Monday, August 22, 2016

August YARRR 200K Ride Report

Preliminary results have been posted at:
Results will be submitted in a couple of days to RUSA, and then become final pending ACP certification.

The refrain at the YARRR finish was "That was too harrrd", referring, no doubt, to the four, significant climbs in the last 50 miles. Particularly detested was the hot, exposed Country Side Lane over the top of South Mountain, and the (uncalled for, gratuitous, unnecessary, sadistic...)  High Street climb across the hill in South Side just 2 miles from the finish.

Despite the hot conditions and tough climbing, all 15 out of 15 riders finished in good time for a 100% completion rate -- congratulations and well done to all!  Of note, Joe Dille completed his first PA Randonneurs brevet, leading the field, and setting an initial course record that will be harrrd to beat.

Unfortunately, the Weyerbacher brewery was closed for an unusual, unanticipated private event, so the anticipated "free beer" stop was unavailable. By way of apology for this, Weyerbacher donated a case of beer and a pile of free beer coupons to PA Randonneurs. Most of these were distributed to riders at the end of YARRR, but we still have several more. If you missed getting one of these coupons, We'll have them to hand out at future events.

The start/finish at Jimmy's Doggie Stand seems to be a good place to finish a brevet. The picturesque site alongside the Forks of the Delaware had a beach like atmosphere in the warm summer sun. Many riders lounged on the picnic tables and napped on the grass after the ride -- occasionally waking up to order another ice cream or to complain yet again to the organizer that the High Street climb was too harrrrd.

Stephen Schoenfelder writes: 

Thanks to Chris for hosting a great ride! In spite of all of the whining at the finish, it was a fun, but challenging course, with just a hint of sadism near the end as the course veered sharply from the Lehigh River to climb over a steep ridge???twice!

Recently, someone told me that redemption is only a ride away. My R-12 attempt, started last September, came to a screeching halt when I waited until the end of July to DNF on my own 200K perm. Pretty embarrassing, right? So this YARRR 200K was my redemption ride.

We headed south with lights ablaze along the Jersey side of the Delaware through moist, but comfortable temperatures. As promised, we spotted herds of deer grazing in the morning mist. It was great to hit Milford early before the town woke up and to race across the bridge into PA (sorry-must have missed the ???walk bike??? cue). Shortly afterwards, my lungs announced their presence as the grade grew ever steeper during the climb up aptly-named Red Cliff Road. My energy level always seems to be high at the start of brevets and I tend to maintain a spirited pace near the front of the pack. Reality usually hits home at the first controle where my cadence settles into a more sedate rhythm. I enjoyed the solitude of riding the next 24 miles alone through rolling pastoral countryside followed by suburban landscape. I was caught by my group, which is to say, the one immediately behind me, at the WaWa in Souderton at mile 46. Thanks to the advanced randonneuring skills of one of my colleagues, we discovered portable toilets at a park behind the police station across the street from WaWa (these may be worth mentioning on next year???s cue sheet as restroom facilities are few and far between).

A group of riders gradually assembled along the way after heading out from the refueling stop. After the quiet of the last leg, it was great to chat as we pedaled. I am just about a year into randonneuring, and still have a lot to learn. Getting to know experienced riders is a highlight of these brevets for me. Before I knew it, we were at our lunch stop in Phoenixville. There was a long line at the Artisan Cafe, so our group decided to share a pizza at a restaurant a few doors down. I think it was here that the climbs that awaited us outside of Pottstown were discussed in hushed tones. Temperatures were starting to tip into the 90???s at this point in time, so I figured ???we???re all going to die.???

Long story short, we made it, experiencing a good mix of type 1 and type 2 fun along the way. I really enjoyed the varied terrain and scenery, crossing two ???closed??? bridges and a covered bridge, the wildlife sightings, the gently graded gravel rail trail, and the collegiality of my fellow randonneurs. Thanks to Gil, Bob, Raz, and Michael, redemption was easily achieved in regulation time. Now, it???s one month down and eleven to go on my R-12 attempt!

Raz, Gil, and Bob at the lunch stop in Phoenixville
RBA, Tom Rosenbauer writes: 
Special Thanks to organizer Chris Nadovich for a super job of putting together the event and executing it perfectly.  Thanks also to all the well wishes I got from the postcard controle -- it certainly brightened up my day.  It's been exactly one year since I finished my last brevet, and realized that my riding days would be over for a good while. Although its been a very long, slow process, I believe I'm finally beginning to see some positive results from my treatment.  I remain hopeful to some day clipping-in with you for a brevet -- I truly do miss the camaraderie of sharing the miles with my fellow randonneurs.
The PA summer series concludes on September 10th with a another new 200k route: A Victory to Remember. Take a looping tour of Lancaster County with a strong motivation to finish since this one finishes at a pub.  Long time riders may recognize bits and pieces of this route, but it has been at least seven years since we took a clockwise tour around Lancaster county.  Event details have been posted at  To join the roster, use the electronic registration by 5PM on the Thursday before the event.  And as always,  be sure to monitor the PA Randonneurs website and this blog periodically for updates.

-Chris Nadovich, organizer


  1. Chris,
    Thanks for hosting a great ride. I also want to thank Matt and Gary who showed me (by example) how to efficiently do a controle. Ride slow, stop fast! The Country Side climb was a challenge especially after all of the other climbs and in the direct sun. The High Street was not too bad as I knew the finish was on the river and it just had to be the last hill.

    Great choice for an end point. Not many rides end with a parade of women in swimsuits. Thanks again.

    Ride Safe,


  2. Chris, I want to add my thanks as well. It was a fun ride, even with those two tough climbs. I agree that Jimmy's was a great place to end it.

    Mike P.