Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 PA R12 Series Kickoff: Beyond Hope to Hopewell

*** Update 3 ***

THE BREVET WILL START AS SCHEDULED ON SATURDAY, JANUARY 7.  We dodged the worst of the snow and roads should be fine for cycling.

*** Update 2 ***
Winter weather often challenges brevet organizers.  Rider safety is paramount.  Randonneurs are hearty cyclists capable of getting though some remarkably nasty weather.  Still, ours is a recreational sport; we don't want to jeopardize rider safety simply to keep an event on the schedule.

As you may be aware, a winter storm is passing through our area Thursday evening into Friday.   This may or may not impact roads.  Bill, Guy, and I are carefully monitoring conditions and will make a final call by Friday afternoon.  Forecasts as of Thursday indicate this should be a minor snow event that should not impede our plans.  Please check this board and your email for any updates.

We are also aware that temperatures will be brutally cold on Saturday, possibly below some riders' low temperatures thresholds.  If you have registered for this ride (your name is on the list below) and you do NOT intend on starting for whatever reason, please send a message to Bill Olsen (organizer) and Andrew Mead (RBA) informing us of your decision.  While the Milford Bakery is a nice place to hang out, no one wants to hang around for an extra hour wondering whether someone is late or just not planning to ride.

This ride may challenge the current PA Rando low temperature at a start record (13F) and will definitely test your low temperature preparations.  Fortunately this route offers numerous places to refuel and warm up along the way.  From my own bag of tricks, placing a CamelBak (and the hose) inside my jacket, where it remain liquid and warm, and covering my face so that I could inhale slightly warmed air have worked well for me. Good luck and stay safe.

*** Update 1 ***

Bill Olsen and Guy Harris pre-rode the Beyond Hope to Hopewell course on Sunday January 1st and, in general found the cue sheets to be in very good order.  Some minor notes were added to the cue sheet (Revision 1/3/2017, Draft 3) currently posted on the PA Randonneurs website.

Comments from their pre-ride include:

While Controle 2 at the US Gas Minimart offers a wide selection of items, please be aware that the facilities consist of two ORF’s (Outdoor Rest Facilities) and if one is looking for more comfort one might consider stopping at the QuickChek located at the Rt 46 intersection (Mile 29.8 and 42.9.) The QuickChek also offers seated dining facilities and a wide selection of hot and cold beverages, soups and sandwiches if one needs to stop to warm up along the way.

The Citgo Minimart at Control 3 used for many of the PA Randonneuring brevets similarly offers a wide variety of food and a warm seating area.  But if one is looking for fast food, there is a Burger King  located in the Travel Centers of America and a Subway located in the Pilot Travel Center truck service facilities located on the LHS of Rt. 173.  If one choses to use these controls as an alternative to the designated Citgo controle a timed receipt will be required for these two facilities.

If the weather forecast of seasonal temperatures for the day of the ride continues to hold, one can be assured that the next section climbing up Tunnel Road following the rolling ridgeline along Rt 579 and then over the Sourlands will warm one up…and yes that sign at the top of the climb on Rt 607 / Rileyville road where Mountain Road and Ridge Road meet IS the last of the big climbs before Hopewell.  On the descent into Hopewell there is a section of older pavement that has many potholes on the RH side of the road, approximately 2 feet out from the shoulder, where one would normally ride.  When traversing this section, make sure that one is comfortable riding to the right of the potholes near to the shoulder, or preferably, taking the lane and riding to the left of the potholes.  (CAUTION: ONE DOES NOT WANT TO RIDE THROUGH THE POTHOLES.)  If one is riding in a group, be sure to call out the hazard.

The Brick Farm Market used for Controle 4 is now open form 8AM to 6PM on weekends so that even riders arriving near the 17:34 controle closing time will find the store open with a selection of hot and cold food and beverage items.

On the last section, please be aware that immediately following the TL onto Rt 605 / Sandy Ridge Rd at mile 107.0, riders should continue straight on Sandy Ridge Rd and NOT take the RHT that Rt 605 takes onto Cemetery Rd.

Although not a controle, riders should be aware that the general store in Stockton will be open if one needs a stop prior to the stretch back in on Rt. 29.  (It is a minor detour requiring a LHT onto Rt 29 / N. Main St at mile 108.8, proceeding approximately 500 feet to take a RHT onto Bridge Street.  The store is on Mill Street, to your left, just beyond the Shell gasoline station.  Reversing this route will return one to the course that follows Rt. 29.  Please also note that the Bull’s Island Recreational Facility located approximately 3 miles down the road offers heated rest room facilities.

Bill and Guy will be there to see you off at the Milford Station Bakery and upon your return to the Ship Inn.

One final note.  As in years past, this kick-off event is offered free of charge for PA Randonneurs members in good standing.  Bundle up and enjoy one on the house.

*** Original Post ***
Get your 2017 randonneuring season started early with the Beyond Hope to Hopewell brevet.  This route features roads that are generally cleared in the winter and not overly challenging, at least compared to others in the PA catalog.  Event details have been posted on the website at

The start is at the Milford Bakery, but you should park your car in the big parking lot on Church St.  There is a sign indicating private parking, but PA Randonneurs has secured permission from the owner, US Health (which will be closed).  The Bakery will be open by 6AM and in addition to baked items, breakfast sandwiches can made to order.  The finish controle is at the Ship Inn just a couple of stores away from the Bakery.

Sunset is at 4:50 PM; riders are required to bring lights and reflective gear, including primary and backup lighting front and rear.  Any riders finishing after sunset without the proper safety gear will be disqualified.

If you're planning to ride, please complete an entry at the PA Randonneurs Event Registration page by 5PM Thursday afternoon.

Andrew Mead
- Eastern PA RBA

Registered Riders (as of 1/5/2017)
1 Michael Anderson
2 Jimmy Aspras
3 Joe A Brown
4 Mario Claussnitzer
5 Matthew Farrell
6 William Fischer
7 Patrick Gaffney
8 Nigel Greene
9 James R Haddad
10 Doug Haluza
11 Eric  K Hannon Ford
12 Guy Harris - volunteer
13 Jeff Lippincott
14 Christopher Maglieri
15 Chris Nadovich
16 William Olsen - organizer
17 Joseph Ray
18 Steven J Schoenfelder
19 Bob Torres

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