Monday, May 6, 2013

Water Gap 200/300k Ride Report

High Point State Park
Photo compliments of Doug Haluza

19 riders clipped in for the newly revised Water Gap 300k and 4 others for the 200k for a total of 23 participants.  All but 2 (due to mechanicals) of the 300k riders finished -- 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.

Although a bit chilly the start, there can't be too many complaints about the weather which is as close to ideal as you can get in spring. Temperatures at the start were in the low 40F's, but dipped into the 30F's in some of the valley roads.  By afternoon, temperatures were well into the 70F's, and the bright sunny skies probably made it feel much warmer than that.  That +40 degree swing made it feel like getting all four seasons in one day, as Chris Nadovich quipped at the finish.

Of note, Dan Brown completed his very first brevet.  Although Dan has only recently returned to cycling, he has already completed a big challenge with this year's Crush the Commonwealth ride, where he met fellow PA Randonneurs, Norman Smeal, Jon Clamp, and Gavin Biebuyck. And thanks to that fortuitous meeting, Dan has discovered the world of randonnuering.  Also of note, Flavio Pardo and Gloria Safar successfully completed their very first 300k.

Special thanks to volunteers Norman Smeal, Jon Clamp, and Gavin Biebuyck who completed a check-out ride and made sure the cuesheet was as accurate as possible.  Norman also manned the start controle, getting breakfast ready, registering riders, and sending everyone on their way.  And Gavin manned the finish controle, checking in riders and serving the post-ride meal.

Guy Harris, riding a fixed-gear bike, still managed to somehow finish in under 15 hours.  Guy writes: "...Many thanks for the ride yesterday. And, to Norman and Gavin for helping out. The climb over High Point and the section down to Stillwater was great..."

200k participant, Janice Chernekoff writes: "..Thanks for a great ride yesterday.  The route between Danielsville and Delaware Water Gap was stunning, and I had the best grilled cheese sandwich ever at the pie shop...real bread and cheese and excellent pickles on the side.  Please convey my sincere thanks to all of the volunteers as well...."
Unfortunately, although Janice finished the ride, she could not be recognized as an official finisher, since she had previously completed a volunteer ride for the NJ300k, which was also scheduled for May 4th.  The rules do not allow you to have two results posted for overlapping events scheduled on the same day.

Chris Nadovich writes: "..It was very enjoyable version of the WG300 -- a nice mix of old and
new.  Thanks to Norman for helping at the start. And thanks for a nice topological conundrum. A loop course that had an odd number (3) of encounters with the AT? How is this possible unless
we circumnavigated Katahdin or Springer? Come to think of it, with all the climbing, it sure felt like we did exactly that! ..."
Chris has posted a couple of pictures at:

Andrew Mead writes: "...I really enjoyed the latest changes to the Water Gap route. Definitely a keeper!  The High Point State Park climb was challenging, but not disproportionately so.  The views from the top were spectacular and made it worth the effort.  If only that right turn coming off the mountain could have been a little further down the hill so we could more fully enjoy the roll-out.  
.... Special thanks to Norman & Gavin for superb start-finish work.  ..."

Robin Landis writes: "...Just a quick note to thank you for offering a great 300K yesterday!  The weather (for which I give you full credit) couldn't have been better.  The route was spectacular, and the spring scenery--flowering trees of all varieties, forsythia, daffodils and tulips--spectacular.  As we have come to expect, the cue sheet was exemplary--even I, the poster child for directionally challenged people, didn't manage to log any bonus miles on this brevet.  I had great riding companions--Andrew Mead, Jeff Butts and (at controles, when we managed to catch up to him) Guy Harris.  I especially want to thank Norm and Gavin for their efforts as volunteers.  Norm was bright and cheerful and positive at 3:00 am (no mean feat) and Gavin couldn't have been more welcoming and encouraging at the hostel afterwards.  Their friendly faces and cheerfulness made all the difference..."

It was wonderful to see Doug Haluza fully recovered from his January brevet mishap and having him clipping-in again with us.  Doug writes: "...Glad to be back, and glad you're glad too. Weather was perfect, and I was not, but I lived to tell about it..."
Doug has posted some pictures at:

300k first finisher, Don Jagel writes: "... Many thanks for putting together the 300K brevet this past weekend.  The route was thoroughly enjoyable and challenging. After a chilly start that included tights, full finger gloves, a shell, and helmet liner, the day finely turned into a perfect sunny day with dry roads.  From the start, a group of us had a pleasantly paced ride to the control in Danielsville.  Not wanting to sit too long and let the muscles tighten up before the climb over Blue Mountain, I headed out by myself.  By the Water Gap it was warm enough to shed the shell, helmet liner, and full finger gloves.   Arriving at the Hainesville control, it was time for a quick lunch.  My timing was perfect, as I hit the late morning rush in the deli and had to wait almost 10 minutes to place my order.  Then it was time for the tights and arm warmers to come off in anticipation of the Deckertown Pike climb.  In the early 90's I spent a couple of years doing detailed field work in that area, and knew the roads well, so was mentally prepared for the multi-pitch climb.  The cloudless sky allowed for spectacular views that few would realize are possible in New Jersey.  After weaving my way through the spaced-out pedestrian traffic at Space Farm in Beemerville, it was onto the familiar roads all the way back to the Hostel.  Arriving at the bridge in Reiglesville, I took a quick look at my cues sheet and realized it was still 14 miles back to the Hostel.  For some reason I was thinking it was only 8 miles, but the time passed by swiftly as I got closer to the finish. Many thanks to Norman for starting us off in the early morning.  The good hot coffee he had waiting was just what I needed to get going.  And thanks to Gavin for greeting us at the finish.  It is always nice to see a smiling face congratulating you after a long day in the saddle..."

Local PA Randonneur, Bill Olsen finished the Texas Rando Stampede 1200k.  Bill tells me they had adverse winds for much of the ride.  Mark Thomas reported on the RANDON message board that he: "...Enjoyed a unique grand randonnee experience at the Texas 1200.... A rolling pack of around 30 randos rode nearly the entire ride together. A few riders were off the front and a few off the back, and a crash 45 miles from the end split the group, but otherwise the "herd" rode hundreds and hundreds of miles together. Although a pack that large was certainly inefficient at controls and other stops, the teamwork and camaraderie displayed in the group provided a joyful reminder of the essential nature of randonneuring. A wonderful group of volunteers provided great Texas hospitality all along the way. Kudos to Dan Driscoll and his merry band for what they created...."
Congratulations to Bill and all the other finishers. Preliminary results have been posted at:

Next up is the Blue Mountain 400k on May 18th.  Again, the start/finish is at the Weisel hostel, where the usual preride breakfast and postride meals will be available.  Event details have been posted at:
... as usual, PA members in good standing can register via e-mail by the Thursday before the event.

Please note that the bike inspection checklist has been recently revised:  You will need to have two taillights permanently mounted to the bike frame  (previously, only one was required).  You will also need an independent front lighting system, which can just be carried and does not need to be permanently mounted  (previously, a spare bulb was accepted as a backup).  The checklist has been posted at:

Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

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