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The Flèche Atlantique

posted Mar 26, 2011, 6:34 AM by Mark Beaver
It's almost April - and our ride schedule is set to begin another cycle of randonneur rides for another year.
It's not too early (or is it?) to begin to contemplate one rather unique ride on our schedule - the Flèche Atlantique on May 21st weekend.
The Flèche is a long-standing tradition amongst randonneuring clubs around the world, hearkening back to the springtime gatherings in Provence, France, of all the rando clubs in the country, who would ride a 24-hour distance challenge ride, culminating in a large social gathering in the south of France.  The Flèche Velocio, as it is known, has been going on since 1947, and clubs in many countries have adopted the concept.  In temperate countries, the Flèche takes place around Easter weekend but for "northern" climates, the date may stretch as far forward as the end of May.
The concept is simple - a group of riders, numbering between three and five, ride together for a 24-hour period.  The group sets a planned route and tries to go as far as they can in 24 hours - the mininum route must be 360km or greater. 
Our club will be looking to form one or two Flèche teams for this year - and there should be some discussion over the course of the first several rides as the teams should be formed and have a route concept by early May to submit to the club executive for approval.
If you're thinking about this challenge, let's talk about it on one of the first club rides of the year.