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Route development - seeking advice/info as I have a head full of "random" questions

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Route development - seeking advice/info as I have a head full of "random" questions

Old 01-19-12, 01:08 AM
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Route development - seeking advice/info as I have a head full of "random" questions

First, in case the local RBA is reading this... there ARE permanent and populaire routes already developed in my area. It's not like I'm trying to "fill a hole." However, taken as a whole, they do not provide enough riding/scenic variety for me. For example, a pop, perm and brevet all use the same first 30 miles. The perm and brevet cover the next 17 or so and then the brevet continues on to the turn-around point on the out-n-back route. It is EASY to become delirious from boredom riding and re-riding the first and last 30 miles of these routes, particularly since they are flat.

Part of the lack of variety is definitely due to the area's natural/physical geography; part is a lack of "suitable" (low-traffic, shouldered) roads in the area; part of it is having to ride through 10 miles of urban crud to get to the other side of town. Otoh, roads are roads and they go where they go.

So, I'm playing with MapMyRide and RideWithGPS looking at developing some routes to submit as populaires and permanents. I've read the "relevant" RUSA pages and understand their generic and specific documentation requirements.

However, I still have the following questions for those who might have done this before.
In no particular order....
1. Fees? Why are fees charged for some pops and perms and not others? Even by the same route owner... Note: a little searching of the RUSA perm database shows fees from $0 to $25! I must be overlooking something if someone can justify a $25 fee to ride a permanent!
2a. Assume that there are a truly limited number of low-traffic roads between points A and B (as in 1) and there is a 15-20 mile, 2-lane road with a 50-55mph speed limit and a small-to-none ****ty shoulder, do you just give up on developing a route between those two points or "assume" the riders will just have to "suck it up and deal with it"?
2b. I personally would rather start off riding 10-15 miles on a 4-lane divided highway with reasonable shoulders to get to the rest of a route with low-traffic roads instead of doing 25 miles to get there. Would suggesting that distance under those conditions as part of the route be likely to get it disapproved? I mean, no one forces anyone else to ride a particular permanent route. Why wouldn't they approve it? (Specific example, use Google Maps and look at US 61 between New Orleans and LaPlace, Louisiana, or LaPlace and the next 20 or so miles westward.)
3. Any restrictions, guidance, considerations I should know about with respect to crossing US-state lines? Ex., should I contact the neighboring state RBA before submitting a multi-state route or just leave that to the RUSA Permanent Coordinator?
4. For what reasons might an RBA respond to the RUSA Permanent Coordinator negatively when consulted about a submitted route? Anyone heard of an RBA actually having enough pull/strong enough feelings to successfully squash a proposed route because it didn't fit his/her ride preferences?
5. Is there a minimum usage to keep a perm route on the books? That is, does it have to be ridden X many times by Y number of people over a certain period of time or it gets "wiped"? Or, are there "certified" routes owned and ridden by a single person throughout their RUSA-member lifetime?
6. Would it be just plain silly to develop/submit a free-route, reversible, point-to-point perm from where I live to where I see out-of-my-area brevets are being held such that I could accumulate RUSA milage by riding to those? I mean, in a way, it's just paperwork outside of the actual riding.
7. I know that some routes are "non-reversible" in terms of direction. However, assuming a permanent route has already been certified, could someone else submit "that same route" for approval just "relabeling" the start/finish points - like starting/ending at Point B instead of A on a rectangular route - so that person could ride the route from his home town rather than having to drive 30 miles to the start? Would that be likely to be approved?
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Old 01-19-12, 03:15 AM
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1. Fees ... no idea how the US randonneuring system works.

2a. What's the traffic density like on that road, during the time of day you want to ride there? There is a particular 2-lane, 100 km/h road near here that was included on the 300K we rode recently. When I saw that road, I was a bit concerned about the traffic density because every time we've been on it during the day, it's been a bit busy. We ended up riding it quite late in the evening, and we were pretty much the only people out there.

2b. I don't understand this question. 10-15 miles on a 4-lane divided highway with reasonable shoulders sounds good.

2c. Whatever you choose in the way of roads, you've got to make sure that there are no shortcuts. In other words, the route should be the shortest option between one control and the other.

7. I've encountered the option to start a randonnee at different locations several times. All the person (me in one case) had to do is to contact the ride organiser to get an OK.
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Old 01-19-12, 06:07 AM
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drmweaver2 has some good questions as i was reading over the RUSA material as well. Being new to Rando and permanent /popular me to find out that is am not fast enough yet to worry much about it. I average 9.8 miles over 90 miles last weekend but that is riding time it took me 12 hours to do that. that will not get me finished in time for these events.
So i have gotten a tent . The plan is to ride 45 miles to a campground on a Friday, set up, Ride 60 to 100 miles on a Saturday and return home on Sunday. there will be hills and i will be able to time myself offer the course and compete against the clock. I will be able ride the loop either direction. Not many places to bail and cut millage. Work on burning calories to loose weight enjoy the scenery and practice skills needed to go faster.
Hopefully i will be able to do that once a month for the rest of the year then reassess my fitness and speed.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/488132
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Old 01-19-12, 06:45 AM
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Jamesw2 ... riding a Century-A-Month is a good way to develop endurance and long distance fitness. If you opt to do that, be sure to tell us about your centuries in the Century-A-Month challenge thread.

And don't forget to do shorter, faster rides during the week.

Did it take you 12 hours to ride 90 miles because you had lots of stops, or because the weather or terrain was particularly challenging?


Yes ... you need to maintain a minimum speed of 15 km/h, including all breaks, on the 200K to 600K events. Once you get to the 1000K and 1200K, the minimum speed changes. It can be more challenging that it sounds to maintain that minimum sometimes. And not only do you have to finish the events within the time limits, but you also have to arrive at the controls along the way in time. So if you have an easier segment, and arrive at a control early, you can't sit back and relax too much because the next segment might be a difficult one and you may need all the extra time you built up.

(sorry for the thread hijack, drmweaver2)
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Old 01-19-12, 08:16 AM
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drmweaver2,

I've developed a number of permanents and gone through the approval process with 2 different permanents coordinators. Here are a few thoughts:

1. Read this https://ohiorand.org/permanents/Guide...t%20design.pdf, which I wrote years ago on How to Make a Permanent (I designed the first two permanents in Ohio; there are now more than 20!). I think it's still good advice and addresses most (but not all) of your questions.

2. Entry Fees. I charge $5. Why? I don't need the money. I just hate DNSs. I figure someone is more willing to start a ride and commit if they have even minimal skin in the game. Over the years I've had some DNFs, naturally, but I've never had someone just not ride when they said they would, which is nice. I don't want my time wasted. Another consideration: If I had developed an especially popular permanent, I would certainly charge -- postage alone would add up to hundred dollars or more a year on some of the permanents that are out there!

3. Road preferences. The good thing about a permanent is that you can make it whatever you want. You're the route designer. If you really want to go There and there's only a 4-lane highway with a lousy shoulder, then that's fine. Do it. RUSA isn't going to not approve a permanent for that reason, so long as the road you're talking about is legally cycleable. Pick the places you want to go and the roads you want to ride. Put it togehter. Submit it.

4. That said.... Manage your riders' expectations. I have a "Rider Notes" sheet for each of my perms that details that ride's characteristics and lets folks know what they're getting into. This is escpeically necessary if you might get riders who are not local. I think everyone is happiest if they know what to expect. The biggies are road conditions, traffic, and availability of on-route stores. Wildlife warnings, too, are something to consider. You'd never warn about loose dogs in the Ohio Valley -- they're everywhere -- but here in Southwest Florida, they're rare and riders don't expect them or know how to deal with them. Think about who is riding your ride and then make sure they're prepared with enough information that's going to give them a good time and minimize the liklihood that you'll get complaints.

5. Build it, and they will come. You'll be surprised. On the other hand, there are a lot of perms that rarely get ridden by anyone and that's fine, too. RUSA doesn't discontinue or cancel perms for lack of ridership.

6. Consult your RBA(s). This is the best advice I can give you. When you're done with your route and you think it's perfect and ready to submit, send it to your RBA. If your route passes through the "territory" of more than one RBA, send it to each one of them. In a state like Florida with 2 RBAs, I send my stuff to both of them, even if the route is "closer" to one guy's terrain than the other's. Ask for their feedback on the route. Incorporate it, or resolve questions and issues with them. THEN, after you and the RBAs are satisfied with the route, submit it to RUSA. You'll fly through the approval process very quickly this way. The perm coordinator will reach out to the RBAs for their input and they're going to quickly say that the route is fine. If the perm coordinator has some question about the route, the RBAs will likely be your advocate for why the issue is a nonissue and your route will get through the process unscathed.

7. A few words on shortcuts. Don't junk up a route with lots of controls just to avoid a cut-off. Worse, don't avoid epic roads or scenery because there's just no way to get there without having controls every whatever-too-close miles apart. Here's a secret that may get me ex-communicated by the RUSA Gods: don't worry about cut-offs and shortcuts to the point of compromising the flow and integrity of a route. This is a total judgment call, and its why in designing a route that it's critical that you're familiar, on a bike, with the roads and the geographic area that a route passes through.

Some of my routes have cut offs. And they were approved, nevertheless. Here's how you deal with it. A "short cut" might not be "short" at all if it's especially unpleasant or the road is bad. Conditions (traffic; stop lights; lack of pavement; going through an obvously dangerous neighborhood) are everything. If you've got an intelligent, thoughtful reason for why you used certain roads and avoided others that might be some minimal distance shorter, then you're probably going to be ok. I've had repeated luck with "no reasonable randonneur would ever ride Busy Highway instead of Beautiful Farm Road, which is only 0.5 miles further away." This is why it's key to get with your RBA on this stuff first, before going to RUSA. If they agree with your judgment about road selection and control placement, then it's my experience that you'll be ok with RUSA, too.

8. Good luck!
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Old 01-19-12, 11:27 AM
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Thanks for the responses so far.

Octopus, any chance you could send me a link to, or a copy of, your cue sheet(s) for one/a couple of your routes with "significant" rider's notes (#4 above) or which are "illustrations" of areas similar to what you describe in #7? There's nothing like concrete examples to make things stick in my mind. :grin

I've downloaded a number of random cue sheets from around the country just to get an idea of how various people do them compared to the local sheets used around here. But being able to ask specific questions of the various cue sheet authors about how/why there might be differences in terms of style/detail/etc. has been a hit-n-miss proposition thus far (unanswered emails, for ex.).
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Old 01-19-12, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by drmweaver2
Octopus, any chance you could send me a link to, or a copy of, your cue sheet(s) for one/a couple of your routes with "significant" rider's notes (#4 above) or which are "illustrations" of areas similar to what you describe in #7? There's nothing like concrete examples to make things stick in my mind. :grin
PM me your email address and I'll send you some samples this evening.
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Old 01-19-12, 12:13 PM
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Lots of good advice in Octopus' post (and in the PDF he linked to).

I would add that safety is an important consideration in route approval, so if a route can go either on a cruddy road with poor shoulders and high speed traffic, or can go on more-pleasant country roads but it is a little longer, then with a "safety argument" you can reasonably justify getting credit for the extra length.

I'm a permanent owner and I have also ridden on many of the permanent coordinator's permanents and she has ridden on some of mine (most recently, last Saturday on a populaire).

Some of her perms go on high-speed four-lane highways, but these have really wide shoulders. So they're unpleasant as far as I am concerned but do not make me worry about safety. The perm that we rode on Saturday used to go on a somewhat-unpleasant (but not particularly dangerous) road with a fair amount of 45 to 50 mph traffic that made you have to pay constant attention to traffic instead of the scenery. But then a rider pointed out to me a combination of roads that adds about a mile and is much more pleasant (typically you see about four cars in five miles). Crista approved the route change. I don't think I bothered to change the official mileage but she'd have let me do it.

I agree that it's important to make sure that riders know what to expect. But I think that there are also legal roads that no responsible permanent owner should put riders on. If you have to tell someone that they can ride your permanent, but they'd better check that their life insurance is paid up, then maybe the perm is not really suitable. I think it is better to strongly bias in the direction of being as safe as is reasonably possible and then justify that route. Maybe the way to think about it is: "Would I want the permanent's coordinator to come ride my route, and if they did, would I expect that they would think I have designed it to be as safe and as beautiful a route as I possibly could." Routes should showcase your region.

Information controls are often an option to help control a route without breaking the flow very much. Sometimes information controls are also a good way to get riders to stop for a minute to learn about something local that makes the route special, e.g. historical markers in a civil war battlefield.

My permanents are all listed as $7 but I typically only charge $5 to DC Randonneurs. The ride fee does help to cover the cost of developing the route (which can involve a couple of drives to the ride start plus possibly driving the route in addition to riding it), plus I think it increases committment and makes people take the ride more seriously. Different areas of the country have different approaches to this, I think that the Seattle perms are all free and so are many in Texas according to Dan Driscoll.

For paperwork, the way that seems to work well is for me to email the registration form and waiver, then for riders to print, sign, scan, and email me back a PDF of the waiver and registration form. I print this for my records. Once I have that, I email a GPS file and cue sheet and brevet card for riders to print out. During the ride, they need to get receipts at each control and get a clerk to write in the time and put in their initials. While the receipt is the more important of these, if someone shows up at the end with a missing receipt but their control card is otherwise filled out properly then it's easier to give them the benefit of the doubt. Riders are supposed to call me at the end so I know they finished OK. Riders then snail mail me the card+receipts+ride fee, and assuming that the ride qualified then I submit the results and let them know. Because the initial paperwork is all by email, it's easy to handle a rider signing up "at the last minute", assuming I have the free time to handle it.

Nick
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Old 01-19-12, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by drmweaver2
Thanks for the responses so far.

Octopus, any chance you could send me a link to, or a copy of, your cue sheet(s) for one/a couple of your routes with "significant" rider's notes (#4 above) or which are "illustrations" of areas similar to what you describe in #7? There's nothing like concrete examples to make things stick in my mind. :grin

I've downloaded a number of random cue sheets from around the country just to get an idea of how various people do them compared to the local sheets used around here. But being able to ask specific questions of the various cue sheet authors about how/why there might be differences in terms of style/detail/etc. has been a hit-n-miss proposition thus far (unanswered emails, for ex.).
I would strongly recommend that you read the permanent coordinator's guide to cue sheets, published in the American Randonneur, see https://www.rusa.org/newsletter/11-04-11.html

Of course, you can follow whatever format you want. But Crista's format is very well worked out and well respected. So human pyschology being what it is, if you send her a cue sheet in a format that is reasonably close to her own, then it will be easier for her to feel like the route has been carefully worked out and thought through. There are a ton of examples of "Crista style" cue sheets on the DC Randonneurs website.
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Old 01-19-12, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by thebulls
I would strongly recommend that you read the permanent coordinator's guide to cue sheets, published in the American Randonneur, see https://www.rusa.org/newsletter/11-04-11.html
Thanks. Already found and read that. I figure there's no "perfect" format/cue sheet, period. So, I may take X features from one, Y feature from another, include something that I particualrly liked from a third, and so on. It's the individual nuances that I am looking for at this point - the general idea and format is easily comprehended.
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Old 01-19-12, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by thebulls
...safety is an important consideration in route approval, so if a route can go either on a cruddy road with poor shoulders and high speed traffic, or can go on more-pleasant country roads but it is a little longer, then with a "safety argument" you can reasonably justify getting credit for the extra length...Some of her perms go on high-speed four-lane highways, but these have really wide shoulders. So they're unpleasant as far as I am concerned but do not make me worry about safety. The perm that we rode on Saturday used to go on a somewhat-unpleasant (but not particularly dangerous) road with a fair amount of 45 to 50 mph traffic that made you have to pay constant attention to traffic instead of the scenery. But then a rider pointed out to me a combination of roads that adds about a mile and is much more pleasant...

Maybe the way to think about it is: "Would I want the permanent's coordinator to come ride my route, and if they did, would I expect that they would think I have designed it to be as safe and as beautiful a route as I possibly could." Routes should showcase your region.

Different areas of the country have different approaches to this, I think that the Seattle perms are all free and so are many in Texas according to Dan Driscoll.

For paperwork... Riders then snail mail me the card+receipts+ride fee, and assuming that the ride qualified then I submit the results and let them know. Because the initial paperwork is all by email, it's easy to handle a rider signing up "at the last minute", assuming I have the free time to handle it.
I appreciate your perspective and experience. Definite food for thought though the "showcase your region" perspective isn't the reason I'm considering submitting any routes.

Right now, I'm mostly looking to "document" of some of my longer routes for others to use/not use as they choose as opposed to "showcasing" anything for anyone else. I'm not a tour guide! Lol. Part of it has to do with the fact that I ride out the door rather than drive to the starts. Also, as I said earlier, local geography and raod grid is a major consideration - to avoid riding the same 31 miles over and over, **I** don't have a problem riding on a 4-lane highway to get to those "quieter, lower traffic" roads which, in turn, actually lead me to the longer rides I want to do. (I could get to the same "okay, we're finally at the real start" place by riding an additional 20 miles on quiet, low-traffic roads, but that's not very realistic to me when the goal is ~100+ miles with 70-90 miles AFTER the "real starting point".) Others might have concerns, but I feel as safe on the roads I want to include as on most others.

I hadn't thought about the postage & printing costs. Route development costs? Would never have considered fees as "compensation for that".

Anyway, thanks again.

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Old 01-19-12, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by drmweaver2
I appreciate your perspective and experience. Definite food for thought though the "showcase your region" perspective isn't the reason I'm considering submitting any routes.
Right now, I'm mostly looking to "documentat" of some of my longer routes for others to use/not use as they choose as opposed to "showcasing" anything for anyone else. I'm not a tour guide!
Unless you are feeling especially charitable and want to get more involved with your local rando club, I'd just leave them as rides publicly available on ridewGPS, etc. They are useful to a wide range of riders and route developers. Local commuting advocates might be interested in your cues as well. Email the route to your rando club so they can forward it to any interested developer.

A permanent is much more than just a route. It's more like a ride that you are leading, but in abstentia.

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Old 01-19-12, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by greaterbrown
Unless you are feeling especially charitable and want to get more involved with your local rando club....A permanent is much more than just a route. It's more like a ride that you are leading, but in abstentia.
Never heard of that perspective - more than just a route - about permanents/populaires. Leading a ride can mean anything from simply being first in a ride group to being a tour guide. I'm definitely no tour guide. But, I can navigate with a map.

And you seem to be making a fairly large assumption wrt involvement with the local randos, or lack thereof. I've ridden 2 perms and a brevet this month and am doing 3 more in the next four days in addition to any route development rides. My proposed routes will be available for others' purposes as a means of "giving back", RUSA-related or not, even while my primary purpose may be to document my own riding for various purposes.
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Old 01-19-12, 06:17 PM
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When I first started riding here in Texas, I asked about the fee, and was told that generally, if you weren't a pain in the hiney, they didn't charge the fee even if it was shown on the schedule. And so far I've never had to pay for a perm, so I must not have been a pain in the hiney.

I don't know how different regions do it, but here, the RBA gets all the brevet cards back, and hands them out at rides (or you look through the box and grab yours)- but there's not necessarily a lot of postage going on. On the first few perms I did, where I knew I wouldn't be seeing the other riders for a while, I included an SASE when I sent it in.

On the routes- check with the RBA first. I say this for a couple of reasons. One is that there may be routes in existence that have been allowed to lapse, and reactivating one would probably be simpler than creating a new one. Also, see what the need is. I think around here, we have about 50 perms and ride about 10 of them, so there's 40 that don't get much traffic, and therefore, not a lot of reason to create more- unless, that is, I want one from my doorstep, which can be done to some extent. (I am told that prior to my being a RUSA member, you were only allowed to get credit for a perm once a year, so that motivated lots of perms for the folks that rode every weekend.)
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Old 01-19-12, 07:56 PM
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there are a lot of places that don't have perms. Would be nice if someone around here would make one up because I never seem to be able to get off my butt and do it.

My understanding is that the RBA in the area is consulted by the permanents coordinator, so it makes sense to do it yourself.
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Old 01-19-12, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
Jamesw2 ... riding a Century-A-Month is a good way to develop endurance and long distance fitness. If you opt to do that, be sure to tell us about your centuries in the Century-A-Month challenge thread.

And don't forget to do shorter, faster rides during the week.

Did it take you 12 hours to ride 90 miles because you had lots of stops, or because the weather or terrain was particularly challenging?


Yes ... you need to maintain a minimum speed of 15 km/h, including all breaks, on the 200K to 600K events. Once you get to the 1000K and 1200K, the minimum speed changes. It can be more challenging that it sounds to maintain that minimum sometimes. And not only do you have to finish the events within the time limits, but you also have to arrive at the controls along the way in time. So if you have an easier segment, and arrive at a control early, you can't sit back and relax too much because the next segment might be a difficult one and you may need all the extra time you built up.

(sorry for the thread hijack, drmweaver2)
I had done 100 miles previously in 12 1/2 hours. I have panniers now with fowl weather gear extra fluids . Anywho the bike went from 30 lbs to 42 lbs now my tent will go into the Camelbak with a sleeping bag tied on. another 8 lbs ? I am riding 64 cm steel frame now with 32mm tires.

This ride was 9.8 mph while riding I stopped several times once near a LEO. A pickup with a lift kit buzzed me and i wanted to check my camera to see if it caught it . no luck. Even the LEO missed it! I was within 1/4 mile of the LEO when I was buzzed. I had second lunch and the LEO eventually moved on. I had wind and it was 33 degrees when i started.
I have a local 25 mile loop i like to do I can get the miles and still only be 5 miles from home

Going from wanting to do "Just one 100 mile ride" to doing one a month that is a real step up. Right now i don't see any reason why i can at least approximate that feet

So I will be reading the links along with drmweaver2.

Thanks drmweaver2
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Old 01-19-12, 08:55 PM
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What is an LEO?

Anyway, I just doodled on Bike with GPS a doozy of a populaire, over the river, through the woods and way the hell out in da boonies. I'm pretty sure I can't ride it yet, but if I'm awash with time I might drive it and check it out. If it works I'll think about submitting it for sanctification.
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Old 01-20-12, 06:18 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by The Octopus

7. A few words on shortcuts. Don't junk up a route with lots of controls just to avoid a cut-off. Worse, don't avoid epic roads or scenery because there's just no way to get there without having controls every whatever-too-close miles apart. Here's a secret that may get me ex-communicated by the RUSA Gods: don't worry about cut-offs and shortcuts to the point of compromising the flow and integrity of a route. This is a total judgment call, and its why in designing a route that it's critical that you're familiar, on a bike, with the roads and the geographic area that a route passes through.
This is great advice. There's a perm around us that would be great except that is has ten(!) controls! No thanks. Too much trouble. The route owner said that he had to be sure no one would take a shortcut. Well, ok, but I don't personally know anybody in RUSA who would 'cheat' on a ride. What would that accomplish? They'd just be cheating themselves.
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Old 01-20-12, 09:28 PM
  #19  
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nothing worse than too many controles. If I'm stopping less than 20 miles since the last time I stopped, I'm not happy. Most of the routes I'm considering don't have enough places to stop.
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Old 01-21-12, 05:49 AM
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The routes I am considering seem to have few problems with finding/establishing reasonable and "logical" controls - whether speaking of location, number or type - due to local geography. Ex., a ride around a lake or out-and-back upndown a river means shortcut prevention is pretty much taken care of. As someone pointed out to me privately, information controls can be used to take care of 24/7 accessability if convenience stores aren't open 24/7 as is the case in a couple places.

I do still have one specific question on one route though. There's a raised "bridge" over a floodable area that many riders used to consider "unsafe" or scary due to narrow lanes and no shoulder, so there's no "bailout" on that 1.5 mile bridge. Otoh, there is a road in the floodable area that parallels the bridge and cyclists and others often use it when not flooded. Could both "routes" over this section/distance be officially okayed for use at the rider's discretion - and this be noted/taken care of with a rider's note on the cue sheet? The shortest creditable distance would be using the bridge and that would be the "primary route" is what I'm thinking. (The longer, "safer" alternative would only add about 1/4 mile but might not always be rideable - ex., when flooded. I realize I won't get an official answer here, but I'm wondering if anyone here has run across anything similar elsewhere.
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Old 01-21-12, 06:47 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Dudelsack
What is an LEO?

Anyway, I just doodled on Bike with GPS a doozy of a populaire, over the river, through the woods and way the hell out in da boonies. I'm pretty sure I can't ride it yet, but if I'm awash with time I might drive it and check it out. If it works I'll think about submitting it for sanctification.
Me, too -- what is "LEO"?

Also,

RIDE the route on your bike. Before you decide that you "love it".
In the car is not the same.

How to create a route that no one, including the organizer, likes:
Fail to test-ride it.

You should at least test ride it in sections.
--------------------------------------------
If you are having to ask others "what do you think of this road?" ... that is probably not a road you really want to be on.
--------------------------------------------
If a section of road floods ... and the work-around is dangerous ... just don't do the route when it is flooded.
--------------------------------------------
And if you are so concerned about a road that you've referred to it as dangerous, or words to that effect, and you put that road on your route, and something happens ...
the waiver is a legal defense against normal negligence ... the waiver is not a legal defense against gross negligence.

What is gross negligence? As one of my insurance professors put it: "gross negligence is negligence that was so obvious, so bad, that it was 'gross'."
----------------------------------------------

Also, my impression is that neither drmweaver nor doodle have been RUSA members ... at all ... for very long?

I would suggest you do a few RUSA rides before trying to create a route(s).
You'll likely learn a few things that will help you think through your route(s).
One thing might be: "you know, driving 20 miles to get to a much safer place to start might not be bad thing, after all."

And you might find out that this rando thing ... isn't really for you.
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Old 01-21-12, 07:00 AM
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LEO - law enforcement officer
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Old 01-21-12, 05:56 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by skiffrun
RIDE the route on your bike. Before you decide that you "love it".
In the car is not the same.

How to create a route that no one, including the organizer, likes:
Fail to test-ride it.



Also, my impression is that neither drmweaver nor doodle have been RUSA members ... at all ... for very long?

I would suggest you do a few RUSA rides before trying to create a route(s).
You'll likely learn a few things that will help you think through your route(s).
One thing might be: "you know, driving 20 miles to get to a much safer place to start might not be bad thing, after all."

And you might find out that this rando thing ... isn't really for you.
+1!!!! Absolutely!!


Do randonnees ... in your own state, in other states, and possibly also in other countries ... before trying to create a route and cue sheet.

Experience the different types of routes different people create. Experience the types of roads these routes travel on. Experience different types of cue sheets/maps. Experience riding at different times of the day and night.

Through experience you'll come to know what you, personally, like and dislike about a route and cue sheet, and you can use that experience to create a really good route.

Also, ride with and talk to other randonneurs in the area (on randonnees) about the routes you are riding and about other routes ... listen to their ideas, and their likes and dislikes.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
(Regarding shortest distance, shortcuts, and controls ... ideally, the route should be developed so that there are no shortcut options between controls. However, that can be tricky, especially with the maze of roads in some areas. And sometimes you'll discover that the reason why there are a set number of routes in an area is at least partly because of the no shortcuts rule.

So, if it is a paved road route (there are paved road randonnees, off-road randonnees, and mixed randonnees but most common are paved road randonnees), you can ignore all the gravel roads that might be shortcuts. You can also ignore roads where bicycles are not allowed like major freeways. And if the shortcut option knocks off only a minimal distance, I'd probably ignore it as well (especially if the shortcut sent riders up the side of a mountain or something time consuming)

But as mentioned, you don't want too many controls either ... 30 km would probably be the shortest distance I'd go between controls. But about 50 km would be even better.

So it is a bit of a balance, and may take a few tries with the route creation to get it right. A good cycling knowledge of all the paved roads in your area helps.)

Last edited by Machka; 01-21-12 at 06:21 PM.
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Old 01-21-12, 05:59 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by drmweaver2
The routes I am considering seem to have few problems with finding/establishing reasonable and "logical" controls - whether speaking of location, number or type - due to local geography. Ex., a ride around a lake or out-and-back upndown a river means shortcut prevention is pretty much taken care of. As someone pointed out to me privately, information controls can be used to take care of 24/7 accessability if convenience stores aren't open 24/7 as is the case in a couple places.

I do still have one specific question on one route though. There's a raised "bridge" over a floodable area that many riders used to consider "unsafe" or scary due to narrow lanes and no shoulder, so there's no "bailout" on that 1.5 mile bridge. Otoh, there is a road in the floodable area that parallels the bridge and cyclists and others often use it when not flooded. Could both "routes" over this section/distance be officially okayed for use at the rider's discretion - and this be noted/taken care of with a rider's note on the cue sheet? The shortest creditable distance would be using the bridge and that would be the "primary route" is what I'm thinking. (The longer, "safer" alternative would only add about 1/4 mile but might not always be rideable - ex., when flooded. I realize I won't get an official answer here, but I'm wondering if anyone here has run across anything similar elsewhere.
My guess: If the distance using the shorter route is clearly above 200Km, then I am guessing that the official distance can be based on the "safer" route on the assumption that riders will only use the bridge on the rare occasions when the safer route is flooded. If the distance using the bridge is 124 miles then it is clearly shorter than 200Km and you might have a bit of a problem.

I have a route that goes mainly on bike path for the first 40 miles, but when the path was detoured for construction I discovered a nice road that's about a mile longer. I never changed the official distance, and I also never changed the official cue sheet back to the bike path. But on a day with super-hot weather, the path would be shadier than the road. I figure it's OK to give riders an option, though I don't put that explicitly on the cue sheet. I think it'd be reasonable for you to put something on your cue sheet like "optional, use bridge in case of flooding, but note that there is significant traffic on the bridge."

Just be clear with Crista when you submit your proposed route and ask for her advice. I'd recommend that you start by only submitting one route and once that is approved then you can learn from the experience before submitting others.

I gather that Crista spends between five and ten hours a day on administering permanents, it is a huge amount of work. So I think that you should only consider submitting a permanent if you plan to ride it with some frequency and if you would be encouraging other riders in your area to ride it as well (though at the same time not infringing on the rule against permanent owners soliciting riders).

Also, as a permanent owner, you will be an official agent of RUSA, responsible for administering the rules to the best of your ability, and complying with the requirements imposed by the insurance company (signed waivers for all riders, RUSA membership for all riders, no riders who are not signed up for the permanent) etc. If we don't all comply with these rules, we might find ourselves having to pay for insurance on our own permanents, and that would be an administrative nightmare. RUSA is providing a huge service by having its volunteers administer the permanents program and by paying for the insurance for the permanents program.

Nick
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Old 01-21-12, 06:08 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by pmt
This is great advice. There's a perm around us that would be great except that is has ten(!) controls! No thanks. Too much trouble. The route owner said that he had to be sure no one would take a shortcut. Well, ok, but I don't personally know anybody in RUSA who would 'cheat' on a ride. What would that accomplish? They'd just be cheating themselves.
Well, you and I would never cheat, but apparently there are some who would. In the early days of randonneuring, routes did not have controls, and apparently some of the "record holders" on routes were found to have cheated. So randonneuring put controls into its rules. Even the best controlled route may have shortcuts, so route approval is somewhat of a subjective thing. Would riders ride on an unpleasant road to save 1/2 mile? Probably not. Would riders ride on an unpleasant road to save five mile? Some might be sorely tempted under certain circumstances. Someone who rode a 1200Km somewhere along the east coast a few years ago told me that he witnessed riders riding down a highway that saved them some distance.

Nick
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