Sunday, February 2, 2014

Beyond Hope Retour 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.

Unlike last month, the scheduled date for the February R-12 event aligned nicely with a break in this winter's messy weather pattern.  Temperatures at the start were a chilly 23F, and remained below freezing for the first 40 mile leg to Blairstown.  But with plentiful sunshine and some warm air blowing from the south, temperatures rose up into the mid 40F's.  The weather gods smiled upon us this time -- and looking ahead to next week, 3 more storms are in the forecast, so we're very fortunate we were able to take advantage of this opportunity to ride.  I've seen recent news reports of NJ getting low on their road salt supplies.  I think at least half of the annual stockpile must have been laid down on Rt 29 -- that stretch of road was more akin to the Bonneville salt flats!

All 22 riders who clipped-in on Saturday morning made it around the course in good time.  Of note, Christopher Maglieri, Larry Midura, Bill Olsen and Eric Keller all completed an R-12 series.  Congratulations to them all, for finding a way to string together all those months of results.

And if you think the weather in Eastern PA has been bad this winter, it's been much worse for Larry Midura who lives in Syracuse -- that part of NY has been absolutely buried with lake effect snow all winter.  Larry writes: "..Over the years, I have been on many  of your different routes into Blairstown, but never the direct, main Rt. 519 &  Rt. 521 roads to Rt. 94 into the Diner Control.  Those are perfect winter roads to ride.  And the start from Milford was great - a quaint village with a neat bakery and pizzeria with super Sicilian pizza!..."

First-time Eastern PA participant, Mark Lockwood is also working on an R-12 series, and decided to make the long trip up from Virginia to join us for his fourth brevet.  Mark writes: "...That was a great ride, very scenic with the frozen waterfalls.  That was my best 200k time so far to boot; I was motivated by an awesome group of riders ..."  With four of the toughest months in the bag, Mark is well on his way to an R-12 series that started with his first brevet ever -- best of luck, for this rare achievement!

Eric Keller actually has back-to-back R-12 completions, for a streak of 24.  Eric writes: "...Thanks for all your efforts in making the R-12 possible.  I would have had a PA rando R24 if it weren't for pesky work obligations in October.  I really like the route starting in Milford.  That stretch of 521 into Blairstown offers a few too many moments of terror in the dark, but it was OK in the morning.  And the practical advantages of riding past your car at mile 80 are obvious. ..."

Bill Olsen has a monthly streak of 41 Eastern PA finishes and also has completed an R-12. Bill writes: "... we Sure got lucky with Saturday. ... Once the results are entered, and formally recognized/recorded by RUSA I'll also plan to apply fo my RUSA R-12 award.... I would also bet that Ron had a hand in helping to convince you to make the Ship Inn the final controle. It is one of his favorite stops, although with the clientele that frequents such a high class joint as that, I'll need to ride one of my Bob Jackson or other English steeds. Thanks again for making the R-12 possible for all of us through the PA series. ..."

Christine Newman  writes: " ...Thanks for organizing another great ride. Many thanks to Len for his support throughout the day and to Bill for his support and patience at the finish. I uploaded the photos to the NJ Rando Facebook page so everyone should be able to access them that way. If someone has trouble viewing them, I can send them a different link through their e-mail address...."
You can see Christine's wonderful photo album at:

The February event is one of the tougher months on the R-12 calender.  But Bob Dye has now completed 4 consecutive years of brevet finishes in February.  Bob writes: "...Another good day in the saddle thanks to you and the ubiquitous Lenny Z. He popped up more often than a whack-a-mole. I had the unique experience of dodging a small falling boulder on Rt. 29 North. The adrenaline surge was good for a couple extra MPH. ..."

Special thanks to volunteer,  Len Zawodniak.  Len certainly took one for the team with his volunteer pre-ride on Friday.  The temperature at his start was in the teens, and never quite made it to the freezing mark. Len not only manned the start controle, but was also an encouraging, friendly face to greet riders all along the northern loop.   Thanks also, to organizer Bill Olsen for manning the finish controle

This concludes the winter schedule -- whew!  I don't know about you, but I've had more than my fill of Rt29 these past 2 months, and I don't plan on going down that long stretch of road again until next January. The Eastern PA spring series kicks off on March 22nd with a return to quieter roads.  Organizer Don Jagel, will be running his Blue Mountain 200k out of Milford.  The start will again be at our favorite Bakery there, but riding companions, Christine Newman and Chris Nadovich introduced me to the Ship Inn this past Saturday, and talked me into making that the finish controle instead of the pizzeria.  Event details have been posted at:

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA