Friday, January 27, 2012

Beyond Hope to New Hope 200k

*** Update 1 (1/28) ***
A volunteer pre-ride was completed on 1/28 by Len Zawodniak and yours truly (Thanks Len, for the wonderful company!).  We had fantastic weather, with mostly sunny skies for much of the day.  Temperatures were in the middle 30F's at the start and topped out around 50F.  Winds were calm at the start and picked up out of the south west as we approached New Hope.   We got a nice boost in the form of a 15 MPH tailwind for the last 26 miles to the finish.  It felt a lot more like a early spring day than a winter one.

The cuesheet has been updated to draft 7 (dated 1/28) with a couple of minor clarifications and a route tweak in Frenchtown on the return leg.  In general, the course is in very good shape, but some extra care should be taken with the following:
-There was standing water under the underpasses and along the cliffs near Milford...these of course might be frozen over when you pass through.
-There is plenty of loose gravel and sand from recent road treatments.
-The northbound lane of Rt 29 is in very bad condition in several spots.

Reminder: With the limited daylight, lights and reflective gear will be checked at the start.

***Rider Roster (as of 2/3) ***
-Chip Adams
-Mike Anderson
-Ron Anderson
-Barbara Anderson
-Colin Bailey
-Dan Barbasch
-Clari Beiler (Guest Member)
-Gavin Biebuyck
-Geoff Brunner
-Janice Chernekoff
-Jon Clamp
-Rick Collins
-Bob Dye
-Matt Farrell
-Joe Fillip
-Bill Fischer
-Ixsa Golliur
-Doug Haluza
-Cynthia Hearing
-Don Jagel
-Mary Johnson
-Bill Olsen
-Jon Levitt
-George Metzler
-Ralph Miller (New Member)
-Christine Newman
-Tom Rosenbauer (volunteer pre-ride)
-Chris Roth
-Paul Shapiro
-Norman Smeal
-Bob Torres
-Ivan Umble
-Len Zawodniak (volunteer pre-ride)

*** Original Post ***
The Beyond Hope to New Hope 200k is scheduled for Saturday, February 4.  The current long range forecast looks promising, but weather and road conditions this time of year may cause last minute postponements, so be sure to check back the website and message board for any updates.

***Please note the new start/finish location has been moved to Blairstown for this edition***
You can walk across the foot bridge at "Foot  Bridge Park" (where you'll be parking your car) and have breakfast at the Blairstown diner.  The finish controle at the Blairstown Inn is just a couple of stores away from the diner.  
The course routing mainly uses primary roads, since these have the best chance of being cleared and treated for winter conditions.

There is a volunteer preride scheduled for January 28th, so check the website for any cuesheet updates.
If you're planning to ride, send me an e-mail to join the roster -- please let me know by the Thursday before the event.
-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

Monday, January 2, 2012

PA Dutch 200k Preliminary Results & Report

Preliminary results for the January 1st PA Dutch 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.

Temperatures at the start were around 38F, which was about the high temperature for the volunteer pre-ride just 3 days earlier.  By mid-day, temperatures were well into the 50's.  Hearty upstate New Yorker Bill Fischer even sported short sleeves with arm warmers and knickers since the day was to be "summer-like" for him.  Thankfully, the passage of the cold front held off until later in the day, so those stiff westerly winds did not materialize for the long leg out to Columbia.  Clear skies in the morning eventually gave way to darkening clouds and some rain showers later in the afternoon.  A reinforcing cold front is in the forecast with wind chills in the single digits -- in less than 48 hours after those balmy 50F's!

All 21 riders who clipped in for the PA Dutch 200k (including 4 volunteer pre-riders) made it to the finish, for a 100% finish rate and excellent start to the Eastern PA 2012 season -- congratulations to everyone for being a part of that success.  Thankfully, it was an "uneventful day", and everything went according to plan, due in no small part to the preparations and efforts of organizer Andrew Mead.  As Andrew previously noted, the cue sheet was top notch -- with the many tricky turns through the maze of back roads of Lancaster county, this was a big undertaking -- special thanks to my fellow volunteer pre-riders: Andrew Mead, George Metzler, and Norman Smeal, who all contributed towards making the cue sheet as good as possible.  Thanks also to volunteer Bill Olsen for manning the finish controle, collecting the brevet cards, and making sure everybody got in safely.  With the potential for "epic conditions", which this event has a history of, several volunteers were positioned around the course to greet riders, monitor their progress, and  respond to any eventualities.  Special thanks to these volunteers who stepped up to help out: Bill Slabonik, (on call at Columbia), Curtis Palmer (Lititz controle), and Ted Straub (Honey Brook controle and Conestoga revitalement controle).

Volunteer Ted Straub became a new PA Member in 2011 but has not yet had the opportunity to clip-in for an event.  So this was Ted's first PA event which happened to be in the role as a volunteer.  Ted writes: "...Thanks for taking a chance and letting a new guy, sight unseen, support a ride. I enjoyed the morning and meeting the group, however briefly, on a really nice day! I learned a few things about manning a Controle and being a “waypoint”... at the Conestoga Wagon Restaurant, Bill [Fischer] wins my vote for Mr. Congeniality. Not only for shepherding a first time rider, but also his easygoing, upbeat attitude. The kind that comes from being an experienced, strong rider. A pleasure meeting him, and I wish I could hang at the finish to chat with everyone more when the pressure is off...I snapped some photos that I’ll upload and let you know where to access...."

Bill Olsen writes: "...Thanks for running such a great brevet to kick off the new year. As difficult as the ride has been on all of the previous runnings it didn't seem so difficult with the temperatures in the 50s...although Hilltop Road lived up to it's name and where else but PA can one find a River road that includes a 3.7 mile climb?"

Several riders enjoyed breakfast at the Mt. Penn Family Restaurant to get their ride off to a fully fueled start.  A visiting Maile Neel realized that her helmet had not made the trip up from the DC area.  A quick trip to a nearby 24-hour WalMart solved the problem, though Maile was a little disappointed that there were no more Hello Kittty helmets remaining after Christmas.  You can see Maile's photo album here:

First finisher, Geoff Brunner started at the back the field, and casually worked his way towards the front as he met up with the other riders.  He reached Lititz just after 2PM, with the main pack not too far behind.  But with an impressive negative split for the final 37-mile leg that was over 16 MPH, Geoff managed to make it in before sundown and set a new course record of 8:25.

John Capriotti completed his R-12 series.  In doing so, John joins a very select group who kicked off their string of 12 consecutive months of brevet finishes with their very first brevet event.  Congratulations, and Well Done!  Incidentally, John's first event was with PA Randonneurs back in February of 2011 -- his R-12 series was book-ended by two of the toughest months in the northeast, to get in a ride.  You can read all about John's first year of randonneuring at his 'Videlos' blog:

Joe Fillip writes: "...Tom: A wonderful (and challenging!) ride to start off the New Year. Please pass along my thanks to Andrew for an excellent job in getting us all organized and sending us off at the start (as well as for putting up with this "late registrant"). ... I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to ride with such a wonderful group of riders, and to ride brevets that have been so thoughtfully designed and are so well organized. Great job, Tom. By the way, I nominated you for American Randonneur of the Year before the 12/31/11 deadline. Hope that works out - you certainly deserve it..." [Thanks Joe!  But looking at the list of past recipients of that award, I have looonnngg way to go before I can even think of rubbing elbows with that crowd -- I think my only chance would be if nobody else was nominated. -TJR]

Colin Bailey writes: "...It was a wonderful ride.  I truly appreciate the camaraderie of the others. It is a wonderful group. ..."  You can read Colin's ride report posted here:

Houston Joost sent me the following note: "...I just wanted to let you know that Jenn, my wife and I and the rest of our family are moving to San Francisco this month. We are very excited and I plan to affliliate with the San Francisco rando club ..." Best of luck Houston, and of course, you're always welcome to join us, if you find your way back to Eastern PA for a visit!

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

Next up is the Beyond Hope to New Hope 200k, which we also ran in February of 2011.  This route is tailored for winter conditions: we'll be mostly on primary roads with good shoulders and gentle gradients to minimize slick road hazards.  With limited daylight in mind, there is minimal navigation.  Hopefully, our streak of good weather will continue.

Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA