Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Blue Mountain 200k/200k Ride Report

Blue Mountain, between Wind Gap and Little Gap
(photo compliments of Christine Newman)

14 riders clipped in for the inaugural Blue Mountain 300k and 13 others for the 200k for a total of 27 participants.  All finished for another 100% finish -- Well done, and congratulations to all. 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/ACP certification.

With over an inch of rain that stopped just in time for the 5AM departure for the 300k, the streams and waterfalls along the course were flush with running water.  Temperatures at the start were in the mid 40F's and warmed up to the 50F's, with sun poking through the clouds all day.  The powerful storm that came through during the night left its mark in the form of strong gusty winds out of the west.  That certainly made the leg from Wind Gap to Little Gap harder.  And after the climb of Little Gap, those winds through the S-turns on the downhill, made the descent rather treacherous -- thankfully, the Guardian Angels for everybody were able to keep up without any incidents!

Of note, Flavio Pardo and Matthew Groff successfully completed their very first brevets.  As freshly minted randonneurs, they just need to complete 11 more in the coming months for their R-12 award.  Thanks to Hugo and Gloria Safar for introducing Flavio, and to Clair Beiler for introducing Matthew to our sport.

Special thanks to organizer, Bill Olsen, who checked out the 300k course the weekend before, and made sure the cuesheet was as perfect as it could be.   Bill also sent us on our way at the start, and was on hand to greet all the 200k finishers, and first couple of 300k finishers.  Without volunteers like Bill, these events would not be possible -- and I'm still looking for help on some of the remaining events, particularly for the 600k.  If you can step up to help, you can indicate your availability at this webpage:

200k first finisher (on a fixed gear!), Guy Harris writes: "...Thanks to you and Bill O for putting this on. This was a nicely balanced course containing many favorite roads. The re-surfaced Staats was an improvement, made walking the last little bit smoother! Too early in the year to make the whole thing on the fixed. I saw one eagle of the pair south of Portland perched in a tree next to what looked like a real nest..."

Nigel Greene, who set a new personal best for a 300k, writes: "...Thanks to Bill and you for putting on the 300K. The cue sheet was spot on. The roads were quiet and scenic. I enjoyed the course from morning to night. ..."  You can read Nigel's complete ride report at:

Chris Nadovich writes: "...With great trepidation I turned left at the base of Millbrook hill, but there were no dragons to be found:
.... Rather, I was treated to a quiet and gently rolling country lane with glimpses of pretty
waterfalls and the glimmering Delaware entering magestic Walpack bend. Very nice road. A keeper..."

Chris also was one of a couple of riders who stopped at the recently re-opened Layton store, which now is being run by a Greek couple.  He reports: "... I had a most excellent Gyro platter served acceptably quick.  No tuna subs or rabbit food on the menu ... but good for a big, fragrant, artery clogging meal should that be a rider's need.  The burgers seemed awesome as well. ..."

300k first finisher, Don Jagel, writes: "...Thanks to you and Bill for putting together the 300K brevet.  The route was on many of the roads we have all seen before.  Changing directions, and adding a few new segments really made it seem like a new course, yet still familiar.  The weather was just about perfect for a spring ride.  The cold front that blew through over night before the start of the ride really cleared the air, and the rain made sure there were plenty of cascading water falls to add to the scenery.  Of significant note; the rough, but much improved, and patched, descent of Old Mine Road allowed me to actually descend at a speed of more than about 10 MPH.  That has got to be a first in many years.  Hopefully they will actually re-surface that section and make both the climbing and descending a little less epic....."

Christine Newman writes: "...Thanks for organizing the ride and developing the new route. I thoroughly enjoyed it and the new route through Peter's Valley was quite nice and very quiet with almost no cars while we were there ..."
Christine has taken some beautiful pictures along the course, which you can view at:

Len Zawodniak, riding on his newly painted recumbent, writes: "...thanks for the great day on the bike. I used every gear I had, including the elusive 24 inch gear and really enjoyed the challenge ..."

Local PA Randonneurs, Norman Smeal, Jon Clamp, and Gavin Biebuyck set out to Crush the Commonwealth: a 400-mile challenge to ride unsupported from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia.  They set out on Friday morning at 5AM, and experienced the full brunt of the storms that blew through our area.  An account of their epic adventure has been posted at:

Next up is another opportunity to ride either a 200k or a newly revised Water Gap 300k on May 4th.  This time, the start/finish is at the Weisel hostel, where the usual preride breakfast and postride meals will be available -- and the later finishers won't have to worry about pizzerias closing before they arrive.  Event details have been posted at:
... as usual, PA members in good standing can register via e-mail by the Thursday before the event.

Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

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