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