Sunday, February 5, 2023

Stillwater 200K Ride Report

Definitely one for the record books. With the start control temperature at Pohatcong Plaza barely 8°F, then by mid-day only reaching the mid teens, I believe this may have been the coldest PA Rando 200K ever run.

Nevertheless, seven brave randonneurs were undaunted by these frigid conditions and clipped in on that c-c-c-c-c-cold morning. Six of the seven made it around the course in good time (plus two more pre-riders who had more "balmy" conditions) for an 8 out of 9 (89%) finish 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.

Jeremy Sieg with a proper arctic eyewear choice

Only one rider DNFed,  Len Zawodniak, who experienced uncontrollable frosting of his eyewear and was forced to turn back. I wonder if this frosting may have been a side effect of riding a recumbent -- is it a lot colder down there, Len?  In any case, Len transformed from a brave winter bike rider into his more "cozy" role of brave volunteer course angel par excellence, helping the organizer keep track of riders as they fought their way around the course. 

Len experienced windshield defroster failure

Bob Dye, volunteered to staff the finish control, covering it from the first finishers to the bitter end when -- looking a little like an Italian Ernest Shackleton -- a very frozen Andreas Prandelli rolled in with only seconds to spare on the clock. 

Andreas developed a very impressive chincicle by the halfway point.



Andreas thawing his hands over a hot pizza.

All the riders suffered from the cold somewhat, for sure, but a combination of good outerwear, proper gear, numerous warm-up breaks, and an icy resolve to get the job done carried them around the course in an impressive fashion.  Every rider who showed up that morning should be proud to have even attempted such an endeavor. And the day-of finishers should carry the pride of this accomplishment in their hearts forever. It is not an easy thing -- finishing a 200K bike ride at an average temperature of 12°F!!  Chapeau!

Gavin, Bill, and Annie warming up at G.D.Garris

Ben Keenan writes...

Thanks to Chris, Bob and Len for organizing a great ride and great day. It was no easy feat under the conditions and much appreciated. Chris was right, it was beautiful notwithstanding the cold. A highlight was riding along River Road towards Belvidere seeing ice floes in the Delaware as the afternoon faded. Worth the price of cold hands and feet.

Thanks to all the riders who embarked in single-digit temperatures and rode a long day without a discouraging word. You all are awesome! Hope to see everyone out next month for the Covered Bridges ride. Here's hoping for 60 degrees and sunshine!

Join us again on 4 March, when the conditions should be considerably warmer. It will be the kick-off ride of the 2023 PA Rando SR series: the Covered Bridges 200K, this year starting from Chamounix in Philadelphia. This event features full food service and low-cost bunk-bed lodging options at the Carriage House. Don't miss it!

1 comment:

  1. Bravo to everyone. What a day! I watched and followed your progress from afar but chose to shy away from this cold challenge out of sheer respect for my feet.