Monday, April 20, 2015

Water Gap 300k/200k Ride Report

Fog blankets the valley from atop Little Gap (photo compliments of Greg K.)

Preliminary results for the Water Gap 300k have been posted at:
and for the 200k at:
...Please let me know of any corrections or other issues.  Results will be submitted shortly, and become final, pending ACP certification.

Going all the way back to last November, we've had weather conditions with freezing cold, wind, snow, icy roads, and some wet thrown in as well.  But in the category of "Careful of what you ask for", the +80F temperatures for the Water Gap 300/200k was almost too much heat too soon, after such a long spell of cold weather riding.  21 of the 22 300k starters made it around the course in good time. All 4 of the 200k riders made it to the finish, with one rider finishing beyond the time limit.  Of note, there were a number of first time Eastern PA participants, including Alfred D., Jim R., and Joseph R.  Jim also finished his very first 300k -- congratulations on that accomplishment.

Jim R writes: "...Thanks again for organizing such a great 300! I am very glad that such a great and beautiful ride was my first 300, and my first ride with the PA randos..."

Joe F. writes: "...Tom: It would be hard to imagine a more perfect weather day than the one we had yesterday for the 300 Km. A tough but fair course, good company throughout the ride -- what could be better? (Well, I could do without Gallows Hill Road, but I quibble.) ;-) Thanks to Norm for seeing us off in the morning, and to you for greeting us with a smile at ride's end!.."

Jim H.  writes: "...Although I was parched at times, the weather could not have been much better for my first PA 300k brevet.  A tough and challenging course although my reunion with Old Mine Rd., which I rode on my very first brevet, was none too favorable. :-)  A spectacular 'valley fog' view from the top of Blue Mountain as well as great river views for a significant portion of the course.  And nice folks to ride with. Thanks for yet another great ride.  Thanks also to Eoghan and Norm for greeting us at the start, Norm for signing us in, and to Pat and Cecilie for their course intelligence. ...."

Chris E.  writes: "...thanks for organizing the 300k on Saturday (along with all the other brevets), it was a beautiful route and a fun ride. . ...."

Greg K.  writes: "...Thanks for another great ride.  The spring weather finally showed up along with a perfect pattern of rain on Friday... sunny riding...rain on Monday.  Among the many memorable moments was crossing the top of blue mountain to find the valley filled with a think fog.  Thanks again. . ...."

Joe R. writes: "...Thanks again for being such good company on my first Eastern PA brevet.  
I was pretty sure when I started a few minutes after the main group left the hotel that it was going to be a long solitary day, but instead I had the ultimate intro to the route courtesy of the organizer himself,... That hot-dog-and-pie special is worth every bit of $2.95 plus tax...."
Photo compliments of Joe R.

Larry B writes: "...I went into this ride not knowing what to expect. Physically I thought I was ready for the ride with lots of miles of training before the ride. Mentality I just wasn't there ... I think I know why Tom gave me the SPOT tracker because if anyone can get lost on a ride, it's me. Thank goodness that didn't happen since I was with riders all day who knew the course. Chris E. was the real work horse out on the course. It's been sometime since I have been around a rider that strong who just puts his head down and keeps cooking. He finished 10 minutes behind the lead group only because he took a break 10 miles from the finish line. He could have finished way ahead of everyone.  You see all kind of bikes on a rando ride and I was super impressed with Tom O's custom built bike he made out of mismatched steel. Jim H. was one tough climber, next time he can use  hand signals pointing up which means we climb again lol ... Thanks again to all the riders I rode with ... without them my ride wouldn't have been as easy. And thanks to all the volunteers and to those who did the pre ride. This was a great ride and a chance for me to get back the rando fever once again. ..."

If you have any other comments or pictures to share, you can forward them to me for inclusion on the PA Message board.

Your safety is the number priority on an Eastern PA event. Please mention any safety hazard you might have spotted, or near-miss incident you saw. We value this feedback highly and it will help PA Randonneurs improve the next edition of the event. Although the preride scouting report highlighted the rough roads to watch out for, I was absolutely mortified at how bad some of the roads were in Bucks County. On my way home from the hotel finish, I looked at some of the alternate roads.  But instead of having just potholes, the alternate roads had no shoulder and busy traffic in addition to potholes.

Special thanks to organizer  Norman S. for signing in the riders, cooking the oatmeal, and sending the riders on their way at the start.  And thanks also to volunteer  Eoghan B. for helping out with the bike inspection.

The Eastern PA 2015 spring schedule continues with the Blue Mountain 400k on May 2nd. Event details have been posted at:
... use the on-line registration form by the Thursday before the event if you'd like to join the roster.

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

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