Monday, November 9, 2020

Hawk Mountain Ride Report

What a difference a week makes.  The weather for Saturday's Hawk Mountain brevet was just about perfect regardless of the season.  Considering this is November, I don't see how it could have been any better.  Clear skies, moderate temperatures, and low winds, what could be better? Fifteen riders clipped in on Saturday and fifteen returned within the allotted time for a 100% completion rate.  Results have been posted on the website and will be submitted to RUSA later this week.  Please let me know if these results don't align with your recollection.

The field consisted of many seasoned randonneurs, some of whom are veterans of the route, and two rookies.  Congratulations go to newly minted PA randonneurs Karl Chen and Christian Mailloux for their accomplishment.  Hawk Mountain is typically Pennsylvania Randonneurs challenging.  It may not have Fox Gap, but near-constant terrain undulation connecting two significant climbs means its no cakewalk.  First finishers Chris Bella and Chris Maglieri blazed around the route just 5 minutes slower that the official course record.  Given the minor variations occurring in the route over the years, 5 minutes is not much difference.  All other finisher arrived well within the time limit with smiling faces and weary legs.  It's really hard not to be happy with 70s and sunshine for a bike ride in November.

Says Joe Ray:

Thanks to you and the crew for such a fine, challenging day yesterday.  This was my first time on this route, and I was ready for it to be over around Lickdale control, but having met up with Rudi a bit earlier we managed to get it done and enjoy some more scenery including a terrific sunset.

Hawk Mountain ahead!
Photo by Joe Ray

Iwan Barankay had these comments:

Thank you for a classic and historic brevet. Classic as it started and finished from the back of a sedan. It was my first time riding this brevet and that climb was loooong. Historic for all of our phones buzzing and ringing at about noon which is why I posted my ride as the Biden Harris 200k. Even for a non-partisan club, it was hard to escape the wide variation in mood between the riders on the road and the customers at the Turkey Hills along the route. It seems like global warming will extend the riding seasons further and further and I look forward to a balmy December ride.

Chris Nadovich writes:

I believe I've ridden this course 5 times, and although there have been more memorable laps (like that time I chain-ringed a Guinea Foul) no lap around this course has been more pleasant.  The views of the pastoral Autumn countryside were amazing. 

Of interest is that Iwan and Nick Manta decided to ride to the start of the brevet and logged 75 miles before they set out on the brevet.  Chapeau to you both.

Finally, thanks to my willing volunteers George Metzler and Steve Kraybill for staffing the finish control. I could not have done this without them.

We can all hope that the pandemic will be but a memory the next time we use this route so we can gather at the St. Boniface brewery for time of refreshment and the stories of epic adventure.

Next up is another perennial favorite, The Loop Around Lancaster on December 5.  Details are up on the website and registration is open.  I would recommend waiting before downloading the route or cuesheet.  I am investing another variation in the route which I hope to confirm next weekend.  I also plan to conduct a quality assurance visit of the recently reopened Pancake Farm on my course checkout ride.  Check this board and the website for updated details.

Andrew Mead
Eastern PA RBA

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Andrew for the beautiful route and helping me prepare before the ride. And thanks to Chris Nadovich for making sure everyone made it, especially me!