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The Ride that was supposed to replace PBP

Old 08-15-22, 10:53 AM
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Richard Cranium
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The Ride that was supposed to replace PBP

I recently spoke with some of the "old timers" that had qualified for PBP back in the 70s and 80s. Among them were cyclists that put together a bicycle ride they hoped would become a sort of PBP for the USA.

Anyone have some experience or comments about this ride? An old pic or story would be great.

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Old 08-15-22, 05:59 PM
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BAM was supposed to replace PBP? I've never heard of it, so I guess it didn't work.

I know there was a precursor to RUSA that some still have bad feelings about, but I haven't been involved in randonneuring long enough to know what happened.
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Old 08-17-22, 01:00 PM
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Was it supposed to be Boston-Montreal-Boston? I did a ride a few years ago with Rusa #4 and he was telling me the backstory about how RUSA came about and how some officials from ACP came over to observe the then only qualifier for P-B-P.They had split from Jim Konski as he had been unresponsive. Rides had been run from near Syracuse/Homer area in NY.

https://rusa.org/newsletter/05-05-03.html
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Old 08-18-22, 11:22 AM
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BMB was the first thing I thought of. Some people wish it would come back, but Bill O. tells me it was an awful route, which is something coming from him. I remember seeing him smiling away on the section of the terror of carolina ride that gave it it's unofficial nickname. 100 miles of no-shoulder bumper to bumper traffic going 60mph. I asked him about that later and he said it was fine.

I was talking to Bill about the rumor that the BMB route is for sale for big $. Can't really stop an organizer from running it, although the recently held New York Montreal New York is probably a better route.
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Old 08-18-22, 11:48 AM
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I don't know about BAM ever being considered a replacement for PBP although my rando exposure only goes back to the late 80's when I had wanted to do PBP in 1991 but I had an injury get in the way. I just don't remember anything other than Boston Montreal Boston as much of anything even close to PBP and that would be a stretch. I did the two years of SR before going to PBP in 1995.

I recall well organized brevets out of Boston (hanscom air base), NT (Harlem), Potomac Pedelers in DC, San Fran, Seattle, etc. Most people did not have email in 1993-95 and the internet as we know it now did not exist. It was a magazine telling you when the Brevets were and who to call (on the landline phone). Randonneuring was very different then compared to now but I really do not understand the idiotic comments from people who did not ride then. I'll just say we never had 5 controls in 50 km like some rides do now.
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Old 08-18-22, 07:29 PM
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Too many controls is my pet peeve, but what can be done about it? If someone puts on a brevet I can look and see how many controls it has and decide if I want to do it or not. There is one 200k where the fact there is a control every 10 miles on the way back in combination with how slow the course is for me leads me not to want to ride it any more. It does seem like the dominant culture now in RUSA obsesses over proof of passage far more than makes sense.
The controls on Endless mountains 1240k were great, it was designed to have a control every 100km, just like PBP.
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Old 08-19-22, 06:14 AM
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One thing I often ask any randonneur is if they ever knew or saw anyone cheating. Universally, they have been aghast, almost offended by the mere question. Nobody ever heard or saw a cheater. Well, this year was a first. A fellow admitted he cheated and got caught. He was really wasted and bonked and he said he cheated about 5 miles on a 400k.

I'm a cynical person. But, I can say in my experience that randonneurs are the most honorable and honest people I have met in my life. Not many randos even care one bit about their time, so, cheating seems to be a non issue. Yet, sometimes there are controls 5-8 miles apart. Ridiculous.
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Old 08-19-22, 12:18 PM
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exactly, I'm not going to study the course so I can find shortcuts and I know most randonneurs are the same. I know one randonneur that seems to think that if you can shortcut a course, it's okay. I wish they wouldn't do it (if they do), but it doesn't really affect me at all. At least they never rode my perms back when I was responsible for certifying their ride. This person is definitely an aberration in my experience with U.S. randonneurs, who seem to share RUSA's obsession with proof of passage. When I'm designing a course I work pretty hard to put controls in where the course can't be shortcut and are a reasonable distance apart. It's like a puzzle for me. But I'm never going to put people on a road that has enough traffic to be unpleasant if I can help it. Which isn't always possible since we live in an area with lots of mountains and valleys. RUSA cuts you some slack if the shortcut doesn't save much distance. Most of my routes exploit this so the route goes on roads that I actually want to ride. I'm told RBA's have discretion if they cite safety which isn't done often enough in my experience.
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Old 08-21-22, 01:42 PM
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A funny (I think) but true story. On a long brevet, the RBA apologized for like 3 controls in 30 miles. He says to us, you can just sign it yourself. I plan to be at one of the towns having a beverage (probably coffee or Tea) and I'll see you go by. If you want to stop and buy something, that is ok too. I asked him at one of the overnights, he said there was a way to shortcut and miss some climbs.

What I love about PBP WRT controls. The first one is at 221 km. Yes, you have to go thru Mortagne au Perche (a control on the return) and they have food, water, and a proper place to pee pee. But....you can just be independent. You want to stop at a town for food? No problem. You want to accept kindness of fans on the road. Even better. Somehow it really feels good. Compared to TABR or other ultra races where ethics are confusing, PBP just feels good. I remember in Kentucky a Dot Watcher stopped me for a Photo and offered me a gatorade. I was very, very thirsty. I declined. She said she told a photo with every single racer and every single one got the same gatorade. So, I accepted. To think that I had to question my ethics at the time is a bit much. I did cheat.....I provided a rider some photons in the middle of the night when it took him a hour to fix a flat. Myself needed a rest and some comical relief. He was so screwed up he could not fix his flat. The beauty of randonneuring is the generousity of other riders....a rando would have fixed the flat for the inept racer. I knew that was crossing the line, but shining a light? Sue me.
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Old 08-28-22, 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
BAM was supposed to replace PBP? I've never heard of it, so I guess it didn't work.
I have some vague memory of BAM ... might have been from reading my father's Bicycling Magazines years and years ago.
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Old 08-29-22, 04:34 PM
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Well - I misspoke - the original Bicycle Across Missouri was created by several Randoneurrs that - at the time belonged to the International Randoneurss. (A USA based - Audax sanctioned brevet club) Out of curiosity -were any of you a member the International Randoneurss ?

They did not intend to replace PBP - but at the time the real need was to develop more interest in brevet riding. So the idea was people could try to qualify for PBP but still ride BAM if they did not complete the brevets or they could not go to Europe. Yes it was really much like a BMB multi-day ride.

The ride was quite popular - and was held from 1983 to 1989. It was always above 540 miles and usually have 60hr time limit





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Old 08-30-22, 07:03 AM
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I know someone that was a member of IR
It's not hard to get him to rant at length about RUSA, he refused to join for many years.
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Old 08-30-22, 03:02 PM
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Yeah I know some old guy was in way someone getting on with a quality brevet club. The old guy apparently wasn't being a good enough brevet administrator.
I didn't know much about it, I was just happy to find anyone going on long rides.
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Old 09-03-22, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I know someone that was a member of IR
It's not hard to get him to rant at length about RUSA, he refused to join for many years.
Me?

What I find annoying is the claim that communications were slow with IR in the 80/90's. Yes, there was no internet. They used the US post office. You got a couple newsletters. I got every brevet card back faster than nowadays, not that it matters. It often takes 2 years to get cards back now. You know what was really hard back then? Dealing with the French to get into PBP. What a paperwork ordeal it was and I am accustomed to bureaucracies. And paying in French Francs or whatever their currency was. I had to go into NYC for that. And the damned medical certificate. My point? Retrospectively applying today's standards to volunteer orgs 30 years ago is rather unfair. The world has really changed.

The volunteers who ran the brevets back then were just as nice as those today, just a lot fewer of them back then.
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Old 09-03-22, 09:14 AM
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I have never heard you rant about IR/RUSA, I'm talking about someone else. Tbh, I wasn't under the impression he's that old, he must have started randonneuring pretty young. He's not happy about RUSA not recognizing IR results or something. I understand the switchover was somewhat acrimonious. But when I hear discussions about it I always manage to tune out. I guess the switch may have made problems for people to find rides if the volunteers in one of the smaller areas didn't switch over right away.
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Old 09-10-22, 05:08 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Compared to TABR or other ultra races where ethics are confusing,
I think you got that right. On the TABR, if you aren't among the leaders, some of the rules pertaining to self-support kinda go out the window. Puzzling to me. No trophy, no cash and not even a lousy t-shirt for awards. Just the great feeling of accomplishment. And some are ok with cheapening it. Rant over... maybe.
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Old 09-10-22, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by gif4445 View Post
I think you got that right. On the TABR, if you aren't among the leaders, some of the rules pertaining to self-support kinda go out the window. Puzzling to me. No trophy, no cash and not even a lousy t-shirt for awards. Just the great feeling of accomplishment. And some are ok with cheapening it. Rant over... maybe.
I think there is a lot of cheaters at the front. You don't pull into a hotel in the mountains on a weekend night at 11 and just get a room, especially when rooms are booked months in advance. It doesn't take rocket surgery to figure that one out.

Rant over.
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Old 09-10-22, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I have never heard you rant about IR/RUSA, I'm talking about someone else. Tbh, I wasn't under the impression he's that old, he must have started randonneuring pretty young. He's not happy about RUSA not recognizing IR results or something. I understand the switchover was somewhat acrimonious. But when I hear discussions about it I always manage to tune out. I guess the switch may have made problems for people to find rides if the volunteers in one of the smaller areas didn't switch over right away.
RUSA has done a lot of really good things for randonneuring.

Porting old results into a new system (migration of legacy data) is an expensive PITA that companies try to avoid. I would say it was harder to earn the SR back in the day because there was no support and there were not so many brevets and one typically had to travel to get to them but who cares if the results are lost. I guess riders like having "credit" for brevets. I never felt that way, completing the ride is my reward although I am happy to have done R12 once. Several years back I got a DQ and the RBA was profusely apologetic and I was like no big deal, I finished the brevet. I could not find the control and was dealing with some pain. I simply spaced out and missed it, a well known velomobile rider comes by me later and says, why didn't you stop at the control, I saw you looking around. At that point, it was probably an hour and a half round trip to the last control. I thought a witness or gramin trace would have been sufficient, but rules are rules and that is ok. The difference to the IR days, that section of route would have had one manned control and not 4. I figure randonneurs in the USA are so fat is because we have to buy junk food every 10-15 miles at a minimart. LOL.
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Old 09-10-22, 12:34 PM
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I agree, I made it all the way across North Carolina on a 1200k on chocolate milk and Reese's cups. When you stop every dozen miles, what are you going to buy? More Reese's cups.
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Old 09-11-22, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
I think there is a lot of cheaters at the front. You don't pull into a hotel in the mountains on a weekend night at 11 and just get a room, especially when rooms are booked months in advance. It doesn't take rocket surgery to figure that one out.

Rant over.
I guess you never know. I remember being very concerned that I wouldn't find anything in West Yellowstone, so I jumped at a very expensive room I found online and booked it the day of. Talked to others that didn't and just hit town. They found much cheaper rooms at the first low budget motel they saw.
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