Saturday, June 9, 2012

PA600k/200k Recap and Limericks

Preliminary results for the PA 600k/200k have been posted at:
... Results will become final, pending ACP certification.

The torrential Friday night storms sweeping across Pennsylvania cleared Quakertown about an hour before the start.  Given the uncomfortably warm, humid week before then, and the stretch of rainy weather in the forecast for the following week, it was remarkably good fortune to have nearly ideal weather conditions for Saturday's 400k loop.  Riders who got an early start on Sunday's 200k loop were rewarded with calm wind on the outbound leg and a brisk tailwind on the return leg.  The later starters and 200k riders had to battle those stiff headwinds on the outbound leg, and then had to dodge some isolated thunderstorms later in the afternoon.  I can attest that some of these storms were quite intense with torrential rain and sleet.  The last finishers managed to reach the finish just minutes ahead of a rather big squall that blew through Quakertown. For the 600k, 18 of the 20 starters were official finishers for a 90% completion rate, and all 9 of the 200k riders make to the finish in good time.  Of note, 7 riders completed an Eastern PA SR series of 200k, 300k, 400k, and 600k:
-Dan Barbasch (#2)
-Gavin Biebuyck (#2)
-Bill Fischer (#2)
-Nigel Greene
-Eric Keller (#4)
-Bill Olsen (#4)
-Bob Torres
Also of note, Susan Rodetis and Norman Smeal completed their very first 600k. Congratulations, and well done!

Special thanks to volunteers:
- Bill Olsen (600k preride checkout, overnight controle)
- Andrew Mead (meal preparation, hostel overnight controle)
- Bill Slabonik (200k preride checkout, hostel overnight controle, hostel finish controle, hostel clean-up at the end)
- Len Zawodniak (hostel finish controle, hostel clean-up at the end)
- Keith Spangler (200k preride checkout)
Special thanks to participants who also helped out:
- Paul Murray (hostel setup on Friday)
- Doug Haluza (hostel clean-up at the end)
Without volunteers like these who step-up and answer the call to help out, it just wouldn't be possible to run these events.

Guy Harris writes: "...A big thanks to Bill, Andrew, and William for running the overnight hostel controle and Len for the finish. It was just too comfortable to ride straight through so enjoyed their services for a few hours.  What a nice night for riding! Saw the moon set and sun rise as I was heading south on Rt 23. Beautiful calm conditions for that long stretch. Your impeccable organization of the series year after year is very much appreciated..."

Nigel Greene writes: "...What a ride!!! Getting around that course was no easy feat but it was well worth it. Thank you and all of the volunteers for the work you all put in to make it happen. As you know, this was my first PA 600K and it will be an athletic and adventure milestone to remember. The scenery was spectacular and the climbing was a challenge....the request for a limerick made for a fun way to pass some of the time. I ended up composing three of them.  I hope you do a post on the message board with all the submissions you received. I bet there are some good ones. Here's one more that I composed somewhere during the night by the side of the road:
Once a man tried to bike to the ocean
drinking only a homemade potion
So imagine his suprise
when he saw with his own eyes
that instead of urine he peed lotion
Nigel's complete ride report has been posted at:
... and his excellent photo album is here:
Nigel's other limerick:
There once was bike ride to Limerick, PA
Getting there would take all day
we started at night
saw many a sight
Just to mail a card we carried the whole way

Norman Smeal writes: "...Another delightful weekend with all of my Randonneuring pals.  
I want to thank all of the volunteers for making it an excellent experience. ..."

Paul Scearce, who came up a bit short on his attempt to complete the Eastern PA SR series on a fixed-gear, writes: "...Having my stomach go out once could be a fluke, but twice in a row means I'm doing something wrong. I'm pretty sure it was a pacing problem. I clearly was going at a perfect 300k pace for me.  I've enjoyed attempting the series. I plan to try again for a fixed gear PA Randonneurs SR, next year. I hope I've learned enough to complete it.  ..."

Paul Murray writes: "...It was a great event and I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially now writing from the luxury of my house.  Saturday’s roads went through some beautiful terrain and I was honoured to be riding them.  Thanks to you and the volunteers for setting up the event.  It went smoothly  ..."

There was a lazy man from PA

who enjoyed sleeping all day

til a man named Mike
gave him a bike
Now he spends all his nights, riding brevets

Matt Farrell writes: "...I wanted to send out a big thank you to you and all the volunteers staffing the event. It's always great having fellow riders supporting you at the overnight controls. They seem to know what you need before you do. Two highlight of the ride for me were watching Gavin and Norman reel in the guy on an areo Tri bike on Rt 209 heading towards the Water Gap control and heading off into the moonset on Sunday morning. ..."

Ed Dodd assures me that he is doing better, after taking a couple of tumbles on his way to the overnight controle:  "...Please thank Laurent and Mordecai  for helping me at the end. It was greatly appreciated and needed. I'm not quite sure what went wrong. Everything seemed to be going well for about 200 miles and then began to fall apart. ..."

Good samaritan Mordecai Silver writes: "...The course was challenging, but I felt it was quite fair, with some long easy stretches to regain time.  I ended up riding at the back of the field, taking numerous breaks off the bike besides the controles.  I suffered a lot from saddle problems, and spent most of the second day in discomfort when I was seated.  Still, I never felt any time pressure, though I left the hostel Sunday morning later than almost everyone else.  For me, the hardest point in the ride was the 25 miles before Bloomsbury.  I was feeling very tired, and I was very grateful for Laurent's company on that stretch.  I had some coffee at Citgo, and once we crossed the Delaware, my energy returned and I felt much better for the climb up to the hostel. It was my first time riding through Amish country, and I especially enjoyed the little farm lanes after New Holland.  But by then the sun was starting to beat down on me, and I was dragging a bit.  My energy picked up again when we turned into the shaded roads around French Creek State Park. One thing I noticed about the drivers in Amish country is that they're pretty polite, being used to sharing the roads with horse-drawn carriages.  On some of the roads before Limerick, it was a very different experience.  ...  It was a relief to get back to quieter roads for the last thirty miles.  Many thanks for all your hard work that went into making this such a well-run and enjoyable event.  And congratulations on running another successful SR series.  And thanks also to Bill, Bill, Andrew, and Len.  I enjoyed the oatmeal with blueberries and Stonyfield yogurt for breakfast.  It's the kind of light, mild food that I prefer before I head out for a ride.  And I liked the baked ziti for supper.Hope to see you for another event soon. ..."
The cyclist his weary way wends
Then a postcard he dutifully sends
Sure his body he's taxin'
Just observe the lack-o'-wax-in
The candle he's burnt at both ends!

Larry Midura writes: "...Thanks for all your hard work organizing this past weekend's brevets....I was glad to be asleep in my motel room when the wind and rain hit hard late Sunday PM & early evening - the wind/rain was downright nasty in Quakertown in the evening....We were lucky the stomy weather came late in the day!...Truly enjoyed the little changes you incorporated into the second leg of the 600K - especially using the Harmonyville/Hopewell Road detour - a good change of pace from the usual inbound route near French Creek State Park - the slightly different scenery/roads were good.  Your pasta salad, and Andrew's ziti and Italian meatballs hit the spot for a light meal after the brevet - superb! ....Hope to join your group of riders again next year for a brevet or two next year.
Thanks for letting me be a part of your PA randonnee riders for the 2012 Fleche & 600K - both events had fantastic weather as well as great fellow riders to share the roads with at times. You made it possible for me to earn the RUSA Cup by connecting me with Walter and his Southern Jersey Fleche Team - that was a great 24 hours on the roads of Jersey. ..."
In the hunt for another CAN-AM Challenge, Larry plans to the ride the Rocky Mountain 1200 and Taste of Carolina 1200k this summer.

Eastern PA SR finisher, Bill Fischer writes: "...Thanks for another fantastic 600k.  The weather couldn’t have been better and the course was beautiful.  
Nearly 30 randonneurs did Tom welcome
to attempt a 600k is done seldom
since the hills are so steep
some called Tom a big bleep
but we’re thankful there’s no turn onto buckwampum

Dan Aaron's Limerick:
I rode with a rider named Susan
on a 600k, we were cruisin'
she said "not too fast"
as she rode in my draft
so we pedaled at the pace of her choosin'

Susan Rodetis' limerick
Tom sent me out into the night
My First 600! gosh, a fright
But now I know
Go with the flow
And it shall be fun and alright

Eastern PA SR, and first finisher Gavin Biebuyck's Limerick:
There once was an old man from Reading
who liked to ride his Masi
He rode all day
He rode all night
Until he didn't know which way he was heading.

Laurent Chambard's Limerick:
I bought myself a Brooks Saddle
that was sold by a guy with "retro" stamped across his chest 
If you give it a good oiling, and beat it with a rolling pin,
it will be as smooth as crushed velvet 
(Did my eye notice a grin?)

Tony Colasurdo's limerick:
There once was a man from the valley
while on a 200k, he drank like a Sally
The next day
they found him dead
in an alley

Doug Haluza set a new personal best by getting his first mechanical (a flat tire) within the first mile of the start.  Thankfully, that was the only one for the day.
There once was man from Ghent
who rode his bike for so long, his back got a bent
It gave him so much trouble
to be doubled over
that he decided next time, a car he would rent..

Eastern PA SR Eric Keller's limerick:
A cyclist went for a ride
It lasted so long, he cried
It's called randonneuring
by day, a sport dashing and daring
But in a ditch is where he sleeps soundly all night.

And Eric added this one, later on:

There was a football coach from Lemont*
who said, "I'll turn boys in to men, just you watch"
Don't be a ninny
It's ok if you're winning
"go team!" means we do what we want.

*for some reason they always say that Sandusky lives in Boalsburg, but his property borders on the Lemont Elementary grounds

Bob Torres' limerick
An elderly bride of Port Jervis
Was quite understandably nervous
Since her apple-cheeked groom
with three wives in the tomb
started insuring her during the service.

Bill Olsen's limerick
There once was a biker named Willy
Who did not want a limerick too silly
But his mind was fried
from too much of a ride
and the limerick ended up willy-nilly

This concludes the Eastern PA spring calender of events -- it certainly has been a busy 11 weeks, with an event every other week -- whew!!!  The summer calender of events kicks off with the Hawk's Nest 200k on July 14th.  And since this is an ideal warm weather course, we'll be running it again in August.  For those of you looking for a truly epic challenge, the Endless Mountains 1000k will be run on August 17th-19th.

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

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