Friday, June 6, 2014

PA600k Ride Report

Preliminary results for the PA600k 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.

The typical summer weather pattern of "hazy, hot and humid" is just around the corner.  But the weather for this weekend's 600k was nearly perfect for late spring with temperatures in the mid 70F's and low humidity. On Saturday some clouds arrived  just in time to take the edge off of the afternoon sun.  While Sunday morning was also very pleasant, those of us riding in the exposed Lancaster valley during the afternoon can attest to the heat of sun.

20 of the 22 participants finished.  Of note, a  dozen participants have completed an Eastern PA Super Randonneur series.  And pending the completion of a 200k by Joe Fillip, that will then make it a baker's dozen of 13:
Daniel Aaron (3)
Michael Anderson
Ed Dodd (3)
Joe Fillip (2-pending)
Guy Harris (5)
Donald Jagel (3)
Greg Keenan
Eric Keller (5)
William Olsen (6)
Tom Rosenbauer
Norman Smeal (2)
Bob Torres (2)
Gilbert Torres

Eastern PA Super Randonneur Joe Fillip writes: "... Thanks to you and the efforts of a STELLAR group of volunteers on this weekend’s 600 Km. Bill, Guy and Chris all went above and beyond the call of duty in helping us get around the course and giving us a warm welcome on our returns to the hostel; I am particularly grateful to Bill for all of his kindness to this straggler in the early hours of Sunday morning. A tough (but fair) and lovely course, beautiful weather and excellent company – who could ask for more?  (Well, I could ask for some love from PENNDOT to mend our battered roads, but I don’t want to quibble). It’s been quite a season – Thanks again, Tom! ..."
There once was a wise Randonneur
For whom wool was just de rigeuer
No synthetic skins
Could e'er touch his limbs
And t'was Merino he especially preferred

And speaking of fine Merino wool, I'm still looking for more PA Randonneurs jersey orders -- especially for the long sleeve option, in order to meet Woolistic's minimum quantity.  The PA Randonneur's wool jersey is a classic design: Molteni orange with black stripe:

You can place your order at this on-line link:

6-time Eastern PA Super Randonneur Bill Olsen, who completed the preride on Thursday, sent his postcard with the following Limerick:
There once was biker named Willie
Who wanted his Limerick to be a dilly
But by mile 270
His mind was kersheuity
And his Limerick was nothing but silly

3-time Eastern PA Super Randonneur, Ed Dodd writes: "...I want to thank you again for another wonderful, challenging, and humbling series. I really enjoyed the ride out of Hawley, along the sun sparkled river, until we turned left up that never ending hill or series of hills before coming down in order to climb up to Hawks Nest, always a lovely sight. I agree with you that a cloud cover in Lancaster would have be appreciated. Also, congratulations again for completing your own series. Organizing everything and also riding is crazy difficult. You, and we, are lucky to have such wonderful volunteers like Bill, Guy, and Chris and everyone else who volunteered during the series. They were incredibly accommodating and helpful to everyone of us, asking what we needed and suggesting things when our brains were not working so well on their own. ..."

First finisher and 3-time Eastern PA Super Randonneur Don Jagel writes: "... Just wanted to send a quick thank you to you, Guy, Bill and Chris for putting together the 600k and helping all of us from start to finish.  Although the roads were "slightly" potholed from this past winter, the weather more than made up for it.  This was definitely a kinder and gentler route than the 400k.  Peter, Tom and myself finished the first 400k early enough to catch a shower, food, and some good sleep before heading out to New Holland at about 03:00 on Sunday.  Peter and Tom were good enough to tow me most of the way on Sunday, as I just did not have the power to spend too much time with my nose into the wind (Thanks!).  When we got back to the hostel at the finish, Chris and Bill were there to greet and feed us.  All in all, this ride was a fantastic way to finish off the SR series, as I was feeling in a bit of a funk while riding the 300k.  My spirits have definitely been lifted by this ride...."

First finisher Tom Oswald is also a two-time first finisher of the Crush the Commonwealth.  Tom writes: "... I had a great time. Thanks so much to you and all the volunteers who helped make it happen. I was lucky to get to ride with Don, Peter and  others who graciously showed me the ropes. What a bunch of nice folks you all are. ..."
Let's raise a rousing cheer
For the end is drawing near
I most sincerely must say
600k is a mighty long way
And I sure could use a cold beer

3-time Eastern PA Super Randonneur, Dan Aaron writes: "... I want to thank you and Bill, Guy, and Chris for running yet another excellent adventure.  I can't be sure if your routes are just getting tougher or if I'm just getting older.  Probably it's both.  After all the riding that I've done in the past, I thought that I had seen it all or at least almost all.  Yet I did experience something new on this ride. While riding on Kimble Road, I heard a loud crack which I thought at first was a gunshot.  This was immediately followed by a series of smaller cracks at which point I realized that a tree was falling.  I couldn't see where the tree was nor did I think taking the time to spot it was my best option.  I figured I should get out of there as fast as I could.  I began a sprint all the while hoping that I wasn't sprinting right into where the tree was headed.  Last time I sprinted that fast was when I was being chased by two angry rotweillers.  A few seconds later I heard the loud crash as the huge tree hit the pavement just 10 feet behind me.  The tree was big enough to block both lanes of traffic.  Definitely would have been crushed had it fallen on me.  The guardian angel that you so often refer to must have been with me at that moment ..."
For the old randonneur from Long Beach
A sub-30 six hundred's a reach
With one goal in sight
He rode through the night
A sub- forty six hundred to breach.

First time Eastern PA Super Randonneur, Michael Anderson's Limerick:
Four times from Boston I come here to race
So I can qualify for the Nactchez Trace
On my third ride, I run out water and need a favor
And just then out of nowhere, appears Lenny Z. the lifesaver!
With bottles topped off, I'm riding again without a moment to waste.

First time Eastern PA Super Randonneur, Greg Keenan who incidentally, only completed his first 200k this past March writes: "... Thanks for arranging this 600k.  I am not sure what your secret is, but you arranged for perfect weather once again.  And an extra thanks to Bill, Guy and Chris for volunteering and providing the much needed assistance to the tired hungry riders.  I still cannot believe I completed a SR.  The mentoring/encouragement/tips/tricks and overall camaraderie of so many was instrumental to truly a great ride.
I must be addicted to my bike
Maybe it is just something I like
Is it the challenge of the uphill battle?
I know it is definitely not this small saddle
But I hope when I am 100 I can still ride my trike

An alternate last line of, "My family thinks it is time to visit a psych"  was debated but that would be like admitting that I have a "biking issue."  

First time Eastern PA participant, Russell Morris writes: "...Thank you so much for putting on such first class event.  From the time we arrived Friday night until we departed on Sunday evening we were made to feel welcome by you, the volunteer staff, and all the riders on the road.  Sure, it was difficult to negotiate some of the roads with all the pothole problems, but that in no way diminished the overall experience of riding through the great state of PA.  How lucky you are all are to have such great terrain to ride through year after year. I hope that I will see all of you again somewhere in the randonneuring universe...."
Russel took some very nice photos which can be viewed here:
Russel also submitted a Limerick, but written in Korean and not reproducible here ....

2-time Eastern PA Super Randonneur, Bob Torres writes: "... Thanks for another great 600k, everything was awesome except for the craters on the roads but we survived. I had a great time riding with everyone and thank you Guy, Bill and Chris for watching out for us! It still amazes me on how feeling so miserable on certain points of the ride can still lead to having lots of fun and laugh about it at the end.... 
My Velo Orange Rando is a weight weenie -  NOT!
It carries two bags with all I’ve got.
It has a generator and light
To illuminate the potholes bright!
So I can ride Tom’s PA 600k with out a doubt.

Larry Midura from upstate NY writes: "...Just a quick note of thanks for all your efforts, and those of all the volunteers, who made last weekend's Water Gap 600K a success. I was not disappointed one bit on the course changes you initiated this year.  Most enjoyable was the 10 mile northerly stretch from Eldred to NY 97 in the Catskill Mts.  The Catskill Mt. scenery and great road conditions on those NY State roads made for an almost magical detour into New York's Sullivan County - former home of the Woodstock Nation - a neat, short and sharp contrast to what we saw in PA & NJ during most of the days riding.  .... Sitting in the Hawley 402 Diner brought back memories when Mark Sheehan was with us, perhaps even as far back as 2007.  .... the weather could not have been more comfortable for a 600K - no rain, no rain, YEAH!  Your brevet series helped me earn my R-12 in February, and your subsequent Spring Brevet Series got me to Nashville, TN, for the inaugural RUSA Natchez Trace 1500K grand randonnee in September.  And I thank you for that  ..."

Special thanks to the fantastic volunteer crew of Bill Olsen, Guy Harris, and Chris Nadovich. Bill and Guy completed a volunteer checkout ride, and made sure the cuesheet was as perfect as possible.  They also spent many hours manning the overnight controle, taking care of tired riders as they arrived and then helping them get back on the road.  Chris manned the finish controle and provided one of the best postride meals I ever had.   Knowing that we were all in very good hands with these volunteers, along with volunteers Patrick and Cecilie Gaffney, Norman Smeal, and Len Zawodniak for the other SR events, have allowed your's truly to clip-in and earn his first Eastern PA Super Randonneur trophy -- I'm truly grateful for that opportunity they made possible,

This concludes a very busy spring of events.  The summer schedule kicks off on June 28 with a 200k from the Quakertown hostel.  Event details have been posted at:

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

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