Friday, July 15, 2016

July Hawk's Nest 200k

*** Update 1 ***

A pre-ride was completed on 17 July by Bill and I, yet again under difficult (hot & humid) conditions.  

Water should be available at all controles, but this will not be enough
if the weather continues to be ultra hot. Monitor you water bottle fluid levels and take advantage of the numerous "non-control" facilities along the way, including, but not limited to those noted as additional cues on the cue-sheet.

Here are the main non-controle water stops I know about:

19.4 Deli on Left

55.0 Spring by wood fence on Left
61.9 Convenience Store on Right
65.8 Supermarket opposite controle
71.5 Convenience Store on Right near top of climbing

99.7 Bar and Deli on right (useful if Controle was closed)
105.7 Wallpack Inn on left (not last water)
113.6 ***Millbrook Vilage on left (pump/fountain back behind gate near tables)

That last one, the water at Millbrook Village, is not obvious. Few riders seem to be aware of it. Nevertheless, it's not far from the road, near some shade, and very excellent water. You need to pause at the stop sign at mile 113.6 anyway.  You just finished a tough climb. Why not cool off? It'll make the last 10 miles of the brevet so much more enjoyable. Also, there's really no reason to carry full water bottles up the climb. You can fill immediately after the climb.

Road conditions are relatively good, but there are a few difficulties of

40.6 Rt-6, The edge of the road has 28mm wide cracks that weave in and out of the shoulder. Because of the traffic on this road, riding the shoulder is recommended, but be aware of the cracks. When riding in a group, space out so that everyone can see to pick out a safe line.

45.3 Towpath Rd, rough as usual.

76.3 Rt 97 to Hawks Nest. The shoulder is rideable all the way up, although it is covered with gravel and other debris. The main pavement is better, but this is a busy road. I stayed on the shoulder till reaching Hawks Nest, then I took the lane.

95.6 The small bridge here is marked for repair. We are watching the situation but it appears that even if there is construction at this bridge, cyclists will be able to walk around it safely.

111.5 Old Mine Rd is as bad as ever. Lots of potholes. The good news is that you'll be riding past them at 3 mph. Keep in mind that there's water at Milbrook Village just on the other side of this mountain.

115-125 Old Mine Rd continues to be potholed, but now you are riding at 15-25 mph, dizzy from the heat, and the dappled late day shade makes these holes hard to spot. Please be careful.

*** Original Post ***

With summer weather upon us, the July  30th 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. Fortunately, positive waves have restored the bridge across the Brodhead Creek allowing us to use the classically "fast" Hawks Nest route. Riders typically finish this course about an hour faster than other Eastern   PA 200k's.  Event details are posted at the PA Randonneurs web site:

If you would like to join the roster, please use the online registration form , by 5PM Thursday, August 28th.  

*** Start/Finish ***

The start/finish is at the Village Farmer and Bakery, right next to the Apple Pie Cafe (formerly the Water Gap Diner). The Bakery has promised to open early 6:30AM, so you can top off with a good breakfast before the start. Please show your appreciation to the Bakery manager who is getting out of bed extra early to help feed us. At the end of the ride, also consider patronizing the Apple Pie Cafe (same management).

IMPORTANT Note: Do not leave your car at the Cafe or the Bakery. Parking is in an empty lot behind the Cafe -  Directions are posted here:

Course Notes:
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.

Given the hot weather, hydration is key. There are several opportunities for obtaining water and ice along the course in between the controles. Keep a sharp eye out, monitor your water supply, and think ahead!

*** 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:
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: (267) 218-0418
- 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: 

 Keep the rubber side down!

Registered Riders (as of 7/28/2016)
1 Ed Bernasky
2 Gavin Biebuyck
3 Christoph Boeckeler - PA lapsed
4 Jono Davis
5 William Fischer
6 Patrick Gaffney
7 Vadim Gritsus - guest
8 Eric  K Hannon Ford
9 Kenneth E Herbert - PA lapsed
10 Gil Lebron
11 Christopher Maglieri
12 Chris Nadovich - organizer
13 William Olsen - volunteer
14 Michael Povman
15 Alan Richer -guest
16 Scotty Steingart - guest
17 Bob Torres

Chris Nadovich