Saturday, March 28, 2020

Update on RUSA Events: April and Beyond

From: RUSA Board
Sent: Saturday, March 28, 2020, 06:13:30 PM EDT
Subject: Update on RUSA Events: April and Beyond

Update on RUSA Events: April and Beyond

Just a few days ago, on March 21, we told members that we weren't shutting down nationally but we said that could change any day. Since then, things have quickly gone downhill. The US confirmed cases have increased ten-fold and surpassed China. Our European and English speaking brethren worldwide have shut down, including Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand. In much of Europe, not even solo riding is allowed other than utility cycling.

While not every state or county in the US has declared "stay at home" orders, we are heading that way. Testing has ramped up, giving us a better picture of community spread, but it's still incomplete. Too many are being monitored, test results unconfirmed.

So, with concern for our members, their families and communities, we started contacting RBAs one by one who still had rides on the calendar for April.  While every RBA was being ultra careful, the Board felt that those rides needed to be cancelled. At this point, we have nothing on the calendar for April. There is a small handful of rides taking place this weekend; but April is cleared.

At this time we aren't sure about May. Rides are still on the calendar. The Board did not want this to be "closed until further notice", rather we'd see where this was headed, whether things were starting to level off. In densely populated areas, we do not expect the virus to have peaked in April. We need to develop a reopen strategy, perhaps starting out with short populaires that won't require either support or replenishment stops. If and when we approach this decision, it will probably be with travel and rider count restrictions. We want riders to feel safe and comfortable, and the Board wants your support and agreement that it's the right thing to do. We will be setting up a small board-led committee of RBAs to monitor and recommend a reopen strategy.
The RUSA Board

Saturday, March 21, 2020


From: RUSA Board
Sent: Saturday, March 21, 2020, 06:08:40 PM EDT
Subject: COVID-19 and RUSA


We are in the middle of a global pandemic and here in the US, it's likely going to get much worse before it gets better.  We care about our members and their families, knowing well that many will be impacted.   Taking our cue from the country at large, we do not feel that it's appropriate for a national shutdown.  That could change any day.

We are placing our trust in the judgement of RBAs, leaving it up to them to decide whether or not to shutdown their region.  A number have already canceled their entire calendar or planned to postpone rides.  Each situation is different and they must adhere to guidelines from local, State and Federal civil and health authorities, protecting themselves, the riders and the community at large.

We know that many of you are still trying your best to qualify for awards.  The following provides a mechanism for a pause in P-12 / R-12 accumulation and a means for RBAs to reschedule rides.  We have conferred with ACP and they have provided broad latitude for RUSA to reschedule and/or add events to the schedule for later in 2020, covering ACP Brevets and the Fleche/Trace.  It will be up to each RBA to decide how they handle that within their region.

Here's a breakdown of what we are doing:

ACP brevet/Fleche/Trace events
ACP events already held or pre-ridden can be submitted and processed as usual.  Canceled events may be rescheduled later during the current ACP year.
RUSA brevet/populaire/team events:
These events can be canceled or rescheduled and new events added as necessary.
RM 1200+ events:
Ride organizers can cancel or reschedule.
R-12/P-12 streaks:
We are declaring a "pause" in counting months for R-12 and P-12. These months will not require make up rides after the pause ends but each award would still require 12 actual rides . The pause period will start March 1 and end when things are more-or-less back to normal.  For that, we will take our cue from other cycling organizations such as USA Cycling.  Rides during the full pause period will not count towards R-12/P-12 with the exception of rides during the month of March. Riders may use March as a pause month or if they have already completed rides they may use those toward any awards including the R-12/P-12. For those who were planning their permanents suspension make up rides to be ridden in March or April, those make up rides can now take place in the 2 months following the end of the pause.
We have nothing new to report.

Stay Safe and Healthy!
To all our membership and their families - please do your utmost to keep yourselves and your communities safe!
The RUSA Board

Friday, March 6, 2020

Oct-05-2019: Bahama Beach w/ "E. Thollie Green + 3-Hayes" Variant

It took me years to get around to finally riding this 'free-route' variant,
Which I finally did on Sep-22nd with John + Ann J (their first ever Permanent!).

I always knew I'd like doing that variant, but had never gotten around to riding it.
But once ridden, I was determined to ride it again.
The opportunity to do so came on October 5th,
With my friend Iva, #7702, and Wilmington Rick, #6985.

I'm not sure if Iva and Rick-squared had ridden together recently.
I do know that Iva and I had first met Rick on June 11, 2011.
On that day, I rode MikeD's Kerr Lake Loop with Ricochet Robert, and
Iva and Rick rode with several Irregulars to Stovall and returned via "Stoval Mtn."
 Typical scene near Wilmington, NC that Rick encounters while cycling about.  [photo by Rick]

Iva had some back trouble the prior couple months, and was worried about being able to do the route.
Rick had severely broken his leg in the spring, and this was his rando come-back ride.
We therefore decided that we would ride an easy pace, but limit the stoppage time.
Side-road on the way to Stem.  [photo credit to R^squared]

Wilmington Rick had to wait for Iva and me on several occasions.
It was as if his cycling had not been interrupted by the break.
It turned out to be a good ride.
 Group selfie by Rick, taken in Stem, in front of the control.  L to R:  me, IvaHawk, Rick.

This isn't much of a story,
But as this turned out to be the last Bahama Beach ride before the demise of the Perms Program,
I wanted to type something.

The first time Bahama Beach was ridden for RUSA credit was January 29, 2012.
MickH, #6169, and I completed the route in 5h24 and 5h22 elapsed, respectively.
[A couple years later, I'm confident that I would have given us the same time.] 

I rode the Bahama Beach perm-pop 76 times for RUSA credit.
That includes clockwise and reversed, the standard route and several 'free-route' variants.
My average rando elapsed time was 5h04. 

28 others completed Bahama Beach 220 times for RUSA credit.
The total average elapsed time of all riders was 5h00.

Those 296 credit completed rides were done in 170 start groups.
An average of 1.7 completed rides per start group.

There were 3 DNFs on the route, in 2 start-groups.
Those DNFs are not included in the 296 mentioned above,
But those DNFs are included in the 170 start-groups.

I recall both DNFs:
The first occurred in January-2014 when
A "newbie" tried to complete a near NC-P-12-Explorer by finishing on the route where he started.
He didn't complete BB that day because he tried to overpower the climbs despite TIRED legs.
He did complete his generic P-12 (on another course), but I think he then hung up his rando shoes.

I was one of the other two riders to DNF.
For that story, click here.

I was / am delighted that Bahama Beach was the first ever Permanent for three well-known randos:
PamelaB, #12, on February 2, 2013.
JohnJ + AnnJ, #2190 + 10504, on September 22, 2019.

I am also proud that so many local randonneurs enjoyed the route.

With the demise of the RUSA Permanents Program,
I think it unlikely that I will ride the Bahama Beach route as constituted for RUSA.
However, I am very confident that I will ride key parts of the route -- hopefully often.