:30pm March 16
Registration: Pre-register here. Check here to see who is registered.
Entry fee: $5 (ride insurance, Brevet cards and snacks). Checks should be payable to "Paul Whitney". Cash is easier to handle, and preferable.
Medals: Available directly from the RUSA online store.
Route: Route sheet and map.

The route is identical to last year's edition. Here for the information for that ride, and here for last year's pre-drive. Stay tuned for any updates in route sheets or minor changes in the route due to vagaries of road (de)construction etc. See you there!

DRR Day 1 Results

We had the first running of a formal DRR event - the DRR 100. Six riders started, and 5 finished - all well within 20 minutes of each other. The reports from the riders indicated that they were also within 5 minutes of each other at the Benton City control.

The results from today's populaire are listed below. All six riders joined us at the ride's end, and seemed to have a great day of it. The rider's experience with Brevet's ranged widely. This was the first Brevet for three of the six riders. Two of the riders have multiple 1200km rides completed.

Thanks to Norm Carr for constructing the route and the sign-up software, and to Cathy Smith for helping with rider sign-up and greeting riders at the end of the event. Looking forward to our 200km in two weeks. Hope to see you there.

Rider        Time 
David Podboy 5:16 
Gary Smith   5:10 
Ian Hoffman  DNF (knee) 
Jared Carr   5:10 
John Kramer  5:00 
Norman Carr  5:16

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Desert Rivers Region 100km - March 3, 2012

Ride: Desert River 100km
Organizer: Paul Whitney - post questions to this blog
Ride Date: Saturday March 3, 2012.
Start time: 9:00am, Registration - 8:30-8:55am.
Start/End Location: Winco's Parking lot; at the intersection of and Columbia Point Drive and George Washington Blvd - in Richland, WA. 101 Columbia Point Drive, Richland, WA.
Finish by: 3:56pm March 3
Registration: Pre-register here. To see who is registered, see here.
Entry fee: $5 (ride insurance, Brevet cards and snacks). Checks should be payable to "Paul Whitney".
Medals: Available directly from the RUSA online store.
Route Sheet: Here.
Route Map: Here.

The route is a slight modification of the 5 Cities and 3 rivers Permanent Populaire route that Norman Carr organizes. The route for this short ride stays near the Tri-Cities, and traverses roads with which local cyclists will be familiar. The route heads out of the parking area, and crosses the concrete bridge over into Pasco. The bike path along the Columbia is a primary route to get to the first checkpoint at Sacajawea Park. Reversing direction, the ride then heads to the Cable Bridge, thru Columbia Park, and more bicycle paths, and then Kennedy road to Benton City. The famous Cougar Café is the next checkpoint.

The route heads back towards West Richland via Van Giessen. There is an information checkpoint along this stretch. A left-turn leads to crossing the Yakima, and heading towards 240. A brief ride along the ample shoulder of this road is followed by a left turn into a light industrial area. The route passes by Pacific Northwest National Lab, and then returns to the Columbia River for the final stretch back to the Winco Parking lot.

Ride Finish: The finish will is staffed – the organizer will greet you, take your card, and offer you a beverage. All in the same great location as the ride start.