Preliminary results for the final and most epic ride in our ACP Super Randonneur series, the Philly - Pagoda - Pocono 600K brevet, have been posted on the PA Rando website. The record high heat wilted a good portion of the field, as only 7 of the 12 not-heat-acclimated starters finished under the time limit for a 58% completion rate. Congratulations to the finishers and chapeau to all who attempted this very difficult event. Please review the results and let me know if something doesn't agree with your recollections. The results will be submitted to RUSA for certification later on and become final at that time.
completed a Pennsylvania 600K brevet on a fixed gear, joining an elite
club of very few riders who have accomplished this difficult task.
This ride also completed Greg's sixth Pennsylvania SR series. Only Greg and Guy Harris have ridden six PA SR series. The only person with more PA SR awards is Bill Olsen who has ridden nine. Greg also rode the 400K and 300K fixed, so Greg still needs a fixed-gear 200K this year for a fixed gear SR. For some reason Greg thought the Pagoda 200K would be too hard on a fixie, so he rode that one freewheel. Really?
If Greg rides a PA 200 fixed this year, he will unseat James Haddad as most recent fixed-gear PA SR badass. James did it in 2018. Records show that Guy Harris and Paul Searce
did it in 2013. It's possible that Rick
Carpenter also accomplished a fixie SR but Rick doesn't remember for
sure and early PA Randonneuring records are spotty. The secret may be locked in ancient rando scrolls buried in the
basement of Tom Rosenbauer's house.
|Fixed gear fanatic and soon to be sinister nut recruit, Greg Keenan, finishes the PA 600. Volunteers Scott Franzen and Bill Olsen are his welcoming committee.|
With their 600K finish, three other riders completed the PA SR series this year, albeit on freewheel bikes: Iwan Barankay (2), Vadim Gritsus (2), and newly minted Super Randonneur Brad Layman who was first finisher.
Also, a fifth rider Nicolaas Van Rhede van der Kloot who finished this 600K is still in the PA-SR hunt as he has completed the 300, 400, and 600K PA brevets in 2021 and just needs an PA 200 for his second Pennsylvania SR. He hopes to pick up a PA/ACP 200K later this year.
Gavin Biebuyck and Gert Schmitt completed the 600K as well, and are congratulated for their impressive efforts. They are missing a Pennsylvania 300 and/or 400 required for the SR, and these distances will not be offered again by PA in 2021.
|Rider George Metzler chats with CJ Arayata at the Philadelphia control. In the background are cats of the Philly Rocky Rah-Rah Squad (PRRRS), and their only dog member, Connie. |
|4 AM tea delivery courtesy of volunteer Ed Bernasky|
...it was amazingly efficient. He got up, toted his bag out, ate, filled bottles, and left.
|Newly minted Super Randonneur Brad Layman finishes the 600 in style. |
A great start riding through Bucks and Montgomery Counties into Philly and then out the SRT to Reading. There was a nice fog in the early hours and it was very peaceful with little traffic. It was brutally hot from Fleetwood to Wind Gap. The second day started out beautifully before the brutal heat returned. For that, I was grateful that the second leg was under 200k.
Thank you to all of the support from the volunteers. It was extremely helpful to receive encouragement, ice water, and snacks at the staffed controls.
The PA SR Series was an incredible experience. I originally thought I would start with just the 200, but each time I completed one, I couldn't help but look forward to the next. Thank you for welcoming me to the club. Chris always organizes a scenic and carefully designed route, with a perfect balance of support and self-directed adventure. And thank you Iwan for helping me learn my way around randonneuring (still a lot to learn!).
Only two weekends ago we were wishing for warm weather and I must say our wishes came through this weekend, and then some. This was truly an amazing event, a combination of fatigue, sleep deprivation, scorching heat and 15% climbs. What more can a rando wish for?! This event made us truly reevaluate our strategies and certainly made us appreciate our volunteers even more!Special thanks to Ed B who was making jasmine lavender green tea at four o'clock in the morning for two very cold rando guys trying to make it to a sleep control! Speaking of temperatures, the range was from 50 to 97 in the span of less
than 24 hours.*An unexpected discovery: O’Doul’s alcohol free beer works wonders for hydration and electrolyte replacement. That certainly takes place of V-8 in my book.*Once again, many thanks to the organizers for making this potential disaster into yet another smooth experience
|Vadim with the Philly cats|
Great job organizing [Andrew and Chris], excellent!
PA roads are not unlike those on PBP, old farm roads that inflict with a thousand cuts, none of which is particularly difficult but cumulatively extract a mental challenge that resides close to the core of randonneuring. It was my pleasure to see this courage up close. Canadensis to the Promised Land had to have been quite the test at 3 am. That 600K was one beast of a ride.
Again, great job putting this all together.
Let me start by thanking from the bottom of my heart all the volunteers who spent countless hours waiting in the heat or darkness to offer refreshments and moral support. Being able to see a familiar face on the route and have them sit with you for a while was easily the best thing about this 600K. I can only imagine all the glorious chit-chat that happened on the volunteer sms feed.
Everyone who started this 600 was a hero in my book. I was rather nervous about this 600 and barely slept the previous days and when I did I dreamed about the weather forecast. Shout out to the fixie-SR Greg Keenan! It takes a certain kind of insanity to come up with the idea to do the series on a fixie and special sort of sanity to complete it. Congratulations also to Brad Layman for his first series. He only started randonneuring this spring and finished first in Easton on Sunday. It goes to show that riding with a boombox gives you wings – being a supreme endurance athlete also helps. I look forward to many more accolades for him.
This time, allure libre meant how fast one can ride without collapsing from the heat. The flat undulating stretch on Walpack Flatbrook was when my thermostat finally failed. I stopped just before Old Mine to put my feet in the water under the bridge whilst a local showed up and waded into the water with his fishing rod. Rando romanticism at its finest. In Blairstown I thought I had suffered enough and just did not want to ride any further. I felt like we were cycling on Mercury. Scott sat with me patiently at that control and talking to Chris and texting with CJ helped me regain my wits. Plus two V8 and a prosciutto sandwich. And a Coke. And a Pepsi. And a coffee.
Also a very special thanks to you, Chris, for having the vision and perseverance to organize this SR series. Not so long ago it was not yet clear how this year would evolve and whether new strains would make vaccines ineffective but you were undeterred and just went for it, went over each route, cue by cue, hauled all the breakfast items from the storage, and drummed up volunteers. That is the difference between commentary and leadership.
|At Blairstown, vacillating on the edge of self-doubt, Iwan phones a friend.|