Question 1: Do you have a rough draft of the cues for this ride? (I have TopoUSA and Garmin in case you have draft route files.)
You can find blog posts, segment route descriptions, maps, links and route sheets here. If you scroll down through the blog, you will find maps, route sheets and more detailed descriptions for each segment. You will find links to Bikely maps where you can download gpx and kml files for Garmin and Google Earth. These routes should be considered draft segments for the 1000k + 200k. The 1000k will end 200k from the start. To get from the end of the 1000k back to the start, you have to ride the 200k brevet or have a friend pick you up at the end of the 1000k or hitch hike. There is no bus line, train, airplane or car rental at the end of the 1000k
Question 2: What level of support will the ride have?
Several of the volunteers for last springs Oregon 600 XTR have volunteered to help support this randonnee. The completion rate for the Oregon 600 XTR was incredible. I think the support provided by the volunteers contributed to that success. Mostly, the riders were in excellent physical condition and just plain, hardy and adventurous pioneers. We will preride the route two weeks before the event date. I anticipate the support will be based on the segments between the overnight controls and will consist of three support vehicles. One vehicle sweeping the end, one staffing the segment between start and end points and the third preparing the overnight control. The preride will determine the critical points along the route. This is a sparsely populated area best described as rural, wilderness and Old West. You won't find corner convenience stores and you will seldom even find corners. Your cell phone will be mostly useless and if you run out of energy, it may be a very long walk to anywhere.
Question 3: What will the event cost?
A detailed plan and cost estimate has not been made yet but I hazard the cost may be around $275 per rider. The cost needs to cover lodging, food, miscellaneous supplies and the cost of the support vehicles. The number of riders will probably have to be limited to 10 riders for preride and 15 riders for the event which tends to further increase the cost per rider.
Question 4: Have you set a start time?
A start time has not been determined yet. One idea is to try to time the start so the difference between the end of the 1000k and the start of the 200k allows a generous rest period. The preride will help determine the start time for the event.
Question 5: Where are overnights likely to be, and how will they work?
The overnights are likely to be located at or near Westin, Baker City and Condon. This is about 350k of hard or very hard riding per day. The start and end points have not been finalized. Probable start locations for the 1000k and the end of the 200k are Bingen, Washington or Hood River, Oregon.
Question 6: Will this ride include options for other distances?
Yes, the options are 1000k + 200k, 1000k or 200k. It will be the rider's responsibility to find their way to the start and finish of each route.
Question 7: What kind of weather has this ride (or the ride area) had recently about ride time-of-year? Any wind/heat/rain extremes? Is it high enough to avoid the heat of the Yakima Valley? (I have Cliff Mass' Weather of the Pacific NW, but that only suggests to me that the weather would be very dependent on the route.)
When Rick and I rode this route the second week of June two years ago, the weather was great. The Big Lebowski 600k brushed the western edge of the Blue Mountains in 2006. Early fall temperatures were hot during the day and cold or very cold night at night, especially in the valleys. The weather for the Oregon 600 XTR at the end of May last year was hot with temperatures into the mid 90s. Only fools and newcomers predict the weather around here but mid June offers a good trade off between snow and ice on the passes and hot spring temperatures. Riders need to be prepared for both cold and hot temperatures.