All Brevets scheduled for the St. Louis Region have been cancelled for 2020.
Effective today, I have resigned as Regional Brevet Administrator for the St. Louis, Missouri, region.
Randonneuring is a dangerous activity. Anytime you share the road with automobiles and trucks, a cyclist is taking a chance. This danger has increased significantly since I started riding brevets in 2006. It used to be that the major concern was the intoxicated driver. That has changed now that we have to be very concerned about distracted drivers.
Luckily we have not had any serious accidents during any of our rides since I have been the RBA. But each year, our roads become a little less safe. Each year they are just a little more dangerous so that we now have a situation in which I cannot sanction these events.
I have made many close friends through randonnuering and I regret that I cannot organize events in which riders can have the same unique experiences I have had during my rides.
Dennis N. Smith – March 2, 2020
The calendar for the 2020 brevets in the St. Louis region has been set. The schedule is as follows:
3/14/2020 – 200k
4/4/2020 – 200k and 300k
4/18/2020 – 200k, 300k and 400k
5/2/2020 – 200k, 300k, 400k and 600k
All rides will begin at 7:00 a.m. Good luck in training this winter and we hope to see you in the spring.
The final brevets for 2019 will begin at 7:00 a.m. in Edwardsville, Illinois at the corner of of W. College Street and North Second Street. We will be riding the new Randy Johnson 200k course. The courses for the 300k, 400k and 600k remain the same.
I hope you’ll be able to join us for a memorable day on our bikes.
For the first time in over fifteen years, RUSA has approved a new course for the St. Louis, Missouri, region. The course is identified as RUSA #2479 Randy Johnson 200k. It can be viewed on RideWithGPS at https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30724023 and is available in the Brevets App as RUSA2479-RandyJohnson200k.
The new course incorporates the best parts of the the old 200k and replaces parts of the course with a 38 mile ride on the Madison County Bike Trail to start the brevet. The portion of the old course that used Highway 177 to Okawville has been eliminated.
A view along the Watershed Trail, December 12, 2018, which you will encounter on the Randy Johnson 200k course.
Randy Johnson was a longtime member of the ultradistance cycling community. He became a member of STLRandonneurs in 2006. He frequently volunteered to support other riders during record attempts, and his boundless sense of humor and good natured attitude made him a welcome riding companion at any time. He is missed by all of us who knew him.
We will be using the new course for the first time on September 28, 2019. John Jost and I pre-rode the course on September 15, 2019, and it is in fairly good condition. I have updated the cue sheets available on this site at RandyJohnson200k.
It seemed like a beautiful day for a bike ride, and the temperature was perfect. However a persistent wind of more than 10 miles per hour from the southeast wore the riders down during the first half of the event.
Pictured above are eight of the nine riders who rode events on April 6. Gay Ely and I completed the 200k. Jerry Cabeliza, Scott Ebbing and Todd Ranney completed the 300k. Tom Gee and George Jarad completed the 400k.
Kelley Wegeng attempted the 600k, but decided to end her ride when the prospect of riding 180 miles alone in the dark in the rain seemed like less fun than a warm hotel room in Mount Vernon. Kelley was riding at a good pace into that ever present headwind. She is an excellent rider and hopefully she will be back to finish the 600k.
Scott Thompson attempted to ride the 200k, but fell victim to heat exhaustion. As an experienced randonneur, he wisely called for his wife to rescue him in Okawville. Just a reminder that a rider can suffer from dangerous heat exhaustion even in cooler weather.
Thanks to Robert Tesar for pre-riding the 300k course.
Three riders completed the 200k on April 13, 2019. They were Ed Carl, John Garrett and Scott Thompson. Scott extended his streak of riding at least one brevet each year for the past fourteen years.
Six riders started the 400k on April 13, 2019, with an ominous weather forecast predicting wet and cold riding ahead. The forecast proved to be accurate with parts of the course receiving rain of more than one inch. Nevertheless, four current members of STL Randonneurs managed to finish. They were Michael Billing, Jon Batek, David Mitchell and Jerry Cabeliza.
Two riders did not finish. They deserve recognition for attempting a challenging ride. Both Robert Tesar and Jeff Schmela both completed approximately 220 miles before wind, rain and cold stopped their rides. Jeff was attempting to join STL Randonneurs.
Congratulations to all nine riders.
On April 6, 2019, we will offer a 200k brevet, a 300k brevet, a 400k brevet, and a 600k brevet. All rides will start at 7:00 a.m., but you need to register between 6:00 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. Pre-registration is not available. You should complete the registration form on this website and bring it with you on the morning of the rides. You should also try to have the exact amount for your ride. The costs of the rides are $10.00 for the 200k and 300k, $15.00 for the 400k and $20.00 for the 600k.
Robert Tesar pre-rode the 300k course last Sunday and found an error in the Ride With GPS file. I think that error has been corrected, but you must remember that the official course is set out on the cue sheets which are available on this site. It is your responsibility to make sure any electronic versions of the course are correct. The Brevets app for the iPhone also has electronic versions of the courses available. I create these courses for Brevets and use them to help create the cue sheets, so they tend to be very accurate.
I have driven or ridden each course and they appear to be in pretty good shape. There are some potholes but they are infrequent. On the 600k course, I did not ride the Tunnel Hill Trail between Burnside and Vienna, but I spoke with some trail users, and they said the trail was in good shape.
Some of the 600k riders have stopped at the Hotel 7 in Vienna, Illinois, and rested for a short time. I checked with the hotel yesterday, and they said they only had three reservations for Saturday night, so it is not too late to get a room if that fits into your plan.
The weather looks like it will be nice on Saturday with some possible rain on Sunday.
If you have any questions, please contact me.
Dennis Smith, RBA
St. Louis, Missouri Region