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Managing cue sheets in pouring rain

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Old 06-13-18, 07:10 AM
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Hypno Toad
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Managing cue sheets in pouring rain

I'm gearing up for DAMn - this ride does not offer GPS route info, only cue sheets ... and you'll only get 1/3 of the course at the start and must make the check-point by the cut-off time to get the next set of cue sheets. I need advice on the best options for holding, and managing, cue sheets successfully in bad conditions (rain, wind, ... )

My biggest issue has been managing my cue sheets, especially in rain. Last Saturday's Westside Dirty Benjamin was going to be my opportunity to work with cue sheets only, expect the downpour trashed my cue sheet in the first 25 miles. I've used the Banjo Bros cue sheet holder, but it's not water proof and it's very hard to manage sheets while riding (too easy to lose them):



Just for reference (& dumb fun), this is an edit from my GoPro of the first rain front we rode through:


Edit - If you watch the YouTube clip to the end, Dan comes along my right. He rode with us most of the day and his handlebar bag had a nice waterproof map holder... his cue sheets were dry at the finish line. I only met Dan on the ride and didn't think to ask which bag he was using.

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Old 06-13-18, 07:37 AM
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I put mine in a Ziploc bag ... or two.

And then they go into my map case. My map case isn't waterproof but will keep a light drizzle off. Combined with the Ziploc bag, it works all right.

I'll keep pages I'm not using in another Ziploc bag in my handlebar bag.
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Old 06-13-18, 08:17 AM
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Like Machka I put the cue sheet in a ziploc bag and put that in the map case. Good ziploc bags are essential. I try to format my cue sheets so each page ends at a controle, so I can reshuffle them indoors, but that's not always easy (or even possible; in your case it probably won't be possible). Next time I will put pages in separate bags, so I can reshuffle them with wet hands without getting the paper wet.
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Old 06-13-18, 08:19 AM
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So long as you have the cue sheets in advance....take them to a document printing shop, and laminate them. They'll last forever through just about anything. Anything you get on them will just wipe off, and water cannot harm them, even in your jersey pockets. No need for zip lock bags that get puctured or holders that aren't-as-waterproof-as-you-thought

If you want I think I still have my cue cards I laminated for Gravel Worlds last year to give you ideas, and can take some pics.
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Old 06-13-18, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
So long as you have the cue sheets in advance....take them to a document printing shop, and laminate them.
If that's not available you can do it yourself with transparent tape on both sides.
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Old 06-13-18, 08:39 AM
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Does the ride use a fixed course, or a variable course? Could you download 2017 course data (strava rides)?

I'd probably laminate or vacuum bag them if I could get the cue sheets early. Or even build my own Strava route.

Getting them late, a couple of zip lock bags would probably do the trick.

If the sheets are single sided, you could probably put them in the bags by pairs, back to back.
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Old 06-13-18, 08:39 AM
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We have a laminator at home for races with advance cue sheets, and that does work great! IME packing tape is OK, but in a downpour, water still penetrates. For DAMn, I think @rhm and @Machka have the right option, good zip-locks. I really like the idea of two sheets per baggie, sheets placed back to back. That would allow me to change sheets without getting them out in the rain.
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Old 06-13-18, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
I'm gearing up for DAMn - this ride does not offer GPS route info, only cue sheets ... and you'll only get 1/3 of the course at the start and must make the check-point by the cut-off time to get the next set of cue sheets. I need advice on the best options for holding, and managing, cue sheets successfully in bad conditions (rain, wind, ... )

My biggest issue has been managing my cue sheets, especially in rain. Last Saturday's Westside Dirty Benjamin was going to be my opportunity to work with cue sheets only, expect the downpour trashed my cue sheet in the first 25 miles. I've used the Banjo Bros cue sheet holder, but it's not water proof and it's very hard to manage sheets while riding (too easy to lose them):



Just for reference (& dumb fun), this is an edit from my GoPro of the first rain front we rode through:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdKTlF2X08g

Edit - If you watch the YouTube clip to the end, Dan comes along my right. He rode with us most of the day and his handlebar bag had a nice waterproof map holder... his cue sheets were dry at the finish line. I only met Dan on the ride and didn't think to ask which bag he was using.
I always struggled with this before I fully embraced (aka finally coughed up the money for) GPS... and that's not an option on this ride.

I have a JANDD map/cue sheet holder that is basically a heavier-duty ziploc bag plus velcro straps to go on your handlebars, otherwise, like others have said, double ziploc bag plus figure out some way to attach it to the handlebars. Those heavy duty office document binder clip thingies worked OK for me but attaching to the handlebars so they don't rattle was tricky.

The other thing I struggled with was, because of my particular geometry, was hitting them with my legs when I would stand out of the saddle. Also, making room for the cue sheet holder AND my computer AND my headlight was always a problem.

It got a little easier when I put aero bars on my gravel bike -- plenty of room to attach stuff too that's out of the way then.

These days I'm pretty lukewarm to events that refuse to release GPS information out of some sort of retrogrouch sensibility. I think a ride should be challenging on its own merits and that organizers don't need to throw extra obstacles in just for their own warped sense of "that's just the spirit of the ride, man. You just don't get it!" *coughTransIowacough*

That's not to say I'm unable or unwilling to navigate by paper -- I did it for years and my boy scouts and army navigation training have served me well. I just think it's pointless in this day and age of reliable, affordable GPS devices.
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Old 06-13-18, 01:03 PM
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You should ask the organizer to print the cuesheets on waterproof paper (e.g. "Rite in the Rain" brand). I used to laminate 1200K route sheets before I discovered waterproof paper.
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Old 06-13-18, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
These days I'm pretty lukewarm to events that refuse to release GPS information out of some sort of retrogrouch sensibility. I think a ride should be challenging on its own merits and that organizers don't need to throw extra obstacles in just for their own warped sense of "that's just the spirit of the ride, man. You just don't get it!" *coughTransIowacough*
That is kind of what I was thinking when I first read this.

I did ride in a DRT (Disaster Relief Trials) cargo bike race that used checkpoints and an open route, so one might argue that it is little different than what one might expect in a real-life scenario when electronics may not be working.

They even added an extra checkpoint mid-ride that wasn't on the map/instructions given at the start.

But, for most of my riding, I've given up on the cue sheet idea, other than notes I might make for myself when doing Craigslist purchases (usually not doing mapped route planning).
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Old 06-13-18, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
These days I'm pretty lukewarm to events that refuse to release GPS information out of some sort of retrogrouch sensibility. I think a ride should be challenging on its own merits and that organizers don't need to throw extra obstacles in just for their own warped sense of "that's just the spirit of the ride, man. You just don't get it!" *coughTransIowacough*
I checked out the website linked by the OP and the whole "if you don't make the CP in time, sucks to be you and guess what CPs are in the middle of nowhere bwahaha" attitude simply put me off.

But on topic, yeah like others said I'd use some kind of ziploc bag. It's like the universal go-to solution for everything waterproof: phones, tools, cue sheets, etc.
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Old 06-13-18, 08:28 PM
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the cue sheet thing is a bit stupid, to be honest. But other than the horrible website and yellow logo behind all the text, it seems reasonable.
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Old 06-15-18, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
I'm gearing up for DAMn - this ride does not offer GPS route info, only cue sheets ... and you'll only get 1/3 of the course at the start and must make the check-point by the cut-off time to get the next set of cue sheets. I need advice on the best options for holding, and managing, cue sheets successfully in bad conditions (rain, wind, ... )

My biggest issue has been managing my cue sheets, especially in rain. Last Saturday's Westside Dirty Benjamin was going to be my opportunity to work with cue sheets only, expect the downpour trashed my cue sheet in the first 25 miles. I've used the Banjo Bros cue sheet holder, but it's not water proof and it's very hard to manage sheets while riding (too easy to lose them):


Also, personally I'd edit that cue sheet and get rid of that column of symbols ... replace it with words. I couldn't cope with a cue sheet that looked like that.
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Old 06-15-18, 06:58 AM
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I think that is from the manufacturer of that cue sheet holder

Not being able to reformat the cue sheet would drive me nuts. I wonder what percentage of the field just gets lost, because I have seen randonneurs trying to follow a cue sheet and probably 10 percent of them just cant' do it. Seems to particularly affect fast guys.
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Old 06-15-18, 11:30 AM
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Different kinds of cycling (commuting, racing, touring, Randonneuring, not to mention riding at night, riding in the rain, &c) all involve different skills, some of which can be rather specialized and not obvious to the uninitiated. In this case, the ability to read a cue sheet will likely be combined with the need to have a cycle computer (or GPS) that accurately measures the distance between cues, a good way to see the cue sheet at night, &c. Successfully navigating the course will be part of the challenge.

The rules seem silly, but it's a game, it has silly rules. Aren't all games like that? Either you play by the rules, or you don't play.
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Old 06-16-18, 03:50 AM
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The enduro motorcycle guys have been using a scrolling cue sheet forever.

eg:
Enduro Engineering Route Sheet Holders

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Old 06-16-18, 06:43 AM
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I hope the OP comes back and posts a picture of the cue sheets the organizer provides. I'm not going to be surprised if they are horribly inadequate. OTOH, I imagine that the roads there are somewhat easier to navigate than in a lot of places.
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Old 06-16-18, 07:02 AM
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I used to ride enduros and other dual sport events so I have a rolling cue sheet holder and actually created a roll chart for my first brevet. It took a long time because the cue sheet was published as a pdf so I had to copy/paste everything into a spreadsheet, reformat it, print it out, cut into straps, tape it together and load the roll. When I got to the event the RBA had made a few changes to the route and had new cue sheets so I had to use that anyway. Never really considered using the roll chart again, especially after I got a gps. I haven't ridden an enduro since gps became ubiquitous so the enduro guys may still use roll charts, but I have ridden a few dual sport events and most of those guys are using gps.

The roll charts also don't solve the OPs problem since they aren't really waterproof and can't be loaded on the fly. Zioloc bag and a CueClip sounds like the best bet to me.
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Old 06-16-18, 11:36 PM
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At PBP 2011 and 2015 they handed out road-book holders - a kind of transparent sleeve, designed to be waterproof, with a lanyard for wearing around the neck. With a bit of folding and/or cutting, cue sheets can be made to fit. I find them perfect for brevets. I usually have it inside my outermost layer. Day or night, on the move or stopped, it's always within reach. I'd guess it's about 4" x 6".
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Old 06-19-18, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I hope the OP comes back and posts a picture of the cue sheets the organizer provides. I'm not going to be surprised if they are horribly inadequate. OTOH, I imagine that the roads there are somewhat easier to navigate than in a lot of places.
Trenton uses the same format as the Almanzo 100 cues sheets (like in the Banjo Bros pic in the OP). Every local gravel grinder I've ridden in the last 5 years uses the same format, it works well. Except in the rain.

Most of this course is extremely rural, very few turns, and few cross streets.
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Old 06-21-18, 03:07 PM
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I think I'd like the larger map holder (vs smaller cue sheet holder), allowing more sheets visible at once. I'm really bad at shuffling sheets while riding.

Anybody have cheers or jeers about the Ortlieb map case on an Ultimate6 Small Classic?

https://ortliebusa.com/product/ultimate6-s-classic/

https://www.ortlieb.com/en/Ultimate6%20Map%20Case/
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Old 06-21-18, 10:08 PM
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it's probably okay, depending on the format of the cue sheet. The only experience I have had with those bags was riding with someone that had the klickfix holders slip. He had the large bag, and we were riding for 24 hours in early spring, so it was heavily loaded. Probably be okay if you don't put water bottles in your handlebar bag.
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Old 06-22-18, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
Probably be okay if you don't put water bottles in your handlebar bag.
Kinda funny, I don't expect to put much in the handlebar bag, I just want a large and stable place for the cue sheets. I expect I'll load food in the bag, and layers (ie rain jacket). I'll ride with a CamelBak for hydration (plus 3 or more bottles mounted to the bike).
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Old 06-22-18, 08:49 AM
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If all you want is a map case holder, I made one out of a clothes hanger once that wasn't terrible.I bent the hanger around the stem to hang as an open platform between the hoods and attached the map case to that
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Old 06-22-18, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
If all you want is a map case holder, I made one out of a clothes hanger once that wasn't terrible.I bent the hanger around the stem to hang as an open platform between the hoods and attached the map case to that
You posted pics of that design, right? Nicely done!

Since my last post, I'm getting into the idea of a handlebar bag. I've used a top tube bag for past rides, it's kinda small for 100 miles of food & stuff and I don't like scrapping my thighs on it when out of the saddle. That small Ortleib bag would give me a lot more space and get rid of the top tube bag. Plus lots of space for cue sheets and phone under the map holder.

Lastly, we just down-sized our house to free up $$$ for fun stuff (meaning bike stuff ), so the bag's price isn't a big issue.
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