The North Star Bicycle Race is a contest of endurance and sportsmanship. Riders must act in the spirit of self- sufficiency, equal opportunity for all racers and, to be done, with integrity and gratitude. The NSBR is an old fashion solo, unsupported road race with no cause nor commercial angle. It is a battle! And whether riders wage that battle against time, mother nature, friend, foe, or innocent stranger... it's all good here. Celebrate yourself, keep it clean and let's all come out pedaling.
Etiquette 1. Act with class. 2. Check emotions before responding to bystanders and especially cars. Consider the next cyclist and how your behavior will affect how they are treated. This is a matter of life and death. 3. Take a moment to enjoy the unique out & back experience by cheering for your fellow savages and taunting your friends. Whether an across the road rolling high five or a road side hangout it's cool to be out there both solo and all in it together.
Understandings Understand that, at it's essence, unsupported is without ALL assistance. This should be the aim. 1. Support allowed from commercial businesses open to the general public. It's good to support these local businesses. Tip well. 2. Support allowed from friends, family and dot watchers via encouragement and cheers. 2. Race to protect yourself and honor all unsupported races. 3. Racers alone are responsible for their safety. 5. Racers alone are responsible for communicating with their people. 6. GPS trackers must always be on and tracking...this is how we race. Bring back up lithium ion batteries. Online GPS tracking is not intended to ensure rider safety. It is for racing, validation of course compliance and entertainment. If bad luck strikes and your tracker breaks or is lost... you are no longer competing fairly with the other racers and will not be included within the ranked finishing order. However... keep photos, receipts and/ or data to verify course completion and finishing time. Providing this proof will guarantee that you and your time are included as a honorable finisher in the overall results. 7. Racers are responsible to self report, in writing, unintentional violations to the expected NSBR behavior. Reporting must be done within 72 hours of finishing and include a timeline of the incident. Racers who self report are only subject to a replacement within the finishing order if the time penalty dictates it relative to their proximity to other racers. Racers who fail to report will be subject to disqualification and denied entries to future NSBR's. Racers finishing in a contrived tie will be not be included in the ranked finishing order, will be included as honorary finishers and will be denied future NSBR entries.
Minimum Racer Safety Requirements (Racers are encouraged to go above and beyond like wearing glasses and reflective ankle bands.) 1. Helmet 2. 2 front white lights. 2 rear red lights. Both front lights must have separate power, both rear separate, one front and one rear may share a power source. At the minimum... 1 front & 1 rear should be on at night. 3. Upper body reflective vest or "vest." "Vest" example: Amphipod Xinglet. Vest designed to be worn over any other garment. (Battery aided reflective vests must remain reflective absent batteries. Any pack/s that may cover a portion of the vest must have reflective features.) 4. Reflective tape on back of both sides seat stays, front of both sides fork, 3 pieces tape each side of rim or cranks in rim brake situations. 5. Sticker or marker writing on bike stating your name & state of residence AND name & phone # of your emergency contact. Emergency contact must read and understand entire NSBR website.
Unsupported Rules 1. Complete the full route, out & back, under your own power. 2. No material or physical support, no private intelligence, no accepting handouts from "trail angels", no professional coach communication. 3. No drafting. EXCEPT for safety as described below in Pairs. 4. No caches. No dropping off of anything while traveling North with the intent to be picked up again on the return South. No unloading of anything onto Dot watchers with the intent to be regained after the race.
In the event of a life and death emergency abandon all notions. Survive. That being said, the NSBR is a proudly unsupported race. If you are unable to complete the NSBR without accepting aid (with the exception of the below listed tolerations) then the honorable thing to do is to immediately report yourself scratched. Scratch, keep your data showing you completed the course and you will be included as an honorary finisher. Being an honorary finisher is cool... maybe even more so than a regular finisher! Accepting aid then going on to continue competing not only disrespects the race but it disrespects all of the past, present and future NSBR racers. The opportunity to self report infractions and accept a time penalty without scratching is an acknowledgement that mistakes happen. But knowingly accepting aid and not scratching is contrary to everything that is fair play and unsupported.
The following are tolerated but not necessarily encouraged:
Unplanned support from other racers because we are looking out for each other. Offer knowledge, tool, then supply before lending a hand.
Motorized hitchhiking. Just get yourself back to where you abandoned unsupported before you move forward again as a legit racer. Keep your tracker on and spend your time sitting in the car figuring on how to not let it happen again. Report in writing.
Making lodging reservations before start.
Sharing rooms with other racers.
Racers sharing room with family or friends in a hotel type arrangement. Racer must make reservation and payment.
The essence & aim of unsupported is without all assistance. While these tolerations may push the boundaries of unsupported, the NSBR does not believe engaging in them gives a competitive advantage over those who don't. They are tolerated to keep the race going and the cost down for racers, friends and family. Do not put others in an awkward position or compromise the integrity of unsupported by begging in private conversations or social media. Remember to act in the spirit of equal opportunity for all racers. Be very aware when riding in a car or sharing a room to not share intelligence, physical or material support.
Pandemic Parameters If you haven't been fully vaccinated and think you have Covid-19 or have been exposed to someone who may have it... stay home.
Pairs There is no pairs division. The NSBR recognizes no competitive advantage to committing to riding with someone or choosing to share sleeping accommodations. There are many miles along the route good for riding side by side. Racers must separate themselves before the finish...this is a race.
Riding with or near another can be difficult because drafting is cheating. And dangerous because cars may only see the back rider. When riding single file riders must keep a minimum of 3 bike lengths between them to avoid drafting. The danger of riding near another is cars not seeing the front rider. Or it's that drivers just can't maneuver passing one bike, moving back into the lane, and quickly passing another bike with oncoming traffic. Consider the perspective of the driver. Sometimes, in a particular situation such as a hill or turn, it might be the best choice to go ahead and draft for safety thereby making 2 bikes one object for the car to pass. Report, in writing, the amount of time drafting and with whom you drafted.