Saturday, December 30, 2023

Hope to New Hope 2024 Course Notes Pre-ride Report

Start yet another year with the same old New Hope 2 New Hope 200K brevet on 6 January 2024 (in no way commemorating the Capitol attack).  The ride starts from  Pohatcong Shopping Plaza in Phillipsburg, NJ. Start time is at 7AM. All the information, and an online registration link, are on the event web page.  You will find a link to the RWGPS data for the route (last modified 2023-01-6 13:14:28 EST) and links to cue sheets (version 1 is the latest).  There have been no changes in the route from last year.

Park the Regal Movie theater at the start, which is also near the finish control, Franks Trattoria Italian restaurant, located between the Old Navy and the Regal movie theater in Pohatcong Plaza. Leave the parking spots by the shops to the day patrons; please park at some distance away along Bliss Blvd.  Park as shown in this map. 

If you need coffee or breakfast, there is a Wawa nearby, across from the WalMart. If you are driving in on I-78 from the East (eg from NYC) consider a hearty breakfast at the 24 hour Clinton diner, easy-off-easy-on, about 10 miles to the East. 

Do not leave your car over by the Wawa or WalMart as we have had some trouble with the "Walmart Parking Lot Blue Light Special Security Team" in the past. 

A pre-ride was conducted on 29 December by Chris Nadovich and Bob Dye. 

Bob Dye writes...

The Hope to New Hope Pre-Ride PA Rando Parable.

When you volunteer to do a pre-ride you can choose the date to ride anytime within a two week window prior to the ride. Chris Nadovich and I chose Friday the 29th based on what the meteorologists were prognosticating - and boy, did we nail it! The temp reached into the fifties with plenty of sunshine and zero precipitation. Not bad for the end of December.

The Hope to New Hope 200K route is a lopsided figure eight with the start, finish and 47 mile controle in the same approximate location. This way you can have provisions and alternate apparel stashed in your car for a mid-ride re-fresh. It's designed for safe winter riding with many major roads with smooth wide shoulders. The early, northern loop was particularly smooth. Pothole season has not yet begun. The second loop had a few somewhat rugged stretches and some flood debris which should hopefully be gone by the weekend. Nothing too alarming. I'm pleased to report the restrooms at Bull Island (mile 79.1) were open and heated. 

Expect a plethora of perambulating pedestrians in New Hope. You'll probably want to continue walking your bike for a bit after crossing the bridge from Lambertville. 

As Chris will now doubt warn you, you may need to ignore your GPS at the end of Greenwich Road (miles 2.5 & 49.5). It's a left the first time and right the second time. My Garmin yelled at me both times.

Good luck Saturday and I look forward to seeing your cold and smiling faces at the finish!

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

PA Randonneurs Holiday Soirée 2023

On Saturday, December 16th, 42 registered party-goers celebrated the end of another successful year of Pennsylvania Randonneuring. Organizer extraordinaire Iwan Barankay and his wife Ulli graciously opened their home in Philadelphia where club members and loved ones from near and far exchanged tales of brevets and shared their aspirations for the new year.

Plenty of parking.... for bikes!

Fearless organizer Iwan knows how to feed the masses

Thank you for opening your home Iwan and Ulli!

RBA emeriti Tom Rosenbauer and Andrew Mead graced us with their presence, told many tales from the storied history of the club, and enjoyed the company of the 'next-generation'. The soirée was a great celebration of the past, present, and future of the club. 

Andrew, Tom, CJ, George, and Gilbert

The Philadelphia contingent (& Ben!) rise to the challenge: Brakeless fixed gear PA SR, multiple PA SR awards, and even a first-year PBP ancien in this mix. Is there anything they can't do?

There was delicious vegan chili made by the host, a great cheese spread, and lots of desserts, including chocolate-covered cannolis. Of course, it would not be a proper PA Rando event without PayDay bars as well!

Newly-minted randonneurs Maria Thomson and Ross Perfetti (center). We look forward to seeing what you accomplish in 2024!

The R.E.Load Bags x Coast Cycles PBP Dream Team

A welcome addition to the ride roster

As for 2024 plans, it may come as no surprise that PA Randonneurs are an audacious bunch. Many mentioned various 2024 grand randonnees, international bike tours, and ultra-endurance races along with other forms of two-wheeled entertainment such as mountain biking and gravel cycling. A few brave randonneurs have their eyes set on Endless Mountains Liberty Bell 1234k, a re-imagining of the legendary Endless Mountains 1240k last run in 2013.

The mountains call. Will you answer?

Additionally, a few potential Flèche team captains smartly seized the opportunity to begin their recruiting efforts early, so we hope to see some fresh teams and full rosters come April.

Kate and Ello agree: Randonneuring needs more hardstyling and gender diversity!

Brad, Iwan, Ryan, and Gerik

More photos are available here, and feel free to drop yours as well:

Thanks again to Iwan and Uli, all of those who made and brought delicious food and drink, and everyone who partook in the night's festivities. Regardless of how many events you may have under your belt, we hope that you'll consider joining us for an event in 2024. Most of the event calendar next year has been published, so be sure to check out our website for ride details and registration info.

Monday, December 4, 2023

Hollywood Hotdog 200 Ride Report

Preliminary results for the Hollywood Hotdog 200K have been posted to the website.  Please review the results and let us know if any corrections are needed.  Results will be sent to RUSA and will become final pending RUSA confirmation.  Twenty riders, including three pre-ride volunteers clipped in for the final Eastern PA brevet of 2023.  All riders made it back in good time for a 100% completion rate!

Relatively mild, but damp, conditions greeted the riders at the start.  As the day progressed the skies cleared and the temperatures climbed up onto the 50's.  Not bad for December!  While the 8:00 am start provided a very comfortable schedule for the organizer to get to the start, it meant that there was little more night riding than is expected on a 200K.  

The route was a nice way to wrap up the year as it had a little bit of everything; car free trails, suburban meandering, Delaware River crossing, scenic farmland, and of course a major climb.  All of the riders seemed to be in good spirits as they came into the finish and satisfied with their rides.  Of note Michael Mauel completed his first Eastern PA brevet, congratulations and welcome to the club!

Some evocative pictures are below and here is a folder with even more: 

Iwan modeling his new helmet liner

Heading out on damp roads.  Photo by Matt McClone

piglets at Tabora. Photo by Ello Shertzer

Ben Keenan writes:

"Thanks a million to Pat, Iwan and Chris for organizing a great day of riding.  It was a worthy end to a great year, and a good way to clear mind and spirit before the onslaught of the holidays.  The stretches along the Delaware River were beautiful with the mist rising off (even if they did allow time for memories better bequeathed to a handsomely-paid therapist to creep in!).  I can also report the hills from Easton to the Wassergas General Store have not gotten any easier since the last time I attempted to, uh, “ride” up them.  Thanks to all the riders that shared the miles and catching up afterwards at the Iron Hill Pub was a great way to end the day.  Hope to see everyone at a ride soon!"

Joshua Han writes:
"Strangely warm December day.  Shorts weather though!  Foggy at the start and foggy at the end.  No precipitation but wet roads all day. Caught a puncture in the Southampton area shortly after leaving the unscheduled stop at the Wawa because someone (will remain unnamed) forgot their water bottles.  Sealant, well, sealed, and didn't lose much tire pressure at all. Heard a loud crash in one of the small towns on the Jersey side.  Pickup truck was not paying attention and crashed into the back of a minivan.  Lunch at a hot dog stand and traffic-watching at the Free Bridge tells you a lot about humanity (and their lack of patience).A small, delicious cider donut at Tabora Farms (and some free samples) and off to the last checkpoint/finish. Legs were pretty dead towards the end so thankful that the last few miles were downhill.  4.5 hours in the dark! Thanks again (and so much more for and to the volunteers) for another great day on the bike!"