Tuesday, August 10, 2010

August R-12: Hawk's Nest 200k

*** Update (9/7/10) ***
Rick Carpenter forwarded a link to his photos:
... lots of great shots!

*** Ride Report (8/14/10) ***
Preliminary results for the Aug 14 200k have been posted at:
... please let me know of any corrections or other issues.  Results will be submitted to RUSA shortly, and then become final, pending ACP certification.  Special thanks to organizer, Bill Olsen, for getting us on our way, and making sure we ended up with the same number of riders we started with. And thanks again, to Don Jagel for leading the way with the sign-in sheets.

All 22 riders, clipping-in at the Delaware Water Gap Diner, made it back to diner well within the time limit, for another 100% finish rate -- congratulations to everyone, for keeping that 100% finish rate streak going for the Hawk's Nest 200k: over the past 2 years, we've run this course 5 times with everyone officially finishing each time.  The weather has certainly played a role in this streak -- I can't recall a time when we didn't have nearly ideal weather conditions.  And the weather for the most recent event probably was one of the best we've had for an R-12 event all year -- the low humidity and partial cloud cover made the temperatures very comfortable all day.  However, we did have a rare southeast wind that slowed us down along Rt 97.

Despite the adverse wind, Don Jagel finished in 7:38, and set a new course record.  He beat the previous course record by a solid 5 minutes, held by Greg Pedano and Len Zawodniak since the inaugural edition in 2009 (which was aided by a very favorable northwest wind).  Coincidentally, Len was on the roster for the most recent edition, but on a recumbent nursing some sore ribs this time.  This was Len's first brevet attempt on a recumbent, and he proved up to the challenge of negotiating the several steep pitches on course.  Besides the steep pitches, the very long wheel base of Len's bike made the several sharp turns along the course a big challenge as well -- when I asked him what the turning radius was, Len replied "... about 3 lanes!"

Of note, Dija Amer finished her very brevet ever, and now is an official randonneuse -- congratulations!  But Dija is certainly no stranger to long distance cycling, having recently completed the California Triple Crown.  And Steve Britt completed his first Eastern PA brevet; but Steve is certainly no stranger to randonneuring: he formerly was the RBA for the NYC region in the late 1990's, which predates the beginning of the NJ series back in 2002.

Also of note, Shane Beake completed his R-12 series.  Shane writes: "...Thanks again for another fine event.  The headwind going along the river was a little disappointing, but it's still great scenery, and once you get on NPS 615 you really appreciate the road surface, very smooth. It's hard to believe it was just 12 months ago Jud introduced  me to randonnuering..."  And once again, Shane has taken a bunch of fantastic pictures which he posted at
... it really is amazing how Shane can get so many quality shots in, and still finish in the leading group.

Andrew Mead also took some photos which he posted here:
... Andrew has some great shots of the rivers on course -- IMHO, some of the most scenic ones in the area.  And although those rivers all looked very calm and peaceful this past Saturday, 55 years ago to the day, Hurricanes Connie and Diane started to dump 2 feet of rain within the span of 1 week in the Poconos and caused the great flood of 1955.  The book, "Devastation on the Delaware" is a very interesting account of this flood.  In fact, the Hawk's Nest 200k goes through or near many of the towns that were impacted.  It's fascinating to read about the human drama that unfolded during this disaster.  There are also some incredible photos, showing many parts of the course completely covered in water or washed away.

Don Jagel writes: "...Another gorgeous day and a great ride to boot.  The temperatures were perfect and there was just the right amount of sun and clouds. The scenery on the Hawk's Nest route is always wonderful and varied depending on the time of year.  This time there was the full summer canopy and the beautiful late summer wild flowers along the sides of the roads and the in the meadows. Aside from the normal amount of deer and turkeys that are ever present along the route, in the Worthington State Forest portion of Old Mine Road I did have to slow down and shoo a bear that had strolled into the road about 25 feet in front of me without looking both ways. Looking forward to the 1000K.  Hopefully it will land in another stretch of good weather. ..."

Ron and Barb Anderson also had a bear sighting, just south of Layton.

If you have any other photos or comments, you can forward them to me, or post them on the message board.

The next R-12 event is the inaugural Hawk Mountain 200k, created by organizer Andrew Mead.  This looks like a fantastic course, and will cover both new and some familiar roads in Lancaster county.  Details have been posted on the event web page:

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

*** Original Post ***
The August R-12 event is this coming Saturday, the 14th. We'll be running our favorite, hot weather course: the Hawk's Nest 200k, which is typically 3-5 degrees cooler than the surrounding area. It certainly has been a very hot and humid July and August. But we caught a lucky break for the July R-12 event. And if the current long range weather forecast holds up, it looks like another great day is shaping up with cooler temperatures. Although the forecast is for dry conditions, there are rain showers predicted for both Friday and Sunday which I'm keeping a close eye on.

The start/finish is at the Water Gap diner, which will open at 6AM, if you'd like to top off with a nice breakfast -- the sign-in table will be inside the diner (Bill Olsen is the organizer for this event, and will be handling the sign-in, sending us off on our way, and the finish). Park your car in the Laird parking lot, which is around the corner from the diner. Follow this link for parking directions:
... there is a path from the Laird parking lot that takes you to the back of the diner parking lot.

*** Course Notes ***
1) The road surface is in pretty bad condition up by Promised Land, about 8 miles before the first controle stop. Along with the very big ruts and potholes, there are several road cuts that have been filled in with hardpack gravel. Please take extra caution in this area. This stretch of road is way overdue for a good resurfacing -- hopefully, the recent roadwork is an indication that this is the works.

2) The Layton store (the last controle before the finish), is now closing earlier at 3PM. Most of the riders made it through last time before it closed. However, if you arrive after it has closed, there should be a sign-in sheet posted on the door. We'll also try to make sure a gallon of water is left outside there as well for any late arrivals; but there is also a bar nearby that you can go to in a pinch in order to replenish your fluids.

3) There are wild fires in the Worthington State Forest -- the last 8 miles of the course pass through here, right before the Rt 80 bridge. The fires are expected to be under controle by the end of the week, but may still be burning on Saturday. Although some trails have been closed, it appears that the one and only road through the park has not been affected. However, if the road does unexpectedly close on Saturday, the possible detours will be extremely inconvenient, to say the least! Please check back on the message board for any last minute updates.

4) Shane Beake took some great photos on the July event that really shows off the beautiful scenery along the way:
...and Joe Kratovil has a nice ride report (from the May R-12) that gives a good overview of the course:

*** Rider List (as of 8/12) ***
- Ron Anderson
- Barbara Anderson
- Dija Amer (new rider)
- Steven Brit (new rider)
- Bill Olsen (organizer)
- Gibert Torres(newlywed)
- Chrisiane (Torres?) (newlywed)
- Rick Carpenter
- Len Zawodniak
- Shane Beake
- Andrew Mead
- Ivan Umble
- Jerry Umble
- Joe Brown
- Guy Harris
- Barbara Harris
- Chris Nadovich
- Don Jagel
- Jon Clamp
- Ed Dodd
- And your's truly (RBA)

... if you're planning to join us also, please drop me a note.

*** Upcoming Events ***
Also in August, the 4th edition of the Endless Mountains 1000k starts on the 26th, with nearly 30 riders on the roster (an all-time high). And for the September R-12, organizer Andrew Mead has put together a brand new course: the Hawk Mountain 200k out of Ephrata. Details have been posted on the website. Also in September, the Endless Mountains Brevet Week starts on the 26th -- I'd still like to fill a few more spots on the roster. Drop me a note if you're at all interested in joining the tour, perhaps even for just a partial tour or a couple of days.

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA