1) Whose sanction and rules is this brevet being run under?
This is a RUSA sanctioned ACP credited brevet, run with RUSA rules. You may use this brevet for PBP early application credit, RUSA awards, ACP R5000, and any other ACP awards.
Please see http://www.rusa.org/brvreg.html for the current RUSA rules.
2) Is a helmet required?
Instant DQ if you aren't wearing one. This is a requirement of RUSA, the province of Ontario, and my liability insurance.
Of course, securely mounted headlight, taillight, and reflective vest/sash are required too.
Please see http://www.rusa.org/brvreg.html for complete rules.
3) Is RUSA membership required?
No. However, if you are from the US, the ride will NOT count as an early entry qualifier for PBP if you are not a member at the start of the ride. Nor will it count toward any RUSA or ACP award. If you are a member of a foreign club and not from the US, RUSA will extend to you the same courtesies as if you where a RUSA member.
4) Can I buy a medal at the finish?
No. Due to recent changes in RUSA policy, driven by interstate tax issues, I am no longer permitted to sell medals. You may purchase one directly from the RUSA online store after the results have been submitted, provided you are either a RUSA member, or member of a foreign club.
The RUSA online store is at: http://www.rusa.org/cgi-bin/store_GF.pl
5) Will there be bag drops?
Not at this time. However, I am working on it, and will have a firm decision when registration opens.
6) When will registration open?
I expect registration to open between mid April and May 1. At that time, I will know if I can provide additional support or not, and be able to freeze the entry fee accordingly. An e-mail will go out to all who have expressed an interest in riding the brevet before open registration is announced on the web site.
7) What will the entry fee be?
As support is not frozen yet, I don't know exactly what expenses will be. Although I don't run brevets to make a profit, I can't afford to lose money on them.
8) What will I get for my entry fee?
a) Safe parking at the start and during the ride.
b) Light munchies at the start. We'll also have bananas etc. to take with you.
c) A well scrubbed cue sheet/ maps etc.
d) Meal at the finish, whenever you finish. Shower and crash space, within our abilities, at the finish. We don't want anybody driving home tired from being awake the last 24 hours. If possible, please bring your own towel and blanky, it will make things a bit easier for us. The back yard swimming pool (lake Ontario) is always available. We request you call in when you are a couple hours from the finish so hot food is ready when you roll in.
e) Finishers medal at the end of the event, and likely an impromptu party. Cheer in the "Lantern Rouge", probably me, and socialize a bit before traveling home.
f) Light support during the ride.
9) Is there an entry cap?
At this time there is no entry cap. I've chosen to reduce support to a level I can provide rather than impose a rider limit. However, I reserve the right to impose a cap. Should I need to impose a cap, the entry order will be based on the order I have people on the interest list.
10) Can I check in the day before?
Yes, I encourage people to stop by the start the day before the ride. The start doesn't show from the road, and neither google nor yahoo maps show it correctly, so it can be hard to find. If you are coming from the west, I suggest you allow extra time and follow the cue sheet in from west of Rochester and become familiar with that section. The next time you see it, you're liable to be very tired and riding in the dark. You can finish the paperwork, and if you wish, assemble and leave your bike. I'll have space in the garage for overnight storage, it will be securely locked overnight. Please bear in mind, I'll be heading to bed early the night before, so please don't come too late!
11) Is there any place to camp near the start/finish?
Webster park, about seven miles from the start, has a public camp ground. Check this link for information:
If all you need is a piece of lawn to pitch a tent, please contact me, and we'll see what we can find you.
12) What about motels near the start?
Please see the information on Ontario starts off the main web page. Ontario Starts
13) Where's the cue sheet?
The Randonneurs Ontario LOL 2009 cue sheet is at: http://www.randonneursontario.ca/routes/torroutes.html
14) Will the cue sheet be in miles or kilometers?
Although I find converting units in my head on the ride an interesting way to stay alert, I know this doesn't work for everybody, so I expect to issue cue sheets in both systems. I've also considered doing the US section in metric, and the Canadian in imperial, but I suspect that would just irritate everybody!
15) I'd like to share a room at the start/on the ride with somebody, how can I contact other riders?
I've created an e-mail list on yahoo groups. If you are on the interest list, you should have received an e-mail invitation to join. Posting is limited to members, and I've set the group so that I must approve all new members, there should be no spam on the list.
16) What is the terrain like?
The terrain is pretty mild. Much of it gently rolling, similar to PBP. Climbs measured in 2007 using the altimeter in a Polar HRM are:
|0 to 333km||5,800'|
|333km to 666km||5,700'|
|666km to 1000km||3,000'|
17) What are the roads and traffic like?
Most of the roads are lightly traveled. The state roads we follow in the US have wide shoulders. The route leaves the Seaway Trail in a few places to avoid traffic. Although we do go on the Lake Ontario Parkway, a four lane divided highway west of Rochester, it is sign posted as bicycles allowed, and we leave it before we get close to Rochester and much traffic. At the border crossings, and the GTA (Greater Toronto Area), the roads, will of course, have more traffic. Please remember that the region of Canada we'll be passing through contains nearly 10% of the Canadian population! The GTA is a large city!
Please see the photo section for some examples of the roads.
18) What do I need to cross the border?
With few exceptions, a passport is required to enter the US. At the time of writing this, Canada doesn't require US citizens to have a passport to enter Canada. The reverse is not true.
As the rules are subject to change, please check these web sites for definitive answers:
If you are neither a citizen of Canada, or the US, additional visas, or other paperwork may be required. Please work on this well before the ride!
At both borders, we are required to use the vehicle lanes. The quickest way across is to have your paperwork ready, remove dark glasses, so the officer can see your eyes, and answer the officer's questions directly and truthfully. On earlier runnings riders have been delayed hours at the border for not having the correct paperwork ready. Remember, even if reentering your home country, you aren't in until the officer lets you in, and you have none of your usual legal rights until you enter the country. Be polite, be very polite. Your goal is to get in, not prove who's boss! Truly, you don't need the border officer cutting up your frame searching for drugs or other contraband!
If you have a spouse following you with children, they should have a letter from you authorizing border crossing with the children but without you. This is due to spousal child abductions in recent years. Pets require paperwork too.
19) Is a passport required?
Not strictly, but the exceptions are few, and require other particular documents. A passport is the best way, and if you are considering PBP, you may as well get it in order. Please note that an initial application can be a scavenger hunt for documents, and take months to process. Start the application now!
As the rules are subject to change, please check these web sites for definitive answers:
20) Are there any tolls along the route I need money for?
No. Both border crossings are free to cyclists, and the Glenora Ferry has no charge to anyone.
21) How will I get back if I have a major mechanical or other problem?
Like any brevet, officially it is your responsibility.
At this time there are no plans to have a sag available. There is no shortcut on this ride, a sag at the halfway point will mean roughly a 600 mile drive for somebody to come fetch you. Like PBP, I recommend that you ride good sturdy, dependable, plain vanilla equipment. Riding in a group helps too, so you can pool tools, knowledge etc. There are bike shops in the major towns, but it will cost you time and money. If you fall behind, I suggest you find a motel, get a good rest, and turn the return into a multi day slower tour. I have friends that had a grand time at the LEL 1400k, but finished two days late.
I will be doing some research into public transit, and will add this to the web site when it is ready.
On the other hand, it is very satisfying to complete this sort of event with no safety net.
22) Are there any particularly unusual things to be concerned with my ride planning along the route?
Along the lake shore the prevailing winds blow from west to east, usually peaking in mid afternoon. We will be very close to the shore for most of the US section. However, the prevailing winds don't always blow in the prevailing direction! On the 2007 running the riders where moving with a rain system along the entire US section. Of course, they were on the headwind side of the cyclonic weather pattern, so in rain and headwinds most of the time. Ten started, four finished, the other six dropping out before reaching the Thousand Islands bridge on the second day, this was a Toronto start. A large section of the Canadian side is a bit further inland, so is not as subject to the prevailing lake shore winds.
Please allow extra time for the border crossings. The Thousand Island Bridge, which is really two suspension bridges with one on each side of the border, are long, high, sway with every passing truck, you can see the bridge ripple under them, and need to be walked on the pedestrian lane. Customs can take anywhere from 30 seconds to hours in line.
The Glenora Ferry is another item to be concerned with in your planning. The ferry does not run between the hours of 01:00 and 06:00. If you plan on over nighting on the far side of the ferry crossing, be confident of your abilities. If you arrive at the ferry dock at 01:20, there will be nothing but a locked rest room and cold pavement to wait on until 06:15, when the next ferry leaves. The ferry is at approximately the 366 km or 228 mile point. Please see:
http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/traveller/ferry/ for more information on the ferry and the current schedule.
The Lake Ontario Parkway west of Rochester has very few services, and in fact, the cue sheet carries this warning:
Olcott (Caution: Last services for 95 kilometers)
You are advised to stock up on water etc. before this stretch!
These are some of the things that make up for the mild terrain, and put a little challenge into this ride!
23) Where are the overnight stops?
As the ride is unsupported at this time, you are free to make whatever arrangements you want, and stop any place you wish along the route. I will be adding a motel list to the site. If you want to have personal support meet you at an overnight, please contact me. If enough folks want to stop at a particular place, say Kingston, if possible I can designate it a controle. Otherwise, your support can not legally meet you at the overnights. In fairness, I can't do many of these, as every rider has to stop at every controle.
24) Will we be able to see Niagara Falls?
Yes, definitely! See the photo section.
25) What do I do about foreign currency?
If you're coming from Canada, you'll probably change currency at the border, or use an ATM before the ride. There are ATMs near the start, but these are not on route. If you are coming from the US, you'll probably want to use an ATM after you cross the border. I'll be scouting some out when I drive the route in May, and adding them to the cue sheet. Although many Candian businesses will accept US currency, the reverse isn't true, and it's a bit rude to expect anyone to accept foreign currency. If you do use foreign currency, expect to pay a premium, and please say thank you for their courtesy, they are doing you a favor.
Alternatively, contact your bank about obtaining foreign currency in advance of the ride. They will probably need several days notice to have the currency on hand.
Please note, if you use your credit/debit/ATM card across the border, you'll likely be charged an international currency exchange fee. Check with your bank beforehand to avoid surprises.
26) Will my cell/mobile phone work across the border?
Depends on your plan. Mine works some places in Canada, but not others, yours may work everywhere. Check with your cell service provider, you may need to activate international calling, likely for an extra fee.
To stay in contact, you may pick up a pre-paid Canadian go phone, track phone or prepaid SIM card to use in Canada. There are internet vendors that you can buy these from in advance. If you have experience with any particular vendor, please share it. By the way, I did this on my last PBP trip to France, and it worked out very well.
27) Will my health insurance be valid across the border?
I encourage you to verify that your health insurance will work across the border. If not, you should look into a short term travel policy. I've heard that the CAA has very attractive rates for Canadians traveling abroad.
28) Are there any extra bicycle requirements across the border?
Ontario has extra lighting and reflective requirements beyond the ACP and RUSA's requirements. Please reference:
I've been told Ontario requires extra reflective equipment on fork and chain stays. Make yourself look like a Christmas tree, it's always a good idea! The best reference I can find on this topic is:
If you meet the Canadian requirements, and RUSA's requirements, you are good in New York State.
Because of the length of a 1000k, I highly recommend you have backups of both headlamp and tail light. Securely mounted to the bike is the best place to carry them.
29) Where will the RBA be during the ride?
I expect to be riding. Being a proud member of the Adrian Hands society, http://www.adrianhandssociety.com/ , I expect to be at the back of the pack. This means that I won't see many of you again after the first few miles, and I'll wish you Bonne courage! Bonne route! Bonne chance! and Bonne apetite! at the start. My wife will be manning the start/finish controle, so there will always be someone manning the phone. If not riding, I'll see you at the secret controles...
By the way, many people find a brevet a far more pleasant ride if they slow down a bit and ride with somebody that knows the route well, say somebody that's driven it lately, like the RBA, maybe pull him along a bit too..... ;-)
30) I have more questions!
Please e-mail me directly at: RBA Pete
31) I see an error in this FAQ!
Surely you jest!
OK, please let me know, e-mail me directly at: RBA Pete
Last change January 26, 2018. Updated links etc.