Monday, May 7, 2018

Mountain Blue 400k Ride Report

The Blue Mountain
Photo by Rajesh Nayak
Preliminary results for the Mountain Blue 400k have been posted on the website:  Please let me know of any corrections that may be necessary.  These will be submitted to RUSA later this week and become official pending ACP certification.

Seventeen riders clipped in for the 4am start after a hearty rando breakfast by Hostel Master Chris Nadovich.  Sixteen would eventually return to the hostel having covered the entire brevet distance.  First finishers Jimmy Aspras and Will Sherman rolled in just before midnight to keep the entire ride in the same day.  The remaining finishers trickled in the rest of the morning with the entire field having finished before dawn Sunday morning.  All were greeted by the Hostel finish crew of Chris Nadovich, Bill Olsen, Jeff Lippincott, and Pat Gaffney. Congratulations to first-time PA finishers Hans Jatzke and Emily Ranson.  The Blue Mountain 400 route is nice, but an eye-opening introduction to Pennsylvania brevets.

Rajesh Nayak writes:
I am writing to let you know that I really enjoyed riding this picturesque course with smooth roads and little to no traffic. There were no steep climbs but the rollers were endless and I did suffer from cramps around mile 80 while riding with James Haddad.

I was feeling weak and uneasy and I almost threw in the towel around mile 85 but then I took a 15 minute break, enjoyed the lovely views of the countryside, assessed the situation and decided to soldier on till the next controle. I enjoyed a hearty milkshake and burger in Jonestown and carried on, however two bottles of water weren't enough until Blondie's.I was flagging 10 miles from Blondie's, another milkshake and sandwich at the diner provided me a boost and rejuvenated my mood. 

The next 50 miles until the Columbia controle was mostly spent riding in the dark after Bowmanstown with the silhouette of Blue Mountain bearing down on me to my right. I met Joe Ray at the TA Service center controle and we rode back to the hostel together. We faced a cold shower in the last 10 miles and were welcomed by a clapping Chris Nadovich into the comfort of the hostel.

At one point I thought that I could not finish the ride and the situation seemed hopeless but the mantra of 'continuous forward progress' kept resonating in my mind as I rode 120 miles solo until the Columbia controle. All in all, it was a day well spent and provided me a tremendous boost of self confidence.

A big Thank You to all the pre-ride volunteers, Chris Nadovich and to you for planning the course, recce and pre and post ride nourishment.

Notable for this event is that volunteers Bill Olsen and Jeff Lippincott spent Friday on a check-out ride for the upcoming Water Gap 600k.  They returned to the hostel just before the start of the 400k and were able to enjoy access to the hostel and hot food (not normally available for the 600k pre-ride).  They departed just before dawn to complete the remaining 200k New Holland loop and then pitched in to welcome the 400k riders back from their day.  Chappeau to these two for going the extra mile (or 375) for the group.

The SR series concludes in two weeks with the Water Gap 600k on May 19-20.  We will also host the New Holland 200k on May 20, a unique event that allows the 200k riders to rub elbows with the 600k riders as they wrap up their long rides.  Registration for both events is open.

Andrew Mead
Eastern PA RBA

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