The North Star Bicycle Race is an exhibition 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 the clock, mother nature, friend, foe, innocent stranger or themselves... it's all good here. Let's keep it clean and come out pedaling.
Etiquette 1. Act with class. Check emotions before replying 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. 2. Tip well. Accommodate locals and bystanders. 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 regroup it's cool to be out there both solo, unsupported and all in it together.
Understandings 1. Understand that, at it's essence, unsupported is without ALL assistance. This should be the aim. However, The NSBR allows support from commercial businesses that are available to the general public. It's good to support these local businesses. 2. Race to protect yourself and the future of all unsupported races. 3. Riders alone are responsible for their safety. 5. Riders alone are responsible for communicating with their loved ones. 6. Online GPS tracking is not intended to ensure rider safety. It is for entertainment, racing and validation of course compliance. Trackers should always be on and tracking...this is how we race. 7. Riders are responsible to report, in writing, violations to the rules or the unsupported bicycle racing ethos. This reporting must be done within 72 hours of finishing. Riders who fail to report will be removed from rankings and placed in either an asterisk * finishers list or disqualified completely.
Rider Requirements (Riders will not be included if these items are not present at start. These are the minimum requirements. Riders are encouraged to go above and beyond...like bringing back up lithium ion batteries for your tracker, wearing glasses or reflective ankle bands.) 1. Activated and connected SPOT tracker required. See Register. 2. Helmet 3. 2 Front white lights. At least one on from sundown to sunrise. See below * 4. 2 Rear red lights. At least one on from sundown to sunrise. * Separate power sources...Both front lights must have separate power, both rear separate, one front and one rear may share a power source. 5. Upper body reflective vest or "vest" ("Vest" example: Amphipod Xinglet. Vest is it's own item, it can not be a reflective jersey/ t-shirt or jacket. Battery aided reflective vests must remain reflective absent batteries.) 6. Reflective tape on back of both sides seat stay, front of both sides fork, 3 pieces tape each side of rim on both wheels. (In the case that rim brakes make the adhesion of reflective tape impossible on the rims...tape up the cranks. The idea is that when the bike is viewed from the side reflective motion is seen.) 7. Sticker or marker writing on bike stating your name and name and phone # of your emergency contact. Emergency contact must read and understand entire NSBR website.
Rules 1. Complete the full route, out and back, under your own power. 2. No material or physical support, no private remote intelligence, no professional coach communication, no pacers. 3. No drafting. Except for safety. See * within "Pairs" below. 4. Devices attached to the bicycle or racer designed solely to reduce wind resistance or increase speed, e.g., air foils or sails, are prohibited. 5. No caches. No mailing anything ahead. 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 picked after the race.
The following are tolerated but not necessarily encouraged. Remember that the essence of unsupported is without all assistance. These allowances push the boundaries of unsupported. However I don't believe engaging in them gives a competitive advantage so they are allowed in order to keep the race going and the cost down. 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. Do not share intelligence, physical or material support.
Unplanned support from other racers is OK 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, the complete situation.
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, pay and invite family in.
In the event of an emergency abandon all notions. Survive. Later self report.
These parameters will be required during the 2020 NSBR. Racers who fail to meet these will be disqualified and removed from the NSBR MAProgress race page.
Racers must have a mask/ facial covering. A neck gaiter/ buff is acceptable.
When within 6 feet of another you must wear said mask. This includes during the act of passing another racer. EXCEPTION.. when racers are members of a same household or, prior to race start, have made an agreement with each other that you will be sharing germs.
When inside a public space you must always wear mask.
Racers must carry hand sanitizer. Racers must use hand sanitizer before entering a public interior space and after leaving said space. Racers should make a good show to the public of hand sanitizer use. Don't put on hand sanitizer then creep out of the bushes and into the public interior space. Put it on near the entrance where the public can see us setting a good example. Winning the public's trust will keep us all safer on the road.
Flagrant violations of any of the above will result in immediate disqualification, removal from MAProgress data, and denied entry in future NSBR's.
Pairs There is no pairs category. Everyone rides their own bike. I see no great competitive advantage to committing to riding with someone or choosing to share sleeping accommodations as long as the Rules are minded. There are many miles along the route good for riding side by side. Racers should make a serious effort to separate themselves before the finish...this is a race. Riding with or near another can be difficult because drafting is not allowed. 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 a drafting penalty. The danger of riding in pairs 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. *Point is...sometimes in a particular situation such as a hill or turn it might be the best choice to go ahead and draft, making 2 bikes one object for the car to pass and reporting the amount of time drafting and with whom you drafted.
Other Categories 2018- 2020. There were no other categories. Only solo bicycles. 2021. The NSBR will add 2 new divisions for the race on September 15, 2021. Division 1. Bicycles. Upright bicycles or bicycles resembling those of the Tour de France or Tour Divide. Division 2. Modified. Velomobiles, recumbents, bicycles with windshields, tricycles and any other approved Human Powered Vehicle. Division 3. Not solo. Tandems and other multi person approved HPV's.
All may be amended as needed and without notice...but I rather not. Let's keep it simple and with honor. QUESTIONS? Join the Facebook group, North Star Bicycle Race, or email Brian at NorthStarBicycleRace@gmail.com