While a clear, sunny day would have been nice, the clouds brought a dramatic drop in temperatures (some riders reported donning arm warmers) which made for an enjoyable day of cycling and likely contributed to the finish successes. The group featured a nice mix of new randonneurs and long-time PA Randonneurs. The Philadelphia Dynamo Headlight Society was well represented. Special congratulations go out to newly minted randonneurs (and randonneuses) Chris Bella, Linda Gross, Robert Noll, and Tracy Skorka. Hawk Mountain is challenging yet these riders came around in fine form.
We also recognize Mario Claussnitzer for his completion of the prestigious PA-SR. Mario missed the March 200k and struggled with scheduling of the remaining ACP 200ks all through the summer. Perseverance paid off as Mario become one of only 6 PA Randonneurs to complete an SR comprising solely PA Rando events this year. Chappeau!
Ron and Barb Anderson wrote:
Thanks to you, Rich, Steve and all the volunteers for putting on yet another fine PA Rando event.
The classic Hawk Mountain course was wonderful - full of Pennsylvania Dutch charm, the usual PA vertical challenges and the weather even cooperated nicely with enjoyable cooler temperatures and only sparse showers throughout the day. The St. Boniface Brewery provided a cozy, friendly gathering place for the crew post-ride, and the chance for a good craft brew after a long day in the saddle is always welcome by this tandem team.
Like always, it was a fine gathering of riders too, almost like a PA Rando homecoming with some of the veterans (us included) coming out to join the fun. It was also fun to meet and have a chance to talk with some of the newer riders that Barbara and I haven't had the opportunity to meet in person before.
Barb and I had a pretty good ride on the Bilenky, all things considered. I've got to say though, that the 4am wake up call, and the effort required to get the big bike around a hilly 200k course is really testing the limits of our definition of "fun" these days. We need to pick and choose our rides and we'll never get back to a steady diet of brevets like back in the day... That said, yesterday's Hawk Mountain ride has already begun the transition in the rando brain to good memories of type II fun. Captain-stoker negotiations as to the October classic brevet are expected to commence shortly...
Thanks again for putting on a great ride!
From CJ Arayata:
A ton of fun on Saturday. Somehow that was my first time on the Hawk Mountain course, and it was great! Lots of hard climbing, smooth and clear descents, great views throughout the day (especially on Summer Hill Rd), and great company... everything I want in a brevet. A few flats between our group of Nick, Ryan, George, and Shawn, but we took it easy and enjoyed ourselves. A little cold with the intermittent rain but nothing some armwarmers couldn't fix. It was also really nice to see some of the old guard along with many new faces! Hoping these larger fields keep up for future brevets.
James Haddad had this to say:
Hawk Mtn was one of the first brevets I rode several years ago, I forgot how beautiful the course is, and challenging. The Hawk Mountain climb and descent was the perfect mid-day pick me up and Summer Hill road was beautiful and totally justified the climbing to get there.
Big thanks to Rich and Steve for volunteering. I look forward to clipping in with everyone at the Fall NeoClassic.
Chris Nadovich stumbled into a companion event (unsanctioned by RUSA) while in Pine Grove.
It was a day of moderate temperatures and winds that always seemed to be
at our back. An occasional sprinkle did not dampen the good times. Even
the endless rollers on 443 -- one of my least favorite parts of that route --
Hawk Mountain is tough, but consensus was that the worst hill was that
short, sharp corkscrew of contour lines at the beginning of Summer Hill, with
the second worst climb being the "last little grunt" up Leed Hill.
The adolescent bike culture in Pine Grove was in full display, with
the informal Turkey Hill Criterium and Cyclocross race circling the
controle through backyards, broken sidewalks, and alleys. The peloton
comprised a collection of local ragamuffins on a variety of machines:
BMX bikes, 10-speeds, and a two-passenger drift car inspired tricycle
with splayed wheels.
This event would have been much different without the assistance of Rich Lucchese, Steve Schoenfelder, Mike Lutz, and Steve Kraybill. The RBA's original plan for availability was impacted by a late addition to the family calendar. These fellows stepped up and, by all accounts pulled off the event like a well-oiled machine. Thanks to you all.
Next up is the Fall Classic on October 20. Sadly, we will not be gathering at our favorite rando clubhouse. We have come up with the next best thing: a route reminiscent of the "Fall Classics" (150k and 200k) that visit all the familiar places (including a ride past the Weisel Youth Hostel). The start finish is in Easton. Long-time PA Randonneurs may recall a time when the many events started from Burke Street in Easton, so our change represents somewhat of a return to our roots. Organizer Chris Nadovich has developed modified routes that look to be as memorable as ever with a finish at a small brew pub in Easton where we've arranged for some gathering space. Check out the website for details. We hope to see you there.
Eastern PA RBA