Sunday, July 27, 2014

Le Retour du Stillwater 200k Ride Report

Bill O. and Eoghan B. headed on down the road.  Photo compliments of Nigel Greene

Preliminary results for the Stillwater Retour 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.

A brief morning spritz of rain and overcast skies in the morning took the edge off of the heat typical for July -- the streak of fantastic cycling weather for the summer brevets continues. All 25 starters made it around the course in good time, including 2 volunteer preriders.  And there were once again many first-time participants riding with PA Randonneurs.  Of note, Eoghan Barry rode his bike from his home in Princeton to the start, completed the ride, and then rode back home which extended his day to at least 300k -- well done!  Eoghan writes: "... I had a great time, probably the best time I’ve had on a brevet since LEL. Nice route, good controls (ok, the Quickchek is nothing special, but I endorse any ride that finishes at a pub with cask ale), but most of all, I don’t think I’ve ever had a warmer welcome on a brevet. Throughout the day people made a point of introducing themselves to me and inviting me to join their groups on the road, and I spent a good hundred km shooting the breeze with Nigel and Bill until a couple of climbs separated us. It was good to see Jim Holman too - I’d read about his wreck on the DC randonneurs mailing list but I hadn’t realised that was the same Jim that towed me to the end of the Cranbury 200 when I ran out of gas. I got to talk to a few people who had done the 1200 in Ireland, which was a bonus. Anyway, it was well worth the ride up to Milford to get to the start. ..."

Michael Lewis completed his first brevet and is now a freshly minted randonneur -- thanks to John Fuoco for introducing Michael to our sport.  Katherine Joubin and Vadim Gritsus from NYC are also first time participants, and having recently completed some touring in Europe, have their sights set on PBP in 2015.  They were one of two tandems on the roster, along with Ron and Barb Anderson who arrived with their brand new (and long awaited) Bilenky tandem.  Their new bike was featured in this summer's edition of Bicycle Quarterly:

Don Jagel, one of six first-finishers who completed the course in under 8 hours write: "...Thank you for putting together the brevet yesterday, and thanks to Norm for manning the start and finish.  A few raindrops and a tailwind  in the morning kept things cool enough to to cruise straight up to Portland for a fresh bagel.  Ridge Road was a nice change providing a long downhill run most of the way to Belvidere.  From Portland a group of seven of us continued to enjoy the tailwind up to the next control.  After grabbing some cold drinks, food, and topping off bottles, we headed towards the Shades of Death and started to get a slightly less favorable wind.  At the Great Meadows control, Robin decided take a bit slower pace back to Milford, leaving the remaining six to tackle the climbing portion of the day.  While going up Tunnel Road, thinking we were getting close to the top, I looked at my GPS and it reminded me that we still had over 0.6 miles to the top, which was information that I really did not need to know.  Finally reaching the top of Tunnel Road everyone enjoyed the finishing long coast back down to the finish in Milford. ..."

Jim Holman writes: "...As you know, completing any brevet is satisfying.  But there was an added satisfaction in completing yesterday's brevet because, until late this past Thursday following my unfortunate crash during last weekend's DCR brevet, my participation was in doubt.  While not yet fully healed, thankfully, my injuries healed enough so that I could do this ride. And, thanks to you, Norman and the other volunteers for making this ride possible.  The morning cloud cover made for nice summer time riding conditions and the shaded route was appreciated during the afternoon when the sun came out.  A very fine day was wrapped up with brew at the Ship Inn with great riding companions. ..."

Nigel Greene writes: "...That was a fantastic course and the weather just about ideal. Great day, fun ride. Thanks!..."  You can read Nigel's complete report at:
... along with his pictures at:

Special thanks to organizer Norman Smeal for running the start and finish controles, and making sure that everyone made it in safely.  Thanks also to fellow volunteer prerider, Chris Nadovich for making the miles fly by with his good companionship.

The Eastern PA summer series continues with the Hawk's Nest 200k scheduled for August 16th.  We'll be headed back to the cool, shaded roads up on the Allegheny Plateau; details have been posted at:
As noted on the PA website, the September event has been reschduled for Sunday, September 7th and will feature a brand new course out of Lancaster county.  George Metzler and Andrew Mead have been busy scouting out new roads for us, and their route will take you through three different states, for those of you looking to add Maryland and Delaware to your American Explorer quest.

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

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