Sunday, May 3, 2015

Blue Mountain 400k Ride Report

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

18 of the 19 starters made it to the finish in good time -- congratulations and well done for that excellent result on one of the more challenging courses in Eastern PA.  In talking with several of the finishers, a big part of that successful finish rate is due to the volunteer efforts of Len Z., who was Johnny-on-the-spot with water and food on a couple of the longer segments. Len is one of those treasured volunteers who can anticipate exactly where to be and what to do.

Although the on-road temperatures were a bit on the warm side for some, the long range forecast for the rest of May is indicating temperatures well above average, so it appears we managed to squeeze in a "spring" ride into a very small window of opportunity between winter and summer conditions.

First finisher, Ed B writes: "...Thanks very much to you, Len, and Norm for a perfectly executed Brevet on a somewhat hilly, choppy course that to me felt like a series of staccato karate chops to the legs and lumbar muscles especially past the Ski Area. But it could not have been a nicer day to be out on the bike and to be alive.  What a challenge!  What a beautiful route!  My Garmin only indicated 14,032 feet of climbing but it sure felt like more to me.  But then again, PA Brevets always feel like more....  It was especially thoughtful for Len to provide water on the route.  My Garmin was reading 84F for the on-road temperatures in the afternoon hills and it was incredibly nice of Len to provide some revitailement along that tough stretch ..."

Greg Keenan writes: "...Thanks for arranging the 400k.  Such a beautiful course and perfect weather.  After such a hard winter it was a treat to be shedding layers.  Len managed the rare ability to be in two-places-at-once, supplying much needed water and snacks on both sides of the mountains.  And thanks to Norman who gave up a nights sleep at the finish.  Thanks see you at the 600...."

Michael A. writes: "...I like to referring to this ride as 'Classic PA.' Nothing super mountainous, but enough climbing and pushing to train one for pretty much anything. Not to mention some awesome views, perfect weather, and fun roller coaster-like descents. Thank you again for organizing another super event, to Lenny for coming to the rescue once again, to Norman for keeping dinner warm and fresh all through the wees, and the roosters for keeping us awake and hopeful as daylight approached.

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. Thankfully, all the riders honored their "preride oath" to watch out for potholes and ride safely.  For the next edition, I'll be scouting out some route alternatives to avoid the first couple of miles of Old Rt 22/ Hex Highway and perhaps use more of Rt 222 towards the end.

Special thanks to Len Z., who as always, went above and beyond the call of duty as a volunteer.  Len not only helped with the hostel setup, start and finish, but also spent most of the day out on course providing revitalment stops on the long and remote segments.  Len also swept the course and ensured that all riders were on track to finish safely. Thanks also to volunteer Norman S. for holding the fort at the finish, cooking the postride meal, and helping with the hostel cleanup.

The Eastern PA 2015 SR series concludes with the PA600k on May 30th. Event details will be posted shortly.  A number of riders have an Eastern PA Super Randonneur series within their grasp -- best of luck to them all.

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

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