Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Lackawanna 200k

*** Update 2 (6/23) ***
A 2nd volunteer preride was completed this past weekend by Joe Fillip and Chris Nadovich.  With their 200k finish, Joe completed an Eastern PA Super Randonneur series and Chris completed an R-12 series. Congratulations to them both on those significant accomplishments.

Joe reports:  "...It would be hard to imagine a more perfect day for riding than the one Chris and I enjoyed yesterday - sunny but not unbearably hot, and with virtually no wind. It would also be difficult to design a better course. Many of the roads will be familiar, although riders will often come at them from a different direction or angle, and the result is of something distinctly new. I especially liked the fact that snippets of the NJ Randonneurs 200 and 300 Km brevets from Princeton were to be found along the route. Another delight is that a great many of the climbs are pleasantly shaded and (by PA Rando standards) gradual.   One exception is the grind up NJ 519 to the Harmony schoolhouse. That is in full sun, and riders will be tackling it in the heat of the early afternoon. Riders who find themselves running low on water when crossing the Delaware at Belvidere would be well advised to stock up there. For those who don't, there is a vending machine with cold bottles of water at the Taylor Rental at the top of the Route 519 hill, and it accepts dollar bills.  The cue sheet is spot on, as was your advice for riders to turn off their  "auto pilots". This is particularly true after crossing the Delaware into Riegelsville. It was only after repeated promptings by Chris that I focused on the cue sheet's direction to CROSS Route 611 at the traffic light. We all know that there is no "flat" route back to the Quakertown hostel from Riegelsville, but the return for this ride was new to me, and relatively benign. All in all, an excellent addition to the PA Rando calendar...."

Chris adds: "...Great course... I really like the variety that these changes add ... I don't think you made the overall ride significantly easier or harder, although there were pluses and minuses they seemed to average out. It seemed tough but fair.... The cue sheet was darn near perfect, but I do think that some
asterisks might be called for in Riegelsville where we cross 611.  I had to look at the cue about 100 times to assure myself it was really what it said. Similarly, continuing on Hutchinson rather than making the right to River Road required forcibly suppressing auto pilot.  I was empty of water by the 50 mile deli. Riders should be mindful that the first few controles are not replenishment options and that they need to actively and continuously seek water, especially if the day is warm...."

There are no cuesheet changes as result of this preride and draft 3 dated 6/14 remains the current version.  However, you might want to highlight the limited opportunities for food/water which are called out on the cuesheet. You will probably want to replenish your supplies in either Milford or at mile 38.

*** Update 1 (6/19) ***
The cuesheet has been updated to draft 3 (6/19), with changes and corrections from a volunteer preride this past weekend by yours truly.  Although it was a bit humid at the start, drier air moved in with a passing cold front.  And with the cold front, some clouds appeared to take the edge off the afternoon sun, along with a helpful northerly wind to push me back home.  All in all, a fantastic day to be out on the bike.

The last two cuesheet updates incorporate significant route changes at:
- Mile 100.3
- Mile 110.7
- Mile 113

Course Notes:

The first controle stop at mile 17.4 is just a postcard drop with no services nearby.  But just a bit further down the road at mile 23, you'll be passing through Milford where you can stop at the Bakery (highly recommended) or one of the many other stores along Bridge St. in order to get some food.  Controle 3 in Johnsonburg has been changed to an information controle at Chrusz's General store.  The store was not open when I passed through on my checkout ride. I contacted the store owner to make arrangements to open by 10AM on the day of the event.  However, it would probably be a good idea to replenish your food and water at the Nykun's general store (mile 52.5) in Great Meadows (if for some reason, Chrusz's does not open early for us).

The patching of roads from the rough winter we had is still a work-in-progress, so you'll need to be vigilant for potholes and rough roads.  Please keep a safe follow distance if you're riding in a group.

For those of you familiar with some of the route segments on this course, there have been some route tweaks to use some new roads this time -- so you'll need to take the auto-pilot off and pay attention to the cuesheet. Some of the features of the Lackawanna Cut-off we'll be passing near have been called out on the cuesheet as a "POI" (point of  interest).  Unfortunately, due to bridge construction the route bypasses one of the more dramatic features, the Paulinskill Viaduct.  However, as noted on the cuesheet, you can take a 1.4 mile detour at mile 71.4 to see this structure.  The bridge construction does seem to be moving forward, so perhaps next time we won't have to use the bypass.

*** Original Post ***
We'll be heading north to Johnsonburg, NJ and then turning west to Blairstown.  The northern extent of this route parallels portions of the Lackawanna Cutoff, a modern marvel in the early 1900's.  Starting from our rando clubhouse at the Weisel hostel in Quakertown, we first pass through Tinicum township as we drop down to the Delaware River.  The first controle stop is just a postcard drop on Headquarters Road, but we'll soon pass through Milford NJ where our favorite bakery will be open for coffee and baked goods.

We then continue our journey north through the quaint town of Little York, where we then begin a long gentle climb up Sweet Hollow Rd and a descent on Tunnel Rd to the Musconetcong River, which we'll ride along all the way to Port Murray, where the second major climb of the day awaits.  After dropping down to Great Meadows, where you can replenish your supplies, we'll ride along Shades of Death and pass Ghost Lake and the Fairy Hole.

Johnsonburg marks the northern extent of the route, and as we ride west, what looks like a small ridge is actually the man-made railroad bed of the Lackawanna Cut-off.  Many tunnels go through this rail bed, and we'll see a several of them after Blairstown.

As we head back into PA into Portland across the pedestrian bridge, the Lackawanna Cut-off RR trestle can be seen looking south down the river.  And once the Station Rd bridge is fixed, we'll also be able to ride past the Paulinskill Viaduct - when it was completed in 1910, it was the largest reinforced concrete structure in the world.

Upon arriving in Portland where we stop at the Portland Bagel and Deli, we begin our return trip southbound along the Delaware River through Belvidere and Reigelsville.

Additional event details have been posted at:

*** Roster (as of 6/26) ***
1 Charles J Arayata - Friday Night Hostel
2 Ed Bernasky -
3 Joe A Brown -
4 Jane M  Brown -
5 Jeffery S Butt -
6 John Capriotti -
7 Janice Chernekoff -
8 Richard S Costello -
9 Matthew Farrell -
10 Joe Fillip - Volunteer Preride
11 Zachary R Goodrich - Friday & Saturday Night Hostel
12 James R Haddad - Friday Night Hostel
13 James P. Holman -
14 Donald Jagel -
15 Greg Keenan -
16 Eric Keller -
17 Robin C Landis - Friday Night Hostel
18 Michael Marcondes de Freitas - Friday Night Hostel
19 Daniel McGill - Friday Night Hostel
20 Andrew D Mead -
21 Chris Nadovich - Volunteer Preride
22 William Olsen - Volunteer
23 Tom Rosenbauer - Volunteer
24 Norman Smeal -


  1. If anyone is interested, I have created RideWithGPS routes for this course, separated by controle. I have checked for accuracy, but of course, use at your own risk.

    My profile can be found at:

    Controle names are shortened so as to be limited-character-viewing friendly on Garmins.

    See you on Saturday :)


    1. Thanks CJ, your routes look good. Just one little nit to pick: the detour for the bridge construction in Rieglesville is not shown correctly on the map.
      -Tom Rosenbauer
      Eastern PA RBA

    2. Ah, is there some sort of extra length of road that runs from the bridge crossing to Maplewood Road, where the Right on Durham is? Via satellite it looks like some sort of bridge but it is hard to tell, and memory from past rides isn't serving me well right now.

    3. Yes, there is a temporary bridge in place after the Delaware River bridge that takes you to the "Right on Durham" listed on the cuesheet. I believe the satellite photo shows an old pedestrian bridge that has been replaced with a larger one to handle car traffic. As noted on the cuesheet, you just need to follow the detour signs.

      -Tom Rosenbauer
      Eastern PA RBA

  2. Riegelsville segment (for 5th course - to Hostel) has been corrected. Thanks for the catch Tom.