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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 02-15-13, 10:21 AM   #1
unterhausen
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tell me more about fleche route planning

I have a route that is probably 20 miles short. Should I add a loop at the end or fix the shortfall along the way? I'm pretty sure that since French people have been successfully riding fleches forever that I should be able to do it, but I am still a little confused.

How do you handle the last 2 hour distance requirement?
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Old 02-15-13, 11:07 AM   #2
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I'd add the mileage earlier take a side trip to a nice restaurant or something. The mileage doesn't have to be dead on but close. As far as the last two hours goes, we usually make that a stop at a house, a restaurant or some place where you can spend some time in case you are early. I know you're not "technically" supposed to spend too much time there but we have slept at that stop on many occasions
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Old 02-15-13, 11:52 AM   #3
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I don't believe you're allowed to just add a loop at the end...well it probably depends on how you add it.

I'm told the guys in Paris have been getting more and more strict in their interpretations of the rules. And you're definitely not allowed to stop for more than two hours!
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Old 02-15-13, 12:27 PM   #4
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Well, I've started working on my first one, and ran into the same problem- about 20 miles short. So just add it anywhere you can- see if you can shift one control to a place more outside the loop or whatever works.

You can be considerably OVER the mileage. On my dart route last year, we didn't have anything planned but riding, and all the riders were reasonably fast, so we had a 140 mile route instead of the 108 mie minimum, and everyone was good with that. (Note: The extra miles count for some RUSA stuff, and don't for others, so they keep track of both). We still had an hour and a half at the next-to-last control.
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Old 02-15-13, 12:42 PM   #5
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...And you're definitely not allowed to stop for more than two hours!
shhhhhhhh
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Old 02-15-13, 03:03 PM   #6
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shhhhhhhh
well that's the nice thing about rando...we have rules to define what our 'idea' of the sport is, but nobody gets too bothered if someone's idea is different
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Old 02-15-13, 03:05 PM   #7
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do you have to have witnesses?
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Old 02-15-13, 05:59 PM   #8
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do you have to have witnesses?
short answer is yes. Info controls may work in some situations, but receipts and store stamps and initials / sigatures are the way to go. Be sure to give some thought to what to do if a store clerk writes in the correct time, but the receipts from the same store has some other time. Most of the mom-and-pop c'stores in North Carolina have the wrong time on their cash registers. The big chain stores almost always have the exactly correct time. We collected quite a few receipts that did not agree with the clerk hand-written times. (I came up with a solution to that problem -- the package of materials we turned in was less than it might have otherwise been -- that's all I'm "saying".)

The rules on the RUSA website are pretty good and comprehensive. Also, I hope you have an amenable RBA. Ask him / her questions.

I took over as team captain last year when the intended team captain just didn't have enough time to do the route planning and cue-sheeting and etc.. I knew nothing. But Dean had the basic idea for the course, so I reverse-engineered it. In our case, the hardest part of that was getting from the outskirts of Raleigh into the middle of town. One of the other riders knew a way. Then, given the "drawn backward route", I created the map and cue sheeted from the start to the finish.

20 miles short? Go off your intended course for 10-miles as suggested by Homeyba to some eats, then ride back to the course. OR, change the start.

The most interesting thing (to me) is the potential for an alternate 22-hour control and an alternate finish (if your course is long enough and you've fallen behind the intended pace). The control card will have extra spaces for those -- confused me for a day, but before RBA Tony could respond, I re-read some of the rules, and sent him an e-mail cancelling the question.

Finally, I admit that I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to a Fleche -- after all, I've only done one.

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Old 02-15-13, 11:13 PM   #9
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I absolutely love fleches! I think I've done a dozen of them or more. Ride a little, eat a little, ride a little more, eat a little more then repeat for 24hrs. I've had more fun on these than just about any other ride. We usually plan our routes around good places to eat and ride and don't really worry too much about mileage (as long as it's not too short). We once stopped at a casino and played some blackjack and used a dollar chip as our "evidence" of being there. Have fun with it.
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Old 02-16-13, 01:49 AM   #10
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thanks for the info, i was wondering about the rest stops and timing, we're planning our route out now and we're just a couple of Ks short. our route is from arroyo grande to pasadena, we have to ride about seven miles to get to the control since we have to ride from our starting point from a ranch to somewhere we can get a receipt.

p.s. homey we might have room for one more...

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Old 02-16-13, 04:34 AM   #11
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Audax UK have introduced the 'no stop longer than 2 hours' rule this year. I suspect my team may take the full 2 hours AND average 5kph to the next control sometime during the night (due to lack of sleep, of course!).
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Old 02-16-13, 11:22 AM   #12
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p.s. homey we might have room for one more...

Awesome that sounds like fun, tandem or single? PM me with details.
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Old 02-19-13, 04:04 PM   #13
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short answer is yes. Info controls may work in some situations, but receipts and store stamps and initials / sigatures are the way to go. Be sure to give some thought to what to do if a store clerk writes in the correct time, but the receipts from the same store has some other time. Most of the mom-and-pop c'stores in North Carolina have the wrong time on their cash registers. The big chain stores almost always have the exactly correct time. We collected quite a few receipts that did not agree with the clerk hand-written times. (I came up with a solution to that problem -- the package of materials we turned in was less than it might have otherwise been -- that's all I'm "saying".)

The rules on the RUSA website are pretty good and comprehensive. Also, I hope you have an amenable RBA. Ask him / her questions.

I took over as team captain last year when the intended team captain just didn't have enough time to do the route planning and cue-sheeting and etc.. I knew nothing. But Dean had the basic idea for the course, so I reverse-engineered it. In our case, the hardest part of that was getting from the outskirts of Raleigh into the middle of town. One of the other riders knew a way. Then, given the "drawn backward route", I created the map and cue sheeted from the start to the finish.

20 miles short? Go off your intended course for 10-miles as suggested by Homeyba to some eats, then ride back to the course. OR, change the start.

The most interesting thing (to me) is the potential for an alternate 22-hour control and an alternate finish (if your course is long enough and you've fallen behind the intended pace). The control card will have extra spaces for those -- confused me for a day, but before RBA Tony could respond, I re-read some of the rules, and sent him an e-mail cancelling the question.

Finally, I admit that I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to a Fleche -- after all, I've only done one.
I don't believe that info controls are allowed on a fleche, since the team captain would already know the answer. Thus, they don't control the route. I think that the only receipt time that matters is the 22-hour control, which you have to be able to demonstrate that you were still at 22 hours after your official ride start time. The 22-hour control has to be at least 25km's from the end but if you get there before the 24 hours is up, that's not a problem.

Nick
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Old 02-20-13, 09:32 AM   #14
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I don't believe that info controls are allowed on a fleche, since the team captain would already know the answer. Thus, they don't control the route. I think that the only receipt time that matters is the 22-hour control, which you have to be able to demonstrate that you were still at 22 hours after your official ride start time. The 22-hour control has to be at least 25km's from the end but if you get there before the 24 hours is up, that's not a problem.

Nick
Yeah, Nick, I had a thought about the info control comment several hours after posting, but ... .

Can you guess where the cash register receipt showed a different time than the correct time written on the card by the store clerk? Uh-huh, that one.

...Martn
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Old 02-20-13, 09:41 AM   #15
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I guess the 22 hour controle is the most confusing part
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Old 02-20-13, 12:56 PM   #16
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I guess the 22 hour controle is the most confusing part
My very first rando event was a fleche. We were DNQ'd because we screwed up the 22-hour control. Our captain had gotten sick and abandoned somewhere around the 170 mile point, and a second rider abandoned at around 190 miles. The route had been made longer because the "target" got moved a week before the fleche. So our route was longer than expected and we were running behind schedule. Had to improvise and none of the three who remained understood the 22 hour rule. We controled at 21-1/2 hours and again at 22-1/2 hours. But the 22-1/2 hour control had less than 25km to go, so we were unable to prove that we had ridden 25km in the final two hours. Oh, well. I'm not sure it would have helped to have the rules on hand, since at 4 am you're not necessarily thinking straight. But since then I've always carried the rules just in case.

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Old 02-20-13, 09:14 PM   #17
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if you stop at a controle at 22 hours, ride 25km an hour and get there in 23 hours, does this meet the requirements?
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Old 02-21-13, 05:45 AM   #18
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if you stop at a controle at 22 hours, ride 25km an hour and get there in 23 hours, does this meet the requirements?
As I understand it -- yes.
However, Nick ought to be a more definitive source as he is administering the DC Fleche this year.

Last year, "we only made the 22-hr control with 22-minutes to spare, after the fastest night-time riding four of us have ever done." We bought some breakfast type stuff, got documentation that we were there at 22:00 (or a couple minutes later), crossed "the Wright Memorial Bridge, with the re-awoken north wind slamming us about, sometimes ... a couple feet sideways", took 15-minutes to poke around inside Wright brothers memorial park (where the first official flights occurred), and finished 25 or 30 minutes before the 24-hours expired.

I recently learned that "there is no such thing as a tailwind in cycling. There are headwinds, crosswinds, or 'I'm feeling good!'" Therefore, I can only conclude that, while headed south on the Outer Banks for those last miles, we were really feeling good as we covered the ground at 20-mph while barely pedaling.
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Old 02-21-13, 09:57 AM   #19
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if you stop at a controle at 22 hours, ride 25km an hour and get there in 23 hours, does this meet the requirements?
Article 10 of the Fleches-USA rules on the RUSA site confuses me too. How exact does one need to be for when you arrive at the 22hr checkpoint?

Can you get there earlier than the 22hr point? What if you get there at 20:01, stay there 1:59, and then leave at 22:00 to ride the last 25+km to the finish? Would that be ok? Sounds like that would be within the rules.

So, in reality, make the final stop a nice place (as already suggested here) and be sure to get there on or after 20:00, and to leave no later than 22:00. Sound correct?
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Old 02-21-13, 10:30 AM   #20
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pretty sure you need to leave after the 22 hour point
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Old 02-21-13, 11:38 AM   #21
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pretty sure you need to leave after the 22 hour point
Right. Makes sense.

Sooo, would it then be correct to say that you need to:

1. arrive at the last control before 22:00
2. leave the last control after 22:00
3. Not stay at the last controle for longer than 2 hours
4. Ride at least 25km between the last controle and the finish
5. Arrive at the finish before 24:00.

-confusedly yours,

Tom
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Old 02-23-13, 05:54 AM   #22
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You are no longer confused.
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Old 04-09-13, 04:32 PM   #23
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There's a pretty official-looking source that indicates that a certain PA Fleche team collected some 30 bonus miles as they indeed seemed to have gone too far.

I wonder if the OP or a certain moderator would care to regale us with the tale? And also perhaps include a bit about finding an alternate 22-hour control?
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Old 04-09-13, 07:26 PM   #24
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The original course had us stopping at a 22 hour controle at a Quakertown. We had over 2 hours to get there from our previous controle and only 16 miles. When we left there, we would go to a post office controle and then to the finish.

well, someone that I will not mention failed to correct the cue sheet to note a left hand turn, so we kept going south when we were supposed to be going northeast. Did I mention we were not going slowly? Once I realized the mistake, we turned around and rejoined the course. I couldn't really figure out how to get in the 25km in the last 2 hour requirement without hitting our post office controle, but it was obvious that we weren't going to make the 22 hour controle. I happened to know that an appropriate convenience store was a few miles before our 22 hour controle, so we stopped there. It was a lot easier to deal with getting it certified since the convenience store we stopped at was on our route and was at a place that still counted for mileage.

I am planning on incorporating this mistake into the route for next year so we can avoid the post office controle.

Anyone ever use the fleche for their R12?
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Old 04-09-13, 07:37 PM   #25
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I am not sure it was an extra 30 miles, that's what I thought before looking at a map. Steamer might know because he had a gps.

Once we realized the mistake, it was _all_ hills though, and then once we got back on the course we had to climb a monster hill up from a river valley.
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