Great Lakes "All Aboard Chicago" Date Flèche/Dart

GLR has not had a fleche in many years - at least 10 and counting.  For those not familiar with them, flèche is French for arrow.  The event is traditionally held at Easter time and consisted of teams of riders all taking different one-way routes to a single finish point (like and arrow traveling towards its target).  The finish was generally a celebration.  Unlike a traditional brevet, a flèche is made of a team of riders who must all ride together and finish together.  It's the ultimate in camaraderie.  

For those not anxious to ride all night, we are jointly holding a RUSA Dart.  A dart follows the same format as a flèche, but is half the size.  It must be 13.5 hours long and 200k in length.  Each team creates their own route within a set of parameters. All teams will finish in St Charles, IL 

Traditional Fleches have the following rules:

  1. Flèche routes must be at least 360k and last 24 hours.  Darts are at least 200k and last 13.5 hours
  2. The finish window will be 9 am -6 pm on Sunday, May 5th, 2024.  Flèche teams can do a morning, afternoon or evening start, Dart teams must start between 4:30 and 5:30 the morning of the 24th.  Each team must declare their start time at the time they submit their route not less than 2 weeks before the ride.
  3. Routes are traditionally one way, but can be a big loop.  Out-and-back routes are not allowed.  The timing does make it possible to use trains or other transportation means to get to their starting points.  If the route is a loop, there must be controls at the corners to ensure you do the loop.  Those controls are NOT timed
  4. Stops longer than 2 hours are not allowed, but that's plenty of time for a good nap or a sit down meal
  5. The only timed control must be 25k from the finish and is 2 hours before the end of the ride
  6.  No two teams can be on the same road at the same time or ride together

For both fleches and darts, team size is by the number of bicycles (a tandem counts as 1).  Each team norally has 3-5 bicycles (members) - more than that can be a bit unruly but is allowed. Most teams give themselves names, team jerseys are not unheard of!  At least 3 must finish for the team to be considered completed.  Though by GLR tradition, we honor everyone who chooses to ride.

While we are not going to do this for Easter, the fleche still has time constraints that limit it to the spring.  Kingston Smith came up with Geneva and Penrose Brewing as our finish destination.  We are planning an room and festivities for the finish.  

If you are interested in having a team, contact Michele as soon as possible.  We will be posting a list of team names and general parameters on the calendar along with whether the team is "open" or not.  So if you are looking for a team, we can try and match you up with compatible riders.  This goes for both the fleche and the dart.  The final routes will be due by April 10th to Michele - they can just be an RWGPS link.  All the team routes will be posted on the Flèche/Dart page.

Michele has ridden many fleches and all have been fantastic experiences.  This is a special opportunity to really see why camaraderie and enjoying your fellow riders is such a central part of the sport.

Rides in our Club
Membership included for new riders

Click on ride name for details

Sep 07
Sat

Puff-the-Magic-600k
Woodstock
Members: Free
None registered

Sep 07
Sat

Psychedelic-Eagle-200k
Woodstock
Members: Free
None registered

Oct 20
Sun

Riders-Choice-200k
Chicago
Members: Free
None registered
Ride Leader(s):

Location

Get me there