The Hope to New Hope course has the virtue of being reliably clear of snow and ice in the winter. It's also relatively flat for a PA Randonneurs course (possibly because it's mostly in New Jersey). And occasionally you get to see the river. These might be considered it's only positive attributes. Unfortunately, there are an abundance of negative attributes, not the best of which is the mind-numbingly boring and debris full stretch of NJ 29 between Milford and New Hope that is ridden twice -- headwind both ways. Oh, and the grindy, trafficy hill through Harmony. And that "last little grunt" out of Warren Glen. Usually this "attracts" only a very small bunch of hard core randos wanting to keep their R-12 alive, despite the mundane nature of the riding.
Maybe it was the positive waves of PBP year enthusiasm. Possibly the largest ever roster of riders to ride the Hope to New Hope course -- a full two-dozen day-of-event, plus two volunteer pre-riders -- clipped in for this winter classic. And they all rode well. Of the total 26 riders who clipped in, 26 finished inside the time limit for a 100% completion rate. Congratulations and well-done to all! Preliminary results have been posted on the website. Please review the results and let us know if they align with your memory. The results will be submitted to RUSA after review and will become official once certified.
Thanks and congratulations go to Ben Keenan. Thanks for his excellent volunteer efforts running the finish control. Congratulations for his achievement of a PA R-12 with his pre-ride. This PA R-12 a rare achievement, as only 18 riders have accomplished this feat in the history of the club. It may also be the first time ever someone has achieved PA R-12 as their first every R-12 in their first year of randonneuring.
Also for the record books was Chris Maglieri's finish time of 7:21, which shatters the old course record (held by Chris) cutting off more than 40 minutes from his previous best.
Ed Bernasky writes...
Thanks to you and Ben for running today's ride. The route was perfect for our typical Winter conditions and since today's ride was almost in my backyard, I know these roads well and PA Rando picked the best roads as is always the norm. Riding with Chris and Annie was a pleasure. Aside from both being very pleasant, they were both very skilled in a paceline and in today's wind the caboose (me) appreciated the skill of those two and of course, Chris was the monster engine. A very nice day, thanks again.
We return to Pohatcong Plaza shopping center again next month for another Winter classic brevet, The Stillwater 200K on 4 February. Please keep an eye on this blog and the PA Rando website for possible announcements relating to this event. The brevet will be rescheduled or canceled if there is a realistic chance of black ice or other unsafe riding conditions.