Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Water Gap 300/200k

A volunteer preride was completed this past weekend by Norman Smeal, Jon Clamp, and Gavin Biebuyck.  Here is their ride report::

 "...We set out for our scouting ride Sunday morning at 5:35.  The three of us on single speeds not really realizing the 14,467 feet of climbing that we lay ahead of us.  Personally, I was worried about that climb up to the top of Blue Mountain so I choose to have a 68 inch wheel.  At the start, the weather was a bit chilly until we got the blood flowing.  But it did warm up nicely by the afternoon. At mile 7, there is paving in the opposite lane on Passer before Rt 309.  This was not an issue and the lane may be paved by Saturday.  At mile 35.5 we did experience a road closure on Walnut Lane.  The bridge was being rebuilt, the new concrete deck was present and we were able to cross the bridge.  Shortly after the bridge crossing, we arrived at the first controle in Danielsville only to find the places to refuel ourselves, closed -- the problems of pre-riding the route on a Sunday but should not be an issue for the Saturday event.  We started out from  Danielsville where we made our way up to the top of the Blue Mountain ridge crossing the Appalachian Trail for the first time of the day.  Over the ridge and on our way to the Water Gap, but before you get to the Gap, there is the nasty climb up Greenbrier Road due to the road closure.  Leaving the Bakery, there is an orange fence that marks the entrance to the pedestrian walkway on the I-80 Bridge.  This bridge takes you into New Jersey and onto Old Mine road for the steady assent to Millbrook Village.  At Millbrook Village, a rather stiff climb awaits you, followed a very rough descent down to Old Mine Road -- bes sure to take extra caution on this hazardous descent, as noted on the cuesheet.  The route then trends upward as you head up to Hainesville and the Flats Deli controle.  Heading east from the Deli and crossing Rt. 206 takes you to the latest revision to the PA 300k: the right turn onto Rt. 650 begins your ascent up to High Point State Park, Stokes State Forest and the road only goes up from there.  At 100+ miles into the day, we were not enjoying the fact that we were riding single speed bicycles.  Making our way up to the highest point of our trek at 1,392 feet above sea level, we were surprised that our ears were popping and we were still in the state of New Jersey.  With every climb, there is a descent bringing us back to normal elevation to find a daunting head wind to contend with on our return.  The route took us back to the familiar Stillwater General Store which was pleasantly open for business.  Leaving Stillwater we fought the headwinds on the roads travelled on the Beyond Hope to New Hope route.  Onto the Quickcheck in Belvidere, the last chance for food on the way back, on nice rolling roads and the single speed friendly roads back to Riegelsville still battling a relentless headwind.  After Crossing the Delaware River the 13 mile climb back to the Hostel in Quakertown the winds seemed to diminish and gravity was our enemy.   Making it back to the Hostel slightly after 9:00, it was nice to get off the bikes and be finished for the day. In all, the cue sheet was spot-on and easy to follow..." -Norman Smeal

The roster, as of 5/2, has also been posted:

... please take a moment to double check the hostel reservations and course option I have listed for you.  For those of you staying at the hostel, please note that there has been a price increase this year: $30/night -- but still a pretty good value.  If you haven't stayed at the hostel before, there are some hostel guidelines posted at the end of this link:

Please remember to park you car in the big lot to your right, between the road and the hostel, and be sure to stay on the gravel areas.  The few parking spots near the house are reserved.

Breakfast items will be available 1 hour before the start, and as usual, there will be postride food available.

Volunteers, Norman Smeal will sending you off on your way in the morning, and Gavin Biebuyck will be meeting you at the finish.  There are 2 showers in the upstairs bathroom, and I encourage you to rest in the dorm before getting in your car to drive home.

As always, be sure to check the website and PA Message board for any last minute updates -- and remember to refresh you browser to flush any stale pages that may be cached.

And most importantly, be sure to have a **safe ride**!

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

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