Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Blue Mountain 400k Preliminary Results & Report

Preliminary results for the Blue Mountain 400k have been posted at:
... results will be final, pending ACP certification.

The first warm day of the season certainly made it a bit harder for those of us not acclimated just yet.  But the dry conditions and clear skies really showed off the spectacular views along the ridges.  For those of you who were looking for a challenging ride, I trust you were not disappointed! 29 of the 33 starters were official finishers for a 88% completion.  Of note Michelle Hughes and Susan Rodetis completed their first 400k -- Well Done!  Also of note, Bill Arcieri finished with just 12 minutes to spare.  Bill writes: "...It was an interesting ride and I enjoyed it.  Scenery was gorgeous.  I also learned a couple of thing about PA farmers -- didn't know they work at night, for example. ..."

Nigel Greene writes: "...I just wanted to say a big THANKS to you and all the volunteers for putting on such a well run and memorable event. This was a truly beautiful course. I only wish I was a better photographer to better convey that. My attempts seem less than worthy.  But, I guess one of the perks of doing the ride is getting to see it first hand and there is no substitute. [Yes, I suppose that photos can't really substitute first-hand experience -- but I'd have to say that some of your shots come real close! -Tom R.]  Each of the volunteers was cheerful and helpful. Seeing each one was like meeting up with a friend.  I am a bit tired but its a good tired. The kind that comes from doing something hard but worthwhile. P.S. Please send a special thanks to Rick Carpenter for me.  Riding with him was a really great experience....I look forward to the next event. ..."
Once again, Nigel has captured a number of really great photos, which have been posted at:
I really liked this one in particular:
Nigel has also posted an excellent write-up at:

Rick Carpenter, up visiting from his new home base in N.C., writes: "...Tom and Andrew, This is by far one of my favorite routes of all, made possible through your collaborative efforts.  Truly remarkable and breathtaking. Here our some photos taken while traveling with my ride companion Nigel Greene; what an excellent time we had! ..."
[Thanks Rick -- pretty high praise from someone who's seen a lot of different areas! -Tom R.]

Bill Olsen, who usually is on the giving end of helping out with on-road bike repairs, had some good karma come back his way in the form of spare spoke.  Bill writes: "..Tom - Thanks for another great 400K!  It is always a pleasure to ride along the ridges along the Blue Mountains between the 2nd and 4th controles.  Although Gavin had no reason to carry the spoke in bag for a wheel he wasn't riding I was happy he admitted to being to "lazy" to have taken out when he was packing up on Friday night as it was just the size I needed for the one I broke just before Blondies and made the wheel "good as new." Much better than an emergency repair using the fiberspoke I had with me..."

Guy Harris writes: "...Thanks to all the volunteers for helping to provide a great ride. The New Ringgold to Jonestown portion is a good one - saw a bald eagle on Summer Hill Road in addition to the great views in the clear weather yesterday.  The route from Limerick back to hostel really works well..." [Yes, after trying many different routing options in this densely populated area, the current route seems to be working out the best. -Tom R]

Paul Scearce, looking to be the first to complete an Eastern PA SR series on a fixed gear, unfortunately came up a bit short.  Paul was one of two riders to check into a hotel along the way.  Paul writes: "...I really enjoyed the course you came up with.  I thought it was less challenging than when I rode it in '10.  At the same time it was quite scenic and, I think there was less traffic.  I'm not discouraged about the DNF.  ....  I also figure it isn't a challenge if success is a foregone conclusion.  With any luck, I'll see you in about 2 weeks for the 600k. ..." [On the 2010 edition, it was much hotter and very humid.  -Tom R.]

Len Zawodniak writes: "..Tom, tough course yesterday! I'm still recovering... Andrew [Mead] was  right about the section following his controle, death by a thousand little climbs- or something like that. I should have video from the crossing into Easton, we were like a small army tromping across that bridge! Thanks for getting the event set up so well.  I took some photos early in the day:. ..."

Joe Fillip writes: "...While the weather for the 400 Km wasn't hot in absolute terms, it sure was relatively speaking, given the long stretches of cool spring weather we've enjoyed this year. It was really a struggle to keep adequately hydrated on Saturday during the stretch from New Ringgold to Browntown, which coincides with the most challenging terrain on the route. I'm glad I finished, although I have to confess I felt a bit shattered on Sunday.  For all of that, it's an absolutely beautiful course, and it was (per your usual) an incredibly well run event. Thanks to you and to all of the volunteers for making it possible...."

Ed Dodd writes: "...Thanks to you and all the volunteers once again for a great event. I intend to ride the 600K and hope you can secure the same near perfect weather as you have for the last three brevets. ..."

Joe Brown writes: "..Hopefully the 600 will be a bit more cloudy and less hot than the 400 but I won't hold my breath.  The 400 was a beautiful course. ..."

Greg Conderacci, one of the three DC-area randonneurs clipping-in writes: "..Another Classic!   What a strange, beautiful and challenging ride! Don't know how you managed to keep us almost traffic-free for 250 miles, but you did it. Super scenery:  quaint Amish farms, meandering brooks, verdant hills, shady back roads.  And perfect PA weather to boot!  Many thanks!. ..."

Fellow DC Randonneur and Greg's riding partner, Andrea Matney writes: "..., loved the ride!  The ride was masterfully routed and kept us from busy roads down wiggly, squiggly roads.  Side effect -- felt like we were riding in circles.  Blue skies, low wind, gorgeous views, purple and white flowering bushes, fields of buttercups, tapestry fields, layers of mountain scape, and more.   We had every flavor of smell during the course. Many Mennonites and many of their farm animals, so lots of country air. . ... "

If you have any other photo albums or comments to share, please forward them to me, and I'll include them in the ride report for the PA Message board.

Special thanks to volunteers:
- Norman Smeal (preride checkout, course sweep at Limerick, and RBA rescue)
- Andrew Mead (course sweep at Brownstown, and the routing between New Ringgold and Jonestown -- how about those views of Blue Mountain and Second Mountain along Summer Hill Rd)
- Chris Nadovich (hostel setup and check-in)
- Glenn Ammons (hostel finish and post-ride meal)
- Christine Newman (hostel finish and hostel clean-up)
- Chris Roth (on-call for emergencies -- thankfully, not needed)

Next up, is the PA600 on June 2 and the New Holland 200k on June 3.  The 200k starts on day 2 of the 600k, and follows the same out and back course to New Holland.  PA600k Event details and the roster have been posted at:
New Holland 200k event details have been posted at:

Please send me a note by Thursday, May 31st, if you want to be added to the roster.  Be sure to include the course you'd like to ride, and any hostel reservations you'd like to make.  And as always, please monitor the website and message board for the latest updates.


-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

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