Monday, January 4, 2010

PA Dutch 200k - Ride Report & Results

Preliminary Results for the PA Dutch 200k have been posted at:
... let me know of any corrections or other issues. Results will be submitted to RUSA shortly and then become final, pending RUSA/ACP certification.

Thanks to volunteer Maile Neel, for joining Rick on the preride checkout. And thanks also to volunteer Curtis Palmer, for manning the Cafe Chocolate controle. And special thanks to organizer Rick Carpenter, for an outstanding job with this event. He prerode the course twice within one week: once on Wednesday, to verify the cuesheet. And once again with a 3AM Saturday start, to make sure the road conditions were safe for the rest of us on Sunday. In addition he took what was a very good course, and transformed it into a truly spectacular one that really shows off the best that the region offers -- it truly now is one of the gems of the Eastern PA region and I hope to run it again, soon. But next time, I hope we don't have the extreme weather conditions.

Over the years, we've had "epic" events that had low temperatures when we clipped in. We've also had other epic events with very high winds. For this event, we had BOTH ... temperatures were around 14F at the start, with 20-30 MPH winds that gusted 40-50MPH. The wind chills were around -15F, according to NOAA weather.

22 people had indicated that they were planning to clip-in for this event. A couple of riders could not make it to the new date and a couple of others were recovering from illnesses. Surprisingly, 8 riders had the audacity to face some of the toughest winter conditions imaginable. And 2 of those riders were first time riders: Ixsa Gollihur and Bill Reagan. It truly is amazing that so many riders would venture into such tough conditions. When we clipped in, I wondered if anyone would be able to endure the unprecedented conditions through out the day and into the night, let alone finish within the time limit.

Ultimately, 2 riders returned back to the start, after the first controle - logging nearly 50 miles in doing so. That alone, is quite remarkable. 3 other riders were not able to make the time limit at the Columbia 70 mile mark. That controle was very tough to make, given that it was a 45 mile slog into the winds that were gusting over 40 MPH. When those gusts hit, it took all your effort to keep the bike barely moving forward at 2 MPH. In the exposed stretches of road, 6 MPH was a pretty good pace to keep. The only hope of maintaining the 9.5 MPH average speed needed to make the time limit, was to make up the difference on the few sheltered stretches.

Glen Ammons was one of the riders who missed the time limit at Columbia. But to his credit, he declined an offer of a lift back to the start/finish. Instead, he completed the ride under his own power. In doing so, he endured the wind and cold longer than any us for over 14 1/2 hours -- respect and admiration for finishing the ride!

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

1 comment:

  1. Tis a hale and hearty group Sir Thomas. Tip of my helmet to all the riders who braved the elements showing the true spirit of randonneuring.

    And here I think the 40 to 50 degree weather I'll be facing in Florida may be tough on Jan. 9th. Our route is an out and back along the eastern Florida coast which means that 60 miles will have a headwind and hopefully vice versa. BUT I've done this ride and when a front came through had a headwind BOTH ways.