Monday, December 27, 2010

PA Dutch ACP 200k Update - 50 deg F???

30 Dec Current Riders Status:

As of noon Thursday, we have thirteen riders confirmed for Saturday's start:

John "F.W." FUOCO
Althea Grace PINEDA

Listed as possibles are:
Andrew MEAD
...both still thawing-out from last January's adventure

Course Volunteers:

Mark Kaufman will be attending to Lancaster operations at Columbia and Lititz, and Ron & Barb Anderson assisting me with the "Berks works".

Additional Route Pics:

Possibly reaching 50 deg F this Saturday? For a flashback of last year's festivities, check out:


Hope to see you in the New Year,

Oh, a few other things to ponder...

the Coveted "Hill Slug" Award Challenge

For those considering taking-up this particularly difficult challenge in the New Year, here is the post describing the history-making record showing of last January:

Have at-it, if you dare...

Brevet Cards & Cues

As this is a 'free ride', I will only have a limited number of spare, unassigned Controle Cards and Cue Sheets available on a first-come, first-served basis.

To assure that you have a Controle Card reserved in your name, notify me BY NOON THURSDAY at of your intention to post Saturday morning. Also, remember to print & bring with you your personal copy of the cues from the PA Rando site link; if you cannot do this, again contact me by noon Thursday and I will reserve a copy for you.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

PA Dutch 200k - Jan 1 R-12

Details for the January 1,2011 PA Dutch 200k have been posted at:
Organizer Rick Carpenter, and fellow PA Randonneur Mark Kaufman recently completed a check-out ride.  RIck posted a brief report and some pictures at:

In order to celebrate the start of the 2011 season, there is no registration fee for this ride (although a current club membership is still required). 

As noted on the event page, there is a diner near the start/finish to meet and top-off before you clip-in. And our organizer, Rick Carpenter, will be hosting a post-ride gathering at his house.

So far, I heard from the following riders planning to start off the New Year by clipping-in for this event:
-Rick Carpenter (organizer)

-Mark Kaufman (volunteer)
-Doug Haluza
-Guy Harris

-Don Jagel
-George Metzler
...If you're planning to join us as well, send an e-mail confirmation to organizer Rick Carpenter:

Monday, December 20, 2010

2010 Recap

December 2010

A summary of the 2010 results for the Eastern PA region has been posted at:

Congratulations on all those hard-earned brevets -- collectively, we officially tallied 104,510 Km in completed brevets.  For the second year in a row, those results pushed the Eastern PA region to over 1000 points in the RUSA standings, one of only a handful of regions to do so. Thank you for clipping in and being a part of that success.  But of course, none of those brevets would've been possible, if not for all the volunteers who stepped up and helped out:
- Ron Anderson (PA1000 overnight controle)
- Dan Barbasch (PA1000 overnight controle)
- Rick Carpenter (Advisor, R-12 organizer, PA Fleche, PA600 preride & overnight controle, PA150/200 BBQ)
- Carrie Clamp (PA200k BBQ, PA400)
- Jud Hand (PA150/200 BBQ)
- Guy Harris (PA1000 course sweep & overnight controles)
- Bill Fischer (Scouting)
- Don Jagel (R-12)
- Jim Logan (PA1000 overnight controles)
- Andrew Mead (Advisor, R-12 organizer)
- George Metzler (R-12 controle)
- Maile Neel (R-12)
- Bill Olsen (Advisor, R-12 organizer)
- Curtis Palmer (R-12)
- Bill Slabonik (PA 200/300)
- Gilbert Torres (PA1000 finish)
- Christine Torres (PA1000 finish)
- Len Zawodniak (R-12, PA600 overnight controle)

The Eastern PA volunteers can attest to the fact that rider safety is the primary concern for each event.  But despite all the safety precautions, this year there was a sobering reminder of the risks inherent in our sport: George Swain was severely injured by a distracted driver who hit him from behind.  Thankfully, George is now back on his feet and is hopeful of a complete recovery.  You can follow along on George's road to recovery and deliver your get well-wishes at his blog: 

As George writes in his inspirational blog, randonneuring is one outlet to explore "…what is humanly possible."  This year, a number of riders completed many notable accomplishments -- too many to list completely -- but some selected ones I'd like to share with you include:
- Ixsa Gollihur officially completing her first brevet, despite coming up a bit short on three previous occasions (including her very first brevet, which was the infamous January R-12 event with 40+ MPH winds and temperatures in the teens).
- Daniel Aaron, Cecilie Adams, Dan Barbasch, Jonathan Clamp, Ed Dodd, Patrick Gaffney, Judson Hand, Don Jagel, Eric Keller, and Bill Olsen are all Eastern PA Super Randonneurs -- Well Done!
- Several riders completed their R-12 series.  Of note, Mark Kaufman book-ended his R-12 with a pair of Eastern PA events: his very first brevet ever was the snowy R-12 December event in 2009, which until the following January, had set the mark for epic winter conditions.  He joins Eric Keller as one of the few riders to earn an R-12 starting with their very first brevet ever.  And yours truly, completed a hard-earned Eastern PA R-12 series that included January's tough winter conditions -- thanks to fellow riders Andrew Mead and Len Zawodniak for helping me finish that one!
- Don Jagel tallied the highest number of Eastern PA kilometers with 4500, just nipping Bill Olsen by a mere 240k … probably because Bill opted to ride a 1200k somewhere instead of a PA event!  Don participated in all but 2 events on the Eastern PA 2010 schedule: January's R-12 and the Fleche.
- Jud Hand, Guy Harris, and Bill Olsen have the distinction of completing a PA-5000, which consists of the following Eastern PA events: PA SR series, Endless Mountains 1240k and 1000k, a Fleche, and 900k in other PA brevets, all within a 4-year period.  Jud Hand and Bill Olsen have the further distinction of earning their PA-5000 within a 12-month period.

For 2011, it will be a very busy year with PBP and several domestic 1200k's to choose from.  The Eastern PA region will be offering many brevets for qualification and preparation including two complete SR series. In addition to a regularly scheduled SR series, a second one is being offered in a compressed “brevet week” format.  But we need some new volunteers to step up and take their turn at the front (and perhaps allow some of the regular volunteers to sit-in for a while). 

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Le Retour du Stillwater 200k: Preliminary Results & Ride Report

Preliminary results for the Dec. 4 Le Retour du Stillwater 200k have been posted at:
... please let me know of any corrections or other issues.  Results will be sent to RUSA later this week, and then become final, pending RUSA approval.

Temperatures at the start were around 28F.  The "Mostly Sunny" weather forecast did not materialize..instead, it was a decidedly mostly cloudy day, with a brisk northwest wind making the mid 30F's feel much chillier.  But the few times the sun manage to poke through the clouds was very welcome.  And for the 3rd year in a row, we had some snow for the December event -- although the brief snow showers were hardly comparable to the epic all-day snow storm from last December:

28 of the 28 starters made it around the course within the time limit, for another 100% completion ... congratulations to all the riders, for this excellent result.  Depending upon how many finishers the LA region had for their December 200k dart, the PA region just might nip them and move into 7th place in RUSA points:
At any rate, the 1000+ RUSA points racked up by Eastern PA riders is an excellent result, and a milestone that only a handful of regions reach -- well done, and thanks for being a part of this success!

Of note, Ron and Barbara Anderson completed another R-12 -- well done!  Alan Blanchette also officially completed an R-12, although he actually completed rides for 13 months in a row.  His first event was a permanent last December, that was not officially recognized, due to a misplaced brevet card.

Also of note, Kieran White completed his first Eastern PA brevet and John Silkowski completed his very first brevet, ever.  In doing so, John proved once again, that being a strong, fast rider helps compensate for other shortcomings, including no cue sheet and flat lander gears!  John was highly motivated to mash those big gears up the many short, steep climbs, in order to hang with riding partners, Walt Pettigrew and Jon Levitt (who he counted on to lead the way).

George Metzler writes: "...I thoroughly enjoyed the ride today.  The route was well designed and the cue sheet was top notch. After the long (but gentle) climb up Tunnel Road, John Fuoco and I had a blast on the fast and scenic descent down Sweet Hollow Rd..."

Don Jagel writes: "...Thanks for putting together the brevet yesterday. The Stillwater route works just as well in the reverse direction.  The Pizzeria in Milford is a good controle in the reverse direction, allowing
for a good place to warm up and a quick replenishing of the fuel supplies before the final leg back to Portland.  There was even a brief snow flurry just to make it really feel like December...." 

Special thanks to Bill Olsen, for organizing the event and also to Jon Clamp, for leading the way with the sign-in sheets.

If you have any other comments, stories, or pictures to share, you can forward them to me.

This concludes the 2010 Eastern PA brevet season...validated brevet cards and a season recap will be going out in the mail over the coming weeks.  Happy holidays, and hope to see you clipping in again in 2011, for a busy PBP year of brevets. The 2011 brevet calender kicks off with the traditional PA Dutch 200k on 1-1-11, organized by Rick Carpenter.  

Friday, November 26, 2010

December R-12: Le Retour du Stillwater 200k

*** Update #1 (11/30) ***
The cuesheet has been updated to draft 2, dated 11/28/10, with several minor corrections and clarifications from a scouting trip.  This is most likely the final draft.  Current forecast looks at least dry, but some chilly temperatures and strong northwest winds appear to be on tap.  Those winds should speed our way on the Lafayette to Milford leg.  And with a bit of luck, the winds might start abating as we head back north in the later part of the afternoon.

Course notes:
Mile 1.3: As noted on the cuesheet, please watch for fast traffic on your right as you merge with Rt 94 North.
Mile 15.9: The Stillwater General store is off course, ~0.2 miles to the right -- if you need a hot drink to warm up, this would be a good option.
Mile 17.6 (Controle 2): This is an information controle that happens to be at a post office (answer the question that will be listed on your brevet card).  The post office will probably be open, if you need to get warmed up, but there are no services available.   As you approach this controle, you will actually see the words "Robins General Store" painted on the outside of the building (as indicated on the cuesheet).  But the general store is long gone, and has now been converted into a post office.  Be sure to bring a pencil along, to record your answer.  Please note that this controle is un-timed, so if you get a mechanical or are delayed at the start, you have until controle 3 at mile 29.9 to make up some time.
Mile 25.3: As noted on the cuesheet, this is a steep twisty descent, with two 1-lane bridges at the bottom that might have on-coming traffic.  Please take extra care through this area.
Mile 29.9 (Controle 3): The hot chocolate w/whipped cream and pies are highly recommended.
Mile 124.3 (Controle 6): As you approach Portland near the end, you will be passing the Portland Park N' Ride (where you will be parking your car).  The Park N' Ride is the official end of the brevet and is listed at the final controle.  So you can stop there, and load your bike in your car.  However, you need to then drive the remaining 0.4 miles back to the Portland Diner and get your card signed at the cashier.  There will also be a final sign-in sheet at the cashier to record your time (use your arrival time at the Park N RIde) and leave your brevet card in the envelope there as well.

There will be sign-in sheets at controle #4 (Great Meadows) and controle #5 (Milford) ... please remember to initial these and record your time.  

*** Original Post ***
The December R-12 is on Saturday, December 4th. The website has been recently updated with draft 1 of the cuesheet. We'll be running the same course as the November R-12 in the reverse direction: Le Retour du Stillwater 200k. The November event was certainly a well documented event; the ride report:
... has links to ride reports and photo albums.

The start/finish is at the Portland diner, where you can top-off with a good breakfast and finish with a post-ride gathering. Please note that the parking is at the Park N' Ride lot, 0.3 miles from the start:

Lights and reflective gear will be checked. Be sure to check back on the PA message board for any updates ... the cuesheet will likely be updated after an upcoming course checkout.

I've already heard from a couple of riders planning to clip-in. If you're planning to join us too, send a note to ride organizer Bill Olsen:

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

*** Rider List (as of 12/3) ***
Barb Anderson
Ron Anderson
Michael Anderson
Al Blanchette
Jon Clamp
Bob Dye
John Fuco
Ixsa Gollihur
Houston Joost

Mark Kaufman
Joe Kratovil
Robin Landis
Jonathan Levitt
Andrew Mead
George Metzler
Christine Newman
Bill Olsen (Organizer)
Ed Pavelka
Bill  Reagan
Tom Rosenbauer (RBA)
Paul Shapiro
John Silkowski
Kieran White
Len Zawodniak

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Stillwater 200k Preliminary Results and Report

Preliminary results for the Nov. 6 Stillwater 200k have been posted at:
... please let me know of any corrections or other issues.  Results will be sent to RUSA later this week, and then become final, pending RUSA approval.

The mid-30F's at the start were a bit warmer than forecasted.  The bright early morning sunshine made for a spectacular run down the Delaware River, with the mist and fog making quite sight to behold.  I saw at least one photographer along the way, capturing the moment.  It truly was a wonderful time to be out on the bike and enjoy the last remnants of fall -- one of my favorite time of the year.  The clouds moved in shortly after midday, and along with the stiff northwest wind, the afternoon actually felt colder than the morning.  The hot chocolate at the Millside Cafe really hit the spot (I think it was one part whipped cream to one part hot chocolate).  And special thanks to Len Zawodniak for recommending the pecan pie -- that really hit the spot.  And thanks also, to Don Jagel for leading the way with the sign-in sheets.

24 of the 24 starters made it around the course within the time limit, for another 100% completion ... congratulations to all the riders, for this excellent result.  Of note, Ixsa Gollihur recorded her first official Eastern PA completion, after coming up a bit short on 3 previous tries (one of which was the infamously cold and windy brevet this past January).  It certainly was a hard earned result, riding mostly solo all day through the head winds and a couple of hours of night riding in unfamiliar terrain.  Well done Ixsa!

Also of note, Mark Kaufman completed his R-12 series.  Mark joins Eric Keller in what has to be a very exclusive club: an R-12 series that starts with one's very first brevet.  And in Mark's case, his first R-12 event last December, was the infamously snowy one, that until January's ride, had set the standard for "Epic Winter Conditions" on the Eastern PA series.  As Mark said after that one, 'the rest should be easy, after that!'  Well done Mark!

First finisher's Rick Carpenter and Bill Fischer got around in 8:35, with Rick again riding his fixed-gear bike.  Rick writes: "...A uniquely enjoyable route through NW NJ; particularly the latter portion from Great Meadows to Columbia. Oh, and you earned my heartfelt  gratitude in excluding "The Finest Pizza Money Can Buy" - nicely done... "  Rick is of course, referring to 'Louie's Pizza', used as a controle in Great Meadows on previous events:

Peter Phillips is now 2 for 2 with yet another broken chain (will he perhaps go for a 3-peat?).  Having inadvertently left his chain repair at home, Peter fortunately had St. Bill Olsen behind him, our local "patron saint of on-the-road bike repairs".  Bill luckily had a campy pin among his spare parts.

The DC area tandem team piloted by Ed Felker and stoker Mary Gersema were pleasantly surprised to find a "Tandem Friendly" course, after all the challenging climbs they faced this past summer on the Endless Mountains 1000k.  And fellow rider Paul Shapiro noted that the course went near some of the toughest climbs in the area -- Lommasson's Glen, Rt 519 (into Milford), Adamic, Bellis, Iron Bridge, and Millbrook to name a few. Ed has posted a great ride report (along with pictures) at:
... and be sure to check out Mary's excellent blog and pictures at:
Between Ed and Mary, this was one well documented ride!
Fellow DC randonneur, Lane Giardina writes: "...Thanks again for yesterday's great ride.  It was a lovely route shared with a really nice group of riders....".

-- Thanks! It's always a real pleasure when the DC folks come up for a visit.

If you have any other comments, stories, or pictures to share, you can forward them to me.

Next up, is "Le Retour du Stillwater 200k" on December 4, which wraps up the 2010 brevet season.  This is basically the same course as the Stillwater 200k, but in the reverse direction (clockwise) heading to Stillwater first.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

November R-12: Stillwater 200k

*** Update #3 (11/2) ***
A GPS file is available from Ed Felker (Thanks Ed!) ... if you would like a copy, send me a note, and I'll put you in touch with him.  Of course, the usual disclaimer applies, that the GPS route is a supplemental aid to navigation, and that the posted cuesheet is the official route.

*** Update #2 (10/31) ***
The Crista Format of the cuesheet was revised on 10/31 to correct for a formatting error (the right hand column on page 2 did not print correctly).

*** Update #1 (10/30) ***
The cuesheet and map/profile have been updated on 10/30 (draft 5) with several route tweaks for quieter side roads, and controle changes in Milford and Lafayette -- both of which are worthy of "Crista Approval".  The Millside Cafe in Lafayette has plenty of seating inside and some tables outside as well.  But if get your meal "to go", there is a very nice park right behind the cafe.  If you follow the stream about 50 yards, there's a gazebo with tables which would also be a really nice area to dine.

In consideration of the DC-area folks clipping in with us, an alternate "Crista Format" cuesheet has been posted, along with the original "PA Format" cuesheet.  The Crista format has the advantage of being more compact and easier to fold.

Some course notes:
- As noted on the cuesheet, bikes must be walked across the Delaware River bridge into Belvidere.
- If you need to replenish your supplies before controle #2 (40 mile segment), there are good options in Belvidere and Stewartsville.
- The entrance to the Milford Bakery is on the right, around back.
- There are convenience stores in Milford, if you don't find what you need at the bakery.
- Mile 119.8: Last time, several riders missed this turn and logged some bonus miles. A different "spotting cue" is in the current cuesheet -- we'll see if this one helps or not. Note that the new cue has the abbreviation "LMR" which stands for "Leaving Main Road".  In this particular case, the main road (with double yellow lines) will bend left up a hill.  You need to take slight bear right (almost straight) which takes you off the main road down a smaller side road with no lines (and no hill!).  There is also a hard right here, but currently, there is some road construction and that road is closed.  So another thing to look for is the road construction.  The cuesheet has another spotting cue: "Low Culvert" which is a sign posted at the turn in question.
- There are couple of left turns on roads with fast traffic at miles: 87.1 (Rt 206), 94.4 (Rt 94), 97.4 (Rt 206).  In general, the course has very quiet roads, but please take extra caution on these few, short busy stretches.

The list of riders has been updated -- if you're planning to join in, just drop me a note. Be sure to monitor the message board for any other updates.  And most importantly, be sure to have a Safe Ride!

*** Original Post ***
The November R-12 is next week on Saturday, the 6th.  The website has been recently updated to reflect the route change: we'll be running the Stillwater 200k (instead of the previously announced PA 204k).  We ran the inaugural edition this past February.  I'll be posting an updated cuesheet with some route tweaks -- mainly to use some quieter side roads instead of the main roads we used for the winter conditions we had last February.  And with the reopening of the Milford Bakery, we'll be making a controle stop there.  The Milford Bakery has relocated down the street at the old RR station, right next to the Delaware River bridge.  The baked goods and coffee are still great and the facilities have been greatly improved -- definitely worthy of 'Crista Approval'!

The start/finish is at the Portland diner, where you can top-off with a good breakfast and finish with a post-ride gathering.  Please note that the parking is at the Park N' Ride lot, 0.3 miles from the start:

Lights and reflective gear will be checked.

I've already heard from a number of riders planning to clip-in, including a good contingent from the DC area.  If you're planning to join us too, drop me a note.

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

*** Rider List (as of 11/5) ***
Barbara Anderson
Ron Anderson
Rick Carpenter
Dawn Engstrom
Ed Felker (DC Randonneurs)
Bill Fischer
Mary Gersema (DC Randonneurs)
Lane Giardina (DC Randonneurs)
Ixsa Gollihur
Guy Harris
Don Jagel
Houston Joost
Mark Kaufman
Eric Keller
Jonathan Levitt
Bill Olsen
Ed Pavelka
Walter Pettigrew
Peter Phillips
Bill Reagan
Tom Rosenbauer (Organizer)
Paul Shapiro
Keith Spangler
Bill Slabonik
Len Zawodniak

Sunday, October 24, 2010

College Hill 150/200k Preliminary Results and Report

Preliminary results for the College Hill 150/200k have been posted at:
Please let me know of any corrections or any other issues.  Results will be submitted to RUSA shortly, and then become final, pending RUSA validation.

A total of 31 riders clipped in, with 4 riders opting for the 150k course and the other 27 riders in for the full 200k.  First time participants, Renee Tapp and Alan Wiig completed their very first randonneuring event on the 150k course.  Your's truly rode with them all the way to the Stockton controle.  I would have to say I had some reservations about their prospects for success as their ride unfolded.  They left the Stockton controle with less than a 30 minute margin on the time limit, and the challenging terrain through Tinicum and Saucon Valley lay ahead of them.  But they made it in just 5 minutes before the buzzer.

As is often the case, the margin between success and coming up just a bit short is very thin.  Unfortunately, Ixsa Gollihur found herself on the wrong side of that razor's edge, finishing 29 minutes past the 150k cut-off.  She did make all the intermediate controles, but unfortunately got a flat tire with just 12 miles to go.

Peter Phillips also came up a bit short on the 200k course.  A mechanical (broken chain) and some navigation errors, had him still within the time limit at Milford, but finishing well after sundown.  In order to make a commitment later that night, Peter decided to cut his ride short, and rode directly to the finish from Milford.

Although it was a chilly start with temperatures around freezing when riders clipped in, it was a spectacular day with mostly sunny skies.  The foliage was at, or perhaps just slightly past peak today.  At any rate, it was a decidedly vast improvement over last year's rainy washout!  But most importantly, everybody made it around the course safely without incident.

The roster of riders was a good mix of veteran and new riders, as well as some riders we've haven't seen for a while.  Of note, there were 2 tandem teams.  And despite the course being tandem unfriendly, I heard word of the tandem team piloted by Ron Anderson and stoked by his wife Barbara, actually passing some singles on the dreaded Buttermilk climb.  Also of note, there was a very large group of first finishers that included Jon Clamp on a single speed.  I heard word that his ascent up Fox Gap was a sight to behold.  Rick Carpenter showed up with fixed gear, and somehow managed to get up **all** the climbs without resorting to the 2-foot gear -- this was certainly a big challenge for even the riders with gears.  Clearly, Rick has maintained his good form from his earlier solo-RAAM campaign, and has a good start for his 4-man team RAAM campaign in 2011.

Also of note, Bill Reagan recorded his first official brevet finish, after 2 earlier attempts came up short.  But one of those earlier attemps was the January 200k which had the epic cold and wind conditions.  Adding to the difficulty factor, Bill worked until 2AM the night before -- well rested at the start, Bill was not!

Don Jagel has the most Eastern PA mileage year-to-date, at 4100k, followed by Bill Olsen (3860Km) and Jon Clamp (3500km).  That mileage counts toward the our region's standing with RUSA, and collectively, the Eastern PA region is ranked 10th out of 49 regions in ACP points, and 8th in overall in RUSA points -- Thanks to all the riders who contributed to that excellent result -- well done!

Special thanks to Rick Carpenter and Jud Hand, for helping out at the finish with the rider sign-in and BBQ.  And thanks also, to my wife Becky, for letting me take over the house for this event!

First-time participant, Gary Mass writes: "...thanks very much for the wonderful event. Definitely one to remember and your hospitality is very much appreciated...".  I also got many kind remarks on the course and organization at the finish .  If you have any other comments or pictures to contribute, you can post them on the message board or forward them to me.

Next up in 2 weeks, is the November 6th R-12 event ... a version of the February Stillwater 200k will probably be run.  Details will be updated shortly.

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

*** Update 10/24 ***
Christine Newman write: "...Thanks for a great season and for all your hard work. I really enjoyed the ride yeasterday and the post-ride feast. Here is a link to photos I took yesterday:

*** Update 10/25 ***
Jud Hand writes: "...Thanks for another great season of brevets.  If I'm not mistaken, this makes your eighth season designing routes, seventh season organizing  PA rides and fourth season offering a full brevet series.  There is no  better way to test your fitness than with hills as challenging as Fox  Gap and Lomasson's Glen.  Fox Gap also served as a warmup, after the  starting temperatures in the low 30s.  The scenery as always was great  and the weather after the cold burned off cooperated, too.  My old  friend Buttermilk Road was back, too, due to a bridge closure.  It's  not nearly as long as the other two climbs, but the sight of that
steep grade going up in the distance so late in the ride is painful..... I look forward to riding with you again in 2011..."
You can read Jud's complete ride report on his excellent training blog:

Renee Tapp writes: "...Thanks again for hosting a great event.  Alan and I both had a really great time and feel quite accomplished by finishing under 10 hours.  We are already talking about doing the 200k in early April, so hopefully you will see us again.  ... Also, every year in December I host a "South Philly Christmas Lights Bike Ride" which is about a 1 hour long tour through South Philadelphia to look at crazy, intense Christmas lights and decorations.  Usually lots of Christmas cookies and warm drinks involved.  Granted, it isn't a very long ride, but we normally get 20-30 people out on the streets.  Please consider yourself and the rest of PA randonneurs welcome to join!

*** Update 10/26 ***
Don Jagel writes: "...What a great ride! It was good to see Len back on a "normal" bike to test his rib repairs, and to see Mr. Bianchi (aka: Rick Carpenter) on a fixed gear Bianchi (of course). It was a cool/cold start, but at least the 07:30 start was late enough to let me wake up most of the way.  Bill Olsen very graciously led everybody up Rt. 611 (River Rd.) at the start, thereby blocking out that cold air. Jud was also kind enough to drag me up over Fox Gap.  I actually like that climb with the abandoned foundation and chimney about 1/3 of the way up.  Jud and I then rolled down to Portland, where he stopped to hook up with the other folks from the lead group.  I kept on going knowing that my lack of recent saddle time and gradual decrease in fitness level would catch up with me later in the ride. Keeping a moderate, but steady, pace I continued to Belvidere where I stopped at the deli to supply myself for the remainder of the ride (yes, I was not able to get myself together before 11:30 PM the night before.  Ya, know, too much work stuff!)  Anyway, Jud, et.el. blew on by me while I chugged down my chocolate milk and buttered roll in Belvidere. Continuing on to Lommason Glenn Rd. (not coasting up this time (take note Shane if you see this)), Walt Pettigrew kept me on course with the bear right onto Castners Road, as my bike wanted to bear left (saved me some climbing and  backtracking). Walt and I caught up to lead group along Montana Road, and enjoyed the descent towards Rt 57 and Stewartsville.  About six of us pedaled into Bloomsbury where several stopped to resupply on liquids.
Walt and I kept going to get through the next climb.  Walt was ahead of me and out of sight by the time we past the short, but steep climb over the railroad.  I thought he was long...gone, but as I was rolling (slowly)
down Route 29 towards Stockton, he quickly caught up to me, and just as quickly dropped me.  About 8 minutes later I ran into him along the railroad grade, next to the Devil's Tea Table, fixing a flat.  I continued
to Stockton where I got a chance to get some lunch and re-stock supplies.  While I was there, the Stockton Food Market (Control 4) filled up with riders.  I left knowing that everyone would soon be catching up and
passing me. Sure enough, at the turn into Bull's Island Park, off of Route 29, the whole lead group caught me.  We had a group of at least nine (maybe more) riders together in the "lead" group at Bull's Island (Mile 90.1), which is pretty cool.  Of course everyone cruised on up Fleecydale Road and left me off the back to myself.
I ran into the leaders again in Ottsville (Control 5), and then that was the last I saw of them.  On the short, but semi-brutal Clay Ridge Road climb (which precedes the very short, but very brutal Beaver Run Road climb) I ran into Ixsa who was in great spirits and getting the job done on the 150 km course. Finally, closing in on the final control, I ssslowllly passed Houston just before the climb up Buttermilk Road.  Houston caught back up to me along Lehigh Drive and we rode together for the last several miles into the final control.  Houston was following me, making the poor assumption that I knew where I was going.  We ended up passing Clinton Terrace, and arrived at the final control via the incorrect route.  We quickly (well, maybe not so quickly) backtracked and rode the correct route route to finish properly at the final control (Tom's house). Another wonderful eastern PA brevet!  The food and conversation at the end was the final bonus.  I ended up making my goal of finishing in less than 10 hours, and it didn't rain.  What more could one ask for. Len congrats for finishing on a non-recumbant, and Rick C. how are those knees? Hopefully Shane will be back in the mix in November.  It just does not seem right without him around, as he has gotten to be the "official" photographer over the past year.  (It is not just the photos;  we miss the presence also). Tom, once again thanks for the ride, the BBQ, and for requesting the wonderful weather.
Don J.

P.S.  It was actually good to put the Buttermilk Road section in. The ride
into Easton via Rieglesville and Philipsburg is a nice finish, but it is
good to see the different scenery.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

College Hill 150/200k

*** Update #2 10/21/10 ***
Due to the scheduled closure of the Riegelsville Bridge during the weekend, the cuesheets have been updated (Draft 6 for the 200k and  Draft 5 for the 150k, both are dated 10/21/10 in the revision block at the top of the 1st page).  Instead of crossing the Delaware River at Riegelsville, you'll follow the old route through Saucon Valley -- veteran riders of past editions will recall the very stiff climb up Buttermilk Road near the end.

While a mostly sunny day is in the forecast, the early morning temperatures will be in the low to mid 30's F.  With the chilly start, the registration sign-in will be moving from my front porch to inside my house (the front door will be open, so just walk in).  Also, breakfast items will be in my kitchen, and you can eat in my dining room area.  Please remember to to remove your cleats before you go inside -- thanks.

*** Update #1 10/17/10 ***
The list of registered riders has been updated on the website.  There are many first-time participants, and I'll be counting on the regular Eastern PA riders to extend a warm welcome to the newcomers and perhaps share a few miles with them at the start.  The cuesheets have also been updated, mainly just to update the date and closing times: the 200k will be the same route as we ran last June, and the 150k is the same as last year's route.  The routes diverge after the first couple of miles and then rejoin in Belvidere.

Sundown is just after 6PM, which gives you about 10.5 hours of sunlight.  Lights and reflective gear will be required and will be checked at the bike inspection.

Parking is available on the street, near my house. Hot oatmeal and other breakfast items will be available on my front porch, around 6:30 AM.  The sign-in and bike inspection will be on my front porch as well.  At 7:25 AM, there will be a brief rider meeting.  There is a bathroom inside off the hallway to the right, near the stairs -- please remove your cleats before going inside (you'll probably slip on my hardwood floors if you don't).

I scouted the first half of the course this past weekend.  The course is generally in good shape, with some new pavement on River Road between Portland and Belvidere.  The recent storm did leave quite a bit of debris on the road, in the form of branches and some gravel.  In particular, the descent after the Fox Gap climb toward Portland has quite a bit of gravel in one section -- this is a twisty descent, so be especially careful.

There will be a post-ride BBQ, where we can reflect upon the completion of the ACP brevet season, and look forward to the many challenging events in 2011.  I know many riders are looking forward to PBP, and there will be plenty of Eastern PA events offered to get you ready!

*** Original Post ***
The College Hill 200/150K on October 23 starts and finishes from my house on College Hill in Easton.  To mark the end of the official "ACP brevet season", there will be post-ride BBQ, where we can get together to reflect upon the past season of events, and look forward to all the challenges offered in 2011.
Club members may register by e-mail, and pay the discounted rate of $25 when you sign-in.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

September R12 Preliminary Results - Hawk Mountain

Preliminary results for the September 11 200k are posted at:
... please let me know of any corrections or other issues. Results will be submitted to RUSA shortly, and will then become final, pending ACP validation.

The inaugural outing of the Hawk Mountain 200 was a tremendously enjoyable way to spend a day. Near-perfect weather conditions along with a course that far-exceeded my expectations made this one a brevet to remember. All 27 riders who clipped in at the start completed this scenic course in respectable time. Don Jagel blazed the way to finish in what has become his typical fashion, though with several other riders not far behind. Even Doug Haluza who was hampered by a broken rear derailleur and a busted spoke persevered and finished the ride on his single speed aero bike. Imagine having to ascend Hawk Mountain Rd with something less than your lowest gear and you’ll appreciate his perseverance.

This route is the culmination of several years of riding and scouting “beyond the Blue Mountain.” My original efforts to go climb Gold Mine Rd near the Swatera Gap and find an enjoyable return introduced me to many of these roads less traveled. Summer Hill Rd captured my attention from my very first encounter. Having only ridden this route in bits and pieces over the course of several years, many only in the reverse direction, I am quite pleased with the cumulative result and happy to be able to share it with my randonneuring buddies.

Guy Harris responds after my teasing him about ditching his fixed-gear bike for this rides:
Very nice course, thanks for putting this together! Nice to get a little "real" climbing in on a Lancaster ride. I am really glad that I didn't bring the fixed on it. Hawk Mountain would have hurt. But the real reason is that I really like the ubiquitous shorter bumps on a geared bike where you can get some payback on the downhill side.

Shane Beake commented: Great new course, "bumps", hills and a flat ending, thanks for that!
As usual, Shane has provided a wonderful group of photos to refresh our memories.

And from Don Jagel:
Thanks for putting together a wonderful ride. It was the perfect ride to finish off my R-12.
Your cue sheet was excellent. The spotting cues and *** designations made it extremely easy to follow the route without ever wondering if I was on still course. Also, I've got to mention that I was surprised at the very good quality of the asphalt along pretty much the entire length of the route. I really expected the asphalt to be of poorer quality with more tar and chip roads. It was a very welcome surprise.
My favorite part of the ride was the stretch along Summer Hill Road. The views on both sides of the road really show off the area. Luckily there was no head wind along that stretch. I imagine that with the expansive exposure it could become a very long stretch of road during a strong head wind.
I (and I am sure everyone else) really appreciate the amount of thought, time and effort you must have put into creating this (soon to be classic) route.
Congratulations on the R12 Don!

In the battle of the tandems, Kelly Smith and Mary Crawley set the tandem benchmark in spite of some early mechanical issues of their own. Ron & Barb were not far behind them.
Says Ron: "Great ride yesterday, Andrew. Excellent route - especially enjoyed Summer Hill Rd. with the views of the ridges to the north and south. Barb and I rode pretty well yesterday, though the tandem course record did escape us... Thanks for your efforts!"

Joe Fillip writes:
"...An absolutely wonderful ride yesterday. I've been riding in the flats for most of this year, and it was a treat (and a challenge!) to face some real climbing (although I have to admit I didn't think it was much of a treat while I was actually grinding up the tail end of the Hawk Mountain climb yesterday). .. I came in with Mary and Kelly on their tandem, and should have the same time as them (10:05, rather than 10:03). Actually, I chased them all the way in to the finish on the last stage from the time I made the left turn on Prescott Road -- It was quite an inspiration for me to push harder, having them as my "rabbit." I guess it worked both ways -- Kelly said that he was inspired to push harder by the sight of me in his rear view mirror! ... Thanks to Andrew and to you for a great day of cycling."

Jud Hand writes:
"I really enjoyed Saturday's ride. Based on the advance description on the website, I thought this would be one of the easier PA routes, but I found that wasn't the case. There were several substantial climbs and plenty of rollers. I'd say this was significantly harder that the Hawks Nest 200, though probably less strenuous than the classic 200k with Fox Gap and Lower Saucon Valley. This course is a worthy addition to the Eastern PA Brevet catalog. Hawk Mountain is quite a climb and generated a lot of rider buzz. I look forward to doing this course again in the future. "

Joe Kratovil has authored an excellent report detailing his and Alan Blanchette's ride at Mellow Yellow. Well worth the read with some great pictures. Joe is headed south for the upcoming Natchez Trace 600k. Best of luck, Joe!

If you have any other comments or pictures to add, you can forward them for posting.

Next up is the Endless Mountains Brevet Week September 26 - October 2 followed by the traditional October 23 brevet/populaire out of the Quakertown Hostel.

Andrew Mead

Special thanks to Andrew Mead, for this wonderful addition to the Eastern PA series -- Great Job!

Congratulations to freshly minted randonneurs: Krister Anderson, Steve Farrah and Jim Mooney. And congratulations to Doug Haluza who completed his Super Randonneur series with this 200k finish -- this 200k with the "single speed conversion", along with the unexpectedly hot PA400k earlier this year, were very challenging events to bookend his SR series.

Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

Friday, September 3, 2010

September R-12: Inaugral Hawk Mountain 200k

--- Sept. 9 Update ---

Lights and reflective gear will be required. If you have an Eastern PA 200k finish that's under 10 hours, I'll waive the lighting requirement. But even if you are a fast rider, circumstances may keep you out on course longer than you expect, and a DQ for not having lights after sundown will be the least of your problems.

--- Sept. 6 Update: ---
The cue sheet has been updated to Draft 3 to incorporate recon data from the route and to attempt to get the map and the cue sheet to agree on the mileage. Be sure to download a copy before the weekend. I'll have a few copies available at the start. I should reach the start location by 6:15 or as soon as I finish breakfast at the Pancake Farm. It looks like a good turnout so far.

Andrew Mead
Event Organizer

--- Original Message ---

The next R-12 event is September 11 -- we'll be running the inaugural Hawk Mountain 200k, created by organizer Andrew Mead. This looks like a fantastic course, and will cover both new and some familiar roads in Lancaster county. Details have been posted on the event web page:
... As noted on the event webpage, the Pancake Farm is a great place to top off with a hearty breakfast before clipping in. And afterwards, we'll be headed down the road a couple of miles to Two Cousins Pizza for a postride gathering.

*** Registered Riders as of 9/9 ***
So far, I've heard from:
-Bob Dye
-Jim Mooney
-Doug Haluza
-Shane Beake
-Joe Fillip

-Bill Fischer
-Bill Slabonik
-Ron Anderson
-Barbara Anderson
-Jud Hand
-Kelly Smith (looking to share a hotel room)
-Mary Crawley
-Joe Kratovil
-Al Blanchette
-Matt Farrell

-Steve Farrah
-Ed Pavelka
-Len Zawodniak
-Ivan Umble
-Jerry Umble
-Don Jagel
-Mark Kaufman
-Eric Keller

-Althea Grace Pineda
-Bob Torres
-Krister Anderson
-Guy Harris
-Andrew Mead (Organizer)
-And your's truly (RBA)

... drop me or Andrew a note, if you're planning to join us.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

August R-12: Hawk's Nest 200k

*** Update (9/7/10) ***
Rick Carpenter forwarded a link to his photos:
... lots of great shots!

*** Ride Report (8/14/10) ***
Preliminary results for the Aug 14 200k have been posted at:
... please let me know of any corrections or other issues.  Results will be submitted to RUSA shortly, and then become final, pending ACP certification.  Special thanks to organizer, Bill Olsen, for getting us on our way, and making sure we ended up with the same number of riders we started with. And thanks again, to Don Jagel for leading the way with the sign-in sheets.

All 22 riders, clipping-in at the Delaware Water Gap Diner, made it back to diner well within the time limit, for another 100% finish rate -- congratulations to everyone, for keeping that 100% finish rate streak going for the Hawk's Nest 200k: over the past 2 years, we've run this course 5 times with everyone officially finishing each time.  The weather has certainly played a role in this streak -- I can't recall a time when we didn't have nearly ideal weather conditions.  And the weather for the most recent event probably was one of the best we've had for an R-12 event all year -- the low humidity and partial cloud cover made the temperatures very comfortable all day.  However, we did have a rare southeast wind that slowed us down along Rt 97.

Despite the adverse wind, Don Jagel finished in 7:38, and set a new course record.  He beat the previous course record by a solid 5 minutes, held by Greg Pedano and Len Zawodniak since the inaugural edition in 2009 (which was aided by a very favorable northwest wind).  Coincidentally, Len was on the roster for the most recent edition, but on a recumbent nursing some sore ribs this time.  This was Len's first brevet attempt on a recumbent, and he proved up to the challenge of negotiating the several steep pitches on course.  Besides the steep pitches, the very long wheel base of Len's bike made the several sharp turns along the course a big challenge as well -- when I asked him what the turning radius was, Len replied "... about 3 lanes!"

Of note, Dija Amer finished her very brevet ever, and now is an official randonneuse -- congratulations!  But Dija is certainly no stranger to long distance cycling, having recently completed the California Triple Crown.  And Steve Britt completed his first Eastern PA brevet; but Steve is certainly no stranger to randonneuring: he formerly was the RBA for the NYC region in the late 1990's, which predates the beginning of the NJ series back in 2002.

Also of note, Shane Beake completed his R-12 series.  Shane writes: "...Thanks again for another fine event.  The headwind going along the river was a little disappointing, but it's still great scenery, and once you get on NPS 615 you really appreciate the road surface, very smooth. It's hard to believe it was just 12 months ago Jud introduced  me to randonnuering..."  And once again, Shane has taken a bunch of fantastic pictures which he posted at
... it really is amazing how Shane can get so many quality shots in, and still finish in the leading group.

Andrew Mead also took some photos which he posted here:
... Andrew has some great shots of the rivers on course -- IMHO, some of the most scenic ones in the area.  And although those rivers all looked very calm and peaceful this past Saturday, 55 years ago to the day, Hurricanes Connie and Diane started to dump 2 feet of rain within the span of 1 week in the Poconos and caused the great flood of 1955.  The book, "Devastation on the Delaware" is a very interesting account of this flood.  In fact, the Hawk's Nest 200k goes through or near many of the towns that were impacted.  It's fascinating to read about the human drama that unfolded during this disaster.  There are also some incredible photos, showing many parts of the course completely covered in water or washed away.

Don Jagel writes: "...Another gorgeous day and a great ride to boot.  The temperatures were perfect and there was just the right amount of sun and clouds. The scenery on the Hawk's Nest route is always wonderful and varied depending on the time of year.  This time there was the full summer canopy and the beautiful late summer wild flowers along the sides of the roads and the in the meadows. Aside from the normal amount of deer and turkeys that are ever present along the route, in the Worthington State Forest portion of Old Mine Road I did have to slow down and shoo a bear that had strolled into the road about 25 feet in front of me without looking both ways. Looking forward to the 1000K.  Hopefully it will land in another stretch of good weather. ..."

Ron and Barb Anderson also had a bear sighting, just south of Layton.

If you have any other photos or comments, you can forward them to me, or post them on the message board.

The next R-12 event is the inaugural Hawk Mountain 200k, created by organizer Andrew Mead.  This looks like a fantastic course, and will cover both new and some familiar roads in Lancaster county.  Details have been posted on the event web page:

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

*** Original Post ***
The August R-12 event is this coming Saturday, the 14th. We'll be running our favorite, hot weather course: the Hawk's Nest 200k, which is typically 3-5 degrees cooler than the surrounding area. It certainly has been a very hot and humid July and August. But we caught a lucky break for the July R-12 event. And if the current long range weather forecast holds up, it looks like another great day is shaping up with cooler temperatures. Although the forecast is for dry conditions, there are rain showers predicted for both Friday and Sunday which I'm keeping a close eye on.

The start/finish is at the Water Gap diner, which will open at 6AM, if you'd like to top off with a nice breakfast -- the sign-in table will be inside the diner (Bill Olsen is the organizer for this event, and will be handling the sign-in, sending us off on our way, and the finish). Park your car in the Laird parking lot, which is around the corner from the diner. Follow this link for parking directions:
... there is a path from the Laird parking lot that takes you to the back of the diner parking lot.

*** Course Notes ***
1) The road surface is in pretty bad condition up by Promised Land, about 8 miles before the first controle stop. Along with the very big ruts and potholes, there are several road cuts that have been filled in with hardpack gravel. Please take extra caution in this area. This stretch of road is way overdue for a good resurfacing -- hopefully, the recent roadwork is an indication that this is the works.

2) The Layton store (the last controle before the finish), is now closing earlier at 3PM. Most of the riders made it through last time before it closed. However, if you arrive after it has closed, there should be a sign-in sheet posted on the door. We'll also try to make sure a gallon of water is left outside there as well for any late arrivals; but there is also a bar nearby that you can go to in a pinch in order to replenish your fluids.

3) There are wild fires in the Worthington State Forest -- the last 8 miles of the course pass through here, right before the Rt 80 bridge. The fires are expected to be under controle by the end of the week, but may still be burning on Saturday. Although some trails have been closed, it appears that the one and only road through the park has not been affected. However, if the road does unexpectedly close on Saturday, the possible detours will be extremely inconvenient, to say the least! Please check back on the message board for any last minute updates.

4) Shane Beake took some great photos on the July event that really shows off the beautiful scenery along the way:
...and Joe Kratovil has a nice ride report (from the May R-12) that gives a good overview of the course:

*** Rider List (as of 8/12) ***
- Ron Anderson
- Barbara Anderson
- Dija Amer (new rider)
- Steven Brit (new rider)
- Bill Olsen (organizer)
- Gibert Torres(newlywed)
- Chrisiane (Torres?) (newlywed)
- Rick Carpenter
- Len Zawodniak
- Shane Beake
- Andrew Mead
- Ivan Umble
- Jerry Umble
- Joe Brown
- Guy Harris
- Barbara Harris
- Chris Nadovich
- Don Jagel
- Jon Clamp
- Ed Dodd
- And your's truly (RBA)

... if you're planning to join us also, please drop me a note.

*** Upcoming Events ***
Also in August, the 4th edition of the Endless Mountains 1000k starts on the 26th, with nearly 30 riders on the roster (an all-time high). And for the September R-12, organizer Andrew Mead has put together a brand new course: the Hawk Mountain 200k out of Ephrata. Details have been posted on the website. Also in September, the Endless Mountains Brevet Week starts on the 26th -- I'd still like to fill a few more spots on the roster. Drop me a note if you're at all interested in joining the tour, perhaps even for just a partial tour or a couple of days.

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA