Monday, September 9, 2013

Silver Spring 200k Ride Report

Photo Compliments of Mary Gersema

Preliminary results have been posted at:
Please let Tom know of any corrections or other issues.  Results will be submitted shortly, and become final, pending RUSA/ACP certification.

We have certainly enjoyed a nice string of great weather on brevet day this summer.  Saturday's Silver Spring 200 was no exception.  A slightly chilly start soon dawned to beautiful blue skies with light winds, exceptionally low humidity, and a high temperature of 80.  It was a much nicer day than the previous weekend's high temperatures and high humidity endured by the pre-riders.  Eighteen riders departed the start near Atglen at 7am and headed for the Susquehanna River.  I offered my usual pre-ride talk along with a cautionary forewarning of the challenges awaiting them in the second leg and the need to keep a mindful eye on the clock until at least the third control.  Most riders sported arm warmers and fingered gloves which would be appreciated during the first few downhill miles along the Octoraro Creek.      

Eventual first finishers Gavin Biebuyck, Bill Fischer, Don Jagel, and Norman Smeal took my pre-ride advice to heart and checked into the third control at the halfway mark just over four hours later.  These front-runners were closely followed by a large contingent of the rest of the pack led by the tandem team of visiting DC Randonneurs Ed Felker and Mary Gersema.  All riders cleared the controle within the time limit.  With the recent closure of the Mt. Nebo General Store, we staffed the controle with cool drinks and bananas which everyone seemed to enjoy.  We will surely miss the deli and ice cream counter of the Mt. Nebo store, but it was nice to get a live check-in on rider progress and conditions.  Organizers like knowing these things.

Midday temperatures were approaching 80 and riders were definitely warmed up as they continued through Lancaster County farmland on their way back to the finish.  The terrain softens slightly and allows more time to enjoy the sights and smells of farmland.  The field spread out as everyone settled into a comfortable pace.  A few strategically placed SPOT trackers allowed us to watch rider progress.  And stops.  Organizers like knowing these things.

Co-organizer George Metzler once again opened Café Metzler for the occasion.  A menu of grilled hamburgers, hotdogs and brats was just the motivation needed to bring the group to the finish.  Motivation is high as over half the field posted sub-10 hour finishes, including first-time and now freshly minted randonneur CJ Arayata.  Most of the rest were not all that far behind.  Several riders posted finishes after long absences from brevets, including Ivan Umble, Chris Roth, and our own RBA Tom Rosenbauer.  On the other side of that coin is Bill Olsen who came out to loosen up his legs having just finished the Granite Anvil 1200k a week ago and will be headed out for the Last Chance 1200k this week.  I'm pleased to report that each and every starter reached the Café and was served.

Riders enjoyed time at the finish to eat, drink, relax and share stories from their adventure.  It's a nice way to finish a ride.  Hearing their tales is my favorite part.

Norman Smeal writes:
Thank you for putting on the event yesterday.  Nice to finish at Cafe' Metzler for some good home grilling.  Great ride, and the ride was not as bad as the profile appeared.  The few climbs were not all that bad, Douts Hil Rd. at mile 59 was a kicker.  It also did not hurt that it was probably the best day of the summer, perfect day for a ride.

Ed Felker, a.k.a. The Daily Randonneur, has posted a very nice ride summary at:
and his full set of photographs at:

Mary Gersema's ride summary is posted on her Chasing Mailboxes blog at:
and her pictures are at:

CJ's pictures:

Our next event is the fall classic 150k/200k at the Quakertown hostel which coincidentally includes food at the finish.

As always, I would like to thank George Metzler for being my co-conspirator for this brevet and for hosting a crowd of hungry randonneurs.  Without his help, this would be just another hilly Pennsylvania brevet.

Andrew Mead

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