Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Water Gap 300k/200k

*** Start/Finish ***
Organizers Norman Smeal and Eoghan Barry will be signing you in at the Hampton Inn start and performing the bike inspection. The hotel will be putting out coffee, bagels, danish and fruit one hour before the start, and Norman will have some hot oatmeal for you as well.  Your RBA will be greeting you at the finish -- if you don't see me in the lobby, I may be in the volunteer room,  #108 which is right off of the lobby.  If you arrive at the finish before I do, you can get your card signed at the front desk and leave it there for me.  The volunteer room is available for you to take a shower, if you like.

*** Course Notes ***
A volunteer preride was completed by Patrick and Cecili G. this past weekend.  Patrick reports: "...Thanks again for another great route.  It was clear and cold when we started out.  Probably a little too cold, but by the time we made to the top of Blue Mountain the sun, and the climb, had warmed things up considerably.  There is not too much to report on the first leg; some random debris on the shoulder of 378, but nothing you can't get around quite easily.  
There is still a fair amount of gravel on the shoulder up Blue Mountain Drive and Cherry Valley Rd from 191 to 611 still has some rough patches.  Other then that the second leg was pretty smooth.
After leaving control 3, River Road has some rough patches along the shoulder.  The routing up Hollow Rd and Hidden Lake Drive was a nice change of pace to River Rd.  There was certainly less traffic than River Rd, but it was not car free.  There is a lot of gravel on the turn onto Community Dr.  The road itself is not in bad shape, but there is a lot of debris (branches and sticks).  After that it was pretty easy going all the way to Flats Deli.
The next section is fine, until you reach Old Mine Rd.  The road is in its usual bad shape up the climb, but no worse than years past.  There are a few rough patches that riders should watch out for on the stretch to the river crossing, particularly on the one lane section just before the bridge.
There is nothing to report from Water Gap to Belvidere.  The roads there are all in pretty good shape.
Heading to the final control the bear left at mile 166.6 joining Durham Rd is just before the stop sign.  Gallows Hill Rd is in pretty bad shape.  Being that it is a long slow uphill, you can pick your way around the potholes and what not, but it is a little rough.  There is some gravel in the turn onto Maple Rd and Stoney Garden Rd is still pretty rough, as it was last year.  Riders coming through after dark should be cautious.  Once you hit Saw Mill Road the roads are in good shape the rest of the way.
Thanks again, we really enjoyed this ride. ..."

-If you've never been across the Rt 80 bridge near Water Gap, it's a little bit tricky.  You need to look for a sidewalk/ramp about 50 yards past the Rt 80 underpass which you will cross under. The picture below shows the ramp on the left, which is in between the road you will be traveling (on the right) and Rt 80 (far left):

You will be facing on-coming traffic as you go across the bridge walkway.

*** Ride Safely ***
Your safety is the number priority on an Eastern PA event.  While the risks outlined in the event waiver cannot be completely eliminated, the following will hopefully help keep you as safe as possible.

Your responsibility as the rider includes:
- Showing up in reasonable physical condition for the event
- Bringing a reliable bike in good working order
- Complying with all traffic laws along the course 
- Respecting the rights of all other users of the route (including pedestrians)
- Planning for the situation where you can’t finish the ride

Although every effort has been made to provide you with a scenic route that minimizes car traffic and other hazards, the following list highlights some areas to take some extra care:

With the rough winter we just had and as outlined in the pre-ride report above, you should be extra vigilant for potholes and rough road surfaces.
- One of the most dangerous thing you will encounter on the road just might be another cyclist.  Keep a safe following distance when riding with other cyclists you are not familiar with.  Please avoid forming a large bunch at the start of the ride.
- The descent from the top of Little Gap is long and steep and it is easy to reach speeds of +50 MPH.  But just because you can go that fast, doesn't mean it's a good idea. There are a couple of turns that could have loose gravel and the winds off the mountain can be unpredictable. Please don't go any faster than your guardian angel can keep up with!

- Helmets are mandatory.  Riding without a helmet will result in an immediate disqualification.
- Please note that the bike inspection checklist includes redundant lighting for both the front and rear lights.
Bringing along a cell phone is highly recommended.
- Mechanical assistance is not provided.  
- SPOT trackers will be handed out to selected riders. If you are given one, they have a feature to call for help if you need it and are out of cell phone range -- if you are unfamiliar with how to use this feature, a volunteer will be happy to explain it to you.  If you have a personal unit not already listed on the PA Randonnerus SPOT Tracking webpage:
please send me a link to your SPOT webpage.

Food / Hydration
- In general, the route heads you into some desolate areas, with limited opportunities for food and water.
- There are limited services available between Little Gap and Water Gap.
- There are limited services available on the Water Gap loop.
- Plan on replenishing supplies at the controles stops.  The controles are typically at a store or restaurant.

- If you feel like abandoning the ride, it may be an indication that you are not eating and drinking enough.  Take a break, eat something, and it's likely that your outlook will improve.  Before you know it, you'll be making that last turn back to the finish.  And remember the golden rule of "… eat before you're hungry and drink before you're thirsty."
If you are still riding past the ride time limit or if you intend to abandon the ride, please contact me on my cell phone: (610) 417-7161
It is your responsibility to make arrangements for alternate transportation

In case of accident  
Should you become injured, or arrive just after an accident resulting in an injured person (rider, motorist, or passer-by):
- Call 911 for an ambulance, describing where you are and the condition of the injured person(s)
- Contact me along with any other organizers listed on the cuesheet 
- Be sure to carry identification along with your emergency contact information in case you are knocked unconscious

Driving after the event
If you are very tired, it may be a good idea to take a nap before a long drive home.  Rooms are available at the finish hotel.

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.

Have a safe ride! 

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

*** 300k Roster (as of 4/17) ***
1 Eoghan Barry - Volunteer
2 Gavin Biebuyck - 
3 Larry E Brenize - PA1
4 Jonathan Clamp - 
5 Alfred Dolich - 
6 Dawn M Engstrom - 
7 Chris Errico - 
8 Matthew Farrell - 
9 Joe Fillip - 
10 J Scott Franzen - 
11 Cecilie Gaffney - Preride
12 Patrick Gaffney - Preride
13 James P. Holman - 
14 Greg Keenan - 
15 Eric Keller - 
16 Alexander Kojevnikov - PA2
17 Gil Lebron - 
18 William Olsen - PA3
19 Tom Oswald - 
20 James G Reilly - PA4
21 Gilbert Torres - 
22 Bob Torres - 

*** 200k Roster (as of 4/17) ***
1 Joseph Ray -
2 Christopher Anson Knight -
3 Donald Jagel -


  1. Hey everyone! Just wondering: did anyone find a Zefal HPX frame pump in the parking lot after the ride? I think I must have left it on the rack on the back of my truck after loading my bike on, and it fell off somewhere between the hotel and home.



  2. Nevermind! Within the short time it took for me to write this post, Tom got back to me and said the pump had been found! Thanks to whoever found it!