Monday, March 27, 2023

Water and Wind 300K Brevet pre-ride report

A pre-ride of the Water and Wind 300K was conducted on March 21 by Chris Nadovich and George Retseck, Iwan Barankay on March 26, and Nick Manta on March 27 in addition to partial pre-rides by Iwan a few weeks ago when it was still snowy along the Northern stretches. As a result of these pre-rides, updates were made to the cues. The latest cue sheet is version 6, and the latest RWGPS route was modified 2023-03-27. Both are available online. Full information about the event is on the event website.

This route is gorgeous. Please take a look at our pre-ride photos. We worked on many refinements – especially Chris – to add more flow to the route getting out of and back into Philadelphia but also to showcase nothing but the finest hills and roads between Philadelphia, the Delaware Water Gap, Wind Gap, and back. There are so many highlights to this route, but my favorites are the multiple times we are on River Road or when you can see the Blue Mountains off in the distance. There are also some tough moments – I am thinking of the pretentiously named Sunrise Boulevard (mile 81), which felt more like sunset to my endurance – but the scenery at the top is always priceless. Another gem is Route 611 leading up to the northeastern control, which is closed to traffic, allowing you to roam for free along the cliffs. 
As you are roaming along the cliffs, be aware that there's a lot of debris scattered on the closed route 611. There are also two spots where you need to lift your bike over barriers. 

 Watch out for wildlife, especially deer, early in the morning and late at night. When you see one jumping out onto the road, watch out to see if there are more. At one point, I stirred a flock of about 20 adult Wild Turkeys, and they then flew low over my head, which was just very cool. 
You will cross the Delaware multiple times, which requires you to walk (yes, angry wardens will materialize out of thin air if you don’t), yet another opportunity to take in the views and stretch out your legs and shoulders. 

Some more specific points 

- Review our blog post about parking at Chamounix. Do not leave valuables in the car.

- Pace yourself: This route is hilly throughout. Safe your legs, as you will depend on them from beginning to end. 

 - Eat and drink: because of the climbing, you burn calories faster. Please reflect on what you can and want to eat and drink on and off the bike. I aimed to take in 40-60g of carbs per hour of cycling, more at stops and less on the bike. 

 - The rando rule for stopping is shopping, eating, using the bathroom, or napping. Don’t stand around. You want to keep your stops short and productive. 

 - First control and second breakfast: The first control is at Rice’s Market (mile 53.4). Go to the long green barn with the ice cooler out front with the “Shops in the Barn” sign. You will find an Amish bakery inside, serving coffee and tea. The clean, if quaint, restrooms are behind the barn in the light brown building. If you don’t want to eat at this control, the route passes Milford’s excellent Bagel shop (mile 86; has a restroom) after crossing the bridge at the next corner on the left across from the gas station. 

 - Eat pie at the second control! It would be best if you had the energy for the next long ascent to Wind Gap. They only have a porta-potty. 

 - The third control is after you are speeding down into Wind Gap. Don’t miss the left turn at the traffic light. If you don’t want to eat there, I recommend pushing to Easton instead, as the next stretch is easy if a little bumpy on the Plainfield Township Trail. Please alert pedestrians when you want to pass them on the trail. 

 - Not a control but highly recommended: In Easton, we highlighted a Wawa at mile 122.5. This is your last refueling option for the next 27 miles. Bear in mind that soon after Easton, you have two challenging climbs. Please make sure you refuel there. 

 - The route takes you back to Philadelphia through Manayunk, which is busy on Saturday evening. Watch out for car doors and pedestrians. 

 - Because of the rain, hard shoulders can get flooded. This may cause you to weave in and out of traffic. Ride in groups when you can, and, though not required, I encourage you to wear safety vests and use lights even during daytime. Rain can also cause road debris and rock slides, especially on Route 611. 

 - The ride starts at 5 am, and most of you will finish after sunset. You must have front and rear lights (set to steady), a reflective vest, and ankle straps, or you can’t start the ride.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Parking at Chamounix


Please park cars along Chamounix Drive in front of the Carriage House. Do not park back in the circle by the mansion or on the side alley to the left of the Carriage house. There have been problems with valuables being stolen from cars in these areas. Park on the left side of Chamounix drive within easy view of the front porch of the Carriage house.  Park end-in, not parallel to the curb.

Parking Layout

Do not leave valuables in your car. There should be nothing visible that might tempt thieves. You can safely leave clothes and other gear inside the Carriage House.

There are other free on-street parking alternatives a short distance away, including along W Ford Rd.  These may, or may not, be better. Several commercial parking garages are also nearby.

Monday, March 20, 2023

PBP Webinar

Please join us for a live presentation from Deb Banks, Eric Norris and Bill Green covering the bag drop services offered for PBP 2023. Deb, Eric, Bill (and Mark Behning who will be off riding a 1000km brevet) are all previous PBP finishers and are attending PBP in 2023 just to offer a vital service       
to riders. 

Following that presentation, Mark Thomas will go over some of the details of what to expect next if you have pre-registered for PBP. This will cover due dates for completing your qualifiers, when you can start to convert to full registration, and what is required to do that. If possible there might be a recap of numbers involved for pre-registrants from the US.

Following Mark's presentation, Deb's Team will have gone over the questions submitted and will read questions and give answers as part of the presentation. 

To close out, Mark will also answer any questions submitted. 

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.                                              
When: Apr 2, 2023 10:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)                         
Topic: Randonneurs USA PBP Prep Seminar #3  

Please click the link below to join the webinar:      
Passcode: 687481 

Or One tap mobile :                                                            

 +16694449171,,87819782357#,,,,*687481#  or                              

If you can't make it, this presentation will be recorded and put up on          
the Youtube   channel 


where Seminar sessions 1, 1.1,  and 2 have been placed. 

Concurrent with this seminar, there are a couple/few pre-recorded interviews that will be released of past PBP riders where we delve into their previous riding, how they came to randonneuring, what they did to prepare for their first PBP, what their first PBP experience was like and what advice they got that helped and what they themselves might recommend.

rob hawks                                                                       
SFR RBA                                                                         
RUSA Membership Committee                                                       
RUSA Brevet Coordinator                                                         
RUSA RBA Liaison       

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

PBP Pre Registration Update

The ACP has modified the PBP pre-registration process to allow riders with  no BRM brevets in 2022 to pre-register. Starting on March 25.                   
Also the date on which pre-registrations will be cancelled if not converted  to full registrations has also changed from June 20 to June 10.                 

Preregistrations are first open to those who have completed at least one BRM (qualifying ride) in 2022. The  preregistration date depends on the longest brevet validated in 2022 and spots are subject to availability at the time of preregistration.

BRM ridden from Nov 01, 2021 to Oct *31*, 2022

Preregistration starts on

  • 1000 km or RM 1200+: January  14, 2023
  • 600 km: January 28, 2023
  • 400 km: February 11, 2023
  • 300 km: February 25, 2023
  • 200 km: March 11, 2023
  • none: March 25, 2023         

(at 12 PM French Standard Time => CET, UTC +1)

 The full rules can be found here.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Covered Bridges 200K Ride Report

While February's 200K set records for low starting temperatures, the March 4 Covered Bridges 200K had what is believed to be a record number of registered riders.  By the time registration closed a few days before the event there were 66 people on the list! 

Starting from the 2023 SR Series headquarters, the Chamounix Mansion Hostel, fifty-four riders set off with the sunrise on a blustery morning with hopes of conquering a challenging and scenic course.  Fifty-two riders plus six pre-riders made it around the course in good time for a 97% finish rate.  Preliminary results have been posted on the website.  Please review the results and let us know if something is not quote right.  The results will be submitted to RUSA after review and will become official once certified.

Riders preparing for the start
Riders preparing for the start. photo by Iwan Barankay


Photo by Ello Shertzer

The heavy rains that soaked the area on Friday night were pushed out by strong winds that dogged riders as they made their way to the first control in New Hope, PA.  From New Hope it was on to the Tinicum Park control where riders were greeted by RBA Chris Nadovich, who was waiting with a catered brunch to help fuel them up the hills to come.  And did they come.  Uhlerstown Hill Road, with it's grade approaching 40% in some spots, provided a mid-ride pop that surely will be remembered by the riders.

The course passed by the former Weisel Youth Hostel around mile 80. While not an official control, the Weisel Youth Hostel served as the home base of the PA SR Series for over ten years. Veteran PA Randonneur riders were treated to some familiar faces as they passed by. Tom Rosenbauer (former RBA and founder of PA Randonneurs) and Bill Olsen (who has completed more PA rides and ridden more PA kilometers than any other club member) stationed themselves there to make sure that the riders had enough water and good spirits to make it to the next control. 

The penultimate control of Tabora Farms provided the riders with the sustenance needed to make it those final 35 miles back to the hostel, and a trailing well helped as well. 

Photo by John Squires

Event organizer Iwan Barankay positioned himself at the base of the final climb and reported that all the riders were in good spirits as the approached the last little grunt up to the hostel.

Phtots by Iwan Barankay

There was a feeling of excitement back at Chamounix as riders returned and gathered to swap stories from the road over pizza and refreshments in the Hostel's great room.  As mentioned, we had eleven riders complete their first brevet; Jordan Aune, Ritam Chakraborty, Tristan Dahn, Grahm Godbey, Chris Kline, Jacob Klink, Bryce Lackey, Dan Powers, Michael Reali Jr., Kate Sparacio, Jesse Starger.  Congratulations to all and we hope to see you back on the road with us again soon.

Thanks to everyone who rode and volunteered.  These events wouldn't happen without you.  Special thanks to Adam Bowen and Cecilie Gaffney, who managed the breakfast, registration, and official starting duties, and for the rousing pre-ride pep talk by Cecilie.  Brad Layman, who was on hand to greet and check in all the riders at their return.  Chris Nadovich, Tom Rosenbauer, Bill Olsen, and Ed Bernasky who manned controls and checkpoints aiding riders on their journeys.  And, Iwan Barankay for handling the duties of organizing the ride.  Our next event, Water & Wind 300K, will be held on April 1, 2023.  Event details can be found here.  We hope to see you all there.

There is a good collection of photos from the day that can be seen here.

Sean Keesler made a great video of his 200K adventure, which can be seen here.


Bob Dye wrote: