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