Event date: April 7, 2007
San Francisco, California under the authorization of RANDONNEURS USA
An affiliation of the Audax Club Parisien and the Randonneurs Mondiaux
Fléche California is a 24 hour point to point ride of at least 360 km with the end point in the City of San Francisco. Fléche is the French word for arrow. Teams of participants travel in one-way down a route of their design (as approved by the Regional Brevet Administrator).
Fléche California is modeled on the Fléche Velocio. First held in 1947, Fléche Velocio 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 Velocio in his writings.
Velocio 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 Fléche Velocio 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.
Velocio also experimented with the use of the derailleur and multiple ratio gearing. This experimentation occurred decades before the mechanism became widely used.
Each team member will carry a route card provided by the organizer indicating the place names and passage times proposed by the timetable. 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 start time + 22 hours, the team should proceed to the nearest validation site (business, police, fire, church, post office) to have its exact position noted. The time, distance and name, address, and telephone number of the site is to be noted on each team members route card, the card signed and stamped by the a person not part of the team. 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 and mailed to the event organizer within 48 hours of the conclusion of the event. Loss of route cards or other irregularities may disqualify the team.
Team Size: Participants shall ride in groups of between three and five members. Team members must all be RUSA members. Team membership must be approved by the RBA. Tandems count as one member of the team. Teams shall 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 Kezar Stadium (Frederick Street just west of Stanyan) in San Francisco. A straight route is encouraged. No part of a route can be used twice.
Each team is responsible for choosing a route, selecting control points along it, and proposing a timetable for arrival at each control point. 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. 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 flËche is not a relay! Teams should assure that each member 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 50km. 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 time trial, 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 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 must be worn whenever lights are used. A rear red reflector is required by law. Reflective bands on each ankle are encouraged. Pedal reflectors and/or reflective material on shoes are also suggested.
Helmets are required. Fenders are also recommended, as Spring weather can be wet.
March 17 entry forms and proposed timetables due from team captains
March 25 Regional Brevet Administrator approves route and timetable
April 7-8 date of event