Eastern PA 150/200K
(College Hill edition)
Saturday October 20, 2007
The strong thunderstorms over the previous day and night had left the roads very slick with wet leaves. Thankfully, all riders managed to negotiate these treacherous conditions without mishap. Congratulations to everybody, for getting around a challenging course without mishap.
Nearly ideal ... plenty of sunshine in the morning with some cloudy intervals in the afternoon. Temperature in the high 50's at the start getting up to the 70's during the day. Some strong west winds kicked up in the afternoon and helped push us along for the final stretch back to the finish.
Special Thanks to ...
- my wife Becky for helping out at the start and finish as well as allowing me to take over the house to put on the event.
First international participant, Colin Tan (left) from Singapore, at the start with Robin Landis. Colin is a business associate of local randonneur Rick Carpenter. Colin writes: "... thank you so much Rick for your hospitality in riding patiently with me even though I cannot make it to the full 200km. It was a great and fantastic experience for me and most of all I enjoyed the unique friendship of the Brevet. You are all so professional ... My salutation to all."
Robin writes: "... thank you for organizing a great ride. The weather was indeed spectacular ... the route was beautiful and beautifully designed, and you managed to introduce us to roads you haven't used in past versions of this brevet. There were very few cars, and the scenery was breathtaking. As usual, the cue sheets were impeccable, and the controles well chosen and nicely spaced. Finally, both the pre-ride breakfast and the post-ride barbecue were excellent--delicious and convivial. I don't know if you can take credit for the friendliness and good nature of the riders you attracted, but I thought the spirit of the ride exemplified the best of randonneuring. Just to give you one example, when I missed the turn onto Featherman (the cue sheet doesn't help if you don't read it), Paul Searce chased me down on his fixed gear to save me numerous miles. It was entirely self-less, and no one could have blamed him if he'd decided to save his legs for the climbs. It was a memorable ride from start to finish, and I'm looking forward to your series next year.
Rick Carpenter topping off with some java before the ride. Rick, along with Joe Brown, completed their PBP Qualifiers with the Eastern PA brevet series. Above, are their ACP medals that they received today.
Congratulation also, to fellow PA Super Randonneurs Ed Pavelka and Judson Hand. Ed also completed the PA1000k, clipping in just 5 days after finishing the PA600k!
(right) Riding through the viaduct in Bloomsbury.
Below, Brian Mazur riding along Javes Road near Milford. If all goes according to plan, Brian will be the new RBA for the NJ series in 2008. Best of Luck, Brian!
Last rider meeting of the season ... PBP07 ancien Mary Crawley on the far right, was the stoker partner for Kelley Smith from DC area. Brian Mazur (far left) and Guy Harris look on.
Main Street, Blairstown (left) and the offerings at the Gourmet Gallery controle (below).
Riding along Covered Bridge Road, as the shadows get longer in the fading afternoon sunlight.
Below, the view along Toll Gate Road, as we head north through the quiet back roads of Tinicum.
Mary Crawley, Colin Tan, and Kelly Smith at the finish, enjoying the post-ride BBQ. Kelly writes: Thanks for all your hospitality on top of the preparation of such a wonderful ride. Mary and I had a great time! We were both a little skittish on some of the descents, and glad the route didn't include 'our' hill, but had a WONDERFUL day.
Mary adds: "I wanted to thank you and Becky for putting on Saturday's 200k. Kelly and I had a great ride. Talking it over on the drive back to my house, we agreed that we are both "way over" last year's mishap (as my kids would say). ... getting together for breakfast on your porch gave us all a chance to meet the new riders and catch up with our riding buddies. And having barbecue afterwards in your kitchen allowed everyone to discuss their rides. All in all, it made for an excellent end to the season. Your family's hospitality made a great day perfect. As usual, your route showed off the area at its best, but more than that, your generosity in sharing your home with us all showed off randonneuring as a, what. . .sport? Endeavor? Whatever it is, it's fun!
Barbara and Ron Anderson, crossing the Delaware River at Belvidere. Ron writes: "Thanks for putting on a fall brevet that proved to be a splendid cap on our 2007 randonneuring season. The route through Eastern PA and Northwestern NJ was challenging and very scenic. ... The portion of the route that stands out in my mind most is the "stinger" of a climb up Buttermilk Rd. at the 84 milepost of our journey and the subsequent wide, fast descent (complete with ~20 mph tailwind) down Lower Saucon Road which seemed to be taylor made for a tandem.. Coming back to PA for a brevet reminded us of our first-ever brevet at last year's edition of the Fall 100k, and all the accomplishments Barbara and I have notched in our first season of randonneuring on the trusty Burley since then. Back on that fateful day in October 2006 we entered your ride with curiosity about the randonneuring scene, but no real intentions of joining RUSA or attempting any longer brevets. Since then, we have successfully completed 400k and 600k brevets in the 2007 NJ series and had a lot of fun and met a lot of new friends along the way! It has been an adventure in the truest sense of the word! ... we look forward to seeing you and all our other randonneuring pals on the road again next spring!
Below, the view heading up Lomasson's Glen. Overnight rains left the nearby streams flush with water
Back again in Pennsylvania, riding up to the ridge in Tinicum along Red Cliff road. These roads leading up the many steep ridges we traversed were very colorful, with the Fall foilage nearly at peak.
(left) The view along Fleecy Dale Road, on the way to the Carversville General Store controle (below).
(below and right) At the top of Cafferty Road, as some passing clouds briefly filter the afternoon sunlight.
(below) Pumpkins for sale at Trauger's Farm along Rt 611 near Riegelsville. The canal on the right was part of a major trade route during the late 1800's. Barges were pulled by mules along the adjacent towpath
14 Registered riders
6 Registered riders
Paul Scearce at the post-ride BBQ. Once again, Paul got around the 200k course on a fixed-gear. That's two-for-two, for him. Amazing! Paul did indicate that he may consider bringing along some gears for next time. I suspect it will be some time before somebody else attempts to duplicate this audacious feat.
Paul writes: "This was a great ride, and in a beautiful area. Also, since I am used to riding alone, I greatly enjoyed the novelty of having company on the road. I spent several pleasant hours riding with Guy, Robin, and Mordecai. Having ridden the Spring and Fall 200k, I got the distinct impression the Fall version was more challenging. I have no trouble believing Laurent, though when he says you could have made it much tougher. I look forward to doing more riding in that area in the future.
NJ RBA Laurent Chambard and Joe Brown at the post-ride BBQ. Laurent writes: "Many thanks for a great ride, as close as it gets to perfection in the best tradition of the Eastern PA series. I realized that you guys up North-West have much better foliage colours this year than we have had on the coast (last week's NYC-200 really pales in comparison in terms of foliage, unlike last year). This made the ride a constant enjoyment. I also want to thank you for being so charitable to us, perhaps contrary to reputation. You sent us up all these ridges by the easiest possible way that I am aware of, and I kept thinking how much worse (i.e. more hilly) a route of similar distance could be put together going in these very same places. Please don't regard this note as an encouragment to do so!!!
Joe adds "Thank you for a very nice day, a fun dinner, and of course the medal plaque. But most of all thank you for introducing me to randonneuring. It's been exactly one year ,14 brevets, and one PBP since I bumped into your website. You opened a whole new world to me. Hopefully you captured some more folks yesterday. What a great time!
Joe has posted some additional photos, available at this link.
Walter Pettigrew and Dawn Engstrom at the finish. Walter, unexpectedly met up with an old friend along the way. Read his account of this weird coincidence by following this link.
Before the ride, Dawn had indicated to me that she hadn't been able to get as much hill climbing in lately as she would've liked (being that the area she regularly rides in is pretty flat). She was looking for "... some hard stuff to get me ready to ride 240 miles in 24 hours for next April's Fleche." ... Well Dawn, you and Walter had an excellent result on the PA200k and you passed this challenge with flying colors. I'd say you were well on track for your goals next year!
Below, first time participants, Carl June and James Wilson hanging on to the fast tandem piloted by Kelly Smith and stoked by Mary Crawley. I was actually thinking that Kelly and Mary, riding the 200k course might catch up to me riding the 150k course! Carl and Jim, making the transition from ultra-running to ultra-cycling, turned in an excellent result for their first brevet. They were among the first finishers of the 200k course, coming in with fellow first finisher and PBP07 ancien Joe Brown (who took this photo). Carl writes: "Jim and I are hooked!"
A final word from your RBA ...
.... thanks for coming on out and clipping in this year for the Eastern PA brevets. Putting these events together is a labor of love -- your kind remarks makes it all worth while and really helps me keep going. Hope to see you all again, next year.
Eastern PA RBA