Rules of the Road

The 308 will be organized almost exactly like The 508, in terms of rules, categories, awards, and format, with a few exceptions:

1) First, support will be entirely leapfrog, including at night; in other words, no direct-follow vehicles ever.

2) An unsupported, randonneur-style category will be offered to soloists.

3) Two new time stations will be added to the traditional two stages from Santa Clarita to California and California City to Trona, making for four stages on the outbound, and four stages on the inbound.

4) Finishing The 308 will be one of the top qualifying credentials for entering The 508.

Here is the 308-specific set of rules:

Penalty for violation of these rules is Disqualification, unless Time Penalty (TP) is noted.

Premise: All persons associated with the Trona 308 are ambassadors of the event and shall conduct themselves in a manner that reflects positively on the race and on AdventureCORPS at all times.  The public should be impressed, not annoyed. The race has been held since 1983 and we want it to continue long into the future. Hosting a safe, fair, and legal event every year, without fail, is our best opportunity for perpetuating The 308.

I.               General Rules.

A.             Administrative Rules.

1.              All racers and all crew must sign and turn in the Release of Liability / Agreement to Terms and Conditions prior to the race.

2.              Attendance at the Pre-Race Meeting is mandatory. Solo entrants must be represented by the racer and at least one crew. 2X Team entrants must be represented by at least one racer and one crew. 4X Team entrants must be represented by at least two racers and one crew or 3 racers. ALL crew members and ALL racers are strongly encouraged, and generally expected, to attend.

3.              The Race Director has the authority, at any time, to overrule any rule or invent a new rule based on extenuating, unforeseen, and/or unusual circumstances and/or to maintain the integrity and fair play necessary for the successful completion, and continuation, of the race. The Race Director has ultimate authority in regards to all rules, their interpretation, and their enforcement. There is no "appeals committee," nor an "appeals process." All entrants in the race, and their support crews, willingly acknowledge this fact, as well as all other race rules, by attending the race in any capacity.

B.             Safety and Emergencies.

1.              Safety must be the single most important concern of everyone connected with the race. Safety prevails above all other rules and competition.

2.              In an emergency condition where human life is in jeopardy, all concern should be directed to the injured. If a rule is violated in an emergency situation, or should there be a delay (e.g., stopping to give CPR to another racer), the Race Director will make necessary allowances.

3.              All Emergency Evacuation costs for participants or crews will be borne by that person or their heirs. The race organizers are in no way liable or responsible for emergency evacuation.

4.              Since TRONA 308 uses public roads, it is impossible to control traffic or get road closures. Never risk human safety. Racers and crews must "size up" every road situation and decide how best to proceed or not to proceed. Use common sense and think safety first!

5.              It is the racer's responsibility to make sure that the crew members are receiving enough sleep necessary for the safe operation of a motor vehicle. If a racer does not have the necessary manpower to safely drive the vehicle, the racer will be detained until the crew can safely support the racer. If a driver has become too sleepy, he or she must relinquish the driving responsibility. If no one is awake enough to drive, the racer must stop until a crew member has obtained adequate sleep. TP or DQ

6.              If you see another racer or crew behaving in an unsafe or unsporting manner, please say something to that crew and to a race official.

7.              A Race Official may prohibit a racer from continuing for safety reasons, e.g., a racer being too sleepy to ride.

8.              All support vehicles must carry a comprehensive First Aid Kit. A satellite phone is also strongly encouraged, as cell coverage is spotty along the race route. Additionally, entrants may choose to bring an AED. It is highly recommended that each support team include at least one member who has current CPR and First Aid training and certification.

C.            Compliance with Laws.

1.              One racer or crew member violating traffic laws really affects all the other racers. It's reasonable to believe that if one does it, they all must. Obey all traffic laws!

2.              All traffic laws must be followed by all racers and all crew members at all times. This includes a FULL, legal stop at all stop signs, at all red traffic lights, and activated railroad crossing signals. To be clear, a “FULL, legal stop” means “the complete cessation of all forward movement.” The only exception would be if law enforcement officials direct racers through a controlled intersection without stopping, as sometimes happens within the first few miles of the race TP or DQ

3.              All vehicles and all racers must obey the vehicle code laws of California. It is the responsibility of all drivers and all racers to be familiar with all laws. A violation by a crew member will be assessed against the racer. TP or DQ

4.              The TRONA 308 uses public roads, requiring the observance of all event rules, traffic laws and the motor vehicle code. This includes, but is not limited to, stopping appropriately for traffic lights, stop signs, and trains across the road, riding as far to the right as is practicable, and the like. Racers disregarding stop signs, traffic lights, and traffic laws have a very damaging effect on the race in general, significantly more than "running" a light during a training ride. These violations are considered cheating, unsportsmanlike, unsafe, and can be the reason for authorities not granting permission for races.

5.              Railroad Crossings: Racers and crew vehicles must stop and remain stopped at all activated railroad crossing signals, until the activated signal terminates. During night hours, the racer and crew must remain together as a unit at activated crossings. TP or DQ.

6.              All racers, crew and staff must display courtesy, good taste, decorum, and sportsmanship at all times. Nudity is specifically not allowed. TP or DQ

II.             Racer Conduct.

A.             Racing Rules.

1.              To be declared an OFFICIAL FINISHER in the race, all entrants must complete the course within the following limits: 30 hours for solo entrants; 27 hours for relay teams.

2.              The clock will not stop for any reason.

3.              A racer may not receive any type of push-off or propulsion from a person or vehicle. TP

4.              All racers may walk or run if they so desire, providing they keep the bicycle with them. TP

B.             Drafting/Riding.

1.              Drafting and/or riding together are never allowed, except for the first few miles during the neutral zone.

2.              The following space between racers must be maintained, except while passing one another:  a) when riding with no crew vehicle: 12 meter split (three car lengths) from another cyclist or vehicle;  b) when riding with a crew vehicle: 100 meter split (a football field). There must be enough room between racers for rear traffic to comfortably pass one racer and his/her crew vehicle at a time. TP

3.              No racer or crew vehicle will attempt to block or impede the progress of another racer or crew vehicle.

C.            Routing.   Every inch of the prescribed course must be traveled by each racer or relay team. In the event of a routing error, e.g., wrong turn, the racer may be driven back to the exact original spot where he/she left the course and continue riding from that location. There will be no allowance made for lost time or miles ridden in the wrong direction.

D.            Banned Substances.

1.              IVs (intravenous fluids) are not permitted during the race.

2.              As a condition of competing in this event, all racers must be willing to submit to a drug urine test before, during, or after the race.

3.              If any USOC-banned substances are detected, the racer will be disqualified from competition and the final standings of the race itself.

4.               If a racer has used any banned substances within six months of the race, written notification must be submitted to the race office. This information will remain confidential. Our medical advisors will review the type of substance used and the reasons involved and a written response will be sent to the racer.

III.           Bicycle and Equipment Regulations.

A.             Bicycles.

1.              Bicycles must be propelled solely by human force, and by legs only in the standard division.

2.              The Race Director or a Race Official may disallow any unusual bicycle, component, equipment, or apparatus before or during the race. Conventional bicycle components which are aerodynamically or otherwise designed in some unique and unusual manner are subject to approval by the Race Director before the race.

3.              Devices attached to the bicycle or racer designed solely to reduce wind resistance or increase speed, e.g., air foils or sails, are prohibited.

4.              All bicycles must be equipped with at least one functioning brake system; a fixed gear drivetrain alone is not considered a brake system.

B.             Divisions.

1.              Standard: All bicycles, except those described specifically below, shall be entered in what is known as the “Standard” Division.

2.              Recumbent:  Recumbents and HPVs compete in their own divisions and must enter in one of the following categories:

a.              STOCK vehicles may have any number of wheels. Vehicles may not incorporate any form of fairing, or part of fairing. Wheel discs/covers are allowed.

b.              SUPERSTOCK vehicles are vehicles with any number of wheels. Wheel discs/covers are allowed. A front or a rear fairing is allowed. The edge of the fairing toward the racer may not penetrate the imaginary plane formed by joining the racer's shoulder centerpoints with hip centerpoints. No part of the fairing may be moved in entering, exiting, starting or stopping.

c.              SUPERSTREET vehicles are vehicles with any number of wheels. Wheel discs/covers are allowed. Fairings can be one of two formats: Type 1: Any amount of fairing is allowed, but no part of the fairing may be moved to enter, exit, start, or stop the vehicle. Type 2: Any amount of fairing is allowed, but no more than 40% of the fairing surface may be of a hard material (i.e. composite, metal, or molded plastic), while the remaining 60% of surface area of the fairing must be of flexible, woven material (i.e. nylon, spandex). Parts of the fairing can be moved to facilitate entry and exit, or stop and start of the vehicle. The racer's head must be exposed above the fairing.

d.              STREAMLINER vehicles are vehicles with any number of wheels and any amount of fairing allowed. Fairing panels may be moved for entry, exit, starting, or stopping.

e.              UNLIMITED - Same rules as STREAMLINER, except vehicles do not need to be capable of self-start/self-stop. Racer must be able to exit the vehicle unaided in case of an emergency.

3.              Fixed Gear: Fixed Gear bikes must use the same fixed gearing (ring/cog/wheel) for the entire event. Bike frames shall be steel, traditional double diamond design (forks are unrestricted) and aluminum rims (maximum 25 mm rim depth) with 32 spokes minimum. Aerobar attachments and aero-designed parts are prohibited. Wheel switches are permitted only for wheel failures, and must be essentially identical to the failed wheel. Bike switches are not permitted. Racers may not coast with feet off the pedals. Racers must declare their gear (ring/cog/wheel size) choice at check in, which may not be changed thereafter.  Fixed gear division racers may abandon that division and switch to a multispeed bike in the "standard" division, then complete the race on the multispeed bike, provided that they or their crew notifies a race official as soon as possible; they will then be treated as having ridden the entire event on the multispeed bike.

4.              Tandem: Tandems are bicycles that seat two racers. Tandems must at all times be ridden by the same two racers, and may never proceed with only one racer. For tandem teams, the same two racers shall remain together in sequence for each respective stage of the course.

5.              Classic Bike:  The requirements to enter this division - which will be a sub-category of ANY 308 division, whether solo, tandem, or 2x / 4x relay p will be to race on technology from 1983 or older. Specifically, this means:  the frame and fork must be lugged steel (but built in ANY year, including brand new); no more than six cogs on the rear wheel; 32 spokes per wheel minimum; friction shifting on the down-tube or bar-ends (must be true friction shifters; not clickables set in friction mode); toe clips and straps; standard drop bars required (no aero bars). Just to be clear, the frame and parts don't have to actually be 30 or more years old: just the technology has to be 1983 or older.

C.            Bicycle Lighting.  While riding at night (defined as between 7:30 PM Saturday and 6:00 AM Sunday), each bicycle must be equipped with a properly functioning and legal front and rear lighting system and this system must be ON at all times. (Note: small LED lights are not sufficient and will not be allowed, except in addition to more substantial bicycle lights.) The front light (which may be helmet-mounted, rather than bike-mounted) must be constant on, not flashing, and visible from 300 feet, and the rear light, which may be flashing, from 500 feet. Additionally, while riding at night, racers must have significant amounts of reflective material on their bike and/or body, facing in all four directions. At minimum, it is required to have reflective tape around both crank arms, forks, seat stays, and helmet.  (First place electrical tape on any surface from which you may want to remove the highly adhesive reflective tape after the race.) We highly recommend the taillights and reflective gear (and the identity products) offered by, as well as the reflective gear and lighting offered by  TP

D.            Clothing.

1.              ANSI, CPSC, ASTM or Snell approved helmets must be properly worn and fastened by racers at all times when on the bike.

2.              For your safety and the safety of other riders and road users, headphones / ear buds / earpieces in or on both ears may not be used at any time while cycling. Listening to music is particularly discouraged. Riders must at all times comply with applicable laws and ride safely given the existing circumstances.

3.              No racer or crew member may wear clothing that displays poor taste or which promotes tobacco products.

4.              Neither racers nor crew may publicly expose themselves during the process of changing clothes, relieving themselves, or otherwise.

IV.           Team Division. 

The TRONA 308 Rules and Regulations for solo racers (those above and below) apply to team racers, where appropriate, plus:

A.             Relay team members will ride one stage at a time, from time station to time station. Thus, two racer team members will race four stages each and four racer team members will race two stages each.

B.             Racers will switch off while stationary in the presence of the time station staff, passing a baton between them before resuming racing. The baton will be provided at racer check-in or may be created by the team in advance. (Home-made or purchased batons must be at least 12cm long and 1cm thick, in any shape, and must have the team totem permanently marked, etched, engraved, or embossed on the baton surface. For example, a standard size Gumby with the totem marked with a permanent sharpie would be a suitable baton.) The baton must be carried by the racing rider at all times and must be presented at the finish line (dropped batons must be picked up before the racing rider moves forward on the course; lost batons will result in disqualification).

C.            Teams must complete the route in a fixed order which will be declared prior to the race: Two racer teams must switch off at each time station, rotating A-B-A-B-A-B-A-B. Four racer teams must rotate A-B-C-D-A-B-C-D, except as noted in the exception explained below. This "rotation sequence exception rule" may not be used for strategic purposes. It may only be used because of unexpected injury, broken down bicycle, or some other significant, unforeseen incident which occurs during the race and which precludes the racer in question from completing his or her assigned stage. Note: “Being tired” or entering the race with a pre-existing injury or other problem are not suitable reasons for utilizing this rotation exception. Proof of the necessity of using this exception must be given and documented.

1.              Exception for either two or four racer teams: if a racer is physically unable to complete his or her designated leg, the team must return to the previous time station and restart with the next racer in sequence. Although the withdrawn racer may return to the rotation order later, the team must then remain out of sequence for the remainder of the race in terms of which stages are completed by which racer.

2.              Example for a four racer team: racer C is physically unable to complete stage three. His or her team must return to Trona and restart there with racer D, with no credit given for time lost or miles already completed. Thereafter A will complete stage four, B will complete stage five, C will complete stage six (if capable, otherwise D would complete stage six), etc.

3.              Example for two racer team: Racer B is physically unable to complete stage four. His or her team must return to Furnace Creek and restart there with racer A, with no credit given for time lost or miles already completed. Racer B may return to the rotation on the next or any subsequent stage, or Racer A may complete the rest of the race route.

D.            Each team must enter with two or four racers (or eight if it is in the eight-racer tandem category). If one or more of the team members gets hurt or cannot ride once the race has begun, no substitutions or additions are allowed to their team roster.

E.             Only one racer per team may ride at any time except for the last one-quarter mile of the race, at which point all members of a team may get on their bikes and ride into the finish together, provided a crew member or teammate is available to drive the crew vehicle if it is during night hours. However, this is not allowed if the team is intending, or likely, to attempt a sprint finish with another team: sprints must be contested by one racer per team (the racer designated for the final stage).

F.             At least one racer, or two in the case of tandems, must finish for the team to be declared finishers. This means that the rest of the racers may drop out.

IVb.             Randonneur Division.

A.             An unsupported, randonneur-style category will be offered to soloists. Event organizers will provide drop bag service to each of the time stations along the route, so that randonneur entrants may access their personal neds along the way, approximately every 35-45 miles. (Rando riders should bring four bags labeled with their totem clearly displayed, along with the intended time station to which each bag should be delivered.) Time stations will also provide water and ice to rando riders only.

B.             As randonneur division riders will not have support teams traveling with them, they must be fully self-sufficient, with redundant lighting systems, clothing, gear, water, and food. Cell phones, though they will not work at all times along the course, must be carried by all randonneur riders.

C.             Randonneur division riders are expected to return to the start line under their own power, or to otherwise seek transportation if they are unable to complete the course. Event organizers do not guarantee and easy, "free ride" back to the finish line for those whoe withdraw.

D.             Randonneur division riders must stop briefly to check-in at each time station along the route.

E.             Randonneur division riders may not have a support team or other pre-planned or organized support provided to them, however they may accept unsolicited support from support teams supporting other riders in the event and from the general public.

V.             Support Crew Rules.

A.             One person shall be assigned the title of crew captain, and will act as the spokesperson for the crew and racer.

B.             At least one crew member is required for the duration of the race for the solo and two racer relay divisions (while two are highly recommended, especially for solo entrants). Four racer relay teams are not required to have designated crew members as they can crew for themselves. Randonneur entrants do not have crew members.

C.            All crew members must sign and turn in the Release of Liability / Agreement to Terms and Conditions prior to the race. (A support crew member is defined as anyone who actively assists a racer in any manner at any time during the race.)

D.            Crew members may never cycle at any time during the race.

E.             Each racer is responsible for the actions of that racer’s crew.

F.             In the spirit of sportsmanship, any support crew may offer assistance to any racer or crew at any time.

G.            Racers who drop out of competition may join another racer's crew, however a Race Official or Race HQ must be notified.

H.            Only leapfrog support may be used for the duration of the event, whether day or night: Vehicle-to-racer and racer-to-vehicle handoffs are prohibited, as is driving slowly next to or near a racer. Always drive at the speed of traffice and always park in safe spots, completely off the roadway.  TP or DQ

I.            When stopped, the crew vehicle shall be positioned completely off the traveled portion of the roadway, with 4-way flashers on.

J.             Support crew members may not run or walk along with, next to, in front of, or behind their racers for any reason (except during water bottle hand-offs).  TP

K.             Crew vehicles may not park or otherwise be on the race course in the vicinity of the cyclists for the first 23.4 miles of the race; thus they must leave the start line prior to the race start and drive directly to the 23.4 mile location, ahead of all racers. Racers should be prepared to make their own repairs during this 23.4 mile segment of the race; however, limited neutral support will be provided.  -Delay of Crew Vehicle and/or TP

L.             Supporting Your Racer. All racers and crew should also study "Hints On Supporting A Cyclist.”  Hints for providing support: (1) Use two way radio communication; (2) Use arm signals between racer and crew; (3) Plan nutritional regime before the race; (4) Drive ahead of racer, pull completely off the road and stop, get out of vehicle and listen for racer’s request. Obtain necessary items in vehicle, drive ahead of racer, pull completely off the road and get out, then pass off the requested supplies.

M.             Crews must observe these safety requirements at all times:

·      Stay calm and cool, no matter what happens.

·      Trade off driving duties as often as possible.

·      Always have two wide awake crew members at night.

·      Watch for drunk and/or inattentive drivers.

·      Obey all traffic laws.

·      Watch for traffic approaching from the rear.

·      Be extra cautious at all turns and stops.

VI.           Crew Vehicles.

A.             Vehicles wider than 78" may never be used to support a racer. (As measured at the widest part of the back of the vehicle, not including protruding bumpers or fenders.) The ideal crew vehicle is a minivan, though small cars and small SUVs will work as well. Due to their height, camper vans, supersize SUV's, supersize pickups with large shells, and the like are very strongly discouraged as crew vehicles, even if they are less than 78" in width. TP or DQ

B.             Hummers (any model), Ford Excursions, large “SportsMobiles,” Sprinter Vans, and motorhomes are not allowed for any purpose by anyone involved with the race.

C.            Solo racers, solo tandems, and two- or four-person relay teams bring ONLY ONE crew vehicle for the duration of the race. Eight-person tandem relay teams may have no more than two crew vehicles. Note: Any vehicle associated in any way with any racer(s) is considered a "crew vehicle," thus "unofficial" crew/support vehicles or family/friend cheering squads are not allowed anywhere on the race route except at the start and finish locations.

D.            Crew vehicles may not pull a trailer of any kind.

E.             All crew vehicles must meet the minimum requirements of property damage and personal injury liability automobile insurance for the state of California.

F.             Crew vehicles must be equipped with the following:

1.              A sign that reads CAUTION BICYCLE AHEAD. Lettering must be 6 inches high, reflective red on a white background. This type of sign can be ordered through a sign shop or from Banners and Signs Graphx (Use this Pdf form to order) for pick-up at the race.

2.              Team or racer totem must be visible and easily legible (in words, not only pictures) on all four sides of the crew vehicle. For the rear, the ideal placement may be the left side of the rear bumper. Lettering must be 6 inches high. Do not block windows. Solo signage should not use the word "TEAM." Signage for 2x teams must state “2X” and signage for 4X teams must state “4X.” You may order custom totem signs from Banners and Signs Graphx (Use this Pdf form to order) for pick-up at the race.

VII.         Staff and Time Stations.

A.             Race Officials will be stationed along the route as well as in crew vehicles. A Race Official may ride with any crew in any crew vehicle at any time.

B.             Race Officials have been instructed to only reveal racers' positions and arrival times at Time Stations, if known. Racer position information is subject to human error. The race organizers will not be held responsible for the reporting of inaccurate positions and times, regardless of the source.

C.            All racers and crews are required to make their presence known at each Time Station, which are located in designated places along the race route, as noted in the Official Race Route. At night hours, neither the racer nor the vehicle has to stop, but the crew should have their windows down and sound systems / radios off in order to receive information from the Time Station as they pass. Relay teams must stop at each Time Station to facilitate racer switches. See relay rules section. TP

D.            Racers and crew members are expected to treat race officials with complete respect, courtesy, and compliance. Disrespectful or undue argument or ignoring directives from Race Officials or law enforcement will not be tolerated. TP or DQ

VIII.       Penalties and Cheating.

A.             Penalty for violation of these rules is Disqualification, unless Time Penalty (TP) or other penalty is noted. The Race Director has the discretion to modify penalties if multiple violations occur at the same time.

B.             Non-DQ rule violations will result in the following time penalties for solo and relay racers, which must be served at TS#7. Note that penalized teams which refuse to serve their penalty time at TS#7, or any participant who refuses to serve a penalty or willfully disobeys the direction from a race official, will be disqualified from the race and barred from entering again in the future.

1.              1st offense: 15 minutes total

2.              2nd offense: 45 minutes total


C.            Upon observing a racer's violation of a traffic law or race rule, a Race Official will issue a time penalty or a disqualification to the crew, whose responsibility it is to inform the racer. If any member of a team is penalized, the entire team must serve the penalty. An entire team can be penalized or disqualified because of the actions of any one team or crew member. Race HQ and all Time Stations will be informed, thus disseminating the information to everyone. If a racer is disqualified, the racer and crew must immediately to leave the race course in the crew vehicle, with no further interaction between the racer/crew and other participants.

D.            Racers or crew members who observe another racer or crew member breaking race rules or traffic laws are encouraged to immediately say something to that racer or crew member, as well as report their observations to the race officials at the earliest possible convenience. Race Officials may, but are not required to, impose penalties based solely upon credible reports of cheating from non-officials.

E.             View violations of all the rules as cheating and as you would drafting, holding onto a vehicle, or being driven up the route. Cheating must not and will not be tolerated!

F.             Each entrant must bring a one dollar bill (or more) in a sealed envelope, labeled with the totem, to Racer Check-In. It will not be returned (but will be donated to charity).

G.            If you have any questions, please contact us. We will assume that the rules are clear and you will be held accountable in accordance with them.