Q: How can I contact the ride organizer (Susan Otcenas)?
A: If you have questions that are not answered here or elsewhere on the website, please email your inquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: I plan to ride just during the day. Do I still need lights?
A: Front and rear lights must be mounted permanently on the bike at all times. Please read the section below on Required Equipment.
Q: Will there be a bike check before the ride?
A: Yes. Your bike and safety equipment will be inspected concurrent with registration, on Friday June 22nd, between noon & 4 p.m., followed by a mandatory riders meeting from 4pm to 5pm. Riders will be allowed to start only if their brevet cards are stamped indicating they met the equipment requirements below and attended the riders meeting.
A: You must bring your bike and the following gear for inspection. Your brevet card will NOT be stamped (and will therefore not be valid) without all of the following criteria being met.
- You must have a headlight (capable of being used for full-darkness navigation) affixed to your bicycle. This MUST remain affixed to your bicycle for the duration of the event. Even if you *think* you will not be riding in darkness, this light must remain affixed to your bike. As the saying goes, “shit happens” and we expect all riders to be equipped for night or low light riding regardless of their expected speed or hours of light vs dark riding. Failure to use the required lighting during the ride will result in a disqualification.
- You must have a back-up headlight of some sort. This can take the form of a helmet light or may be located on the bike or kept in a saddle or bar bag.
- You must have a taillight (to be run on solid, not flashing) affixed to your bicycle. This MUST remain affixed to your bicycle for the duration of the event. Even if you *think* you will not be riding in darkness, this light must remain affixed to your bike. We expect all riders to be equipped for night or low light riding regardless of their expected speed or hours of light vs dark riding. Failure to use the required lighting during the ride will result in a disqualification.
- You must have a back-up taillight of some sort. This can take the form of a helmet light or may be located on the bike or kept in a saddle or bar bag.
- You must produce your reflective vest for inspection. It is STRONGLY urged that your reflective vest meet the RUSA guidelines as stated here: https://rusa.org/reflectivity/ ALL riders MUST wear their vests at the start. Riders will not be permitted to start without the required vest.
- All riders must wear their vests during hours of night or low light riding. Failure to use the required reflective vest will result in a disqualification.
- You must produce your ankle bands for inspection. ALL riders MUST wear their ankle bands at the start. Riders will not be permitted to start without the required ankle bands. All riders must wear their ankle bands during hours of night or low light riding. Failure to use the required ankle bands will result in a disqualification.
- Bring your helmet. You must wear a helmet while riding. Failure to wear a helmet will result in immediate disqualification.
- Your bike will undergo a general safety check, including the condition of tires, brakes, headset, bar end plugs, etc. Riders will not be allowed to start if their bikes are determined to be unsafe or in disrepair.
- New for 2018 GPS Tracking Device. A SPOT Trace is included in your registration fee. If you already own a SPOT or a DeLorme InReach, you have the option to carry that instead (and will receive a $50 discount on registration). This device MUST be presented for inspection and must have fresh batteries. If you’ve indicated on your registration that you will carry a SPOT/DeLorme and fail to present it for inspection, you will need to rent one at bike inspection for an additional fee of $75. Please note we will not accept requests to use phone apps such as Apple Find My Friends, etc as much of the course is not covered by cellular reception.
All of the above not withstanding, regardless of whether or not an RBA or ride organizer conducts a gear/equipment inspection at the start of a ride, failure to have and display appropriate reflective gear and required lighting will result in an immediate disqualification.
Q: What additional equipment is recommended?
A: Hand held flashlights or helmet mounted lights are recommended for repairs made in the dark. Spare batteries and lights are strongly encouraged. A spare tire and several spare tubes, and sufficient tools to effect minor repairs are also recommended.
While not required, fenders (1/4 coverage front wheel and 1/2 coverage rear wheel) are recommended. June can be a rainy time in Western Washington, and much of this event travels through the Cascade Mountains, a region that can create its own weather.
Riding gear for inclement weather, as well as sufficient food and water (three bottles) for yourself between controls is strongly recommended. Much of the route of the Cascade 1200 is very remote and devoid of commercial services.
Q: I don’t sleep well in a gymnasium or when sharing a bed. Will there be other sleeping arrangements available?
A: The overnight controls are provided for all riders and are where the food service will be. That being said, riders who prefer different sleeping arrangements are free to find lodging on their own. However, there will not be an adjustment in the price of the ride and riders will still be responsible for checking into the controls on time.
In some locations alternative lodging is very limited. June is a very busy time for motels in Washington state and the Cascade 1200 is going to impact the availability in both Stevenson and Mazama.
Q: I want to attempt a personal best time. Can I ride straight through?
A: Yes, but the Cascade is and always has been a ride that emphasizes group riding. We carefully structure the distances for optimal daylight riding and large groups of riders leaving together in the mornings. Our volunteer support is limited and we cannot always provide support for all riders that are ahead of the masses.
Also keep in mind that many of the areas that the Cascade goes through are remote. Often there will be no services for very long distances, especially in the middle of the night. A lot of the towns we will pass through roll up the sidewalk early, designated commercial control locations may be closed, and you may have a hard time finding food, water, or even shelter if the weather turns sour.
There will not be an adjustment in the price of the ride and riders will still be responsible for checking into the controls on time.
Q: I plan on riding straight through and will not be using the support as the rest of the riders. Why don’t I get a discount?
A: The Cascade is a ride that emphasizes group riding and we need to provide support for all the riders that sign up. If a rider that is planning on riding fast has an issue and must slow down, support (accommodations, food, etc.) must still be provided for that rider.
1200km rides are very dynamic events, and the best developed plans often change due to circumstances beyond reasonable expectations. We want all riders to be successful, and that means that we provide the best support that we can. Unfortunately we don’t have enough volunteers to support each and every rider with custom support.
Q:What happens if I abandon?
A: Because our route goes through large unpopulated areas with very poor cellular coverage, we have made the decision to have a formal sweep vehicle in 2018.
This vehicle will remain at the very back of the ride behind the last rider. If you decide to abandon, you should try to get yourself to an overnight control. However, if you are unable to make it to an overnight control, you should make every effort to get to the next established control where you can wait for the sweep. (If you abandon outside of an established control, there is a greater likelihood you may be overlooked and passed by the sweep, especially if you are off the road.) It could be a long wait because the sweep will not pass other riders to pick you up. If you have cell phone coverage, you should call in to Event HQ to alert us of your status, so that we can contact the sweep driver. You will be asked to surrender your brevet card by the sweep driver. Unless full, the sweep will continue to remain at the back of the ride, so you should not expect to get to the overnight until all other riders have ridden in.
Once you’ve abandoned, you will not be offered transportation along the course beyond the overnight control because space in the sweep vehicle must be kept available for riders continuing on the course. There *may* be volunteers at overnight controls heading back to Portland or Seattle that *may* be able to provide some limited transportation to riders who abandon back to the start or to Amtrak or other public transport, but riders should not rely on that. Options include calling friends or family for assistance, riding or getting a ride to car rental agencies (available about 30 miles from each of the first two overnights), greyhound (available at Quincy), etc. Riders who abandon at the last overnight, where there are no commercial services, will have to either ride themselves back to civilization where they can arrange for pick up by friends or family, or try to find a volunteer with space available in a vehicle.
In short, while we will have a vehicle to sweep riders unable to continue, we still expect that once in the safety of the overnight control, riders will be self-sufficient and make every attempt to get themselves taken care of.
Q: How many drop bags can I have?
A: You will be allowed ONE drop bag for the event. It will be moved by van to each overnight location. While we do not have a specific weight limit, we ask you to keep the overall size of your bag small and to a “reasonable” weight limit. It should be small and light enough that you can carry it on your own up stairs or across uneven surfaces in the dark. Our 3rd overnight control in particular is very spread out with riders sleeping in two separate facilities, one of which will require a walk through a wooded area in the dark.
If you have elected to bring your own sleeping bag it MUST be in a stuff sack. We will not carry loose blankets, loose sleeping bags, pillows, etc. If you need a pillow we recommend purchasing a small inflatable one and stuffing it inside your sleeping bag sack.
Please do not bring full size suitcases or excess baggage (see section on storing unneeded luggage during the event).
Packing liquids (ie. Ensure, etc.) in your drop bags is strongly discouraged. If you absolutely must pack a liquid, please double plastic bag it and take every precaution against spillage and breakage. Be mindful that spilled liquids affect not just your drop bags, but those of your fellow riders. Please do not pack anything glass in your drop bags. While the greatest care will be taken with your bags, accidents happen. Dropped bags may cause liquid containers to break or glass to shatter.
Q: Where can I store my bike box and non-ride luggage that I don’t need during the event?
A: We will have a U-Haul Trailer available for you to store your luggage/bike boxes in during the event. It will be outside the start hotel from 3:45am to 4:45 am the morning of the start (6/23). The U-Haul will be towed to the finish in Snohomish and be available there from noon on the 26th. It will not be available during the ride at any time. Please keep this in mind should you abandon, as you’ll need to make your way to Snohomish to retrieve your left luggage.
Q: What’s your cancellation policy?
Q: Where do I sign up to volunteer?
A. Volunteers can sign up here.
Q: Why is there a limit on the number of riders?
A. The Cascade route is often remote and distant from services. In many places there are insufficient facilities to accommodate a larger group.