Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Keystone Brevet Co. 200k (Nov R12) -- Pre-Ride Course Notes

***Update 11/5/2021***

Another course pre-ride was completed by Nick Manta and George Retseck on 11/3, sans GPS to really put the cue sheet through the wringer. The course and cue sheet are in generally good shape but some polishing clarifications were made for some T and unmarked intersections. Additionally, Nick and George reported a small edit, L @ Upper Indian Head Rd. (mi 97.6) that enables a slightly quicker return to the Perkiomen Trail. The latest cuesheet is version 6 and the latest RWGPS route was modified 2021-11-4 22:13:02 EDT.

Myself and the entire staff of Keystone Brevet Co. are looking forward to seeing you tomorrow. Please bring a signed waiver, a mask, and some warm clothes for the finish gathering. See you then!

Original Post:

On 10/24, a pre-ride of the brand-new Keystone Brevet Co. 200K route was completed by Chris Nadovich and Iwan Barankay. Both riders reported that this course gets the "PA Rando" seal of approval and will be a fine addition to the challenging course catalog this club is known (notorious?) for offering.

Overall, the course is in good shape. Some small tweaks were made as a result of a closure along the lower portion of the Perkiomen Trail in Arcola, as well as the re-opening of the Manayunk Canal Towpath which had been damaged after the recent Hurricane Ida. The latest cuesheet is version 4 and the latest RWGPS route was modified 2021-10-26 23:27:41 EDT. Full information about this event, as well as online registration, is available on the Event Web Site.

Course notes:
For those traveling from outside of Philadelphia, the start and finish of the course will require urban-riding awareness that is markedly different than meandering through the rural countryside. Pay attention to where drivers are looking, and know that traffic signals, stop signs, bike lanes, etc. are all mere suggestions for what people should be doing. Be hyper-aware and ride assertively. While the event start time should minimize on-road traffic, riders will have to contend with Saturday evening traffic both in Manayunk and Philadelphia and should be especially careful after sundown.

Services throughout the course are generally concentrated up front.... along with all the climbs you will have to traverse throughout the day. There are two Wawas on-course before you reach Harmony Hill/Skelp Level Rd and the first controle in Downingtown. Just before the Joanna controle is Morgantown Coffee, and there is also a Wawa in busy, busy Pottstown after crossing Keim St. Bridge. Speaking of Keim St., this is what it looks like:

You can safely ignore this sign.

By the time you reach Zieglersville around mile 85, you will have completed virtually all of the climbing, and it is highly recommended that you replenish here and stash some food in your bag before tackling the Perkiomen and Schuylkill River Trails on your return to Philadelphia.

Beware of spots of loose, deep gravel on the Perkiomen. The trail closure just south of Arcola Rd requires a blood sacrifice of a steep kicker on Cider Mill Rd before rejoining the Perkiomen Trail and turning onto the Schuylkill River Trail.

Although you will no longer be climbing, flat trails like the SRT tend to reveal just how tired your legs are as you pedal indefinitely. Be mindful of other trail users and of your body’s needs during this leg. There is soft-serve salvation (and heated bathrooms) available at Chloe’s Corner in Manayunk, but for those looking for just a quick stop, a warning that the hot food can take much longer than the ice cream.

Upon leaving the SRT next to the Art Museum, you are only 5 cues and a few potentially-hectic city miles from the finish festivities.


Parking is limited to ten cars in the parking lot nearest the KBC entrance. Overflow parking will no longer be on the opposite side of the lot as per the original parking guide, but instead will be street parking on N. American St. A volunteer will help guide you to the appropriate place to park when you arrive.

Pre- and post-ride snacks will be provided for riders by the club. In conjunction with Philly Bike Expo weekend, KBC will also be hosting a "Post Expo, Post Brevet Party" that is open to the public.

For those riders looking to mingle at the after-party, it is recommended that you bring some warm clothes, as most of the festivities will be occurring outside (weather permitting). If you are a Philly local and are riding to the start, KBC is happy to safely stash a messenger bag or backpack of warm clean clothes, shoes, etc. while you are out riding for the day.

With only about 10 hours of daylight available, all 200k riders will need lights and reflective gear at the start of the brevet and if finishing after sunset.

Event details and registration are available on the website. While registration is open until midnight on Wednesday, November 3rd, those contemplating joining for their first brevet should be sure to register for a RUSA Membership several days in advance of that deadline to ensure a smooth event registration process. Hopefully you can make plans to attend and see what Keystone Brevet Co. is all about.


-CJ Arayata

Pre-rider Iwan B. enjoys fresh pavement in Manayunk on the way home. Thanks, Ida.
Photo: CJA

1 comment:

  1. For other than WaWa calories, I've hit both the Far Away Farms @mile 47.1 and Morgantown Coffee @57.1 and had good experiences.