Eastern PA Fleche
April 24-27, 2008
44 Registered riders
10 Registered teams
9 Starting teams
8 Finishing teams
Those teams opting for the Friday night start, made a good choice to avoid the torrential downpours Saturday night. And it appears that the teams going through southern PA got the worse of it ... those teams coming from NJ at least stayed dry until about 3AM while other teams had rain the entire night. Temperatures ranged from high 70's during the day, plunging down to the low 40's during the damp overnight hours.
Special Thanks ...
... to all the Team Captains for organizing their teams and putting together the routes.
Team Quivering Fleche was the first arrival at the hostel finish. Team captain Mark Sheehan led fellow teammates Dan Barbasch, Blaine Chamberlain and William Fischer from their start in Ithaca, NY. All was going to plan until they got to the Delaware River National Recreation Area. They had intended to get over the Appalachians the "easy" way via Water Gap. But instead, their GPS sent them up over Millbrook road through Blairstown, NJ. This climb made Bicycling Magazine's list of Top 100 Climbs.
Team IL Berks Bricconi at their 22-hr controle in Perkiomenville. From left to right, team captain Rick Carpenter, George Metzler, Joe Brown, Matt Farrell, and
Father and son below pictured below.
(left) Riding through the Lancaster area in the early morning mist.
Crossing the Delware River (above) and at the hostel finish (left). Below is Team IL Berks Bricconi's route. Rick Carpenter went on to ride an additional 40k for his 400k Shenandoah qualifier.
The Fleche Pedalers, led by Maile Neel (below center) are the first team to arrive on Sunday morning. Lowell Grubbs and Lara Sullivan are happy to be out of the cold rain.
I was extremely happy to see the Fleche Pedalers prevail through the abysmal weather conditions on Saturday night. After Bill Beck informed me (at 12:30 AM) of Fleche in the Penn's withdrawal due to unsafe conditions, I seriously wondered if any more teams would be finishing. Read Bill Beck's account here and Check out Maile's photo album here.
(above) The warm stove in the kitchen was a popular hangout while waiting for support crew to arrive with dry cloths.
The Fleche Pedaler's route below allowed them to bank some time on the flats, helping them manage with the rain and hilly terrain at the end.
Italian Ice, led by Chip Adams (left front) arriving with fellow teammates Robert Casciato (below) and
Greg Conderacci (left back). Teammate Clint Provenza got within 30 miles of the finish but had to withdraw due to hypothermia.
In the "it's a small world" department: Greg Conderacci and I first met on the 2004 edition of the Northern PAC Tour.
Read the complete Italian Ice report here. Below is their route -- they take the honors of being the biggest over achievers in terms of credited mileage and climbing. As if that were not enough, they had to cover over 36K between their 22-hr control and the finish, with several 300'+ climbs thrown in just to make it interesting!
(left) Taking a slight detour from my morning ride to the Milford Bakery, I met up with Team Fixed-Gear Fleche at their start in Asbury, NJ. From left to right, team captain Bill Olsen and teammates Guy Harris and Paul Scearce.
(right) And here they are at the finish (Gears? we don't need no stinkn' gears!). Paul Scearce has distinguished himself by finishing both the Spring and Fall editions of the PA200k in 2007 on his fixie. The successful fleche makes his brevet record a perfect 3 for 3! Below is their route.
(above left) Team Les Escargots Volants led by Janice Chernekoff arrives with fellow teammates Laurent Chambard
Joe Fillip and Katie Raschdorf. Katie (above right) is all smiles while Laurent catches up with some sleep. Their route is below.
Team Stone Pony led by Paul Shapiro at the finish with fellow teammates Ron Anderson, Judson Hand, Todd Kerekes, and Joe Kratovil. Their route, shown below, was grand tour of New Jersey WaWa's. They met up with the Fixed-Gear Fleche riders on several occasions as their routes crossed one another.
Jud was able to expunge last year's fleche DNF ... read Jud's ride report of the icy cold, 2007 NJ Fleche here.
Cumberland Cruisers at the finish, led by Walt Pettigrew, along with fellow riders William Charlton,
Dawn Engstrom and Rick Lentz. Dawn had just completed her longest ride to date, the PA200k in the Fall of 2007 before taking on the PA Fleche.
Their route below, also visited a fair number of the ever popular WaWa convenience stores.
Below, is the route of the Fleche in the Penn.
Below, is the route of Team Carnivore (who was not able to clip in for the start, due to illness and a teammate not able to ride).
Below, are the routes of the Fleche in the Penn and Team Carnivore. Team Carnivore was not able to clip in for the start, due to illness and a teammate not able to ride.