Tuesday, March 8, 2016

PA SR Series Begins: Lackawanna 200K

*** Update #1 (3/13) ***
The cuesheet has been updated to draft 5, dated 3/13/16, with the following changes:
1) Route tweak at mile 92.4
2) Moved controle 5 to a new location

A volunteer preride was completed this past weekend by Bill O. and Guy H.  Guy reports: "...Great day to be out and we took full advantage of it! Very nice evening with the spring peepers and crescent moon through the broken clouds. I enjoyed the last few miles after Old Bethlehem Road into hostel "backwards" (this was new to me). With the time change people should finish before dark...."  Bill adds: "...The mild winter has left the road in quite good shape for this time of year. The usual fine gravel but nothing too significant except for a couple of areas [outlined below]...."  Traffic along the river from the Post Office up to the Millford bridge was surprisingly courteous - Guy and I were not necessarily over in the far right but were on the right half of the lane and it appears that cars recognized we were riding outside of potholes and gravel and gave us good berth when passing. Gallows Hill wasn't any worse than previous years (but it isn't any better either) and we were passing that section just after dusk when it was too light for one's headlights to be effective and yet dark enough for the passing car lights to blind one. Next week, with an hour more light (and faster riders than me) this should not be an issue. ..."

Please note that the first two controle stops are info-type controles.  The first is at a post office, and although the second one is at a general store, the hours of operation are somewhat erratic, so you shouldn't count on the store being open.  Although the number of services available are a bit sparse, there are the following good opportunities to replenish your supplies:
-Mile 23.1: Milford Bakery -- almost a must stop for coffee and baked goods!
-Mile 38.6: Minimart off to your left as you cross Rt 31 at the traffic light
-Mile 52.7: Nykun's food market at the junction of Old Cemetery Rd and Rt 46.
-Mile 76.8: Controle 4 is the Portland Bagel and Deli, which closes at 2PM.  If you arrive after then, there is a Minimart at the end of the pedestrian bridge and food market you can use instead for a controle and supplies.
-Mile 86.7: A deli and other stores are available in Belvidere.
-Mile 106.9: Deli on your right.  This was the original controle 5, but the proprietor is not especially rando-friendly.
-Mile 111.0: Controle 5 Borderline Cafe.

Additional course notes:
The following outlines some areas that you should take extra caution and care:
-Mile 12.8: Headquarters Road after the bridge barrier down to the Erwinna post office. The road is rough with some parallel, diversion grooves. Since you may find yourself bunched up with other riders and full of energy at this point, please give yourself enough room to look for and maneuver around these hazards.
-Mile 52.5: As noted on the cuesheet, there is a short stretch of rutted dirt road on a downhill.  If you are unsure of your ability to handle this, please dismount and walk this stretch.
-Mile 113.9: Gallows Hill from Rt 212 to Hunter Rd. No worse than normal here but it is bad across the entire road and there is some traffic.

*** Original Post ***
The PA Randonneurs return to the Weisel Youth Hostel near Quakertown for the beginning of the 2016 traditional SR events.  This year's 200k is the Lackawana 200k to be held on March 19.

Starting from our rando clubhouse, we first pass through Tinicum township as we drop down to the Delaware River.  The first controle stop is just a postcard drop on Headquarters Road, but we'll soon pass through Milford NJ where our favorite bakery will be open for coffee and baked goods.  The northern extent of this route parallels portions of the Lackawanna Cutoff, a modern marvel in the early 1900's.

We then continue our journey north through the quaint town of Little York, where we then begin a long gentle climb up Sweet Hollow Rd and a descent on Tunnel Rd to the Musconetcong River, which we'll ride along all the way to Port Murray, where the second major climb of the day awaits.  After dropping down to Great Meadows, where you can replenish your supplies, we'll ride along Shades of Death and pass Ghost Lake and the Fairy Hole.

Johnsonburg marks the northern extent of the route, and as we ride west, what looks like a small ridge is actually the man-made railroad bed of the Lackawanna Cut-Off.  Many tunnels go through this rail bed, and we'll see a several of them after Blairstown.  Several are identified Points of Interest on the cue sheet offering a good reason to revert to "traditional" brevet navigation practices.

As we head back into PA into Portland across the pedestrian bridge, the Lackawanna Cut-off RR trestle can be seen looking south down the river.  And once the Station Rd bridge is fixed, we'll also be able to ride past the Paulinskill Viaduct - when it was completed in 1910, it was the largest reinforced concrete structure in the world.

Upon arriving in Portland where we stop at the Portland Bagel and Deli, we begin our return trip southbound along the Delaware River through Belvidere and Reigelsville.

Event details and a link to the event sign-up are available on the event page http://parando.org/Lackawanna200k.html. All riders planning to clip in for this classic event must pre-register.  The pre-registration deadline is Thursday, March 17 at 5pm.

Riders are also reminder to review the status of both their PA Randonneurs AND RUSA memberships.  You must be an active member in BOTH to receive the discounted entry fee. You can check your RUSA status at the RUSA website and your PA Randonneurs status on the membership roster.

Finally, a reminder to all that deadlines for the fleché are approaching.  Team Captain registrations are due on March 18 with route submissions due one week later.

Roster (as of 3/18/2016)
1 Michael Anderson - NM Reg + Friday Night
2 Charles J Arayata - Reg + Friday Night
3 Jimmy Aspras - Reg
4 Eoghan Barry - Reg
5 Ed Bernasky - Reg
6 Gavin Biebuyck - Reg
7 Shawn Bowles - Reg + Friday Night
8 Timothy S Conheeney - NM Reg + Friday Night
9 Timothy Creyts - Reg + Mem Renew
10 Chris Errico - NM Reg
11 Matthew Farrell - Reg
12 William Fischer - Reg
13 Patrick Gaffney - Reg
14 Michael J Gorman - NM Reg
15 Nigel Greene - Reg + Mem Renew
16 Jeffrey A Gregg - Reg
17 James R Haddad - Reg + Friday Night
18 Eric  K Hannon Ford - Reg + Friday Night
19 Guy Harris - organizer
20 Greg Keenan - Reg
21 Gil Lebron - Reg
22 Kate R Marshall - NM Reg + Friday Night
23 Rudi Mayr - Reg + Mem Renew
24 Chris Nadovich - volunteer
25 William Olsen - organizer
26 Eric Quinn -  Guest
27 George Michael Retseck - Reg
28 George Swain - Reg + Friday Night
29 Bob Torres - Reg
30 Gilbert Torres - Reg
31 Victor Urvantsev - NM Reg + Friday Night

The list indicates those who have requested hostel accommodations.  "NM" means that a current PA Rando or RUSA membership is missing.    You can always choose to update both/either membership to receive discounted registration fees for the rest of 2016.


  1. Hi all,

    My GPS files, updated for 3/13/16 draft, can be found here:


    Looking forward to seeing you this weekend.


  2. CJ,
    I didn't see that. Wish I had. I put this together for the whole route: