Tuesday, March 28, 2017

2017 Fleche

The flèche roster has been updated with entries received through March 27 and posted on the website.

Captains, please review the roster to assure that I have the correct team and start time.  Riders, if you have not yet sent in your registration, please do so at your earliest convenience.  If you have NOT mailed your entry to me already, please send me an email confirming your intention.  There are a few individuals for whom I have little contact information.  Gooseeggs in the roster means I do not have key information.  You can always use the Event Registration Form to provide this information easily. 

The flèche team line up for 2017:

Chiots Errants:  CJ Arayata, route approved, start Sa 9:00
Escargots Volants:  Chris Newman, route pending, start TBD
Fistful of Xanax:  Chris Slocum, route approved, start Sa 8:00
Flèche Mob:  Rudy Mayr, route approved, start Sa 8:15
Flesh Eating Rumble Ponies:  James Haddad, route pending, start Fr 13:00
Now You've Gone Too Far:  Eric Keller, route approved, start Sa 8:00
Sins of the Flèche:  James Bondra, route approved, start Sa 9:00
The Midnight Ride of the Sinister Nuts, 10th Anniversary Edition:
                             Bill Olsen,  route approved, start Sa 9:00
Three Rivers of Guiness:  Bill Fischer, route approved, start Sa 8:00

Follow this post as I will be incorporating route maps showing each team's planned route leading to the hostel.  Two routes remain under review, mostly due to my being behind schedule.

Breakfast plans for Sunday morning are already in the works.  Past participants know what to expect.  New riders will not go away hungry.

Finally, as many of you participated in the 2016 flèche and may be wondering about the results, I will be placing the 2016 year-end packages in the mail today.  All of your 2016 PA Randonneurs brevet cards, flèche certificate, and the year-end results letter are included.  Apparently our flèche certificates were placed on a very slow boat from France. 

Andrew Mead
- Eastern PA RBA

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Ride Report: Lackawanna 200K

Preliminary results from the brevet have been posted at:
http://parando.org/PA200k_Results170325.pdf

Results will be submitted in a couple of days to RUSA, and then become final pending ACP certification.

One of the Lackawanna Tunnels (photo courtesy of Joe R)

With the snow from the recent blizzard completely melted off the roadways, mostly dry conditions, and manageable temperatures, it was a great day for an early Spring brevet.  28 riders clipped in at the Weisel Hostel (aka The PA Rando Clubhouse) and all 28 riders made it around the challenging course before the time limit, for a 100% success rate.  Congratulations to all, and well done for that excellent result, to start the Eastern PA spring series. There were some reports of isolated rain sprinkles, and some cold temperatures early on, but we were lucky to have such a good day, especially given how rough things were in early March.

The 100% finish was not obtained without some drama. As riders came in, the word passed along was that Aleksey V. had encountered a mechanical issue with his bottom bracket. Later on there were reports that Aleksey had called a cab and we rashly conjectured he had abandoned the brevet. But his observed activity had another interpretation. Aleksey called a cab for transportation to a nearby bike shop where he obtained what he needed to repair his bike. He then returned to the course and continued the brevet, finishing in good time. Certainly this resourcefulness nominates  Aleksey for the PA Rando Never-Give-Up Award. Hurrah, hurrah Aleksey!


Aleksey, an Uber Randonneur

Finish photos for most riders are here. My apologies to the few riders I missed.

Special thanks to a superb crew of volunteers who made this event possible:  Bill O. and Guy H. did final check-in and clean up; yours truly Chris N. did set-up and check in; but the PA Rando Hungry Cyclist Meal Total Awesomeness Award goes to Joe R. for preparing a postride meal of his scrumptious award winning chili. Mmmmm, mmm.

Joe R, award-winning chili cook at the finish.

CJ A writes: Thanks for the ride yesterday. Couldn't ask for better conditions to kick off the series... mild temperatures, a bit of sun, and even shifting winds to give us a tailwind all day! The course was in great shape with a lot of fresh pavement and extremely quiet roads; I'll chalk part of it to the earlier start time, which was much appreciated at the finish. It was fun to yo-yo throughout the day and actually see many others on the course, which is somewhat unusual for me. The  challenge of finishing out the ride on a 2-speed was actually kind of fun, and I now have even more respect for those who voluntarily tackle these courses on single-speed / fixed-gear!  Joe's chili was excellent, and very much looking forward to whatever he's cooking up for future rides. Ride to eat, and eat to ride.    

Jimmy A writes: I want to thank you and everyone else who helped put this ride on. It was a great day for a ride. The morning was unexpectedly cold, and I had to wear  more layers than I initially thought I would be wearing. Luckily for me, temperatures remained relatively low for most of the day, so I didn't overheat. I rode the whole day with Gavin, Matt, and Bill F., and we enjoyed mostly dry conditions. Some roads had recently seen rain, but the most we ever rode in was a light drizzle. I'm sure we'll get a warm and sunny day soon enough. I think scenically, my favorite view of the ride is at the top of the climb on River Rd before crossing the river into Belvidere. The view of the Delaware from the top is unparalleled, and I always enjoy it. Seeing and riding underneath the Paulinskill Viaduct is  always pretty cool too. It was awesome to see such a good showing at the start of the ride today, and I hope everyone had a great ride. I am looking forward to the next one.

Joe R writes: Thanks to everyone who made such a terrific brevet possible yesterday.  This is now one of my all-time favorite routes!  Stony Garden without potholes is a big plus at the end of a 200k!

A special treat at the finish was a visit by RBA emeritus Tom R.

Tom R says:  I originally wasn't planning on dropping in, until I realized how much I missed the camaraderie of our rando-clubhouse.  It was good  seeing a couple of new faces, along with many regulars.  And it's great to see the series still going strong.  


Next up is the Fleche on the weekend of April 7-8-9th.  After that, the SR series continues with the 300k and a shorter 200k on April 22nd.  There are still some volunteer opportunities we're looking to have filled for the 300K, 400K, and 600K -- if you'd like to take your turn to help out, you can sign up at:
http://www7.mysignup.com/cgi-bin/view.cgi?datafile=pa_volunteers_2017
 


Saturday, March 11, 2017

ACP Series Begins With Lackawanna 200k

 ***Pre-ride Notes (21 March 2017)                                             
                                                                              
A pre-ride of the Lackawanna 200K was completed on Tuesday, 21 March.         
                                                                              
The Hostel parking lot was mostly clear of snow. There were some mushy areas but I was able to park easily without needing to engage 4WD. At 6AM I set off in the dark in a light drizzle at 37F.       
                                          
Although the course is generally beautiful, with quiet roads and many interesting sights, it begins with some tense drama almost immediately after leaving the Hostel. Starting from the left turn at the TFL onto  Rt 313 (mile 1.6) the shoulder is rough, and so is the main lane.  The potholes filled with water are hard to see through the glare of  oncoming headlights. Worse yet, there are detour signs with sandbag  bases blocking the shoulder at intervals, forcing you into the lane.          
State highway 313 should be relatively quiet 6AM Saturday, but at any  time of the day or night it can have platoons of cars zooming by at  50+ mph.                                                                      

We ride this segment before dawn. Please ride single file and provide  a good space cushion between riders. Don't ride faster than your  guardian angel OR faster than the range of your headlight. Make sure  your taillight is on and your reflective gear is worn correctly.              
                                                                              
Inexperienced night riders should be extra cautious.        
        
Approaching the next light at the top of the climb (2.8 mi), carefully  get into the left lane. The turn here onto Ridge Rd is marked the "Car  Detour" for 313.  After completing the turn onto Ridge Rd, the drama   abates. Although there isn't much of a shoulder on Ridge, traffic is low and visibility is good. You will have a generally calm ride for  the next few miles.     
                                 
At about mile 8, where Ridge Rd starts to descend to the creek, you'll hear the roaring water going over the Nokamixon dam. Your speed will  increase and the number of potholes will also increase. It still will  be before dawn. Once again, please don't ride faster than you can see ahead to avoid potholes.
                                                                    
That's pretty much all the drama. Once you pass the dam, the sun will come up and you will be able to relax and enjoy this beautiful course with all the interesting Lackawanna civil engineering marvels.   I found the course to be in good shape. Although the woods were still full of snow pack, the roads and most shoulders were completely clear of snow and ice.  Creeks were swollen, but flooding was very limited. There's some sand and salt remaining, so be careful around fast 
corners.
                                                                  
At mile 23.1, sadly Milford Bakery is defunct. The building has For Sale signs. Those hungry for second breakfast or coffee might instead steer to the Bridge St Bagels and Deli next to the the TL at mile 23.3

62.0 The Jct of Rt 612 is unmarked. Look instead for the Breyers Ice Cream sign above Chrusz's Store on the right.

117.9 Stoney Garden is freshly paved. The smoothest road of the day. Sadly, some of the roads before and after Stoney Garden have a few potholes.          

No substantive cue sheet changes were made.        

Have a great ride!                     
                            
--                                                                            
Chris Nadovich                       


*** Original Post


Now that winter brevets are behind us and hopefully winter itself will soon depart, it's time to turn our attention to the ACP events.  First up is the Lackawanna 200k on March 25, starting from our rando clubhouse at the Weisel Hostel near Quakertown.   Event details have been posted on the website.

Registered Riders (as of 3/23/2017)
1 Michael Anderson
2 Charles J Arayata + Fr, membership
3 Jimmy Aspras
4 Peter Bakken
5 Eoghan Barry
6 Gavin Biebuyck
7 James Bondra +Fr, Sa
8 Mario Claussnitzer
9 Alfred Dolich
10 Chris Errico + membership
11 Matthew Farrell
12 William Fischer
13 Patrick Gaffney
14 Nigel Greene
15 Vadim Gritsus
16 James R Haddad + Fr
17 Steve Harding + Fr
18 Guy Harris
19 Greg Keenan
20 Eric E. Keller + Fr, membership
21 Jeff Lippincott
22 Christopher Maglieri
23 Rudi Mayr
24 Andrew D Mead
25 Chris Nadovich - organizer
26 William Olsen - organizer
27 Joseph Ray
28 Bob Torres
29 Aleksey M Vishnyakov +Fr

If you're considering the fleche, please remember that the deadlines are fast approaching.  Details are also available on the PA Randonneurs website.

The fleche team line up for 2017:

Chiots Errants:  CJ Arayata, route approved, start TBD
Escargots Volants:  Paul Shapiro, route pending, start TBD
Fistful of Xanax:  Chris Slocum, route approved, start TBD
Flesh Eating Rumble Ponies:  James Haddad, route pending, start TBD
Now You've Gone Too Far:  Eric Keller, route approved, start Sa 8:00
Sins of the Fleche:  James Bondra, route pending, start TBD
The Midnight Ride of the Sinister Nuts, 10th Anniversary Edition:
                             Bill Olsen,  route approved, start Sa 9:00
Three Rivers of Guiness:  Bill Fischer, route approved, start Sa 10:00
TBD:  Rudy Mayr, route approved, start Sa 8:15

Routes are due by 3/24.  If your route shows pending, please send it to me (or resend).  If your start time shows TBD, drop me a line and enlighten me. 

Finally, for those of you who finished the fleche in 2016, I am still waiting to receive the certifications from RUSA/ACP and will mail your entire 2016 package of brevet results once those arrive.  Still no official word on a forecast date.


Andrew Mead
- Eastern PA RBA

Monday, February 13, 2017

Notes From The New RBA

Greeting PA Randonneurs,

With the excitement of getting three brevets organized and completed in the first five weeks of the new year behind me, I am catching my breath and want to address a few items concerning the organization of PA Randonneurs.  Perhaps most important is that you should see very little change from your perspective.  Long-established club traditions including the ACP SR Series, the monthly R12 series events, the Fleche, and the always popular fall classic 200/150 in October will continue as before.  There is much discussion within RUSA regarding increasing offering of populaires (rides of 100k-199k) which I believe would be worthwhile and likely quite fun.  I would like to be able to offer the 1000k and possibly the EM1240k at some point in the future, but not before my own circumstances permit me to devote the time necessary to assure that the high standard of excellence of past runnings is maintained.  Organizing these events takes tremendous volunteer support.  A small but dedicated group continues to step up to make the current schedule possible.  New volunteer help is always needed, esspecially if we are to expand our offerings.  There are many ways to help:  rider registration and finish check-in, secret control staffing, standby-by SAG support, route development, and even ride organization (YOU organize the whole event).  If you are unsure of what it takes for any of these roles, just ask any organizer at an event or me.

2017 Fleche
Fleche time is upon us!  The Fleche page is up running at :  http://parando.org/PA_Fleche-2017.html
All participants (captains AND team riders) should complete the registration form and sign the waiver that is included with the form.  Deadlines are provided, but earlier submissions are encouraged and appreciated.  This is ESPECIALLY true if you are a new team OR you intend to use a completely new route.

Website (parando.org)
Several of you have noticed and identified several glitches on the website and the event registration page.  The best way I know how to describe these is growing pains.  The website originated with Tom who, from its inception, single-handedly created and maintained its content.  My skills as a webmaster pale in comparison, so I am working with Tom and Chris Nadovich to keep the website up to date.  It will be a work in progress for a while, but our objective is to simplify the site so that updates are less labor-intensive and easy enough for even me to undertake.  Please bear with us and point out any glaring errors you discover.

PA Randonneurs Membership
Many of you have asked about renewing membership in PA Randonneurs.  I have updated the old paper form and posted it on the website:  http://parando.org/ClubApplication.pdf
The on-line form is convenient but, until we can establish an on-line payment system, leaves everyone wondering how to pay and even how much.  By far the easiest way is to renew when registering for your first brevet of the season and many of you have used this approach.  The next best is to print the form and mail it to me along with your payment.  If you are an existing member, please note any changes to your contact information.  If you are a new member, please also fill in the Club Membership Form on the website which feeds the database of rider information.  Club membership remains $20 annually and gains you a free ride in January and a $5 registration discount for all other PA Randonneurs' events for the year.  

2016 Brevet Cards
I am mailing 2016 brevet cards on February 13 for all riders who did NOT complete the 2016 Fleche. You should see those in the coming days.  The fleche certification stickers for Eastern PA and a handful of other regions remain "in transit" for now.  Without them I cannot complete the year-end package assembly.  I will mail the packages for fleche finishers as soon as the missing certifications arrive.


This message board has proven to be the most reliable way for me to disseminate information without disrupting the delicate coding of the website.  It is normally the first location to be updated, at least for now.  You should link this page and check it out. You will also receive periodic email blasts when important notices are posted.   I am always interested in your feedback and am happy to answer any questions.  The best way to assure I see your question or comment is to email me.  Be sure to use a descriptive header so I can ignore it.

Andrew Mead
- Eastern PA RBA







Monday, February 6, 2017

February R12: Results

Preliminary results for the February R12 200k have been posted at:
http://parando.org/PA200k_Results1700204.pdf

Results will be submitted to RUSA for certification in a few days.


SUNSHINE was the word of the day as 18 riders set off from Ephrata in the morning chill (16F by some reports).  The sun made it feel warmer.  We were treated to a day with 0% chance of precipitation and riders made the most of it with several strong finishes, including a new course record, and a 100% completion rate.

As seems to be the tradition in PA Randonneurs, an unknown rando rookie, Sean Connolley showed up and aced the course.  He was followed closely by Tim Creyts, Gavin Biebuyck, and another relative newcomer Dale Houck.  Given the persistent northwest wind that picked up just as most were beginning the 50 mile westward trek, chappeau to these strong guys.


My appreciation also goes to Scott Franzen who helped with check-in duties in the morning and Gavin and James Holman who greeted most finishers at the end.  Be sure to thank these guys when you see them next.  Volunteer assistance is vital to this series.

The pre-ride efforts of Bill Fischer, Patrick and Ceclie Gaffney are also greatly appreciated.  Temperatures were a little warmer for them, but the winds were much stronger.  Thanks to them, the cue sheet was spot on.  I heard no reports of lost randos. 


Tim Creyts had this to say of the day:
Thanks for organizing a great ride.  The weather was great and held out for us.  The wind was fantastic when it was at our backs, but brutal when coming from any other direction. Having that tailwind for the last 30 miles was a great way to finish.  
My water bottles turned went into a "deep slush" before the first half, and I got a little dehydrated.  I drained them at the Conestoga controle and refilled them with warm water.  The rehydration was very welcome!  Crunchy snacks were better than soft chewy ones.  My granola bars had no change in texture in the cold, but I felt like I was gnawing on frozen cookie dough when I opened a Clif bar.
Thanks to the other volunteers and pre riders, too.
Jeff Lippincott writes:  Nice meeting you at yesterday's ride.  I wanted to let you know I had a really good time.  A little cold at the start, but the sun that came out around 8 am for almost the entire day made it nice.  Thank you very much for organizing the ride.

Jimmy Asparas sent this message:
Thanks for putting on the ride yesterday. It was the coldest 200k I've ridden to date, and hopefully it is the last time we have to deal with any kind of cold like that until next year. I had a good time riding with Gavin, Matt, and Dale but was eventually dropped after Conestoga due to wind, frozen water/Gatorade, and an inability to eat food with gloves. I thoroughly enjoyed the sights on the ride. I've never been up to Three Mile Island, so that was an interesting bit of history to see. I really liked the old stone houses on Boyd (Street?) a couple miles outside Annville in the old mining town. I also had the opportunity to see a bald eagle on the hunt about 10 miles out from the finish, so I'm going to say it was a pretty good day to ride bikes overall. Hope to see you at the next one!

The old stone houses are indeed on Boyd St as it passes through the old section of Cornwall, site of a historical iron furnace.

Steve Schoenfelder had this to say:  Thanks to Andrew, Gavin, and the volunteers for hosting a great February ride!

For me, brevets are all about exploring new places and gathering with other bicyclists.  Although a brisk 16 degrees at the start, the warm fellowship of the PA Randonneurs more than compensated for the chill.  I found the course to be challenging, with seemingly endless rollers of all sizes, but fun with great scenery including the Lancaster County farms, a covered bridge crossing the Conestoga River, many buggies, historic towns, and a really fun river trail that got me closer to the Three Mile Island nuclear plant than I had ever been before.  There was even time for a leisurely break in a Marietta pub with Joe and Greg.  The final controle proved to be a great venue to recover and socialize.  All in all, it was a wonderful event that I would gladly do again in a heartbeat!

Looking forward to our next adventure in March. 


We return to the Weisel Youth Hostel in Quakertown on March 25 for the beginning of the traditional ACP SR series.  Watch this site and the main PA website for additional details as the event date draws near.

Andrew Mead
- Eastern PA RBA


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

February R-12: Tempting Fate with the Lancaster Loop in Reverse

*** Update 1 ***

The course checkout rides occurred over the weekend.  The cue sheet has been updated and placed on the website.  Make sure you have the version dated 1/29/2017.

Notes:
Although not easy, the Lancaster Loop is actually a little "kindler and gentler" than the historic "Spring Forward" route.

Mile 5.6: The covered bridge is being repaired.  The repairs appear to be primarily to the roof. The bridge deck is in good condition; riders can ignore the "road closed" sign and proceed across bridge.

Mile 66.2: The Northwest Lancaster River Trail is entered by crossing to the left shoulder of the new section of SR441:
Entrance to NWLCRT in Columbia (looks like a sidewalk here)

NWLCRT Sign
The Northwest Lancaster River Trail is gorgeous.  With the exception of a few very short sections of gravel it is paved the entire route and is well marked.  There are a few tricky sections but the cues provided are accurate.  I would recommend that riders follow the trail signs as seen in the photo. 
Mile 67.7, Furnace road is a little confusing as it looks like a private drive when approaching on the bike path.  It’s certainly easy enough to figure out.

Mile 68.9: Here the River trail diverts away from the river and onto city streets as it passes through Marrietta.  Riders should refuel at one of the pubs or off route stores as the next services are another 30 miles away in Annville. 

All of the roads seem to be in fine shape, even the shoulder on 322 was clean enough to allow us to go 50mph without any issues.

Thanks to Bill Fischer, Pat and Cecilie Gaffney for braving challenging winds to check out the route cue sheet.

The weather outlook remains dry this week.  That will be helpful since temperatures next weekend are due to return to seasonable norms (COLD).  Check this message board for any updates.

Andrew Mead
-organizer

*** Original Post ***
After a snow-impacted January, I really struggled to settle on a route for our February R-12 brevet.  February is typically the most winter weather challenging month and, as we all now know, it only takes a little snow to make riding a bike hazardous.   For this reason we've typically opted for the Hopewell route in the winter months.  After two back-to-back riders there, it's time for a change of scenery.

We've ridden numerous variations of the Lancaster Loop route over the years, typically under the name "Spring Forward" as it generally occurred around the spring time change.  Ironically, the traditional forward direction for the loop is counter-clockwise (setting a clock back), but that a trival topic for a post-ride discussion sometime.  Only once have we ever used the route in the reverse direction, in December 2009.  We called it "Fall Backward" in keeping with the time change theme even though our December running was over a month after clocks had shifted and our reverse direction actually mimicked moving the clock forward.  While the brevet started out well and was a great hit with a Cafe Metzler breakfast about 25 miles in, it soon became a brevet that 20 riders will likely never forget.  Wet snow started falling as most left the breakfast control and never stopped all day.  It began accumulating as the sun set and deposited roughly 4 inches of snow on the road at the top of the final climb for the day.  PA Randonneurs contingency planning has come a long way since then.

Against this historical backdrop, you can understand the struggle I faced once I decided on this route.  I spent a lot of time trying to make it a little more weather friendly:  a few climbs have been bypassed and roads that get more timely winter maintenance were chosen.  There is a fantastic new recreational trail that bypasses a busy section of roadway (and a big hill) that has been beckoning me to use on a brevet.  And at the persistent insistence of one particularly fast rider who happens to live somewhat locally, I have chosen an alternate start-finish venue.  So with a long-range forecast looking generally favorable and what I hope is a season's worth of weather impacts occurring in January, I am happy to announce the Lancaster Loop in Reverse on February 4.


Details of the February brevet and the cue sheet will soon be on the website.  You can look at the map of the route HERE.  Please note that our starting location has been moved from the normal Ephrata K-Mart parking lot to Martin's Country Market, a small shopping center along US 322 just west of downtown Ephrata.  It's only a couple miles from the K-Mart, so those of you with a yearning for the Pancake Farm breakfast can still have breakfast with plenty of time to get to the start.  The payoff for this change is that Martin's is next door to the St. Boniface Craft Brewery which will serve as our finish location.  If pub fare isn't your thing, there are numerous other options along 322, so I'm hopeful that everyone will find this change an improvement.

The event registration link is already active on the PA Rando website, so you can make plans now.

Registered Riders (as of 2/2/2017)
1 Michael Anderson
2 Jimmy Aspras
3 Peter Bakken
4 Gavin Biebuyck  - volunteer
5 Sean P Connelly
6 Timothy T.  Creyts
7 Matthew Farrell
8 William Fischer  - preride volunteer
9 J Scott Franzen
10 Patrick Gaffney  - preride volunteer
11 Cecilie Gaffney  - preride volunteer
12 James R Haddad
13 Dale E Houck
14 Greg Keenan
15 Jeff Lippincott
16 Andrew D Mead  - organizer
17 Chris Nadovich
18 Joseph Ray
19 George Michael Retseck
20 Edward T Schantz
21 Steven J Schoenfelder

  
Andrew Mead
- Eastern PA RBA/Organizer

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Ride Results: Beyond Hope to Hopewell, Take 2

The top of Tunnel Rd, January 14, 2017 (photo by Guy H.)
 
Preliminary results for the 200k have been posted at:
http://parando.org/PA200k_Results170114.pdf

Results will be submitted to RUSA for certification in a few days.

Persistence and patience finally paid off in January as the postponed replacement brevet for the snow-impacted January 4 event finally got under was on Saturday the 21st.  Twenty-six riders started.  ALL finished within the allotted time for a 100% completion rate.  Congratulations all!

Even though skies remained gray and damp most of the day (there were a few reports of a stray ray of sunshine), temperatures in the 40s and winds that remained calm contributed to some extremely fast times led by the tandem team of Kate Marshall and Victor Urvantsev and Jimmy Aspars caught in the vortex to crack the 8 hour barrier.  The day also minted two brand new randonneurs, Dale Houck and Jeff Lippincott

Organizer Bill Olsen talked with the Milford Bridge Street Bagels & Deli to confirm that it would be open and ready to serve as our starting location.  The owners were delighted to be inundated with cyclists on an otherwise slow Saturday morning and memorialized the occasion on their Facebook Page.  We plan to use this location again in the future.

Chris Nadovich provided a decent summary of the day's events:
Everybody made good time around the course and post-ride festivities developed nicely. We had quite a crowd gathered at the Ships in after the event. We took over the entire corner by the door.
There were several positive reviews of the Brick Farm Market at Hopewell.  The consensus was that Brick wasn't a controle to "blow through". It was worth taking some time and enjoying for a while.
Myself, I enjoyed the chocolate croissants which may now be the best in the land, as the Milford Bakery may be no more.

The epic story du jour seems to have been Doug H's broken spoke. This was a rear wheel, freewheel side spoke on a bike with disk brakes.  Until his spoke failed while climbing Tunnel Rd, Doug had been glued onto the fast wheel of first finishers V&K.  From what I was told, Doug actually FIXED THE SPOKE. That is to say, he disassembled everything to get at the problem -- including pulling the freewheel! He reassembled everything, trued the wheel, and was on his way. Rando mechanical competence at its finest.


Guy Harris reported,  "I too thought the skies lightened for just a brief moment while riding down 579. Generally a blah, foggy, damp day but temperature constant in mid-forties with no real wind. Good day for fast times. Pretty good for January!"

PA Randonneurs heads west in February to tackle a route not used since a certain epic event in December 2009.  I've spent a lot of time refining the course to better suit winter riding.  The starting location will be Ephrata, PA.  Details will be posted soon. 

Andrew Mead
Eastern PA RBA