Wednesday, April 25, 2018

2018 PA SR Series, Round III: The Mountain Blue 400k

***Update 1***
Course checkout rides are complete and the cue sheet is updated.  Make sure you download the version last updated 4/29/2018.

With several riders opting to spend Friday evening at the hostel, the Rando-Concierge has asked me to make the following announcement:

All Women sleep in the Family Dorm
All Men Arriving BEFORE 10pm sleep in the Women's Dorm
All Men Arriving AFTER 10pm sleep in the Men's Dorm

*** Original Post***
The third event in the PA Randonneurs SR Series for 2018 will be held on May 5, 2018.  Registration is open and details available on the PA Randonneurs website.  The route is the popular Blue Mountain route that travels generally east-west along the northern and southern slopes of the Blue Mountain.  We will again be running the route in reverse of the normal direction, staying south of the ridge for our westward trek and returning along the north slope of the mountain.

A course checkout ride is scheduled for April 26 so check back afterward for any last-minute cue sheet changes.

Clarification for those riders considering hostel accommodations:  we assume that all riders will want to rest after completing the ride.  As such, beds for Saturday night/Sunday morning are included in your registration fee.  Choosing "Hostel Stay Night Before" on the registration form means Friday night.  Choosing "Hostel Stay Night After" means Sunday night.  

Andrew Mead
Eastern PA RBA

Registered Riders (as of 5/3/2018)
1 Jimmy Aspras +Fr
2 Marc Bernardo
3 Mario Claussnitzer
4 Alfred Dolich +Su
5 Cecilie Gaffney  - volunteer
6 Patrick Gaffney  - volunteer
7 James R Haddad +Fr
8 Hans Evan Jatzke +Fr, Su
9 Jeff Lippincott  - volunteer
10 Rudolf Mayr
11 Chris Nadovich - organizer
12 Rajesh Nayak
13 William Olsen - organizer
14 Calista Phillips +Fr
15 Emily Ranson +Fr
16 Joseph Ray +Fr
17 Will Sherman
18 George Swain +Fr
19 Gilbert Torres +Fr

Thursday, April 19, 2018

2018 PA Randonneurs Flèche

The 11th Annual PA Randonneurs Flèche was by all accounts a success.  Ten of ten teams qualified and only one rider failed to reach the Weisel Hostel finish.  Well done everyone!  Preliminary results have been posted on the website at: and will be submitted to RUSA in the coming week.

The weather cooperated keeping teams dry, only slightly cold overnight, and generally happy upon arrival. Winds were not so much of a factor this year which contributed to happy randonneurs.  Most teams enjoyed well-known routes which minimized bonus miles.  A few teams discovered the need to fully verify what businesses offer under the guise of "24 hour operations" as a couple reported only drive-thru service being open at their controls.  With several teams criss-crossing southern New Jersey, reports of team sightings were also common as teams relaxed after their rides.

A HUGE thank you goes to Jane & Joe Brown for once again preparing the spread that riders enjoyed on Sunday.  I don't believe anyone left hungry.  Thanks also to Jeff Lippincott and Chris Nadovich for helping with the setup and cleanup at the hostel.  Many hands make light work and all was back to normal by 11.

We will return to the hostel in two weeks with the Mountain Blue 400k on May 5.

Andrew Mead
Eastern PA RBA

Team photos at the finish on Sunday are included below.

The Teams:

Escargot Volants Team Members
Janice Chernekoff, Captain
Dawn M Engstrom
Jonathan Levitt (T)
Christine Newman
Katie Raschdorf (T)
Paul G Shapiro

Fistful of Xanax, V3 Team Members
Michael J Gorman, Captain
Gil Lebron
Rajesh Nayak
Christopher C. Slocum
Steve Weng

Flèche Mob Team Members
Rudi Mayr, Captain
Mary Foley
Gregory W Forshey
Neal Lerner
Michael Povman

Fleshe Eating Rumble Ponies Team Members
James R Haddad, Captain
Zachary R Goodrich
George Michael Retseck

Les Chiens Errants
Team Members
Jimmy Aspras, Captain
Charles J Arayata (T)
Natalie Felice (T)
Ryan J Stanis

Les Chiens Errants, Deux
Team Members
Nicholas Manta , Captain
Alexander Manta 
Zachary Rachell

Now You've Gone Too Far Team Members
Eric Keller, Captain
De'Anna Caligiuri
William Huber
Greg Keenan
Steven J Schoenfelder

Sinister Nuts (now the 11th Edition, still all fixed gear!)
Team Members
William Olsen, Captain
Joseph C Dille
Guy Harris
Paul D Scearce
Bob Torres

Sins of the Flèche Team Members
James Bondra, Captain
Patrick Chin-Hong
Erica Jacobs 
Steve Yesko

The Fist of New York Team Members
Will Sherman, Captain
Mario Claussnitzer 
Cuneyt Eviner 
Vadim Gritsus
Simon Korzun

Monday, April 16, 2018

Water Gap 300k Results: What Happened to Spring?

Preliminary results for the Water Gap 300k have been posted on the website: . These will be submitted this week and become official pending ACP certification.

The roller coaster weather patterns continued with Saturday's ride occurring on a definite upswing in temperatures.  Saturday's high crested 80 F across most of the region accompanied by clear skies and bright sunshine.  Winds help cool riders, but also required more effort.

First finisher Jimmy Aspras sent this:

Just wanted to thank you and all of the volunteers for putting on the ride yesterday.

It was a pretty tough ride relative to last year. It was the first truly hot day of the year, and this coupled with a decent headwind on the way out and back made for slower times and a brutal ride. I rode most of the day with Chris Errico, and it was a blast. He was a bit faster than me especially after our attack on the headwinds on Route 209, and we ended up splitting off right before the climb up Old Mine Road. We joined forces again at the Citgo in Bloomsbury and made it back to the hostel together a couple hours later, exhausted and spent.

Of note were the wild temperature swings in the morning. It was hot taking off from the hostel, but the ups and downs left me shivering and wishing I had brought gloves. I also saw more deer on this ride than any other ride I've ever done. At one point right as the sun was starting to come up, we startled a group of 7 deer that ran alongside of us in a field for about 100 yards. It was one of the coolest things I've seen in awhile.

Another interesting element of the ride was the bridge that was unexpectedly gone on the way into Delaware Water Gap (picture attached). Fortunately, there was a temporary bridge that allowed
everyone safe passage.

Thanks again and I'll see everyone next weekend.

Gilbert Torres sent this picture from Flats Deli, allegedly "right before the heat started to beat us."

Thanks again to the volunteer team of Chris Nadovich, Bill Olsen, Jeff Lippincott, and Patrick & Cecile Gaffney.  This crew made sure that the cue sheet was spot on (missing bridge above notwithstanding), registration and results made it to me, riders were well fed, and the hostel cleaned and ready for our use next weekend.  Be sure to thank them next time you see them.

Next up is the PA Flèche.  Ten teams will make their way back to the hostel for a celebratory breakfast on Sunday.  After that is the PA 400k, the Blue Cinco de Mayo 400k on May 5.  Registration will open soon.

Andrew Mead
Eastern PA RBA

Monday, April 2, 2018

PA SR Series Round II: The Water Gap 300k

Update 2: Pre-Ride Report
 The course was sticky. Really sticky. The recent high winds littered the roads with sticks, branches, boughs, trunks, whole trees, even forests almost. Although I expect most of the fallen wood will be removed by the ride date, the armies of chainsaw wielding, chipper towing arborists will leave behind many sticks. Lots of sticks. A stick stuck in the spokes will stop your steed on the spot. Look out!

A really big stick blocking the road.
 Some of the roads are hopelessly blocked. Community Drive, specifically, is not suitable for a bike ride. There's a considerable distance covered by fallen trees that extend berm to berm. One of these might be a fun drag-over or crawl-under, but there are just too many. The DRAFT 3 cue sheet has a detour for Community Dr. It's 0.8 mi longer, but the section is downhill and passes a Turkey Hill, convenient for replenishment before the next 20 miles that have no services. 

A few of the sticks blocking Community Dr.
  One blockage I'm really puzzled about occurs on Cherry Valley Rd just before entering the hamlet of Delaware Water Gap. It seems this road is blocked by a pile of fallen "Road Closed" signs. Other than these hazardous signs, it's a perfectly fine bridge and road. My suggestion is to steer cautiously around these signs, but not to read them.

Road blocked by hazardous road closed signs.
Other than these sticky situations, the course is wonderful. Almost all the pavement is in excellent shape, with the usual exception of the climb on Old Mine Rd into Milbrook Village. Which reminds me: there is a very nice rest room at Millbrook Village. It's just to the left of the main gate. The rest room is open 24x7, has running water, and is heated! Keep this fact in mind on the 600K.

--- Chris N

Update 1: April 6
Course checkout rides are complete and the cue sheet has been updated.  You will find it on the website at: . Make sure you get the version noted as DRAFT 3.  The route map has also been updated and has a new link: . As always, riders are cautioned that use of the GPS files is at your own risk.  The cue sheet is the official route instruction.

Original Post
Registration details for the SR 300 in the Pennsylvania Randonneurs series have been posted on the website at:
Registration is open.  A pre-ride was conducted over Easter weekend which may require some minor course adjusting.  Be sure to watch this space for any announcement regarding an updated cue sheet.

Andrew Mead
Easter PA RBA

Registered Riders (as of 4/12/2018)
1 Jimmy Aspras
2 Marc Bernardo
3 Mario Claussnitzer + membership
4 Alfred Dolich
5 Chris Errico
6 Cecilie Gaffney  - volunteer
7 Patrick Gaffney  - volunteer
8 Michael J Gorman
9 Vadim Gritsus
10 James R Haddad + Fr
11 Doug Haluza + Fr, Sa
12 Guy Harris
13 Greg Keenan + Fr
14 Jeff Lippincott  - volunteer
15 Rudolf Mayr
16 Chris Nadovich - organizer
17 William Olsen - organizer
18 Joseph Ray + Fr, Sa
19 George Michael Retseck
20 Steven J Schoenfelder
21 Will Sherman + Fr
22 Ryan J Stanis
23 Gilbert Torres

Sunday, April 1, 2018

2018 PA Randonneurs Flèche

Update 1, April 5

Ten Teams have entered riding nine unique routes.  All routes have been reviewed and approved.  I am awaiting receipt of entry fees from several captains at this point, so those route approvals are pending completion of the registration process and receipt of registration fees.

You can check your registration status on the roster:

The RUSA Card-O-Matic control card generator will be used to create control cards.  I hope to have the control details loaded for each team by April 8.  If your team wishes to use a custom logo, please send those to me by April 12 and I'll include it on your cards.  Team member information will be loaded on or about April 13 and pdfs for the team cards emailed to the Captains.  Any captain lacking card printing capabilities should let me know before April 12 so I can make arrangements to print and mail the cards.

Captains and team members are reminded and encouraged to read/re-read the Flèche rules.  You will find them at: It is highly recommended that each captain print a copy of these rules and carry them during the Flèche since your mental faculties may be somewhat diminished after 18 hours on the road.

Original Post, February 2018

In keeping with tradition, PA Randonneurs will host its 11th Flèches-USA with riders converging on the Weisel Youth Hostel near Quakertown, PA on April 22, 2018.  Event details have been posted on the website.  All participants (captains AND team riders) should complete an entry form and waiver.  These should be mailed with entry fee to the RBA.

A few team captains have already started floating route ideas my way which is most appreciated.  Earlier is good as April is a busy time for brevet organizers.

Important Dates:

March 30    Team Captain registration closes
April 6        Route submission deadline
April 13      Brevet cards mailed to team captains
April 18      Rider registration closes
April 19      Noon: Earliest start time
April 21      8AM - 9AM: Preferred start time
April 21     10AM: Latest start time
April 22     7AM - 11AM: Brunch Banquet

Please contact me with any questions.

Team Roster  (as of 4/4/2018)
Escargots Volants, Janice Chernekoff, route approved
Fistful of Xanax V3, Michael Gorman, route approved pending captain registration
Flèche Eating Rumble Ponies, James Haddad, route approved pending captain registration
Flèche Mob, Rudi Mayr, route approved
Les Chiens Errants, Jimmy Aspras, route approved pending captain registration
Les Chiens Errants, Deux, Nicholas Manta, route approved pending captain registration
Now You've Gone Too Far, Eric Keller, route approved
Sins of the Flèche, Jim Bondra, route approved
The Fist of New York, Will Sherman, route approved pending captain registration
The Midnight Ride of the Sinister Nuts, Bill Olsen, route approved

Andrew Mead
-Eastern PA RBA