Sunday, December 8, 2013

Le Retour du Stillwater 200k Ride Report

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

As I write this, snow is falling as another significant winter storm hits the region -- and less than 36 hours earlier, another big winter event barely cleared out with just hours before the starting time.  Once again, the weather gods have smiled on us.  But it was definitely winter conditions for the 15 participants that made it to the start at the Milford Bakery. Temperatures at the start were just above freezing and remained in the 30F's throughout the day.  A stiff wind out of the north and lingering dampness from all the rain the night before made it feel much colder than that. The sun poked through the clouds from time to time, and when it was out, it made for a pleasant day to be out for a winter day of riding.  But as for the riders out past sundown can attest to, the temperatures dropped like a rock and made for an extremely cold finish on the big descent from the Tunnel Road climb.

All 15 participants made it around the course in good time for another 100% finish -- well done!   Of note,
Clair Beiler and Jeffery Butt both completed their Eastern PA R-12 series, and joined the Honor Roll. Only 6 others have managed this accomplishment of stringing together 12 months of finishes on the Eastern PA schedule. Congratulations, and Well Done!  Also of note, first time participants Greg Bullock and Eric Smucker finished in good time, with Eric also completing his very first brevet and now officially a randonneur.

Doug Haluza took some nice photos that can be viewed at:
For those of you who may be railroad aficionados, this shot:
... is a tunnel through the Lackawanna cut-off, which was an engineering marvel created in the early 1900's.  The route actually passed near parts of the cut-off at several points.  Check out this link:
... for an interesting write-up.

Clair Beiler writes: "..Tom, thanks for your efforts as RBA of the Eastern Pa Randonneurs again this year!! I want to personally thank you for your encouragement in my progression as a randonneur, with the culmination of my Eastern R-12 completion. ...this last one seemed as difficult as any, not in the ride itself necessarily, although my lack of riding the last 5 weeks had me laboring more than usual, but in the stupid little thoughts like “I hope I’m good enough to do this” or “please let my bike hold together”. These thoughts were still in my head on the long grind up Tunnel Rd. and Mt. Bethel Rd. Even though I could barely blink my eyes from the frigid evening air, Milford was a welcomed sight!!!  Having my nephew Eric and Scott Franzen with me all day certainly helped ..."

Bill Olsen writes: "...Looking at the forecast for the next week, it appears you made the right call to go forward with yesterday's R-12.  Couldn't have had a better day for a December ride...Thank's again for providing us all with the opportunity for a successful 2013, and looking forward to a great year of brevets in 2014...Have a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and see you on the 4th...."

First finisher, Gavin Biebuyck writes: "...Nice ride - we were lucky with the weather, roads were dry and we just missed slushy conditions that were called for.  Although it never really warmed up it was a nice day for riding with some sun and good scenery and good company.  Many thanks to Bob Dye for getting up so early to see us off and for meeting us at the Portland controle...."

Special thanks to volunteer Bob Dye, who got everybody signed in at the start and on their way.  Bob also manned the first controle stop in Portland, making sure everyone got through there safely. It really makes me happy to have first time volunteers like Bob step up to help keep PA Randonneurs going.  And a really great Christmas present for your RBA would be to have the 2014 volunteer sign-up webpage:
... filled up with volunteers before the first event on January 4th.  Thanks also, to volunteer Bill Olsen for manning the finish controle until I arrived.

This concludes the 2013 Eastern PA schedule.  The year-end mailing of final results and validated brevet cards will start rolling out in the coming weeks.  Hope you all have happy, and more importantly, a safe holiday!

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

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