Sunday, July 9, 2023

Free Bridge 200K Ride Report

The SR Series this year had a lot of rainy weather. That means it wasn't very hot during these difficult PBP qualifiers. Quite the blessing. But the heat always comes eventually, and it finally arrived at the Free Bridge 200.  Close to 90F with significant humidity and still some remnants of the smoke haze from fires in Canada, it was a tough day to ride a bike. Add to that the 8000+ feet of climbing on this challenging course, and you had a nice recipe for a soul crushing experience.

An impressive 26 out of 30 riders  (87%) who clipped in day-of had sufficiently crush-resistant souls to complete the course in good time. Congratulations and well done to all. Preliminary results have been posted on the website.  Please review the results and let us know if something is not quite right.  The results will be submitted to RUSA after review and will become official once certified.

Watch Out!

Five riders (Claire Hatkevich, Owen Kobasz, Bryan Niederberger, Ronnie Pacchione, and Ross Perfetti) rode their first 200K. No PA Rando rides are easy, but this was a particularly tough one. Chapeau to you all! Welcome to randonneuring. I promise you that you'll find future 200Ks to be easier. 

First finisher Chris Maglieri cracked the 8 hour mark by running (sic) his bike across the Free Bridge at the finish. The bridge operator scowled at him, but Chris broke the invisible finish line tape with a new course record of 7:59. 

At the other end of the train, lanterne rouge George Metzler needed to do crushed soul roadside repair, but it worked! George wasn't quite smiling at the end, but he finished well within the time limit. No need for him to run across the bridge like Maglieri. 
He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.

One of the fun aspects of events that finish at the Free Bridge are the post-event outdoor gathering options of Jimmy's Doggie Stand or the Sand Bar.  Whether your choice be a Yuengling or a Milkshake (or both per Steve Schoenfelder) you can enjoy it with your comrades in a picnic atmosphere next to the great forks of the Delaware river. 

Post ride gathering at the Sand Bar (with rando groupie?)

Ed Bernaski writes... 

Thank you for yesterday's Free Bridge 200k, I think the eBrevet is going to be a significant advancement to randonneuring. My highlight of the day was only losing 28 seconds to Chris up Fox Gap after bidding him adieu thanking him for the nice chats and of course not puking at the end of what was an exercise in heat management in the hills. Maybe my Garmin lies but it indicated almost 9400 feet of climbing with temperatures in the low and mid 90's. It was all very bad in a good way. Thanks again.

Iwan Barankay writes...

Thank you for organizing. The weather was quite okay – at first. Then the heat  really got to my head. I brought three strong riders from Philadelphia with me and they showed great skill and resilience to finish out this hilly brevet. The afterparty by the river was also a big success.   My Photos.


Iwan feelin' it

Next month PA Randonneurs continues with it's traditional monthly series of R12 events all of which will be free of charge for PA Rando club members. On deck is the gravelly, climby, ultra amazing Grand Canyon of PA 200K that includes a stream ford (which may turn out to be nothing if the drought continues).  On deck is the Rusty Rail 200K.

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