Sunday, January 3, 2021

Ride Report: NEW, Hope to New Hope

Full of anticipation that 2021 will be a better than last year, a tough group of 20 ever-hopeful randonneurs clipped in for a somewhat new version of the traditional Hope to New Hope winter-ready-brevet™. Of those that clipped in at the new start/finish at Pohatcong Plaza, 18 of the 20 completed the whole course within the time limit for a 90% completion rate.   Preliminary results 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 after review and will become official once certified.

It was about as hopeful a January day as could be expected for  the event. A  fortuitous gap in the recently difficult weather opened up to allow a reasonably rideable winter day with temperatures reaching the low 40s and no sign of  ice anywhere on the roadways.  There was some fog and drizzle to start out, it was always chilly, became windy toward the afternoon, but there was a good amount of sunshine.

Several riders complained about the headwind on the final leg back from New Hope, although a few admitted that the wind they faced in Lancaster County last month probably was worse.

Jon Elrath sporting wool pants with retro-reflective stripes.

Vadim Gritsus writes...

Once again, thank you for another masterfully crafted Brevet, skillfully scheduled between freezing rain and major area snow storm. Strategically positioned glass and sharp metal debris slowed me down when I was thinking of going too fast for my guardian angel. The roads were otherwise very pleasant, exactly what one would expect from PA Rando planning team! I must  admit I anticipated a major climb to be thrown in somewhere close to the finish but, thankfully, it never materialized. :) I also really appreciate your approach to controls, fast, efficient and without too much unnecessary exposure. An excellent start to a new year, looking forward to many more rides ahead!
The Terrific Tandem Team of Pat and Cece write...

Thanks for your efforts with yesterday's brevet.  The course was more challenging than it looked on paper.  The headwind on the final leg did not help matters.  All in all it was a great day especially once the sun came  out and chased away the dampness.  Thanks again.
Two riders finished most but not quite all of the course. Doug Haluza on a beautiful new front-wheel-drive recumbent became concerned about an biomechanical issue pedaling up the Harmony climb and decided to cut the North loop short and return to his car. Then, after working out the issue, Doug completed the South loop for something near a statute century on the day.   

Dawn Engstrom made brief pit-stop at a Wawa near the Start/Finish and this confused Dawn's GPS to decide the North loop was thus complete and incorrectly continue on the South loop.  After realizing the misroute, with any hope of a RUSA finish dashed, Dawn still soldiered on alone to battle the winds on the South loop and was satisfied with "only" 75+ tough (but non-RUSA) miles for the day. 

Riders are reminded that only the cue sheet is canonical for the route. A GPS unit can certainly help riders navigate efficiently. But even so, if they use a GPS, riders should consult the cue sheet regularly. Cue sheets serve as a check that mitigates GPS confusion and contain important notes and warnings not displayed by most GPS screens.  

The organizer is hopeful that everyone takes this advice to heart, as next month we return to Pohatcong to ride this same GPS-boggling route in reverse, as the new version of New Hope to Hope. This time turn RIGHT the first time you reach the blinking light.  Information and online registration is available on the event page.