A pre-ride of the 107km Populaire was conducted on Oct 7 by Iwan Barankay. Event informatin is available here. The route is beautiful and very scenic and will be a great experience for first-timers and returning randonneurs alike.
Parking is very easy on Chamounix Drive just before you reach the Carriage House which is on the left in the eyelet at the end of the road.
Here is a list of items to bring and prepare:
One note upfront is to be aware of fallen leaves on the road as they can be slippery and, more importantly, they can hide potholes especially in the beginning on MLK Jr Drive. Please take good care so you don’t lose a water bottle there like the pre-rider did.
There are multiple constructions which made it necessary to change the route. In the beginning soon after Falls Bridge we now turn onto the Wissahickon Trail and then Forbidden Drive to reach the first info control from the East.
As you approach Evansburg State Park please dismount your bike to get onto the Skippack Creek Trail Bridge as a flash-flood in late summer swelled up and washed away some of the tarmac.
On the way back before Manayunk please watch the cues to get back onto the Schuylkill River Trail as River Road is under construction and impassable due to a huge pool of water and no sidewalk. Finally, we approach the finish from MLK Jr Drive which is much safer than via Belmont Mansion Drive but will necessitate a last climb effort before the finish. Rest assured that grazing horses and curious cats at Chamounix are awaiting you as are boxed lunches and refreshments and many riders including some 200k finishers whom you can impress with your stories and adventures.
As we are under COVID 19 protocol we won't have a group but rather a free start.
Here is how it works:
1) Park your car or come to Chamounix by bike. Most people will want to park on the left in front of the stables just before you get to the Carriage House. Let's assume this is what you do.
2) Get ready.
3) Coffee, water, juice and packaged goodies will be set out by the Carriage House. Help yourself (but don't bunch as you munch). Take the food back to your car or elsewhere in the park.
3) Sometime between 8:30 and 9:30 AM casually walk by yourself with your bike and your signed event waiver to the start line. The idea is that people should come over to start gradually, in onezie-twozies. Not in a bunch.
4) Drop your signed waiver in the container on the ground. If you forget your waiver, you'll need to ask a Chamounix Cat for forgiveness. If the cat forgives you, go retrieve a blank waiver fill it out, and try again.
5) After you drop your waiver, the starter will record your time on the log and on your card. The starter will then give you your brevet card. Hold it up with your name facing forward. Someone will take a picture of you. You are now started. A few people will also be given satellite trackers. If you get one of these, 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!