Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Beyond Hope to New Hope 200k Preliminary Results and Report

Preliminary results for the February 4th  Beyond Hope to New Hope 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 in the mid 20F's, but quickly got into the mid 30F's.  The clear skies at the start gave way to overcast conditions for much of the day.  But with high temperatures in the mid 40F's, there can hardly be many complaints about the weather for an early February event!

The unusually mild weather for this time of year drew a record number of participants: a total of 30 (including the 2 preride volunteers) is more than double the number that usually clip-in at this time of the year. In looking over the hometown of the participants, I would say that many points of the compass within a ~100 mile radius were well covered.  In addition to Pennsylvania, randonneurs from New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Maryland were represented.

All 30 riders clipping in at the start, made it to the finish for another 100% completion rate -- congratulations to everyone, for an excellent result.  Of note, there once again were a number of riders finishing their first 200k brevet: Clair Beiler, Cynthia Hearing, Ralph Miller, and Chris Roth.  These riders just need 11 more months of 200k finishes to complete their R-12 and they have one of the tougher months in the bag already.

Also of note, Jon Clamp completed the ride on a single-speed, and Christine Newman joined the "fixed-gear" club on this ride.  Christine writes "...Thanks for a great day yesterday. I have not ridden this route before and I really enjoyed it. I also enjoyed all the food controles - the diner, the bakery and the inn at the finish. It was great to see so many familiar faces in the middle of winter..."  Christine also is a member of the "brevet photography" club, and despite the cold weather, managed to get a number of interesting shots posted here:

Doug Haluza once again, overcame mechanical issues to save his ride.  This time, it was the chain.  After breaking it twice, he stopped at the bike shop in Frenchtown to get a new one.  And despite having it replaced by a professional mechanic, it broke for a third time!  Doug writes: "...I remember you saying that this course was going to be easy and we should be done early. Thanks for that! OK, the best part of the day was after my chain broke the first time, and I stopped at Zekes Place in Warren County to get something to drink since my bottles were frozen. They had country music playing and a guy was eating breakfast wearing a cowboy hat. Someone came in and ordered a western omelette. And I wondered where I made a wrong turn and ended up in Oklahoma...."

As Doug notes, this is a fast course.  And a couple of fast riders, Geoff Brunner and Gavin Biebuyck set a new course record of 7:23.  Jon Clamp and Don Jagel also managed to get in under 8 hours.  Don writes: "... Thanks for putting together 200k brevet yesterday.  The route is a very good early season route, particularly if the weather/road conditions turn bad.  Luckily, we had none of that.  Probably the most difficult part of the course is the return trip up Route 29.  It is just a little too flat.  My legs were a bit tight upon arriving back in Frenchtown.  Once the roads started to become slightly more rolling my legs began feeling better.  We arrived in New Hope very quickly, enjoying the general down grade for the entire way.  Norm, Jon, Gavin, Geoff, and myself all left New Hope together.  Geoff, wanting to finish with a negative split, upped the pace and only Gavin went with him.  They soon disappeared from our view.  They did achieve the negative split, and if I am not mistaken, also trounced the PA Randoneurs record for the fastest finish of a 200K.  Congrats to both...."

Bob Dye, part of the upstate New York contingent, writes: "...30 riders for a February Brevet?! Obviously a testament to your charismatic and dynamic leadership - not to mention good looks. Thanks for another great day in the saddle..." [Thanks Bob, but I think if we had one of those rainy days in the mid 30F's, like we had just a couple of weeks ago, the numbers would've been much lower -Tom R.].

Special thanks to volunteers Len Zawodniak, who joined me for the pre-ride, and Bill Olsen, who staffed the finish controle and made sure everybody got in safely.  And speaking of volunteers, I'm looking for help on the following events:
300k (May 5)
400k (May 19)
600k (June 2)
1000k (August 17)
Volunteers may pre-ride an event up to 15 days in advance (which allows you to cherry pick a good day for riding, I might add).  Please drop me a note if you can step up to help out.

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 a 200k for the March R-12.  The route will either be the Stillwater 200k or a new route out of Milford, NJ.  And looking ahead to April, there is a brand new 200k course compliments of Andrew Mead.  Hopefully, our streak of good weather will continue.

Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

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