Monday, August 29, 2022

RUSTY RAIL 200K Pre-Ride Report

For September, PA Randonneurs is offering up the third running of the Rusty Rail 200K on Saturday, the 10th.  Located in Central PA, it ranges between Mifflinburg and State College (Happy Valley), providing a bit of a change from the usual PAR fare.

A pre-ride was conducted by Steve Schoenfelder today who found the course to be as challenging and beautiful as ever.  There is new pavement on scenic Sinking Spring Rd making it one of the best places to ride a bike in the state.  The most significant change to the route is the closure of Subway at the first intermediate control in Milroy.  The dining options are all at one location now: Rutters or Arbys.

The route is 100% paved, so venturing off pavement onto gravel or dirt roads is not recommended during this event.

The ride starts and ends at the Rusty Rail Brewing Company, the largest brewpub in Central PA where great food and beverages may be had.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Endless Mountains Liberty Bell -- Pre-pre Announcement


The final day is approaching for  registering for the EM Liberty Bell 1000K out of Philadelphia. Click here for the event info, cuesheets, RWGPS link, and online registration. The final-final date is 8 September, but we might need to advance this. If you intend to ride I recommend registering right now. We have a few more open beds at the overnights. As soon as all those beds are filled, we will cut off registration. So please register now if you want to ride, as I will cut off registration early if we fill up.  

There are a few minor announcements regarding the event:

Second Overnight

The overnight hotel for the second overnight stop has been changed. Formerly, the second overnight was in Pine Grove, but this seemed a little late. We've moved the hotel for the second overnight to be in Lewisburg, PA. This provides a better 400/300/300K split of the 1000K and avoids issues with "check out time". Also, the controls after both overnights have been changed to untimed controls. So if you sleep a little late, you'll have two segments to catch up to the clock.  

GPS Data and Route Splitting

There continue to be minor changes to the route. These have all been published to the website and the latest  cues are version 7. Please be sure you download/print the latest data/cuesheet. There certainly will be more changes in the upcoming weeks and there is a pre-ride scheduled. 

The GPS data for this 1000K route will not fit in many GPS devices. It's too big. My recommendation is to split the route yourself, perhaps into at least three routes, corresponding to the first, second, and third days. Then TEST IT in your GPS unit. Don't just download it to the device and hope it will work brevet day. Rather, well before the start, and immediately after you download it, activate the route and see if there's an error when the device tries to navigate with it.  I will try to split the route into three and publish the three segments after the pre-ride, but the split segments will be "unofficial" and I can't guarantee they will fit in your device. My recommendation is that you do this yourself, and test it.

Vegan Options

PA Rando has always had vegetarian options at meals, but at the request of our vegan riders, we will be trying to have as many vegan options as possible. Our breakfast oatmeal has always been made with no milk.   When we have pasta with sauce the sauce has always been marinara with no cheese. We have had nut based creamer for coffee. And we've usually had hummus. 

But now, we will add vegan yogurt. We will still have peanut butter, but we'll switch from Nutella to Justin's. Tomato pie will be no cheese. We  will try to find at least one vegan baked good. We will try to have good vegan entrees that everyone will like: roasted potatoes, rice and beans, pasta marinara, pierogies, etc.... 

Carnivores please don't panic. There still will be meat options, but we will make the effort to have vegan options alongside. I hope this helps vegan riders do better and encourages them to ride our events (and maybe even volunteer to help out at some ... hint, hint). 

Also, I emphasize that we can only try to do this. I'm afraid PA Rando cannot guarantee that there will be sufficient food that you personally like hot and ready for you at every staffed control. That's not the deal. Fundamentally, randonneuring is self supported. You and only you are responsible for your needs.  PA Rando will try our best to have good food options available at the start, finish, and overnights. If the past is any indication, we do this pretty well compared to some other regions. But it can be difficult to put together a multi-option menu in a remote control location. Have mercy on the very few and very tired and overworked volunteers who in running a complex event have lots of things to worry about.  They don't need more worries. They are doing their best for you.


Chris Nadovich

Sunday, August 7, 2022

POO 200k Ride Report

I was recently made aware of the unfortunate (although appropriate) acronym for the Portland Opulent Outhouse ride. We’ll have to change the name in the future…….

8 riders completed this challenging ride for a 100% completion rate.  All riders reported favorably on this new course and concur that it is one of the more challenging routes on the PA docket.  Humidity was high from the beginning and temperatures got quite uncomfortable in the early afternoon but the PA riders were able to overcome these obstacles.

Kerry Moody, in his first ride on a PA Randonneurs course was the first finisher and will hold the course record for the foreseeable future.   Between the high humidity and relentless climbing of this course, I didn’t expect to see a sub 9 hour finish but Kerry Moody snuck in for a 8:59 finish followed closely by Ben Keenan.

It was a wonderful group of tough riders yesterday and it was a blast riding with the group at the start and seeing everyone at the finish.  I hope to see everyone at next month’s Rusty Rail 200k!

Results will be posted on the PA Rando website shortly, please review and report any discrepancies.

From Dale Houke:

Bill, just wanted to drop a quick note to say thanks again for organizing Saturday's brevet.  What a great day of riding - the route was tough but had such a nice flow to it that I hardly noticed all the climbing, and we couldn't have asked for more cooperative late summer weather!