Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Hawk's Nest 200k

*** Update 1 (8/3) ***
Don Jagel completed a volunteer pre-ride this past Saturday, and sent the following scouting report:
"...After a too big breakfast at the diner in Water Gap, I walked out the door and the air smelled like rain.  I was sure I would get wet, but fortunately it never happened.  A dry day!

The bridge construction on 447/Creek Rd is completed.  There was no active construction work anywhere along that stretch when I passed through.  There is now a Deli at the corner of 447 and 390 in Canadensis that was open and would be a good stop for those wanting to stock up before the climb. 

Road conditions on Kimbles road are pretty bad, but better than they were during the 600K. The loose gravel that was present is now packed down, but you still have to pick your way through.  Ditto Towpath Road. 

After getting onto 590 at mile 53.3 (Rowland), the road was closed by Emergency Services at about mile 53.8, the intersection of 590 and Rowland Road.  This was a temporary issue, with emergency vehicles blocking the road, and should not affect the upcoming event.  Based on the large pile of burned out flares, it looked like they had been there for a number of hours. The folks blocking 590 told me that everything was shut down because of police activity, including the Roebling Aqueduct Bridge, and there was no way I was passing through to get to Route 97.  After some discussion about alternative routes, I set out on a 15 mile detour, up Rowland Road (the largest climb of the day), left onto Market Road into Greely (where the road was again blocked), right onto 590, then left onto 434 which led me to the bridge at Barryville.  All in all, it only added 5 miles to the day's total mileage.  It was a nice, scenic alternative route, but that was a pretty good climb.  Put Rowland Road into your climb reference folder for those days when you are feeling ambitious.  Once getting to Barryville, I was back on course.

The remainder of the ride was uneventful.  All roads are in good shape, except Kimble Road, Towpath Road, and Old Mine Road, all of which are in rough shape (nothing new there).

The Flats Deli (control 5) is closed on Sundays.  I did stop at the store in Layton, and spoke with the folks there.  From what I saw, the sandwiches looked huge, and it smelled wonderful. It seems that it is more of a sit down and eat type of place, and had very limited supplies for those who want to make a quick stop and grab something, even less than Flats Deli.  I mentioned that we could have about 20 folks passing through in a couple of weeks, and that they would be spread out over several hours, in one or twos, or small groups.  They gave me a menu with their information, and said that we should call ahead for a reservation (it was crowded when I passed through).  I think the Flats Deli is probably a better stop for a controle, but if someone wants to stop at Layton for a large hamburger, or cheese steak, enjoy.

All in all it was a very good ride to finish up a PA R-12.  The added scenic detour up Rowland Road was a nice, but challenging.  The road closure was temporary, and there should be no issues with Roebling Bridge in a couple of weeks.  -Don J. ..."

*** Roster (as of 8/15) ***
1 Barbara Solis Anderson 
2 Ronald Anderson 
3 Michael Anderson
4 Charles J Arayata 
5 Gavin Biebuyck
6 Jane M  Brown
7 Joe A Brown
8 Jeffery S Butt
9 Jonathan Clamp
10 Robert Dye
11 Joe Fillip
12 William Fischer 
13 Zachary R Goodrich 
14 Michael J Gorman
15 Donald Jagel - Volunteer Preride
16 Robin C Landis
17 Michelle  M Nguyen
18 William Olsen - Organizer
19 Tom Rosenbauer - Organizer
20 Norman Smeal 
21 Gilbert Torres
22 Leonard Zawodniak

*** Original Post ***
With summer weather upon us, the August 16th Hawk's Nest 200k course will be heading north into Promised Land, where the temperatures are typically several degrees cooler.  Most of the route is shaded, which will also bring some relief from the heat.  Riders typically finish this course about an hour faster than other Eastern   PA 200k's.  Event details are at:

If you liked to join the roster, please send me an e-mail by Thursday, August 15th.  

Course Notes:
-Reminder: Parking is behind the Water Gap Diner -  Directions are posted here:

-The Water Gap diner has promised to have the grill fired-up by 6AM, so you can top off with a good breakfast before the start.  

-If you've never been across the Rt 80 bridge near Water Gap, it's a little bit tricky.  You need to look for a sidewalk/ramp about 50 yards past the Rt 80 underpass which you will cross under. The picture below shows the ramp on the left, which is in between the road you will be traveling (on the right) and Rt 80 (far left):

You will be facing on-coming traffic as you go across the bridge.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Le Retour du Stillwater 200k Ride Report

Bill O. and Eoghan B. headed on down the road.  Photo compliments of Nigel Greene

Preliminary results for the Stillwater Retour 200k have been posted at:
...Please let me know of any corrections or other issues.  Results will be submitted shortly, and become final, pending RUSA certification.

A brief morning spritz of rain and overcast skies in the morning took the edge off of the heat typical for July -- the streak of fantastic cycling weather for the summer brevets continues. All 25 starters made it around the course in good time, including 2 volunteer preriders.  And there were once again many first-time participants riding with PA Randonneurs.  Of note, Eoghan Barry rode his bike from his home in Princeton to the start, completed the ride, and then rode back home which extended his day to at least 300k -- well done!  Eoghan writes: "... I had a great time, probably the best time I’ve had on a brevet since LEL. Nice route, good controls (ok, the Quickchek is nothing special, but I endorse any ride that finishes at a pub with cask ale), but most of all, I don’t think I’ve ever had a warmer welcome on a brevet. Throughout the day people made a point of introducing themselves to me and inviting me to join their groups on the road, and I spent a good hundred km shooting the breeze with Nigel and Bill until a couple of climbs separated us. It was good to see Jim Holman too - I’d read about his wreck on the DC randonneurs mailing list but I hadn’t realised that was the same Jim that towed me to the end of the Cranbury 200 when I ran out of gas. I got to talk to a few people who had done the 1200 in Ireland, which was a bonus. Anyway, it was well worth the ride up to Milford to get to the start. ..."

Michael Lewis completed his first brevet and is now a freshly minted randonneur -- thanks to John Fuoco for introducing Michael to our sport.  Katherine Joubin and Vadim Gritsus from NYC are also first time participants, and having recently completed some touring in Europe, have their sights set on PBP in 2015.  They were one of two tandems on the roster, along with Ron and Barb Anderson who arrived with their brand new (and long awaited) Bilenky tandem.  Their new bike was featured in this summer's edition of Bicycle Quarterly:

Don Jagel, one of six first-finishers who completed the course in under 8 hours write: "...Thank you for putting together the brevet yesterday, and thanks to Norm for manning the start and finish.  A few raindrops and a tailwind  in the morning kept things cool enough to to cruise straight up to Portland for a fresh bagel.  Ridge Road was a nice change providing a long downhill run most of the way to Belvidere.  From Portland a group of seven of us continued to enjoy the tailwind up to the next control.  After grabbing some cold drinks, food, and topping off bottles, we headed towards the Shades of Death and started to get a slightly less favorable wind.  At the Great Meadows control, Robin decided take a bit slower pace back to Milford, leaving the remaining six to tackle the climbing portion of the day.  While going up Tunnel Road, thinking we were getting close to the top, I looked at my GPS and it reminded me that we still had over 0.6 miles to the top, which was information that I really did not need to know.  Finally reaching the top of Tunnel Road everyone enjoyed the finishing long coast back down to the finish in Milford. ..."

Jim Holman writes: "...As you know, completing any brevet is satisfying.  But there was an added satisfaction in completing yesterday's brevet because, until late this past Thursday following my unfortunate crash during last weekend's DCR brevet, my participation was in doubt.  While not yet fully healed, thankfully, my injuries healed enough so that I could do this ride. And, thanks to you, Norman and the other volunteers for making this ride possible.  The morning cloud cover made for nice summer time riding conditions and the shaded route was appreciated during the afternoon when the sun came out.  A very fine day was wrapped up with brew at the Ship Inn with great riding companions. ..."

Nigel Greene writes: "...That was a fantastic course and the weather just about ideal. Great day, fun ride. Thanks!..."  You can read Nigel's complete report at:
... along with his pictures at:

Special thanks to organizer Norman Smeal for running the start and finish controles, and making sure that everyone made it in safely.  Thanks also to fellow volunteer prerider, Chris Nadovich for making the miles fly by with his good companionship.

The Eastern PA summer series continues with the Hawk's Nest 200k scheduled for August 16th.  We'll be headed back to the cool, shaded roads up on the Allegheny Plateau; details have been posted at:
As noted on the PA website, the September event has been reschduled for Sunday, September 7th and will feature a brand new course out of Lancaster county.  George Metzler and Andrew Mead have been busy scouting out new roads for us, and their route will take you through three different states, for those of you looking to add Maryland and Delaware to your American Explorer quest.

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Le Retour du Stillwater 200k

*** Update 2 (7/25) ***
SPOT trackers will be handed out to a few selected riders. The units are about the size of a cell phone and can be carried either in your back pocket or in a bag, away from the saddle. If you happen to have a personal SPOT tracker, not already listed here:
... please send me a link to your SPOT tracking webpage.

*** Update 1 (7/20) ***
A volunteer preride was completed on Saturday by your RBA and Chris Nadovich and subsequently, the cuesheet has been updated to draft 9, dated 7/20.  This update includes a route tweak starting at mile 11.3, along with a couple of minor corrections and clarifications.

Additional Course Notes:
Mile 95.0: You'll be turning on to a short 0.2 mile stretch of dirt road that goes uphill.  While it's possible to find a good line to ride between the ruts, it might be more prudent to dismount and walk if you are unsure of your bike handling skills on dirt and gravel.

*** Roster (as of 7/25) ***
1 Barbara Solis Anderson
2 Ronald Anderson
3 Charles J Arayata
4 Eoghan Barry - Guest
5 Gavin Biebuyck
6 Jane M  Brown
7 Joe A Brown
8 John Capriotti
9 Matthew Farrell
10 Joe Fillip
11 William Fischer
12 J Scott Franzen
13 John Fuoco
14 Nigel Greene
15 Vadim Gritsus - Guest
16 James P. Holman
17 Donald Jagel
18 Katherine Joubin - Guest
19 Robin C Landis
20 Michael E. Lewis - Guest
21 Daniel McGill - Guest
22 Chris Nadovich - Volunteer Preride
23 William Olsen
24 Tom Rosenbauer - Volunteer Preride
25 Norman Smeal - Organizer

*** Original Post ***
The July R-12 is on Saturday, 26th. We'll be running the Stillwater 200k course but in the reverse direction: Le Retour du Stillwater 200k.

The start/finish is in Milford, NJ -- the southern most extent of the course.  Organizer Norman Smeal will be sending you on your way at the Milford Bakery start and greeting you at the Ship Inn finish. There is plenty of parking in the large parking lot on Church St in Milford (PA Randonneurs has permission to use the parking lot off of Church St which is now owned by the Medical supply store at the old bakery location). The Bakery opens at 6AM and has breakfast sandwiches along with an assortment of baked goods.  The finish controle and post ride gathering will be at the Ship Inn, a couple of stores down the street from the Bakery.

Veteran riders familiar with the previous editions of this course will need to switch off their auto-pilot, and pay attention to the cuesheet.  There have been a couple of route tweaks with this edition, including:
-Ridge Rd at the top of Marble Hill
-Shades of Death into Great Meadows

Additional event details are posted on the event web page:

I've already heard from a couple of riders planning to clip-in. If you're planning to join us too, please send me a note by the Thursday before the event. And as always, be sure to monitor the PA message board for any updates.

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA