To facilitate social distancing with the large group riding on Saturday, we're going to try Free Starts -- like they had at PBP 2011.
Here's how it will work (I hope).
1) Park your car. Most people will want to park behind Jimmy's on the NJ side. Let's assume this is what you do.
2) Get ready. Since it might technically still be night when we start, you should have reflective gear on.
3) Sometime between 6 and 7 AM casually walk by yourself across the bridge with your bike and your signed event waiver. The idea is that people should come over gradually, in onezie-twozies. not in a bunch. I'll be waiting with your brevet card on the PA side by the Columbus statue in a small park off to the right after you cross to PA.
4) Drop your signed waiver in the bag I'll have next to me on the ground. If you forget your waiver, you'll need to do the walk of shame back over the bridge to fill out a blank one. I'll have some under the windshield wiper of my car.
5) After you drop your waiver, I will give you your brevet card. Hold it up with your name facing me. I'll take a picture of you and record the current time as your official start time on my roster. Some people will also be given satellite trackers. If you get one, put it someplace where it can "see" the sky. It can be in a bag or pocket, just don't pile stuff on top of it.
6) Ride your bike! And don't go faster than your guardian Angel!
Simple? I think so. Unless somebody calls the cops, worrying about the weird looking crowd gathering around the Columbus statue. So try not to bunch up, and try to look like happy, friendly bike riders who are thrilled to be riding a real, honest brevet after 6 months of lockdown.
Beyond that, I'm not going to lecture further about how you shouldn't blow snot rockets, draft riders closely, or go bare-faced when around groups of people or inside businesses. You're all adults and you know what to do by now after months of this.
Have a great ride!
Chris Nadovich, brevet organizer