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

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