Monday, May 24, 2010

PA600k Ride Report

Preliminary results for the PA600k have been posted at:
... please let me know of any corrections or other issues.  Results will be submitted to RUSA in a couple of days, and then will become final pending RUSA/ACP validation.

17 of 18 registered riders made it to the start, and all starters made it to the finish within the time limit for a 100% completion rate ... outstanding result!  A 100% finish rate on a 600k is not very common, and it is first for the Eastern PA series, going back to 2007.  Remarkably, 4 riders: Shane Beake, Jonathan Clamp, Chris Nadovich, and Roy Yates all recorded their very first 600k finish.  And furthermore, Chris and Roy managed this feat without a 400k result under their belt.  Adding to the strings of "firsts", Cecilie Adams and Patrick Gaffney are not only the first tandem team to complete the PA600k, but the first tandem team to complete the entire Eastern PA Super Randonneur series.  8 other riders also completed their Eastern PA Super Randonneur series for a total of 10 riders joining the honor roll:
-Daniel Aaron
-Cecilie Adams
-Dan Barbasch
-Jonathan Clamp
-Ed Dodd
-Patrick Gaffney
-Judson Hand
-Don Jagel
-Eric Keller
-Bill Olsen
... and honorable mention to the following riders:
-Shane Beake (200k, 400k, 600k)
-Rick Carpenter (200k, 300k, 600k)
-Guy Harris (200k, 400k, 600k)
-Chris Nadovich (200k, 300k, 600k)

An east wind kept skies mostly overcast for the entire event.  Some hit or miss rain showers rolled through, mainly on Sunday.  Most of the riders stayed dry on Saturday and the faster riders seemed to stay ahead of the rain on Sunday. But some of the later finishers certainly got a pretty good drenching at various points.  But putting aside the rain showers and adverse wind along Rt 97 to Hawks Nest and return leg from Leola, the weather conditions certainly were more favorable than the hot conditions we had for the PA400k.  Don Jagel was the first finisher, coming in at 28:02 and setting a new course record.

Special thanks to volunteer Rick Carpenter for his pre-ride checkout and making changes for the detours and adding several improvements to the cuesheet.  And special thanks to Len Zawodniak who, along with Rick, ran the overnight controle at the hostel -- a top-notch volunteer crew for sure!  And thanks to Jud Hand for leading the way with the sign-in sheets.

Shane Beake has posted some great pictures at:

Bill Olsen writes: "...Thanks again for a GREAT brevet series.  I really enjoyed the return section from New Holland on the 400K and the out and back Sunday on the 600k - even with the extension to avoid 23. :-)...Thanks again, (and again, and again) for expanding the randonneuring opportunities for all of us in PA, NJ, and all of NY, not just the metro-NYC area - and surrounding areas - MA, VA."

Ed Dodd writes: "....Once again, thanks for all of your continued efforts in putting on these Brevets. I find them very challenging and I get to see sights I would otherwise never see..."

Patrick Gaffney and Cecilie Adams write: "...Cecily and I just wanted to say thanks again for putting on a great series.  The rides were indeed challenging, but the payoffs were great; the scenery and the sense of accomplishment when you finish each ride is amazing.  Your efforts cannot go unmentioned either.  Each ride was so well organized and went so smoothly.  Thanks again for everything that you do and have done for the Eastern, PA Brevet Series...."

Jud Hand's ride report is at:

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

Next up is a 200k in two weeks for the June R-12 series, which will start from my house on College Hill. 

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

Monday, May 17, 2010

Elite PAC Tour

Local rider Len Zawodniak is riding the Elite PAC Tour: 19 days 3,075 miles 162 miles per day

You can follow Len's progress on his blog:
... and photos are being posted here:

The event website is at:
... definitely not your typical lemonade and cookie tour!

Len will be riding with Eastern PA veterans:
Rob Welsh and Randy Mouri, who both completed the EM1240 last fall.  Rob's blog is at:

Also riding is Lara Sullivan, who participated in the Eastern PA Fleche in 2008.

Best of luck to all the riders participating in this extremely tough tour.

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hawk's Nest 200k Ride Report

Preliminary results for the Hawk's Nest 200k have been posted at:
... please let me know of any corrections or other issues.  Results will be submitted to RUSA in a couple of days, and then will become final pending RUSA/ACP validation.

With nearly ideal weather conditions, and a course that is perhaps a bit kinder and gentler than many of the other Eastern PA 200k's, all 18 starters made it to the finish well over two and half hours ahead of the time limit.  First finisher Don Jagel just missed the course record of 7:43 (held by Greg Pedano and Len Zawodniak) by 7 minutes.  That record was set on very similar weather conditions: generally cool weather with a strong northwest wind that was a real boost for the run into Port Jervis along Rt 97.

Incidentally, the first couple of brevets back in 2007 were routed along Rt 97 in the other direction, from Port Jervis to Barryville.  As I recall, we'd typcially get to Port Jervis in the early afternoon just in time for the westerly winds to kick up and make that stretch a real upwind slog.  In addition to the favorable winds, the direction to Port Jervis from Barryville generally has a better shoulder, especially in the narrow section near Hawks Nest.

Special thanks to Ed Pavelka, for carrying the sign-in sheets and Andrew Mead, for helping out at the finish.  And thanks for all the contributions for the benefit of the Water Gap Diner ... altogether, $265 was raised.

Larry Brenize gets my vote for the "Iron Stomach" award.  I met up with him at the Port Jervis diner.  As I waited for my black and white milkshake at the counter, Larry was working on a deluxe cheeseburger with all the fixings that looked like it weighed in around 1/2 lb.  By the time I finished my milkshake, the burger was gone, and Larry was then working on a rather substantial chicken sandwich (again with all the fixings).  I'm not sure how he managed to get up the big climb in the DWG park, after all that!

Don Jagel writes: "Boy, what a beautiful ride.   The weather, woods, views, rivers; wow!  ... Route 390 is really great being in the woods with the nice rock outcrops and occasional views, particularly just north of Skytop lodge. ...  Egypt Road and Gumbletown Road, connecting Route 390 to Route 420 were new roads for me.  Nice find. I haven't ridden along the Lackawaxen River from Kimbles to the Delaware River since the late '80s.  I love that stretch of river, and also the northern Delaware River.  ... The views from the overlooks along Hawks Nest are some of the most spectacular in this region and alone make this ride worth doing.  After quick stops in Port Jervis and Layton I got to my "favorite" climb along Mine Road which just reminds you that you still have to work a little to get to the end.  All in all, spectacular!  ..."

Andrew Mead writes: "What a great day for a ride.  Congratulations for holding the nasty weather demon at bay for a day. The route was beautiful and reminded me why I like the towpath along the Lackawaxen River down to the Roebling Aquaduct so well.  It was much more enjoyable in the downhill direction.  Winds didn't seem to be as challenging as predicted.  The boost down Rt 97 was superb.   The Water Gap NRA is always a treat.   Here's a link to the GPS for the ride.

Joe Kratovil writes "... Many thanks for putting on this great ride.  My friend Al and I enjoyed it immensely.  The route has the nicest scenery of any brevet I've been on so far.  We also enjoyed the company of many other riders we met along the way...."
Joe's complete report is posted here:

Christine Oh was among the several first-time riders.  Christine and riding partner Harold Axelrod are both training for the Lake Placid Ironman this summer.  Christine writes: "...Just wanted to say 'Thank you' for a memorable ride on Saturday.  I was telling some of my tri-friends about the sport of Randonneuring and many have not heard of it, as I had not until Harold introduced me to it.  I must say after having spent time with the group, I have a new found respect for the sport of cycling.  To me, the many riders that partook in this event, being pure cyclists, were the most friendly, down-to-earth people I have ever met.  It's hard to believe we climbed 7,000 feet that day, yes, I remember it was hilly, yet the scenery helped me to forget and made it more bearable..."

Christine also forwarded me the following pictures:

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

Next up is the PA600k this coming weekend.  The 400k loop on day 1 covers much of the Hawk's Nest 200k route.  However, at Dingman's Ferry, you will head over to the PA side of the Delaware Water Gap park, for some easier terrain back to Water Gap.  If you are planning to ride and haven't registered yet, let me know via e-mail, and you can still take advantage of the early registration discount (which has now expired on the online registration).


-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

Friday, May 14, 2010


**** Update #2 (5/19) ****

The Water Gap diner may still not be open by this Saturday.  If this is the case, the controle in Water Gap is open to other stores and restaurants in the area.  Some good alternatives are:
- 2 mini marts on Broad St (these close around 10PM)
- Pizzeria on Broad St
- Deli/Bakery next door (open until 8PM)
- Deer Head Inn on Rt 611

The turn-around controle on Day 2 in Leola is a Turkey Hill, which has limited options for food.  You may want to just make that a quick stop, and then go to the Sheetz in New Holland which will have more food choices and is a bit nicer.  The coffee shop that Rick mentioned in his pre-ride will not be open on Sunday.

**** Update #1 (5/17) ****
The cuesheet has been updated to draft 7 (5/17) with several changes from Rick Carpenter's preride checkout.   His comments and changes are as follows:

C1 to C3 (Snydersville PA) No issues to report through this section, except the road surface is still roughed-up on Weaversville Rd from Airport Rd (Rt. 987) to Nor-Bath Blvd (Rt.329).  
C3 to C5 (Port Jervis NY) No issues to report through this section, cues in good order.  
C5 to C6 (Water Gap PA) Bridge out on Rt. 209 at Egypt Mills, aprox. 8 miles south of Dingmans Ferry Bridge.  Bridge surface tore-off exposing concrete superstructure; I recommend using the well-marked short-duration bypass (Toms Creek / Little Egypt Rd), rather than facing the hazard created by crossing traffic twice on this heavily-travelled section of highway.  Also of Note: Please advise participants to be especially aware of traffic on River Rd after leaving DWG NRA and nearing Shawnee-on-Delaware Resort / Buttermilk Falls Rd. to the Del. Water Gap This is a heavily-travelled section - which for some reason - consistently tends to concentrate inattentive drivers travelling at inappropriate speeds.
C6 to C7 (Bloomsbury NJ) Bridge is really, totally out on Rt 173 at Bloomsbury immediately before reaching CITGO Controle.  Detour Recommendation: After passing Rt. 639 / Warren Glen road on right, I recommend turning right onto Rt. 579 Church Rd & crossing metal bridge, then 2nd left onto Brunswick Avenue through Bloomsbury, then TR continuing onto Rt. 173 after bridge construction (C7 located 500 ft straight before intersection with I-78).  Upon leaving C7, backtrack this detour to BL onto Rt. 639 / Warren Glen Rd., resuming route.
C7 to C8 (Weisel YH) After backtracking the Bloomsbury bridge-out detour (described above), no other issues to report for this section.
C8 to C9 (Limerick PA) A few minor clarifications:
·       Mine Run Rd at int. with Limerick Rd.  I would add a cue here; cont. straight onto Limerick Rd to avoid any potential confusion.
·       Mile 266.0 Ridge Pike  This is not a TL (Limerick Rd cont. straight across Ridge); make this an L  (SS) Ridge Pike.  Also, I would show C9 as actually being at mile 266.1 (further down on Ridge than one would think reading current cue).
C9 to C10 (Leola PA) No issues, except that you may want to add a cue in Blue Ball where Rt. 23 crosses Rt. 322; X Rt. 322 (TFL) use caution.  A potentially confusing intersection for those unfamiliar with this locale, with a short, somewhat steep uphill slope.  Coffee Shop located about ¼ mile past the New Holland Sheetz.
C10 to C11 (Limerick PA) A few minor clarifications, with a few optional cues to consider:
·       Mile 335.3 Neiman Rd / Hanover St. Int. Show this as a TL or BL
·       Mile 336.1 Hanover St. / Cedarville Rd Int. Show this as a TFL
·       Cedarville Rd / Keim St. Possibly show as a 4-way stop?
·       Cedarville Rd / Miller Rd Possibly show as a 4-way stop?
·       Mile 337.7 Spiece Rd Possibly label 1st L after Miller Rd?  Note:  If for brevety you dont want to add the cues for Keim or Miller, I would note Spiece as being the 3rd L after turn onto Cedarville Rd
C11 to C12 (Weisel YH) No issues with this section.

**** Original Post ****

Course Notes
The cuesheet has been updated to draft 6 on 5/14.  Overall the course is very similar to the 2009 edition.  However, several controles have changed and route tweaks have been made:

- Instead of going into Hawley (which has a lot of traffic), the controle stop will be just beyond Promised Land.

- In Port Jervis, the controle has moved from the Dunkin Donuts to the diner in town (mainly to avoid the high traffic area around the Dunkin Donuts).

- The first controle stop on day 2 (after the sleep over stop at the hostel) is now just a postcard mailing.  Since postcard controles are not timed, this will allow you to get a later start after sleeping and ~100k to reach the turn around controle in Leola which is the first closing time you will need to meet after your sleep stop.  There will still be an open/close time listed for the postcard controle which you may use to see if you are on pace or not - but the closing time does not need to be met.  The 24-hr Limerick Diner is just after the postcard controle, and would be a good place to have a nice breakfast.

- The outbound leg on day 2 is directly routed on main roads.  Since most riders will be starting the 200k segment after the sleep controle around 2-5AM, there should be very little traffic.  This should make the navigation a bit easier and allow riders to catch-up on the time limit, if they get a late start.

- The inbound leg on day 2 closely follows the recent PA400k finish, and is routed along quiet side roads.

Rick Carpenter will be doing a preride checkout, starting on 5/14.  There will probably be at least one more cuesheet revision with any corrections or clarifications from the preride.  Rick assures me that Ed Pavelka's course record of 29:15 is secure, since he's tapering down now for his upcoming solo RAAM.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Water Gap Diner needs your help and support

*** Update 5/14 ***
The diner is not officially open yet, but owner Jeff Ioannidis says he'll have coffee and water available for us at the start.  There are 2 mini marts near by on Broad St, if you need any last minute supplies or snacks.  If you want to top off with a more substantial breakfast, the Portland Diner (5 miles south on Rt 611) is a very good option -- I'll be there around 5:45AM, if you want to eat and sign-in early. 

For a post-ride gathering, meet at Dough Boy's Pizzeria which is 1 block away from the Water Gap diner at the junction of Broad St and Rt 611.

The Water Gap diner is still the official start/finish location -- we'll have the rider meeting at the front, 10 minutes before the ride start.
Thank you very much for the Water Gap donations you sent in the mail ... I'll be passing these along to Jeff on Saturday.

There currently are 19 riders planning to clip in, with many first time participants -- I know the veteran riders will make them feel welcome and help as needed.

Looks like a great weather day for a change ... those NW winds in the forecast should speed our way on Rt 97 along the Delaware River all the way to Port Jervis.

Have a **Safe Ride**!
*** Update 5/13 ***
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!

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

*** Original Post ***
The Water Gap Diner has been a regular controle over the years on the Eastern PA series.  The friendly staff and owners have supported many a weary rider on their brevet.  And now owner Jeff Ioannidis can certainly use our help and support as he tries to get the diner back into operation after the recent fire:

... if you watch the video in the link above, you'll see that Jeff is wearing an EM1240 polo shirt!

PA Randonneurs LLC has already made a contribution towards the reconstruction expenses.  If you would like to make a contribution as well, send me a check payable to Jeff Ioannidis.  You can mail this to me at:
Water Gap Diner Support
c/o PA Randonneurs
300 Burke St
Easton, PA 18042

I'll deliver any checks I receive to Jeff, on behalf of the Eastern PA participants, on the May 15th 200k which will starting and finishing at the Water Gap Diner.  May 15th happens to be Jeff's birthday as well, so let's make it a great day for him. 

Many thanks, for your help and support!

**** Hawks Nest 200k Update *****
Event details and the cuesheet for the May 15th Hawk's Nest 200k have been recently updated:

Please note that the start/finish location has been changed to the Water Gap Diner.
Please note the new parking location, 2 blocks away from the diner:

So far I've heard from:
- Gary Dean
- Norman Smeal
- Chris Nadovich
- Larry Brenize
- Andrew Cramer
- Bill Blank
- Ivan Umble
- Andrew Mead
- And your's truly

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


-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

Monday, May 3, 2010

Blue Mountain 400k Ride Report

Photo by Shane Beak

Preliminary results for the 2010 edition of the PA400k have been posted at:
... let me know of any corrections or other issues. The results will be submitted to RUSA shortly, and will then become final, pending ACP validation.

34 of the 36 registered riders made it to the start, and 24 riders made it to the finish.  The unusually hot weather certainly had a lot to do with the high DNF rate.  Temperatures started in the high 40F's but quickly jumped into the 80F's by the end of the morning.  The afternoon temperatures topped around 90F, with increasing humidity.  While these conditions are certainly manageable on a typical summer day, getting these conditions in early spring without a chance to aclimate to them was a tough proposition.

With the hot conditions, just finishing was certainly an excellent result.  However, Lane Giardina turned in an amazing result of 17:30, beating the old course record by 5 minutes.  This is Lane's first official Eastern PA event as a rider, and thus follows a tradition of many others coming out for the first time and aceing the course.  Lane has also participated in the Endless Mountains 1240k, and was part of the excellent team of volunteers we had for that event:
... and speaking of volunteers, a volunteer is needed to help staff the overnight controle for the upcoming PA600k on May 22.  Drop me a note if you can step up and help out.

Thanks to Carrie Clamp (Jon Clamp's wife), for helping out at the hostel finish.  And special thanks to Linda McAdams for stopping to help Dan Oldale, who became very ill from the heat.  Linda accompanied Dan to the hospital where he was treated and released.  In speaking with Dan when he got home on Sunday, it appears that he is well on the way to a full recovery.

Shane Beake has posted a number of great photos at:

Len Zawodniak writes: "..I've just about recovered fully at this point. Wow what a ride Saturday!! ... The heat was a game changer and I did resort to the ice sock by late afternoon..."

Doug Haluza, commenting on how his PA400k result compared to a 200 mile ride he recently completed: " took me 22 hrs. That's almost twice as long to go 25% further than the double century! Of course, this one had some serious climbing. Not many big climbs, but endless little ones that wear you down. After a while, you just have to expect to be going up if you're not going down..."

And also as a testament to how hot the sun was, Doug adds: "...At one stop at mile 106, I left my bike in the sun, and the rear tire exploded--it sounded like an M80 going off. The bead came off on the sunny side..."

Jon Clamp writes: "... Once again, thank you for a well organized and prepared event. Mother nature periodically can throw a "googly" (curve ball in baseball terms) and this was no exception. .... I think all the participants would agree that a water truck trailing five yards behind us would have been a God send. I for one could have drowned a hamster by ringing my shirt out on him. ..."

Robin Landis writes: "...The conditions were certainly difficult (I was definitely hurting between New Ringgold and Jonestown), but the ride itself was beautifully designed--great roads, little traffic, great vistas of mountains and farmland, livestock, one-lane bridges, horse-drawn carriages.  As usual, the cue sheets were so thoughtfully drafted even someone as directionally challenged as I am could follow them easily. What particularly stood out for me about this ride was the friendliness and helpfulness of the participants--Linda McAdams being a standout, of course. In my case, Matt Farrell and Bill Fischer graciously led me from Controle 5 to the finish in the dark, and Bill Fischer, even more graciously, loaned me a spare headlight so I could see where I was going! All in all, a challenging but memorable ride..."

Lane Giardina writes: "...Thanks for a terrific event... While we've got some great riding in VA and MD, PA really is becoming my favorite place to pedal.  Having such accommodating, well-planned and -executed events available up there is fantastic ... a luxury for riders thanks to the massive work you take on to make them happen..."

Fixed-gear rider Paul Scearce writes: "...It was definitely challenging terrain, though not as bad as the PA200. ...The heat made it quite tough, especially around the halfway point. I couldn't eat for some time on that leg, and I began to wonder if I was out of my depths. ... the constant rolling made it tough work, especially on a fixed-gear bike. Near the end, I was fighting saddle sores and knee pain. I couldn't really spin or climb. .... It feels pretty good to have made it through the ride. Thank you Tom for the great route, and for hosting the event...."

Jud Hand's write-up is posted here:

If you have any other comments, stories, or pictures to add, drop me a note or post them below.

Next up, is the Hawk's Nest 200k on May 15th ... for those of you planning on the PA600k, this will be a good preview of the first 400k loop on day 1.

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA