Wednesday, January 21, 2015

DRR 400 or 600 km ACP Brevet : May 16th 2015

Ride your choice of either a 400 or 600 km brevet on a shared course.

More details coming soon below. The pre-drive is scheduled for the 10th - so expect more details on the course afterwards.

Organizers: Susan O and Paul W

Ride date: Saturday-Sunday, 16-17th May, 2015

Sunrise: 05:23
Sunset: 20:25

Sign in from: 5:30am
Start at: 6:00am
Finish by: Sunday, 9:00am / 10:00pm for the 400 / 600 respectively.

Fee (cash only, at the ride start): $15 (pending pre-ride/drive. If we need to provide support the cost for the ride will rise).

Start/Finish location:
Red Lion Hotel, George Washington Way, Richland, WA 99352

There will be riding in the dark. Lights and reflective gear that satisfy RUSA rules must be used. There will be a gear and bike check.

There will be information controls - please have a pen.

There will be long sections in the desert with no services and little cover. There will be long sections with no cellphone coverage. There will probably be heat. There could be headwinds, sidewinds, tailwinds and dust. It could get cold (but not icy). There will be no volunteer support available other than at the start/finish, and maybe not even there. You will be fine with all that and able to carry sufficient food and drink and tools and spares. We might ask you to show us.

registration closed            who's riding?
You will be asked which distance you'd like to ride - 400 or 600 km. It would be very helpful to the organizers if you don't change your mind after registering. It will be impossible to change your mind on the day before the ride nor any time after that.

Route cue sheets:
400 km
600 km

Map / GPS downloads (very likely but not yet officially final):
400 km
600 km part 1
600 km part 2

Now for the fun parts. The ride starts out along the Columbia river. Part of Pasco is traversed, and then you're on the Pasco-Kahlotus highway. Since it'll be relatively early in the day we don't expect that road to be too busy. However, keep an eye/ear out for the lone car moving quickly. They might not expect to see you. There's a ripping descent into Kahlotus (eventually), and then an excursion out to Washtucna. Enjoy. Then reverse course back a bit to wind over to cross the Snake river, pass thru Starbuck (no kidding) Washington. You'll get to Waitsburg. We've enjoyed the coffee shop there, as well as the grocery store. Nice place, nice people. The route from there to Walla Walla puts you thru some agricultural areas. There's a Safeway in Walla Walla for a control (not original, but very serviceable) - we'll see what nearby options there are as part of the pre-drive activities. Then you book on out of town along the old highway 12, rejoin the main highway 12 and eventually get more time along the Columbia. The 400/600 diverge a bit at this point: the 400 angles into Hermiston to get the overall distance to spec. The 600 goes straight to the Tesoro in Umatilla (the 400 gets there eventually - if one wants to regroup). The climb from Umatilla is inevitable but sometimes with a strong wind to push you up the hill. Everyone gets back to the Red Lion eventually, to either end the ride (400) or serve as the jump-off point for the next loop (600).

The second part of the 600 reprises parts of other DRR rides, and keeps you near services. You'll get up on the plateau above the Yakima valley (similar to Le Grimpeur permanent), spend some time on Emerald road (similar to the Flat Yak), and there's the Old Inland Empire Highway. We've reversed the course so if there is a blistering wind out of the West you'll get a strong push home on Highway 22, and the course should protect you a bit heading out. Finally, the awesome blandness of using a number from a power tower as an information control is nicely balanced by one of the murals in Toppenish.

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