Wednesday, March 06, 2019

C.O.G. 100 Update: Cues And Number Plates

An example of a cue sheet
C.O.G. 100 Cue Sheet Tutorial:

Today I am going to go over how cue sheets work for the C.O.G. 100 event coming up in a few weeks. If you've been around this blog long, you already have seen these, and of course, if you have ever done Trans Iowa before, you've most certainly seen these. That said, I think I may be the only guy using cues like this. I am not aware of anyone else's cues being like these. Most do not use this format, but the "Tulip Style", which is a bit different.

A quick background at how I ended up using this cue style: Originally, Jeff Kerkove and I were provided with a sample cue sheet for the Great Divide race by Mike Curiak to use as a template for our cues. I modified this and the first few Trans Iowas were pretty much based off of a hybrid of those cues and my ideas. I started looking for something different at one point that would be an improvement over those old cues. Then I stumbled across a cue template that I borrowed from somewhere on the web and I have used it ever since. That maybe was around ten years ago. There have been small changes since, but basically, the cue format has remained unchanged since 2008 or so.

So, now you know.......

First off, there will be a LEGEND provided for the cues that will include a LOT of info that you will need to keep throughout your ride in the C.O.G. 100. This cue sheet page will be the fourth one in your set, so you can refer to it, but following are the symbols and what they mean:
  • Mileage: Under the column, "Mile", you will see a number referring to when you should look for direction during your ride. So, obviously, a working computer, that is accurate, and easy to read, is a MUST! Mileages will be given in tenths, but keep in mind that you may end up being a few tenths off up to maybe a mile off depending upon the accuracy of your unit and how much you wander while riding, if you pull off the road for any reason, and especially if you make a wrong turn. The latter may cause a huge discrepancy. Riders are required to pay attention and deal with discrepancies accordingly. I use a GPS generated mileage figure and over the years, I have been said to be pretty spot on. 
  • The "Dir" Column: Next to the "Mile" column is the column telling you WHAT TO DO at that particular mileage marker. Following in this list is the symbols and what they mean when you see them in the "Dir" column. (NOTE- There are a few symbols in the LEGEND that I won't go over here because I didn't need to use them)
  1. "R" = Right Turn
  2. "L" = Left Turn
  3. "BL"= Bear Left
  4. "BR" = Bear Right
  5. "!X!" = Dangerous Crossing
  6. ">>" = Straight
  •  "Road Info/Description": The biggest column refers to a more detailed direction or notation for you to follow or be aware of. In this column you may see a (G) which stands for "Gravel" or a (P) which stands for "Paved" to help you understand better where you are supposed to be. 
So, let's put together an example. 13.4, BL, On 60th St means that when you reach 13.4 miles you need to "Bear Left" on to a road called "60th St". Iowa roads use GREEN street signs on silver metal poles at corners to indicate road names. These are not always on the same corner. So, for example, at one corner the sign may be on your right side, but down one mile and the next sign could be on the other side of the road! Riders must use awareness of their surroundings so as not to miss a sign's location, and prevent getting off track.

By the way, there will be five cue sheets and they measure roughly  4" X 4 3/4"s inches. THE CUE SHEETS ARE EASILY DAMAGED BY MOISTURE! So, be careful handling them with wet gloves, for instance. Don't spill your energy concoction on them, and don't let them get wet from precipitation. Just don't let them get moist! It will be BAD if you do.

A Note On Crossings: I have been putting "DANGER" in the cues when a "!X!" (Equals Dangerous Highway Crossing) is present for several years now. This is no joke. Major highway crossings in rural Iowa mean cars and trucks are traveling at high rates of speed, anywhere from 65mph-75mph, generally speaking, and closing rates of vehicles on your position is in mere seconds. Outrunning a vehicle through a crossing is NOT A GOOD IDEA. Don't do it. WAIT for a clear road both ways and proceed with EXTREME CAUTION. As I mentioned in my course recon report, there are 12 of these crossings and they affect everyone equally. Trying to gain an advantage by putting yourself at risk isn't worth it.

Numbers: A brief note on the numbers we use. they are made out of Tyvek and have punch holes in each corner for attachment. we will provide pipe cleaners and zip ties to help you get them attached to your bike. Not on you! On your bike. The front handle bar being where we like them to be. This is so we can better score you. Please help us out with that. Also, number plates will be issued at the same time as cues- at the start line, so please be there early. I am saying 7:00am. That should allow for everyone to get checked in and ready to roll by 8:00am.

Finally, everyone should be thinking about a system to deal with the cue sheets. There are several ideas available. I happen to appreciate the QPro by Bar Yak. These hold down your cues despite winds and allow you to see your cues easily. Switching out cue sheets can be done on the fly too. Plus there is an accessory mount which is perfect for mounting a computer. That said, there are other solutions, but trust me. You'll want to get a cue sheet holder. Don't "follow the other guy" or have someone do nav for you. Too many times that has led to problems in these types of events.

Okay, there is your latest C.O.G. 100 update. Stay tuned to the C.O.G. 100 site for the latest.


Jim Bethea said...

Are there any checkpoints on the C.O.G. 100? If so, will the cues zero at the checkpoints?

Guitar Ted said...

@Jim Bethea- No checkpoints.

CrossTrail said...

I'm looking at each line on the cue sheet as a checkpoint. That is, if I don't make the correct decision each time, I won't make it to the finish.

teamdarb said...

Problem solver water bottle mounts and Dollar store plastic or aluminum mini clip board works just as well. You can even get a clipboard with a clear flip cover.