April 14-16, 2017
San Francisco, California
Under the authorization of RANDONNEURS USA An affiliation of the Audax Club Parisien and the Randonneurs Mondiaux
March 29 Registration deadline. Completed individual waivers, team entry forms, payment and proposed routes and timetables due from team captains**It would be greatly appreciated if teams can submit their plans before the deadline, as this is a busy period of time for SFR volunteers. Note that team captains will submit payment for their team members and be reimbursed by the members separately.
April 5 Modification deadline. Flèche Coordinator approves route and timetable. No changes to routes or additions to teams will be allowed after this date.
April 14-16 Dates of event (NB: Teams may start their 24 hour Flèche as early as 6am on Friday, the 14th of April.)
Registration for the Flèche is handled as follows:
Riders should work directly with each other to create a team, choose a captain, and decide on a route.
Team captains should contact the to receive the link to the team registration page.
The captain is responsible for registering his/her team, submitting the route, paying for team members, and receiving/distributing brevet cards.
The registration fee is $25/rider, which includes your meal at the finish (Crepes on Cole).
Flèche California is a 24 hour point to point ride of at least 360 km with the end point in the City of San Francisco. Flèche is the French word for arrow. Teams of participants travel one-way down a route of their design (as approved by the Flèche Coordinator) like arrows towards a central target.
Flèche California is modeled on the Flèche Vélocio. First held in 1947, Flèche Vélocio originated as a celebration and memorial to Paul De Vivie and the end of the Christian period of Lent. DeVivie, published the very influential French cyclng magazine “Le Cycliste.” De Vivie used the pseudonym “Vélocio” in his writings.
Vélocio resided in St. Etienne during the most influential period of his life. The distance between these two French cities is approximately 360 km. ACP specified that the Flèche Vélocio be a team ride from Paris to St. Etienne to be completed in 24 hours. Teams develop routes that converge on St. Etienne in the south of France, timing their arrival so that they can enjoy some rest and relaxation before a group meal and social gathering on Easter Sunday. After the event, some immediately return home by train or other means; others may spend a few days on holiday before bicycling home. Vélocio also experimented with the use of the derailleur and multiple ratio gearing. This experimentation occurred decades before the mechanism became widely used
The finish is at Crepes On Cole at 100 Carl Street, San Francisco. San Francisco Randonneurs (SFR) will sponsor a breakfast for registered riders on the morning of Sunday April 16th. Please contact if you are not riding but wish to join the finishing Flèche teams for breakfast. NB: some teams may be asked to change their start time in order to stagger the arrival at the finish location.
All riders on all teams must read and adhere to the RUSA Fleche rules listed here:
EVENT PROCEDURES : The start time is proposed by the team captain and may be any time between Noon on Thursday and 10:00AM Saturday. If two teams propose to leave from the same location using the same route, they must leave at least one hour apart. Departure times are first-come, first-served based on the date of receipt of the entry form.
Each team member will carry a brevet card provided by the organizer indicating the place names and passage times proposed by the route sheet. The card is to be presented at all designated control points, secret control points, and the 22-hour and 24-hour control points. The card will also have space for any extra control points the team may require to claim additional off-route mileage due to road detours or other contingencies. The route card must be presented if requested by any course official. Designated control points will typically be at stores, restaurants, fire stations, or post offices.
At the end of the 22nd hour of the ride, the exact time and the location of the team must be noted on each route card and verified by the signature and/or stamp of a local merchant, official, etc. A business receipt imprinted with the time, date and location would also be accepted. As with any control, the lack of the 22nd hour checkpoint verification will result in disqualification. A similar procedure should be followed at the start time + 24 hours if riders have not reached the finish location. At the finish, the total number of miles and time is also entered and team members are to sign their route card. Route cards are to be collected by SFR volunteers at the conclusion of the event who will be on hand at the finish location between the hours of 7am and 10am Sunday. Contact the RBA and/or Fleche coordinator at if your finish time is planned to be outside of these hours. Loss of route cards or other irregularities may disqualify the entire team.
TEAM SIZE: Participants shall ride in groups of between three and five members. Team membership must be approved by the Flèche Coordinator. Tandems count as one member of the team. Teams may be comprised of riders of mixed abilities. Changes in the makeup of a team after the entry form has been submitted must be approved in writing by the organizer.
ROUTE: The route shall be at least 360km (224 miles) long. The route will end at Crepes on Cole, at 100 Carl St. in San Francisco. A straight route is encouraged. No part of a route can be used twice (i.e., no road can be used more than once in the same direction).
Each team is responsible for choosing a route, selecting control points along it. Team captains submit the route information, including maps, cue sheets, designated control points, and timetables to the San Francisco Regional Brevet Administrator. The organizer prepares route cards to be carried by each participant and to be presented at control points.
At least 25km of this route must be covered during the last two hours of the 24-hour period. For teams planning to cover routes longer than 360km, the actual distance completed must be no more than 15% greater nor 20% less than the planned distance. For all teams, at least three (3) of the team members must complete these requirements together and achieve the same final mileage. Each team member must complete these requirements. A Fleche is not a relay! Teams should ensure that all members of the team stay and finish together.
It is useful to plan a route somewhat longer than the minimum in case you are ahead of schedule. Remember, you may not backtrack to add miles; however, you can choose to deviate from the planned route and get credit for the extra miles by adding an impromptu control at the furthest point of the deviation. It is also helpful to plan the route so that one is near a selection of restaurants, inns, gasoline stations, or stores during the last 150km. These provide convenient resting places and locations for the necessary controls.
In 2002, the ACP imposed a new rule limiting the duration of stops to be a maximum of two hours each. This is intended to remind riders that this is a 24-hour timed event, not a 360km brevet. It is not in keeping with the spirit of the event to ride hard for 16 hours, sleep for six, and then complete the distance in the final two hours.
ASSISTANCE : Assistance between team members is authorized but assistance between different teams is strictly prohibited, even if they are members of the same club. Assistance from anyone not involved in the event is prohibited.
Use of a team support vehicle is discouraged; however, if used, it may meet the team only at pre-arranged control points.
No follow vehicles are permitted. Any team found being followed by a support vehicle (continuously or occasionally) will be disqualified. The team and team members will be excluded from the event for the following year.
RIDER RESPONSIBILITIES : Each participant is considered to be on a private excursion and accepts responsibility for any accidents in which he or she may be involved. Cyclists must obey city, county, and state laws and rules of the road, conducting themselves in a manner that will not bring discredit to the San Francisco Randonneurs, Randonneurs USA, or Audax Club Parisien.
Any cycle is permitted provided it is propelled by muscle power alone.
Each cycle must have a primary lighting system consisting of a white front light and a red rear light. The rear lamp must be capable of steady (non-flashing) operation to comply with state law and to facilitate group riding. The primary lighting system must be securely mounted to the bicycle. Participants must have backups for both the front and rear lights: spares are required. A complete redundant system may also be used as a backup. Supplementary lights, reflective tape, and light-colored clothing are strongly recommended. Riding without lights and RUSA required reflective gear at night or during periods of low visibility is grounds for disqualification. Riding in a group does not exempt any cyclist from using lights. Lights shall be used from sunset to sunrise.
A reflective safety vest or Sam Browne Belt must be worn whenever lights are used. A rear red reflector is required by law. Reflective bands on each ankle are required.
Helmets are required. Fenders are also recommended, as Spring weather can be wet.