Flèche Pacifique - Main

BC Randonneurs Cycling Club
 

Flèche Pacifique Rules

The rules for the Flèche Pacifique are the rules on this page alone. For your interest here are two other Flèche rules sources: Randonneurs USA and Audax Clulb Parisien.

* An Important rule change came into effect in 2002: The longest rest stop a team may take in any one spot is TWO HOURS.

* A rule change was made in 2005. Support vehicals used to be able to meet up with their riders at only 3 controls... Now support can be provided at ANY control, but of course, still not between controls.

* 2 changes in 2007: To harmonize our rules with the Flèche Velocio in France a team can now be credited with distance up to 20% over its target distance. (details below) [Change no. 2:] Individual riders completing their route, but without a complete team, will not receive any distance credit within the club (i.e. towards her/his "iron butt" total), but will still receive the flèche finishers pin. (details below)

* A rule was added in 2013: In order to avoid teams from working together, teams must not ride together for extended periods. The organizer may request changes to either the route or the start time or both to avoid overlaps.

The start window is: 4 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Saturday
(Breakfast banquet at 9 a.m. at the "Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa")

In 2010 the "Trace Pacifique" was introduced - similar to the Flèche, but runs for only 16 hours: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m... Dawn to Dusk. (on Saturday) Interested? Rules HERE, en Français [PDF]
or HERE, a brief summary in English.



The Flèche Team

A team is composed of a maximum of five and a minimum of three bikes. (A tandem counts as one bike.)

Team members must be identified on the application. Substitutions and additions may be made up to one day prior to the start with the agreement of the organizer.

Route and Control Requirements

The minimum required total distance is 360 kms which must be ridden within 24 hours. Teams choose their own routes. No part of a route shall use the same road more than once in the same direction.

Controls should be established every 50 to 100 kms and at the extremities of the route to ensure no shortcuts. The official finishing distance will be based upon the shortest route between controls as shown on an approved map (and not necessarily the actual distance a team rides.) Secret controls may be set up by the organizer.

No control stop can be more than two hours. (So sleep fast!)

Flèche routes do not need to start in BC, but must pass into or through BC at some point.

Time Rules

The start time must be within the time limits set by the organizer. The start window has recently been from 4 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Saturday. (i.e. The earliest any team can start is 4. p.m. Friday, and the latest any team can finish is 7:00 a.m. Sunday.)

The longest rest stop a Flèche team may take in any one spot is TWO HOURS.

At the 22 hour point the team must stop and team members must each write down where the team is (a distance figure and brief location description) in the '22 hour' space or box on their control cards. At this point, the cards should be signed at a local store or other business. If you are at a remote location there is a second signing option: each team member's control card can be signed by all of the other team members present. The 24-hour control must be at least 25 kms beyond the 22-hour location.

At the end of 24 hours the event is over. If the team is at its expected finishing location, cards must be stamped (with the time indicated) at a local store or other business, or by a ride organizer.

If a team is not at its expected finishing location, it must stop at exactly 24 hours and each member must write down the distance figure in the finishing distance space or box on the route sheet. An accurate description of the location is also required - something like "1.3 kms east of the Agassiz exit on highway 1." Once again, the control card must be signed by all of the other team members present. Whether or not a team completes its expected route, the finishing point must be in B.C., and within 100 kms of the gathering place (i.e. Harrison Hot Springs).

Official Final Distance

A team must complete the first 80% of its target distance and, as stated above, the final distance must be at least 360 kms. A team will be credited for up to 20% above its target distance, provided that the route of the additional distance is documented in the team's submitted route.

Support / Assistance Rules

Support vehicles are not allowed to follow their teams, but can meet the riders at the pre-determined controls. A team that feels the need of a nighttime security vehicle can discuss the matter with the organizer. In this case a representative of the organizer must be in the car. It is nevertheless the responsibility of the team to make all the arrangements.

The assistance rules as stated in the past suggest that "riders must not receive assistance from other teams or from unregistered riders." This is at odds with the rules for rider conduct during brevets, and so is a bit of a grey area. It would probably be OK with most organizers if you bummed a tube or a Twinkie from a passing cyclist, but you can't draft behind a non-team member.

Equipment

Any bicycle in good mechanical condition is acceptable. Lights are mandatory but fenders are not - each team can decide. Warm clothing with reflective strips is the recommended evening wear.

Emergencies

In the event of roadwork or closures, mechanical failure, or other emergencies, the route may be adjusted on the spot. A case for the detour must be made to the ride organizer at the earliest opportunity, along with a precise description of the detour. Some proof of passage would be helpful in making this case. The organizer will decide if the detour was necessary, a reasonable route change, and whether it was properly documented.

Validation

In order for a Flèche Pacifique ride to be considered valid the following must apply:

For teams... As stated above, at least 3 cycles must have travelled an identical distance of at least 360 kms, between the first 80% and 100% of the chosen route, and have covered at least 25 kms in the final two hours. At least 3 team members must be present to submit their control cards to the organizer at the 'gathering point' (Harrison) at the closing time, 8 a.m. At least three team members must be in attendance at the breakfast banquet which follows. The Flèche Trophies will be awarded at the breakfast banquet. No award or trophy will be presented to any team with less than 3 members at the breakfast banquet. In the event of a tie, the tying teams will hold the trophy in question for equal periods of time, and there will be separate winner's plaques on the trophies for each team.

For individuals... In the case where a complete team no longer exists (such as when teams fragment into individual riders or pairs) but where a rider has covered at least 360kms on the team's chosen route, and has met all the other requirements, that rider will receive a Flèche finishers pin. The ride will not, however, be submitted to ACP in France for validation (and so it can not be used to earn a BR5000 pin), and the ride distance will not be recognized within the club, including being added to the rider's "iron butt" award total.


These rules have themselves had a bit of a journey. Gerry Pareja originally translated the rules as received from France. Amendments were received from France at one point (or perhaps at several points) in the years that followed. I rewrote and reorganized the rules in early 2001 to integrate the amendments, to include or emphasize a few things that have become important to the BC version of the event, and to make it easier for readers to follow. I tried not to change anything essential to the rules as I found them on the 1999 BC Randonneurs website. (I still have the 1999 version of the text.) Dan McGuire made some revisions in December 2001. (Eric Fergusson, Dec. 2001)