The weather provided nearly ideal conditions for cycling, though I'm certain a few riders wished it had been a little warmer at the start. Fortunately, early afternoon rains that appeared in the Lancaster area didn't soak the riders. I heard reports of wet roadways, but no rain. After all the rainfall that has innundated the area in the past few weeks, a precipitation reprieve was quite welcome.
Six riders took advantage of conditions and bested the course record by a few minutes. PA Randonneur regulars Bill Fischer
, Matt Farrell
and Gavin Biebuyck
along with rando rookies Geoff Brunner
, Jimmy Aspras
, and Thomas Vendetta
zipped around the course in 8:34 in spite of an extra two miles in course length and a bonus mile early on. Rando rookies they may have been, but they are hardly new to cycling. Geoff
is a 2011 RAAM finisher while Jimmy and Tom are regulars in the NJ racing scene.
The rest of the field completed the course in better than average times. I saw lots of smiles as I checked in riders at the finish, though most were quite glad to be finished. Even well-known controle dining connoisseurs Bill Slabonik and Keith Spangler finished with nearly an hour and a half to spare. (See guys, you really did have time to go to the DQ in Lickdale for a Blizzard!).
|Peter Y & his Brompton|
Rick Carpenter brought his Bianchi fixie to ride, a move which would usually garner a "most interesting equipment" mention on this route, but newcomer Peter Yuskauskas took the honors this year by completing the route on a Brompton folding bicycle. Perhaps more impressive is that Peter took the train from his home in NYC to Lancaster Friday evening, rode to the start and camped out under the stars in the truest randonneuring spirit.
Houston Joost took a spill in the first leg and eventually decided to withdraw. He reports being fine with just some road rash to show. Reports from the road indicate that Houston may have gone down in the same turn that claimed Len Z. last year. I think a pre-cautionary note will be added when I get in to remove the stray TFL cue that frustrated so many. [RBA Follow-up: I spoke to Houston on Sunday, and he assured me that he is OK, thankfully. While he was able to keep riding after his spill, he prudently decided that it was better to call it day. He also mentioned that contributing factors were 1) Not having his glasses, and hence, not seeing the gravel until he was right upon it and 2) A recent change of tires. - Tom Rosenbauer, RBA]
In what has become an informal "pictures per mile" competition, Nigel Greene
shows that he's taking no back seat to Shane. You can find Nigel's pictures on his Flickr site
and read his excellent report on his Iron Rider
blog. Rick Carpenter took a few pictures as well. You can find them here
Next up is the fall classic populaire and brevet on October 22 at Quakertown. Hope to see you then.