Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Reflective Vests Update

We are going to placing the order for the reflective vests soon after the PA 400K Brevet on April 30. The price will be $35, and shipping will be $5. It will also be possible to pick up the vests at a PA Rondonneurs event and save the shipping fee. Vest payment can be made at the 400K, or you can mail a check to:

Ron Anderson
881 Ritz Avenue
Hamilton, NJ 08610

Make checks out to: PA Randonneurs LLC

Sample vests will be available to try on at the 400K Brevet this weekend. One person who tried on a sample vest recently did have a problem with the bottom of one of the zippers, but believed it was likely caused by the number of people that have been trying on the samples. John Lee Ellis has posted his impressions of the vest here: http://coloradobrevets.blogspot.com/2011/04/rusa-offers-pbp-conformant-vest.html

The PA Randonneurs vests will have the new PA Randonneurs logo, designed by Bob Dye on the left breast pocket area, and say PA Randonneurs on the back. These are the final graphics from the vest manufacturer.

Orders received for the PA Randonneurs vests so far are summarized below. Please let me know if there are any changes or additions ( dj@talloakfarm.com ).

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

PBP Pre-Registration Speculation

Are you getting caught up in "PBP Fever" but concerned that you wont have a shot since you didn't ride any long brevets last year? Fear not, you may still have a chance for the grand dance. Mark Thomas continues his analysis of US pre-registration data and trends:

April 20: Working on the US PBP pre-registrations, I'm getting more optimistic that riders who did not ride brevets in 2010 will have the opportunity to participate in PBP 2011.

Our US quota is 719.

RUSA had 328 riders who did 1000km or longer brevets in 2010. So far 64% of those have preregistered for PBP (210 riders).
RUSA had 418 riders whose longest brevet was 600km in 2010. So far 157 have signed up.

Speculation zone ahead:

If the signup pattern for the 600k group matches that of the first group, I'd expect to see about 185 riders (45%) sign up from this group.
Of the 238 riders whose longest brevet was 400km in 2010, I'm guessing that 40% (95 riders) will preregister.
Of the 277 riders whose longest brevet was 300km in 2010, I'm guessing that 30% (83 riders) will preregister.
Of the 488 riders whose longest brevet was 200km in 2010, I'm guessing that 20% (97 riders) will preregister.
That's a total of 670 preregistering riders, leaving nearly 50 slots for US riders who didn't do any brevets in 2010.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Advance Registration, Step 2

Just a reminder to those who rode an ACP 600k event in 2010, the pre-registration window for you opens this weekend (April 17th). As of Wednesday afternoon (4/13), 207 of the 719 USA registrations have been reserved.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

PA Randonneurs (PBP Style) Reflective Vests

An online order form for the PA Randonneurs (PBP Style) Reflective Vests is available at:


As mentioned in a previous post the price is still being determined, but is expected to be $35+/-. If you have any questions, or problems with the form let Don know at dj@talloakfarm.com. Once you hit the submit button at the bottom of the form it automatically sends the info, and there is nothing else you need to do.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.

PBP 2011 USA Website

Mark Thomas continues to stay busy with PBP registration. He has posted a few statistics on a PBP Wiki:

Mark writes: "The [PBP Wiki] Site is intended to be a place where folks can upload information relevant to US riders going to PBP, wikipedia-style. At the moment, it just contains info that I've forwarded to RBAs about pre-registration and some map links. It would be very cool if riders who have relevant experience, from on-course lodging to nutrition hints to ideas for traveling family members to best airfares were encouraged to add content to the site. Thanks to Rob Hawks for setting it up quickly. "

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

PBP Pre-Registration Update #2

Mark Thomas from RUSA-HQ has the following update:

1 - It's technically possible for our 1200/1000/600 riders to fill our quota. But it won't happen. We'd need near 100% participation from that population (719 of about 740).

2 - Folks who can wait until late June to make plans should be aware of important dates in June. Any space for a pre-registered rider who doesn't complete final registration will be released on June 20th and more spaces will likely become available within our quota. So if our quota is filled after the 300k preregistration, for example, riders who did a 200k last year should still preregister at the appointed time, to get their names on the waiting list. Similarly riders who didn't complete any ACP events last year should register on June 11 to get on the waiting list. On June 20th, riders will presumably be accepted off the waiting list when spaces are freed up.

Thanks to all for the great job of keeping their riders informed. So far the pre-registration has gone extremely smoothly.

PBP Ancien Question & Answer

You completed a 1000k last year having heard that doing so would improve your chances of obtaining an entry to "The Show." You've already completed a couple brevets this year and plan to finish your ACP SR by the end of May just in case a hitch in Plan A causes you to resort to Plan B. You dutifully logged into the PBP registration site this past Saturday evening at midnight to secure your place in the pre-registration line. What will you do from June until mid-August?

The Daily Randonneur recently ran a series of articles featuring sound advice by PBP Anciens. These individuals have a combined 23 PBP finishes between them. They offer a wealth of practical advice to assure that you will not only be prepared for PBP, but will enjoy the experience as well. It is well worth the read and should help you avoid any rookie mistakes (not that only rookies make such mistakes).

Begin with PBP, The Anciens' Way: Part I and Part II featuring advice by Lois Springsteen, Mark Thomas, Bob Casciato, John Lee Ellis, Ed Felker, and Clint Provenza. Then there is the "by-the-book" approach by Ken Zabielski, PBP: The Zabielski Way. Rookie or Ancien, you're bound to learn something.

Thanks to Ed, MG and Jon for gathering all this knowledge and allowing us to link from here.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

PBP Reflective Vests

Those of you planning to ride PBP this year have undoubtedly begun planning every detail to assure a most enjoyable and hassle-free grand randonnee'. Have you thought about your reflective gear? The word on the "ethereal street" is that your RUSA Sam Browne belt will not be sufficient this year. The PBP rules now state:

Article 9 : Equipment

According to French traffic law, a reflective vest MUST be worn when riding at night (safety standard number EN1150). This equipment must be presented at the bike check.

So how does a reflective vest meeting EN1150 compare to vests commonly available here? Several US clubs are already tackling this problem and arranging special orders from the same European sources that supply the Official PBP Commemorative Vest.

The manufacturer is L2S. The vest, known as VISIOPLUS is available in 4 fluorescent colors, yellow, orange, green and pink but not all sizes are available for these 4 colors. All apparently meet the European safety standard.

Yellow : XS, S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL.
Orange : S,M,L,XL,2XL.
Green : S,M,L,XL,2XL.
Rose : XS,S,M,L,XL,2XL.

PA Randonneurs is planning to make a special purchase of these vests. Ron Anderson and Don Jagel have stepped up to take on the task of coordinating the order. The costs are not settled, but appear to range between $30 and $50 depending on order quantity and logos. Attendees of the Water Gap 200/300 brevet got to try on sample vests loaned to us by our friends at DC Randonneurs. As you can see, they are HIGHLY reflective.

Roy trying on vests for PBP
Roy models a PBP vest. Everyone else in the room dons sunglasses

The current plans are to have the vest customized with the PA Randonneurs logo so you can show up for PBP in style. We have arranged to have another set of sample vests available for the April 30 400k in case you need another opportunity to try one on for size. If you have further questions or want to pre-order your vest, please contact Ron Anderson or Don Jagel.

PBP Pre-Registration Update #1

Mark Thomas from RUSA-HQ forwarded the following update on PBP pre-registration:

PBP pre-registration has begun for riders who completed a 1000k or 1200k in 2010.

It appears that the pre-registration page at:

... is updated to reflect the remaining quota places (by country and by total). Starting numbers were 719 (USA) and 6000 (Total).

For the most part, Pre-registration seems to have gone pretty smoothly for folks. Here are some learnings from the first pre-registrations.

If all goes well, rider should get 4 emails:
- PBP acknowledges receipt of preregistration
- Payment processor (klikandpay) confirms payment processing
- PBP acknowledges receipt of payment
- PBP marks registration as validated

The first three should happen pretty quickly, but the last one happens when RUSA brevet secretary validates the entry, so the timing depends on his schedule. (That would be Mark Thomas)

If payment fails, but you get the first e-mail with the receipt of preregistration, then try this:
- Go back to PBP page
- On left side, go to Registration and select "Follow-up" 
- Enter your "dossier number" (US-__) and your password from first e-mail
- There should be a payment link
- Try payment again from that link

Some riders have commented that one of the questions on the klikandpay payment processing screen is a little odd. I don't recall the exact phrasing; something like "holographic confirmation", but it's just looking for the 3-digit security code on back of credit card.

One other thing to note: When a rider receives, for example, a "dossier number" of US-258, it means that he's the 258th PBP rider to register, not the 258th US PBP rider to register. In the case of #258, he's actually only  the 72nd US rider to register. So our quota is not filling up as fast as it might appear to be.

Any intractable problems? Contact Mark Thomas at:
... and he may be able to help sort out the issue. If he can't, he'll contact the ACP on your behalf.