Sunday, August 17, 2014

Hawk's Nest 200k Ride Report

Preliminary results for the Hawk's Nest 200k have been posted at:
...Results will be submitted shortly, and become final, pending RUSA certification.

Although the calendar said mid-August, the weather seemed more like late fall: temperatures at the start were in the mid 40F's and never made it past the mid 70F's all day.  Certainly one of the best days we've ever had for an August event, that I can recall.

All 22 starters made it around the course in good time, including 1 volunteer prerider for another 100% finish -- well done!  But although all registered riders were present at the Water Gap start, Robin Landis' front wheel stayed at home in NYC.  Volunteer Chris Roth, who was on-call to handle any unforeseen eventualities, probably was not expecting a call so early  Nonetheless, Chris responded and drove the 25 miles to the start to save Robin's ride with a loaner wheel.  And in a nice display camaraderie, Norman Smeal and Jon Clamp waited with Robin until his wheel arrived, just shortly after the official start time.

Of note, volunteer prerider Don Jagel and your RBA both completed an Eastern PA R-12 series.  That's number 4 for Don and 3 for me.  Bill Olsen has a current Eastern PA streak of 47 months going, and is just 1 event short of his 4th Eastern PA R-12 series.  But alas, Bill is planning to ride the Apalachin 1000k next month, which poses a conflict with the next Eastern PA event.

Len Zawodniak, riding his P-38 recumbent, writes "...This has to be my favorite 200k ever! It is just beautiful!.   I forgot to ask you: what kind of big cat lives in the woods (after the penultimate control, but before Mine road)? I saw a really big feline looking animal , maybe 2 foot tall or just over, but 3-4 feet long. I thought it was a dog standing in the road, until it turned and loped into the woods. It had a very long tail. I slowed down to look, but then remembered- they eat cyclists don't they, so I just mosied right along. ..."
[It seems that Len was lucky enough to have had a rather rare sighting of a bobcat (a.k.a. Lynx rufus), which are known to be in this area: . Other wildlife sightings during the ride included a bear cub on route, as well as another bear that has been prowling around the Water Gap diner]

Bob Dye writes: "... A big thank you to you, Bill, Don.  It was a beautiful day on a beautiful course, although I think the hills may have grown a bit since the last time I rode it. Of particular note, was the final climb up Old "Minefield" Road. Some local politician must not have endorsed Governor Christie because there were certainly no NJ tax dollars spent on paving...."
[Yes Bob, that rotten stretch of pavement is way long overdue for some love.  I've been in contact with the DWG National Park service, and have implored them to do something.  In addition to being a real hazard for us cyclists headed down that hill, it apparently is a Volkswagon Beetle eater as well. I've been told that remediation is in the works, but has been delayed due to more urgent projects from the damage of superstorm Sandy.]

Joe Fillip writes: "... It was an absolutely delightful day and a wonderful ride. I spent almost all of it in the good company of Bill Olsen, with whom I haven't ridden in a while (because he's been faster than me for most of the season!). With Bill entertaining me (or, as he puts it, "talking at me"), the miles flew by. The one exception was the grind up Old Mine Road -- I remember thinking that it's quite unfair that a road should be both so steep and in such terrible condition. But we did get a reward of sorts as we approached the finish, with the sighting of a black bear cub as we rolled home along the banks of the Delaware. I was also pleased to make two Buffalo connections (my home town) in Bob D., who grew up not far from me, and Zach G., who spent some time living in Buffalo. We Buffalonians are among you! ..."

Thanks to organizer Bill Olsen for helping with the finish controle and Don Jagel for his volunteer preride. And special thanks for volunteer Chris Roth for going above and beyond the call of duty to save Robin's ride with a loaner wheel.

The Eastern PA summer series concludes on Sunday, September 7th with the inaugral edition of the Brandywine 200K; a brand new route compliments of organizers, George Metzler and Andrew Mead. Highlights include the meandering along Brandywine Creek, lots of shade, visiting THREE states, riding along numerous roads incorporating the word "Hollow," and an almost unheard of in Lancaster County 3 mile descent. Additional details have been posted at: . The event fee for members is $20, which includes a post ride BBQ at cafe Metzler.  As usual, drop me a note by the Thursday before the event to join the roster and be sure to monitor the PA Message board for any updates.

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA