The first time I did a CAAM 200K was in way back 2013, and it was the longest I had done. Back in those days the group was small enough that we could go into an establishment for lunch without having to rent the entire facility. Not any longer!

I’m excited that each time there is a 200K, Paul adds some tweaks to make the experience safer and more fun for all. By adding official pace groups with Ride Leaders, our friends who want to stay in a group have several options. Of course, pace groups are optional.

Paul Ricci (Mr. CAAM himself) set up an Open Group with no set pace, but it is predicted to be upwards of 24mph. They will roll out first. Three minutes later the 22 mph pace group rolls out, led by none other than 2015-2016 FL Road Race State Champion Julie McKenzie. The 20 mph group is the one that I selected to lead but am having second thoughts, hoping that I can roll for 126 miles at that pace! Finally, there is an 18mph group led by others to be introduced on Saturday.

The purpose of the pace groups is to ensure safety on the road and stimulate camaraderie. No one is obligated to join a group and all are free to move into – or out of – any one of them at will. If you are feeling frisky and realize 97 miles in that it’s a bit much, simply wait at a Rest Stop for the next group or soft pedal until a group catches you. Simple!

The information below is written for the 20 mph Pace Group Leaders, but you may also want to read it and understand the expectations for that group. Each Pace Group Ride Leader will have a few friends who will be helping out with our groups as well. Both Julie and the 18mph Ride Leader will manage their groups according to their own style. This is what you can expect if you are going to ride in the 20mph group.

As for the 20mph group, here are the expectations so that we are all on the same page:

  • Double pace line staying away from the yellow line (unless otherwise specified by those up front, who will call out “single” or “double” while signaling with the hand)
  • Rolling at 20– not 21, not 19. When the terrain changes, adapt your gearing and effort level to maintain the same amount of energy output. Please do not try to maintain 20mph going over a causeway or descending one; gravity dictates our effort level
  • Pullers will rotate through approximately every mile
  • Let’s also set up a couple of Gate Keepers to be the buffer between those who wish to pull and those who wish to draft
  • We have some very strong riders in our group who don’t want to lead but will pull. We will identify them at Rest Stops and switch up the pullers so that we can all enjoy the fellowship of being in a double pace line
  • Expected time at Rest Stops is 10-minute; please help keep the group aware of the time. We will give a 5-minute warning and a 2-minute warning at each stop
  • If you see someone riding dangerously and do not want to kindly correct them, let me know and I will handle it 
  • Let’s encourage all to hold our lines, be predictable and protect our front wheels
  • Leaders are to corner without accelerating through and ramping up the pace
  • Please download the route onto your head unit and look over it ahead of time. Our group will take the bike trail on the way back to get us off Maytown Highway for about 20 miles. When we get to El Cheapo, BillyD will be working that final Rest Stop, so be ready for a treat – and maybe challenge him to a dance off.

Remember: it’s only 126 miles and – together- we will get it done. See you there!”