Saturday, January 9, 2010

Schuykill to Susquehanna (PA Dutch) - Lantern Rouge Record (Updated 1/11/10)

On Friday, January 08, 2010, Bill Fischer barely, but successfully, completed the Schuykill to Susquehanna (aka "PA Dutch") 200km Permanent in a record-shattering 13 hours, 30 minutes, to officially unseat Maile Neel – our previous "Lantern Rouge" record holder at13 hours 12 minutes.

Bill therefore receives the coveted “Hill Slug” moniker, selectively reserved for those that clearly demonstrate a willingness and desire to go “below and behind” all expectations for a 200k brevet.

In Bill's words, "I really didn't think I could break Maile's reign, but fortunately, three flats facilitated my victory"

Upon reciept of the news, Maile, with observable agitated concern, mused under her breath statements such as "personal affront, I tell you" and "For Bill? well, he's a marked man..." IMO, this competetion is far from over; we'll see what the new year holds in-store for these two savage competetors.

Congratulations to Bill, and our heartfelt condolences to Maile for her short-lived reign. For a somewhat complete photo account, check this link:


Update from Bill Fischer (1/11/10)

All - thanks for your words of encouragement, I think your kind thoughts must have propelled me over that last beast called "Hilltop Road". I will, for some time, revel in the achievement of breaking Maile's long standing record. In all fairness (to me), I believe she did the longer version starting and ending at Rick's house (which is, I believe is at the same elevation as Mount Everest). Her actual time starting and finishing at the restaurant was probably more like 12:30 so I've smashed her record by a more impressive 60 minutes - a record that cannot be beaten....

Ride highlights:
- During a climb somewhere before Strasburg, I shifted to my small chain ring and thought I'd dropped my chain. Upon further investigation, I found that the chain was in fact on my small ring but was skating on a layer of ice that had completely encapsulated my small ring and filled the gap between my small and big ring.

- While descending a small hill on Kramer Mill Road, I caught a glimpse of an animal just at the edge of the illumination provided by my excellent B&M Ixon IQ (highly recommended). Assuming it was a dog, I moved toward the center of the road and, instead of barking, a heard a hissing noise from a very beautiful red fox.

Cruel Facts:
- Strong West winds tend to completely dissipate at sundown particularly when I'm riding East
- Dry, clear roads in the dark only occur while climbing and turn to snow/ice covered treachery on any descent

To Tom, Andrew and Len - You guys finished this ride with 40mph winds and finished with the climb up to Ricks house. I had only 15mph winds, 8 fewer miles, no climb at the end and I was reduced to a limp noodle. Chappeau to you 3!!!!

Thanks again to all, keep the rubber side down.

Bill (in full recovery mode on the couch) Fischer

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