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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 02-17-14, 09:47 PM   #1
lungimsam
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Why no Randonneur Across America (RAAM)?

I like seeing videos about RAAM and reading about it. Made me think:

Was wondering why there isn't a Rando Across America ride?
Seems like Randonneurs could easily qualify, and would be interested in this.
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Old 02-17-14, 09:55 PM   #2
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That's sorta what this is:

http://www.transambikerace.com/

One has to keep in mind that true-blue, formal randonneuring in the USA is done through RUSA, with the general blessings of the ACP, which still focuses on on what randonneuring is/has been in France for the last 100 and something years. And since they don't ride across America in France.....
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Old 02-17-14, 09:57 PM   #3
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Probably because nobody wants to deal with the logistics of putting something like that together. I'm not sure how many people you'd actually get who'd be interested in something like that anyway. Really if you want to ride across the US you can be a tourist, race in RAAM or do something like a pac tour. No need for a 5kbrevet. I don't know, maybe someone will make it a popular?
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Old 02-18-14, 12:17 PM   #4
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It'd be kind of a bummer to get 4,900k into a 5,000k brevet and miss a control.
There's a Pony Express Perm that's 3,079k long. Been ridden one time, in 13 days, which is about 234k per day. That doesn't sound too bad.
Maybe if there was a big rush of enthusiasm for that one, people would be working on longer ones.

One limitation is that if you work entirely off maps in making a route, you'll wind up with some sucky sections where the road is rougher than you realized or isn't paved or who knows what. So it helps to be familiar with the roads or go test-drive them first. And not many people are familiar with cross-country routes, or want to test-drive them.
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Old 08-31-14, 05:11 PM   #5
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It's an intriguing idea. Some randonneurs are certainly tough enough to actually do it. RAAM is very expensive. The main issue for RUSA would be the authenticating of the time limits per control. There are established routes from BikeAmerica. It should be done in small teams for safety.
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Old 08-31-14, 06:08 PM   #6
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PacTour Elite is pretty close to what you are looking for.
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Old 08-31-14, 06:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lungimsam View Post
I like seeing videos about RAAM and reading about it. Made me think:

Was wondering why there isn't a Rando Across America ride?
Seems like Randonneurs could easily qualify, and would be interested in this.
Wow, 4800 km! Assuming a control every 220 km (just a guess), that's 22 control stations spread across 3000 miles. Does RAAM have a monitoring system of similar scale?
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Old 08-31-14, 06:54 PM   #8
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That is a lot of miles to travel.
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Old 08-31-14, 07:23 PM   #9
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Why not go for this:

Pan-American Highway - Wikipedia
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Old 09-03-14, 04:00 PM   #10
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There's really nothing preventing anyone from riding the RAAM route (highly documented) as a permanent. It would be like riding one of the "Diagonals" in France. Read the rules and ride across America accordingly. I'm also surprised no one has set up a "Raid Sierran" or "Raid Rocky Mtn" along the lines of the Raid Pyrenean (the historic coast-to-coast traverse thru the Pyrenees according to the guidelines laid out in the 1950s by the Cyclo Club Bearnaise (i.e. you must complete the ride between 1st June - 30th September, within a 100-hour time-frame and have a pass-book - known as a 'carnet' - stamped by cafe owners at key points along the ride).

Simple. Just set it up and ride it!

Luis
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Old 09-03-14, 05:58 PM   #11
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One limitation is that if you work entirely off maps in making a route, you'll wind up with some sucky sections where the road is rougher than you realized or isn't paved or who knows what. So it helps to be familiar with the roads or go test-drive them first. And not many people are familiar with cross-country routes, or want to test-drive them.
Reminds me of the time we were doing a brevet and one of the roads was gone. Not closed, gone. And we had used the road 3 weeks earlier on another ride.
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Old 09-03-14, 06:13 PM   #12
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Reminds me of the time we were doing a brevet and one of the roads was gone. Not closed, gone. And we had used the road 3 weeks earlier on another ride.
Before I started randonneuring, I once did a ride around Lake Ray Hubbard, about 55 miles. I mapped out the route using internet maps.
I got over there to one place, and came to a Tee. Where the map showed a road, there was a gate. I think it's this location here, the map STILL shows a through road here!
https://maps.google.com/maps?q=rockw...97.34,,0,10.54
Then I got down to another spot, and a bridge was out. Out, as in, been missing several years with no plans to rebuild it. Internet maps showed the road going across. But it just didn't. At least that's been fixed on the maps now, though. That cost me about 3 extra miles, as I recall.
https://maps.google.com/maps?q=rockw...359.93,,0,1.75
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Old 02-28-15, 08:38 PM   #13
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I was looking for something else and ran across this old thread.
One thing I've run across since, is the control time calculator for permanents. Of interest is that the allowed time increased with increased distances, and at some point hits 200k/day. So if you did have a perm across the country, you'd only have to average 200k a day (or more specifically, stay above a 200k/day average at all times).
One other option is to create a series of perms across the country. The chief advantage is that you can do part of the route, and if you get 4900k into it, and miss a day or two, it doesn't screw up the entire perm route.
Some of us are currently working on a plan to ride from North Texas to Canada early this summer in this way.
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Old 03-01-15, 09:20 AM   #14
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One other option is to create a series of perms across the country. The chief advantage is that you can do part of the route, and if you get 4900k into it, and miss a day or two, it doesn't screw up the entire perm route.
I certainly like the idea of connecting point-to-point permanents to create a network, even if not across the entire country.

In fact, I recall not to long ago on the perm owner's mailing list a conversation about connecting permanents to make a longer "tour" type excursion. Apparently, quite a few perm owners have been doing this to various extents already. I see one such string that follows the entire U.S. shore of Lake Superior from the MN/Canada border to Sault Saint Marie and up into Wawa, ON.

Since the rules for permanent owners suppose that in most cases the route owner live near enough to the route that he or she can monitor changing conditions and update as needed, any route across the entire country would probably mean several perm owners connecting to each other's routes.
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Old 03-01-15, 11:40 AM   #15
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Perm Across America -- I like it!

I Googled RR3's suggestion of the Pac Tour Elite ride, and that looks like the closest thing to what the OP envisions that's all set up and functioning: San Diego to Savanna. You gonna do it, lungimsam?
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Old 03-01-15, 12:39 PM   #16
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Internet maps are wonderful, but it's not surprising that there are some holes in the data. Turns out around here that there are some roads that don't really have names officially associated with them, so google doesn't know their names. Very annoying when you are trying to set up a route.

I think google is trying really hard to avoid the "bridge out" problem with their maps. Last year there was a bridge under construction on one of the Eastern PA rando events, and it was simply gone on the google map, even though it was temporarily under construction. Not sure how they would find that out, seems like a lot of work

Linking perms sounds like a lot of fun, but it seems like it requires a certain amount of flexibility from perm owners. I'm trying to make it easier to be responsive to riders last-minute requests, but it's not easy if they don't have a printer.
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Old 03-01-15, 02:24 PM   #17
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I like the idea of a "constrained" RAAM - where riders could keep together, at least to some degree - and still "prove" their superiority at the end of the "ride/race."

How many of you would like a supported trans-american crossing? Here's the idea - everyone gets to ride together and complete ten days of double-century rides. Everyone can stay at the same start at stop points for ten days - and be "neutrally supported.

If you complete the ten days of 200 mile rides - you can enter 1000km time trial after one day of rest - no support - no drafting......

I thought this something like this would be a whole lot cheaper and safer than RAAM - and for many riders just as satisfying - you end up with 2600 mile in two weeks or a little less -and most of the time you are safer....... and you you still get to prove how big your dong is by racing the time-trial ------ yippeeeeee - sort of an utlra-ULTRA PAC tour.......
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Old 03-01-15, 02:28 PM   #18
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America By Bicycle: Across America North Tour

this. but not cheap
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Old 03-01-15, 11:06 PM   #19
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By the way- having never ridden across the country- I have read a number of RAAM rider's complaints with traffic and all in certain areas- so if I was doing a non-RAAM ride across the country, I'd probably assume someone had a better route.

Isn't the Pac Tour Elite 15 days or something? Which is okay, but it could actually be a lot slower and still meet rando requirements for a perm that length.
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Old 03-02-15, 06:59 AM   #20
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The Trans Am Bike Race was mentioned briefly above, but no-one has mentioned it since. It really seems like the most similar thing to what everyone is talking about - A self-supported ride across the whole USA (Oregon to Virginia), with an established route. It uses one of the ACA routes, so I'm sure it is quieter than that which RAAM uses (plus less direct and longer). The first edition of the race was in 2014 and they've already announced the dates for 2015 and 2016 on their website. It's a race, but with no prize money, and monitoring is basically done by everyone carrying Spot trackers that anyone in the world can follow online.

The guys who made the Ride The Divide documentary about the Tour Divide MTB race a few years ago made a similar film about the Trans Am race in 2014, which will be released in April, see here.
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Old 03-02-15, 10:34 AM   #21
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I was initially a skeptic about the Trans Am Bike Race. I follow it on facebook now. I think it's a really neat way to cross the country, people were finishing long after the first person crossed the line. Not sure I would do it, but it's possible. RAAM is definitely too much for me.
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Old 03-02-15, 11:00 AM   #22
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Or you could follow Ewan and Charlie...
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Old 08-09-15, 02:05 PM   #23
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Hey y'all, Trans Am organizer here, accepting inquiries for 2016 now. 4400 miles of self supported road racing along the nation's premier touring route.

Trans Am Bike Race 2016
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Old 08-10-15, 11:38 AM   #24
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Seeing this thread pop up, I'll just give an update.
Several of us did do the ride from Sherman, Texas (north border of Texas, north of Dallas) to the Canadian border. We averaged about 150 miles per day, and this was all 1-way perms strung together. I skipped about 100 miles in Kansas, due to heat and related issues, so it was very fortunate that it was a series of perms and not one long perm. I think three of the perms were by route owners up north, the rest were put together by the ride organizer in Sherman. Plans are underway to do something similar next year.

Personally, about 200k a day would be right for me, the 150 miles a day just didn't leave enough time at the end of the day. On average, I think each day took about an hour longer than a similar ride back home, due to 1-way travel (and headwind), route finding issues, heat, photo stops, etc. And, if possible, just avoid larger cities altogether, that tended to be some of the problem areas.

If you try something like this, be prepared to see a thousand miles of corn, or whatever.

I was able to identify some other strung-together-perm routes as well, so it's been done before.
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