Monday, March 26, 2018

Lackawanna 200k Results

Morning Sky
Photo by Michael Povman
Preliminary results for the Lackawanna 200k have been posted at  These will be submitted to RUSA in the coming week and become official pending certification by the ACP.

The roller coaster weather of winter threatened once again and dumped well over a foot of snow on the area on Wednesday.  Spring thawing began in earnest but with overnight lows in the mid-20s each night, re-freeze remained a significant concern.  A delayed start to near sunrise allowed riders to see the slick spots in time to avoid them as well as melting any icy spots.  No cycling incidents were reported, though one group managed to find a ditch while driving to the start.  All 25 riders who clipped in finished.

Greg Keenan writes, "I wanted to mention what a great call it was to move yesterday's ride start time to day light hours.  Safety was greatly improved by being able to see the little ice patches from the melt that froze over night.  Thanks for another great ride."

From Steve Schoenfelder:  We were able to avoid scattered patches of ice due to the delayed daylight start.  My GPS read 23 degrees at the hostel, but reached a high of about 55 degrees in the afternoon.  The winds and climbs made it a challenging ride, but the usual randonneur camaraderie helped reduce the suffering.  It turned out to be a beautiful day to be on a bike.  The route was spectacular, crossing the Delaware four times; coursing through picturesque countryside and historic villages.  We meandered along the historic Lackawanna Cutoff railroad grade with its many tunnels, and passed under the impressive Paulinskill Viaduct.  Here are a few pictures:
Climbing Sweet Hollow Rd
Steve Schoenfelder & Brandon Detweiler crossing the Delaware

Relaxing at Portland
Congratulations to Brendan Detweiler for notching his first brevet finish to join the ranks of Randonneurs.

From Michael PovmanThanks again to Chris, Bill and all the other volunteers for another well-run Pa. ride.  Moving the start back an hour was a great call as any patches of ice were on the road were pretty easy to spot in the daylight.   The hills and the wind seemed relentless, but  I really enjoyed the snow-covered vistas on this very scenic route, not to mention the company of my fellow riders.  Here's a picture of Rudi Mayr and Neil Lerner.

Rudi Mayr writes, Many thanks to you, Chris, Bill, Jeff, Lenny, chili chef Joe, the hostel's staff, and everyone else who contributed to yesterday's ride! It was truly memorable.

Beautiful sunny day and a great scenic route that protected us from the winds most of the time.  There was always some snow in sight, but often only small patches here and there, on northerly hillsides etc. Spring has not yet come to the trees, so we could see a lot of stuff that's going to be hidden in a couple weeks.

The most spectacular thing I saw was something that can only happen to a cyclist (and perhaps only to a cyclist wearing black pants and a bright yellow windbreaker). I was cruising along at a good clip, having just come off a descent, nice smooth pavement with the warm sun over my right shoulder, my shadow to my left. A little cloud of shadows passed right through my own, and I realized a tiny flock of birds had just gone right over my head. So I looked up and there, almost within reach, were a dozen male goldfinches flying in tight formation, brilliant yellow in the sun against the blue sky. Just at that moment they separated like an explosion of sparks flying in all directions, and then they came together again. My road turned to the left, they went straight, I was alone again... bedazzled. 

A little while later there was a huge flock of blackbirds in the trees to the left, and as we rode along they all flew up and passed over us, dense clouds of birds above and their shadows below,  moving sideways as a unit, giving the illusion of a world torn into two planes... almost enough to confuse a cyclist's balance. And really loud!

Many thanks to organizers Chris Nadovich and Bill Olsen for handling details on the ground and to volunteers Jeff Lippincott, Pat & Cecile GaffneyJoe Ray, George Retseck, and Len Zawodniak for stepping up to make sure the route was navigable,  riders were well fed, and cleaning up after it was all over.

We will return to the hostel in three weeks (April 14) for the 300k.  Details and registration information will be posted soon.

Andrew Mead
Eastern PA RBA

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

PA SR Series Begins - Lackawanna 200k

***UPDATE 3***
The Lackawanna 200k remains scheduled for Saturday, March 24.
The start time will be delayed by 1 hour to 7:00am.  This allows a little extra time for roads to warm up AND allows riders to start in daylight.  Historical performance on this route suggests that riders should finish in the daylight as well.

The Hostel parents inform me that only a very small portion of the parking area was cleared of snow. Parking will be extremely tight.  If you can carpool, please do.  When you arrive, please park efficiently so everyone can park.  I am also advised that the ground is quite soft, so keep that in mind when parking.

Everything else will be as always.  The hostel will be open; they even have power!  There is plenty of space for those wanting to stay Friday or Saturday.  Breakfast will be available 1 hour before the start.  The post ride food will be there.   The route should be pretty with plenty of snow-covered vistas and hopefully dry, black pavement.

***UPDATE 2 March 22***
Winter weather is to be expected in January & February and this winter has certainly challenged my play-calling.  The latest Nor'easter blanketed the area on the second day of spring.  Totals in my area range from 12 to 18 inches.  I'm certain northern New Jersey got at least as much.  Thankfully warm and windy conditions should melt and dry the roads.  I will be consulting with locals today to assess road conditions on the Lackawanna route.  Given the logistical complications of a hostel-based ACP brevet, my preference is for the brevet to occur on Saturday.  Stay tuned.

Andrew Mead
Eastern PA RBA

***UPDATE 1***
Course checkout rides were completed over the weekend.  The cue sheet has been updated and posted on the website.
You'll want to make sure you have the 2018 edition or you may find yourself backtracking quite a bit due to bridge construction.

***Original Post***
With the worst (hopefully) of winter behind us, it is time to look toward the ACP-sanctioned portion of our 2018 schedule and the PA Randonneurs SR series.  Details of the first event, the Lackawana 200k have been posted on the website.  Registration is open.

At long last we are also moving forward with a non-wool option for the classic PA Randonneurs jerseys.  We will be using Ascend Sportswear to produce the jerseys.  Three options for materials are planned: Elevate, Volare, and Apex.  These may change slightly as I finalize the details with Ascend.  Sizing and material samples will be available at the March brevet for interested people to see first-hand.  Ordering is handled by Ascend.  You will have the option of having your jersey mailed directly to you from Ascend or you can save the postage and pick it up at one of our later events.  Ascend will create a "store" for us on it's website where you can order and pay for your jersey(s).  That store will be opened a few days prior to the brevet and remain open for approximately three weeks.  The jerseys will be produced at that time.  Delivery is expected 5-6 weeks after the store closes.  My morning ride group commissioned custom kit with Ascend last fall.  I ordered an Elevate jersey and am very satisfied with the quality and comfort.  There is a minimum order quantity for this project.  Hopefully you all saved a few cycling budget dollars for a new warm weather jersey.  The best aspect is that we can easily arrange for additional runs should the demand exist, even if that is next year.

Andrew Mead
Eastern PA RBA

Registered Riders (as of 3/21/2018)
1 Charles J Arayata
2 Jimmy Aspras
3 Marc Bernardo
4 Gavin Biebuyck
5 Shawn Bowles
6 Brendan Detweiler + Fr
7 Alfred Dolich
8 Chris Errico + membership
9 Matthew Farrell
10 Cecilie Gaffney  - volunteer
11 Patrick Gaffney  - volunteer
12 Vadim Gritsus
13 James R Haddad + Fr
14 Guy Harris
15 Greg Keenan
16 Eric E. Keller + membership
17 Neal Lerner
18 Jeff Lippincott  - volunteer
19 Nicholas Manta + Fr
20 Rudolf Mayr
21 Chris Nadovich - organizer
22 Rajesh Nayak + Sa
23 William Olsen - organizer
24 Walter J Pettigrew
25 Michael D Povman + Fr
26 Joseph Ray
27 George Michael Retseck
28 Steven J Schoenfelder + membership
29 Ryan J Stanis
30 Bob Torres + membership

Friday, March 16, 2018

PA Rando Jerseys: The Vegan Option

The PA Randonneurs "Store" is now open.

For anyone interested in jerseys made from modern synthetics, a reminder that PA Randonneurs is about to begin an ordering process for jerseys from Ascend Sportswear.  You can check out sizing a material options on the Ascend Website.  Jerseys will be available in Elevate, Volare Elite, and Apex materials.  You will also have the option for long sleeve, short sleeve, or sleeveless.

Ordering will be though a specific page on Ascend's website (our store).  The store will "open" on March 24 and remain open for 3-4 weeks or until we reach a minimum order point.  The jerseys will be completed roughly 5 weeks after the store closes.  You can opt to have your jersey delivered directly to you or save shipping and pick it up at a brevet later and save the shipping costs.  

The design mimics the classic PA Randonneur wool jerseys.  The rendering below is close, but I can confirm that the vertical positioning of the black band is the same as on the wool jerseys (the top of the band is at the armpit) which differs slightly from the rendering.  

You will find sizing guidance here.  Samples of the jerseys will be available at the March 24 200k for those wanting to confirm sizing and materials.  I recently ordered one of their jerseys and am very pleased with fit (sport cut) and material quality (Elevate).

While I do not yet have a link for the store, check back around the 24th.  I will update this post with the link when it is created.

Andrew Mead
Eastern PA RBA