Sunday, September 11, 2016

Ride Report: A Victory to Remember

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

HOT!  That is the one words spoken by most riders as they entered the air conditioned cool of the Victory Brewing Company finish.  It was indeed.  Temperatures at the start were in the mid-70s with very high humidity.  By noon the temperature had climbed into the 90s with high humidity pushing the heat into the triple digits.  There were reports of temperatures on the road as high as 108F.

While the heat was likely attributable to one DNF, wheel failures claimed two victims. George Metzler managed about 50 miles on the pre-ride before a spoke let go and sent his rear wheel into all sorts of mis-alignment.  He limped to E-town where a kind friend rescued him.  The second failure occurred mere minutes into the ride when Gary Rollman broke a spoke in his rear wheel and returned to the start.  He didn't feel comfortable riding on the compromised wheel for another 124 miles and didn't have a spare in the car, so his day was over.  He may have been secretly thankful to be spared from the oven.  The irony of two wheel failures is that the roads on the route were in some of the best shape ever for Lancaster County.

The rest of the riders covered the course in good order and appeared to be in decent shape at the finish.  Strong reminders about hydration as well as a shopping list of water available on course may have helped.   Good food and beverage options at the finish were a big hit with all.

Once again, a new to PA Randonneurs rider started and managed to be among the first finishers.  Rider Brian Ignatin rolled in with the always fast group of Gavin Biebuyck, Patrick Gaffney, and Greg Keenan to notch his first brevet finish.  Congratulations to Brian who may have set a record for the longest interval between joining RUSA and earning the randonneur distinction; he has a 3-digit RUSA membership number.

The remaining riders trickled in for the rest of the afternoon and joined our group that had set up camp in a corner of the brewpub.  Riders Peter Bakken and Paul Weaver added their names to the growing list of first-time PA finishers.  Congratulations to these two who rose to the challenge and finished a typically PA tough course with smiles on their faces.  Most riders hung around for a while after finishing sharing stories and generally enjoying being inside where it was cool.

Special thanks to my co-organizer George Metzler who first mentioned the idea of finishing at the VBC brewpub nearly two years ago and to the management at VBC for enthusiastically welcoming a bunch of sweaty cyclists. Every year George and I work to dream up something new and different.  We're particularly pleased with how this year's event turned out and hope everyone else enjoyed it and found it to be truly memorable.

Michael Povman writes:  Andrew, I just wanted to thank you and the other volunteers for organizing a terrific brevet around Lancaster County. I had never ridden in that area before and the combination of wonderful scenery, rolling hills, well-maintained roads and low traffic made for a special day on the bike, despite the heat.  I must say this ride was the first time I ever had to pass a horse and buggy!   I also enjoyed hooking up with some of the other riders in the second half of the ride and sharing a post-ride meal at the Victory.  My one regret for the day was not seeing anything at mile 49.8. 

George R. & CJ at the Finish (photo by Michael P.)
Chris Nadovich who normally goes to great lengths to avoid riding when the thermometer climbs above 90 wrote:  Although I severly "wilted" in the hot weather, I could not help noticing how pretty the course was. It was excellent Type B fun and the cool beer at the end tasted delicious. I look forward to riding that course again on a cooler day to better appreciate the beautiful scenery and relatively flat terrain. During the ride I noticed at least a half dozen farmers at different locations clearing trees and making bonfires in the heat of the day. Bonfires? On one of the hottest days of the year?

Lancaster is farm country where work on the farm takes few holidays.  Sundays are a different story.

Grace Pineda finished strong and smiling (I think she was smiling because it was over) and commented:  Looking back a day later - what a great ride!  Thanks for organizing.  Thanks too for that email where you listed locations for refueling and restocking on fluids.  Meant everything in those last controle-free 50 miles!

We return to our Rando Clubhouse in October for the always enjoyable Brevet/Populaire on October 22.  Check the PA Randos website and this message board for updates.

Andrew Mead
- organizer

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