Sunday, April 24, 2016

Water Gap 300k/200k

**** Update 2 (4/27)  **** 
The Brodhead Creek bridge at mile 69 of the 300k is not passable. Draft 2 of the 300k cuesheet has been posted with a reroute to avoid the bridge.  The reroute is now an out and back segment from Water Gap to Hainesville on the NJ side of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DWGNRA).  The good news is, you don't have to worry about the sticky road reported by Chris N.  The bad news is, you will be descending Millbrook Rd at mile 83.  As noted on the cuesheet, extreme caution is needed here -- it is a steep descent on a very rough road with large potholes.  If you hit any of the larger craters at speed, it most certainly will ruin your day.

A second preride was completed by organizers Bill O. and Guy H. this past Wednesday.  Bill reports: "...Guy and I enjoyed the out and back reroute...going upstream makes one appreciate how much more climbing there is going that direction and how nice the trip home is. Guy and I were treated to a nice view of a bobcat, and as I descended Millbrook Rd,  I was treated to the sight of a red-tailed hawk who decided to glide down the road in front of me.  If one keeps one's forward velocity in check on the descent, a nice safe line can be picked out all the way down. However one should not get complacent since the last 100 yards, just as one sees the 'stop sign ahead' sign, is very rough.  This applies equally to the return climb as to the descent. In some ways, having the relatively traffic-free at lower speeds but hillier NJ side of the DWGNRA offset the flatter but busier PA side. We also didn't see any "lily-white" asses hanging out the side of minivans - as has been my 'reward' for riding the PA side (ok, only experienced twice...the same number of times I've seen bobcats on the Worthington State Forest side)..."  Guy H. adds "... Water Gap to Flats Deli is not the worst out-and-back. And, as Bill said, the warm spring days seems to bring out the other wildlife on the PA side. The Portland eagle was missing from its perch as we rode past the power plant but when we stopped a little down the road we saw it circling around. The bobcat was a real treat - my first in NJ!..."

**** Update 1 (4/26)  **** 
A pre-ride of the 300k route was undertaken by Chris Nadovich on Sunday.  His notes:

Mile 17.3:  The New Street bridge is under construction. It's narrowed down to just two "cattle chute" lanes. It would not be possible for a car to pass a bike safely. My recommendation is for
riders to "take the lane" firmly. Traffic is very light that time of day, so you might not block anyone. Nevertheless, take the lane.

Mile 33.4:  Rt 248. There's a sign that says road construction begins 4/25, along with other construction zone signs, but no detours signs were seen.

Mile 69.35:  The bridge across the Brodhead Creek on River Rd, just North of DWG is under construction.  I had no trouble crossing the perfectly intact bridge. They haven't started work in earnest, but according to a neigbor the plan is to completely re-deck the bridge in the next 60 days.  We are watching this situation and will provide a detour in the event the bridge become impassible to cyclists.

Mile 78.5:   Community Drive is sticky -- as in, lots of twigs and sticks all over the road. At first I didn't think the sticky areas were hazardous. I rode through them with neglect. But then a quantum of stickiness, that is to say, a stick, lept up from the pavement and caused my front fender to explode. Not good. Many minutes were wasted re-attaching and re-aligning the bent metal. I could have crashed. The cue sheet says "rough road".  It should say "exceedingly sticky road". Avoid all sticky areas. Ignore this warning at your peril.

128.0 The Water Gap Diner is now called "The Apple Pie Cafe". They were not open 4/24 (still active construction) but signs promised a grand opening 4/25. No worries, the Village Farmer has an awesome outdoor BBQ on weekends. 

Note: The Water Gap controle is an open controle, and you may use any of the restaurants or mini-marts on Broad St as a controle.

A preride of the 200k route was also conducted by Pat & Cecily Gaffney.  They note:

Overall the course is in very good shape.  Many of the spots that are usually full of debris and gravel this time of year were in pretty good shape.  I referring specifically to the shoulder on Blue Mountain Drive and the should on 611 between WaterGap and Portland.  It was nice to be able to use those shoulders rather than having to be out in the lane.

We did notice a large pothole that could cause problems in the turn at mile 25.6, riders, especially in a group, should use caution here.  

There was a fair amount of gravel in the turn at mile 33.5.  

The roads on the final leg, leading into the hostel, are in their normal state of disrepair, but did not seem any worse than last month.  We did notice a good size divot that could cause some issues in the turn at mile 120.1, riders should be careful there.

**** Original Post **** 
Fog over the Cherry Valley.  Photo by Greg Keenan.
On April 30 we return to our Rando Headquarters again for the Water Gap 300k.  This route explores the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.  Event details are posted on the website:

For anyone who has never ridden this route, we cross the Delaware River on the I-80 bridge at mile 127.  There is a pedestrian path which doubles as the Appalachian Trail alongside the traffic lanes.  You want to find this sharp left turn as the road you're traveling becomes an on-ramp for the interstate shortly after the pedestrian ramp.
The path follows the handrail back across the bridge.
A 200k option that skips the out and back into the DWGNRA is also available for those wanting something shorter.

Please note that both routes pass through downtown Bethlehem and thus start at 4:00am so that riders can safely pass through town before the hustle and bustle begins.

Organizers Bill Olsen, Guy Harris, and Chris Nadovich will be on hand to take care of you.  Chris will have breakfast items available 1 hour before the start, and as usual, there will be postride food available.  Please take a moment to double check the hostel reservations and course option I have listed for you.

300k  Registrations (as of 4/30)
1 Daniel Aaron
2 Eoghan Barry
3 Ed Bernasky
4 James Bondra
5 George Brandt
6 Geoff X Brunner
7 Alfred Dolich
8 Douglas Ernst +Fri/Sat Nt
9 William Fischer
10 Michael J Gorman
11 Nigel Greene
12 Jeffrey A Gregg
13 James R Haddad +Friday Nt
14 Doug Haluza
15 Guy Harris - organizer
16 Erica Jacobs +Fri/Sat Nt
17 Greg Keenan
18 Eric E. Keller +Fri/Sat Nt
19 Robin C Landis +Friday Nt
20 Gil Lebron
21 Chris Nadovich - volunteer
22 William Olsen - organizer
23 Walter J Pettigrew + PAR memb renew
24 Joseph Ray +Fri/Sat Nt
25 Steven J Schoenfelder
26 Paul G Shapiro
27 Bob Torres +Friday Nt

200k Registrations (as of 4/30)
1 Dan M Barbasch +Fri/Sat Nt + membership renew
2 Cecilie Gaffney volunteer
3 Patrick Gaffney volunteer
4 Eric  K Hannon Ford +Friday Nt
5 Althea Grace Pineda
6 George Michael Retseck
7 Edward T Schantz 

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


  1. Hi, am signed up for the 200K. Sunday am running a 13.1 marathon. If it wasn't for the run I would have joined my Randonners on the 300k distance. Thank you for making the correction.

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