Sunday, February 8, 2015

Hopewell 200k Ride Report

Photo compliments of Keith Spangler

Preliminary results for the Beyond Hope to Hopewell 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.

Temperatures at the start were in the low 20F's but managed to briefly make it into the low 40F's by mid afternoon.  The skies were mostly cloudy all day and there were some snow flurries on the northern extent of the course.  However the sun did manage to peek out a couple of times during the mid afternoon hours. With plenty of snow still on the ground from last week's storm, it certainly was a winter day's ride.  But we were very lucky to squeeze this one in without any postponements or cancellations given the recent weather pattern of weekly storms arriving like clockwork followed by a deep freeze.

With the limited number of days that have been safe for riding, it was surprising to see 25 registered riders looking to ride 200k on a cold winter day -- about twice the number of riders last Februrary.  Perhaps this was a sign of pent-up cabin fever after weeks of indoor training.  22 riders took the start and 21 finished.  Of note, CJ A. completed an Eastern PA R-12 series, and joins the Eastern PA Honor roll.  The Eastern PA R-12 is still a very select distinction, with only 8 other riders who have accomplished this feat.  With the cancellation of Janurary's Beyond Hope to New Hope 200k brevet, riders were able to keep their Eastern PA R-12 streak going  thanks to organizer Bill O., who agreed to run the event as a permanent in January. Also of note, Eric Q. completed his very first brevet.  Congratulations Eric; one down, and just 11 more to go for your own R12 streak!

CJ writes: "...I started last March. Little did I know back then that I would come back the next month, and the next month, and the next month....The ride yesterday was a roller-coaster for me. Freezing and hungry while it's snowing, feeling better heading south, over-eating and stomach problems the second half of the day, and the cherry on top: a slow leak 6 miles out from Milford while coming back up 29. But, the knowledge that I would make it to the finish trumped all worries. Thanks to Zach and Keith, as they proved once again to be great riding partners and 'wingmen'. Most of the day, on the busy roads, we didn't get much chance to ride side-by-side and chat, but the stretch from Runyon Mill to 607 was a wonderful and refreshing change. Makes me miss the rural farm roads back in Chester County. And, of course, I can't go without mentioning the greatest controle ever, Brick Farm Market!
Thanks to Jon for the send-off, and to him and Guy for awaiting our safe return. And special thanks to Gilbert for sticking around at the finish to celebrate the end of a long and arduous journey...."

Larry M from Syracuse, NY also completed an R-12, which is quite an accomplishment with the challenging winter conditions where he lives.  Larry writes: "...Often wondered what was beyond Bloomsbury, NJ on Rt. 173 in the other direction, and wow, what a nice surprise.  The climb up Tunnel Road and the subsequent ridge hopping into Hopewell, NJ was a nice variation.  And thanks for helping me earn my second R-12 RUSA Award as completion of your 200K on Saturday helped me achieve that. Nice gathering of riders for a quick meal at the Ship Inn concluded a great day on the road! See you all again sometime in 2015!..."

Keith S.. writes: "... Hats off to the volunteers who supported the Hopewell 200k!  Thank you for a warm welcome and send off for a day of riding that saw a lot of weather change.   From the snow showers and drop in temps that greeted us to the north, to the peak-a-boo cloud / sun that warmed us to the south - what a ride!   I even had the opportunity to change into my fingerless summer gloves for a short time.  The glove change didn't last too long, but neither did the 38 degree temps that were forecasted.  If I recall, the warmest temps came around 3:30 or so - nice for February.  Anyway, I had a great ride and conversation with CJ and Zach, thanks!  Note:  CJ finished his R-12 nursing a flat for the final miles into Milford.  Congrats my friend  ..."

Peter M. writes: "...Thanks for setting up a great course today. It was nice to be out for a long ride ..."

Bob D. writes:
"Noses are red
Toes are blue
I had a good ride
Thanks to Jon, Guy and you..."

Special thanks to organizer,  Jon C. This was Jon's first time running an event,  but you wouldn't know it given his perfect execution and attention to detail. Besides running the start and finish controles, Jon also suggested the Brick Farm Market controle in Hopewell, which I understand was a very popular respite after all those rollers through the NJ Sourlands.  Thanks also to volunteer Guy H. for keeping Jon company on the volunteer preride and at the finish controle.  Guy also delivered the brevet cards to my house which saved me a 40-mile round trip to Milford.   Thanks also to Don J., for the course routing between Hopewell and Stockton, which worked out much better than my original ideas.  It's volunteers like Jon, Guy and Don who make a big difference on the Eastern PA series.  There are still plenty of opportunities for other volunteers to step up an make a difference on future events, which are listed here:

This concludes the Eastern PA 2015 winter schedule -- whew!  It certainly has been a rough stretch of months, going all the way back to the November 200k.  I for one, am looking forward to the spring brevets which will kick off on March 21st with a 200k out of Milford.  And after that, the PA Fleche is on the weekend of April 11th: now would be a good time to be getting your teams and route together.

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

1 comment:

  1. Hi all.

    Ditto to many of the above comments. I had a great day out there and enjoyed meeting a few new (to me) folks and seeing CJ to his R-12 finish with Keith. Two thumbs up to the farmers market control!

    Wanted to say that I found a front light on the last stretch of 29 before the 3.5 mile leg into Milford. It must have come dislodged from someone's handlebar mount. The light is a Planet Bike Super Spot white LED that takes 4 AAA batteries. I'm happy to mail it out or bring it to the next brevet.