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  1. #1
    weirdo
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    Northern CA rando clubs

    Hi, all. I`ve been interrsted in randonneuring for a while, but only recently decided to give it a try. Just registered and sent in my check for 2013 RUSA membership (I want the damned pins!) I plan to make the Davis "Last Chance 200" on New Years eve my first event. Anybody else from this board ride with DBC? That`s the closest club to me, and their routes look pretty nice, but the bulk of them are in early spring, when I`m just barely comming out of semi hibernation- gonna try some anyway. I definitely plan to do the Last Chance (or the 01/01 First Chance, if the registration for it opens up in time) and probably try another 200 and a 300 next year, not sure if I`m ready to attempt a 400. Scheduling is going to have to work around a Feb or Mar tour that I can`t yet nail down dates for, but should be able to do that soon.

    Any comments on the SF club? I see they still have two more rides scheduled for this year, though no information on start location or routes. From the information they provide on other routes, I can see that a lot of them look very challenging with mega climbing and a lot of offroad, so I would be hesitant to register for any of their rides without knowing what I was getting into.

    Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa are also reasonably close to home. Anybody here ride with those groups?

  2. #2
    Randomhead
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    I don't live anywhere near there, but there are a couple of issues in your post that seem generic. Most randonneuring events do have a lot of climbing because that was emphasised after the 2007 PBP. The other thing is that the schedule has always been front-loaded in the spring. This is also because the grand randonnees happen in the summer, and people need to have the SR series done. My goal this year is to keep my fitness up over the winter so I'll be ready in the spring. It's always tough.

  3. #3
    weirdo
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    Hmmm...
    it sounds like they`re more serious than I thought about the local events being primarily warmups for PBP.

    As far as the climbing goes, I can`t say what kind of changes have been made since 07, but most of the other CA 200s that I found elevation totals for look to be similar to my longer solo rides lately, and the 300s just look like 50% more versions of the same. The few SF rides I see that info on look pretty torturous by comparison- definitely would need multiple doses of HTFU before I had much hope for completing one.

    I do realize that distance and elevation are only two factors, but they`re the only way I can even begin to judge at this point. After I ride a few, hopefully I`ll be able to better guess how much I`ll be affected by navigation on unfamiliar roads, different climate than I`m used to, riding with groups of people, and dealing with plans and schedules that I haven`t designed to suit my own convenience. I am looking forward to finding out about all that by doing it, but some of those gnarly rides I can already say are beyond my grasp.

  4. #4
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    In preparation for doing the Cali Triple Crown this year, I signed up for the Davis Bike Club email distribution list so that I would find out when registrations opened for the Davis Double Century. Although the event has long since been done, I'm still subscribed to the list because it shows how a good club is run. There are constant updates about the NUMEROUS weekly rides, calls for volunteers for their big rides (which, if the Davis Double was any indication, are extremely well-organized and supported with military precision!), stuff for sale, and general tomfoolery.

    When I was visiting on my California recce trip at the end of last year, I stopped in Davis and did one of the weekly rides with the club. We rode from Davis to Winters, to one of their regular coffee stops, and they suggested an additional easy loop I could do to make for a longer ride. Very pleasant.

    So check out their web site, and get on their email list. I think you could do far worse for a club to be part of.

    Luis

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    Lurker
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    I have ridden brevets organized by SFR, Santa Rosa and Davis Bike Club. They are quite similar, though Davis brevets tend to be supported by more volunteers, whereas Santa Rosa and particularly SFR rides tend to emphasize self sufficiency (i.e. spartan support). The routes are also pretty similar. San Francisco does run an "Adventure Series" with off-road sections and lots of climbing, but these are far from the norm. For example, SFR has a 200K to Winters this coming weekend, covering roads typically used in Davis brevets. I really like the November 200K to Del Puerto Canyon, definitely worth a look.

  6. #6
    Randomhead
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    Hmmm...
    it sounds like they`re more serious than I thought about the local events being primarily warmups for PBP.
    I have seen people say it's the only reason, which seems totally wrong and opposite to my experience. At this point, we have so many domestic and international grand randonnees that a lot of people are not particularly interested in PBP. But it's obvious that the ACP has a lot of influence over RUSA, and they are fairly focused on PBP, as you would expect.

  7. #7
    weirdo
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    Ah, Davis runs a mailing list? I`ll see about subscribing- thanks! My only mixup on those rides is that the annual calendar lists both a 12/31 ride and a 01/01 ride, but they have the whole year`s worth of brevets on a single registration sheet, which doesn`t have a box to check for the New Years Day 200k. I imagine it`ll be on next year`s sheet, which presumeably just isn`t out yet.
    Quote Originally Posted by MetinUz View Post
    I have ridden brevets organized by SFR, Santa Rosa and Davis Bike Club. They are quite similar, though Davis brevets tend to be supported by more volunteers, whereas Santa Rosa and particularly SFR rides tend to emphasize self sufficiency (i.e. spartan support). The routes are also pretty similar. San Francisco does run an "Adventure Series" with off-road sections and lots of climbing, but these are far from the norm. For example, SFR has a 200K to Winters this coming weekend, covering roads typically used in Davis brevets. I really like the November 200K to Del Puerto Canyon, definitely worth a look.
    Okay, maybe the reports I was reading fall under their Adventure Series, and not what their standard routes are like. Marin Mountains 200k, Old Cazadero 300k, and King Ridge 400k?

    I`ll recheck the DBC website for info on a mailing list and try emailing them again (one attempt a few weeks ago didn`t get a reply). Will also look more seriously at the SFR schedule and see if any late brevets will fit into my work schedule- our busy season is just about to start, so will be working a lot of weekends in the near future. As far as the heavy spring loading goes, I guess Unterhausen is right, but at least there are a lot of rides outside the main seiries. If it turns out I want more than that, I`ll just suck it up and be sure to keep myself from going to hell over the winter. Or just accept the extra distance to get to Santa Cruz, which has its whole series in the summer. So, it looks like some clubs publish maps and cue sheets in advance so they can be downloaded/studied/formatted, and other clubs just hand out all the necessary info as a "day of" thing? I guess it just depends on the club. Thanks for the info, gang!
    Last edited by rodar y rodar; 10-05-12 at 04:51 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member lonesomesteve's Avatar
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    My experience on this topic is limited to a whopping one ride with San Francisco Randonneurs this past June (the Golden Gate 1000). I thought the SFR folks did an outstanding job organizing that ride. The level of support was similar to my experience with my local club, the Seattle Randonneurs, which is to say you're on your own for much of the ride, but the spread at the overnight control was excellent. Personally, that's the kind of support I like on brevets. They also had SAG vehicles checking on stragglers here and there throughout the event which was nice given the remoteness of some of the route. The course covered a number of roads that I think are pretty standard routes for that club, and indeed there was a ton of climbing. All-in-all it was a great event and I'd love to ride with that crowd again some day.
    "You can buy status, but sucking is immutable. After a certain point, upgrading only makes you suck more ostentatiously."
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  9. #9
    Hooked On Quack
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    rodar -
    I know the RBA for the SFR gang; they're a great bunch, and avid teachers for those who want it. I also know a fair number of the Davis group. No help here on Santa Rosa or Santa Cruz. I looked at a coup[le of the SC offerings but couldn't make the skeds match up.

    If you're considering going all the way to Santa Cruz, let me suggest you look at the Utah groups - Salt Lake City, and Cedar City. I know those RBA's too; good folks. If you want to push the envelop at bit, the AZBrevét group - mostly PHX area events - is another good option, especially during the winter months! December, January and February are prime months with them.
    YMMV
    [Oh, and I do brevéts just for something different. After 15 years of CA Triple Crown I needed a jump start to get my focus back!]
    -dg
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    from looking out a kitchen window. You have to dress up, get out
    training and when you come back, you then know how cold it is.
    -- Sean Kelly

  10. #10
    weirdo
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    Hiya, 200 Miler! I`m still siling after that Death Valley trip that you helped me plan out

    Nah, as much as I like SLC and AZ, they`re out of my weekend range. The trick is to keep it close enough to be able to drive to and from with the event in the middle, using from zero to one vacation days per event. I can pull that off pretty easily for one day rides out of Davis or SR, probably from SF or SC, though even there I`m pushing it. I need a pension!

  11. #11
    Hooked On Quack
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    vacation days
    Vacation days??? Oh yeah, I remember now. It's that free time when you get to do what you want - paint the bedroom/house/kitchen, re-landscape the backyard, visit relatives, ............

    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    I need a pension!
    Pension!! That's what they used to call them, before they became entitlements!!!!
    );-0

    I would think, what with your travel criteria, that Davis and SFR would offer you a ton of variations. Good riding.....
    YMMV
    -dg
    The thing about the cold is that you can never tell how cold it is
    from looking out a kitchen window. You have to dress up, get out
    training and when you come back, you then know how cold it is.
    -- Sean Kelly

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    Anybody else from this board ride with DBC?
    Any comments on the SF club?
    Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa are also reasonably close to home. Anybody here ride with those groups?
    I've ridden Brevets put on by SF, Davis and Santa Rosa - I can't speak to Santa Cruz. All are good choices, but I'd say that Davis and Santa Rosa provide a little more support than SF. From a difficulty point of view I'd recommend the Davis routes as being easier for a beginner. The SF and Santa Rosa routes generally have more climbing than their Davis counterparts and generally worse weather due to their proximity to the ocean.

  13. #13
    weirdo
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    Thanks for that, NC Scot. While the climbing may or may not kill me, the weather is going to be a challenge for sure. I hear it sometimes rains in CA!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    Thanks for that, NC Scot. While the climbing may or may not kill me, the weather is going to be a challenge for sure. I hear it sometimes rains in CA!
    January and February are our wettest months, with March still having a fair amount of rain. Some of those early season Brevets can get you pretty wet!

  15. #15
    Señor Member cali_axela's Avatar
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    I just joined RUSA yesterday after being interested in trying out Randonneuring for awhile as well, and am going to do my first SF Rando event this saturday, a 110K Populaire. Will let you know how it goes, it seems like a great club.

  16. #16
    weirdo
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    Hi, C-A! We`re in a simliar boat, then- hope you have a good ride and I`ll watch for your report. I don`t have any time for a weekend getaway in the comming month, so it looks like the 12/31 or 01/01 will be my first- you`re gonna beat me to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by norcalscot View Post
    January and February are our wettest months, with March still having a fair amount of rain. Some of those early season Brevets can get you pretty wet!
    I believe you! Watched a Youtube vid of a Davis 400 featuring more rain than I see in a decade, haha! Until very recently my rain options were either just get soaked and dry my stuff out at work (rainy, not cold) or ride in my effective, but super baggy, Gortex hikers rain coat (rainy and cold). Or just wait and ride another day, of course. I just bought a cheap rain jacket in a more cycling friendly cut in order to be somewhat comfortable on an all day rainy ride. If it turns out I like the sport, I`ll worry about getting nice rain gear later.

  17. #17
    Senior Member RunningPirate's Avatar
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    I did one brevet with Santa Cruz (Moss Beach 200K, March 2011). A good group of folks, by and large. Their rides are unsupported if memory serves (can't remember if they have a SAG, but I don't think so), but the check points are at mini-marts and such. I had a handlebar bag w/food and such so between that and the stops I was fine. Overall, I enjoyed it - depending on how schedule and work shakes out, I might be inclined to do it again.
    There's nothing for you to see here...just move along, now...

  18. #18
    Señor Member cali_axela's Avatar
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    The SF Lucas Valley populaire was great! I brought plenty of energy bars and water, so I didn't need to buy anything at the control which was in front of a market; but it was a nice looking market. Everyone was friendly, and there was great food and beer at the finish line. Definitely doing some more events with them.

  19. #19
    weirdo
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    ^^Groovy! How was the weather? Hey, how `bout some "confidential" newb to newb advice

    How did you manage your cue sheet? I`m thinking of just getting one of those clear vinyl envelopes from an office suply joint and clipping it to my brake cables. Did you find it tough to simultaneously follow the cues and watch traffic/road while searching for street signs? Or maybe there were so many other riders in the event that you could mostly just follow the flow? Was any of the route in unfamiliar territory? If you`re used to riding solo, and there were a lot of other riders on the same course, was there plenty of room to maneuver without having to guess at pack riding skills? Of course, maybe you`re already a knowledgeable pace-liner. I`m not (and I tend to ride a lousy line), so that worries me a little bit.
    Last edited by rodar y rodar; 11-02-12 at 08:29 PM.

  20. #20
    Señor Member cali_axela's Avatar
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    I put the cue sheet in my Timbuk2 goody bag, it has a clear top compartment for a cell phone (or folded cue sheet) and it worked out great. I barely had to check it though, because there were nearly 100 riders and it was fairly obvious which route to take since I was usually near a group who knew where they were going, and I just followed or joined up with them for a bit. I never felt crowded though, plenty of room to ride solo and not feel constricted, there was a wide range of paces so everyone became well spread out quickly. It was really a great experience, I can't think of any other newb advice or tricks/secrets to tell you, since it all went so smoothly!

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