Sunday, August 14, 2011

August R-12 Hawk's Nest 200k Ride Report

Preliminary results for the August 13th Hawk's Nest 200k have been posted at:
... please let me know of any corrections or other issues. Results will be sent to RUSA shortly, and then become final, pending ACP approval.

Once again, there couldn't be too many complaints about the weather -- while it's been a very "Hazy, Hot, and Humid" all summer, we just got the "Humid" for Saturday's ride.  Overcast skies kept the Hazy and Hot at bay, although the sun did poke through the clouds a couple of times.   Some riders saw a couple of little rain spritz's at the end, but everybody made it in to the finish before the heavy rain moved in. 

All of the 16riders who clipped in for this event, including three riders who did a pre-ride last weekend, made it around the course in good time for another 100% finish rate.  Congratulations to everyone for an excellent result.  Of note, Geoff Brunner and Evan Crovo finished their very first brevets.  Geoff also arrived with fellow first finishers, Jonathan Clamp and Don Jagel.  But this was little surprise to me, since Geoff just happens to have completed RAAM this year as an official finisher.  You can read more about Geoff's remarkable accomplishment at: 

With their first R-12 event completed, Geoff and Evan only have 11 more to go!  And speaking of R-12's, volunteer prerider George Metzler has a streak of 11 going, and is looking to complete his series next month.  Also of note, Don Jagel, decided that 200k wasn't quite enough of a workout, so he rode the 50 or so miles from his home in Germantown to the start.  Of course, that meant another 50 miles to get back home after the finish.  And although we all know Don is a very fast rider, he wasn't quite fast enough to make it back home before the drenching rains started.  Don writes: "...Thank you for putting together The Revised Hawks Nest Brevet yesterday. The weather, route and good company made for a great day on the bike.  The route revisions definitely get two thumbs up!  It was nice to get the views of Lake Wallenpaupack.  The Eldred control (The Corner) seemed to be a good choice.  The girls working were quite pleasant and efficient.  They quickly made burgers for Geoff, Norman and Jon,and even delivered them outside.   It took afew minutes to get the pedaling rhythm back for the climb out of
Eldred after relaxing for awhile at the control.  However, the descent that followed certainly made it worthwhile.  I hope everyone made it back before the rain started.  I got a good soaking while riding home..."

Roy Yates writes "...yesterday was a perfect day for a perfect ride. Also, the modified route through Eldred with smooth roads, not too much traffic and a plethora of truck-on-cheese signs was very agreeable..."

Guy Harris writes: "...Great route change going up to Eldred.  I think it makes the route just  a little tougher but more pleasant and a bit safer to ride.  Barryville to Hawks Nest on 97 was my least favorite part of the old route.  The Eldred controle was friendly and fast as well - hamburgers were 
recommended by the group in just ahead of me and hit the spot.  Thanks to Bill for organizing and pre-riding the new route...."

Norman Smeal writes: "...Great day for a great ride.  Thank you Bill for putting on the show..."

Bob Dye writes: "...A great big thank you to you and Bill for a wonderful day in the saddle! Not only is the course beautiful but you guys did a great job on the weather, too. The cycling gods were smiling on me today and I don't believe I've ever had a more enjoyable ride.  BTW, I'm not so sure I believe Bill regarding the new extension around Eldred being no more difficult than the old route. I did like the change however. Thanks again and I can't wait to do it again..."

Geoff Brunner writes: "....Thanks for a great day!  The route was wonderful.  I would concur with others on the side trip to Eldred as it was an accommodating controle and a nice break from 97 - personally, I'll take hills over traffic any day.  The route was overall very well thought out, and made for an enjoyable time with certainly some significant challenges!  I particularly enjoyed the company of all of the riders in the group with whom I had the pleasure of riding with at various stages....Thanks again to you and Bill and the others who were involved in organizing the event.  I'll look forward to the Hawk Mtn ride next month!...."

Nigel Greene writes: "...Thanks for putting on this ride. It was a fast course and a challenging one, which made and interesting combination. I also enjoyed sharing the road with you (Tom) for a bit. I look forward to the next edition. If you are interested, my ride report is at:

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

Special thanks to Bill Olsen for a superb job of organizing the ride.  In addition to preriding the revised route, he swept the course in his car, making sure everybody was safely accounted for.  Thanks also, to volunteers Bill Blank and George Metzler for joining Bill on the volunteer preride.

After two visits to Hawk's Nest, next up, we'll be headed out to Hawk Mountain for the September R-12 event.  As you can see from last year's ride report:
... this is an absolutely fantastic route that organizer Andrew Mead has put together.

Tom Rosenbauer 
Eastern PA RBA

Monday, August 8, 2011

August R-12: Revised Hawks Nest 200k

We'll be headed back to Hawk's Nest for the  August 13th R-12 event.  But this edition has some extensive route changes to avoid some deteriorating roads and some of the heavy traffic on Rt 97.  Organizer Bill Olsen, along with volunteers George Metzler and Bill Blank, completed a preride of the revised course last weekend, and  Bill's preride report below highlights the changes for you.

For those of you headed to PBP, this will be a good chance to get in a final shake down ride before heading to Paris .  Best of luck to all the PA Randonneurs clipping-in for the Big Ride -- I'm confident that the Eastern PA series has prepared you well.  Unfortunately, one long-time Eastern PA participant, John Fuoco, will not be making it to the starting line this year.  His medical condition that was recently diagnosed, is a sobering reminder of how tenuous life can be.  John is a two-time PBP finisher, and in the true Ancien spirit of leading the way for those to follow, has offered his insights posted at this link:
... Thanks John for your good insights, and on behalf of all the PA Randonneurs, we'll be pulling for you to have a complete recovery. 

So far, I've heard from the following riders who plan to clip-in:
- Bill Blank (volunteer preride)
- George Metzler (volunteer preride)
- Chris Nadovich
- Patrick O'Donnell
- Bill Olsen (organizer)
- Tom Rosenbauer (RBA)
- Lisa Sracatino

... if you'd like to join the roster, please drop me a note.

-Tom Rosenbauer, RBA

*** Volunteer Preride Report ***
George Metzler, Bill Blank and I completed a pre-ride of the revised Hawks Nest route on Saturday, 8/6. The humidity was near saturation for most of the ride but fortunately the temperatures held off until early afternoon when we were able to reach the shaded sections of Old Mine Road. George and Bill made it in before the rain but I found that the humidity gradually increased until it reached oversaturation and I was rewarded with a cooling drizzle for the last couple of miles into Water Gap.
For the August 13th Hawks Nest 200K those who are familiar with the previous route will be pleased to see the extensive revisions Tom has made to avoid some rough pavement between Promised Land and Hawley and avoid some rough pavement (and traffic) on Rt. 97. An added benefit of these changes is even more shaded roads and the additional climbing as one gets away from the exposed stretch of the Delaware south of Barryville is only 500 feet which really isn't all that bad (coming from someone who you all KNOW does not like climbing). I couldn't believe it but in checking Delorme after the ride I found that although one gains altitude leaving the new Eldred controle, the overall elevation gain is the same as the lumps on 97 that come on the section between Barryville and Pond Eddy. I especially enjoyed the long downhill as Rt. 31 rejoined Rt. 97 just before the Hawks Nest bump - but watch your speed as there is a stop sign at the end of the downhill. :-(
Although you'll still pass the River Market in Barryville, you need not worry about stopping for refreshments as The Corner controle 5 miles up the road in Eldred has a good selection of ice cream and beverages that will get you through to either Muller's Port Jervis Diner or the Layton Country Store. For those of you that didn't ride with us on July 30th, the Layton Country Store is under new management and in addition to having a better hours, a wider selection of items from the grill, the burgers and tuna subs will definitely fill you up!
Things to be aware of for Saturday:
- The 4-mile stretch of fresh chip seal starting at Canedesis that was being laid down when Tom rode the pre-ride on the 27th has been fully cleaned up. They must have used a roller on one of the warm days last week as the exposed stones that we experienced on the 30th have been smoothed into the pavement so that the resulting surface is just a "normal" chip and seal. They've also repainted the lines along the road and demarcated the shoulder for that section.
- The new route on Rt. 507 (Lake Wallenpaupack Road) has a couple of areas where the previous winter frost heaves have not yet been repaired. We're only on this road for a mile an a half and it isn't a problem if traffic is light but if you're riding in a group, you might want to give some additional spacing.
- At Hawk's Nest, road construction continues that has the road closed to a single lane with a temporary traffic light. The single lane is rather long and the light is a bit on the short side. But you'll have a enough time to clear the construction if you wait for the light to turn from red to green. I found that even when I waited to let all of the cars that were line pass me go ahead (so they didn't have to maneuver around me) I had plenty of time to make it though the construction and well out beyond the waiting line of oncoming traffic before the light changed.
- If you've never been across the Rt. 80 bridge near Water Gap, it's a little bit tricky. Please see the note that Tom provided for last month's ride for details on the crossing:

The Water Gap Diner will be opening at 6AM if you'd like to top off with a good breakfast before the start. I've let them know to expect us.
We'll see you Saturday.

Bill Olsen, Organizer