Eastern PA 200K
Saturday April 12, 2008
47 Registered riders
Thunderstorm at the start and early morning fog/mist.
Mix of clouds and sun. Temperature mid 50's.
Special Thanks ...
... to Steve Scheetz, for helping with bike inspections at the start and to Nate Morgenstern, for leading the way with the sign-in sheets and helping out at finish. And thanks also, to Seeni Komolafe and Rob Welsh for helping with the cleanup and packing up my car. Without volunteers like these, putting on these brevets would not be possible.
Steve Scheetz ...
... helping out with bike inspection at the hostel. Here he is, giving the stamp of approval out to Mordecai Silver
Mordecai Silver (red jersey) and Rick Carpenter ... headed up Mud Run (left photo) and riding along the Lehigh River (below).
(Left), Steve Scheetz and first time randonneuse, Monica Coleman in Bloomsbury and with Seeni Komolafe, at the finish (getting in with just 6 minutes to spare!). Seeni , commenting on his first brevet, writes...
"... now that I am showered and rested, I have been able to really think objectively about the epic events of April 12th 2008. I concluded that I couldn't have had a more truthful, pleasureable and painful (all at once) introduction to the randonneuring concept. Nothing against finishing with lots of time to spare, but I don't think I would have had the same conclusions if everything had gone exactly to plan for me. I had read most of the literature and ride reports online about how it's a ride with a bunch of individuals sharing the same objective and the same foe (time!!), but I did not really understand it until I sat down, totally exhausted, on the Lomasson climb while Monica fixed her flat, and Steve came back down to pretty much pick us up. Or until Monica, practically wheezing, kept climbing, hill after seemingly never ending hill. Or until Steve (bless him) kept talking about rides he had been on, or jokes (man walking sheep) to distract us from the harshness of our epic realities, and I kept quiet, not because I didn't think they were funny, but because I was trying to keep my breathing steady on the climb and thought a laugh might totally poop me out.
I've played sports all my life, and done many a long distance run, competitive and non-competitive. It's a rare and special thing to witness as much camaraderie and support as with the participants in my first brevet ride. If the intent was to create converts, you've definitely succeeded with at least one. So thank you Tom for making this truthful, albeit painful course ...
Steve, adds: "Some day, Some day, you will be on a
brevet, and a rider will need your help... AND you will help
them... This is the price you must pay for the life you have chosen"
Steve notes also: "Monica and Seeni finished, not as newbies, but as randonneurs!". Read Steve's complete ride report here.
Dan Blumenfeld was not only a first time brevet rider, but also a first ever Eastern PA brevet finisher riding a recumbent. Dan met up with several of the DC Randonneurs and finished with a comfortable margin. He writes ... I just wanted to thank you again for a great event. I had a wonderful time, and I'm looking forward to tackling the rest of the series.
See you for the 300!
Be sure to check out Dan's Ride Report and Blog.
Bill Beck, Mordecai, and Matthew Farrell (left to right) stocking up at the Wind Gap controle.
(below) Matt Farrell and Rick, back at the hostel, along with Joe Brown (right). Matt, Rick, and Joe were one of several Eastern PA Fleche teams at the PA200k.
Bill Beck and Rick Carpenter at the top of the Fox Gap climb. Bill is the new RBA for the DC Randonneurs. Bill writes "...Thanks for a great event on Saturday. Everyone from our area that I talked with were very impressed with your beautiful route, great
food, and the way everything was smoothly run. And you have some amazing powers over the weather!"
Check out Bill's photos along with fellow DC area randonneur, Ed Felker's ride report and his great pictures.
And here's what others had to say ...
"Wanted to say thanks again for such a well planned and executed ride yesterday. Mary and I had a great day
(except for my weird tire problem) and are still thinking of doing your 1000. I think the DC crowd will be talking about your 200 for a while!" -Kelly Smith
"Well done!" -Andrew Mead
"Wow Tom! How nice to get results so quickly. That totally rocks that everyone made it in under the wire. ... The first timers must have been so psyched. ... You put on a great brevet. Thanks for all your efforts on our behalves."
- Maile Neel
"Tom - Once again, thanks for putting together a great ride. I hope to make it up for the 400km next month."
"I hit the front that was forecast by 2 hrs west of Quakertown on the way home - temperatures dropping 20-30 deg, gusty winds over 30 mph. In contrast to the beautiful balmy 70 deg afternoon. All things considered, I was happy to be carrying all the clothes I didn't use, given such weather was so close. It was good seeing familiar faces from DC. I really like the ambiance of the hostel in Quakertown, in which it is easy to mingle. Thanks Tom."
-Jim Logan, Pittsburgh
"... Thank you again for the fabulous brevet that you ran last Saturday. The route was absolutely gorgeous and the terrain was just what we needed to tune up for the fleche! I'm really looking forward to seeing you and all of the fleche teams at the hostel, and I'm hoping we'll have more time to hang around and socialize. ...We're both on the mend and hope to be riding again this coming weekend!" -Crista Borras
Ron and Barbara Anderson (one of 4 tandem teams that came out this time) riding in the early morning mist.
Maile Neel (left) topping off with some oatmeal before the start while first time brevet rider, Dan Blumenfeld gets ready to ride. Check out Maile's photos.
(right) Rob Welsh, from Minnesota, crossing the Delware River bridge between Milford and Upper Black Eddy. Rob used his left hand as a cue sheet holder, for the entire ride! Rob writes: "Great ride - bring on the hills!"
Daniel Aaron and Carol Bell at the finish. Dan and I first met up on the Eastern Mountains PAC Tour back in 2000. Carol writes: "Many thanks for a spectacular ride on Saturday. Everything was so very well organized and planned; from the instruction sheets, the well thought out and spectacularly beautiful route, the breakfast, the stop on top of the hill and the post-ride dinner. I could go on, but you get the idea! It was a delight to just go out and ride my bike for the day. "
Laurent Chambard and Mordecai Silver at the hostel. Laurent writes: "... thank you for running again this great 200 of yours. It was really nice to be back to the Randonneuring community on two wheels rather than four. ...at Milford I was starting to wonder whether you hadn't decided to be kind to us this year. 10 miles later I stopped wondering, when reading Cafferty Rd on the cue sheet. One thing I particularly appreciated was the views on the Water Gap from above along the river road. ... We didn't meet this time my friend the black bear just before turning onto Rt 191. But we saw a lot of vultures along the way, clearly waiting for us to drop. You have obviously been advertising!"