Friday, April 22, 2011

Volunteers Needed!

With the spring SR qualifiers getting into full swing, I need some volunteers to step up and help out for the following events:

200k - Saturday May 14
-Afternoon course sweep
-Finish controle

300k - Sunday May 15
-Evening course sweep: Len Zawodniak
-Finish controle: Christine Newman

400k - Friday May 20
-Afternoon course sweep
-Finish controle

1000k - Friday May 20
-Drop Bag / Overnight controle (2 nights)

600k - Saturday May 21
-Overnight controle: Andy Brenner

600k/1000k Finish - Sunday May 22
-Afternoon Course sweep
-Finish Controle

600k - Saturday June 25
-Overnight Controle: Don Jagel
-Course sweep (Sunday afternoon): Len Zawodniak
-Finish Controle (Sunday): Glen Ammons

All volunteers may elect to do a volunteer pre-ride up to 15 days in advance of any event.
With many PBP aspirants headed to Paris this summer, you could make the difference in making somebody's a dream a reality.
Please drop me a note if you can lend me a hand:

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Blue Mountain 400k

****** Update #1 (4/26/11)  ******

The cuesheet has been updated to draft 9 (4/26/11) with minor clarifications from Guy Harris' volunteer pre-ride (Thanks Guy, and well done!).  The following is a summary of the changes as reported by Guy:

I would mention to riders that this turn has a lot of gravel.  It is also a bit blind from the right so if you are tempted avoid the gravel by letting the turn swing wide it could be an issue.

Might add a note about the bad angle, rough tracks here.  It could also serve as a spotting cue.  I think this is a pretty close mileage.

The road sign lines up with Hickory well, Berne Dr. not so well.  It is really almost a straight/diagonal over Berne.  I think this cue should work as written though:

*** TL + BR (SS) Hickory Ln (crossing Berne Dr) (BR onto small side road).  

(The map below illustrates this tricky turn):

112.9, 113.1, 113.3mi
These are all unmarked.  The distance is short though and they are marked on the opposite end.

There is a bridge that was under construction.  I was able to ride straight over it.  No problem at all.  But, there is heavy equipment everywhere and there were drill holes in the middle of the deck.  [Although] the work-site looks one would bother a rider going over at the times we'll use it, of course.  

Note: The course has not been changed, with the presumption that the bridge construction will be passable by cyclists.  However as a contingency, if the bridge is NOT passable, the map below illustrates an alternate route around the construction:

Additional Volunteer Pre-Ride comments:
...Made it back to the hostel at 1:39 for a total 20:49.  Not my best but not too far bad either.  This course can kick your butt.  I was not prepared for the heat after Jonestown,especially after the previous stretch of rollers.  It went from cloudy cool and nice to a relative furnace all at once at Jonestown.  Plus, the wind was at its worst on this stretch.  I think the main problem for me was accumulated dehydration - I was still 7 pounds light this morning!  First heat of the year will do that.  
 The course is in good shape.  The Swamp Creek section is a fantastic ride that time of night, sometime I have to see it during the day.  This is a nice way to finish the route.  I don't think I saw a car between Rt29 and 313.  

Hostel Accommodations

- Ladies will be staying in the FAMILY Dorm

- Early arrivals (before 9PM) will be staying in the WOMENS Dorm

- Later arrivals (after 10PM) will be staying in the MENS Dorm

The hostel dorm is pretty full, so please try to arrive as early as possible and get your bunk ready as soon as you get there -- this will minimize the disruption of those trying to sleep.

Reminder: park your car in the big parking lot half way between the entrance and the house which will be off to your right as you arrive.  The few parking spots near the house are reserved. 

I'll be at the hostel around 7PM on Friday night. 

Have a safe ride!

-Tom Rosenbauer

Eastern PA RBA

****** Original Post ******
Event details for Blue Mountain 400k have been posted at:

The cuesheet has been updated to draft 8 as of 4/20.  There will probably be one additional revision that will be posted early next week, after the volunteer pre-ride (which is scheduled for Monday).  As always, be sure to check back on the website and message board for all updates.

If you're headed to PBP, you'll need a PBP-compliant vest.  It'd be a good idea to get one before you head over to France, so you can get used to it. We plan to have PBP-compliant vests in various sizes available at the 400k start/finish so you can check out the sizing.  Additional details and an on-line order form has been posted at:
...We'll probably be placing our order shortly after the 400k.

Course Notes:
The 2011 edition is largely based on last year's edition, with the notable exception of a major route tweak to include portions of Andrew Mead's Hawk Mountain 200k from last September.  Also for 2011, I'm hoping to avoid the +90F temperatures we had last year!

The list of registered riders (and hostel reservations) has been posted at:

PA Randonneur members can join the roster (and take both the early registration and $5 member discount) by sending me an e-mail confirmation.


-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

Moving Sale

Long time PA Randonneurs member and cycling legend Ed Pavelka is clearing out his garage in anticipation of moving to Florida (Ed, there are NO hills down there). He has the following items available:

1. Four sets of reflective red-and-white CAUTION BICYCLES AHEAD signs and three triangular slow-moving-vehicle signs, all for putting on RAAM follow vehicles. Ed inherited these from Pete Penseyres after their '96 RAAM team. The signs previously used by Pete for his solo RAAM victories. Here's a chance to inherit a piece of cycling history. Free to good home.   SOLD!!
2. A Hoist V-5A Multigym with Leg Press. You can see more details on Craigslist
Update: price on Craigslist lowered to $795 or Best Offer ...  that's about $2,500 below retailSOLD!!

We will miss you, Ed. Tailwinds!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Fleche Preliminary Results and Ride Report

Preliminary results have been posted at:
... please let me know of any corrections or other issues.  Results will be submitted in a couple of days, and then become final, pending ACP certification.
Once again, the Friday start proved to be the better choice for better weather ... and that's been the case for 3 of the 4 Eastern PA Fleche events.  
The picture below shows the weather situation around 9PM on Saturday:

Nearly 2 inches of rain fell, starting Saturday morning, through the entire day and into the night, accompanied by sustained winds around 20MPH, with gusts in the upper 30's.  The following was posted on the NOAA website:

I'm looking forward to seeing some of the ride reports and pictures you may have ... please forward them to me and Andrew, and we'll compile them for the website.  Be sure to check back for report updates ...

*** Update 4/25 ***
Christine Newman has posted here photos here:

Nigel Greene has posted a ride report with some very pictures here:

-Tom Rosenbauer, RBA
- Andrew Mead, Organizer

Saturday, April 9, 2011

2011 Fleche

********* UPDATE #1 *************

All Fleche cards were mailed out this past weekend. Any team captain who has not yet received the cards should email me (Andrew) and I will send you an electronic template so you can print your own. I don't want to jinx you, so I'll reserve any comment on the weather forecast.


The 2011 PA Randonneurs Fleche will be held on April 15-17, 2011. Three teams had signed up by the April 3 entry deadline. These include:

The Midnight Ride of the Sinister Nuts
Les Escargot Volants, Part Deux
Cumberland Cruisers

Sinister Nuts return with a quintet of fixed gear riders. Captain Bill Olsen will be joined by Jon Clamp, Guy Harris, Paul Searce, and Mordecai Silver. Word has it that a 70-inch gear should be fine for the mostly level route. Beginning high on a mountaintop in Asbury, NJ, the team will head southeasterly toward the shore at Bayville and continue to the southern turnaround at Tuckerton. From there the team heads northeasterly, bypassing Trenton, to its 22-hour control at Mueller's Restaurant near Reigelsville. From there it's just a short 25k to the hostel. Team captain Olsen confirms that the Nuts will NOT be using the Lehnenberg/Gallows Hill/Buckwampum finish from the recent 200k/300k ride; they are not THAT nuts!. Estimated arrival at the hostel is 0900 on Sunday.

Les Escargot Volants, Part Deux, as the name implies, is also marking a return to the PA Fleche for 2011. Captain Joe Fillip is joined by Janice Chernekoff, Nigel Greene, Christine Newman, and Katie Raschdorf. Beginning near Lyons, PA (a mere 30 miles from the finish), the team generally follows the Schuylkill River to Philadelphia, utilizing the river trail around Philadelphia as much as possible. The team crosses the Ben Franklin Bridge into Camden and continues its southeasterly trek to West Berlin and Tabernacle, NJ at which point the team heads back toward the finish. Escargot Volants also plans to visit Mueller's for its 22-hour controle before finishing at the hostel. This team plans to confirm the number of Wawa convenience stores along the route and report that information to the RBA at the finish. Estimated arrival at the finish is 1000 on Sunday.

The Cumberland Cruisers return with its "dash from the beach" route. Captain Walt Pettigrew will be accompanied by Jim Costello, Dawn Engstrom, and Rick Lentz on an arrow-like route from Cape May, NJ to the northernmost controle in Columbia, NJ. From there, the team draws the point on its arrow and returns to hostel by way of a 22-hour controle at Mueller's. The Cruisers plan to finish at 0900 on Saturday.

Best of luck to you all and have a safe ride!


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Water Gap 300/200k Ride Report

Preliminary results for the April 2 "Water Gap 300k/200k have been posted at:
... please let me know of any corrections or other issues. Results will be sent to RUSA later this week, and then become final, pending ACP approval.

The Eastern PA SR series kicked into gear with 34 riders clipping in: 8 for the 200k and the other 26 in for full 300k.  After a long winter break, it was certainly nice getting back to our rando-clubhouse at the Weisel Hostel.  Contrary to a doom and gloom weather forecast that originally was calling for rain and snow showers, plentiful sunshine was on tap throughout the day.  Temperatures at start were definitely a bit chilly: low 30's, but rose into the 50's as the day progressed.  Winds were calm at the start and later picked up into a brisk 15MPH from the west, just in time to speed our way from Little Gap to Water Gap.  The 200k riders fought the west wind from Bloomsbury to the hostel finish, but it then abated and shifted a bit to the north for the later 300k finishers.

The 2011 edition of the Water Gap 300k/200k had a couple of route tweaks from the previous running in 2010.  The most memorable change, judging from rider comments at the end, was the run to the finish that featured a very stiff climb up Buckwampum -- which apparently for many, laid on a serious butt-wumping! 

All 34 riders made it to the finish well ahead of the time limit.  Congratulations to everyone for such an excellent result on a challenging course.  Of note, Gavin Biebuyck completed his 2nd brevet ever, and very first 300k.  Mark Kaufman and Michael Moore also completed their very first 300k -- well done!  Yiping Lin completed her very first brevet in the U.S.A., having recently moved to Long Island from Taiwan (where she completed an SR series last summer).  Andrew Mead completed his R-12 series -- and opting for the harder 300k course for some extra style points!  

Special thanks for volunteer Rick Carpenter, for his volunteer preride.  By the way, Rick's feedback on the original routing along Rt 412, inspired the route tweak that included Gallows Hill and Buckwampum.  And special thanks to Barbara Harris for sweeping the course at Bloomsbury.  Thanks also to Doug Haluza, who suggested the later start time and also helped with setup and cleanup at the hostel.  And thanks to Don Jagel and Ron Anderson for organizing the PBP vest display.  Stay tuned for additional info on the PA Randonneurs branded PBP vests at the new PBP FAQ blog:

Photojournalist extraordinaire, Shane Beake, unfortunately dropped and broke his camera shortly after passing through Belvidere.  He was however, able to salvage the pictures he took up to that point, which are posted here:
... without a doubt, the events Shane rides are all very well documented!
Shane writes: "...Nice ride yesterday, weather turned out to be perfect, just imagine if it were 24 hrs earlier all that rain and wind, eewww. I know we complained a little about the surprise climbing we had at the end in the dark, but it was certainly better & safer than riding on 611 in the dark. ... "

George Metzler writes: "...I thoroughly enjoyed yesterday's ride.  Pushing the start to 6AM was a good plan to deal with the weather.  The (very) few icy patches were avoidable and better yet I didn't have to worry about what might be on the road.  After thoroughly enjoying Controle #3 at Water Gap with Don Jagel, he headed north to continue on his 300K.  .... I hopped on my bike only to realize I had accidently discarded the first 9 miles of [200k] cues out of Water Gap when I laminated my card together the day before.  I felt I knew where you were going to route the 200K but I didn't want to ride 9 miles to test my assumption.  What to do?  What to do?  I thought about calling you but just hated to bug you with my goof up and then it occurred to me.  Duh! You have all the cue sheets posted online, so I used my iPhone to look up the cue sheet and a few minutes later I was on my way.  [Good thinking George!! -TJR] .... My favorite return to the Youth Hostel is the return from Reigelsville that begins on Lehnenberg road and winds it's way up Gallows and Buckwampum.  It was awesome to ride it in the day light.... Thanks again for the terrific ride."

Guy Harris writes: "Many thanks for a great ride.  With the new routing tweeks this course is developing into a classic PA 300K.  I give the Buckwampum finish route two thumbs up.  A nice option when the finish is during the 8:00 - midnight party drive time.  The climbs are steep but short and most of the climbing is productive elevation gain from the river."

Joe Fillip writes: "Yesterday's 300 Km was a wonderful (if "vigorous" event). I learned one valuable lesson yesterday: Never assume that a road named "River Road" will be flat! [indeed! ... I think some of the steepest climbs in the area are on a road call "River" - Tom R.] ... Thanks for all of your hard work, as well as those of your volunteers. I've said it before and I'll say it again: You're one of the hardest working RBAs in the randonneuring business!" [Thanks! ... having appreciative riders like you, makes it all worthwhile. -Tom R.]

Bill Olsen write: "Thanks for the great ride yesterday.  As much as I don't plan to ride that last section from Riegelsville to the hostel on the fleche - all of us are riding 70" gearing (42x16 or 45x17) it really wasn't all that bad with a 30x34 gear ... I was feeling "frisky" near the end and was pulling the pack in from Stewartsville to Riegelsville at a 20+ mph pace.  Unfortunately they couldn't reciprocate and allow me to draft them up the hills..."

Doug Haluza writes: "...thanks again for organizing a memorable event. I don't think we'll soon forget  Buckwampum Rd!..."

Nigel Green writes: "...I wanted to say thanks to you and the volunteers for the thorough and thoughtful ride organization. The course was challenging but enjoyable. Its hard to believe there are that many miles of low trafficked roads in the mid-atlantic and the ride was absolutely picturesque. It seemed like hours went by without my seeing cars on the road. The food at the Hostel before and after the ride were a welcome treat. All in all a very well run event..."
You can read Nigel's complete ride report at:

Houston Joost writes: "Thank you for hosting another great ride. The weather was near perfect and the routes were challenging and majestic. Being a new father, I greatly appreciate you choosing routes with very little traffic. I enjoyed  visiting  with Tim at the beginning of the ride and Roy, Jud, Gavin and Shane as they found me lost and guide me in for the last twenty miles. As we say in the south the PA randonneurs are “good folks”. I enjoyed the buckwampum reroute, riding up the hill through the forest at night was a slightly surreal experience. Finally the food and hospitality are always great. Thank you again."

Michael Moore writes: "...Thanks again for a pleasant ride.  I especially enjoyed sunset on the Delaware River."

Christine Newman writes: "Thanks for another great ride. The course was as scenic as usual and overall quite enjoyable. I would like to be the dissenting voice and say I much prefer the gentle climb up Route 611 instead of the soul-killing route which included Buckwampum Rd. But you know I like to complain about my least favorite climbs. Thanks also to the volunteers especially to Barbara Harris who was a friendly and encouraging presence in the middle-of-nowhere!" 
Christine has kindly shared her photos at:
See you in a few weeks!

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

Next up in two weeks, is the fleche event -- team captains should have their routes submitted by now. Team members should mail in their registrations. 

Tom Rosenbauer 
Eastern PA RBA