The rules, as shown here, as of 23 Sep 02, are "finalized".
If there are any further changes to the rules, they will be noted in the news section.
Yeah, there's a lot of them. Yeah, some of them are harsh and unforgiving. To some extent, they're intended to discourage people from racing in this event - people who might not be totally serious about making the ride, who decide to do this kind of thing on a whim, things like that.
All fees are nonrefundable, and go entirely to either the prize list, or to covering the costs of the event. Don't send me $ unless you're serious about racing.
The entry fee is the same whether the racer is entering as an individual or member of a team.
Registration will close, with no exceptions made, on 01 Aug 03. I'm doing this for a couple reason: first, because I will most likely be out of the country from 13-27 Aug; second, because I need that time to be able to print the t-shirts and all the race materials for the exact number of racers starting; and finally (and prehaps most importantly), to discourage last-minute entries - this is not a race you should decide to ride the week before the event. I'm expecting racers to want to do some serious planning and maybe even some training in preparation for this race. Unless I have your registration fee by the 1st of August 2003, you are not considered registered. That means no t-shirt, no start card, no nothing. Period. Do not attempt to argue this point, as it has been announced a year in advance, and I will stick to it.
Racers may enter either as an individual or a member of a team (see below) - team riders will only be eligible for team prizes, and vice versa.
The basic differences in the rules as outlined on this page, as they apply to racers in the team category, are:
Teams will consist of at least 3 but not more than 5 members. A team's time for purposes of ranking is the average of the times its fastest 3 riders. If less than 3 members of a team finish, the team will not be ranked.
Team riders may choose to ride alone or as a group with members of their own team only. Accordingly, team members may take different routes, receive location proofs at different locations, and need not start as a group. Teams found to be cooperating with other teams or individuals will be disqualified.
Racers and teams will be ranked together, regardless of gender.
I firmly believe that because of the nature of this race - the long distance, the lack of a fixed route, and near-infinite variation possible on strategy - there is no advantage in being either male or female, and the prizes and rankings should reflect this. However, prior to the start of the race, any female racers will be consulted as a group, and asked if they want a separate prize category for the top woman. This will not entail a wholly separate ranking; rather a prize in addition to any prizes appropriate to the rider's overall ranking.
The team and individual classes may be broken down into 2 categories (according a decision to be taken by the racers themselves, prior to the start):
"Messenger" class riders are current or former bike messengers riding a bike they use for work (riding your fancy weekend road bike is ok, as long as it isn't some super-aero time trial monstrosity).
"Open" class is open to non-messengers (regardless of the type of bike ridden), and messengers on recumbents or other specialty bikes.
No sag wagons will be provided or permitted. Racers/teams using vehicular support of any kind, or working with other racers will be disqualified. The point of this race is to get to Portland, as quickly as you can, using your bike, under your own power. This is a time trial of sorts, and as such, a test of each individual or team's routing and riding efforts and skills.
If you choose to abandon, for whatever reason, at any point in the race, getting to Portland is your own problem.
Race organization cannot be expected to pick you up, except in the case of medical or other serious emergency. "I don't have a spare tube" doesn't count, nor does "My wheel is trashed.". Carry spares, make sure your bike is in excellent working order, and prepare for the worst case scenario. For your own sake, carry enough money to pay for a bus or train ride to Portland if things fall apart and you can't jury-rig and limp it in. It sounds harsh, and well, it is. Tough. Remember, the guy who made these rules up will be out on the course too, and it could happen to him just as easily as it could happen to you.
All bikes will be examined before departing to confirm the presence of these two items, and start cards will not be issued without them.
Both forward-facing white headlights and rear-facing red taillights are required, because night riding will almost surely be involved in everyone's race at some point in time. We suggest generator power over batteries, but it's up to you. If you're using battery-powered lights, please carry spare batteries, for your own safety.
Cyclometers are required as a basic method of keeping things honest. Your cyclometer witll have its total mileage reading (miles or kilometers, either one is fine) noted on your start card at check-in. Should your cyclometer happen to die, or you accidentally reset it during the race, you should note the location and last known mileage on your start card, and inform an official at finish check-in.
There will be no delays of the start time. All racers/teams must check in prior to departure to receive their start card and have their starting cyclometer reading logged.
Check-in will open 2 hours prior to start time, and will continue after racers/teams have departed, in order to accommodate stragglers, until the check-in volunteers decide it's too late for your sorry ass to start. Late starters will have their actual start time noted on their start card, but this will not affect their actual clock time, nor will penalties beyond those incurred by simple tardiness be applied. Check-in workers will remain in the start area until at least 10am to check-in late starters. If you miss the start, maybe you'll get lucky and find the check-in crew around town somewhere, maybe you'll just be SOL Moral of the story? Don't be late.
Race organization will not be providing any routing aids beyond a basic map (see below) showing the area between SF and Portland, and detailing the zone borders.
Racers are expected to research and plan their routing themselves, and should depart from SF with whatever maps they deem appropriate to find their way. Do not seek routing advice from the organizers - you won't get it. After all, I'll be racing too, and it's not in my best interest to tell you what I think will be the fastest route!
Zone 1: San Francisco to the northern borders of Mendicino, Glenn and Butte Counties, (CA).
Zone 2: southern borders of Humboldt, Trinity and Tehama Counties (CA) to the California-Oregon state border.
Zone 3: California-Oregon state border to Oregon state highways 426, 42 and 138.
Zone 4: Oregon state highways 426, 42 and 138 to Oregon state highway 20.
Zone 5: Oregon state highway 20 to Portland.
The basic maps linked to the left and right are large images, and should be printable at a decent scale, but I would not recommend using them for anything more than route planning, as they are of minimal detail. They cover the area between SF and Portland, west from the coast to Interstate 5, and are of very small scale (roughly 1:500000 for the California map, and 1:1000000 for the Oregon - not nearly detailed enough for bike touring, in my opinion)
Each location proof must:
Check-in will be available 24 hours, and a schedule of locations and availability will be printed on your start card.
Check-in in Portland will open most likely on Tuesday night (02 Sep), and continue on through midnight Friday (05 Sep). Finish time in Portland is not fixed, but you'll be advised to arrive there before the commencement of festivities, as arrivals after that point will have to track down a check-in person at the Portland event.
Upon arrival, you will be expected to turn in your start card, 5 location proofs, and submit your cyclometer for a mileage check. Racers should be prepared to answer questions about their routing at this time, and reference their location proofs on their map. Racers with reset or dead cyclometers should inform the check-in official immediately.
For late-night check-in, phone numbers will be provided along with locations on your start card - please take the time to call ahead so your check-in person can at least be awake when you come knocking. Check-in locations will likely provide rudimentary overnight crash space until you find your housing arrangement the next day.
Though we're sure it'll be pretty clear who won, there may be some surprises. The full results will be announced at the Portland awards ceremony, and prizes will go as deep as we can manage. The delayed awards timing is to allow for time to check the finishing stats, and talk to all of the racers.
Well, you deserve something for attempting a self-supported time trial from San Francisco to Portland. Not many people are this kind of stupid, and you should have something that lets the world know you're one of them. Riders who actually finish the race (including members of teams with less than 3 members finishing) will receive, in addition, a special finisher's patch. I promise they'll be cool.