Eastern PA 300K
Saturday April 21, 2007
17 Registered riders
0 DNF (Did not finish) 100% completion!
In looking over the rider list before the event, I knew we had a fine group of randonneurs clipping in at the start. The 100% completion rate confirmed this ... Congratulations to everybody, for your success in getting around a challenging course.
Nearly ideal ... plenty of sunshine. Temperature low 40's at the start getting up to the upper 70's and mid 80's during the day. Some north west winds were a bit unfavorable for the long stretch along Rt97 but gave most riders a nice boost from Lake Wallenpaupack to Dingmans Ferry.
Special Thanks to ...
- Brian Mazur for manning the 'Revitalement Controle' and dealing with an unhappy Park Ranger.
- Nate Morgenstern for leading the way with the sign-in sheets and helping out at the finish controle. Nate also suggested the Hawk's Nest destination and contributed to some of the routing decisions.
- Steve Scheetz for helping out at start controle with bike inspections.
- Curtis Palmer, Andrew Mead, and Brian Mazur for sharing some photos.
- And lastly, my wife Becky for helping out at the end as well as allowing me to take over the house to put on the event.
First finisher, Nate Morgenstern packing the sign-in sheets at the start. He writes:
"What a fantastic day you ordered up for us on Saturday! Mucho gracias also to Becky, your equally pleasant counterpart, and to Brian for setting up the Revitalement Controle early... Even if I say so myself, the course was magnificent. Then again I've always enjoyed riding up or down Old Mine Rd and climbing over Hawk's Nest and adding to my string of 55+ mph descents of Millbrook Rd (fastest is 62, but only hit 56 this time). The Layton Store is a great little stop--only sorry I didn't take the time to have my usual bowl of soup there, but the fresh coffee and buttered roll hit the spot. I took just enough time to drop off the sign-in sheet at the Port Jervis Diner and thank Ben for his company from Layton before heading off into the wind solo. The Wallenpaupack Cafe was a friendly place after that seemingly unending climb up Rte. 6 to get there. I was happy to have another buttered roll waiting for Ed and Rick to offer me company until they stopped for water as cautioned by your cue sheet note. From there the wind was my friend and the Delaware River my companion for most of the return route...not a bad way to spend the afternoon! Thanks again for all the preparation you put into this brevet. I'm certain everyone loved the course."
Headed on out in the chilly (low 40's!) early morning air
Crossing the Roebling Bridge and visiting the Exhibit center
Riding along Knowlton Rd with Delaware Water Gap in the distance
Paul Kramer (left) making a quick stop at the Layton Country Store and Peter Dusel (left below) at the Port Jervis Diner. Paul and Peter teamed up together at the end, sharing the final miles from Dingmans Ferry. Pete writes:
"As for the PA 300k, for one with few base miles this year and little climb training, "Death March" comes to mind, but doesn't quite do it justice. About 14,000' of climb, finishing 13 minutes before the cutoff and 7 hours behind the first finisher, gives a feel for how bad I felt....
The weather was nice, if a bit warm for me. It was front loaded with heavy climbing, and a very long gentle up hill following the Delaware and Lackawaxen rivers up stream with a mild headwind in the heat of the day, near 80, left me drained. Of course, the wind died when we started heading back. ... and noticing that my pump straps weren't holding anything at about the 2 mile mark wasn't pleasant either. Luckily, the pump was still in the car at the start, about 2 miles back up hill from where I was. That took a quick 20 minutes to go back and fetch. Tom, the ride organizer, was just starting and we rode together for a couple controls.
Almost the entire course was on roads with little or no traffic. ....The section through the Delaware Gap National Recreation Area was signposted at 15 MPH with nary a car in sight. The views were nice, the people at all the controles pleasant and supportive. (Mostly counter people at diners) The revialtalization controle on a desolate stretch was well appreciated. The bridge at Dingman's Ferry, the last private bridge over the Delaware, was interesting, as well as the other river crossings. ... The streams and falls were all running heavy from the recent rains. We hit three states that I know of, PA, NJ, and NY. I rode the last 100k or so with Paul, whom I'd been passing back and forth at controles. We rolled in just before the cut off to a welcome shower and a few hours rest before driving home." -Pete
Main Street, Blairstown (left) and the offerings at the Gourmet Gallery controle (below).
Riding along the Lackawaxen River (above) and crossing it (above right). The river is named after the Indian word for "Swift Waters", appropriately enough for Saturday's post-deluge ride. Despite all the rain we had the week before and temperatures in the 80's, some snow still manages to hang on as can be seen above the river bank in the photo on the right!
Linda McAdams and Curtis Palmer on Old Mine Rd.
Linda writes: "A big THANKS to you and Becky for opening your home to all of us. It really made for a special and "personal" brevet. You two are the best! Also, I have to tell you that this was my favorite brevet of all times. Sure, the weather was a big factor. However, even if it hadn't been such a beautiful day, the scenic route and the perfect terrain would have still made it a standout. Again, thanks for making it a really great day." - Linda
Curtis adds: "Great ride yesterday. Going to head out a bit later to spin some of the soreness out of my legs. :-) Thanks for your hospitality too. We had a great time."
Judson Hand unclipping as he arrives at the Revitalement Controle. Jud writes:
"The elevation profile for this year's new PA 300k promised plenty of climbing and the ride did not disappoint. Tom, once again you have delivered a very demanding and beautiful course. Hawk's Nest and Delaware Water Gap were great places to ride, as was the bank of the Lackawaxen River. The cue sheet was easy to follow and quite accurate. Thanks to you and Becky for opening your house to us riders, Iceman (a.k.a. Brian Mazur) for providing food and drink along the way and Nate for checking us in at the end.
As much as I enjoyed the ride and the warm weather, mechancial glitches and a mental breakdown almost did me in. Both times, Curtis Palmer appeared like a guardian angel, saving my ride each time. I struggled with a slipping chain the first 100 miles. Finally, while I was riding along the Lackawaxen River, it broke. Curtis and Andy Mead happened to pass by shortly afterward and Curtis had a spare link and chain tool (something I will be carrying myself from now on). I then managed to leave my brevet card at a deli in Birchwood Lakes (last food stores for 40 miles on the cue sheet). I realized this at the Dingman's Ferry controle and rode back 1 1/2 miles uphill on Route 739 before watching Curtis, Andy and Ben Tufford screaming down the other direction. Curtis was waving his arm and shouting, "I've got your brevet card." Thanks, Curtis. Save #2.
A difficult day in some respects for me, but ultimately extremely rewarding, the way a brevet should be." -Jud
Arriving with Jud, in the pictures to the left, are Andrew Mead, 'Saint' Curtis Palmer (Jud's Guardian Angel), and Ben Tufford.
Brian Mazur (yellow shirt), manning the Revitalement Controle writes: "... A special thanks goes to Tom, our RBA who designed this scenic and challenging course of which I only got to ride a small portion because I was manning a controle. Putting these events together is a lot of hard work and volunteering is my special way of saying Thank You to Tom for doing this for us. I would like to encourage more Randonneurs to do the same; if you’re not riding, you could be volunteering. Let’s help Tom continue to makes these events a success!"
Good point Brian! ... without volunteers like you stepping up to help out, it wouldn't be possible to keep these events going.
Riders (above) headed back to the Water Gap in the afternoon twilight.
Len Zawodniak (right) at the Dingmans Ferry controle: "Thanks tom for a great route. It was challenging, but so scenic that you didn't even realize you were climbing And thanks, Steve, for helping make my ride a success."
I had the pleasure of joining the 'Steve Scheetz and Len duo' for the final segment near Dingmans Ferry to the finish.
Len Zawodniak and Steve Scheetz (above) at the finish. Steve writes:
"Whatever else I bring up about this ride, the weather was FLAWLESS! I arrived a little more than an hour early, at Tom and Becky Rosenbauer’s house. ...The next hour went by rapidly due to everyone showing up, and my having the job of double checking everyone’s lighting. I knew and shared the road with about half of the people who showed up, but I have to say that everyone, who I had the pleasure of chatting with, was just super! Randonneurs are an interesting group of people, as a whole!
The first stretch took us out of Easton, ...We passed familiar territory as we rode through Belvidere, and the 16,000 feet of climbing was first demonstrated between there and Blairstown, where we hit some steep grades. These definitely reminded us that we are mortal!
...I was on roads that I had been on just two weeks ago. However, this time, it was not dark, and it DEFINITELY was not 22 degrees out! So we cruised through the endless nowhere, that now, having seen it in the daytime, did not seem quite so severely empty. Through the forest we went, as I was now joined by Guy Harris and Len Zawodniak. These guys were great, because we had some nice conversation, and we were making some good time to Port Jervis. ... to an area called Hawk’s Nest. What a beautiful road! The climb was a bit steep, but I found myself remembering why it was that I chose “Red Tail Hawk” as my totem for the Furnace Creek 508. The hawks were all over the place, and it was just an awesome sight to see! (I wish I remembered to charge my camera before I left, but there is now an excuse to visit that place again!) ....We were all thinking about the big climb that came in about 100 or so miles into the ride, because in the profile it looked tough! In fact, some of the big rollers we were on long before that were beginning to fill us with dread over what we would find once we got there.
However, Tom said in the morning, and he was absolutely correct, the big climb was not that brutal, and the area really was so scenic that if someone didn’t mention it before hand, I really would not have known that I was climbing! The next control was literally at the top of the hill, and could not have come at a better time had we paid someone to move it! .... Pausing briefly at the last convenience store before entering the “endless nowhere,” we were pleasantly surprised to link up with Tom, who we wound up finishing the ride with. ...
At the finish was Becky Rosenbauer, who was UNBELIEVABLY GRACIOUS to all of us! She allowed Tom to open their home to us, on an event that would basically keep their home open for 20+ hours, plus handling the riders coming in before Tom’s finish! There was food in the form of some of the best soup I have had, I think EVER!! It was just a great experience! Thanks to Guy, Len, and Tom for sharing the road. You guys made the ride fun!"
At the finish: Joe Brown (above), Ben Tufford (middle), and Nate Morgenstern (above right).
Andrew Mead, Rick Carpenter and Linda McAdams (right).