** October 6 Update **
The course checkouts are finally complete. Updated cue sheets for the 150 and 200 routes are available on the website. You'll want to make sure you're using the October 7 update versions.
Both routes are the same until they reach the control in New London (around mile 56). Here the 200k riders will head south into Maryland while the 150k riders will take a more direct route to a control in "the Buck." This control is shared with the 200k route so riders may overlap on the approach to the control. Riders are cautioned that the two routes do NOT follow the same roads leaving that control. The routes do rejoin for the final miles into the finish at mile 118/88.
The 200k route uses the Enola Low Grade Trail for approximately 8 miles. This portion of the trail has a very nice compacted stone dust surface that is suitable for even the skinniest of bike tires. There is an information control as you enter the control. You'll want to follow cue instructions carefully to make sure you're heading in the correct direction. Leaving the trail is the tricky part since visual cues are difficult. There are three spotting cues provided on the cue sheet ahead of the trail head where you'll want to exit. It is technically possible to continue on the trail past that point, but you'll notice rapidly deteriorating surface conditions. And unless you're extremely familiar with the trail and surrounding area, finding the little path you'd need to take to get back on course would take lots of luck. This picture shows the rather nondescript nature of the exit trail head.
Careful review of the cue sheet and route before the brevet is strongly advised. I don't expect you'll have to deal with foggy conditions in the photo.
Both courses are challenging, but very enjoyable. The cue sheets will guide you well.
Registration remains open for both events through this Thursday, October 10 at midnight.
Eastern PA RBA
** Original Post **
The 2019 Edition of the PA Randonneurs Fall Classic 200k Brevet and 150k Populaire is next on our event calendar. Details for the events are up on the PA Rando website as well as directions to the start-finish. Registration remains open through midnight October 10. This year's venue is Cafe Metzler in Atglen, PA. We've finished quite a few brevets here over the years with great success. The Fall Classic seemed to be a logical step. We freshened up good brevet route and incorporated a short cut for the popluaire riders. The routes are the same for the first 100k which should give everyone time to ride together.
Speaking of schedules and traditions, the 2020 calendar of events to RUSA and loaded the dates into the PA Rando website. You can find a convenient calendar-style version HERE. The RUSA database will soon reflect this schedule along with an initial guess at the proposed route. The dates are firm; the routes may change as we continue to develop new routes.
There are 16 events on the schedule, including our SR Series, a monthly brevet, the Fall Classic 200/150, and the Flèche. We're going to try the Velodrome finish again and hope for dryer weather.
There is a populaire scheduled on March 8 (Sunday) for International Women's Day. Dawn Pietch of Wisconsin Randonneurs is working to draw a little attention to women in our sport; a commemorative patch is promised to all participants. It is likely that one or two more populaires will be added to the calendar as the year progresses, but I hope to take advantage of RUSA's short-turnaround event addition policy and cherry pick some good weather dates. In the meantime, I'm working on several new populaire routes to bolster our capability.
The biggest news for 2020 is that five different organizers will help turn the schedule into reality. It promises to be a good year.
Eastern PA RBA