Sunday, June 10, 2018

Ride Report: Hawk's Nest 200k

Preliminary results for the New Holland 200k are also posted on the website at:
Please let me know of any corrections or changes necessary.  These results will be submitted to RUSA in a few days and will become official pending ACP certification.

Congratulations and many thanks to long-time PA Rando regular and now first-time event organizer Bill Fischer for handling the duties for the Hawk's Nest 200.  Any brevet resulting in a 100% finish rate and 0% emergency RBA call is successful in my book.  If you aren't aware, Bill sandwiched the inaugural Blue Ride to Bay 1200k in between his course check-out ride on Memorial Day weekend and the Hawk's Nest 200.  Knowing Bill, I'm certain he would have enjoyed riding again yesterday just as much.

It was a great day for a ride.  Sixteen riders clipped in for the start and all sixteen returned for a 100% completion on the day.  Many new folks joined us for this beautiful ride in the Poconos, up through Canadensis and Promised Land to Lake Wallenpaupak before leisurely working their way down along the Lakawaxan and Delaware Rivers back to the Village Farmer & Bakery (Apple Pie Deli) for their delicious fresh smoked barbecue.  Congratulations to newly minted randonneurs Robin Rootkin and Darryl Southwood as well as first-time PA brevet finishers Brian Hanson-Harding, Jim Vreeland, and Oliver Zong.

The weather cooperated and several of those riding last weekend’s events in NJ and DC commented it was nice to be able to finish a ride in dry gear.  Temperature were in the mid-70s and between the shade coverage provided by the vegetation in the Poconos and the late afternoon cloud coverage, riders were treated to relatively mild Summer (Late-Spring) riding conditions.

The ascent up Old Mine Road was still marked by the rough road surface from multiple years of superficial patching but riders noted that the loose gravel on the initial steep pitches was noticeably missing.  As it was still on the upper, more level top of the climb it was concluded that all of the rain this Spring may have washed the gravel off this section.

The Spring weather also had resulted in numerous new potholes on River Road as it enters the last Worthington State Forest section along the Delaware.  While riders needed to watch for the potholes, and could steer around them, it did also serve to slow the automobile traffic down as they avoided the potholes, and although still not down to the ‘posted’ 15 MPH, was conserably less that what drivers have been previously noted speeding through this area. (Not a proponent of lousy roads, but in this section it was nice to see it slow down the excessive speeds.)

Those that weren't too busy watching the road apparently spent a lot of time nature watching.

Tim Creyts writes, Thanks to all the volunteers and organizers who made yesterday's ride run smoothly. That was a great day for riding.  One if the highlights of the ride for me was the porcupine crossing Old Mine Road (yes, it was alive) and a mile or two farther down the road, a quail hen and her chicks crossed in front of me. (Not so secretly, I am envious of Don Jagel's bobcat sighting).

Bill Olsen observed, I saw a turkey hen w/ about 8 chicks.  When she saw me she stopped and squatted down in the grass.  I could still see her but the chicks disappeared in the grass.

Two riders completed the route on fixed gears:  James Haddad and Rudi Mayr.  James reports, Joe and Greg we behind us for a little bit (then they blew past us) and commented that it was hysterical watching us, Rudi was riding ~67 gear inches and I am riding ~55 inches prepping for some hilly rides, I was spinning out of control on everything that wasn't a climb. Congrats to you both!  It's not the worst, but it's far from the most fixie-friendly route in the PA Rando catalog.

Under the heading of Rando Camaraderie comes this story from CJ ArayataIn the haze that was post-Hawks Nest, my partner and I managed to forget the dynamo front wheel to our tandem in the Park-N-Ride lot. I don't think there are any extremely close randos in the area, and I don't have much hope, but does anyone know anyone that might be able to swing by and potentially retrieve?  He posted his plea early Sunday morning and by mid-day, local rando Scott Steingart who lives in nearby East Stroudsburg had retrieved the forgotten wheel.

Next up we head to Easton for the Yet Another River to River Ride 200k organized by Chris Nadovich on July 7.  Event details are on the website.  Registration will open soon.

Andrew Mead
Eastern PA RBA

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