Wednesday, October 27, 2010

November R-12: Stillwater 200k

*** Update #3 (11/2) ***
A GPS file is available from Ed Felker (Thanks Ed!) ... if you would like a copy, send me a note, and I'll put you in touch with him.  Of course, the usual disclaimer applies, that the GPS route is a supplemental aid to navigation, and that the posted cuesheet is the official route.

*** Update #2 (10/31) ***
The Crista Format of the cuesheet was revised on 10/31 to correct for a formatting error (the right hand column on page 2 did not print correctly).

*** Update #1 (10/30) ***
The cuesheet and map/profile have been updated on 10/30 (draft 5) with several route tweaks for quieter side roads, and controle changes in Milford and Lafayette -- both of which are worthy of "Crista Approval".  The Millside Cafe in Lafayette has plenty of seating inside and some tables outside as well.  But if get your meal "to go", there is a very nice park right behind the cafe.  If you follow the stream about 50 yards, there's a gazebo with tables which would also be a really nice area to dine.

In consideration of the DC-area folks clipping in with us, an alternate "Crista Format" cuesheet has been posted, along with the original "PA Format" cuesheet.  The Crista format has the advantage of being more compact and easier to fold.

Some course notes:
- As noted on the cuesheet, bikes must be walked across the Delaware River bridge into Belvidere.
- If you need to replenish your supplies before controle #2 (40 mile segment), there are good options in Belvidere and Stewartsville.
- The entrance to the Milford Bakery is on the right, around back.
- There are convenience stores in Milford, if you don't find what you need at the bakery.
- Mile 119.8: Last time, several riders missed this turn and logged some bonus miles. A different "spotting cue" is in the current cuesheet -- we'll see if this one helps or not. Note that the new cue has the abbreviation "LMR" which stands for "Leaving Main Road".  In this particular case, the main road (with double yellow lines) will bend left up a hill.  You need to take slight bear right (almost straight) which takes you off the main road down a smaller side road with no lines (and no hill!).  There is also a hard right here, but currently, there is some road construction and that road is closed.  So another thing to look for is the road construction.  The cuesheet has another spotting cue: "Low Culvert" which is a sign posted at the turn in question.
- There are couple of left turns on roads with fast traffic at miles: 87.1 (Rt 206), 94.4 (Rt 94), 97.4 (Rt 206).  In general, the course has very quiet roads, but please take extra caution on these few, short busy stretches.

The list of riders has been updated -- if you're planning to join in, just drop me a note. Be sure to monitor the message board for any other updates.  And most importantly, be sure to have a Safe Ride!

*** Original Post ***
The November R-12 is next week on Saturday, the 6th.  The website has been recently updated to reflect the route change: we'll be running the Stillwater 200k (instead of the previously announced PA 204k).  We ran the inaugural edition this past February.  I'll be posting an updated cuesheet with some route tweaks -- mainly to use some quieter side roads instead of the main roads we used for the winter conditions we had last February.  And with the reopening of the Milford Bakery, we'll be making a controle stop there.  The Milford Bakery has relocated down the street at the old RR station, right next to the Delaware River bridge.  The baked goods and coffee are still great and the facilities have been greatly improved -- definitely worthy of 'Crista Approval'!

The start/finish is at the Portland diner, where you can top-off with a good breakfast and finish with a post-ride gathering.  Please note that the parking is at the Park N' Ride lot, 0.3 miles from the start:

Lights and reflective gear will be checked.

I've already heard from a number of riders planning to clip-in, including a good contingent from the DC area.  If you're planning to join us too, drop me a note.

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

*** Rider List (as of 11/5) ***
Barbara Anderson
Ron Anderson
Rick Carpenter
Dawn Engstrom
Ed Felker (DC Randonneurs)
Bill Fischer
Mary Gersema (DC Randonneurs)
Lane Giardina (DC Randonneurs)
Ixsa Gollihur
Guy Harris
Don Jagel
Houston Joost
Mark Kaufman
Eric Keller
Jonathan Levitt
Bill Olsen
Ed Pavelka
Walter Pettigrew
Peter Phillips
Bill Reagan
Tom Rosenbauer (Organizer)
Paul Shapiro
Keith Spangler
Bill Slabonik
Len Zawodniak

Sunday, October 24, 2010

College Hill 150/200k Preliminary Results and Report

Preliminary results for the College Hill 150/200k have been posted at:
Please let me know of any corrections or any other issues.  Results will be submitted to RUSA shortly, and then become final, pending RUSA validation.

A total of 31 riders clipped in, with 4 riders opting for the 150k course and the other 27 riders in for the full 200k.  First time participants, Renee Tapp and Alan Wiig completed their very first randonneuring event on the 150k course.  Your's truly rode with them all the way to the Stockton controle.  I would have to say I had some reservations about their prospects for success as their ride unfolded.  They left the Stockton controle with less than a 30 minute margin on the time limit, and the challenging terrain through Tinicum and Saucon Valley lay ahead of them.  But they made it in just 5 minutes before the buzzer.

As is often the case, the margin between success and coming up just a bit short is very thin.  Unfortunately, Ixsa Gollihur found herself on the wrong side of that razor's edge, finishing 29 minutes past the 150k cut-off.  She did make all the intermediate controles, but unfortunately got a flat tire with just 12 miles to go.

Peter Phillips also came up a bit short on the 200k course.  A mechanical (broken chain) and some navigation errors, had him still within the time limit at Milford, but finishing well after sundown.  In order to make a commitment later that night, Peter decided to cut his ride short, and rode directly to the finish from Milford.

Although it was a chilly start with temperatures around freezing when riders clipped in, it was a spectacular day with mostly sunny skies.  The foliage was at, or perhaps just slightly past peak today.  At any rate, it was a decidedly vast improvement over last year's rainy washout!  But most importantly, everybody made it around the course safely without incident.

The roster of riders was a good mix of veteran and new riders, as well as some riders we've haven't seen for a while.  Of note, there were 2 tandem teams.  And despite the course being tandem unfriendly, I heard word of the tandem team piloted by Ron Anderson and stoked by his wife Barbara, actually passing some singles on the dreaded Buttermilk climb.  Also of note, there was a very large group of first finishers that included Jon Clamp on a single speed.  I heard word that his ascent up Fox Gap was a sight to behold.  Rick Carpenter showed up with fixed gear, and somehow managed to get up **all** the climbs without resorting to the 2-foot gear -- this was certainly a big challenge for even the riders with gears.  Clearly, Rick has maintained his good form from his earlier solo-RAAM campaign, and has a good start for his 4-man team RAAM campaign in 2011.

Also of note, Bill Reagan recorded his first official brevet finish, after 2 earlier attempts came up short.  But one of those earlier attemps was the January 200k which had the epic cold and wind conditions.  Adding to the difficulty factor, Bill worked until 2AM the night before -- well rested at the start, Bill was not!

Don Jagel has the most Eastern PA mileage year-to-date, at 4100k, followed by Bill Olsen (3860Km) and Jon Clamp (3500km).  That mileage counts toward the our region's standing with RUSA, and collectively, the Eastern PA region is ranked 10th out of 49 regions in ACP points, and 8th in overall in RUSA points -- Thanks to all the riders who contributed to that excellent result -- well done!

Special thanks to Rick Carpenter and Jud Hand, for helping out at the finish with the rider sign-in and BBQ.  And thanks also, to my wife Becky, for letting me take over the house for this event!

First-time participant, Gary Mass writes: "...thanks very much for the wonderful event. Definitely one to remember and your hospitality is very much appreciated...".  I also got many kind remarks on the course and organization at the finish .  If you have any other comments or pictures to contribute, you can post them on the message board or forward them to me.

Next up in 2 weeks, is the November 6th R-12 event ... a version of the February Stillwater 200k will probably be run.  Details will be updated shortly.

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

*** Update 10/24 ***
Christine Newman write: "...Thanks for a great season and for all your hard work. I really enjoyed the ride yeasterday and the post-ride feast. Here is a link to photos I took yesterday:

*** Update 10/25 ***
Jud Hand writes: "...Thanks for another great season of brevets.  If I'm not mistaken, this makes your eighth season designing routes, seventh season organizing  PA rides and fourth season offering a full brevet series.  There is no  better way to test your fitness than with hills as challenging as Fox  Gap and Lomasson's Glen.  Fox Gap also served as a warmup, after the  starting temperatures in the low 30s.  The scenery as always was great  and the weather after the cold burned off cooperated, too.  My old  friend Buttermilk Road was back, too, due to a bridge closure.  It's  not nearly as long as the other two climbs, but the sight of that
steep grade going up in the distance so late in the ride is painful..... I look forward to riding with you again in 2011..."
You can read Jud's complete ride report on his excellent training blog:

Renee Tapp writes: "...Thanks again for hosting a great event.  Alan and I both had a really great time and feel quite accomplished by finishing under 10 hours.  We are already talking about doing the 200k in early April, so hopefully you will see us again.  ... Also, every year in December I host a "South Philly Christmas Lights Bike Ride" which is about a 1 hour long tour through South Philadelphia to look at crazy, intense Christmas lights and decorations.  Usually lots of Christmas cookies and warm drinks involved.  Granted, it isn't a very long ride, but we normally get 20-30 people out on the streets.  Please consider yourself and the rest of PA randonneurs welcome to join!

*** Update 10/26 ***
Don Jagel writes: "...What a great ride! It was good to see Len back on a "normal" bike to test his rib repairs, and to see Mr. Bianchi (aka: Rick Carpenter) on a fixed gear Bianchi (of course). It was a cool/cold start, but at least the 07:30 start was late enough to let me wake up most of the way.  Bill Olsen very graciously led everybody up Rt. 611 (River Rd.) at the start, thereby blocking out that cold air. Jud was also kind enough to drag me up over Fox Gap.  I actually like that climb with the abandoned foundation and chimney about 1/3 of the way up.  Jud and I then rolled down to Portland, where he stopped to hook up with the other folks from the lead group.  I kept on going knowing that my lack of recent saddle time and gradual decrease in fitness level would catch up with me later in the ride. Keeping a moderate, but steady, pace I continued to Belvidere where I stopped at the deli to supply myself for the remainder of the ride (yes, I was not able to get myself together before 11:30 PM the night before.  Ya, know, too much work stuff!)  Anyway, Jud, et.el. blew on by me while I chugged down my chocolate milk and buttered roll in Belvidere. Continuing on to Lommason Glenn Rd. (not coasting up this time (take note Shane if you see this)), Walt Pettigrew kept me on course with the bear right onto Castners Road, as my bike wanted to bear left (saved me some climbing and  backtracking). Walt and I caught up to lead group along Montana Road, and enjoyed the descent towards Rt 57 and Stewartsville.  About six of us pedaled into Bloomsbury where several stopped to resupply on liquids.
Walt and I kept going to get through the next climb.  Walt was ahead of me and out of sight by the time we past the short, but steep climb over the railroad.  I thought he was long...gone, but as I was rolling (slowly)
down Route 29 towards Stockton, he quickly caught up to me, and just as quickly dropped me.  About 8 minutes later I ran into him along the railroad grade, next to the Devil's Tea Table, fixing a flat.  I continued
to Stockton where I got a chance to get some lunch and re-stock supplies.  While I was there, the Stockton Food Market (Control 4) filled up with riders.  I left knowing that everyone would soon be catching up and
passing me. Sure enough, at the turn into Bull's Island Park, off of Route 29, the whole lead group caught me.  We had a group of at least nine (maybe more) riders together in the "lead" group at Bull's Island (Mile 90.1), which is pretty cool.  Of course everyone cruised on up Fleecydale Road and left me off the back to myself.
I ran into the leaders again in Ottsville (Control 5), and then that was the last I saw of them.  On the short, but semi-brutal Clay Ridge Road climb (which precedes the very short, but very brutal Beaver Run Road climb) I ran into Ixsa who was in great spirits and getting the job done on the 150 km course. Finally, closing in on the final control, I ssslowllly passed Houston just before the climb up Buttermilk Road.  Houston caught back up to me along Lehigh Drive and we rode together for the last several miles into the final control.  Houston was following me, making the poor assumption that I knew where I was going.  We ended up passing Clinton Terrace, and arrived at the final control via the incorrect route.  We quickly (well, maybe not so quickly) backtracked and rode the correct route route to finish properly at the final control (Tom's house). Another wonderful eastern PA brevet!  The food and conversation at the end was the final bonus.  I ended up making my goal of finishing in less than 10 hours, and it didn't rain.  What more could one ask for. Len congrats for finishing on a non-recumbant, and Rick C. how are those knees? Hopefully Shane will be back in the mix in November.  It just does not seem right without him around, as he has gotten to be the "official" photographer over the past year.  (It is not just the photos;  we miss the presence also). Tom, once again thanks for the ride, the BBQ, and for requesting the wonderful weather.
Don J.

P.S.  It was actually good to put the Buttermilk Road section in. The ride
into Easton via Rieglesville and Philipsburg is a nice finish, but it is
good to see the different scenery.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

College Hill 150/200k

*** Update #2 10/21/10 ***
Due to the scheduled closure of the Riegelsville Bridge during the weekend, the cuesheets have been updated (Draft 6 for the 200k and  Draft 5 for the 150k, both are dated 10/21/10 in the revision block at the top of the 1st page).  Instead of crossing the Delaware River at Riegelsville, you'll follow the old route through Saucon Valley -- veteran riders of past editions will recall the very stiff climb up Buttermilk Road near the end.

While a mostly sunny day is in the forecast, the early morning temperatures will be in the low to mid 30's F.  With the chilly start, the registration sign-in will be moving from my front porch to inside my house (the front door will be open, so just walk in).  Also, breakfast items will be in my kitchen, and you can eat in my dining room area.  Please remember to to remove your cleats before you go inside -- thanks.

*** Update #1 10/17/10 ***
The list of registered riders has been updated on the website.  There are many first-time participants, and I'll be counting on the regular Eastern PA riders to extend a warm welcome to the newcomers and perhaps share a few miles with them at the start.  The cuesheets have also been updated, mainly just to update the date and closing times: the 200k will be the same route as we ran last June, and the 150k is the same as last year's route.  The routes diverge after the first couple of miles and then rejoin in Belvidere.

Sundown is just after 6PM, which gives you about 10.5 hours of sunlight.  Lights and reflective gear will be required and will be checked at the bike inspection.

Parking is available on the street, near my house. Hot oatmeal and other breakfast items will be available on my front porch, around 6:30 AM.  The sign-in and bike inspection will be on my front porch as well.  At 7:25 AM, there will be a brief rider meeting.  There is a bathroom inside off the hallway to the right, near the stairs -- please remove your cleats before going inside (you'll probably slip on my hardwood floors if you don't).

I scouted the first half of the course this past weekend.  The course is generally in good shape, with some new pavement on River Road between Portland and Belvidere.  The recent storm did leave quite a bit of debris on the road, in the form of branches and some gravel.  In particular, the descent after the Fox Gap climb toward Portland has quite a bit of gravel in one section -- this is a twisty descent, so be especially careful.

There will be a post-ride BBQ, where we can reflect upon the completion of the ACP brevet season, and look forward to the many challenging events in 2011.  I know many riders are looking forward to PBP, and there will be plenty of Eastern PA events offered to get you ready!

*** Original Post ***
The College Hill 200/150K on October 23 starts and finishes from my house on College Hill in Easton.  To mark the end of the official "ACP brevet season", there will be post-ride BBQ, where we can get together to reflect upon the past season of events, and look forward to all the challenges offered in 2011.
Club members may register by e-mail, and pay the discounted rate of $25 when you sign-in.