Archives for category: google group

A tally of my posts to rando lists might suggest that I need to step up my volunteering. ;^)


On Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 3:24 PM, Janos> wrote:

I propose that for each post a person makes to any of the myriad randonneuring google groups that that person is required to volunteer to provide support for a randonnee. This data should be easy to collect provided someone volunteers to collect it.

Rob was responding to an earlier post of mine that I deleted.

I deleted my post because I was afraid someone might take me seriously and I would find myself wrangled into working a finish control for SFR without salty snacks or chocolate milk, far far away from the safety of a couch, but it was something like this:

In repayment to the respective randonneuring club for each post to a randonneuring google group the poster should be required to volunteer for an event. One post to the google group, work one event.

Data could be collected and tallied and posted to a ‘who has volunteered’ web page on the club website prior to each randonnee, along with an automatic email to each google group poster informing them of the volunteer position they have volunteered for by posting.

I am sure we can get someone to volunteer to create the database and the automatic ‘you have volunteered to volunteer’ email. The assignments could be randomly assigned using an algorithm that automatically determines the appropriate volunteer assignment based on the post content, grammar, spelling, number of additional posts generated by original post, and the use of emoticons.

The results of the volunteer assignments would be posted to the SFR website in addition to the rider results. I am sure someone can volunteer to create this ‘who has volunteered’ web page, the assignment algorithm and tallying the volunteering results. Please post your willingness to help your club help you.

Written from the couch of Janos.

I am sitting on my comfortable couch (sofa) and wondering if I will start having Volunteers coordination nightmares tonight – I will need a super computer database


Speaking of volunteers….Ginger had an entire ice chest of chocolate milk set aside for you at the Napa control Saturday.  I told her you wouldn’t mind if I had just one.  She slapped my hand away….”We must save this chocolate milk for Janos!” she said.  So I got back on my bike and rode as hard as I could to get back to Bear Republic early and drink all the beer.  I did my best.  Then found out you weren’t even there!


Thanks Dean

It is important that sensitivity toward couch disability sufferers be encouraged and I applaud Ginger’s noble effort at compassion and empathy. Please share with Ginger my message of thanks.

Sadly I was nursing a slight concussion from a catastrophic couch failure I experienced while mountain biking and was not able to attend the Santa Rosa 200. Never again will I purchase a used carbon fiber couch no matter how incredible the promised performance advantages might be, or how tempting the low price is.

The failure might be attributed to a serious pile-up I was involved during a stage race two weeks prior. I was pretty confident the carbon couch was fine after flopped down onto it and did some serious napping immediately after the mishap, but in retrospect, I should have checked under the cushions before I used it again.

If only couch data for randonneurs were available, my situation might be different.



If it’s helpful to anyone, here’s the cue sheet for this weekend’s
300k reformatted to fit nicely in a front rando bag’s map sleeve.
-Jim G

Thank you Jim.
This is going to my first 300k, any words of wisdom from everybody?


Hi Ron,

This will be my 3rd 300k, but my first in several years.  My plan is
to ride VERY conservatively and hit the controls within their time
limits.  If anyone wants to follow a similar plan, I’d love some
riding company!

-Jim G


Thank you for all the advice.  I finished a few 200k already, just wondering
is there a big jump from 200k to 300k, given the route we are using.

My plan is the same as the 2 Rocks 200k, go at a steady pace, easy on
sprints, eat, drink and keep the stop short.


Ron, here are some valuable words of wisdom from the couch of Janos.

review the cue using google maps. Use street view to pick out
landmarks for key turns along the way, eg the salmon colored building
at D Street and Petaluma Blvd, or the white house at the turn from Old
Redwood Highway to Main Street.

review the weather for various places along the route. The weather in
Guerneville can be quite different from the weather in Santa Rosa
which is almost always different from the weather in SF. Notorious
cold places include woodacre and nicasio. It can be rather pleasant at
the start in SF and rather cold in those places when you get there.

Get a postcard at the start for the marshall control,
just in case. If you do not use it, give it back at the finish.

carry a couple ensure or buy a six pack and share with your friends in
Healdsburg. Drink your ensure first thing at a control stop and then
do your stuff and eat whatever else you were going to eat. The energy
from the ensure will be there to help you digest other food you might
eat and to help you move along from the control. Drinking an ensure
first thing when you stop at Diekmanns will help you eat whatever
greasy salty deep fried thing you end up eating there.

Bring some chapstick –…

Trim your nose and ear hair. I experienced horrific speed wobbles on
the rollers of highway one during the 2010 300. I subsequently trimmed
them for the 400 which worked great, but then I found myself stuck in
a small place at the Petaluma Safeway at 2am reaching for Strawberry
Ensure that was on sale ($6 a sixpack!) on the bottom shelf waay in
back. It took at least 30 minutes for someone to come along and pull
me out because my calls for help were muffled by the shelves and
chocolate ensure. I narrowly missed the control closure time. I now
keep a couple long hairs on my ears so that I will be sure and not get
stuck again with negligible effect on the stability of my bicycle.



Thank you for the advice.  Too bad you will miss the couch this time,
unless you are really pushing it or buy Mike dinner.


Though I (really) could have done without the mention of nose and ear
hair, this is excellent advice.

Another thread from the Google Group

Has anyone had  luck with 1 1/8″ threadless needle bearing headsets, in
regards to helping to reduce front end shimmy?
I know Miche and FSA have a half needle headset. Needle on the bottom and
ball bearing or cartridge on top.
I’m trying a different fork and skinnier tires (700×23 instead of 700×28)
and it’s helping a little bit.
Any advice?

I’ve heard from the local shaman that burning a sage branch near the front
end of your bike can ameliorate shimmy to some extent.  Or was it a head of
garlic in your jersey pocket? Bubba

I have had good luck with reducing shimmy by trimming my nose and ear

I believe it has something to do with aerodynamics and air currents
and eddies (similar to the dimples on golf balls) and the harmonic
vibrations created by airflow past the nose and ears working their way
down the arms to the handlebars.

I am pretty sure I am faster now too, based on a couple coast-down
times on whites hill on a calm day. I am currently attempting to
submit my test results to Jan Heine for a BQ article but he hasn’t
responded to my emails yet. This could be a valuable source of speed
and stability for most Randonneurs if adopted properly.

It worked for me, Ely. Hope it works for you too.


Don’t forget the leg hair! Much more surface area than the ears and
nostrils, and each hair acts like a tiny malicious drag-racers parachute,
conspiring to slow you down!

But does Jan Heinz ever talk about this? No!

I, for one, would like to know why! Ty

I’ve heard that NO Rando bike has ever shimmied (not even once) while its
rider was experiencing a session of couch therapy at Black Mountain Cycle. Bubba

Janos, for the record, my wife often insists that I trim my nose hair.
At first, I resisted, but really, I think it looks a bit strange.
Now, my son tells me to trim my nose hairs and usually watches me as I do
it, its stranger.
Jim, I wonder if inside the lower cartridge is a needle bearing? Is that
even possible?
I’m willing to try it out. I have a headset press, so its pretty easy for
me to press it in.
Oh, if you ever need a headset press, let me know.
I also have a BB chaser and facer if you need it.  Ely

Several riders have contacted me off group questioning my research,
pointing out the alleged contradiction of gaining speed by trimming of
nose and ear hair because golf balls fly faster due to the eddies and
currents created by the dimples rather than slower.

I believe the increase in speed caused by trimming of nose and ear
hair is due to reduced frontal area and the concurrent reduction in
drag – my wind tunnel testing proves this almost conclusively. My
research also shows that eddies and currents created by nose and ear
hair contribute more to shimmy than speed with most randonneurs and
this effect is often most pronounced during longer Randonnees.

I know randonneurs are reluctant to trim nose and ear hair because of
worries about loss of balance and the danger of placing their head in
too narrow a space and getting it stuck. Those dangers are indeed real
but the trade-off between balancing and getting your head stuck and
reducing bicycle shimmy is a personal decision and my research can
only inform those struggling with this issue with more data and

I can only surmise that Mr. Heine is very busy with introducing much
sought after chainstay mounted derailers and has not had a chance to
review my research and thus the delay in publication. I would post it
to the list for the benefit of all but I do not want to jeopardize the
chance that my findings will be printed in BQ. If Mr. Heine will not
publish my papers I will make an attempt with the American Randonneur.

Wish me luck. Janos

I had good luck with my  Bilenky this past weekend. After trying a
different fork and needle bearing headset, with minimal effect, I tried to
weight the front end by putting a longer stem and lowering my handlebars.
It has made a big difference. The bike is really fantastic, so I’m glad I
was able to make it a little more stable with all of these changes. It’s
still a bit wiggly, but I’ve made peace with it and plan to shut up and
ride now.
When it wiggles, I’ll just clamp it down between my knees, slow down, and
Thanks to everyone for helping me out.

Another thread from the Google Group

Two Rock-Valley Ford controls and the Bovine Bakery

Howdy all,

There is a rumor that the Bovine Bakery will be closed for at least a week
in February, ending on 2-12-2012. This planned closure does not show on the
Bovine’s website as of this morning however:

This is of course not the only option for the Point Reyes open control on
the brevet, but it certainly is one of the most popular options.

Just fyi.



On the Two Rock-Valley Ford 200km, Point Reyes Station is an open control.
Open controls in this context allow you to visit any open business and get
a receipt as long as that receipt will have the store name and/or address
and a time stamp on the receipt. If Mike can give you that then great.
Toby’s Feed Barn however doesn’t have printed receipts so I mention that in
the info docs that riders would need to stop elsewhere as well to get their
receipt if they go to Toby’s.

One reason SFR doesn’t as a general rule have staffed intermediate controls
is that we’d like to encourage riders adding a few dollars to the local
economies of the towns we visit. Spending money in places like that tends
to cause the locals to like us a wee bit more. As regards Black Mountain
Cycles, spending money there has the added benefit of making just a little
bit more sure a full service bike shop will still be open in the future in
a place like PRS.


Yes Mike’s cash register receipts have “Black Mountain Cycles” printed
on them and of course the time of the transaction, they are perfect to
fulfill your prof of passage. He has just about everything a
randonnuer would need, parts, bags, clothes (wool) and some food
(energy bars, gels etc) If you ask nicely and don’t leave a mess
behind, you can probably fill out your water bottles in the restroom.


Don’t forgethe has the most comfortable couch in Point Reyes. Could be a negative though.


Janos, what are Mike’s rates for the couch? 🙂


Haha — I was doing two-rock as either a perm or a worker ride with a
small group a couple of year ago.  Janos had built up enough time
that he spent, I think, an hour+ on that couch before completing the
event! 🙂


That is Janos’ average couch time at Black Mountain. I’ve lost count of the
number of times that we have left Janos holding down the couch on rides.

I called the Bovine Bakery and they will have shorter hours on the 5th and
then they will be closed from the 6th to the 11th. They will be open again
on the 12th at 7am. I told them to expect us. Response was they are always
ready for us.

Renting a couch in PRS OK and valid for the control if you get a valid
receipt. Not sure though whether California will allow wheels to be added
to the couch so that you can get Janos on the road again sooner. The police
weren’t sure of rules when I lived in Prince Edward Island. Then there was
couch riding attempt in New Brunswick. I think it’s illegal due to spooking
the local moose.


“Renting a couch in PRS OK and valid for the control if you get a valid
receipt. Not sure though whether California will allow wheels to be added
to the couch so that you can get Janos on the road again sooner”
HAHAHA…oh man…so good.  Sorry for all the ribbing Janos, that was a good
one Richard.  We should talk Mike into making an item on his register/POS
system called “couch rental”.

I dunno about “couch rental” maybe “time share” as in vacation rental?
For a set amount you get a fix number of minutes/hours of couch time
per year. Then on brevet days you can simply show up at Mike’s shop
and spend minutes/hrs at half the rate* as long as you make a

* subject to availability and space in the couch.


* subject to availability and space in the couch.

Oh, crap.  Is Rob going to have to start implementing staggered start
groups like PBP to minimize congestion at the ‘couch control’?  


The whale of a deli in point reyes station has very good potato salad,
pasta salad, sandwiches, burritos, tortas, pizza, time and date
stamped receipts, soda, and BEER. I, conservative and safety conscious
as you all well know, purchase a Sprecher’s Ginger Ale to consume with
my Whale of a deal special that consists of an Italian sub and a small
container of potato salad for $7. This I consume on the couch.

Couch rental at Black Mountain Cycles is one six pack of beer per
visit, length of visit limited by space on couch and store hours. I
believe sitting on the couch until closing time (4pm) will still give
you enough time to get to the finish but there will be no chocolate
milk left at that hour. For couch rental I prefer to purchase
Steelhead ale or Boont Amber because Mike does not really like those
beers and they last longer in the fridge.

But I am compelled to add that

I AM SHOCKED and OUTRAGED with this flip couch humor indulged in by
people of this google group, questioning my manliness because of my
couch disability. I AM CONFUSED about the refusal of the RUSA to
collect couch data at the end of each randonnee and study it for the
benefit of all who may become victim of couch disability such as me –
I have had dear and close friends who used to mountain bike and race
bicycles that I have lost to couches.

We are losing people to couches all the time and yet all you google
groupers can do is pelt me with base humor and silly insults!

I for one cannot stand for this! Forget the recent election results
that had the one individual who was running on a platform of (couch)
safety and collected less than half the votes of any other candidate!
This happened because couch disability victims cannot get off the
couch to vote! And no one seems to care! I bet you all think this is
funny or something…

Please, if you feel as I do, then join me in SILENT PROTEST! I for one
will never bring up this subject again until my demands are met!
Together we must stay strong in our silence.


Further collection of couch related data isn’t going to tell us anything we
don’t already know.


PS: Ginger Ale is the new Chocolate Milk. You heard it from me first.

What’s hiding under the cushions — let alone under the couch?  Will
the RBA accept “I think my brevet card is in the couch” as an excuse
at the finish control?


“The couch ate it” is the new “My dog ate it”

You heard it here first


You are usually way ahead of the rest of us when it comes to anticipating
needs, so I’m sure this suggestion is redundant.  Will you please make
certain that the Dimmick Control Volunteers on the 600k are aware that
couch facilities and services are uncompromisingly required?  


this is a thread from the Google Group after the first randonnee of the year

I know where to send my complaints about snooty and rude service from
Des Peres Travel and express my disappointment with the massive cover
up by the RUSA authorities of the incredibly dangerous likelihood that
I will be crashing all the time, smacking my head repeatedly and
ultimately end up riding a recumbent bike – that would be
the Randon google group.

What I am not sure of is where to send my current complaint. My
complaint is that the only thing that I tricked myself with to get
through the Point Reyes Lighthouse 200 and fixing those half-dozen cow
manure encrusted flats was the thought of a feast of bad-for-you
snacks at the finish control.

I am used to not getting the chocolate milk. The supply never lasts
the extra hours required for my leisurely and civilized cyclotourist
pace – I expect as such. But where were the three different flavors of
Ruffles? Not even an empty bag of Doritos! All I found were some
crumbs in the bottom of a bag of LOW SODIUM chips!

I imagine the culprit was probably some sub-50 year old whippersnapper
with no fat on their person and who is probably a vegetarian or at
least eats organic food. This must end.

If the snack selection continues to be slim and healthy I will be
forced to stop at the 7-Eleven on Bridgeway in Sausalito prior to the
final ascent to the bridge and purchase my own large bag of Kettle
Chips and a tall can of Budweiser to enjoy at the finish. I will
attempt to belch the alphabet with each long pull from the can and
only share chips with the black birds. I might leave others some
potato chip crumbs in the bottom of the bag if my stomach starts to
hurt a lot.

This sad state of affairs must not continue or I might even volunteer
to purchase the snacks for the finish control, something none of us
wants to have happen.

Please please please help.


Hi Janos,

I too had been dreaming of fistfuls (fistsful?) of salty, greezie
‘tater chips all week.

I found a nearly-empty mid-sized red bag of regular flavor potato
chips on the ground at the finish control, and ate some of them.  It
was then even more nearly empty.  I saw no other chip bags, but I
didn’t look too hard.

Fortunately, I had been a little short of calories in my pack when I
arrived at Marshall, so I’d grabbed a bag of BBQ Kettle Chips.  I
whipped the remainder of those out of my pack and that got me through
until I ordered salty West Coast Pizza at home.  Mmmm, pizza.

Janos, my finish control chocolate milk was DELICIOUS, however.  Just sayin’. 😛


If it is any consolation I will be doing the snack/junk food shopping
for the upcoming 2 Rock Valley ford and you all know I like to pamper
my fellow randonneurs 🙂 Janos you just go ride, I’ll make sure to have
enough unhealthy stuff for you and the rest of the riders at the final


Hahaha – you’ve registered your complaint in the right place. This sub-50
fat-free whipper snapper will go straight for the junk next time I’m buying
for the finish control.

And get some extra chocolate milk…


On Tue, Jan 24, 2012 at 11:08 AM, janos> wrote:
> I know where to send my complaints about snooty and rude service from
> Des Peres Travel and express my disappointment with the massive cover
> up by the RUSA authorities of the incredibly dangerous likelihood that
> I will be crashing all the time, smacking my head repeatedly and
> ultimately end up riding a (horrors!) recumbent bike – that would be
> the Randon google group.

as one of those who thinks that RUSA could do more in addressing safety, i
can only say that the above comment is by no means humorous.

i know a couple of people who’re rather dear to me who’ve smacked their
head while riding.  just to mention, they were both saved by their

one, a close friend, did so while mountain biking two weeks after his son
was born.  he’s now officially a quadriplegic, although he’s one of the
‘lucky’ ones because he can shuffle around with a 4-pronged cane for short

the other, my wife, had two hard crashes while racing.  she’s since given
up the mass start thing and switched to triathlons.  this is someone who
loved crits and road races.  since i took care of her after both crashes, i
can only say, it’s not pretty.

so, while you may play down the role of safety in cycling and make fun of
those who’ve had bad experiences, such as peter on randon, the reality is
that there are riders who get seriously injured, maimed, disfigured, and
killed all the time!  do you by any chance remember don?  was that funny


I sincerely apologize to all recumbent riders who were offended by my
complaint about the snack selection at the end of the last randonnee.