Monday, October 26, 2020

November R12 Brevet: Hawk Mountain 200k

Pre-Ride Update Notes

A Halloween course checkout pre-ride was conducted by George Metzler, Ralph Miller, and yours truly.  The route itself is in good shape not considering all of the scary sights alongside the road.  Some people go all out with their decorations.

The cue sheet has been updated to incorporate a few tweaks.  Make sure you have the version generated on 11/1/2020.  

A few notes:

8.6      This RR crossing is bottle dropping rough.
12.5    Watch for slippery leaves on the road and deer standing in the road.
15.6    This, too, if a very rough RR crossing.
21.3    The risks of the long, open grate bridge cannot be overstated.  Please use caution.
45.7    The Kempton control does not have public restrooms.  The Sheetz at mile 33.8 does.
50.9    There is water available at the Eckville AT Shelter.  The tap is located on the side of a small house next to the porch.  All other facilities at the shelter (including a toilet) are closed. The shelter is easy to miss if you're not looking for it.  The sign announcing the shelter is only viewable by looking back down the hill (the direction wary hikers approach)

52.5    There will likely be lots of leaves on the road.  If not, there will be a lot of ground leave debris on the road.  Both are slick.  This descent features several tricky corners.  Please don't leave your guardian angel behind.

60.3    There is a HUGE pothole encroaching the shoulder just past the Auburn Mini-Mart.  It was water-filled on the pre-ride which masked the its presence.  And its perils.  Depth soundings were inconclusive.

79.0    You will be on the main drag in Pine Grove when you depart the control.  Traffic may be heavy, but everyone is driving slowly.  Just take your time and stay alert here.

85.6    This section features fast traffic.  The shoulder varies from a foot to full-lane.  The fog line is also a rumble strip.  Please be careful in this stretch and look far ahead to anticipate obstructions in the shoulder ahead so you can check behind before moving into the lane.

Hawk Mountain remains one of my personal favorites.  It is challenging but rewards one's efforts with several scenic vistas.  See you Saturday.

Andrew Mead
Eastern PA RBA

Original Post

The November R12 brevet heads west to Lancaster County for the Hawk Mountain 200k on November 7.  Event details are on the website and registration is open.  As with the 2018 running, the brevet will start in the parking lot of Martin's Country Market on the west side of Ephrata on US322.  Sadly, unlike the 2018 edition, we will NOT be gathering (at least formally) at the St. Boniface Craft Brewery for post-ride festivities.  Current occupancy restrictions on bars make it impractical to occupy their space for such a long time.  That said, all riders are certainly welcome to visit the brew pub with its new expanded food offerings.  We just can't gather there as a group.

Starting protocol will be slightly changed for November.  I hope to return to a group start.  This of course depends on the number of entrants, but winter months typically see smaller groups.  Free starts are useful with larger groups, but if I learned anything from the Fall Classic event it is the value of a pre-ride rider's briefing.  Other aspects of the Free Start protocol remain in effect.  

1. All riders must wear a mask at registration check-in.  You will need to take it with you as all Pennsylvania stores require patrons to wear a mask in order to enter.  Hand sanitizer is up to you, but remember hand sanitizer and paper stock brevet cards don't mix well.  Just sayin'.

2. Please print, sign, and bring that signed event waiver with you to the rider check-in.  I'll have an envelope to collect these.

3. Bring your bike and your reflective gear with you to rider check-in. Do this promptly when you arrive and unload to avoid a crush at T -15 minutes.

4. A successful step 1 and 2 will result in receipt of your brevet card.

5.  Hang around in a socially distanced manner until 5 minutes before the start for the pre-ride briefing.  

6.  Gather in a socially spaced apart manner so you can hear my spell-binding pre-ride chat.  I'll talk loud so everyone can hear.

7.  Depart when released, but try to space yourselves apart a bit.  Most important is to be aware of other rider proximity when launching snot rockets and the like.  This really shouldn't be a COVID thing; you should always drop to the back to do this.  

All of the intermediate controls have been changed to info controls to avoid passing brevet cards with store clerks along the way (pro tip:  bring a pencil or pen).  However, there is no intermediate staffed control planned.  If you have reservations about entering a store to obtain supplies along the route, please plan accordingly and carry enough with you.  Veterans of the route will know that stores in Schuylkill, Berks and Lebanon Counties are few and far between anyway so plan accordingly.  Stores are marked on the cue sheet and I will be investigating an additional self-service water source along the route on the check-out ride.

When you arrive at the finish, check your card to make sure you've added all the info control answers.  Look for the finish volunteer (it might not be me) and show the volunteer the inside of your card so s/he can verify you've scribbled something in each control.  Don't forget to mask up when you go see the volunteer.  Then sign your card and deposit it in the envelope with the volunteer.  If you arrived with a small group, step away so the others can check out.  The volunteer will have a log sheet which indicates your finish time and is the primary means for me to determine finish time. 

Stay safe and have a great ride.

Andrew Mead, Eastern PA RBA

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