Tuesday, August 4, 2015

August Hawk's Nest 200k

With summer weather upon us, the August 8th Hawk's Nest 200k course will be heading north into Promised Land, where the temperatures are typically several degrees cooler than points south.  Most of the route is shaded, which will also bring some relief from the heat.  Riders typically finish this course about an hour faster than other Eastern   PA 200k's.  

As some of you may be aware from an earlier event page on the website, the original plan was to run this course in the reverse direction, heading counter-clockwise through the Water Gap Recreation Area first and up to Port Jervis and returning through Promised Land and Canadensis.  This past weekend, your RBA completed a volunteer check-out ride of this reverse loop.  While it was nice to ride through the sharp rollers in the park with fresh legs, that was about the only thing that worked better than the original clockwise loop.  And unfortunately, the reverse loop has many disadvantages and problems, including:
- The climb out of Port Jervis up to Hawk's Nest has lots of fast traffic
- The Hawk's Nest scenic overlook area is an uphill stretch with narrow shoulder, and poor views of the overlook.
- The climb to Eldred is harder from this direction, and has lots of exposed sections that many riders will see in the midday heat.
- The stretch along Rt 6, Rt 507, and Rt 309 are uphill with lots of late afternoon traffic
The original course works much better in these areas.  So the August event will be in the same clockwise direction as the July event, however, it'll be the 2014 course without the climb up Snow Hill Rd this time.

Event details are at:

If you would like to join the roster, please use the online registration form http://www.parando.org/RegistrationForm.html by 5PM Thursday, August 6th.  

*** Start/Finish ***
The start/finish is at the Water Gap Diner. The diner has promised to have the grill fired-up by 6AM, so you can top off with a good breakfast before the start.  
Important Reminder: Do not leave your car at the diner -- Parking is in an empty lot behind the Water Gap Diner -  Directions are posted here:

Course Notes:

Mile 42.1, Kimbles Rd is in pretty rough shape with many potholes -- please take extra caution.

At mile 45.2 on Kimbles Rd, there is a bridge across the Lackawaxen River that is closed to automobile traffic, but when last checked, is passable by foot.  Last weekend, the construction was in the same state as it was nearly two weeks ago, and the latest word is that the bridge will not be demolished after all.  However, in the unlikely event that it is not at all passable, use the following detour:

1) Backtrack to Rt 6 and turn right
2) Right at TFL to remain on Rt 6
3) Right on Rt 590 (after passing through the town of Hawley)
4) Bear right onto (unmarked?) Towpath Rd
5) After passing Kimbles Rd on right, you are back on course
A map of the detour is posted here:

Controle 4 in Port Jervis is at a diner, but you may instead stop at the MiniMart on the opposite corner.

Lights are not mandatory since the event is starting after sunrise, and except for 14 minutes at the end, the time limit is before sundown.  That being said, I recommend bringing along some lights and reflective gear just in case circumstances keep you out on course longer than expected.

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.

*** 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:

- Summer weather has arrived with a vengeance with a forecast calling for heat and humidity.  Be mindful of your fluid and electrolyte levels and it might also be a good idea to carry an ice sock with you if you need to cool down.
- With the rough winter we just had you should be extra vigilant for potholes and rough road surfaces.
- One of the most dangerous things 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 st
art of the ride.

- Helmets are mandatory.
- 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:  http://www.parando.org/SPOT_Links.html
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.
- Plan on replenishing supplies at the controle 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

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.

Driving after the event
If you are very tired when you reach the finish, it may be a good idea to take a nap before a long drive home, so you don't end up with serious injuries like David Nakai did: 

Have a safe ride! 

*** Roster (as of 8/7) ***

1 James Bondra -
2 Cecilie Gaffney -  Volunteer
3 Patrick Gaffney -  Volunteer
4 Zachary R Goodrich -
5 Jeffrey A Gregg -
6 Eric  K Hannon Ford -
7 James P. Holman -
8 Paul S Kramer -
9 John McMonagle -
10 Chris Nadovich -
11 William Olsen -
12 Althea Grace Pineda -
13 Tom Rosenbauer -  Volunteer
14 Scotty Steingart -
15 Michael Syracuse -
16 Leonard Zawodniak -

1 comment:

  1. Great day and a great route! I have wanted to do this one for years and it somehow has never fit into my schedule. If the NPS could fill it all the potholes on the climb it would be perfect. Thanks again for putting on this ride.