Monday, March 21, 2016

Lackawanna 200k 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 RUSA certification.

Although spring was a mere 24 hours away from the start of the event, it was a decidedly cold day for a ride.  And although there were some peeks of sun during the day, the plentiful sunshine in the forecast did not materialize.  But thankfully, the strong gusty winds from the frontal passage the day before had at least abated.  All 28 starters made it to the finish in good time.  Congratulations to all, and well done for that excellent result, to start the Eastern PA spring series.  Of note, there were several first time participants, including:  Timothy C. and George R. who both notched their first brevets.  Shawn B. who has recently moved into our area from San Francisco, clipped-in for his first PA event, and writes: "...My first ride with the club was great. The route may have been my toughest 200k. PA sure does hit your legs hard with those leg-breaker hills. Everyone was super nice and I look forward to future rides...."

 CJ writes: "...I had a good ride on a now-familiar course with fl├Ęche teammates Shawn and Jimmy. It was Shawn's first PA ride, and I think he now has a much better idea of what we are about here in Eastern PA! We yo-yo-ed through the middle of the pack for the beginning part of the day, but as the miles grew on and the hills didn't stop coming, we were showing our bruises. However, we made it through the last leg to finish before dark, which was my goal when I started out the day. The weather, while never really warming up, seemed to stay comfortable for me and *both* of my teammates (see pictures for the disparity of their clothing choices, hah)...Kudos goes to Chris, Bill, and Guy for ensuring yet another smooth hostel stay with warm meals and good company. ..."
CJ has posted many nice photos at:

Nigel G. writes: "...The Pennsylvania Randonneurs delivered again. I believe this was my first time riding this course and it was fun to see so many familiar locations coming from the opposite direction. The climbing was a reasonable challenge for an early-season ride. And the only bonus miles I picked up were totally due to my lack of attention as I was busy chatting with James Haddad. Luckily we were on a flat stretch and were able to get back on course without too much of a delay.
The 77 miles to the first control with food was an interesting change. However I think I like that because it gave me time to build up a cushion of time to sit down and enjoy a meal at the bagel diner. Plus the places to get food along the way were well marked on the cue sheet. Finally I enjoyed the food at the beginning and at the end. Good selection, nice and hot, and plenty of it. Thanks to everyone who contributed and special thanks to Bill Chris and Guy for their work at the beginning and at the end of the ride ..."
You can read more of Nigel's thoughtful reflections on his Iron Rider blog at:

Jimmy A writes: "...Just wanted to send out a thank you to everyone who organized the ride and made yesterday possible including you, Andrew, Bill, Guy and Chris. The ride started out cold and stayed relatively cold for most of the day with the exception of the sun breaking through here and there throughout the day. As I have come to expect with PA brevets, the route included a lot of climbing, though I did not think Gallows Hill was quite as bad as it was talked up to be - it's the steep rollers elsewhere on the course that took their toll on my legs. I enjoyed the more gentle climbs, including the climb out of Milford at the beginning of the day (I was thankful the entire way that we were not riding up tunnel road again) and the climb up River Road after the Portland controle which I thought provided some of the best views of any PA brevet I have ridden so far. Thanks for a great event! ..."

First finisher Ed B. writes: "...I want to thank you, Andrew, Guy, and Bill for putting on a wonderful Brevet and especially to Guy's wife for the tasty soup at the completion! I can normally sort of keep up with Gavin, Bill, Chris, Matt and others on the climbs but I joined The Old Men who Get Fat in Winter Team and simply could not maintain their pace on those early testy climbs; so, I resigned myself to lumbering along at my pace simply enjoying the day out on the bike. This running of the Lackawanna 200K seemed longer and harder than I remember and it was indeed a good challenge on what I thought was a great route.  Thanks again...."

Eric Q. writes: "...Beautiful ride this weekend. Thanks so much for all your efforts along with the volunteers'..."

Your safety is the number one priority on an Eastern PA event.  Please mention any safety hazard you might have spotted or near-miss incident your saw.  Your feedback will help us to improve things for next time.

Special thanks to a superb crew of volunteers who made this event possible: Chris N, for the Friday night setup and checking in riders in the evening; Bill O. for cooking breakfast, checking in riders, and getting everyone on their way; and Guy H. for preparing the postride meal, and manning the finish.  Guy and Bill also performed the preride course checkout, and suggested the couple of route tweaks along with making sure the course was as safe as possible.

The Eastern PA spring series continues with the Fleche on the weekend of April 9th.  This year, we have 9 teams and a record number of participants.  And after that, the SR series continues with the 300k and a shorter 200k on April 30th.  There are still some volunteer opportunities we're looking to have filled for the 300k -- if you'd like to take your turn to help out, you can sign up at:

Tom Rosenbauer, Eastern PA RBA
Andrew Mead, Eastern PA RBA Designate

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