Monday, November 13, 2023

Hopewell Furnace 200k Ride Report

Preliminary results for the Hopewell Furnace 200k have been posted to the website. Please review the results and let me know if I need to make any changes. A total of 52 riders clipped in for the ride on Saturday (in addition to two pre-riders) with all but two riders qualifying. For ten of the participants, this was their first brevet—congratulations! Not an easy one to start with. 

Although the day started out chilly, the sun came out and the temperatures in the mid-fifties made for a great day of riding with lots of fall foliage and beautiful scenery. First finisher Christopher Maglieri 
finished the hilly course in an impressive 7 hours and 58 minutes, but somehow still had time to take a few pictures. 

Photo by Chris Maglieri

Volunteers Michael Reali and Sarah Johnson welcomed riders at the finish with vegan chili, for which all of the riders, especially fellow vegan Bob Dye, were very grateful! Additionally, Tom Keenan drove all the way down from Connecticut to volunteer at the penultimate control. Thank you Tom! Iwan Barankay helped at the start before taking part in the event himself, and I need to give a big shoutout to him and Chris Nadovich for letting me organize this ride and telling me what to do.

Brad Layman, the route designer, was also heavily involved in volunteering for the event, and I am very grateful for his expertise and knowledge and showing me the ropes. I got a lot of complements about the route, and it's all Brad's work, so thank him! Brad, Michael, Sarah, and I stayed at the finish past the 13.5 hour cutoff to see Diane Lenertz come through as the lanterne rouge. Chapeau to Diane for sticking it through and finishing in good spirits! 

Apparently at some point, someone in a car was throwing construction nails out their window so as to give riders flats. How incredibly rude and inconsiderate. However, I heard that Phil Luong stopped to pick them up. Thank you Phil!

Thank you so much Matt McLoone of Cadence for opening the shop at the start. Matt sent in some great photos! 

Photo by Matt McLoone

Nick Manta in his signature short shorts, photographed by Matt McLoone

Photo by Matt McLoone

Andrew Posmontier says: 
"We passed a cow in a field who got really excited and ran alongside us for the length of its pasture and it was so cute."

 Well that would've been the highlight of the ride for me!

Michael Povman says:
“Ello, thanks to you and the other volunteers for organizing this fabulous brevet! While challenging, this was one of the most scenic routes I've ever ridden - absolutely beautiful.  At times I felt like I was cycling through a gallery of Redfield paintings. A definite top 10.“

Photo by Michael Povman
Ben Keenan says: 

“Thank you Ello and volunteers for a wonderful day! It was cold getting to Hennigan’s Market, but that gave way to near perfect conditions, and most of the miles were imbued with the sense I get in late fall sometimes that I am stealing a better day than I could hope for. It was a beautiful road selection, especially through Berks and Chester Counties. Some good hills too; I think I saw some stars on the last hill before the Ludwig’s Corner Wawa. Thanks to everyone that shared the miles!"

Oh yes, some of those hills were pretty spicy! Says Gavin Biebuyck:

“Thanks Ello for organizing and managing 50 freaking riders!!! Great quiet route and good company all day. Those Nantmeal hills hurt!”

Volunteer Tom Keenan with riders at the Ludwig's Corner Wawa, photo by Gavin Biebuyck

 Mac Vergara, R-48 champion, had this to say: 

Thank YOU for planning and organizing the brevet! I had so many wonderful experiences. The PA Rando community is vibrant and welcoming, the route was a challenge full of rewarding views, and everyone I met was having a blast out riding with friends in the unbelievably perfect crisp autumn weather. This was my first time riding with PA Rando, and I’m looking forward to the next time I can make it out to one of your brevets!

Thanks for coming out Mac! We hope to see you at more PA Rando events!

Pat Gaffney says: 

Just a quick thanks to you, Brad, and the rest of the volunteers for a great ride this past Saturday.  The course was a good one and it was nice to see so many people turn out for the ride.  Sitting around the fire and chatting with everyone as they came in was a great way to end the day.  Thanks again.  See you next time.

And Bill Scanga sent in a couple photos:  

Fast fellows, photo by Bill Scanga

Bill Scanga's photo of a Wawa picnic, a classic PA Rando sight

Next month's brevet, the Hollywood Hot Dog 200k, will be starting at 8am to accommodate public transit schedules. It starts in the northern suburbs very close to multiple train stations, so it will be easy to get to. I'm planning on going so long as the weather is nothing like the weather on last year's December 200k *shudder*. Be sure to check it out, there's less climbing if that helps to convince you! 




  1. Thank you to all the volunteers and organizers! It was a great route and a rewarding day!