Friday, December 31, 2021

Start the New Year with Rule 9


Yes. It's likely there will be some rain during the 200K on New Year's day tomorrow. But those fair-weather bike riders out there who are thinking of DNSing, consider the following. 
It won't be a lot of rain, the temps will be in the high 50's all day, and even during the early evening it will stay above 50. If you have decent rain gear with covered hands and feet you should do just fine. You won't overheat; you won't freeze. Put some towels and changes of clothes in your car. Don't forget to eat and drink throughout the ride. 
It could have been 15F with snow and ice. Riding in January is always a challenge. Remember: RULE 9.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Hope to New Hope

The first brevet of 2022 is on the first day of the year using the new version of the Hope to New Hope course as a figure 8,  with a start, midpoint, and finish control in Pohatcong Shopping Center in Phillipsburg. This brevet is FREE for PA Rando Members. See the event web site for all the details. 

Beyond Hope Fedex Box Info Control

The start of the brevet is the super Wawa on US 22. You can park in the Wal Mart lot behind this Wawa. Alternatively, given that the finish control is Franks Trattoria pizzeria next to the Regal Cinema on the opposite side of the shopping center (and more convenient at the midpoint of the figure 8 course), you might park over near Franks and then ride your bike over to the Wawa start to make your life easier at the end of the day.

The figure 8 course and info controls allows you to complete this brevet without entering a convenience store. To take best advantage of this resupply option, remember to provision your car as you will be passing it near the middle of the ride.  

A pre-ride of the course was conducted on 23 December. All roads are open with no detours. The shoulders were mostly clear of debris. This can change if there is any significant snow/wind/rain before the ride date. The worst debris on shoulders is typically found along the narrow area just south of the Hope turnaround, early in the brevet, and the northbound approach to Frenchtown returning from New Hope at the end of the brevet. It's also possible to see some fallen rock and ice on River Rd past Milford. 

The start time is 7AM, which is before dawn. Please have reflective gear and lights at the start. Sunset is around nine and a half hours later.  If you are riding past sunset, please put on your visibility gear or you will be DQed. 


Sunday, December 5, 2021

Tscheschter Kaundi 200K Ride Report

Preliminary results for the Tscheschter Kaundi 200K brevet are posted on the website. Please review the results and inform me if anything needs to be corrected. The results will be submitted to RUSA for final verification. There was an incredible turnout of 35 riders, which is especially impressive for a December brevet. All of the riders finished well within the time limit for a completion rate of 100%.

Riders in Tscheschter Kaundi (photo by Dan Chabanov)

Riders gather for the start (photo by Mario Claussnitzer)

Josh Armstrong set a blistering pace and established the course record. Christopher Maglieri was not far behind. A few minutes later, Bradley Simon, Michael Kimelman, Scott Rosenthal, Dan Chabanov, and Matt McLoone arrived at the finish, completing their first brevet in very impressive time. Steven Handleman, Johannes Burge, Devin Green, and Erik Wright also completed their first brevets. Attempting a first brevet in December is no easy feat!

Scott Rosenthal took an unfortunate spill on a trolley track in West Philly. Mark Caplan reported that a group of riders gathered around Scott to help him back to his feet. Luckily, the mood in the group immediately improved when a pedestrian asked if any of the riders had a spare cigarette.

All of the riders successfully passed through a secret control set up at the top of a hill around mile 47. While riders caught their breath after the climb, they enjoyed Clif bars, bananas, and water.

Joe Ray, Matt Farrell, Gavin Biebuyck, and Bill Fischer reach the secret control

Riders reached Cafe Metzler, the midpoint control, and were treated to hot sandwiches, drinks, and other snacks. Many riders expressed their appreciation for the hot sandwiches. It was a real treat for the club to return to Cafe Metzler.

Josh Armstrong, Matt McLoone, and Bradley Simon enjoy hot sandwiches, snacks, and drinks at Cafe Metzler (photo by Dan Chabanov)

Some riders reported a surprise visit from Santa riding down Fairview Rd on a fire engine. Hopefully they were able to put in their requests for a new PA Rando jersey as he flew past.

Santa greets riders on Fairview Rd (photo by Gavin Biebuyck)

Multiple modes of transport in Tscheschter Kaundi (photo by Matt McLoone)

At the finish area, many riders proudly displayed their photos from the photo controls and other scenic spots along the course. These controls were chosen for their position along the route but also to provide riders with a souvenir showing two bridges in contrasting settings. The photos prove that riders were at one moment in the big city and later in the quiet countryside, far from the urban hustle-and-bustle. Many of the local riders enjoyed seeing the South Street Bridge overtaken by randonneurs clad with their bright, reflective wear.

Riders, including Ryan Stanis and Keean Mansour, reach the photo control on South St Bridge

Chris Nadovich on South St Bridge

Randonneurs warmed up by the fire and enjoyed some food and drink at The Landing Kitchen. Riders hung around sharing stories of their adventures.

Bradley Scott, Michael Kimelman, and Scott Rosenthal cross the Pencoyd Bridge as they arrive at the finish

As Nick Manta and Rudi Saldia finish, their attire made it evident that the weather was much nicer than on the day of the pre-ride

Dawn Engstrom at the finish

Riders and friends gather around the fire pit to warm up at The Landing Kitchen

Many thanks are due for this event. A huge thank you to George for re-opening Cafe Metzler (two weekends in a row!). 

The parking lot of Cafe Metzler (photo by George Metzler)

Andrew Mead, Regional Brevet Administrator of Eastern PA, also volunteered at Cafe Metzler, helping with sign-ins and reconfiguring SPOT trackers. Sue Proulx volunteered at the start and finish of the event and also brought her famous brownies. Matt McLoone graciously opened the Cadence Cycling Center for riders to use the restroom before the start.

Chris Nadovich answered many questions from this first-time brevet organizer. CJ Arayata also provided helpful information after organizing his first (and very well-attended) brevet in November. Pat Gaffney also assisted with the pre-ride, volunteered at the ride, and provided water and snacks at the start.

It has been a pleasure to dive into the world of randonneuring this year. The joy of volunteering and organizing a brevet rivaled that of actually riding the brevets. I encourage all riders to consider volunteering for an event in the future.

"There were a lot of geese in that pond" -multiple riders (photo by Matt McLoone)
The organizer wasn't sure if this was some kind of reference to the number of randos going into a Wawa or a literal comment. Maybe both?

Joe Ray writes:

This was a very fun and enjoyable route today - thanks to you and Iwan for putting it together and executing it so well and to George for again hosting and creating a perfect control with good food options and such an efficient in-eat-brevet-card-fill-waters-keep-moving-opportunity.  Start and finish locations were pretty ideal.  Visiting afterward around a firepit is pretty sweet!

Steven Schoenfelder writes: 

Thanks to ride organizer Brad, and volunteers including Iwan, Patrick, Sue, George, and Andrew for hosting yet another epic Philly ride.
The brisk weather at the start was mitigated by our brisk pace as we fled the streets of Philadelphia.  I loved the complete absence of convenience store controls that rendered steering into a Wawa completely optional.  The route was beautiful, running through nearly vacant city streets in the early hours, picturesque suburbs, and pastural farmland complete with grazing livestock, recumbent horses, miniature goats, and a solitary pot-bellied pig on a leash.  And...I cannot remember a PAR 200K that had less climbing.  Brad’s “secret controle” was greatly appreciated, and the well-positioned Cafe Metzler controle was brilliant; including gourmet grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, caffeinated beverages, and salty chips providing enough calories and electrolytes for me to remain a barnacle on Greg’s wheel for the rest of the ride, even when he mercilessly cranked up the pace on the SRT in a failed hate-drop attempt.  The patio at the finish was the perfect venue for warming by the fire, enjoying a celebratory brew, and trading lies.  Well done Brad et al, let’s do this again next year!

Chris Nadovich writes:

This was a phenomenal event. The course was excellent and quite enjoyable to ride, but most impressive and delightful to me was the excellent organization.  Brad gets official credit as organizer, of course, but all could see the great help he received from the rest of the Philly crew. So many people helped out that I'm starting to think there's a PA Rando Philadelphia renaissance rising.  Two super people need special mention. CJ Arayata of course, who ran the event last month and has kept the Philadelphia rando torch burning even while he's mostly been kicking along on a skate board rather than riding his bike. Thank you CJ. The other Philly rando hero is Iwan Barankay.  Iwan was the guy who showed us this Philly rando thing was possible with the Chamounix event, and has been a force behind every subsequent Philly event. Iwan's been scouting routes, pre-riding, promoting, arranging for this and that and everything in between. Thank you Iwan.   

For a collection of photos from this ride, check out this Google folder: Note that Google gave me credit for Dan Chabanov's photos after I moved his into this folder. If the file name of a photo starts with "DC," please give credit to Dan.

Join us again on the first day of 2022 for the Hope to New Hope 200K Brevet. This brevet is FREE to PA Rando members! Find out all about it on the event web page. Also be sure to check out the PA Rando Store for the jersey order, which is open until December 20 (or forward the link to a loved one as a hint for a holiday gift idea).

Brad Layman,

Event Organizer

Andrew Mead,

Eastern PA RBA