Sunday, October 23, 2011

PA150/200k Ride Report

Preliminary results for the October 22nd PA150/200k 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 RUSA approval.

The day started out clear and crisp, with fall foilage nearly in peak color.  Some low clouds materialized later in the morning; but given the recent stretch of rainy days, there certainly can't be too many complaints with the weather.  It was ideal temperature for the new PA wool jerseys, which were being sported by many of the riders.  There were 30 registered riders, with 5 riders opting for the 150k course and the others in for the 200k course and the challenging climb up Fox Gap. All 29 riders who clipped in at the start made it to the finish well before the cut-off, for another 100% finish rate -- congratulations to everyone for another excellent result. .

The field of riders was composed of a good mix of first-time riders and regular riders, as well as a handful of randonneurs who traveled from neighboring regions to ride with us again.  Of note, Jim Bondra, one of the riders from the NY Southern Tier contingent brought along Ernie Bayles for his first brevet.  Ernie writes: "...Just wanted to thank you again for a thoroughly enjoyable outing. Lucky for me I was able to hook onto Jan and Norman or else I would have had to navigate on my own for which I was poorly prepared (no cyclometer, and a cue sheet that's just a bit too small for my aging eyes) ...I don't know that I have what it takes mentally or physically to ride those really long rides, but this was encouraging. I'm sure this is the longest ride I've probably done in 30 years ...So I'll hope to continue with a 300 some time in the not too distant future...Please extend my thanks to your crew as well, what you all do is clearly a labor of love...."

Frederick Collins, Tim Carry, and Chris Roth were also first time riders, and are now freshly minted randonneurs.  Chris, however, is no stranger to  randonneuring: he was one of my key volunteers on the Endless Mountains 1240km, driving the SAG van and helping the over night crews at each of the three sleep stops.  Jan Dembinski from VT and Michael Anderson from MA, made the long trip down from New England to ride with us again.

Lew Meyer, a 3-time PBP ancien, completed his first Eastern PA brevet. Lew writes: "...Thank you Tom! Such work certainly must take a lot of your time...The most scenic 200k I've been on...You do great work!..."  I first met up with Lew near the finish of my very first 300k back in 2003; it was truly a pleasure to catch up with him again, after all these years.  

And speaking of PBP, there were a number of freshly minted PBP anciens on the roster, including Jan Dembinski, Chris Nadovich, Roy Yates, and  Ron and Barb Anderson.  First time riders take note: you have nearly 4 years to get ready for the next PBP in 2015!  Also, the first time 200k riders have one month completed, and just 11 more to string together for their R-12 challenge.

2011 Solo RAAM finisher Geoff Brunner made it around the 200k course in 8:25 as first finisher (and nearly beat the 150k first finishers to the hostel!!).  Geoff plans to ride RAAM again, in 2012.  Also of note, Jon Clamp made it around on his fixed-gear bike, making it up all the big climbs, including the very steep pitch at the end of Red Cliff Rd.

Special thanks to volunteers Doug Haluza (volunteer preride), Len Zawodniak (volunteer preride, course sweep), Shane Beake (also a freshly minted PBP ancien) and his daugther, Victoria (Fox Gap controle, BBQ at the finish).  I don't know how I ran this October event in previous years without all this help.  But you set the bar very high for excellent support, and made it very easy for the RBA this time around!  As usual, Shane has documented the event with many great photos, posted here:

Bob Dye writes: "...Thanks again for another great day of bike riding and bridge walking! You possess a unique ability to combine these two wonderful activities into one stellar event. I now consider myself an authority on Delaware River bridge walkways. I enjoyed it all immensely..."

Norman Smeal writes: "...Great ride Saturday...  Loved the snacks at the top of Fox Gap..."

Rick Carpenter write: "..Thanks again for another enjoyable season, and for my special PAR SR “DIY Award Kit” (some assembly required).  Thanks to Len, Shane, Victoria, and Doug for their efforts as well, and to the caretakers at Weisel who have been so good to us over the years..."
As many of you know, Rick is in the process of moving south of the Mason Dixon line, and will most definitely be missed as one of the regular riders on the Eastern PA series.  But hopefully, Rick will be able to find his way back to the Eastern PA region and join us for some rides when he can.  Rick's photos are posted 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 the November R-12 in two weeks.  We'll be running the Stillwater 200k, and hopefully, some fall foilage will still be around.  With the closing of the Portland Diner, the start location will be the Portland Park and Ride.  There is another diner about a half mile away in Mount Bethel, where we can top off for breakfast before the ride.  The Mount Bethel Diner will also be the finish controle: after signing-in at the finish there, you can coast all the way downhill from there to the Park and Ride and your car.  PA members can join the roster by sending me an e-mail by the Thursday before the event.

Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA


  1. Thanks again for another great ride, is a link to some photos from the event.

    Bill Slabonik

  2. I was impressed with the quality of the route and the accuracy of the cues. A wonderful way to spend an October Saturday. Although the scenery was gorgeous, being a rookie made me a little to obsessed with my body and bike to enjoy it fully. I'll see you again in the Spring for a 200. Thanks to all who put in the outstanding effort to make this a day to remember.

  3. Really scenic, very challenging course and a smoothly run ride. The pre/post ride food and drinks are a nice touch. Having the volunteers at the controles helped speed up the ride.

    Thanks again to Shane, Victoria, Len and all the others who helped out. Not having 20-50 mph winds like we had the last time I did this course in Spring 2009 allowed me to appreciate it quite a bit more.

    The rides that Tom puts on are the best organized that I have ridden among 3 different regions.