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Pittsburgh Randonneurs

This topic contains 99 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  stefb 1 mo, 2 weeks.

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Mikhail

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Mar 6 2013 at 6:07pm #

Dan is suspiciously quiet…

http://pittsburghrandonneurs.com/event/kittens-and-puppies-100k/

Kittens and Puppies 100K
Event Date: 2013-03-09
Distance: 100 km
Starts at: Neville Island, at 09:00

Map: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1980314
Time Limit 6:40

The weather is supposed to be good. Nice Saturday ride.

PS Dan, please take a look at Control Points in the cue sheet. It looks like numbering is out of order and opening/closing times are out of order too.


reddan

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Mar 6 2013 at 6:27pm #

Thanks for posting this, Mikhail…I’ve been a bit busy these days.

We’ve also got an upcoming 200K, which will extend this weekend’s 100K route into Ohio, on the 23rd.

Mikhail wrote:PS Dan, please take a look at Control Points in the cue sheet. It looks like numbering is out of order and opening/closing times are out of order too.

Thanks…I’ve let the organizer know.


Vannevar

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Mar 6 2013 at 9:04pm #

I’ve never done a randonneur but I’ve wanted to, I’m unscheduled Saturday, the weather looks good, and I need to be on the bike (perfect alignment) – my question is, I’m not a member of PghRando – can a visitor appear at 0815, sign paperwork and participate? Thanks, V.


reddan

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Mar 6 2013 at 9:11pm #

@Vannevar : per recent email from RBA Jim:

No, the Populaires have no cost right now. The WPW insurance policy does allow for true first time visitors riding with the club to be covered by our insurance policies. I’ll be willing to finesse that for people that haven’t ridden with WPW before on the Populaires.

Otherise! Randonneurs USA requires every rider on a sanctioned Populaire or Brevet to be covered by the club insurance policy. I encourage people to bite the bullet and just join if they consider riding distance enjoyable.

These are not led rides, so the pace is what people choice to ride. For the Populaire, I expect there to be a slower group and a faster group for those that choose to ride together. Everyone should carry a cue sheet and know they are accountable for their own navigation. But we will endeavor not to lose first-timers that don’t want to be lost.

For most local brevets, you’ll need to be a WPW member.


Mikhail

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Mar 6 2013 at 9:11pm #

This is quote of Jim’s Logan e-mail:

Pittsburgh Randonneurs:

Populaires are our rides less than 200 km Here are the details for registering:

– For now, Populaires are free, except that all riders must be members of the Western PA Wheelmen. Same day registrations for $20 are available. Please print out the membership form from the WPW website (www.wpwbikeclub.org) and bring it.

– Advance notice to the RBA (me) is appreciated by Wednesday before each Populaire. Information needed (if not already provided):

o Name, address, cell phone number

o Emergency contact name and phone number

o RUSA membership number if you have one (not required)

– All riders must sign at least one RUSA waiver per year (will be in the brevet registration form).

– Same day registrations will be accepted, but experienced riders please give me notice.

– Registration starts at 8:15 AM. Rider meeting at 8:50 AM. Riders leave at 9:00 AM.

– The route is not painted, and riders are nominally on your own for navigation. However, if you are new to randonneuring, we will endeavor not to lose you on your first outing.

Attached is the cue sheet for the Kitten and Puppies 100 km for this coming March 9th It starts and ends here:

Control 1: Park’n’Ride, Neville Island (Pittsburgh, PA)

next to King’s Restaurant – 5800 Grand Ave

Neville Island (Pittsburgh), PA

This route leverages watershed routes to maximum advantage, following the Ohio River to Beaver Falls, than following another watershed route to Ellwood City. We are favoring there-and-back routes this year, as that is the best way for all see all riders on the road.

Map of the route is here: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1981023

Pittsburgh Randonneurs website is slowly getting rebuilt here: http://www.pittsburghrandonneurs.com.

Thanks to Dan Blumenfeld and Dan Goldman for working on the website.

Jim Logan (jimlogan@verizon.net)

Regional Brevet Coordinator (RBA), Pittsburgh

PS: I’ll get the registration form out for our brevets today. It will include WPW membership for those planning to ride brevets.

.


Mikhail

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Mar 6 2013 at 9:13pm #

The correct route is http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1980314


Vannevar

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Mar 6 2013 at 9:49pm #

I really appreciate that, and I’ll join (no problem with that). Looking forward to Saturday, this is a nice route. V.


JaySherman5000

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Mar 7 2013 at 11:15am #

I’d like to participate in this ride. Where do I get the necessary forms? I went to the WPW site, but either it’s being slow or my internet connection is crapping out. Can someone post a link directly to the page with appropriate docs?

Also, is the $20 fee per ride, or does that cover multiple events?

Also Also, my bike is a steel touring rig, does that seem reasonable for randos? I’ve made solo rides of this length on it before, but never a group ride or anything longer.

Finally, what usually happens post-ride? Do we just go home or is there a social hour?


reddan

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Mar 7 2013 at 11:31am #

@JaySherman5000 : Here’s the membership form: http://wpwbikeclub.org/member.html

The $20 fee is the yearly WPW membership fee. In general, ‘populaires’ (sub-200K rides) are free; most official brevets (200K, 300K, 400K, and 600K) involve a fee.

Steel touring bikes work just fine for randonneuring. As do carbon fiber road bikes, slick-tired 29ers, bamboo fixies, and pretty much anything else on which you can be comfortable and maintain a stead pace in the low teens. Time limits are calculated based on a roughly 10 mph pace…if you can keep it in the 12-13 mph range, you’ve got loads of time for sit-down meals, naps, photo ops, mechanical issues, etc.

In general, randonneuring is not as focused on riding as a group; given the distances and wide variety of riders, it tends to be more spread out, with people forming and dissolving groups in an ad-hoc fashion. My personal experience is that, left to my own devices, I find my time split 50/50 between social rising and solo. Others have different styles, of course…some form riding partnerships that last an entire 600K. There’s no stigma attached either way, although it is considered good form not to abandon newcomers unless they’re confident in themselves and the route.

Post-ride at 200Ks and up, there’s usually some form of social activity, usually heavily food-oriented. Small events, with only a few participants and an unattended finish point, are a different story; larger ones with volunteers and support staff often have mid-ride “catered” stops and a post-ride feast.

Personally, I’m often time-bound, so usually ride home immediately after finishing; but I encourage people to stop at, say, the Kings restaurant one parking lot over and enjoy food and beer.


reddan

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Mar 7 2013 at 11:37am #

I should also add that, this year, we’re focused on offering more 200K and shorter rides, in an attempt to offer better gateway drugs encourage new riders to tackle moderate-paced distance riding without committing to a double century or more.

We’ve got 4 populaires (3 100Ks and a 166K) and 8 200Ks (5 reasonably rational ones, and three “challenge rides”) on the schedule through September, so there will be plenty of opportunities for randonneuring without hitting the 300Ks or the 400K.


edmonds59

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Mar 7 2013 at 1:51pm #

Seems like randos would cut heavily into my “moss-gatherin'” time.


reddan

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Mar 7 2013 at 1:58pm #

edmonds59 wrote:Seems like randos would cut heavily into my “moss-gatherin’” time.

Ride in the rain, and your mildew quota will be covered.


stefb

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Mar 9 2013 at 4:54pm #

Next time I am driving to the start if it is on Neville island. I hate driving my bike places, but Carson between McKees rocks and station square is downright dangerous. I got buzzed by every single vehicle and a semi came within 6 inches of hitting me on my way home. The mckees rocks bridge isn’t a treat, either. Is there some other way I can go?


dmtroyer

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Mar 9 2013 at 9:11pm #

@stefb carson is tolerable on a sunday morning, any other time I’ll take the sidewalk on the mckees rocks bridge. takes twice as long, it seems, but much less stressful.


Jim

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Mar 9 2013 at 9:41pm #

@stefb – that’s my commute every morning (between McKees Rocks and Station Square). No fun indeed. Usually when I’m on my mtb I’ll just take the sidewalk between Corliss St. Tunnel and Station Square. Thee are other ways to bypass that section of Carson, but they involve more miles and more hills.


edmonds59

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Mar 10 2013 at 7:17am #

Jim, I didn’t get to talk to you at lunch. So you’re part of the Westie contingent, us folks west of town? Good to know.

Stefb, yes, not too many other reasonable options. You’ve experienced one of the shittiest corridors in the area for biking. And it just happens to be the corridor that would potentially connect the west end of the GAP to the proposed ORTC that could take cyclists all the way from DC to the Ohio Border, and Ohio’s fast-developing trail system onward west. PennDot is scheduled to close that section to rebuild it and they seem hell-bent on not making it not a whit more pedestrian or bike friendly, or less deadly, than it is now, morons. People have been trying to convince PDot otherwise, but they are resolved in their resistance to change.


Jim

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Mar 10 2013 at 7:45am #

Haha – I like it, the Westies. We should get some Jerseys with that on it.


jonawebb

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Mar 10 2013 at 4:38pm #

I considered taking the 21 bus out there but it would have gotten me there too early, on a cold morning, or a bit too late. So I rode on 51, too, and found it to be hell, especially after the West End circle. High speed trucks and a concrete wall on the right.
The 21 bus arrives there by 7:05 am on the 23rd so if Jim was willing to delay the start a bit or you were OK with leaving a little late that would work. There is no earlier bus.
The bus back worked fine for me. Lunch at King’s, then an easy ride back to town.


reddan

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Mar 10 2013 at 5:20pm #

Coming from town, I find Ohio River Trail->Eckert->McClure->Davis->California->McKees Rocks Bridge the least unpleasant outbound route.

You could do California all the way to Emsworth, hop on the shoulder of 65 for a mile, and take the I-79 bridge to Neville island…I doubt that’d be significantly better, and probably a lot slower.


JaySherman5000

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Mar 11 2013 at 9:51am #

I just wanted to say thanks to everyone I encountered Saturday on the Puppies & Kittens 100k. This was definitely a fun ride, and it gave me a lot of confidence in my equipment and abilities. I think I finished the route in 5 h 10 min, after taking a slight detour to do an unnecessary climb up a little ridge.

I’m looking forward to trying the 200k next. I think if that ride goes well, you may have gotten me hooked…


reddan

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Mar 11 2013 at 9:52am #

JaySherman5000 wrote:I’m looking forward to trying the 200k next. I think if that ride goes well, you may have gotten me hooked…

Muhahahaha!


LizziMac

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Mar 11 2013 at 1:38pm #

I also wanted to give a shout out to all of the great people I met at the Pups and Kittehs 100k Saturday. It was tons of fun and a beautiful day—and everyone was so welcoming to us newbs!

And thanks for holding these shorter-distance rides, which I’m more inclined to actually participate in. Although I’m beginning to think they are simply an efficient means to distribute those first few sips of the koolaid…


reddan

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Mar 11 2013 at 1:43pm #

LizziMac wrote:Although I’m beginning to think they are simply an efficient means to distribute those first few sips of the koolaid…

I say it again, Muhahahaha!

if you’re liking these rides, it’s also a good idea to sign up for the pittsburgh-randos mailing list…most of our informal rides get called out there, and they’re usually in the 100-150K range.


Vannevar

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Mar 11 2013 at 1:53pm #

Another first-timer chiming in, I’d like to thank the more-experienced folks for being very welcoming, and to those who added a few more miles to their own BeaverFalls-EllwoodCity segment so that it wouldn’t seem like I got to the 7-11 so very much later than every body else – merci boocoups!

I’ll be there again. V.


Jacob McCrea

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Mar 11 2013 at 2:06pm #

Agreed; this was really well done.


LizziMac

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Mar 11 2013 at 3:16pm #

Thanks for the link to the mailing list!


stefb

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Mar 11 2013 at 5:41pm #

Sorry I wasn’t too social on Saturday. I was tired and just wanted to get it over with. I was so not in it mentally. I am really happy that so many people came out, and I hope it leads to more people showing up for more rides!


Mikhail

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Mar 11 2013 at 6:00pm #

Thanks to Jim and all organizers and to all people who were brave enough to participate. It was my first r-experience. :) Cool!

Stefb, you were social. :)


Vannevar

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Mar 11 2013 at 6:56pm #

gee I thought I was the only noob there, and now you’re all coming out of the rangement


JaySherman5000

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Mar 12 2013 at 2:24pm #

There might be a more relevant thread out there for this question, but:

what is the best way to load the posted cue sheet(s) for a given ride into my Android device? Is there an app or simple how-to out there that I could use to put the route into my phone automagically, or would I have to manually enter the route into the Google Maps app? Or is there an even better, paperless method for this sort of task?

(Please note: I still plan to always carry paper cue sheets.)

While I’m venturing down this rabbit hole, can anyone:

-recommend a good dyno-hub that can be used to power/recharge usb devices? I’ve built wheels before and this just seems like a good idea.

-recommend a device that will secure my phone somewhere in the vicinity of my handlebars? I realize these things may have to be model-specific for my phone/gps/interstellar communicator/Ouigi board, but I assume there are at least brand names that can be suggested (or avoided).

-recommend a good, usb-rechargeable front light?


jonawebb

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Mar 12 2013 at 2:37pm #

You can use gpsies.com to convert a Garmin track you download from the site where Jim posts the map to a KML file, which you can then upload into your Google Maps. And you can the view that using your Android phone from the Maps application (My Maps). BTW I have found a dedicated GPS device to be more reliable than an Android phone for following randonneurs.
The key thing you need to charge a usb device is a voltage converter. I’ve used E-Werk with some success. Peterwhitecycles.com seems to have the latest good versions. BTW try to get a ‘power only’ USB cable — you want the USB device to think it’s just being charged, not that it has to make a USB connection, since that will tell it it’s OK to draw more power and charge faster.
As far as mounts go I don’t know anything really good for Android phones. Everything I’ve seen tends to be a little too adjustable and therefore kind of weak. iPhones seem to have better options.
I’d suggest using one of the dynamo lights at Peter White Cycles instead of a USB rechargeable headlight, as long as you’re planning on getting a dynamo.


reddan

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Mar 12 2013 at 3:02pm #

@JaySherman5000 : As far as dynamo hubs go, the Shimano 3Nxxx series are perfectly reasonable…see Peter White’s page for more information, including relative efficiencies as compared to other dynamo hubs. Not quite as nice as the Schmidt hubs, but half the price.


dmtroyer

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Mar 13 2013 at 7:54am #

There is the Bosch & Muller Luxos IQ2 which has a USB charging port.


JaySherman5000

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Mar 13 2013 at 5:39pm #

I made new thread for my light & dynamo questions. I guess I should have checked here first, that Luxos IQ2 looks interesting. That might be a viable option for my purposes.


pras

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Mar 16 2013 at 6:24pm #

I hear that the veteran randonneurs are coming up with a bigger ride for next weekend to welcome the newer riders. :)

Is anyone interested in riding tomorrow to prep for it?


reddan

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Mar 20 2013 at 7:25am #

FYI: The Kittens and Puppies 200K, being offered this Saturday 03/23, has changed start time and location. It’s now a 07:30 start in Shaler, rather than the 07:00 start in Neville Island.

See the site for details…an updated map and cue sheet should be forthcoming tonight.


JaySherman5000

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Mar 22 2013 at 4:41pm #

@reddan: I tried to contact Jim via email and got no reply. I also failed at using the google group to reply to the discussion there.

Anyhoo, I’d like to do this ride tomorrow. I just need to know what paperwork and fees to bring. I did the populaire two weeks ago, and for that I brought a WPW membership form, $20, and my riding bricks. For this ride, I’ve printed off 2013 registration form, a waiver, and the updated cue sheet. Is there anything else I need?


reddan

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Mar 22 2013 at 5:43pm #

JaySherman5000 wrote:@reddan: I tried to contact Jim via email and got no reply. I also failed at using the google group to reply to the discussion there.

Anyhoo, I’d like to do this ride tomorrow. I just need to know what paperwork and fees to bring. I did the populaire two weeks ago, and for that I brought a WPW membership form, $20, and my riding bricks. For this ride, I’ve printed off 2013 registration form, a waiver, and the updated cue sheet. Is there anything else I need?

That should do it.


jonawebb

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Mar 24 2013 at 3:09pm #

Hey, can somebody explain something to me? In these out-and-back randonneurs, I’m getting good directions on my GPS (I have a Garmin Edge 800) either on the way out or on the way back, but never both. On the 100K my GPS kept trying to turn me around on the way out, but worked fine on the way back. On the 200K it worked fine on the way out, but thought the ride was finished at the Subway. I must be doing something wrong, what is it?
What I’ve been doing is downloading the TCX file from the ridewithgps site and then starting the route at the beginning. Should I be using a different format file? Or is there some trick to getting the GPS to pay attention to what direction you are going?
As it turns out none of this mattered because the routes are so easy and on the way out, at least, I can keep up, but I’m worried about what happens if I screw up somehow.


pearmask

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Mar 24 2013 at 3:44pm #

I have an Edge 800 too. I haven’t had the thing very long at all and haven’t really figured out how to make it consistently play nice with the various file formats, but FWIW, I used RideWithGPS’s Garmin Write function to write yesterday’s course directly to my Garmin as a GPX track, and it worked fine. I didn’t start following the course until we were a few miles in, but it automatically figured out where I was, and it turned me around properly at Subway as well. The few other times I’ve tried to use its navigational functions, I’ve exported .tcx or .gpx files and copied them to the device manually, and I’ve had some issues, but this time with the Garmin Write function it worked great.

I am generally pretty good with troubleshooting tech-y things, and this Garmin has not turned out to be very user-friendly, considering how expensive and supposedly fancy it is. It’s still a great thing to have, but man, if someone tried, they could really make something with a better interface.

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