Wednesday, September 22, 2021

October Fall Classic: Return of the Neo-Classics

The former Weisel Hostel aka PA Rando Clubhouse

The 16th installment of the Pennsylvania Randonneurs Fall Classic brevet & populaire returns to Easton and a reprisal of the Neo-Classic routes first used in 2018.  These routes pay homage to many stretches of road that have delighted (?) PA Randos for years.  Yes, you will get the Fox Gap (200k only).  And Lomasons Glen.  And Mountain View.  But you can also get the glorious descent on Sweet Hollow Road into Milford and many other extended downhills that lie just over the crest of those climbs.

With the demise of the short-lived Cask Taphouse, the start finish location has been moved to Hugh Moore Park along the Lehigh River.  This location worked well for the Pagoda 200 earlier this year.  Post-ride food and beverage is planned.  Plan to spend a little time after finishing to enjoy the camaraderie of randonneuring and getting to know other riders who you typically only pass in controls.  It will also be a good time to corner the RBA and give him your wish list for future PA Randonneurs events or discuss volunteer opportunities in 2022. 

With less than 11 hours of daylight available, 200k riders will need lights and reflective gear unless you have a history of faster finishes.  All riders are encouraged to get into the winter habit of riding with lights and reflective gear.

Event details and registration for both events is available on the website.  Registration is open until midnight on Wednesday, October 13.  Make plans to attend.  The Fall Classic is always a good time.

Andrew Mead
Eastern PA RBA


Sunday, September 12, 2021

Ride Report: Rusty Rail 204

September 11th, 2021 is the 100th anniversary of the first Audax Club Parisien allure libre 200km brevet in 1921.  Twenty six riders earned a brevet on September 11, 1921 on a 200k loop that traversed Paris-Dreux-Chartres-Paris.  One hundred years later, fourteen riders who accepted the challenge of the Rusty Rail successfully completed the 2021 edition of The Rusty Rail 204 and earned 100th anniversary medals (pictured below).

Commemorative medal for the 100th anniversary of the first Audax Club Parisien allure libre 200km brevet in 1921! 

Weather conditions were perfect for this challenging ride that included over 9,000 feet of ascent, with cool morning temperatures to help prevent overheating on the arduous climbs over Jacks Mountain and Ulsh Gap, and welcome tailwinds out of the west assisting the riders to the finish after they turned the corner at Pine Grove Mills.

Seth powers over Ulsh Gap on his way to setting an amazing course record of 7:14

Angie rolls over Ulsh Gap with a smile

The Amazing Sneaker Squad

Ello cresting Ulsh Gap

The Georges conquer The Gap

Chris is not intimidated by 15% grades

Victorious at the finish!

And...after a great day of spinning the cranks, the Rusty Rail Brewery did not disappoint, serving up delicious food and finely crafted beverages.

Chris Nadovich writes:

What a beautiful, beautiful ride! Yeah, I know, The Climbs. But I don't think the big climbs define the ride -- they are the price of entry. What defines the ride are the many enjoyable miles of mild, river valley riding. And if occasionally we needed to do a 1000 ft climb to get to another valley, so be it. The scenery was amazing. It was big and small: from mountain vistas, to charming little streamside farms.  Much of this was missing last time when I rode the end in the dark. From the summit at Jo Hays Vista to the end, that ALL needs to be in daylight to be enjoyed. Thanks for a great course -- a masterpiece -- and thanks to Eric for the water and chat at Jo Hays.

Thanks to organizer Steve Schoenfelder for pushing the RBA for an earlier-in-the-season event date  which allowed daylight finishes, and then making it happen (including perfect weather).  Thanks also Eric Keller for his on-the-road moral support.  There is nothing better than seeing a friendly face offering a cold drink at the summit of a tough climb.  

Results have been submitted to RUSA and will become final pending ACP certification of the event.  If the posted results do not align with your recollections, contact the RBA--soon.

Next up is the Fall Classic on October 16th featuring routes of 200k and 150k starting and finishing at the Hugh Moore Park along the scenic Lehigh River in Easton PA. A cookout in the park will follow the event so plan to hang around and socialize with your fellow randonneurs/randoneuses after you finish riding.  Event details are on the website.  Registration is open and will close on Wednesday, October 13.  Hope to see you there!

Andrew Mead

Eastern PA RBA

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Pub Update

Rusty Rail riders will congregate upstairs (no need to check in at desk) after the ride.  Unfortunately the pub is closing at 8 pm as a consequence of the current pandemic.

Below is a message from Rich Shrader regarding how to order and pay for food and drink at the Rusty Rail:

Hi Steve, the GameRoom will open at 11am on Saturday and will be open until 8pm. you are more than welcome to park in the overflow lot. Best of luck on your ride and we will see you afterwards. Just a few notes on the GameRoom service. I am not sure when you or your other group members were here last. If it was 2019 you will see a different ordering and service method in the GameRoom. It is a QR Code based system that allows you to order from  your phone and pay as you go. The food is then delivered to your location. The same would go for the beer. The menu is similar in size but also has different items on it. If you have any other questions please let us know.


Thank you!


Rich Schrader


Rusty Rail Brewing Co, LLC



Sunday, September 5, 2021

Rusty Rail 204 -- Course Notes


Two riders pre-rode "The Rail" on Saturday under ideal weather conditions.  The course was in great shape in spite of hurricane Ida.  The route is entirely paved, but beware of gravel washes on the road from recent rainfall and flooding.

All intermediate controles are information controles (no receipt or initials required, just answer the question) and do not require entry into buildings.  The only timed controles are the start and the finish.  

The Milroy controle at mile 41 (pictured above) features a Rutters/Arbys.  It has good bathrooms, gallon jugs of water, and the usual rando fare.  There is also a Subway located across the street for those who prefer to eat fresh.

Doan's Bones BBQ can be busy when you arrive, so if you have enough gas in the tank to summit Tussy Mountain, you can resupply at a convenience store in Pine Grove Mills (mile 72), located at the bottom of the screaming descent.

Due to the pandemic, the Rusty Rail is only open from 11 am to 8 pm.  So...if you want to kick back and enjoy some local brew after your ride try to finish within a twelve hour timeframe if at all possible.

The Rusty Rail 204 is one of the most beautiful courses you will ever ride and, as an added bonus, features a front yard soda machine (75 cents) at mile 105.

Be sure to use version 5 of the Cue Sheet and use the most up-to-date RWGPS course updated on 9/5/2021.

-Steve Schoenfelder