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  1. #1
    Senior Member The Octopus's Avatar
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    The 2008 Fleche thread

    With Easter just around the corner, it's getting to be that time of year again, so post your fleche plans, questions, and tales of glory here.

    I rode my first fleche last year as part of a 5-machine team that cranked out 560K in Ontario on a perfect spring day. This year's ride will be 130K shorter and not at all performance-oriented (really, no randonneuring event should be, IMO), but still involves a double-crossing of the Cascades so there will be lots of adventure!

    What, you say, is a fleche? See http://www.rusa.org/teamrando.html.

    For those of use South of the Border, note a rule change for this year: RUSA no longer permits out-and-back segments for anything other than geetting in and out of a controle. The correct rule is stated in the current issue of American Randonneur; the rules on the RUSA site (which discourage, but do not prohibit out-and-back routes or segments) have not as of this writing been reflected to update the change.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Octopus View Post
    With Easter just around the corner, it's getting to be that time of year again, so post your fleche plans, questions, and tales of glory here.
    We're slacking in New England and aren't running our fleche until the end of April/beginning of May.

    Currently, my fleche team is only three vehicles, but we're hoping to recruit a full crew. Our plan is to start from Cape Cod and ride across Massachusetts from east to west.

  3. #3
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    Our fleche is on March 22 in Northern Virginia -- I'm betting it'll be one cold ride. Really looking forward to it.

    Five of us will start out from the west "corner" of Arlington and head north-west on the W&OD trail to its end at Purcelville. Our route is somewhat of an arrow shape, pointing toward the south west, with its tip at Madison, VA. The "top left" corner of the arrow is at Purcelville. The top right is 7 miles east of the start, at Key Bridge, which crosses the Potomac to Washington, DC. From Purcelville, we head roughly southwest to Madison, which we'll probably get to just around sundown. Then we turn roughly northeast heading in the direction of Key Bridge. After Madison, we face a nearly-80 mile stretch that has practically no convenience stores, and only one place we can fuel up--a pizza place that closes early enough that it can be a bit dicey whether we can get there in time for food. It's the same route as we've ridden four times already, but every year it has been absolutely different, so it hasn't felt repetitive. A ride report from two years ago is at http://www.dcrand.org/articles/dcran...tireFleche.pdf

  4. #4
    sonofabike oaklandcyclist's Avatar
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    No fleche in Northern CA this year.

  5. #5
    Senior Member claire's Avatar
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    Yeah I'm in for a fleche. A nice 420 km between Nevers and Montelimar. I just hope that the night won't be too cold... I don't really like riding through the night, but hey, the Randonneur 5000 will be a bit closer. Our team should be quite eclectic: 3 "normal" bikes, including a girl (me) and 2 recumbents. I know it will be hard, but somehow I'm looking forward to it... It will be my first fleche, too...

  6. #6
    Senior Member Madsnail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by claire View Post
    A nice 420 km between Nevers and Montelimar.
    The nougat sure is going to taste nice at the end of this ride

  7. #7
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spokenword View Post
    We're slacking in New England and aren't running our fleche until the end of April/beginning of May.

    Currently, my fleche team is only three vehicles, but we're hoping to recruit a full crew. Our plan is to start from Cape Cod and ride across Massachusetts from east to west.
    sounds fun. i was going to propose that last year (when i had hopes of riding with you) - but the ferry schedule seemed to throw things off. you carpooling or getting dropped off out in p-town?
    pretty cool to ride from the farthest point you can get on land in MA to Westfield.

    1 if by land? 2 if by sea? how many by bike? (did i get that bit of history correct?)
    3 by bike? you have the tandem in the mix this year? or you riding with the FG folks?

  8. #8
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    seattle rando's are holding a fleche this year, i just might join a team and give it a shot:

    http://www.seattlerandonneur.org/ind...=239&Itemid=28
    cat 1.

    blog

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmike View Post
    sounds fun. i was going to propose that last year (when i had hopes of riding with you) - but the ferry schedule seemed to throw things off. you carpooling or getting dropped off out in p-town?
    ah well, in keeping with last year's chaos, we've had almost 100% turnover on this year's team and we haven't even started yet! Currently, it's a four bikes + 1 tandem. So, a friend's volunteering to drive a rental van with us and our bikes to P-town. Start from there at 6pm. Aim to stop in Hyannis, Falmouth and New Bedford. Then breakfast in Providence then ride through RI and CT before heading north on the Connecticut river to Westfield. Admittedly, yes it'd be more fun if we could get a ferry to take us to Provincetown, but it doesn't run for another couple of weeks.

    Planned route -- hopefully this time, the team will actually make it.

  10. #10
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spokenword View Post
    ah well, in keeping with last year's chaos, we've had almost 100% turnover on this year's team and we haven't even started yet! Currently, it's a four bikes + 1 tandem. So, a friend's volunteering to drive a rental van with us and our bikes to P-town. Start from there at 6pm. Aim to stop in Hyannis, Falmouth and New Bedford. Then breakfast in Providence then ride through RI and CT before heading north on the Connecticut river to Westfield. Admittedly, yes it'd be more fun if we could get a ferry to take us to Provincetown, but it doesn't run for another couple of weeks.

    Planned route -- hopefully this time, the team will actually make it.
    very nice! good luck...

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    just as an update -- two weeks ago, I finished the Westfield Fleche with a team of three other riders. Started with rain, and had some digestion issues in the early half of the ride, but determination to finish the event saw me through to the end. Digestion issues, aside, it was a fun event and a great way to make friends and share in some camaraderie.

    Ride Report on my LJ

  12. #12
    Not an internet law-maker Godwin's Avatar
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    Only two of us from NS wanted or could do the fleche this weekend so we're joining up with a group from Ottawa.

    Is anyone else doing their fleche this weekend?

  13. #13
    Senior Member The Octopus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Godwin View Post
    Only two of us from NS wanted or could do the fleche this weekend so we're joining up with a group from Ottawa.

    Is anyone else doing their fleche this weekend?
    I rode with an Ottawa team for the fleche in 2007; it was good fun and the terrain and weather were just fantastic (and flat!). If you run into (or are riding with) Patti, Mike L., Peter G., or Vitas -- they're great folks and were a pleasure to ride with. Good luck!

  14. #14
    Not an internet law-maker Godwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Octopus View Post
    I rode with an Ottawa team for the fleche in 2007; it was good fun and the terrain and weather were just fantastic (and flat!). If you run into (or are riding with) Patti, Mike L., Peter G., or Vitas -- they're great folks and were a pleasure to ride with. Good luck!
    I rode with Peter, another Ottawa randonneur named Guy, and a NS randonneur. It was a fairly relaxed 430km and the weather was decent, it rained each time we went inside to eat a meal and was done by the time we came out. The night was fairly cold though. Very happy I spent the money and time to do the fleche over there and I think we're going up there again for the 1000km OTO in August.

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