Monday, June 30, 2014

Lackawanna 200k Ride Report

Lackawanna Tunnel Photo compliments of CJ Arayata
Preliminary results for the Lackawanna 200k 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.

With the typical summer weather pattern of "hazy, hot and humid" upon us already, there could hardly be any complaints with the low humidity and mid-80F's we got for the inaugural Lackawanna 200k.   22 of the 23 starters made it around the course in good time, including 3 volunteer preriders.  Of note, there were five first-time participants, most of whom also were riding their very first brevet.  Freshly-minted randonneur Zachary Goodrich also distinguished himself by riding 100k to the start on Friday night from his home in the Poconos, and along with his return ride home on Sunday, put together 400k of riding over 3 days.  Zach writes: "... I had a great weekend and met some some very nice and very interesting people. I did not know what to expect in meeting the group and doing the ride, but I realized this weekend that Randonneuring, and maybe specifically the group of riders that were here this weekend, are up on a whole different level of cycling that I did not know existed. I was very impressed by the positive, friendly, and nonchalant attitude of the folks I met who really were completing an extreme test of physical endurance (at least in this day & age), and their level of knowledge and experience. Admittedly, I probably did not ride as smart as I could have this weekend. As a tourist and commuter, I am used to either the leisurely pace with frequent stops or all out panicked pace to get into work on time! These brevets seem to be somewhere in between... I will surely need to work out my strategy for maintaining the appropriate fluid and food intake while having minimal and brief stops. ..."

Other first timers include: Richard Costello, James Haddad, Michael Marcondes de Freitas, and Dan McGill.  Unfortunately, Michael had a major mechanical near the Fairy Hole along Shades of Death Road -- perhaps the work of a malevolent spirit?  Michael writes: "...Although I haven't finished the ride today, I feel very accomplished for the 5 miles total I've walked my bike, plus the 15 miles on a single gear between Jonhsonburg and Portland. This is fun and I will sure be attempting another 200k very soon ..."

Richard Costello posted a nice write-up at:

Jim Holman writes: "...Many thanks to you for another superb ride.  Thanks also to Joe Filip and Chris Nadovich for their helpful pre-ride comments.  With humidity levels lower than it had been a couple days before, it was a very comfortable morning start which would then progress to a warm summer day.  As such, the amount of shade on the very pleasant course was much appreciated.  So, too, was the excellent food at the end of the ride.  All in all, it was a great day to be out on a bike with my riding companions. ..."

CJ writes: "...Thanks for a great ride on a new course yesterday, ... Great weather, shaded gradual climbs, and even the short rough patches gave way to smooth rolling and low-traffic scenic roads. I was pleasantly surprised at how well a bunch of us stuck together. I was with Jeff and Greg most of the day, and we kept picking up more riders until Portland.  Greg, Jeff, and I decided to only stop for a quick nibble at Portland, while the rest of the group we had been with elected to sit down for a proper meal. We had been making very good time all day, and when Andrew was getting ready to leave Warren Glen not long after our arrival, I chose to press on as well, with Greg, Jeff, and (a just-arrived) John jumping on after giving it a thought. According to my calculations, it would have been cutting it razor-close for a sub-9 hour finish, but then two dropped chains (Andrew, and then John), plus Gallow's Hill, pushed it out of reach. Oh well,....

I think I forgot to mention this to you yesterday, but at Portland, two riders wearing West Chester Cycling and Chester County Bikes kit rolled up on semi-loaded bikes. I was super confused, seeing two familiar kits so far from home. I said that I was from Downingtown and in the West Chester club, and it was quite a humorous conversation and happenstance meeting. Turns out that the two riders were on their final day of a 12-day tour, and they were at mile 40 of 160, on their way back to the Downingtown/West Chester area. ...."
CJ just uploaded all his photos which includes some from the spring events:

Andrew Mead writes: "...Great route and excellent weather. While I appreciate the route name, I have to wonder if there is a better name when one abandons Hope (Rd) in favor of Shades of Death Rd and ultimately climbs the Gallows (Hill Rd).  Thanks to you and the volunteers for making my first brevet in many months so enjoyable...."

Final call for the PA super lightweight short sleeve wool jerseys:
The PA Randonneur's wool jersey is a classic design: Molteni orange with black stripe:

You can place your order by 6/29 at this on-line link:

Special thanks to volunteer Bill Olsen and Zachary Goodrich for helping with the clean-up at the finish. Thanks also to volunteer preriders, Joe Fillip and Chris Nadovich for helping to make the cuesheet as perfect as possible.

The Eastern PA summer series continues with the next ride scheduled for July 26th.  We'll be headed to the cool, shaded roads up on the Allegheny Plateau; details will be posted soon.

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

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