|Photo by Peter B.|
Results will be submitted to RUSA for certification in a few days.
Winter brevets often include a weather component to up the challenge beyond the typical PA Randonneurs terrain factor. Saturday was no different when the WIND compounded an already challenging course. Seventeen riders started and all seventeen returned after facing the windy and chilly conditions all day. Most riders cleared the northernmost control facing the relatively calmer winds of the early morning. The wind became much stronger and gustier as the day progressed. There were some tailwind stretches, lots of crosswind sections, and then the long haul back from Little Britain into the wind.
Early finishers had to contend with stronger winds on the final leg, making their times all the more impressive. The rest of the field rolled into the Highland Pizzeria finish control over the next few hours and was greeted by finish volunteer C.J. Arayata. Many stories were surely told as riders warmed, relaxed, and replenished expended carbohydrates.
First finisher Gavin Biebuyck writes: "Great course and nice tweak to add the "gravel grinder" segment. I lit it up stupidly with my fat tires and then almost ate it with some deep gullies the rain last week must have caused! Opened up about a minute on Taylor but he caught me at the top of the reservoir hill. The wind was very helpful for 70 miles or so..." Congratulations to Gavin and fellow first finisher Taylor Brown for an impressive result. The wind was at its strongest as they headed north from Little Britain.
Hot on their heels was the remains of the lead pack, including Joe Brown, Matt Farrell, and Jim Holman. Jim best summed up the day: That was a hard day in the saddle!
George Retseck focused on the positives to take his mind off the wind: "Our group of Pete Bakken, Scott Franzen, Paul Currie and myself thoroughly enjoyed the course. Even though I have done a few Permanents and Brevets in the Lancaster area, this course truly had some amazing scenes and landscapes to traverse. Much more rural and remote than areas I have seen before. Thanks so much for putting it together and to CJ to sign us in at the end."
Allison Wong returned for a second December brevet with PA Randonneurs and brought along rookie Shaun Gundel who is now an official randonneur. Congratulations Shaun, you're ready for anything now.
Special thanks go to C.J. Arayata who skipped riding this month to staff the finish control so that I could ride. CJ took several photos at the finish that are available HERE. I'd also like to thank Chris Nadovich for a great day of stimulating conversation at the back of the field. It was most enjoyable to roll into the finish knowing that I wouldn't have my usual organizer angst worrying about other riders remaining on course.
This concludes the 2016 PA Randonneurs R12 series. I will be working over the coming weeks to return brevet cards along with the annual results summary and an update on the club itself.
Mark your calendar now for the kickoff of the 2017 R12 Series scheduled for January 7. Check back here and on the website for event details.
Eastern PA RBA