Monday, July 27, 2015

July Hawk's Nest 200k Ride Report

Preliminary results have been posted at:
Results will be submitted in a couple of days to RUSA, and then become final pending ACP certification.

With the recent heatwave just over a week ago, and a new one ramping up this week, there could hardly be any complaints with the low humidity and seasonably warm temperatures for Saturday's event.

All 22 riders who made it to the start finished in good time for a 100% completion -- congratulations and well done to all! Of note, Scotty S. impoved upon his 2013 result by a handful of minutes with an incredibly fast time of 7:30.  That's about an hour faster than the typical first finisher, and this year's edition which  included the climbs up to Eldred. and Snow Hill Rd, a couple of extra miles, and some rough roads is arguably harder than previous editions.

Nigel G. writes: "... Hawk's Nest may just be my favorite 200K route which is saying a lot when you considering that it includes the climb up Old Mine Road. The morning weather was delightful and I was thankful for the tree-shaded course in the warmer afternoon. This was the kind of ride that keeps me coming back.  ...."

Jim H. writes: "...Thanks to you and volunteers Norm and Bob for another great ride.  Very comfortable morning conditions gave way to an afternoon of full sun so the shade along the route was appreciated.  Great scenery throughout.  But, as I told Matt, I wanted drop a nuclear bomb on Old Mine Rd. :-)  ...."

Zach  G. writes: "...Thanks for another great ride and route. It seems that each ride I learn something new, this ride being no exception. It was my first without a thick, puncture resistant tire. I'll need to start paying better attention to debris, and to ride further out from the gritty shoulders. Changing 2 flats was no fun business, especially the second being 3 miles from the finish. I'll heed Bill and Gavin's advice and start carrying an extra tire. Despite the unpleasant flats, the light, supple tires added much comfort and speed to my ride. Though some of the roads were rough, the Hawks Nest 200k remains one of my favorites. From the climb up the Pocono escarpment, to the winding roads along the Lackawaxen River, to the cliffs above the Delaware at Hawk's Next, the route is full of interesting geologic features and natural beauty. Hitting Marshalls Creek Rd earlier in the day, the traffic was much more calm than when I had traversed this section on the 600k, a noticeable and welcome difference. As goes with all the PA brevets I've ridden, I was in good company throughout the ride. Thanks to Bill, Bob, and Gavin for helping me through the last miles on Old Mine road with good stories. Congrats to Bob on his sub 9 hour 200k! Looking forward to seeing everyone again in 2 weeks... "

Ed  B. writes: "... Beautiful ride and thanks to Bob and Norm. ...  Bob T. was a machine out there.  A nice day.  Very nice. ..."

Michael P. writes: "...Hi, Tom. Just wanted to send a quick note to thank you and the volunteers for an excellent riding experience last Saturday. This was only my second brevet and it was a heck of a lot more challenging than the first but I managed to complete it with plenty of time to spare, even after stopping several times to take a bunch of pictures. The views from Hawks Nest were nothing short of spectacular and the flats along the Lackawaxen made for some very enjoyable riding. That last climb up Old Mine was really tough but knowing that I had gotten through it made the last few miles particularly satisfying. I also enjoyed meeting some of the other Randonneurs and talking about bikes and such. Looking forward to doing another PA ride in the future. ..."

Special thanks to organizer Norman S. for running the start controle and sending everybody on their way. Special Thanks also to Bob T. for manning the finish controle. Without volunteers like Norman and Bob who step up to help out, putting on these events just wouldn't be possible.

The summer series continues in two weeks with a 200k on August 8th.  Event details will be posted soon.

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern  PA RBA

Sunday, July 19, 2015

July Hawk's Nest 200k

*** Update 1 (7/23)  ***
Mile 44.1, Kimbles Rd is in pretty rough shape with many potholes -- please take extra caution.

At mile 47.2 on Kimbles Rd, there is a bridge across the Lackawaxen River that is closed to automobile traffic, but when last checked, is passable by foot.  However, the bridge is scheduled for demolition, and in the event it is not at all passable, use the following detour:

1) Backtrack to Rt 6 and turn right
2) Right at TFL to remain on Rt 6
3) Right on Rt 590 (after passing through the town of Hawley)
4) Bear right onto (unmarked?) Towpath Rd
5) After passing Kimbles Rd on right, you are back on course
A map of the detour is posted here:

Volunteer Norman Smeal will be meeting you in at the start and sending you on your way. Volunteer Bob Torres will be greeting you at the finish and collecting your brevet card.  If you arrive at the finish before Bob, you can leave your signed card at the cash register.

Controle 4 in Port Jervis is at a diner, but you may instead stop at the MiniMart on the opposite corner.

Lights are not mandatory since the event is starting after sunrise, and except for 8 minutes at the end, the time limit is before sundown.  That being said, I recommend bringing along some lights and reflective gear just in case circumstances keep you out on course longer than expected.

Have a safe ride!

*** Original Post  ***
With summer weather upon us, the July  25th Hawk's Nest 200k course will be heading north into Promised Land, where the temperatures are typically several degrees cooler than points south.  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 would like to join the roster, please use the online registration form by 5PM Thursday, August 23rd.  

*** Start/Finish ***
The start/finish is at the Water Gap Diner. The diner has promised to have the grill fired-up by 6AM, so you can top off with a good breakfast before the start.  
Important Reminder: Do not leave your car at the diner -- Parking is in an empty lot behind the Water Gap Diner -  Directions are posted here:

Course Notes:

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.

*** Ride Safely ***
Your safety is the number priority on an Eastern PA event.  While the risks outlined in the event waiver cannot be completely eliminated, the following will hopefully help keep you as safe as possible.

Your responsibility as the rider includes:
- Showing up in reasonable physical condition for the event
- Bringing a reliable bike in good working order
- Complying with all traffic laws along the course 
- Respecting the rights of all other users of the route (including pedestrians)
- Planning for the situation where you can’t finish the ride

Although every effort has been made to provide you with a scenic route that minimizes car traffic and other hazards, the following list highlights some areas to take some extra care:

- Summer weather has arrived with a vengeance with a forecast calling for heat and humidity.  Be mindful of your fluid and electrolyte levels and it might also be a good idea to carry an ice sock with you if you need to cool down.
- With the rough winter we just had you should be extra vigilant for potholes and rough road surfaces.
- One of the most dangerous things you will encounter on the road just might be another cyclist.  Keep a safe following distance when riding with other cyclists you are not familiar with.  Please avoid forming a large bunch at the st
art of the ride.

- Helmets are mandatory.
- Please note that the bike inspection checklist includes redundant lighting for both the front and rear lights.
- Bringing along a cell phone is highly recommended.
- Mechanical assistance is not provided.  
- SPOT trackers will be handed out to selected riders. If you are given one, they have a feature to call for help if you need it and are out of cell phone range -- if you are unfamiliar with how to use this feature, a volunteer will be happy to explain it to you.  If you have a personal unit not already listed on the PA Randonnerus SPOT Tracking webpage:
please send me a link to your SPOT webpage.

Food / Hydration
- In general, the route heads you into some desolate areas, with limited opportunities for food and water.
- Plan on replenishing supplies at the controle stops.  The controles are typically at a store or restaurant.

- If you feel like abandoning the ride, it may be an indication that you are not eating and drinking enough.  Take a break, eat something, and it's likely that your outlook will improve.  Before you know it, you'll be making that last turn back to the finish.  And remember the golden rule of "… eat before you're hungry and drink before you're thirsty."
If you are still riding past the ride time limit or if you intend to abandon the ride, please contact me on my cell phone: (610) 417-7161
- It is your responsibility to make arrangements for alternate transportation

In case of accident  
Should you become injured, or arrive just after an accident resulting in an injured person (rider, motorist, or passer-by):
- Call 911 for an ambulance, describing where you are and the condition of the injured person(s)
- Contact me along with any other organizers listed on the cuesheet 
- Be sure to carry identification along with your emergency contact information in case you are knocked unconscious

Please mention any safety hazard you might have spotted, or near-miss incident you saw. We value this feedback highly and it will help PA Randonneurs improve the next edition of the event.

Driving after the event
If you are very tired when you reach the finish, it may be a good idea to take a nap before a long drive home, so you don't end up with serious injuries like David Nakai did: 

As a safety precaution for the many long, steep descents on PA events, I often tell riders at preride meetings: "... never go faster than your Guardian Angel can keep up with ..." .  Apparently, they think the same way in Croatia -- Norman Smeal, on travel in Zagrab, sent me the following picture: 
Photo compliments of Norman Smeal

Have a safe ride! 

*** Roster (as of 7/23) ***

1 Ed Bernasky - 
2 Gavin Biebuyck - 
3 Jane M  Brown - 
4 Matthew Farrell - 
5 William Fischer - 
6 J Scott Franzen - 
7 Zachary R Goodrich - 
8 Nigel Greene - 
9 Jeffrey A Gregg - 
10 Vadim Gritsus - 
11 Guy Harris - 
12 Joseph Hoffman - 
13 James P. Holman - 
14 Jonathan Levitt - 
15 William Olsen - 
16 Michael Povman - 
17 Gary Rollman - 
18 Edward T Schantz - 
19 Jay Schulz - 
20 Norman Smeal -  Volunteer
21 Scotty Steingart - 
22 Bob Torres -  Volunteer
23 Gilbert Torres - 
24 Leonard Zawodniak -