Tuesday, November 22, 2011

December R-12: Le Retour du Stillwater 200k

*** Update #1 (11/28)
The cuesheet has been updated to draft 4, dated 11/28/11, after a scouting ride  completed this past weekend.  Controle #3 in Lafayette was changed from the Millside Cafe to the QuickChek a bit further down the road.  While the Millside Cafe offers some good food and ambiance, it is very busy and slow around noon time when we'll be passing through.  So the QuickChek will be a better option for us.  There are a couple of other items listed below that you should take note of:

-Mile 70.9: as noted on the cuesheet, there is a very large gap between the road and the shoulder, as you descend down to a small bridge over a creek.  This crack is wide enough to swallow your wheel and ruin your day.

-Mile 71.5: as noted on the cuesheet, the driveway entrance to the QuickChek controle is raised above the roadway.  You'll be riding along Rt 15 as you turn into the controle -- since this is a busy highway, you'll be riding close to the shoulder, so you'll have a bad angle over the bump as you turn into the driveway.  Please take extra caution here or better yet, dismount before the driveway.  When you are ready to leave the controle, use the exit in the rear, which will avoid the busy intersection at the traffic light.

-With some chilly weather in the forecast, you might want to stop and get warmed up between the controles.  There are options at:
~Mile 15: Stewartsville (deli on left just past TFL)
~Mile 30: Belvidere (Skoogies deli on left)
~Mile 51: Off-course in Blairstown on Rt 94 and in town
~Mile 85.3: Deli in Tranquility at turn
~Mile 110.0: Minimart off-course to the right on Rt 31

*** Rider List (as of 12/1) ***

Barbara Anderson
Ronald Anderson
Geoff Brunner
John Capriotti
Richard G Carpenter
Jonathan Clamp
Ed Dodd
Matthew Farrell
Joe Fillip
William Fischer
Nigel Greene
Doug Haluza
Guy Harris
Cynthia Hearing
Donald Jagel
Christine Newman
William M. Olsen
Peter C Phillips
Tom Rosenbauer
Norman Smeal
Bob Torres
Roy Yates
Leonard Zawodniak

*** Original Post ***
The December R-12 is on Saturday, December 3rd. We'll be running the same course as the November R-12 in the reverse direction: Le Retour du Stillwater 200k. 

The start/finish has been moved to Milford, NJ -- the southern most extent of the course.  There is plenty of parking in the large parking lot on Church St in Milford.  The start controle will be at the Milford Station Bakery, which opens at 6AM and has breakfast sandwichs along with an assortment of baked goods.  The finish controle  and post ride gathering will be at Pipolo's Pizzera, a couple of stores down the street from the Bakery. 

Lights and reflective gear will be checked. Be sure to check back on the PA message board for any updates ... the cuesheet will likely be updated after an upcoming course checkout.

I've already heard from a couple of riders planning to clip-in. If you're planning to join us too, please send me a note.

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

Friday, November 11, 2011

Membership Renewals

As we approach the end of another rando-year, please remember to check the status of your RUSA and PA Randonneurs memberships and renew, if necessary.   
The RUSA Membership Office has announced the availability of the new RUSA Online Membership Services page on the website. RUSA is now able to accept membership renewals online with payment by PayPal or by check.  New memberships and change-of-address requests can also be accepted with the interface.  You can reach the RUSA Online Membership services page at
Please direct any comments on the experience to membership@rusa.org.
Renewing your PA Randonneurs membership is still best accomplished by mailing a check to Tom.  You can save a stamp by hand-delivering your renewal at the next R12 brevet on December 3. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Stillwater 200k Preliminary Results and Report

Preliminary results for the November 5th Stillwater 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.

It was a crystal clear day, with temperatures starting out around 29F in the morning, and warming up to the low 50F's by the afternoon.  Despite the recent storms, some fall foliage was still intact along parts of the course.  And speaking of storms, there was still a number of areas without power, as evidenced by the  drone of the portable power generators.

All 16 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 an excellent result.  Special thanks to volunteer Bill Olsen for manning the finish controle and making sure everybody got in safely.

Of note, first-time Eastern PA participant Ted Smith came all the way from New Haven, Connecticut to join us. Ted writes: "... I thoroughly enjoyed the route.  There were lots of hills but that goes with the territory... Kudos on the cue sheet as well.  The accuracy was perfect.  I especially found that the notes/descriptors of turns were very helpful...I enjoyed riding with the Andersons and everyone else in the back group.  I will definitely keep an eye on your upcoming rides..."

Also of note, Mark Kaufman completed another R-12 series. Remarkably, Mark has a streak of 24 consecutive months, going all the way back to his very first brevet (which happened to be one of our "epic" December events with an unexpected snowfall).

First finishers, Norman Smeal, Don Jagel, and Andrew Mead made it around the course in 9:40. Norman writes: "...Another perfect day for a great ride.  Andrew and Don, thank you for letting me tag along.  See you in December, hope everyone does the nice weather dance, again..."  Don Jagel writes: "...Thanks for putting together the Stillwater 200K yesterday.  The weather was perfect for an early November ride.  I really enjoy this route, with a good combination of cruising and views, particularly the view of the Water Gap near the finish of the ride.  You just can't get that view with the leaves on the trees. Norm, Andrew, and myself rode together for the entire ride, with Norm being the strong man of the day.  He would pull us along on the flats, gap us on the up grades, and drop us on the climbs.  Aside from the beautiful scenery, we did see a few surprises, including active construction (on a Saturday!) at the bridge along Cemetery Road, a tractor trailer accident in the process of cleaned up along Route 80, and several areas that were still without power one week after the October snow storm.  With regards to the pothole close to the truck stop near the end of the ride; it was everything you had described, and we all gave it a wide berth. I am definitely looking forward to doing this route in reverse in December, and hope we have similar weather. The amount of time and care you put into developing and executing the monthly brevets is very much appreciated.  ...Thanks again for a great day..."  Andrew Mead writes: "....Yesterday's brevet ranks near the top of my memorable rides.  Couldn't have asked for much better weather.  It has been a while since I spent most of a brevet with company.  Don & Norm were excellent companions and kept me motivated all day.   We had a great time.  The route was in good shape given the weather of the past month; the cue, as usual, was even better.  "Cyclocross" came to mind as I picked my way through the bridge construction coming into Great Meadows.  Add in the personal controle service in Milford and the finish and you have one wonderful ride.  Thanks!..."

George Swain completed his first Eastern PA brevet, and thankfully, had an "uneventful" ride this time.  It was fantastic seeing George clipping-in and meeting him at the finish this time, instead of a hospital room.   George has posted a ride report with pictures at his excellent blog:
Older entries in his blog describe his long road to recovery from his accident last year.

Joe Fillip writes: "... Thanks for organizing yesterday's wonderful brevet. The weather was spectacular (if a bit bone chilling at the start), and the route was pleasantly challenging. I felt very pleased to make it back before darkness truly fell. It was also great to see a number of familiar faces, and to be introduced to some randonneurs whose names I've heard mentioned over the years but had never met before...I neglected to tell you about yesterday's "sight of the day": Just after passing under the I-80 underpass at about mile 77 on the cue sheet, Bill Olson and I discovered that the road was closed. No, it wasn't snow storm damage: Rather, an 18-wheeler had either driven down the road embankment off I-80 on to Alphano Road, or had driven up the embankment on the right side of Alphano Road. The mud covered tractor trailer was stationary on Alphano Road itself, but road crews were busy repairing 
the embankment. There were also a number of oil clean up trucks on the scene, suggesting that the big rig had spilled some fuel. It was quite a scene. We were able to walk through after waiting a bit for the back hoes to take a pause in their clean up work....Thanks again, Tom. Really great job ..."
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 final event for the 2011: the December R-12 in four weeks.  We'll be running the Stillwater 200k again, but this time in the reverse direction. In addition to a few route tweaks, the start/finish controle will be moved to either Milford or Belvidere -- this will avoid having to ride the River Road stretch in the dark.  Hopefully, our streak of good weather will continue.

Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA