Monday, February 24, 2020

International Womens Day 107K (updated 2/25)

The 107K International Women's Day populaire begins 8AM Sunday 8 March at the Joan of Arc statue near the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and ends at the Stone Age in America statue near of the Ellen Phillips Samuel Memorial art park just above Boathouse Row. CJ Arayata will be hosting a finish celebration at 802 N Bucknell.

The populaire route is a tour of Fairmont Park landmarks, with a loop out to the suburbs, including rural Evansburg State Park and the interesting town of Ambler. You will visit Laurel Hill Cemetary, Strawberry Mansion, and more.

This populaire is open to all RUSA members.

The turn at mile 59.6 is tricky. You make a right at the traffic light at Leverington then an immediate left at High St before the bridge. This is what it looks like:

Miss this left turn and No Brownies For You!

A volunteer pre-ride was conducted on Sunday 23 February by Chris Nadovich and CJ Arayata. Route revisions and comments have been incorporated into the RWGPS route and published cuesheet (version 7).
We can only hope that the weather will be as nice on 8 March as it was on 23 February for our pre-ride. Temperatures started in the upper 20s but quickly climbed to the high 50s, with both CJ and I stripping down to Spring-like clothing choices.
Inspired by the Scenic Schuylkill Century metric route, we found that this 107K populaire course  did a decent job transiting the busy suburban roads ringing the city and soon reaching some beautiful rural paths. It's generally benign terrain. A triple or 39x27 is not necessary. There is certainly some climbing, but no relentless mountains. There is a nice view of the city from the highest point in the course, (Berks and Potshop, mile 25.8).
Most of the route is in good shape. There are two locations under construction. We had little trouble getting through both.
  • Mile 9, 56.2: At River Rd just after/before Nixon there is a section of dirt and gravel with a missing bridge crossed by a wooden pedestrian walk.
  • Mile 23.7: A bridge under construction. We were able to walk under the orange plastic fences.
There are other notes from the pre-ride that have been incorporated into the cues.  Have a great ride!
PARKING: I know some riders from outside Philly are a little put-off by the thought of figuring out where to park in Center City. Please don't worry about this.  Before  the event on Sunday at the end of boathouse row parking is available free if you turn right up Sedgley Dr and into Lemon Hill.  This is directly across from Lloyd Hall, where there are public restrooms and a water fountain, Later in the day a snackbar is open here, not to mention the excellent Water Works museum, open 1-5 on Sunday.

Do be aware of traffic in those roads nearest the city, especially the "transitional" suburban roads near the first controle and after the penultimate controle where the shoulder has shrunk but the traffic speed has increased. Also, when riding in the City itself, please use rider discretion interpreting the cue sheet. In several locations there are numerous navigation options. Trail often parallels road. Ride on whichever you feel is safest. Don't make erratic moves between trail and road.

All the details and online registration may be found at the event website.

Chris Nadovich

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Hope to Hopewell 200K: Ride Report

It seems that much more pain and suffering results from worrying about the weather than ultimately results from the weather itself. Despite ominous forecasts (and memories of the 2017 Hopewell snowpocalypse), the hopes of 21 riders seeking a fine day to ride were not dashed.

All 21 of the 21 riders who clipped in made it to the finish in good time for a 100% completion rate.  Preliminary results for the 2020 edition of the Beyond Hope to Hopewell 200K have been posted on the website.  Please review the results and let me know if they align with your memory.  The results will be submitted to RUSA later in the week and will become official once certified by RUSA.

Although 40F with occasional fog and drizzle would not qualify as a "fine day" for bike riding in the minds of some, for hale and hearty randonneurs it's near perfection (at least for Pennsylvania in February). First finishers Iwan Barankay and Chris Maglieri kept themselves warm zooming around the course in their usual record time. Chris was a little behind Iwan at the end because he stopped to take pictures documenting completion of his 7th R-12. 

Joe Ray writes...
Thanks for another great brevet.  It turned out to be pretty perfect after all, and while it was damp/foggy in the morning it was quite comfortable all day. It was good to be back on Tunnel Road again - I had started to miss that one after what I think has been a two-year absence. Thanks to Chris and Bill for their work and their company at the start & finish.
Iwan Barankay writes...
Thank you for organizing this brevet. I saw rather little the first hours with the dense fog plus my glasses being covered in raindrops and road muck (which also made it onto my bottle as I noticed a little too late...) The climbs were nice. Tunnel road was rolling and gentle but the second [Sand Brook Ridge and Sourland Mountain, ed] was relentless... Great final control at the Pizza parlor were I inhaled a large house special pizza and Fanta. Looking fwd to International Women's Day ride!
Indeed our next event is a Sunday 100K populaire honoring International Womens Day. The event starts at the Joan of Arc statue near the Art Museum in Philadelphia. All RUSA members are welcome to ride. Those of you looking for a first rando ride of the year: this is it.

Then the following Saturday, our ACP Super Randonneur series starts off in Easton with a challenging Reading Pagoda 200K.  Hope to see you all there.

Chris Nadovich
Brevet Organizer