--------------- Update #1 ----------------
The list of registered riders for the April 17 PA300/200k has been updated on the website:http://users.rcn.com/trosenbauer/PA300K_B.html
... there's still time to register, if you'd like to join us. The list includes the course option I have you down for -- but you can make your final decision on which course you want to ride when you sign in -- at that point, you are committed. The 2 courses follow the same route for the first 100k, and then diverge at Water Gap -- the 300k riders will head north into the Delaware Water Gap National Park for a 100k loop before returning back to Water Gap (joining the 200k route back to Quakertown). Please note that if you change your course option at Water Gap, you will not be recognized as an official finisher.
I'm hoping that the weather will be more "dry" than "wet", but it looks like temperatures will be dropping and there is the prospect of some showers -- so be prepared for this.
There will be the typical hotel breakfast items available at the Quakertown Hampton Inn start/finish. If you want a more substantial breakfast, there are 24-hr diners down the road in Quakertown at the junction of Rt 663 and 309.
Eastern PA RBA
--------------- Originial Post -------------
Juan Salazar (left) manning the secrete controle on the 2009 edition of the PA300/200k.
"...I liked this ride as the complete package - long straight runs that generally escaped traffic in time, quiet sections through the Water Gap recreation area, the nice view on the climbs up Mount Bethel and Blue Mountain, and the straight shot back up 611, 412, and 563 from the river. And generally fixed friendly, except that climb up and over to Millbrook Village!..." - Guy Harris, commenting on the 2009 edition.
For the 2010 edition, the PA300/200k start/finish will be the Hampton Inn at Quakertown (since the hostel was already booked by another group). A special group rate of $105/night has been arranged with the hotel -- mention group code PA3, when making your reservation. Use this message board to find somebody to share a room with. The hotel will offer a buffet breakfast, starting 1 hour before the start. Alternatively, there are 24-hr diners in Quakertown, at the junction of Rt 309 and 663.
Although the route is mostly the same as the 2009 edition, there are several route tweaks -- most significantly, there's no longer a climb up Mount Bethel. Instead of heading over to Great Meadows at Portland, we'll continue down along the Delaware River through Belvidere and Stewartsville along one of the many "River Roads" on course. You might think that anything called "River Road" would be something relatively level as it meanders along -- as opposed to something called "Mountain View" or "Skyline Drive." But for some reason, it seems that the River Roads on course offer some of the steepest pitches you'll see in the area!
I completed a volunteer checkout ride, this past Saturday. The roads were mostly in good to fair shape, with the following exceptions:
- There is a 3.5 mile stretch on Weaversville Rd that has been grinded down (probably for resurfacing), starting around mile 21. There is a ridable shoulder for most of this section, if you can hold a narrow line. But if you are lucky, there might just be a fresh ribbon of asphalt instead.
-As you return to Water Gap through Worthington State Park starting around mile 115, there are many large potholes and some rough chip seal.
- Rt 611 south near Water Gap and Riegelsville is rutted with many potholes.
The controle stop in Water Gap is at the bakery there. Right next door is the Water Gap diner that many veteran PA riders know as a controle on other events. Tragically, the owner was killed in a recent fire at the diner. A news report is posted here.... a very sad situation and big loss for the Water Gap community.
After the controle in Water Gap, there is a 5-mile stretch that has a fair amount of traffic. But it will eventually quiet down once you get near the Delaware Water Gap Recreation Area. The PA side is relatively flat, and you should be able to bank some time here. The controle stop at Flats Deli in Hainesville makes some of the best tuna subs around, as Bill Olsen will attest to.
The segment from Hainesville to Water Gap through the park, is definitely in my top-10 favorite areas for riding -- the scenary is fantastic. I've seen many bears on my trips through there (including last Saturday).
If you've never been across the Rt 80 bridge near Water Gap, it's a little bit tricky. You need to look for a sidewalk/ramp about 50 yards past the Rt 80 underpass which you will cross under. The picture below shows the ramp on the left, which is in between the road you will be traveling (on the right) and Rt 80 (far left):
You will be facing on-coming traffic as you go across the bridge.
Have a safe ride!
Eastern PA RBA