Friday, October 28, 2016

PA R-12 Series - November: Le Retour du Stillwater

**** Update #1 ****

Pre-ride course check-out rides of both routes were conducted this weekend.  Guy Harris checked out the 100k route and found the cue sheet near-flawless.  The 200k route was check by organizer Bill Olsen and Chris Nadovich who report the following: 

It was a little chilly in the pre-dawn light at the start in Milford, but as the sun came up, melting the frost, it became a very nice day. There was some wind to contend with after we turned back from Stillwater, but these gusts died off to near calm later in the afternoon.

Pavement is in good condition most everywhere. There was active paving work underway in a few spots, leading us to conjecture that pavement would be even smoother next week. The one exception to generally smooth roads is the Old Cemetary Rd climb immediately after the penultimate controle. Old Cemetary is a narrow, broken, moderately steep grade that occasionally has auto traffic blocking the way. If you have any doubt about your mountain biking skills on skinny tires, I'd recommend dismounting to climb this short segment.

Deer were visible thoughout the course. Please be alert.

The cue sheet is mostly accurate, but we did notice a few minor discrepancies.

  -- At mile 41.2 the left onto Rt 658 / Vail Rd is actually the third left (current cue sheet says 2nd), although given the clear markings and correctly cued distance it's hard to miss this turn.  The cue sheet could be revised to simply say "L".

  -- At mile 79.8 the right onto Creek Rd is currently unmarked.  It occurs along a large, flat, open section of cornfield.  It's immediately across from the access road to Good Shepherd cemetary. If you keep your eyes on the mileage you won't miss this right since there's no other turn nearby. On the other hand, if you daydreaming on the flat, pleasant road, you might accidentally pass the turn.

  -- At mile 85.3 the right onto Shades of Death Rd is unmarked.  You can see the empty bracket atop the signpost from which the marker was stolen evidently. Swiping the road name markers on "Shades" seems to be a popular prank, especially around  Halloween. But don't be frightened. This turn is well marked by the grassy area cleaving the T intersection. I'd cue it: "go right at devil's triangle".

  -- At mile 116.7 turn off auto-pilot after summiting Tunnel Rd. The return to Milford does not use Sweet Hollow, but rather stays on 579 till the right turn onto 614 at the stop sign.  These two roads have straight, smooth, _screaming_ descents that many riders will zoom down at around dusk. Be sure you have your reflective gear on, be alert for deer, and don't descend faster than your guardian angel.

The 200k cue sheet has been updated to reflect this information.  Be sure to refresh your browser and download Draft 11, updated 10/30/2016.

****  Original Post ****
 Photo by Chris N.
The November R12 Series event again features the perennial favorite Stillwater 200k route (run in the reverse direction) AND the Milford 100k for randonneurs interested in pursuing the RUSA P12 Award.  Event details and cue sheets have been posted on the PA Randonneurs website.  Registration is open until the Thursday before the event.  Sign up now.

Registered Riders (as of 11/3/2016)

Retour 200k
1 Peter Bakken
2 Jane M  Brown
3 Joe A Brown
4 Taylor Brown
5 Dawn M Engstrom
6 Matthew Farrell
7 William Fischer
8 James R Haddad
9 Eric  K Hannon Ford
10 Guy Harris - volunteer
11 James P. Holman
12 Christopher Maglieri
13 Chris Nadovich - volunteer
14 William Olsen - organizer
15 Joseph Ray

Milford 100k
1 Althea Grace Pineda

Andrew Mead
-Eastern PA RBA