Monday, August 1, 2016

July Hawk's Nest 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.

During our pre-ride of the Hawks nest course, the blazing sun and extremely hot temperatures had Bill and I wishing for more water. Well, always be careful what you wish for, you might get it! Although not quite a "total washout", riders reported heavy downpours and rumbles of thunder during the second half of the ride. The silver lining in those rainclouds were the moderated temperatures they enjoyed, although I was told that extra caution was needed to avoid wheel-eating, invisible potholes on Old Mine Rd submerged under flash floods.

A total of 14 out of 16 riders finished in good time for a 88% completion rate -- congratulations and well done to all!  Of note, Patrick Gaffney completed an Eastern PA R-12 series, becoming only the 10th person to accomplish this rare feat.  Pat writes "....Just a quick thanks for putting together another great ride, and to Chris for seeing us off and welcoming us back. It really is a nice route.   One added benefit of the torrential downpour was the all the gravel on the Old Mine climb got washed to the bottom of the hill before I got there. I think it was the first time I was able to stand whenever I wanted on that climb without my rear wheel slipping. ..."

Maybe some of those distant rumbles of thunder were actually the sonic boom of Scotty S. totally demolishing his old course record of 7:33 with a new record time of 7:07, an amazing achievement given the foul weather, the climbs, the bridge construction, and the rough roads.

Scotty S. writes: "...Why is the Hawks Nest 200k my favorite Randonneur route?

1: It's only got 3 pages of q sheets. Some routes have 6 pages+ of directions making the challenge more navigation than cycling. 

2: The course has everything. Ascending, descending, rough road sections. New paved sections fast and smooth. Take your bike on a hike around bridge closures. There always seem to be one on the course. 

3: The Organizers. Thanks to Bill, Tom, and Chris for all your efforts to make this as awesome as it is. 

4: It's the best kept secret. With many millions of people living within a few hours by car, only [16] people showed. Wouldn't want it to get too popular. 

5: The first hour is mostly climbing. This stratifies the participants by ability reducing the big group wheel touching issues of all being together. 

6: The Water Gap Bakery is the final control. Talk about motivation to finish.

7. It keeps getting better. New smooth black top on Kimble's and rt. 31.

8 The course is run twice a year 3 weeks apart. If Want a rematch, try again while the memory is still fresh.

9. Mostly low traffic roads. Tom and crew have tweaked this route to keep it as safe and fun as possible. 

10. Its scenic. The views of mountains, rivers and wildlife can't be beat.

Looking forward to the next Hawk Nest 200

The next event, part of the R12 series, will be held on August 20th.  It's a new 200k route with a start/finish at the Free Bridge at Easton, PA.  The route crosses from the Delaware to the Schuylkill and back again through the heart of Bucks and Montgomery counties, passing many points of interest along the way, including Weyerbacher Brewery (free samples).   Event details are at:

In September we will return to Lancaster County for another new route that finishes at a pub.  Check the PA Randonneurs website and this blog periodically for updates.

-Chris Nadovich, organizer

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