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Recently Added Permanent Routes

With the growing number of revived permanent routes, it can be difficult to notice recently added routes on the overview maps. Since the last update one route has been added:

  • 03387 U Village-Carnation 111 km. Formerly Gary Prince’s point-to-point commute training route, on the occasion of his retirement it has been changed to a loop which should make it more interesting to other riders.

Additionally, controls were added to 03505 Snoqualmie Valley Trail Run in Carnation and North Bend to provide alternate starting locations.

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Longer Permanents Opening in October

Beginning October 1, RUSA will allow permanents up to 600 km. A link to an overview map of 300 km and longer routes has been added to the SIR Permanents page. Initially these local routes are available:

02576 Lake Forest Park-Big Lake. 300 km. This route was the most frequently ridden of SIR’s 300 km routes, with 26 completions, accounting for 27% of 300 km rides in the last four years of the old perms program.

00751 Bremerton-Elma-Rainier-Seattle. 300 km. This is likely the flattest 300 km route in SIR’s collection. Most of it is on pleasant low-traffic rural roads and bike trails. If you live on the Seattle side of the sound, riding it in the Bremerton to Seattle direction means you don’t risk missing the last ferry home.

00592 Bainbridge-Hurricane Ridge-Bainbridge. 306 km. This was formerly a sub-300 km route. Modernizing the route to use the Olympic Discovery Trail and avoid the frequently crowded section of Hurricane Ridge Rd below the entrance station pushed the distance up to 306 km. Cap your season with this route!

No 400 or 600 km routes are ready yet.

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SIR Site Permanents Page Updated

I have tried to pull together everything you need to know about the revived Permanents program. On the SIR home page select the menu item Rides>Permanents.

Also, Yogy Namara has come up with better maps of Permanents, linked on the updated page. The maps on the SIR Ride with GPS home page announced in the previous blog post have been replaced with these maps. The advantage of these maps is they pull routes from the RUSA route library, rather than SIR’s. The new maps always display the official version of routes, rather than depending on SIR’s library being synchronized with RUSA’s.

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Maps of SIR’s Permanents

If you have registered for a permanent since the new national system started up, you know searching for a route is a bit inconvenient.

If you want to find a route using a map, from the main RUSA page you can pick the Permanents drop down menu and choose Route Search. On the next page click Search for permanents on a map (created and supported by Jake Kassen). Jake’s search will show you routes that are currently available in the new program. Unfortunately it only plots start locations. It does not show where the routes go.

Until the national site displays maps of routes, the SIR team is using Ride with GPS’s Events facility to show you SIR’s routes. For technical reasons a few of the routes displayed may not be active yet in the national system.

Go to SIR’s RwGPS Club page. Click on the Events tab. (You might want to bookmark the events page.) On the left we currently have three groups of Permanents to view: all of them, 100s, and 200s. Click on the set you want to view. It takes a few seconds for the set to load. In the future we might further subdivide the routes by region to keep this process from becoming too slow.

The routes are listed on the left. The selected route (green highlighting) is displayed on the map on the right. To see all the routes at once, click on Show all on map at the bottom of the list. You might have to scroll the list down when we have more routes available.

Now the map will display all the routes.

The various colors just distinguish the different routes. If you mouse over a route in the list, its trace on the map will highlight black.

Thanks to Yogy Namara for realizing Events could be used for this purpose, and keeping the lists of routes regularly updated.

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Factoria 100K Pre-ride Report

[Pre-ride report by Mark Thomas]

Yesterday, Jan, Rick, Vinny, and I scouted out the route for Saturday’s 100k. I’d like to say that we took the rain bullet for the ride, but it seems that mother nature has more ammunition.

We made a couple changes from the route previously posted on RideWithGPS. Those are now reflected at the same link (https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31749069). Here are a few notes.

  • Early in the route, there is some construction work along the trail, but we had no trouble getting through. I think I saw a post warning of some work on the trail at around 5km that may cause short delays, but we were able to just ride around the vehicles parked in the trail.
  • At km 13, there is an info control. The referenced sign is on the north-east corner of the intersection of Shattuck Ave and Airport Way at the stop light.
  • From km 31-32, we made a route change to eliminate the walk up a muddy trail covered with blackberry vines leading to a cafe that no longer exists (at least not under the name in the old route). Some quick instructions: As you head down toward Maple Valley, stay on the trail under SR-18 overpasses, pass through a tunnel, and ride to a bridge over the Cedar River. The information control question is at the beginning of the bridge. This is also the turnaround point. After the U-turn, proceed back through the tunnel and under the freeway again. Just past the freeway, there is a gravel parking lot on the left side of the trail. About even with the north end of that parking lot, you’ll see some posts on the right. Go through those to get to Maxwell Road.
  • There are a couple of options to re-stock at the mid-point of the ride. At about 41.1km, just after the left turn onto Issaquah-Hobart Road, there is a convenience store end an espresso stand on the left side. Or at km 49.1, just after crossing busy Front Street, there is a convenience store on the right. Note that all of the controls on the ride are information controls, so if you need to restock, you’ll need to do it outside of a control.
  • Just past that, you need to turn from Gilman Road to the East Lake Sammamish Trail. You either need to hop over the curb at the start of the trail or turn onto the sidewalk at the driveway right before the trail (as on cue sheet). If you reach the crosswalk traffic light, you’ve missed it.
  • Recent rains resulted in a mudslide on the trail somewhere around km 56. The trail is closed. There is a trail closed sign just after where the trail crosses SE33rd St. The revised route turns right on SE 33rd to get up to East Lake Sammamish Parkway. This is a bit awkward, because you go up a short pitch and then need to stop and cross the busy parkway to turn left. Be careful. More information is available here: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/WAKING/bulletins/273c9fe
  • Once past the detour, the easiest navigation is to continue on East Lake Sammamish Parkway to the light at NE 65th and go into Marymoor that way. But if you feel comfortable finding your way back to the trail after the closure, that’s ok too. Just be aware that on at least part of the trail, they have just dumped a bunch of new gravel and it’s deep and loose. Ugh.
  • At the end of the route, around km105, there is a lot of construction. It’s work on a new flyover for bikes to get past the awful factoria intersection, so they’re doing it for us! We were able to get around on the right side even without a shoulder, but at some point after the Honda dealership, we crossed over and used the sidewalk on the south side.

Have fun,
Mark Thomas

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Permanent Change: Restoring the Human Touch to Routes

By: a gang of beer-drinking randos sitting around a table after the Populaire

Online mapping tools like Ride with GPS have made randonneuring routes precise and accurate. Laborious work with paper maps that only provided approximate distances are a thing of the past. We no longer have to ride or drive a route to determine distances between instructions. And those distances were only as accurate as one’s bike computer or car odometer calibration. Complementing Ride with GPS, we frequently use a Google Script to create route sheets directly from a Ride with GPS route. Tedious spreadsheet work is avoided; no transcription errors due to hand-entering distances occurs. The result: Dependable routes unaffected by human foibles.

And yet, some feel such extensive use of technology has removed the human touch from route documents. To that end, we have developed the TrueRando script. TrueRando randomly inserts errors in the route sheet, flipping left turns to right turns, altering distances, and so on. Everything you fear and dread on the road in the dark at 3AM can be made to happen with TrueRando!

Wait, there’s more! Through the use of nerd knowledge the enhanced TrueRando+ script also injects different errors into the Ride with GPS route. Not only will the route sheet be unreliable. The GPS track will disagree with the route sheet at other locations! Truly, no better simulation of human weakness when handling details is available today.

TrueRando and TrueRando+ are available for a per-use fee of $1000 payable via anonymous wire transfer from your numbered Swiss bank account to permanentsteammallorcajunket.

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Permanent Change: Good Scans make for Happy Volunteers, or, How to Avoid Doing It Again

The new Perminator relies heavily on users uploading scans of annual waivers and ride results (cards, receipts). Volunteers have to review these uploads, so we ask you to please do everything you can to make them legible and well organized!

We very much desire you to upload multipage scans as a single pdf! This greatly reduces the number of files the volunteers have to open to do their jobs. Sure, one person’s waiver in two uploads means opening just one extra file, but multiply that by the scores of active Permanents riders SIR has and one less mouse click per job really matters! This also helps prevent the digital equivalent of dropping a file of loose papers.

It is easiest to get good scans with an actual scanner. However, if you’re using a phone or tablet, you can use one of the native apps to scan multiple pages into a single PDF:

You can also take pictures and combine them into one pdf. But do this only if you know how to set your camera to its highest resolution and adjust the exposure for good legibility.

If you are using a phone or tablet, please place the documents in good light without shadows, and hold the device as level and square as possible over the documents. Review your images. If they are blurry or not turned the right way up, please correct the problem.

Please do not try to scan or photograph two letter-size pages in one image. Doing that compromises legibility.

Some phones and tablets may display a scan or photo the right way up, but include incorrect orientation data that causes the image to be displayed sideways or upside down on other devices. If you can, please download a test image to a computer to check for this problem before you upload scans to the Perminator.

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Permanent Change: Hail the new Perminator!; New waivers required

Return of the Perminator

Thanks to Adam Glass’ intense work and randonneur never quit spirit over the last several weeks, the new Perminator is available for online registration of SIR’s Permanents. We have to expect some glitches as everyone begins using it – please be patient and send bug reports to permanents@seattlerando.org.

Please note the new Perminator works differently in some important ways from the departed Perminator:

  • You will download ride materials from the site once the Perminator approves your registration. You will not receive an email.
  • You no longer snail-mail your card after your ride. You will enter your ride result (finish or dnf) yourself. You will upload scans of your card and receipts as proof.

All of this is detailed on the new Perminator’s home page.

Emailed paper registration remains available for a short time while all you eager k-hounds stress test the new Perminator.

 

New Annual Waivers Required

The annual waiver that you filed for 2019 didn’t account for the permanent owner change. Mark Roberts and Mitch Ishihara have produced an updated annual waiver form and it’s ready for you on Perminator. We’ve expired the previous 2019 waivers so you’ll need to fill out and upload this new form to register for permanents on the returned Perminator. Please  allow some time for annual waiver review/approval. Paper registration will continue to be available during this weekend with the expectation that we’ll return to Perminator-only registration next week.

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SIR Permanents Available via Emailed Registration

In light of the clamor to take advantage of the current good weather, and the willingness of several volunteers to process paper registrations, SIR’s Permanents are available via emailed registrations.

You can peruse SIR’s Permanent routes at: https://ridewithgps.com/organizations/29-seattle-international-randonneurs/routes

Download, fill out completely, sign, scan and return the ride registration. If you use your phone or tablet to photograph the registration set the camera to its highest resolution, take the picture under good light, and ensure it is focused, legible, and includes the entire document. The Permanents volunteers who review the registrations have final and unappealable authority to reject unsatisfactory registrations. We will make every reasonable effort to approve applications, but the volunteers lead real lives so please apply with as much lead time as possible. Quick processing is not guaranteed. Do not pester the volunteers with queries asking if your request was received. If you do not receive approval by your requested start time, you may of course exercise your free will to ride as you please, but you will not be riding under the auspices of the Permanents program and you will not receive credit for your ride.

Email your completed registrations to permanents@seattlerando.org . Include “Ride request” in the subject line. If approved, you will receive an email with the card and route sheet.

After your ride, snail mail your signed card and the original registration to: Millison Fambles, 3520 Sunset Beach Dr NW, Olympia WA 98502.

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SIR Permanents Suspended; New Perminator Coming

We regret to announce SIR’s Permanents are suspended currently due to the Perminator’s infelicitous demise. Permanents will be reinstated when the new Perminator is available. In case the new Perminator is not running by next weekend, we are considering having several Permanents volunteers lead group Permanents requiring signed paper waivers. The Permanents volunteers are discussing whether to take on the workload involved in handling paper waivers.

From Adam Glass:

As some of you have likely noticed, Perminator is offline and has been for a bit. It suffered a serious failure related to changes in an external service. The data is accessible but Perminator can’t talk to it. Fixing the existing Perminator would require addressing a chain of breaking changes and EOLed components in its dependencies that have accumulated over it’s the 3+ years of operation. The result would likely still be brittle and require replacement soon. As the volunteer developer of Perminator, I need to balance the clear value of Perminator with the cost to maintain and run it.

I’ve been working on and off on a replacement for Perminator for a while. Recently I switched gears to Perminator v3, which was designed to be substantially more robust and easier to maintain for the long term. I made the judgement call after Perminator v1’s failure that the time spent temporarily fixing v1 would be better used completing v3. I consulted with SIR leadership on this decision and have been pursuing that path aggressively since—aided by the crappy weather, but constrained by some family issues and lack of access to good coffee or beer.

Perminator v3 is almost complete and is already being debugged by some alpha testers. We hope to make a public version of it available within the week. Beyond replacing Perminator v1, this new version is more maintainable, more robust, simpler to use and more powerful. In particular, it puts the pieces in place for near term introduction of alternate starts and EPP (Electronic Proof of Passage).

That said, despite my efforts, Perminator v3 will not be ready for this weekend.

 

Further comments are disabled. Please respond or post questions on Facebook or the SIR email list.

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