Sunday, December 27, 2015

2016 Season Preview

DRR is running a complete ACP brevet series in 2016, a bonus fall ACP 200 and likely plenty of perms in between. Here's what we know right now.

Spring 200 km, Saturday, February 27th
This will be the perennial favorite Flat Yak course.
Information from last time.

Spring 300 km, Saturday, March 19th
Last year we introduced an all-new course out of Hermiston for the spring 300 and it proved such a hit with those that rode it that we're using the same course again in 2016.
Information from last time.

Spring 400 km, Saturday April 30th
Organized by Paul, this is likely to be the popular 400 km course from 2015.
Information from last time.

Spring 600 km, Saturday, May 21st
This will probably be a challenging new course in NE Oregon. Work in progress. Watch this space.

Fall 200 km, Saturday, September 17th
To be decided, hopefully something new and interesting.

As ever, we'll be adding event and registration information to this site as soon as it is available. In the meantime, mark your diaries for some fun times (of all types).

These events can't happen without volunteers. Pre-event research and administration is just as valuable as support on the day(s). If you'd like to get involved with DRR as an organizer, volunteer, or however, please let us know using that form over there --->>

Thanks and a satisfying and fulfilling 2016 to all our randonneuring pals, wherever you ride or volunteer.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Local Permanents

Thought it was about time we had a list of RUSA permanents local to the DRR region around here. Work in progress. See here.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Fall 200/100 km Results

Duane Blassl
Norm Carr
Doug Hiebert
Jeff Mendenhall
Susan Otcenas

all finished the DRR Fall 200 km ACP brevet. The following day

Norm Carr
Ian Hoffman
Jeff Mendenhall
Susan Otcenas
Paul Whitney

also did a bonus 100 km permanent, rounding off a delightful weekend of randonneurism.

Saturday evening was also the DRR 'AGM' potluck, where Norm was reelected unopposed as RBA, much useful discussion of next years program occurred ...and the rest is a blur.

Thanks to all for riding/potlucking.


This completes the official DRR programme for 2015. Stay tuned for possible permanents during the winter, news of next year's happenings and anything else we can think of to fill space here.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

DRR ACP Brevet 2016 Calendar

If you like to plan a long way in advance, very tentative dates for DRR's 2016 brevets are now included in the calendar. All dates remain negotiable and can change. Please let us know if you have any opinions.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

DRR Fall 200 km ACP Brevet 9/26/2015, Potluck and Bonus Sunday Group Permanent Populaire

Two rides. One weekend. Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th September. Join DRR for our end-of-season randonneuring mini-fest, featuring two rides - 200 km on Saturday and 104 km group permanent on Sunday - and the DRR 'Annual General Meeting' potluck on Saturday evening. All very welcome for some or all of the weekend's fun. Both rides will start and finish in Richland, WA.

200 km ACP Brevet, Saturday

The route will be a circumnavigation of the Tri-Cities, starting and finishing in Richland, taking in vineyards, farms, sweeping views of the Columbia and Yakima river valleys, and a jaunt through the wheatfields of the Horse Heaven Hills.

Organizer: Norm Carr

Ride date: Saturday, 26th September, 2015

Sunrise: 07:01
Sunset: 18:15

Sign in from: 06:30
Start at: 07:00
Finish by: 20:30

Fee: $0

Start/Finish location:

This is an unsupported ride with long distances (more than 50 miles/80 kms) between services. Please prepare accordingly and carry sufficient clothes, tools, spares, food and drink for your needs.

There a possibility of riding in the dark. Lights and reflective gear that satisfy RUSA rules must be carried, regardless of whether you think you'll need them.

There will be information controls - please have a pen.

Register to ride

Who'll be there? (It can take a few minutes for your registration to show up here)

Route Cue Sheet Here

Map / GPS download

Potluck and 'DRR Annual General Meeting', Saturday Evening

Join us at Norm's house after the 200k until whenever, for a potluck, a beer or a G&T, and the DRR 'AGM'. All DRR members*, or DRR-curious, or just hungry randonneur-friendly potluckers welcome. If you bring your favorite food or beverage you're even more welcome. AGM agenda to be determined, but it's sure to be fun. And short. Probably.

* Are you a DRR member? Have you ever...
  • Ridden any DRR brevet?
  • Ridden any RUSA permanent that passes through the WA: Tri-Cities RUSA region (whatever that is)?
  • Organized, volunteered for or supported any DRR event?
...then yes, you're a DRR member. So there.

Register to potluck

Who'll be there? (It can take a few minutes for your registration to show up here)

104 km Group Permanent Populaire, Sunday

An easy sociable 104 km permanent after Saturday's hillyish 200. Possible slight detour for brunch in Benton City.

Organizer: Norm Carr

Ride date: Sunday, 27th September, 2015

Sign in from: 08:30
Start at: 09:00
Finish by: 15:56

Fee: $0

Start/Finish location:

Route cue sheet

Map / GPS download

Register to ride

Who'll be there? (It can take a few minutes for your registration to show up here)

Friday, August 7, 2015


Best of luck to all our rando friends who will be setting off on their Paris-Brest-Paris adventures next weekend. Special best wishes to Desert River Randonneur Gary S, who will be riding his eighth PBP. Bonne route, bonne chance et chapeau.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Spring 400/600 km Results

Kevin Brightbill
Clyde Butt
Kevin Humphreys
Gary Smith
Michal Young

...all finished the 400 km brevet, and...

Doug Hiebert
John Kramer
Susan Otcenas
Graham Ross
Karel Stroethoff
Paul Whitney

...all finished the 600 km brevet.

Well done, congratulations and thanks to all participants for making it a fun, friendly and drama-free weekend, whether riding with us for the first time, or as a recidivist.

We were hoping for gentleness but our dreams didn't come true and everyone agreed that the wind was the biggest challenge of the weekend. Fortunately, the requested mild temperatures and dry conditions did arrive, so it could have been worse, really. Flats, and a broken crank added some more spice to the challenge for some.

Thanks to Cathy and Marcie for popular baked-good contributions and general volunteer willingness. Thanks to Ian for rescue stand-by duty and rider liason. Thanks to Paul and Susan for planning routes that everyone enjoyed (most of, anyhow). Extra big thanks to Paul for paperwork creation, implementation and deployment.


DRR's next official event is an ACP 200 km brevet in September. Watch this site for announcements once we've bothered to figure out what that's going to look like.

In the meantime, there are other regions' events and plenty of permanents to ride, so see you down the road. I hear there's some ride or other in France that a few folks are thinking about doing this summer. If that includes you, bon chance!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spring 300 km Results

This lovely bunch

Norm Carr
Doug Hiebert
John Kramer
Susan Otcenas
Gary Smith
Paul Whitney

were the finishers of the Spring 300. Woo yay.

The morning's trip along Butter Creek Road was made somewhat interesting by the westerly breeze, but apart from that we got lucky with the weather. Some mechanical adventures emphasized the need for reliable kit when riding around these parts.

Big thanks again to Marcie for expert card-signing skills in Pendleton and Hermiston and bonus baked treats.

Thanks to all the riders for their outstanding lighting and nighttime reflectivity impressiveness and their delightful company, as always.

You'll have to wait all the way until May before our next event(s), but have patience because it's going to be awesome.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Spring 200 Results

Steve Bredthauer
Norm Carr
Bob Fisher
Doug Hiebert
John Kramer
Audunn Ludviksson
Don Shiggy Person
Graham Ross
Jeffrey Sedgwick
Gary Smith
Paul Whitney

were the finishers of the DRR Spring 200 Km ACP Brevet. Well done all. All the registered riders started and all the starters finished. Thanks for riding and making it a fun day.

Thanks to Marcie for being special guest card signer-collector at the finish.

It was a sunny, pretty but cold and windy day in the valley, so normal for the time of year. The winds made things a little testing in places, but that's just Eastern WA. Was great to see some new faces on a DRR brevet. Welcome, and we hope to see you again soon.

Next up, the 300 on March 21st. See you there.

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.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

DRR Spring 300 Km ACP Brevet: March 21st, 2015

This is a new route in NE Oregon that commutes back and forth between Hermiston and Pendleton using a pair of loops on scenic and mostly very quiet rural roads. None of it is flat.

The start at Hermiston Plaza has plenty of parking. The only thing open before 6am, however, will be the Shari's restaurant (24 hrs). The route heads initially out on US-395, which will be quiet so early on a weekend morning and has a wide shoulder most of the way. After the junction with I-84 it gets really quiet as we drop down into Echo and begins the scenic trip along the Umatilla River canyon to Pendleton. The road through the canyon is twisty and lumpy in places. There's been some needed road maintenance in the last year or so but there's still a good chance of gravel and holes, so keep your head up.

Pendleton is the first open control. If you're in a hurry, a quick stop at Safeway (on the right after swooping down off the rail bridge) is probably the easiest option (restrooms on the right, just inside).

For the next stage we rejoin US-395 and climb up and away from Pendleton and into the NE Oregon hills. This is an exposed stretch of gradual and not so gradual climbing, and if we're unlucky the wind might make things interesting here. Console yourself with views of some massive basaltic rock walls. Last services for a loooong way (ok, about 50 miles or so) are at Pilot Rock, so stock up on provisions if necessary.

Eventually we'll turn off 395 and onto OR-74 which will take us to a summit and the highest point of the ride at about 2680 ft. Pretty wild views into two or three different valleys from up here and nothing to hear but the wind and your breath. Next is a fast and curvy rolling descent to the next junction, where we leave 74 and join Butter Creek road. This is a small, local, pretty, remote farm road. It's quite empty except for widely spaced farms. Very little if any traffic. Cattle and cowboy country. The road is rolling, but more down than up. It's surfaced, but there's holes and gravel because the winter out here is unkind to roads. Stay awake. There's also several cattle guards at various points, a couple of which ambush you after a bend or cresting a hill. Please slow down and be cautious riding over them, especially so if it's wet!

Picture by Susan

Butter Creek eventually joins OR-207, the Lexington-Echo highway, for a long, straight gradual descent through industrial-scale farms back to Hermiston. With luck you might have a tailwind. Now's a good time to refuel and resupply (back at your vehicle!) because there's plenty left to do and no services until Pendleton (56 miles).

We're spat out of suburban Hermiston on Diagonal Road, pick up busy OR-730 beside the Columbia, briefly, but soon climb away from the river on OR-37. This will be a rolling, twisting ride across deep valleys on a quiet road past farms and ranches, intriguing ruins and tranquil settlements that were obviously once larger than they are today. The further we go the more rolling it gets, until near the high point (1820 ft) and the turn onto OR-335 it's a real roller-coaster.

After the turn it's a descent with good views of the Blue Mountains, down to busy OR-11, which we'll only be on a couple of miles before turning south for a little detour to Mission (if you're quick enough, you'll get to Mission Market before it closes). Then it's a quick dash back into Pendleton and dinner (or second dinner or third lunch?).

Finally, take the canyon road and 395 back to Hermiston the way you came first thing this morning (but likely this time in the dark, so try to stay awake) and you're done.

Organizer: Norm Carr

Ride date: Saturday, 21st March, 2015

Sunrise: 06:59
Sunset: 19:11

Sign in from: 05:30 Sat
Start at: 06:00 Sat
Finish by: 02:00 Sun

Fee (cash only, at the ride start): $10

Start/Finish location:
Hermiston Plaza, Highway 395, Hermiston, OR

Nearest accomodation:
Oak Tree Inn, 4th St.
Rodeway Inn, Hwy 395

This is an unsupported ride with long distances (sometimes more than 50 miles/80 Kms) between services. Please prepare accordingly and carry sufficient clothes, tools and spares, and food and drink for your needs.

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

Much of this route follows rural roads that serve working farms, so there can sometimes be muck, mud, gravel and other debris on the road surface. Please keep your head up and take care, especially if it's wet.

Be advised that outside of Hermiston and Pendleton and anywhere away from major highways (most of this route, in other words) it is very unlikely that you will receive a cell phone signal.

There will be information controls - please have a pen.

registration closed          Who's riding?

Route Cue Sheet

Map / GPS download

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

DRR Spring 200 Km ACP Brevet : February 28th 2015

Yep. It's Flat Yak. Again. Would be a shame to break with tradition.

This is a low-level course through the Yakima River valley out to an open control lunch stop in Toppenish and back. It follows generally quiet roads through Eastern Washington farmland. Some pre-ride notes from a couple of years ago are still relevant.

There's still a possibility of wintery weather at the end of Feb, and there's a good chance it could be chilly or windy. Bring extra layers and a weatherproof shell. Like all our brevets, this is an unsupported ride but there are sufficient opportunities to find food and drink along the route.

Organizer: Norm Carr

Ride date: Saturday, 28th February, 2015

Sunrise: 06:38
Sunset: 17:42

Sign in from: 06:30
Start at: 07:00
Finish by: 20:30

Fee (cash only, at the ride start): $0

Start/Finish location:
Starbucks, corner of Gage Blvd. & Keene Rd., Richland, WA 99352
(NOT the Starbucks inside Albertson's!)

As an early season ride there's a significant possibility of riding in the dark so lights and reflective gear that satisfy RUSA rules must be brought and used.

There will be information controls - please have a pen.

Registration now closed
(the "Who's Riding" page is currently down for maintenance, but if you filled in the form, you have been recorded)

Route Cue Sheet

Map / GPS Download