Sunday, November 25, 2018

DRR 2019 Preview

2019 is a PBP year and that means many RUSA regions are scheduling extra events to give their riders as much chance as possible to qualify, so naturally here at DRR we'll be running the same number of events as last year. Come and join us for a complete Super Randonneur series and a couple of extras.

Here's what we know so far...

Saturday January 26th: 100km RUSA Populaire
Staying away from the hills and may be rescheduled if the weather is very icy.

Saturday February 23rd: 200km ACP brevet
The regular season opener, down the Yakima Valley to Toppenish and back.

Saturday March 23rd: 300km ACP brevet
Back (yet) again by popular demand, Hermiston-Pendleton-Hermiston-Pendleton-Hermiston.

Saturday April 6th: 200km ACP brevet
Shiggy put together a great route out of Wenatchee this year, so we're doing it again next year.

Saturday April 20th: 400 km ACP brevet
Paul's cooking up something new, possibly heading up through the Palouse. Watch this space.

Saturday-Sunday May 18th: 600km ACP brevet
Norm's organizing a double-loop 600 centered on Richland. May be similar to the one we ran like that a couple of years ago. Maybe not.

Other RUSA sanctioned and group perm events may be added as we go along, particularly in the fall.

More details will be added as dates approach - check back here or you can follow along on Facebook, if you like.

Meanwhile, happy holidays and hope to see you in 2019.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Summer 600 km, Walla Walla - Whitefish, 09/08/2018

*** Update ***

More info being posted by Susan on the Facebook event page at


Our Summer 600 km ACP accredited brevet is a new route from Walla Walla, WA to Whitefish, MT by Susan Otcenas, who's also the event organizer.

Ride Date: Sat - Sun, Sep 8 - 9, 2018

Organizer: Susan O.

Ride fee: most likely $25, depending on number of riders, to help cover organization gas, an out of the way control, and a room for the overnight control in Thompson Falls.

Start location: Walla Walla, WA The start will be at the public parking lot at the corner of E. Sumach St & N. Colville St. which is 2 blocks from the Motel 6 in Walla Walla, WA. (There's a Best Western Plus a block away for those with higher-than-rando standards.) We will begin gathering at 3:30am for a 4:00am start. Please allow at least 15 minutes to sign your waiver, get your card & cue sheet, and to listen to the pre-ride briefing. As a reminder, you need to start the ride with reflective leg bands and vest (or sash) on your body, we all as your headlight & taillight affixed to your bike and in solid (not flashing mode).

Overnight control: Thompson Falls, MT The overnight will be at the Falls Motel in Thompson Falls, MT. You are responsible for making your own accommodation arrangements at the hotel. DRR will have a control room where you can check in with Susan and pick up your drop bag, but this room will not be available to you for sleeping or showering. Food will not be provided at the overnight. Immediately adjacent to the hotel is a 24 hour convenience store that has a hot case, prepared foods, drinks, etc. There's also a cafe with great breakfasts that opens about an hour before the control closes and is on-route on your way out of town.

Finish location: Whitefish, MT The finish will be at Depot Park in Whitefish, MT, which is two clocks from the Downtowner Inn and immediately adjacent to the Amtrak Station. Sign in with Susan who will be in her van, and retrieve your drop bag. We are not getting a control room at the finish, so riders who are taking Amtrak Sunday night should either play nice with someone who is staying overnight at the hotel and mooch a shower, or plan on waiting until boarding the train to freshen up. The Downtowner is 3 blocks from Amtrak, and will store your luggage on the day you check out, should you decide to stay in Whitefish for a few days after the ride.

 Hotel links:

Start time: 04:00 Pacific time, Saturday
Finish by: 21:00 Mountain time (+1:00), Sunday

Riders will be responsible for getting themselves and their bikes to and from the start and finish.  There's an Amtrak station in Whitefish where you can get yourself and bike on a train to Seattle or Portland, and some other places too. One solution might be to catch a train back to Pasco, where you left your car, having ridden to the start in Walla Walla (about 100 km). DRR might be able to provide some limited capacity transport from Pasco to Walla Walla, depending on rider numbers, but we're not promising anything yet. There's flights from Seattle to Walla Walla Regional Airport, and to Pasco.

There will be riding at night. All riders must be equipped to satisfy RUSA rules for lighting and reflective clothing, including reflective ankle bands. There will be a check at the start. Redundant front and rear lighting is strongly recommended. Lights must be attached to the bike at all times throughout the event and used whenever light is low as well as at night. We recommend use of lights in daytime.

Be aware that early September in Eastern Washington can still be very hot - well over 90deg F can happen. Be ready to carry lots of water. Meanwhile, Thompson Pass could be cold, wet and windy. You'll need to be prepared and carry spare layers to cover both possibilities.

There will be some long stretches without services. Please ensure you are carrying enough food and drink for your needs. Away from towns cell phone coverage may be unavailable.

There may be bears, moose, snakes, coyotes, eagles and lots of other wildlife.

Questions? You can comment below or use that form over there --->>

Who's riding?

Cue sheet THIS IS A REMOTE EVENT WITH SPARSE SERVICES. If you are planning to do this ride, I highly recommend you closely study the cuseheets prior to the ride. There are some long/hilly sections without services. You'll want to be aware of where those are. I'd also suggest that even if you navigate primarily by GPS, you'll want to have the cuesheet visible (or at least handy) for the duration of the ride. There's a lot of important information on it.
Map/GPS (Complete Route)
Day One
Day Two

Monday, May 28, 2018

Paul's Big Ride

In a few days, DRR founder, member #1, and emeritus Regional Brevet Administrator, Paul Whitney, will set off on a new challenge in the 2018 Trans America Bike Race, a 4,300 mile, self-supported, endurance bicycle race from Astoria, Oregon to Yorktown, Virginia. You can see the route on RWGPS, there's a Facebook group, and you'll be able to follow Paul's progress (and all the other riders) on the official tracking site. Meanwhile, we interrupted his preparations to bug him with a bunch of questions...

Why the Trans-Am?

Lots of reasons. Primarily it’s a bike ride with interesting features. One is that the Trans-Am passes through a wide range of geography and parts of the country that I've never seen. Another is that it is an extremely challenging (for me) bicycling event that has obligated me to train better than Is typical for me. Also, it's my 60th birthday present to myself.

It's an incredible luxury and privilege to be able to participate in this event. I appreciate Julie's support for this event, and my friends, family, and employer for their support and understanding. Finally, I've done a lot of training miles with Norm and Gary - thanks!

Do you have a race strategy? Daily distance goal? What finish time would you be pleased with? 

Yes. I plan to ride 12-14 hours per day (this time includes stops for lunch etc) at a moderate effort. Maybe with a 'rest' day somewhere in the middle. I'm hoping this translates into 200-250km per day, and finishing within 30 days or so. But, the effort and duration will set the distance per day and overall completion time. My primary goal is to finish the event in good health. The duration and effort constraints have some basis. The hours-per-day are similar to that used recently in attempts at setting the max-distance-bicycled-per-year. The effort level is also similar (maybe a little higher). Finally, my training suggests that an effort of about 110 beats per minute is sustainable by me for multiple days.

A final constraint: I will be back at work July 9th.

How have you prepared? Do you think randonneuring is good preparation for a ride like Trans-Am?

I set up a weight training approach that has had clear benefits for my overall cycling power, and also has hopefully mitigated any tendinitis issues that I might have otherwise had. I've also focused most recently on multi-day, typically four days in a row, blocks of long rides.

Randonneuring might be good preparation for rides like the Trans-Am. The distance and self sufficiency map over directly - I think. Relative to randonneuring - I'm looking forward to less 'paperwork' related with controls, and also planning on getting good nights sleep - a benefit (for slower riders like me) of not being on a randonneuring timer for multi-day rides. However, I’ve done fewer rando miles this spring - they haven’t been consistent with my training schedule/goals.

Spotted in the wild on a recent DRR brevet.

What are you most looking forward to?

Riding my bicycle across the country with few other distractions!

Least looking forward to?

Not sure I have anything here. I expect the weather to be good and then bad. Both are welcome and interesting. Maybe a minor concern about coffee - I'm hoping there's enough.

What will be the biggest difficulty?

There are minor bits of logistics along the way related with water/food/shelter. The heat can usually be avoided by not riding certain times of the day. There are unknowns regarding how well the body holds up. And as always, I have to keep an eye out for traffic - especially non-commercial vehicles. The commercial drivers are almost always very careful with bicyclists. Thanks truckers!

Hotels or ditch-camping?

Mostly hotels. I will try the camping approach at least once. It could be great.

What do you plan to eat? Favorite grab-and-go convenience store nutrition options?

Whatever's available. I'm hoping for one or two sit-down meals in a day - I think that gets easier once the route clears the Rocky Mountains. Convenience store chow: assorted candy bars, sports bars, nuts, chicken gizzards, corn dogs, other fried food stuff...

Contemplating nutritional options at the Cougar Cafe, Benton City.

Inevitable nerdy gear questions:
Tell us about your bike? All modern? Disks? Electrical shifting? Carbon fiber? Titanium? Lighting?

Modern. The frame is a Lynskey gravel frame - that one not because there's off road riding but because it fits wide tires, is light, and apparently sturdy. My experience suggests it’s a fast bike relative to my others. A Brooks Cambium saddle, drilled out to save weight (or my prostate). Velo orange seatpost. Aero wheelset (carbon rims) - they’ve been fun! Tubeless tires - I’ve learned that glass slits aren’t sealed well by the liquid. Hutchinson tires. SRAM electronic shifters and hydraulic disc brakes. Thru axles for the hubs. FSA handlebars.

Thanks to Mike Armstrong at the local trek shop for bring it all together this winter.

Lighting - a Son dynamo hub for a SON Edelux 2 front light. Standard Planet Bike blinkies for the back (two of them). A Light and Motion rechargeable light for the front. That light will serve as my daytime running light in blink mode. One of the rear lights will also always be on in blink mode as well. I have a Princeton Tec EOS light on my helmet as a headlamp and, if needed, yet another running light or headlight.

Paul and Gary analyze the subtleties of tubeless vs. tubed tires for riding winter brevets. 

GPS devices have become essential for navigation on these kinds of events. What are you using? How will you keep it and any other electronics alive?

Using a Garmin 1000. I’ve preloaded it with both gpx and tcx versions of the course.  A backup is my phone - Galaxy S7 (which is also my camera). The phone has a mode with a battery life of more than a day. Assorted formats of the course are available on the phone even without cell service. I’m considering making a list of key towns on paper - if all the electronics fail I ride town to town. I have 10,000 mAh battery for charging. Also a charger for the SRAM bits and the phone/garmin. All use micro-USB - so minimal cables. Also a Spot GPS to track me.

What else are you carrying and what are you carrying it in?

Sleeping gear - pad, bivy, bag liner, puffy jacket and wool cap.
Rain gear - jacket, pants, gloves, shoe cover, helmet cover
Sun gear - sleeves, leg covers.
Cold gear - knee warmers, arm warmers, gloves, plus some of the above sleeping and rain gear
Standard cycling kit - shorts, jersey, cap, gloves
Safety gear - helmet, mirror, reflective ankle bands, plus lights and reflectivity to TABR specs
Hygiene - toothbrush, paste, floss, tp, nail clippers, hair trimmer
Health - antibiotic ointment, Ora gel (for saddle sore pain relief - I’ve heard that works...), sunblock, zit cream
Bonus - essential amino acid caplets, pen, paper
Repair - multi tool, tire repair (tubes, boots, patches, levers, pump), fiber fix, small leatherman, quick link for 11speed chain

The above are all carried in standard bike packing bags: that funny looking rear bag, a handlebar bag, food pouch, and (small) bike frame bag. Mostly Apidura for no particular reason. Also a CamelBak as a giant wallet and water bottle.

The gear selection is in part driven by hypothetical extremes - avoiding hypothermia, heat stroke, and cars. Much of the gear was in hand due to years spent randonneuring.

The entire setup w/o water or food weighed in at 37 lbs last night. That probably won’t change much before the race.

Any non-essential luxury item?


Friday, April 20, 2018

Spring 200km ACP Brevet, 5/19/2018 - Wenatchee

*** Update 5/13/18 ***
Route, cue sheet and GPS all final.

Please sign up soon so we have an idea of numbers.

Weather is looking just about perfect.


New route Basin's Edge. New location (Wenatchee). Thanks to Shiggy for putting this one together. Going to be a fun one...

Follow the Columbia River to the edge of the basin.
Mostly on quiet back roads  we will travel past the Quincy Lakes on gravel, drop down Frenchman Coulee to the river, and climb back out. Head into the sagebrush step north of Quincy for a bit more gravel and return to East Wenatchee.
About 5300' of climbing. 14 miles of gravel (two sections). 32mm or wider tires recommended

Organizer: Shiggy

Ride date: Saturday, 19th May, 2018

Sign in from: 06:30

Start at: 07:00
Finish by: 20:30

Fee: tbd.

Start and Finish location:
14 Fraley Lane, E Wenatchee, WA.

Sunrise: 05:19

Sunset: 20:36

There will be some long stretches without services. Please ensure you are carrying enough food and drink for your needs. Away from towns cell phone coverage may be unavailable.

There will be several info controls (please have a pen).

Questions? You can comment below or use that form over there --->>

Register to ride        Who's riding?

Route cue sheet:
Google        RWGPS(pdf)


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Spring 400 Results

Spring 400 results have been submitted to RUSA.

Roy Neifer
Ed Person
Maciej Szarecki

all completed, despite a chilly, wet morning and some difficult headwinds for some of the course. Thanks all for visiting DRR.

Many thanks to Cathy for the Starbuck control and Marcie for other helpful support.

Next up, 200 ACP kms out of Wenatchee, May 19th. See you there.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Spring 300 Results

Spring 300 results are posted.

Robb Simmons

all completed a chilly breezy course. But we managed some springtime sunshine too. And avoided rain. Well done all. See you on the 400.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Spring 400km 4/14/18

An oldie but a goody. Out to Kahlotus, up to Washtuca, over to Starbuck down to Walla Walla across to Hermiston and up over Plymouth Road back to Richland. Lots of empty desert scenery and a few small towns. Long distances without services - be ready to carry what you need - see the cue sheet for details.

Unusually for DRR, we expect to be able to provide a couple of controls personned by volunteers in a couple of more out-of-the-way places this time, but please plan on being self-reliant anyhow.

Organizer: Norm Carr

Ride date: Saturday, 14th April, 2018

Sign in from: 05:30
Start at: 4/14 06:00
Finish by: 4/15 09:00

Free entry to RUSA members.

Start and Finish location:
John Dam Plaza, Knight St, Richland, WA 99352
Parking is available in the big Richland Federal Building parking lot across the road and north on Jadwin Ave. Don't park in the plaza (there might be an event on), nor in the hotel parking lot across George Washington Way (they might tow you, unless you're staying there).

Sunrise: 06:10
Sunset: 19:44

There will be riding in the dark. Lights and reflective gear that satisfy RUSA rules must be carried and used. There will be an inspection at the start.

There will be some long stretches (>50 miles) without services. Please ensure you are carrying enough food and drink for your needs. Away from towns cell phone coverage is often unavailable.

There will be info controls (please have a pen).

Register to ride        Who's riding?

Map / GPS download

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Spring 300km 3/10/2018

By popular demand, this year's spring 300 km brevet will be a replay of the quiet and scenic Hermiston-Pendleton-Hermiston-Pendleton-Hermiston route. The original description for this route is still valid. Please follow that link, read and digest if you're planning on joining us for this ride.

This early in the season there's a small risk that there will be snow or ice on the high parts of this route. We'll be watching the weather and might cancel or reschedule if it's looking very sketchy. Whatever the weather, it'll be a few degrees colder up in the hills than at the start/finish, so you'll be wise to bring an extra layer or two.

*** Update 2/25/18 ***
Did a wee bit of a pre-drive couple of days ago. Snow on the shoulders in many places but likely to be clear by the time we ride. Roads all open and clear.
The Umatilla Canyon Rd/Rieth Rd between Echo and Pendleton is very beaten up. More potholes and rocks in the road than last time I was down there. Take care and keep your eyes open along there.

Organizer: Norm Carr

Ride date: Saturday, 10th March, 2017

Sign in from: 05:30
Start at: 3/10 06:00
Finish by: 3/11 02:00

Free entry to RUSA members.

Start and Finish location:
Shari's Restaurant, 800 S Hwy 395, Hermiston, OR 97838
Shari's is open 24 hours and there's plenty of parking available.

Sunrise: 06:16
Sunset: 17:57

There will be riding in the dark. Lights and reflective gear that satisfy RUSA rules must be carried and used. There will be an inspection at the start.

There will be some long-ish stretches (40-50 miles) without services. Please ensure you are carrying enough food and drink for your needs. Away from towns in NE OR cell phone coverage is often unavailable.

There will be information controls - please have a pen.

Register to ride        Who's riding?

Map / GPS download