Monday, December 31, 2012

January R12 Brevet

** January 2 Update **
I checked out the route today and an updated cue sheet has been posted (Draft 3) on the website.

The roads were in surprisingly good shape with almost no ice/wet patches and very little runoff.   A couple more sunny, breezy days should eliminate what little moisture remains.  As is to be expected, there is a LOT of salt and gravel around so exercise care when diving into those turns.

There is a bridge closure at Controle #3.  This is an information control at the Cornwall Iron Furnace.  Fortunately, some of the orange barricade netting has been removed since my last visit and it is now possible to get across the bridge (all 10 feet of it) if you walk your bike.

I also added a few "Easy to Miss" notations in the cue.  Take note of these lest you get off course in the maze of roadways that is Lancaster County. 

Saturday looks to be chilly, but tolerable.  Compared to the PA Dutch ride of 2010 it should be downright balmy and calm.

A post-ride eating venue has also been identified to allow time to warm up, chow down, and tell tall tales of randonneuring adventure.  It is the Clubhouse Pizza & Pub located on Main St in Morgantown about 1/2 mile east of the starting location at the intersection of Main and 4th Avenue.  It is located here:  Hope to see you all there.

Andrew Mead

** Original Post **
It is hard to believe that 2013 is already upon us and with it the start of a new R12 brevet series for Pennsylvania Randonneurs.  Come kick off the new year with a new brevet route, the Morgantown 200k, on January 5.  Registration opens at 7:00am with riders daparting at 7:30.  Additional details can be found at the PA Randonneurs website,

Veterans of the Pennsylvania Dutch brevet can surely recall how terrain and weather usually combine in some fashion to make this event memorable.  There's not much I can do about the weather in January, but I have worked to develop a route that should be a little more forgiving and less susceptible to inclement weather.  The route starts in Morgantown, PA in a parking lot adjacent to the public library and behind the Holiday Inn.  If you follow this link ( you will see the parking lot as the U-shaped lot.  From here the route heads generally west, spanning the entirety of Lancaster County along its northern boundary to a turnaround point in Middletown, PA.  From Middletown, the route heads east to Morgantown, tracking generally south of Lancaster along many roads used in the Pennsylvania Dutch 200k route.  Only time will tell if this is truly a kinder, gentler route.

In typical winter fashion, the weather has impacted my ability to properly pre-ride the route when originally planned (on several occasions actually).  I currently have a pre-ride checkout ride planned for Thursday, so check back Friday for any last-minute cue sheet updates.  The only one of significance is a bridge closure in Cornwall.  The bridge is only 10 feet long, so I'll be checking to see whether we can easily get across instead of using the cyclocross move through a creek I used earlier this year.  I'll also be checking on a suitable venue for a post-ride gathering.

Drop me a line if you're planning to clip in.
Andrew Mead
- organizer

Roster as of 1/4:

1 Clair Beiler
2 Gavin Biebuyck
3 Jeffery S Butt
4 Janice Chernekoff
5 Jonathan Clamp
6 Matthew Farrell
7 William Fischer
8 J Scott Franzen
9 Doug Haluza
10 Thomas Hovan
11 Donald Jagel
12 R. Mark Kaufman
13 Eric Keller
14 Robin C Landis
15 J Michael Lutz
16 Andrew D Mead
17 Chris Nadovich
18 William Olsen
19 John Peltier
20 Peter C Phillips
21 Tom Rosenbauer
22 Norman Smeal
23 Keith A Spangler
24 Leonard Zawodniak

Saturday, December 22, 2012

2012 Recap

Final results for 2012 have been posted at:

Congratulations on all those hard-earned brevets -- collectively, we officially tallied over 83,000 Km in completed brevets.  All those brevets added up to 871 RUSA points, placing Eastern PA 6th out of 50 regions.  Thank you for clipping in and being a part of that success.  But of course, none of those brevets would've been possible, if not for all the volunteers who stepped up and helped out:
- Glenn Ammons 400k finish
- Ron & Barb Anderson 1000k overnight
- Dan Barbasch 1000k overnight
- Bill Blank Apr. R-12,
- Jim Bondra 1000k sweep
- Laurent Chambard 1000k sweep, overnight controles
- Doug Haluza 600k finish
- Bill Fischer 1000k sweep
- Don Jagel Mar. R-12, 1000k sweep
- Eric Keller 1000k sweep
- Mike Lutz Sep. R-12
- Andrew Mead Advisor, Jan., Apr. Sep. R-12 Organizer, 400k, 600k overnight, PA Message boards
- George Metzler Apr. R-12 BBQ,
- Paul Murray 600k setup
- Chris Nadovich 300k finish, 400k, 1000k finish
- Christine Newman 400k finish, Oct 200k food
- Bill Olsen Advisor, Jan. R-12, Feb. R-12, 600k, Jul. Dec. R-12 organizer
- Curtis Palmer Jan. R-12
- Chris Roth Jul. R-12
- Hugo Safar Oct. 200k food
- Bill Slabonik Apr., Jun. R-12, Sep. R-12
- Norman Smeal 400k
- Keith Spangler Apr., Jun. Sep. R-12, 1000k sweep
- Ted Straub Jan. R-12
- Len Zawodniak Feb. Nov. R-12, 600k finish

This was a year of many accomplishments -- too many to list completely -- but some selected ones I'd like to share with you include:
There were seven Eastern PA Super Randonneurs this year: Dan Barbasch (2nd), Gavin Biebuyck (2nd), Bill Fischer (2nd), Nigel Greene, Eric Keller (4th), Bill Olsen (4th), and Bob Torres.  Well Done!  Honorable mention to the following riders who just came up a bit short in completing their PA SR series: Dan Aaron, Matthew Farrell, Laurent Chambard, Walt Pettigrew, Guy Harris, Norman Smeal, and Susan Rodetis – I hope I can hand out a plaque to you also, next year!

Bill Olsen clipped-in and finished 4460 km of the 4660 km on the Eastern PA calendar, missing only the 200k in April. Bill also notched another PA R-12 series – his 3rd!  Bill currently has a streak of 27 months going, which is the longest of any PA Randonneur ever.  Norman Smeal, missing just 3 events, racked up 3960 km,.
Two other riders also completed their R-12 series: Don Jagel and yours truly completed their 2nd.  Eric Keller with a current streak of 10 months is closing in on his first PA R-12 series.
Several riders tested their limits on longer rides: Fred Collins, Michelle Hughes, Chris Knight, Gary Mass, David Pawlyk, and Chris Roth completed their first 300k. Clair Beiler, Michelle Hughes, Norman Smeal and Susan Rodetis completed their first 400k. Susan and Norman then followed that up with their very first 600k.  Norman then went on to complete his very first 1000k.
Eastern PA participants were well represented on the grand randonnees this year: S1200: Bill Olsen; CHC1200:  Laurent Chambard, Mordecai Silver; ToC1200: Chip Adams, Michael Anderson, Patrick Chin-Hong, Nigel Greene, Eric Keller, Larry Midura, Maile Neel, Bill Olsen; LC1200 Bill Olsen; RM1200: Patrick Chin-Hong, Larry Midura, Bill Olsen. Of note, Bill and Larry both completed a CAN-AM challenge and RUSA cup – well done!

In 2013, there will be several domestic 1200k's to choose from, including the 2nd edition of the Endless Mountains 1240k – I’m hoping that at least half the field will officially finish this time around.  The Eastern PA region will also be offering many brevets for qualification and preparation including a complete SR series and an R-12 series of monthly 200k’s.  With a grand randonnee on the calendar, I’m especially counting on volunteers to step up to help out. Randonneurs from afar will be traveling to our area and you can help make this a positive experience for them.

-Tom Rosenbauer, Eastern PA RBA

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Stillwater Retour 200k Report

Len Zawodniak headed towards the  Lackawanna Viaduct
(photo by Christine Newman)

Preliminary results have been posted at:
... please let me know of any corrections or other issues.  Results will be submitted this week, and become final, pending RUSA certification.

For the second time in a row, a scheduled event had to be postponed due to weather -- this time, a last minute freezing rain advisory issued Friday afternoon was the cause.  While Sunday proved a much safer day for riding, the mid 50F's that were promised in the forecast never materialized.  Despite foggy conditions that persisted for most of the morning and mostly overcast skies, there can't be too many complaints about the weather for a December ride: the high 30F's at the start were certainly above average, and the adverse winds were limited to the segment from Lafayette to Great Meadows.  The sun did manage to make a brief appearance in the afternoon, warming things up briefly to the high 40F's; and thankfully, the heavy rain showers held off until the last finishers were safely in and eating pizza at the finish controle.

The roster originally had around 24 riders, which is a pretty good number for a December event.  But due to the postponement and dense fog in the morning, only 15 were able to make to the start. All 15 starters made it around the course in very good time for another 100% finish rate: congratulations to everyone, for another excellent result.  The threat of rain in the late afternoon provided a motivation to get around the course efficiently as possible.  The first riders made it in with a time of 8:47, well before the evening rains.  The later finishers saw a few spritzs, but beat the heavier rain showers by a good hour.

Of note, Gloria Safar completed her first PA brevet -- congratulations!

Bill Fischer writes: " always, thanks for a terrific brevet Sunday.  Our group of 5 kept things moving and made short stops in an effort to get in before the rains appeared.  I hope everyone else was as fortunate.  Although it remained overcast, temperatures were reasonably comfortable while riding.  It was good to see all the signs of post-Sandy recovery throughout the course.  Happy Holidays to all, I look forward to seeing everyone in January!..."

Bob Dye writes: "...Another hearty thank you to you and Bill for the opportunity to punish myself in bucolic NJ and PA.  I was amazed at the scarcity of traffic. There were so few cars on the road, I thought the world may have ended and we were  the last to find out. I hope everyone who does any of your rides remembers to vote in the RUSA elections....." [Thanks Bob! -- you can cast your vote electronically by following this link:  ]

Christine Newman writes: "...
Thanks for another great ride - and for changing the date so it fit my schedule! 

Although the sun flirted with us only a few times, the rain managed to hold off until the drive home. With the grey skies and the bits of snow on the ground, it truly felt like the first ride of the winter. 
And here is a link to some information about some places along the route. Len was explaining the origin of  the name "Foul Rift" so I hunted around the internet for more info. It's quite the historic region
Christine took a number of really great pictures, which are posted here:
... there are a couple of photos of tunnels and viaducts which were a part of the Lackawanna Cutoff, an engineering marvel created in the early 1900's.  For a fascinating read on this, check out this link:

Len Zawodniak writes: "...I had a good time riding along with Chris and Christine. The early and extended foggy morning lent a dreamy quality to the landscape. Sounds and colors were subdued. It took 3 years for me to learn to ride fast when I first started Randonneuring, It has taken another 7 years for me to learn how to ride slow! There are so many details that I notice during each minute of the ride, the vast majority are lost in the flow of the road and time. Many are not quite forgotten, but wait to be remembered, like that small farm pond that always seems to be the first one frozen and the last to thaw. New this year was the smell of wood from a backyard smoker. I wanted to see what was in that little shed.
   Much of the time spent riding alone is filled with music, mostly ( for the benefit of the general public) playing in my head. If I were unfortunate enough to pass "Penny Lane " along the course, i would sing it internally for 15 or 20 minutes, blending and warping it seamlessly into other songs bearing only a passing resemblance of a few notes or merged guitar solos. This rides free association trigger award goes to Christine- who told a story about long distance riding with a younger rider, and his statement that the other riders seemed so old. That launched me into a rendition of Little Feats "Old Folks Boogie"- so appropriate for this ride: "You know that you're over the hill, when your mind makes a promise that you're body can't fill" . In this case, If you get over the hill, you're not.   Thanks for another great ride! Len ..."

If you have any other comments to share, you can forward them to me for inclusion on the message board ride report.

Special thanks to organizers Andrew Mead and Bill Olsen for their good advice on rescheduling the event as the weather forecast deteriorated.  Bill also staffed the finish controle, and was there to greet all the riders.

This concludes the 2012 calender of events... and the last couple of events have certainly have been most "eventful", whew!  Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be working on the year-end mailing which includes your validated brevet cards, 2012 season recap, and the 2013 calender of events.  The 2013 season kicks off on Jan 5th with a brand new course compliments of organizer Andrew Mead.  The start/finish will be in Morgantown, PA, and is designed with winter road conditions in mind.  Andrew also promises that this ride will be a bit more kinder and gentler than the PA Dutch 200k we've run in recent years in January (we'll soon find out if that hold true!); Event details we be posted shortly.

And speaking of the new year, John Lee Ellis has sent out this reminder from RUSA-HQ: "..You may wish to remind your riders to renew their RUSA membership (if expiring 12/31) ... before the distractions of the holiday season:
That way they'll be all set for that early-season event or permanent. Thanks and happy year-end riding! ..."

-Tom Rosenbauer, RBA

Monday, November 26, 2012

Le Retour du Stillwater 200k

*** Update #2 (11/30) ***
The Stillwater Retour 200k, originally scheduled for 12/1, has been postponed until Sunday, 12/2, due to a weather advisory posted this afternoon that is now calling for freezing rain.

*** Update #1 (11/29) ***
The cuesheet has been updated to draft 5, dated 11/28/11: The update corrects the name of Controle 2, which has changed from a Citgo minimart to a Penn Jersey food market.  Also, the date on the cuesheet has been corrected.  There are no course changes -- the route is exactly the same as the 2011 edition.

I'm keeping a close eye on the (small) chance of some precipitation on Friday night -- at this time, black ice conditions do not seem very likely but be sure to check back for any updates as the weather forecast firms up.  It does appear that there might be some rain spritzes through out the day on Saturday, so packing some spare clothing might be a good idea.

*** Roster (as of 12/1) ***

1 Clair Beiler
2 Patrick Chin-Hong
3 Robert Dye
4 William Fischer
5 Donald Jagel
6 Eric Keller
7 Chris Nadovich
8 Christine Newman
9 William Olsen
10 Peter C Phillips
11 Tom Rosenbauer
12 Hugo Safar
13 Gloria Safar
14 Norman Smeal
15 Bob Torres
16 Leonard Zawodniak

*** Original Post ***
The December R-12 is on Saturday, December 1st. We'll be running the same course as the November R-12 but in the reverse direction: Le Retour du Stillwater 200k.

The start/finish is at the Milford Bakery in Milford, NJ -- the southern most extent of the course.  There is plenty of parking in the large parking lot on Church St in Milford (PA Randonneurs has permission to use the parking lot which is now owned by the Medical supply store at the old bakery location).  The Bakery 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.

Additional event details are posted on the event webpage:

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 by Thursday. And as always, be sure to monitor the PA message board for any last minute updates.

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Stillwater 200k Report

Preliminary results have been posted at:
... please let me know of any corrections or other issues.  Results will be submitted this week, and become final, pending RUSA certification.

The weather forecast promised 60F degree temperatures and at least partially sunny skies but we ended up with low 50F's and barely a peek at the sun.  As a couple of drops of rain began to fall, I started to wonder if I should have packed a rain jacket. I also began to see the merit in my riding partner Laurent Chambard's philosophy of "never look at a weather forecast but always prepare for rain."  Thankfully, the rain never amounted to very much.  But it was the effects of the weather nearly two weeks ago with super storm Sandy, that was most memorable for this ride. The fury unleashed was still quite evident with all the damage caused by fallen trees.

All 11 starters made it around the course in very good time for another 100% finish rate: congratulations to everyone, for another excellent result.  The first riders made it in with a time of 8:30, well before nightfall.

Of note, Doug Haluza persevered dispite having 4 flats and using up nearly all his spare tubes, tires, and CO2 cartridges.  Luckily, Doug was able to replenish his supplies at a bike shop along the way.  I was there for 3 of those flats, but I couldn't help out with any spare tubes, since Doug needs extra long valve stems for his deep aero rims.

Don Jagel writes: "...I just wanted to send you a quick thanks for putting together another great 200k.  We had about perfect November weather, being overcast with a quick glimpse of sun, and even about 10 raindrops.  The lack of wind was a real treat.  I always enjoy riding at this time of year as it seems to be quiet, with nobody out cutting grass, most yards are void of people, and traffic is light as the Christmas tree search and holiday traffic has not yet begun. I hope you were able to enjoy the ride as much as I did.  I'll see you in December..."

Eric Keller writes: "...Just wanted to thank you for the ride yesterday but it was really tough:  Ride to Milford, eat a pastry, ride to Big Meadow, eat a deli sandwich, ride to the Millside Cafe, eat a slice of pie, ride to Stillwater, eat a pizza, ride to Teresa's, eat another pizza...."

Norman Smeal writes: "...Great plan to reschedule the ride from the previous weekend.  Hurricane Sandy will be a storm that many of us will not forget.  Personally, the climb up Sweet Hollow Road left an impression upon me.  Seeing the force of winds from all of the downed trees, I could only imagine the fear of the residents of the area during the passing of Sandy.  Although, the weather didn't turn out to be as nice as the expected, it could have been worse.  I want to thank you, Tom and all of our riding pals for another successful Randonneuring event....Looking forward to Decembers Le Retour ..."

Bill Olsen writes: " ...
Thanks for the great ride!  While the weather was not as nice as the original forecast it was good to get out and get my mind off of still being "off the grid", and hearing all of those generators still running is a good indication that I'm not the ONLY one still without power.  Seeing all the houses and cars that were flattened by the fallen trees made me thankful that I only needed to clear the ones off of the driveway, rather having any more serious damage.  

Thanks also to Gavin, Bill and Norman for the company on the ride.  It was nice to be able to catch up on the news and the conversation made the ride appear to go by much (like a couple of hours) faster.  As I mentioned at the conclusion of the ride, this was the FIRST time I EVER made around the course when it was still daylight. 
See you all on December 1st.
... "

If you have any other comments to share, you can forward them to me for inclusion on the message board ride report.

Special thanks to Len Zawodniak for stopping by to greet the later finishers at the pizzeria.  Len was on his way back from State College, where he bought a brand new recumbent.  Perhaps we'll see Len on his new ride for the December R-12 event.  We'll be riding the same course, but in reverse and starting at the Milford Bakery.  Event details for the Le Retour du Stillwater 200k have been posted at:

-Tom Rosenbauer, RBA

Monday, November 5, 2012

RUSA Elections

The United States presidential election is tomorrow, and I trust you will be exercising your civic duty to vote.  RUSA members also have a "randonneuring" duty to cast their vote for another election going on for the RUSA board of directors.   Your's truly, is one of the nominees, and I sincerely hope that I have earned your vote -- you can read my statement, along with the other four candidates at this link:

You can cast your ballot via e-mail at this link:

Please note that you can vote for two of the five candidates.  In my humble opinion, Mike Dayton, and fellow RBA, Bill Beck would also be good choices to help lead our organization.  I also endorse John Lee Ellis, who has been my mentor as an RBA, to continue on as RBA Liaison.

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Stillwater 200k

*** Update #3 (11/9) ***
The cuesheet has been updated to draft 8: the controle open/close times have been updated to reflect the new start time of 06:30 (no course changes).  The following are some additional items to be aware of:
- There may still be some road debris left over from Hurricane Sandy.  Keep away from any downed power lines, and watch for small twigs that might get caught in your wheel.  Also, watch out for any partially fallen trees that have not been cleared yet -- there was one that partially obstructed the road on Polkville-Kill Rd around mile 121 last weekend.
- Controle #4 in Lafayette is now open for business.
- There is a bridge closed at mile 126.4 but it is passable by foot.

*** Update #2 (11/7) ***
The start time has been changed from 07:30 to 06:30.  This change will maximize the amount of daylight riding, and minimize the time later finishers will need to pick their way through any road debris in the dark.  This change also compensates for the change from daylight savings time (which was in effect before the event was rescheduled).  Unfortunately, the Mount Bethel diner opens at 6 AM, so if you want to have breakfast, the truck stop across the river in Columbia, NJ would be a better option.  There's a 24-hr Travel Center and McDonald's off the Rt 80 access road (which you will be passing by near the finish).

*** Roster (as of 11/9) ***

1 Jeffery S Butt
2 Laurent Chambard
3 William Fischer
4 Diane Goodwin
5 Doug Haluza
6 Donald Jagel
7 Eric Keller
8 Robin C Landis
9 William Olsen
10 Tom Rosenbauer
11 Norman Smeal

*** Update #1 (11/5) ***
I recently scouted portions of the course.  All controles, with the exception of #4 in Lafayette, NJ are open for business.  Controle #5 in Stillwater is running off of a generator and plans to be open on Saturday, but of course, will have limited food selections.  As you can imagine, several areas still have debris on the side of road, including many small twigs and some downed power lines.  I encountered some road closures on Rt 521 near Stillwater, but these are passable by foot.

The larger towns, for the most part, all seemed to have power.  While riding through the sparsely populated backroads, the drone of generators was quite evident.  However, I saw many utility crews working in these areas; so slowly but surely, the clean-up and recovery efforts are progressing.

*** Original Post ***
Due to the effects of hurricane Sandy, the Stillwater 200k originally scheduled for November 3rd, has been postponed until November 10th.  Hopefully, clean-up and recovery efforts will progress enough by then to allow us to safely ride.

If you plan to participate, please drop me a note by Thursday, November 8th.

Be sure to monitor the message board and website for updates, as we assess the course conditions in the coming week:

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

PA150/200k Report

Preliminary results have been posted at:
... please let me know of any corrections or other issues.  Results will be submitted this week, and become final, pending RUSA/ACP certification.

The October 150/200k is one of my favorite events of the year -- and this year's edition is certainly one that was quite memorable for the fantastic weather, colorful foliage, fresh pavement, and excellent results.  Of course, the weather forecast earlier in the week looked like this event might be memorable, in a "epic character building" sort of way -- thankfully, the last of the torrential rain storms cleared out of the area, merely 6 hours before the start.  But then again, picking a date with "good" weather, is one of the most important jobs of an RBA!

At one point, there were 31 registered riders for the combined 150/200k.  25 made it to the start, with 9 opting for the 150k -- a nice increase over the number we had last year.  All 25 starters (including 2 preriders) made it around the course in very good time for another 100% finish rate.  And quite remarkably, all 13 of the 200k starters on Saturday (who came with gears) all finished in under 10 hours.  While this PA200k edition was missing a few of the "signature" climbs like Lower Saucon Valley and Lommasson Glen, it far from an easy course.  Congratulations to everyone, for such an excellent result, and more importantly, for riding safely through the early more fog and wet leaves.

Of note, Joe Kratovil completed the 200k on a fixed-gear, and still managed to finish under 11 hours.  And he did this by adding at least 8 bonus miles -- about half of these were on the other side of Fox Gap, since he missed the first turn past the info controle at the top, and went all the way down to Bangor.  But at least now, Joe can indeed confirm that the climb up to Fox Gap is much harder with the approach from Cherry Valley, than the one from Bangor!  Joe's 200k finish completed his K-hound challenge, and since all his brevets this year were on a fixed-gear, he can claim that he's now a fixed K-hound dog!   Joe writes: " ..Thanks for the great ride yesterday.  Despite my mental lapses in navigation it was a most enjoyable day on the bike.  I checked my RUSA k's and discovered that prior to the PA 200k I had exactly 9,800.  With the 200k credit for yesterday that will be 10,000k on the button.  Purely by accident and not design, as many of the RUSA permanents finish in odd numbers I never expected to hit it exactly. I hope to see you on future PA rides...."

Recently minted PBP ancien, Christine Newman also rode a fixed gear, and writes: "... Thanks for a great ride yesterday - I think 150K is my new favorite distance.  I saw some folks at the finish I usually only see at the start! The route was beautiful, the leaves seemed to be peaking and the weather was wonderful. If it weren't for all the hills the ride would have been perfect..."
Christine took a bunch of really great photos which have been posted here:

Hugo Safar introduced his son Julian to randonneuring by riding the 150k together.  Hugo writes: "..Just a quick note to thank you for the ride and BBQ!  it was a great day, and both Julian and I enjoyed it is quite a pleasure to participate in an event like this with your son...look forward participating in more PA rides, completing the series next years is my goal. ..."

Dave Thompson, on his way from Canada back to Florida, rode the PA150k in his quest for the RUSA cup challenge.  Dave writes: "...Thanks again Tom for your efforts pre-riding, putting on the ride, feeding us, great communication -- what can I say!  ... I'm starting to understand a little of what volunteers mean to these organizations with all the work that I'm doing with Randonneurs Ontario right now as Treasurer and playing a significant role in planning for the Granite Anvil 1200k..."

Bill Olsen writes: " ...Tom - Thanks for the great ride yesterday.  You couldn't have asked for a better day, and as an added bonus, all of the climbs had been recently paved.  Stats Road and Geigel Hill Road were so smooth one hardly noticed the climb. :-) ... "

Andrew Mead writes: "...After 5 years it was really nice to be able to make the Fall Classic 200k.  I enjoyed catching up with old rando buddies and meeting a few new ones.  I fell off the lead group at Wind Gap and solo'd my way to Portland where I met up with Robin Landis.  He and I rode together from Portland on.  We had a great ride, good conversation, and kept each other motivated to keep our wheels turning.  Route and cue were top notch as always and plenty of fresh asphalt made for smooth sailing down several scenic descents.  The BBQ at the end made me forget all about those Pennsylvania "rollers" in that last leg ..."

And speaking of old rando buddies, former NJ RBA Diane Goodwin joined us for the 150k.  As many of you may know, I got my start as an RBA by first working as a volunteer under the guidance of Diane.  Diane writes: "...Thanks for the awesome ride yesterday....As usual, everyone had a good time. I'm just now realizing how uncommon that is on club special events, where there's usually complaints about something...."

Don Jagel writes: "..Thank you for all the hard work you did in getting the 200k/150k brevet together.  Your continued effort is really appreciated by everyone more than you can imagine.  The task of putting together two cue sheets, preriding to verify the cues, keeping tabs on everybody, and then getting together great pre and post ride meals is more than anyone should ever expect from one superhuman person.... The ride was about as perfect as an autumn ride can get.  The wet roads and scattered leaves kept the pace reasonable from the start, allowing for good conversation and time to take in the scenery.  The climb up Staats Road was made a little less painful with the new, smooth asphalt.  The traffic was surprisingly heavy when I went up Red Cliff Road, as the other nearby roads (Bridgeton Hill and Jugtown) were closed for construction leaving Red Cliff as the only access for the locals. I did enjoy riding along Geigle Hill Road for a change. The asphalt conditions were very good, it was a good change of scenery, and the traffic was light as a result of the covered bridge closure.  Now if someone would only put in a bridge, or a ferry across Lake Nockamixon so Rt 313 could be avoided the ending would be perfect..." [alternatively, you could also stay on Old Bethlemhem Rd instead of following 3 Mile Run at the end -- the only problem through, is that the road is probably buried under 6 feet of muck, as it passes under Lake Nockamixon (which of course was formed when they built the dam) -Tom R.].

If you have any other comments to share, you can forward them to me for inclusion on the message board ride report.

Special thanks to Chrintine Newman for the pasta salad and Hugo Safar for the cheese cake.  Thanks also, to Eric Keller for the volunteer preride.  The R-12 series continues next week with the Stillwater 200k on November 3.  Event info has been posted at:
... with a bit of luck, there'll still be some fall foliage left to enjoy!

-Tom Rosenbauer, RBA

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


*** Update #2 (10/19) ***
The cuesheets have been updated to draft 6 for the 200k and draft 5 for the 150k, dated 10/19/12.  This update includes a correction from my thursday volunteer pre-ride:
- Mile 65.4 (150k) / 97.0 (200k): Added missing cue to turn onto Sweet Hollow Rd.

For my thursday 200k pre-ride, the fall foliage was absolutely gorgeous and the course was in very good shape (with ribbons of fresh asphalt in several spots that have been long overdue to replace crumbling roads) -- at least that's how it was before the rain storm came through on Thursday night.  For Saturday's event, I suspect that many of those colorful leaves might be on the road, so be sure to be watch for wet leaves on the road, especially on the turns.  In addition to that potential hazard, there are a couple of other items to be aware of:
- Mile 5.3-8.3: There are some relatively new patches of chip-seal on Sawmill Rd and Stoney Garden Rd.  I found some loose gravel on these patches -- so watch out for this hazard (particularly if you're still with a large bunch of riders).
- There was some pretty dense fog early in the morning in the valleys and along the Delaware River.  Remember to at least turn on your taillights light if you encounter these conditions.
- As noted on the cuesheet, 200k riders should watch for large sewer grates on the descent after Wind Gap ... you should take a line more towards the left in order to keep away from some very large holes (that most assuredly will ruin your day)
- The store at controle #4 on the 200k has a new name: "Penn Jersey Food Mart".  (The cuesheet has not been updated and still has the previous "Citgo Portmart" name).
- There was some road construction just past the Belvidere bridge, but it shouldn't be too difficult to get past this when you pass through.

*** Update #1 (10/14) ***
The cuesheets have been updated to draft 5 for the 200k and draft 4 for the 150k, dated 10/14/12.  This update incorporates a detour on Geigel Hill Rd to get around a covered bridge that was recently damaged.  A 15 foot high truck tried to cross the bridge, but unfortunately, the bridge clearance is only 14 feet.  The barriers that were erected while repairs are being made are very difficult to get around, so the reroute will give you the opportunity to see some new roads (and hills!) in Tinicum township.

*** Roster (as of 10/18) ***

1 Glenn Ammons 200k
2 Barbara Solis Anderson 150k
3 Ronald Anderson 150k
4 James Aspras 150k
5 Gavin Biebuyck 200k
6 Jeffery S Butt 200k
7 George Carey 200k
8 Laurent Chambard 150k
9 Janice Chernekoff 150k
10 Jonathan Clamp
11 Matthew Farrell 200k
12 Diane Goodwin 150k
13 Nigel Greene 200k
14 Steve Harding 150k
15 Donald Jagel 200k
16 Eric Keller 200k
17 Joe Kratovil 200k
18 Robin C Landis 200k
19 Andrew D Mead 200k
20 Christine Newman 150k
21 William Olsen 200k
22 Walter J Pettigrew 200k
23 Peter C Phillips 200k
24 Tom Reeder 150k
25 Tom Rosenbauer 200k
26 Chris Roth 200k
27 Hugo Safar 150k
28 Julian Safar 150k
29 W David Thompson 150k
30 Gilbert Torres 200k
31 Bob Torres 200k

*** Original Post ***
The next event is on October 20 and you have a choice of either a 150k or 200k course.  The start/finish will be at the Weisel hostel, with breakfast served 1 hour before the start  We'll also have the traditional post-ride BBQ, where we can recap the accomplishments of the past year and look forward to the challenges of the coming year.
PA Members can register by sending me an e-mail, and pay the $30 entry fee when they sign-in.  Non-members can register by mailing in the registration form posted at:

With only about 10.5 hours of daylight available, lights and reflective gear will be required, unless you have previously finished the course in less than 9.5 hours.

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

Sunday, September 9, 2012

September R12 Hawk Mountain 200 Report

Preliminary results have been posted at:
... please let Tom know of any corrections or other issues.  Results will be submitted this week, and become final, pending RUSA/ACP certification.

Weather conditions at the start were warm and very humid, due to remnants of Hurricane Issac which had been lingering in the area for the better part of a week.  A strong cold front swept through in the middle of the afternoon, and triggered an impressive display of rain, wind, and some lightning.  Thankfully, the front came through very quickly, and the heavy rain lasted only about 20 minutes or so.

First finishers Matt Farrell, Bill Fischer, and Don Jagel were on the southeastern leg of the course when the storms hit.  With the favorable shift of wind when the front came through, they decided to keep riding and take advantage of the strong winds that pushed them along, despite the deluge of rain falling down on them.  The rest of the field was strung out between the Pine Grove and Jonestown controles as the front passed, generally meaning either the second climbing of the Blue Mountain or descending into the strong winds, pouring rain, and flying debris.  Tom Rosenbauer and Clair Beiler waited in Pine Grove for the worst to pass only to report a near-miss when a large branch fell within 3 feet of Clair as they tackled the Rt 645 climb.

Whether storm related or not, first-time participant Tim Creyts experienced the failure of a vintage 7-speed freewheel, which was problemmatic for most of the day and finally gave out completely and allowed freewheeling in both directions.  Despite the best efforts to make repairs, this unfortunately was the end Tim's ride -- just 20 miles from the finish:  just a tad far for a kick-bike.  Tim writes: "...The 'peloton' was mainly together for the first 10 miles or so.  Eventually, we hit Galen Hall road after about 45 minutes.... my body was not warmed up, so I went up this set of hills slowly. This was the first time I had used the bail out gear on the Univega for any length of time. ..."
Read the rest of Tim's very detailed report at:

Special thanks to organizer and volunteer prerider, Andrew Mead, for putting together a fantastic ride -- without a doubt, one of the more challenging courses on the PA series, and arguably, one of the most scenic.  Special thanks also, to Bill Slabonik for manning all the controles and making sure every one cleared the course, safely.  Bill Slabonik, Keith Spangler, and Mike Lutz also completed prerides to make sure that the cue sheet was as accurate as possible and the course was in good shape.

Bill Olsen writes: "... Thanks again for the great ride yesterday.  Hawk Mountain didn't seem so long this year.  Perhaps it was the cooler temperatures and overcast that made the climb quite pleasant. ... Although I like the original Swatara Gap route, this new routing was a nice change, and makes this brevet a great training ride for anything we might encounter on other brevets.   There was even a silver lining with the rain we encountered at the Jonestown controle as the steady headwinds we had all morning changed to a tailwind when the front blew through ..."

Don Jagel writes: "...Thanks for putting together the Hawk Mountain brevet yesterday.  It was a day of good riding, good company, and good conversation.  What started as an overcast day with 100% humidity turned to 110% humidity (rain) by the end of the day.  Matt, Bill and myself encountered heavy, sometimes stinging, rain for the last 20 miles, or so of the ride, but it also provided a welcome tail wind.  As I write this, all of my equipment and clothing is drying in the sun.

For me, the big surprise of the day was the climb out of the Pine Grove control.  I had not really paid much attention when folks were talking about the route modification, and I did not look at that portion of the cue sheet until we were leaving the Pine Grove Turkey Hill.  Up to that point, I had just assumed we were going through Swatera Gap as was done in the past.  I have ridden the "new" climb a couple of times in the past, and knew that it was a grunt, but yesterday I did not have myself mentally prepared for it (my mistake).

Bill, Matt and I think you should consider updating the name of this brevet route to more accurately reflect the new nature of the course.  Hawk Mountain is relatively easy and constant grade, and is only a warm-up for the crux climb later in the ride.  A name like "AT Double-Cross", or "Blue Mountain Double-Cross" would suggest to potential riders in the future that there is more than one crossing of this geographical feature. [And if we keep the original route discription the same, which of course mentions the Swatara Gap, the Double-Cross is even more appropos! -Tom R]
Overall the ride was a fitting way for me to finish up an R-12.  It had heat, humidity, rain, and climbing, all of which added to the sense of satisfaction at the completion of the ride.  Thanks for organizing and running the show, and many thanks to Bill S. for being at the controls to make sure everything was going smoothly. ..."

Newly minted randonneur Eric Dahl began his first brevet by riding to the start from Newark, DE setting out around 9:30pm Friday evening.  He arrived at the Pancake Farm around 5:45 after a mis-cue in his route extended it to around 75 miles and catching a few winks along the side of the road.  Eric then went on to complete the brevet in fine form with a 9:00 finish.  After grabbing some serious chow at the Turkey Hill finish and debating whether to press on Saturday, he finally set out for home around 5:30pm and felt like he could finish by midnight for a 27-hour 400k finish.  Did he make it?  Eric replies at 12:06am:  "Yes he did.  Albeit, after a certain point, I had to coax myself to keep on riding with skittles.  My brain was very tired and my feet hurt and all I wanted to do was lie down.  But I made it back just a few minutes ago."    We will see more of this randonneur.

If you have any other comments, you can forward them to Tom or Andrew for inclusion to the message board ride report.

Next up, we head back to the Weisel Hostel in Quakertown on October 20 for the classic 150/200k rides followed by a post ride BBQ -- come share your epic tales of the past season, and start looking forward to the 2013 calender of events:

-Andrew Mead, Organizer
-Tom Rosenbauer, RBA

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hawk Mountain 200k

*** Update #2 (9/7) ***
Don Jagel has put together a webpage that shows all of the SPOT GPS trackers on a single page:

*** Update #1 (9/6) ***
The cuesheet has been updated to Draft 9, dated 9/6/12.  This update includes some minor corrections and clarifications from the recent volunteer prerides.  Based on the current weather forecast, it looks like it would be good idea to laminate your cuesheet!

In order to help coordinate the volunteers, 5 SPOT GPS trackers will be handed out to selected riders.  The PA Randonneurs tracking website is at this link:

Norman Smeal's SPOT tracker:

Don Jagel's SPOT tracker:

*** Original Post ***
Pennsylvania Randonneurs presents The Hawk Mountain 200 for the September R12 series.  This year's route has been tweaked to avoid the traffic on Rt 72 through the Swatara Gap.  Event details have been posted at:

A pre-ride course checkout was conducted this past Saturday and a confirmatory trip is planned for Wednesday.  The route features a few stretches of fresh pavement which offer great improvement over the former rough chip-seal and the tweaks are certainly memorable.  A final updated cue sheet will be posted on the PA Randonneurs website Thursday afternoon.  As always, follow this message board for any last-minute updates.

Reminder: Sundown is 7:21PM.  While it certainly is possible to finish before then, unforeseen circumstances may keep you out on course longer than anticipated, so lights and reflective gear are strongly recommended.  If you are out riding past sundown without lights and reflective gear, a DQ will be the least of your problems!

It's always a good idea to start with a hearty breakfast and The Pancake Farm in Ephrata is just around the corner from the starting location.  It opens at 5:15am ... directions are on the event webpage.

One final note:  please park along the east side of the K-Mart parking lot (furthest away from the Turkey Hill) so we minimize our impact on K-Mart's customer parking.

Those planning to clip in so far include:

*** As of 9/6/12 ***

1 James Aspras
2 Clair Beiler
3 Gavin Biebuyck
4 Jeffery S Butt
5 Jonathan Clamp
6 Timothy Creyts
7 Eric Dahl
8 Matthew Farrell
9 William Fischer
10 Scott Franzen
11 Donald Jagel
12 Eric Keller
13 J Michael Lutz
14 Andrew D Mead
15 William Olsen
16 Tom Rosenbauer
17 William M Slabonik
18 Norman Smeal
19 Keith A Spangler
20 Ivan M Umble

Drop me or Tom a note by Thursday, September 6th, if you would like to join the roster.

-Andrew Mead, Organizer
-Tom Rosenbauer, RBA

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August R-12 Hawks Nest 200k Report

Preliminary results for the Aug 4th event have been posted at:
Results will become final, pending, RUSA certification.

Last year, this ride attracted 16 riders -- twice as many as the 8 we had this year.  I know of at least 4 or 5 riders that were planning to ride, but had circumstances arise to keep them from clipping in.  Other potential riders probably took a look at the hot weather in the forecast, and had the good sense to stay at home in the air conditioning.  But that did not deter a handful of regular riders and 3 newcomers from clipping in, including yours truly -- who in truth, had doubts as to whether this was really a good idea, given my limited riding since June.  But despite some rather hot riding conditions in the early afternoon, all 8 riders finished for another 100% finish rate -- congratulations, and well done!

Of note, Kerin Huber from Pasadena, CA, took advantage of a business trip to State College to ride with us -- bagging 3 states for the new RUSA America Explorer award. Kerin writes: "...Thanks for a very nice route, Tom.  I really enjoyed the country roads, green hills, and beautiful views at Hawk's Nest.  Bill and Eric were nice enough to ride with me the whole time, so I had good company and didn't have to worry about getting lost.  I hope to ride another Eastern PA brevet some day. ..."

Philip Borba from Connecticut and Gerhard Dohne from NJ were also first time Eastern PA participants -- welcome, and hope to see you again, soon. Gerhard writes: "...This was my first PA Randonneur brevet and I just wanted to thank Tom and Bill and the others for the friendly reception in the morning. The ride was very scenic and really well laid out with lots of shade and stops in places where it was possible to refuel. Old mine road is tough as nails, in particular with a 39x25(go figure...). I was happy to finish with Bob and Norman, who kept me motivated on the hills in the latter part of the course - Thanks guys ..."

Phil Borba writes: "...I want to commend a nice piece of brevet work by RBA Tom Rosenbauer.  The development of the route and the organizing, execution, and followup for the brevet were superb.  The route was challenging but fair.  The cue sheet was very clear and it was nice that most turns were at “T” intersections, stop signs, or traffic lights.  The climbing was manageable, the countryside very pleasant, and the scenic vista from Hawk’s Nest was one of the best I have seen on a brevet.  (Note to future riders: take a camera and stop to take a picture at Hawk’s Nest.)  The route through eastern PA, southern NY, and western NJ was much prettier than I expected. I also want to send a public “thank you” to Kerin, Bill, and Eric for their willingness to slow their brevet riding down to my pedestrian speed.  I will long remember their camaraderie and good-natured conversation.   Their company turned a nice ride into a great brevet. Although this was my first Eastern PA brevet, I intend to do more brevets under Tom’s direction. ..."

Bill Olsen writes: "... Thanks again for continuing to run the PA R-12 series.  Yesterday was a scorcher which might have limited participation but we ALL had a GREAT time.  The cool breezes out of the shaded areas were a welcome relief from the "oppressive" sun (in those relatively few open areas of the course).  The "ever cheerful" Phil kept reminding us - but perhaps to reinforce to himself - that it was all about the camaraderie of getting out yesterday to ride together and enjoy each others' company, and in this respect the day was a winner. ..."

The real trick in organizing and running these events is to end up with the same number of riders that you started with -- and safety is always a primary concern.  To that end, I've been evaluating SPOT GPS tracking for use on brevets.  The SPOT tracker allows positions to be reported at a regular interval and posted to a website:

PA1 through PA3, were Philip B., Eric K., and Bill O., respectively.  The website shows the last 50 or so positions that show up on the map for each rider.  You can page through the earlier positions, by clicking on the controls in the left pane.  The SPOT tracker has buttons to report preprogrammed status messages, or to call for help -- a nice safety feature for brevets that head out into remote areas without cell phone coverage.

For next month's R-12, we head over to Hawk Mountain.  But before then, we have the Endless Mountains 1000k on August 17th for those of you looking for a truly epic adventure.  Details have been posted at:
Registration closes on August 10th.

Monday, July 30, 2012

August Events

*** Update 8/3/12 ***

We ran recently the Hawk's Nest 200k for the July R-12, the August 4th edition will be exactly the same and the previous course notes have been posted here:

... the Rt 97 construction is completed, but those of you not familiar with the Rt 80 pedestrian bridge, the link above has some additional info to help you figure out how to get across.  Also, please take note of the parking directions -- the lot is right behind the dinner, around the corner, as shown on the map.

I spoke to the folks at the Water Gap Diner, and I made arrangements to have the cook there early, in order to get the grill warmed up -- so hopefully, they'll be ready for us this time and there won't be any delays in getting food ordered.

It looks like a hot numid day on tap, although the dew points today are several degrees lower in Hawley -- hopefully, that dry slot will hang in there for us tomorrow!  But I plan to pack an ice sock, just in case, along with a camelback to keep hydrated.

I have a couple of SPOT GPS trackers that I recently bought and have been evaluating them for use on brevets to help keep track of riders.  I'll be handing these out to a couple of riders at the start to carry along with them.

*** 200k Roster (as of 8/3/12)

1 Philip S Borba
2 Gerhard J.A. Dohne
3 Dawn M Engstrom
4 Kerin Huber
5 Eric Keller
6 William Olsen
7 Tom Rosenbauer
8 Norman Smeal
9 Bob Torres

*** Original Post ***
On August 4, we'll be headed back to Hawk's Nest for a 200k ride through the cool, shaded roads in Promised Land and along the Upper Delaware River.  Event details are at:
If you'd like to join the roster, please send me an e-mail by Thursday, August 2.

And two weeks later on August 17, the Endless Mountains 1000k offers you a truly epic challenge.  The Daily Randonneur's Ed Felker calls it the "...the toughest randonnee you'll ever love..." A link to Ed's ride report can be found here:
Event Details have been posted here:
Registration closes on August 10.

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

Thursday, July 19, 2012

July R-12 Hawks Nest 200k Report

Preliminary results for the July 14th Hawk's Nest 200k have been posted at:
... Results will become final, pending ACP certification.  Note: Due to the delay at the start, caused by diner being slow with breakfast, 10 minutes was credited to each rider.

The 14 riders that made it to the start with all their necessary equipment finished well within the time limit for another 100% finish rate on this course.  Jud Hand also made it to the start but somehow his wheels didn't.  So Jud generously offered to support the ride as a volunteer by sweeping the course in his car and meeting all the riders at each controle -- thanks Jud, for your unexpected help and tremendous display of camaraderie and randonneuring spirit!

Special thanks also, to Organizer Bill Olsen (flying solo this time with the RBA on vacation in California).  And thanks also to volunteer Chris Roth for helping out at the start and finish controles.

Don Jagel writes: "..The ride was the perfect way to start the first day of vacation.  The weather, and company could not have been better.  I spent most of the day riding on and off with Norm and Bob.  The real "icing on the cake" was the surprise at Hawks Nest.  Now that the construction is done it is possible to relax and take in the views when passing through on glass smooth asphalt.  I was sorry that Jud was not able to ride, but I sure did appreciate the effort he put in to make to every control except Hainesville, and he was even there to greet us at the finish.  Thanks Jud! Tomorrow I am leaving for driving up to Canada to start officially start my vacation.  I will be riding up through northeastern Quebec, then across Labrador for several weeks.  I will start riding on 7/17.  If anyone is interested, I will be posting a log and photos as I go, whenever I can get web access.  I will also have real time GPS tracking as I go.  I will be posting at

Ted Smith writes: "...Bill, I wanted to thank you for putting on a great ride.  As expected it was
challenging but very enjoyable.  Looking back, I don't remember the difficulties of the climbs or the cursing under my breath as I turned the pedals over in the sun.  I remember some great downhill segments over smooth pavement on roads free of cars.  I was even able to beat my top speed ever on two wheels as well!  Also, riding along in the paceline for many miles on the back half or the ride was thoroughly enjoyable. If I wasn't moving so soon I would definitely clip in more with the PA
Randonnuers.  The two rides that I have ridden with the group were some of the best rides I've been t on, period, since I moved to New Haven three years ago. Here are some pictures of the bear that I saw...."

Nigel Greene's  ride report has been posted at:
... and his photo album is here:

On August 4th, we'll be headed back to Hawk's Nest for the August R-12.  Drop me a note if you would like to be added to the roster.  Also, I've already have heard from a number of riders interested in the Endless Mountains 1000k -- please let me know by the end of July if you're planning to join the roster, too.

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Updated Rider List

Below is the list, as of this morning, of those who are planning to ride this Satuday.
I may have missed someone so if you aren't on the list and planning to ride, please let me know.

 The forecast looks great for this weekend, especially once we get up into the Poconos. Walk-ons are ALWAYS welcome and I'll have extra controle cards at the Diner on Saturday morning.


*** Rider Roster (as of 7/12) ***

- Bill Olsen (Organizer)
- Chris Roth (volunteer)
- Eric Keller
- Rick Collins
- Jon Clamp
- Ted Smith
- Nigel Green
- Don Jagel
- Jud Hand
- Clair Beiler
- Mary Johnson
- Bob Torres
- Norman Smeal
- Jimmy Aspras
- Rick Carpenter
- George Metzler

Monday, July 2, 2012

July R-12: Hawks Nest 200k

With the hot summer weather upon us, the Hawk's Nest 200k course will be heading north into Promised Land, where the temperatures are typically several degrees cooler.  Most of the route is shaded, which will also bring some relief from the heat.  Riders typically finish this course about an hour faster than other Eastern   PA 200k's.  Event details are at:

If you liked to join the roster, contact organizer Bill Olsen at:

Course Notes:
-At Hawk's Nest, there is road construction 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.  You should get at the end of the line of cars that will be waiting there, so they don't have to maneuver around you.
-If you've never been across the Rt 80 bridge near Water Gap, it's a little bit tricky.  You need to look for a sidewalk/ramp about 50 yards past the Rt 80 underpass which you will cross under.  The picture below shows the ramp on the left, which is in between the road you will be traveling (on the right) and Rt 80 (far left):

You will be facing on-coming traffic as you go across the bridge.

The Water Gap Diner will be opening at 6AM if you'd like to top off with a good breakfast before the start.

Reminder: Parking is behind the Water Gap Diner -  Directions are posted here:

*** Rider Roster (as of 7/2) ***
- William M. Olsen  (Organizer)
- Chris Roth (volunteer)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


The 2012 Race Across America starts on Wednesday, June 12.  You can follow all the action at the RAAM website:

Local rider, Geoff Brunner, a solo-division finisher in 2011, is racing again in 2012.  In order to repeat as a finisher again, he'll have to string together four 1200k's in a row and average at least 400k each day.  If he wants to reach the podium, he'll have to up that to 500k each day!  More info on Geoff s road to RAAM 2012 is posted here:

And local rider, George Metzler, is competing in the Race Across the West (RAW) in the 4-man team division.  His teammates include Mark Pattinson, the 2nd place solo finisher in 2011 (who George crewed for), along with crew chief Charlie Combs.  Team updates will be posted here:

Mark Pattinson's website is at this link:

Saturday, June 9, 2012

PA600k/200k Recap and Limericks

Preliminary results for the PA 600k/200k have been posted at:
... Results will become final, pending ACP certification.

The torrential Friday night storms sweeping across Pennsylvania cleared Quakertown about an hour before the start.  Given the uncomfortably warm, humid week before then, and the stretch of rainy weather in the forecast for the following week, it was remarkably good fortune to have nearly ideal weather conditions for Saturday's 400k loop.  Riders who got an early start on Sunday's 200k loop were rewarded with calm wind on the outbound leg and a brisk tailwind on the return leg.  The later starters and 200k riders had to battle those stiff headwinds on the outbound leg, and then had to dodge some isolated thunderstorms later in the afternoon.  I can attest that some of these storms were quite intense with torrential rain and sleet.  The last finishers managed to reach the finish just minutes ahead of a rather big squall that blew through Quakertown. For the 600k, 18 of the 20 starters were official finishers for a 90% completion rate, and all 9 of the 200k riders make to the finish in good time.  Of note, 7 riders completed an Eastern PA SR series of 200k, 300k, 400k, and 600k:
-Dan Barbasch (#2)
-Gavin Biebuyck (#2)
-Bill Fischer (#2)
-Nigel Greene
-Eric Keller (#4)
-Bill Olsen (#4)
-Bob Torres
Also of note, Susan Rodetis and Norman Smeal completed their very first 600k. Congratulations, and well done!

Special thanks to volunteers:
- Bill Olsen (600k preride checkout, overnight controle)
- Andrew Mead (meal preparation, hostel overnight controle)
- Bill Slabonik (200k preride checkout, hostel overnight controle, hostel finish controle, hostel clean-up at the end)
- Len Zawodniak (hostel finish controle, hostel clean-up at the end)
- Keith Spangler (200k preride checkout)
Special thanks to participants who also helped out:
- Paul Murray (hostel setup on Friday)
- Doug Haluza (hostel clean-up at the end)
Without volunteers like these who step-up and answer the call to help out, it just wouldn't be possible to run these events.

Guy Harris writes: "...A big thanks to Bill, Andrew, and William for running the overnight hostel controle and Len for the finish. It was just too comfortable to ride straight through so enjoyed their services for a few hours.  What a nice night for riding! Saw the moon set and sun rise as I was heading south on Rt 23. Beautiful calm conditions for that long stretch. Your impeccable organization of the series year after year is very much appreciated..."

Nigel Greene writes: "...What a ride!!! Getting around that course was no easy feat but it was well worth it. Thank you and all of the volunteers for the work you all put in to make it happen. As you know, this was my first PA 600K and it will be an athletic and adventure milestone to remember. The scenery was spectacular and the climbing was a challenge....the request for a limerick made for a fun way to pass some of the time. I ended up composing three of them.  I hope you do a post on the message board with all the submissions you received. I bet there are some good ones. Here's one more that I composed somewhere during the night by the side of the road:
Once a man tried to bike to the ocean
drinking only a homemade potion
So imagine his suprise
when he saw with his own eyes
that instead of urine he peed lotion
Nigel's complete ride report has been posted at:
... and his excellent photo album is here:
Nigel's other limerick:
There once was bike ride to Limerick, PA
Getting there would take all day
we started at night
saw many a sight
Just to mail a card we carried the whole way

Norman Smeal writes: "...Another delightful weekend with all of my Randonneuring pals.  
I want to thank all of the volunteers for making it an excellent experience. ..."

Paul Scearce, who came up a bit short on his attempt to complete the Eastern PA SR series on a fixed-gear, writes: "...Having my stomach go out once could be a fluke, but twice in a row means I'm doing something wrong. I'm pretty sure it was a pacing problem. I clearly was going at a perfect 300k pace for me.  I've enjoyed attempting the series. I plan to try again for a fixed gear PA Randonneurs SR, next year. I hope I've learned enough to complete it.  ..."

Paul Murray writes: "...It was a great event and I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially now writing from the luxury of my house.  Saturday’s roads went through some beautiful terrain and I was honoured to be riding them.  Thanks to you and the volunteers for setting up the event.  It went smoothly  ..."

There was a lazy man from PA

who enjoyed sleeping all day

til a man named Mike
gave him a bike
Now he spends all his nights, riding brevets

Matt Farrell writes: "...I wanted to send out a big thank you to you and all the volunteers staffing the event. It's always great having fellow riders supporting you at the overnight controls. They seem to know what you need before you do. Two highlight of the ride for me were watching Gavin and Norman reel in the guy on an areo Tri bike on Rt 209 heading towards the Water Gap control and heading off into the moonset on Sunday morning. ..."

Ed Dodd assures me that he is doing better, after taking a couple of tumbles on his way to the overnight controle:  "...Please thank Laurent and Mordecai  for helping me at the end. It was greatly appreciated and needed. I'm not quite sure what went wrong. Everything seemed to be going well for about 200 miles and then began to fall apart. ..."

Good samaritan Mordecai Silver writes: "...The course was challenging, but I felt it was quite fair, with some long easy stretches to regain time.  I ended up riding at the back of the field, taking numerous breaks off the bike besides the controles.  I suffered a lot from saddle problems, and spent most of the second day in discomfort when I was seated.  Still, I never felt any time pressure, though I left the hostel Sunday morning later than almost everyone else.  For me, the hardest point in the ride was the 25 miles before Bloomsbury.  I was feeling very tired, and I was very grateful for Laurent's company on that stretch.  I had some coffee at Citgo, and once we crossed the Delaware, my energy returned and I felt much better for the climb up to the hostel. It was my first time riding through Amish country, and I especially enjoyed the little farm lanes after New Holland.  But by then the sun was starting to beat down on me, and I was dragging a bit.  My energy picked up again when we turned into the shaded roads around French Creek State Park. One thing I noticed about the drivers in Amish country is that they're pretty polite, being used to sharing the roads with horse-drawn carriages.  On some of the roads before Limerick, it was a very different experience.  ...  It was a relief to get back to quieter roads for the last thirty miles.  Many thanks for all your hard work that went into making this such a well-run and enjoyable event.  And congratulations on running another successful SR series.  And thanks also to Bill, Bill, Andrew, and Len.  I enjoyed the oatmeal with blueberries and Stonyfield yogurt for breakfast.  It's the kind of light, mild food that I prefer before I head out for a ride.  And I liked the baked ziti for supper.Hope to see you for another event soon. ..."
The cyclist his weary way wends
Then a postcard he dutifully sends
Sure his body he's taxin'
Just observe the lack-o'-wax-in
The candle he's burnt at both ends!

Larry Midura writes: "...Thanks for all your hard work organizing this past weekend's brevets....I was glad to be asleep in my motel room when the wind and rain hit hard late Sunday PM & early evening - the wind/rain was downright nasty in Quakertown in the evening....We were lucky the stomy weather came late in the day!...Truly enjoyed the little changes you incorporated into the second leg of the 600K - especially using the Harmonyville/Hopewell Road detour - a good change of pace from the usual inbound route near French Creek State Park - the slightly different scenery/roads were good.  Your pasta salad, and Andrew's ziti and Italian meatballs hit the spot for a light meal after the brevet - superb! ....Hope to join your group of riders again next year for a brevet or two next year.
Thanks for letting me be a part of your PA randonnee riders for the 2012 Fleche & 600K - both events had fantastic weather as well as great fellow riders to share the roads with at times. You made it possible for me to earn the RUSA Cup by connecting me with Walter and his Southern Jersey Fleche Team - that was a great 24 hours on the roads of Jersey. ..."
In the hunt for another CAN-AM Challenge, Larry plans to the ride the Rocky Mountain 1200 and Taste of Carolina 1200k this summer.

Eastern PA SR finisher, Bill Fischer writes: "...Thanks for another fantastic 600k.  The weather couldn’t have been better and the course was beautiful.  
Nearly 30 randonneurs did Tom welcome
to attempt a 600k is done seldom
since the hills are so steep
some called Tom a big bleep
but we’re thankful there’s no turn onto buckwampum

Dan Aaron's Limerick:
I rode with a rider named Susan
on a 600k, we were cruisin'
she said "not too fast"
as she rode in my draft
so we pedaled at the pace of her choosin'

Susan Rodetis' limerick
Tom sent me out into the night
My First 600! gosh, a fright
But now I know
Go with the flow
And it shall be fun and alright

Eastern PA SR, and first finisher Gavin Biebuyck's Limerick:
There once was an old man from Reading
who liked to ride his Masi
He rode all day
He rode all night
Until he didn't know which way he was heading.

Laurent Chambard's Limerick:
I bought myself a Brooks Saddle
that was sold by a guy with "retro" stamped across his chest 
If you give it a good oiling, and beat it with a rolling pin,
it will be as smooth as crushed velvet 
(Did my eye notice a grin?)

Tony Colasurdo's limerick:
There once was a man from the valley
while on a 200k, he drank like a Sally
The next day
they found him dead
in an alley

Doug Haluza set a new personal best by getting his first mechanical (a flat tire) within the first mile of the start.  Thankfully, that was the only one for the day.
There once was man from Ghent
who rode his bike for so long, his back got a bent
It gave him so much trouble
to be doubled over
that he decided next time, a car he would rent..

Eastern PA SR Eric Keller's limerick:
A cyclist went for a ride
It lasted so long, he cried
It's called randonneuring
by day, a sport dashing and daring
But in a ditch is where he sleeps soundly all night.

And Eric added this one, later on:

There was a football coach from Lemont*
who said, "I'll turn boys in to men, just you watch"
Don't be a ninny
It's ok if you're winning
"go team!" means we do what we want.

*for some reason they always say that Sandusky lives in Boalsburg, but his property borders on the Lemont Elementary grounds

Bob Torres' limerick
An elderly bride of Port Jervis
Was quite understandably nervous
Since her apple-cheeked groom
with three wives in the tomb
started insuring her during the service.

Bill Olsen's limerick
There once was a biker named Willy
Who did not want a limerick too silly
But his mind was fried
from too much of a ride
and the limerick ended up willy-nilly

This concludes the Eastern PA spring calender of events -- it certainly has been a busy 11 weeks, with an event every other week -- whew!!!  The summer calender of events kicks off with the Hawk's Nest 200k on July 14th.  And since this is an ideal warm weather course, we'll be running it again in August.  For those of you looking for a truly epic challenge, the Endless Mountains 1000k will be run on August 17th-19th.

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Mark Sheehan

I received sad news about the passing of Mark Sheehan, a long-time participant with Pennsylvania Randonneurs.

Calling hours are planned for next Saturday, June 9, at McInerny Funeral Home in Elmira:
Viewing is 2-5:15, memorial service @5:30

Obituaries have been posted here:
... and here:

The following was forwarded to me from Crista Borras, who writes:
"I'm sorry to be the messenger of some very sad news.  Mark Sheehan, an accomplished randonneur from Elmira, New York with whom many of you have ridden and shared hours of good companionship on our local brevets in past years, collapsed and died during a group bike ride in Florida a couple of days ago.  Julie Riplinger forwarded this note from Bill Lodico.  I don't have any additional information as of now but will forward any that I do receive.  I know that all of us who knew Mark feel a deep sense of loss.  "

-Crista Borras

**** Remembrance From Bill Lodico: *****
As some of you may know by now, we lost one of our best yesterday.

Mark was doing what he liked to do most, riding his bike, when he stopped, got off the bike and fell to the ground.  I don't know precisely what happened, but by my understanding it was heart-related and  was over very quickly, before he hit the ground.

It's hard to believe that something like this could happen to a cyclist who has racked up as many long, hard miles as Mark:  three PBP's, who knows how many BMB's, numerous Quadzillas, countless brevets, not to mention a pretty fair allotment of Diners Club centuries.  In his last email to me a couple weeks ago, he was complaining about his form on the bike, but it had been good enough to let him rack up 3000 miles for the year by mid May.

Many of you have shared long rides with Mark, and you remember his steady, no nonsense approach to covering the miles.  His approach to friendship was very much like that.  No nonsense about it, and you could count on him when you needed him.  His steadiness was leavened by a  sense of humor perfectly fitted to the long efforts associated with randonneuring:  subtle, understated, and economical.  HIs version of a belly laugh was an upturning at the corners of his mouth, a sidelong glance, and a twinkle in his eye.  I don't think I ever managed to get him to laugh outright; and when I complained about it, he told me I just wasn't funny enough.  He, on the other hand, got me laughing plenty of times.

There's no way to know why something like this had to happen to Mark, to his family, or to us.  What I do know is that I am happy and grateful to have had him as a friend.

-Bill Lodico

**** Remembrance From Rick Carpenter: *****
During my first ever 600, I found myself off solo winding my way up the lonely desolate Lackawaxen stretch towards Wallenpaupack, literally nodding off and on while pedaling through the silent afternoon heat.  On this stretch Mark stealthily approached alone & unnoticed to me.  I'll never forget him belting out "For a Fast Guy, you ride pretty damn slow!", abruptly startling me into full vigor. Mark and I continued on together and reached the Youth Hostel around 22:45 that evening as the heavens opened and the downpours began.  While my pals Joe, George, and John were already in, showered, and on their way to getting a few hours shut eye, you informed Mark & me that Pavelka was already back out on the course.  With me already nervous about completing my SR for PBP qualification, that was the spark needed to send the both of us immediately back out into the rain without even touching our drop bags for a change of kit.  I was so thankful and relieved to have the company of Mark alongside as we re-entered into the expanse of that dark, wet night in hopes of catching Ed.  Such good memories that I'll always keep and treasure, thanks to Mark's camaraderie.
- Rick Carpenter

*** Remembrance From Guy Harris ***

I first met Mark on the 2010 edition of the PA1000K that he rode and for which I was a support volunteer doing the course sweep.  I was in Carbondale at the Dunkin Donuts controle checking in riders before the last leg of the day to a sleep stop in Halstead.  Mark was the last one in, somewhere around midnight, and riding alone. He was obviously hurting and since I didn't know him I was a bit concerned. That concern quickly faded after speaking with him for just a few minutes. Clearly this was rider I needed to have no concerns for, a big relief after the events of that day.  He had been there before and was not only riding well within his abilities but having a great time.  
- Guy Harris

***Rememberance from Russ Loomis ***

This is sad news.  I met Mark on my first Quadzilla and rode some of those miles with him.  I think we end up riding three QZs together.  I also rode many miles with him on a few BMBs.  I looked forward to seeing him on events and passing the time with his wonderful wit and humor.  He will be missed by many.

SHEEHAN, Mark L | Big Horn Velo | 932011
Cert No.TypeKmDateOrganizing Club or Permanent RouteTimeMedal
2012annual total=200 km
349573ACPB2002012/03/12Hell Week Randonneurs / 94303711:15
2011ACP SR, annual total=2107 km
326782ACPB2002011/03/14Hell Week Randonneurs / 94303710:49
118384ACPB3002011/03/18Hell Week Randonneurs / 94303719:22
82505ACPB4002011/05/28New Jersey Randonneurs / 93002920:53
62999ACPB6002011/06/10New Jersey Randonneurs / 93002936:40
RUSA-T16216RUSAT2042011/06/18NY: Steuben 200K / 92010:30
RUSA-T16890RUSAT2002011/07/06NC: Tar Heel 200 / 58908:52
RUSA-T16909RUSAT2032011/07/17NY: Canandaigua 200K / 100311:15
2010ACP SR, annual total=3060 km
RUSA-B05557RUSAB2002010/02/20Pennsylvania Randonneurs / 93801710:14
297866ACPB2002010/03/27Pennsylvania Randonneurs / 93801710:05
108919ACPB3002010/04/17Pennsylvania Randonneurs / 93801714:15
72451ACPB4002010/05/01Pennsylvania Randonneurs / 93801726:20
US-2010-314ACPFmin 360
actual 380
2010/05/14Rochester Bicycling Club / 93203024:00
6828ACPB10002010/08/26Pennsylvania Randonneurs / 93801772:45Y
59150ACPB6002010/09/04Bicycle For Life Club / 93305733:59
2009annual total=660 km
103952ACPB3002009/05/02Northeast Sport Cyclists / 92103314:05
US-2009-9165ACPFmin 360
actual 422
2009/05/14Northeast Sport Cyclists / 92103324:00
2008annual total=2260 km
RUSA-B02305RUSAB2002008/01/12DC Randonneurs / 94601210:24
96506ACPB3002008/02/02Central Florida Randonneurs / 90906212:45
RUSA-B02324RUSAB2002008/02/23DC Randonneurs / 94601211:34
65720ACPB4002008/03/08Gainesville Cycling Club / 90900519:04
266552ACPB2002008/03/30Upstate NY Brevet Series / 93203409:37
267187ACPB2002008/04/19New Jersey Randonneurs / 93002910:27
US-2008-8173ACPFmin 360
actual 365
2008/04/24Pennsylvania Randonneurs / 93801724:00
66167ACPB4002008/05/03Randonneurs of the Mid-Atlantic / 94601323:53
2007ACP SR, annual total=2505 km
254186ACPB2002007/03/25Northeast Sport Cyclists / 92103308:50
91260ACPB3002007/04/01Northeast Sport Cyclists / 92103313:40
US-2007-7079ACPFmin 360
actual 402
2007/04/19Northeast Sport Cyclists / 92103324:00
59539ACPB4002007/05/05Pennsylvania Randonneurs / 93801720:21
43238ACPB6002007/05/19Pennsylvania Randonneurs / 93801731:24
RUSA-B01724RUSAB6452007/07/14Onondaga Cycling Club / 93202737:55
2006ACP SR, annual total=1860 km
237779ACPB2002006/04/29Onondaga Cycling Club / 93202709:24
US-2006-6135ACPFmin 360
actual 423
2006/05/06Northeast Sport Cyclists / 92103324:00
84693ACPB3002006/05/13Onondaga Cycling Club / 93202712:20Y
56427ACPB4002006/06/03Onondaga Cycling Club / 93202721:30
41399ACPB6002006/07/08Boston Brevet Series / 92103035:07
2005ACP SR, annual total=3660 km
229040ACPB2002005/04/09DC Randonneurs / 94601209:00
US-2005-5084ACPFmin 360
actual 412
2005/04/16Northeast Sport Cyclists / 92103324:00
81418ACPB3002005/05/07DC Randonneurs / 94601215:14Y
54389ACPB4002005/05/21DC Randonneurs / 94601217:45
39843ACPB6002005/06/11DC Randonneurs / 94601231:44
40187ACPB6002005/07/09Boston Brevet Series / 92103031:10
US-2062RM12002005/08/18Boston Montreal Boston / 92100374:55
2004ACP SR, annual total=3060 km
218658ACPB2002004/04/24Northeast Sport Cyclists / 92103307:56Y
79137ACPB3002004/05/08Northeast Sport Cyclists / 92103312:09Y
US-2004-138ACPFmin 360
actual 423
2004/05/22Northeast Sport Cyclists / 92103324:00
53226ACPB4002004/06/12Boston Brevet Series / 92103018:13Y
38975ACPB6002004/06/26Potomac Pedalers Touring Club / 92001028:35Y
4420ACPB10002004/08/19Boston Montreal Boston / 92100358:28Y
225267ACPB2002004/08/22Boston Montreal Boston / 92100310:13Y
2003ACP SR, annual total=1860 km
206614ACPB2002003/04/12Potomac Pedalers Touring Club / 92001009:47Y
US-2003-061ACPFmin 360
actual 386
2003/04/19Potomac Pedalers Touring Club / 92001024:00
72368ACPB3002003/05/03Potomac Pedalers Touring Club / 92001013:49Y
48779ACPB4002003/05/17Potomac Pedalers Touring Club / 92001018:38Y
37477ACPB6002003/06/07Potomac Pedalers Touring Club / 92001030:10Y
2002ACP SR, annual total=3260 km
US-2002-50ACPFmin 360
actual 372
2002/03/30Potomac Pedalers Touring Club / 92001024:00
195993ACPB2002002/04/13Potomac Pedalers Touring Club / 92001008:31Y
196053ACPB2002002/05/04Onondaga Cycling Club / 93202708:55Y
68757ACPB3002002/05/18Onondaga Cycling Club / 93202717:15Y
45947ACPB4002002/06/22Onondaga Cycling Club / 93202717:45Y
33168ACPB6002002/07/20Rochester Bicycling Club / 93203035:49
US1601RM12002002/08/22Boston Montreal Boston / 92100382:53
2001ACP SR, annual total=3700 km
191307ACPB2002001/04/21Potomac Pedalers Touring Club / 92001008:52Y
67425ACPB3002001/05/05Potomac Pedalers Touring Club / 92001013:50Y
44581ACPB4002001/05/19Potomac Pedalers Touring Club / 92001018:27Y
32109ACPB6002001/06/09Potomac Pedalers Touring Club / 92001030:16Y
3650ACPB10002001/07/01Potomac Pedalers Touring Club / 92001064:30Y
US1182RM12002001/08/16Boston Montreal Boston / 92100381:26
2000ACP SR, annual total=2700 km
184710ACPB2002000/04/15Potomac Pedalers Touring Club / 92001010:00Y
65673ACPB3002000/05/06Potomac Pedalers Touring Club / 92001015:41Y
43662ACPB4002000/06/24Boston Brevet Series / 92103020:09Y
31561ACPB6002000/07/22Rochester Bicycling Club / 93203039:44
US1011RM12002000/08/17Boston Montreal Boston / 92100369:49
1999annual total=300 km
59613ACPB3001999/05/01Potomac Pedalers Touring Club / 92001014:20
Grand Total31192 kms