Thread: 2018 Randonnees
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Old 01-07-18, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post

Is it a rando "thing" to select complicated routes with an excess of directional changes or is it just a byproduct of my local rando routes being in urban areas?
As someone who has designed a couple of routes: because they're starting in urban areas, and because they have to avoid obvious shortcuts. Our local club (NER) has a lot of folks living in metro Boston who ride to the starts, and we like it that way. Do the routes tend to point themselves outwards as much as they can into more rural areas? Yes. But there's still a lot of road density, so to avoid shortcuts there might still be a lot of directions required.

Or the routes do things like follow a numbered route, but that numbered route has a lot of turns/local road name changes. A lot of the older NER cue sheets (which tended to use larger numbered roads more) have things like "follow route 62 for ten miles" alongside the cues for dozens of turns required to follow route 62 for ten miles. The newer routes tend to eschew the numbered routes for quieter roads most of the time, but that means even more turns, usually.

The longest route I've designed is our overnight 200k, which had the added complexity of needing to have controls that were open in the middle of the night, and wanting to not end it with people having to ride east into the sunrise, which meant going either north or south, not west like most of our routes (which gets you to rural riding faster). I did take it through one slightly more urban area than most people would (Lowell), but there's only a handful of bridges over the Merrimack River, and picking one of the ones that's in a quiet area would have substantially changed the shape of the route -- it was 2 miles of quickly zipping through a slightly ugly urban area at 10-11pm before the drunks are out in force vs having to give up the really nice 10 mile stretch with no turns on a rural numbered route just north of Lowell.
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