Great Lakes Memorial Date Flèche/Dart

As of March 28th, due to the situation with COVID-19 and the uncertainty about the situation. GLR is postponing the fleche and dart.  We may hold other rides that are less complex and more appropriate that specific time.  The effort required on behalf of teams is simply too great to take into account considering the fact that we have no idea what RUSA's plans will be.

GLR has not had a fleche in many years - at least 10 and counting.  For those not familiar with them, flèche is French for arrow.  The event is traditionally held at Easter time and consisted of teams of riders all taking different one-way routes to a single finish point (like and arrow traveling towards its target).  The finish was generally a celebration.  Unlike a traditional brevet, a flèche is made of a team of riders who must all ride together and finish together.  It's the ultimate in camaraderie.  

For those not anxious to ride all night, we are jointly holding a RUSA Dart.  A dart follows the same format as a flèche, but is half the size.  It must be 13.5 hours long and 200k in length.  Each team creates their own route within a set of parameters.

Routes have the following rules:

  1. Flèche routes must be at least 360k and last 24 hours.  Darts are at least 200k and last 13.5 hours
  2. The finish window will be 6-7 pm on Sunday, May 24th, 2020.  Flèche teams must start between 6-7 pm the night before, Dart teams must start between 4:30 and 5:30 the morning of the 24th.  Each team must declare their start time at the time they submit their route
  3. Routes are traditionally one way, but can be a big loop.  Out-and-back routes are not allowed.  The timing does make it possible to use trains or other transportation means to get to their starting points.  If the route is a loop, there must be controls at the corners to ensure you do the loop.  Those controls are NOT timed
  4. Stops longer than 2 hours are not allowed, but that's plenty of time for a good nap or a sit down meal
  5. The only timed control must be 25k from the finish and is 2 hours before the end of the ride
  6.  No two teams can be on the same road at the same time or ride together

For both fleches and darts, team size is by the number of bicycles (a tandem counts as 1).  Each team must have 3-5 bicycles (members). Most teams give themselves names, team jerseys are not unheard of!  At least 3 must finish for the team to be considered completed.  Though by GLR tradition, we honor everyone who chooses to ride.

While we are not going to do this for Easter, the fleche still has time constraints that limit it to the spring.  Kingston Smith came up with Geneva and Penrose Brewing as our finish destination.  We are planning an room and festivities/dinner for the finish.  

If you are interested in having a team, contact Michele as soon as possible.  We will be posting a list of team names and general parameters on the calendar along with whether the team is "open" or not.  So if you are looking for a team, we can try and match you up with compatible riders.  This goes for both the fleche and the dart.  The final routes will be due by May 10th to Michele - they can just be an RWGPS link.  All the team routes will be posted on the Flèche/Dart page.

Michele has ridden many fleches and all have been fantastic experiences.  This is a special opportunity to really see why camaraderie and enjoying your fellow riders is such a central part of the sport.

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