Saturday, July 29, 2017

August 200K Yet Another River to River to River Ride (Reversed)

***UPDATE 1***

A pre-ride was completed on 8/5 by myself, Bill O, and Jeff L.  Bill shattered his front deraileur cage with a missed shift, but somehow afterward he could still shift chainrings. Telekinesis? Rando chi? Anyway, weather conditions were perfect so yours-truly didn't wilt too badly. The early morning clouds and occasional sprinkle kept temperatures moderate as we sailed though the much improved routing of this brevet. Most of the climbing is in the first 50 miles and is heavily shaded. Even if temperatures rise, I think the course will still be pleasant. 

The cue sheet has been updated here. And the RWGPS course has been updated accordingly here.  There have been two significant changes since the original draft. Make sure you hit refresh on your browser and get the latest info if you use the event page

The first major update is immediately after the controle in Pottstown at mile 47.5. it appears that the city may be closing Industrial Hwy on the day of the brevet. This makes access to the Keim St bridge across the Schuylkill decidedly problematic. We have added two possible detours to the cue sheet. We will not know which detour is needed, if any, until the day of the ride.   

The other change is to move the info controle in Erwinna from the Post Office to the Upper Tinicum Lutheran Church. This removes a gratuitous backtrack and puts the brief stop at a very nice location. If its a hot day, you'll find the mild ascent of the heavily shaded Upper Tinicum Church Rd to be a welcome relief from the heat. This is surely one of the prettiest roads in PA. 

Otherwise, the course seems to be solid. Roads are in good shape except for some fresh chipseal here and there -- be careful in sharp corners. Fast riders will probably want to eat lunch in Phoenixville. There are a dozens of possible choices for eatery, or brewery, or distillery, in Phoenixville, as well as the cue sheet suggestion, Artisans, which is also quite nice. Slower riders will probably want to lunch at the Wawa in Pottstown at mile 47.5; there is also a Wawa at mile 81.1, perfect for second lunch, or an ice cream place at 83.2 for dessert. 

-- Chris Nadovich

--- Original Post ---

For the R-12 series in August, we will be running an improved, and reversed version of the YARRRRR  200K brevet. You'll visit three rivers, traveling from the Lehigh, to the Schuylkill, to the Delaware. Along the way there are numerous food and drink options, and points of interest.

Event details are posted at the PA Randonneurs web site:

*** Start/Finish ***

Parking at the start is the lot on Hugh Moore Park island in the Lehigh River, home of the National Canal Museum. Many previous PA Rando brevets pass by this location, so it should look familiar. Nevertheless, this is the first time we've used Hugh Moore Park as a start controle.  It may be difficult to find, so be sure to allot a little extra time.

Iron bridge at entrance of Hugh Moore Park
The entrance to the park is an iron bridge that T's onto Lehigh Drive. There are no food services at Hugh Moore Park. The nearest 24 hour Diner is the Key City Diner 985 US-22, Phillipsburg, NJ. There's a 24 hour Wawa in Easton at 310 Larry Holmes Dr.  Alternatively, stop for something in Hellertown at about mile 10.

*** Course Notes ***

The cue sheet for this ride is long. This complexity was made necessary by the difficulty navigating through suburbia. Nevertheless, the cue sheet provides the official course directions. GPS routing is known to fail or be unsafe at several places along this course. Please refer to the cue sheet as your canonical authority. 

Starting from the National Canal Museum parking lot on an island in the Lehigh River, the climbing begins immediately as you head up over South Mountain. After descending the mountain, the route is generally flat through Hellertown, including a few miles of crushed stone rail trail (suitable for most tires). Upon reaching Coopersburg, you'll return to climbing mode through several bumpy areas before reaching the new controle (a super Wawa) in downtown Pottstown, and the Schuylkill River.

Here the course turns South East, following the Schuylkill on mildly rolling terrain to the Artisan's Coffee controle in downtown Phoenixville. Now you turn to the North East, climbing away from the river on "Level Road" till the terrain moderates through the heart of Bucks and Montgomery counties, including some paved trails in Evansburg State Park. Soon thereafter you will find yourself on familiar randoneuring roads approaching the info controle at Erwinna, where the course turns North West along the Delaware river for an easy riverside spin back to the finish controle at Jimmy's Doggie Stand near the Free Bridge over the Delaware between Philipsburg and Easton.

After handing in your brevet card and replenishing at Jimmy's, there's a short, flat ride back through downtown Easton (and yet other replenishment options) to return to your car at Hugh Moore Park.

There are several steep, extended climbs.  A triple or 39x27 is highly recommended.
*** Ride Safely ***

Your safety is the number one 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 start 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: (267) 218-0418
- 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:

Keep the rubber side down!
Chris Nadovich  

Registered Riders (as of 8/11/2017) 
1 Charles J Arayata
2 Jimmy Aspras
3 M Bernardo
4 Gavin Biebuyck
5 George Brandt
6 Jane M  Brown
7 Joe A Brown
8 Lamar W Chandler
9 Joseph C Dille
10 Chris Errico
11 J Scott Franzen
12 James R Haddad
13 Eric  K Hannon Ford
14 Greg Keenan
15 Eric E. Keller
16 Robin C Landis
17 Jeff Lippincott - pre-ride volunteer
18 Rudi Mayr
19 Chris Nadovich - organizer
20 William Olsen - pre-ride volunteer
21 Althea Grace Pineda
22 George Michael Retseck
23 Steven J Schoenfelder
24 Bob Torres

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Ride Summary: Hawks Nest 2017

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

Well, it wasn't that hot this time, the clouds and shade kept the heat manageable, and all riders made it in before the heavy rain

A total of 23 out of 24 riders finished in good time for a 96% completion rate -- congratulations and well done to all!

Finishers were in good spirits. Although Hawk's Nest isn't an easy course, somehow it's a fast course, and as usual there were many excellent times. Unfortunately, course record holder, Scotty S, had a minor mechanical, preventing him from lowering the record below 7 hours. Maybe next time.

The next event, part of the R12 series, will be held on August 12th.  It's a reversed version of last year's infamous YARRR 200k route with a start/finish in Easton, PA.  The route crosses from the Delaware to the Schuylkill and back again through the heart of Bucks and Montgomery counties, passing many points of interest along the way. Of course, because of the reversal, this time we will instead go from the Delaware to the Schuylkill and back again. Also, because of the reversal, we decided against Beer for Breakfast at Weyerbacher , cutting the much maligned South Side hill the brewery sits on. Also eliminated is the Pottstown Controle of Doom, replaced with a clean, new Super Wawa.   Event details will be posted soon at the web site.

-Chris Nadovich, organizer