Pennsylvania Randonneurs

Dark Skies
200K Brevet

Saturday 6 July 2024
21:00 EDT Start Time

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Dark Skies 200K Brevet

Saturday 6 July 2024
21:00 EDT Start Time

Start Location


132 N Main St
Wellsville, NY 14895


Wellsville is a quaint little town in New York's Southern Tier, not far from the PA border. The village's name is not, as some suppose, derived from the oil wells that became an important economic part of the area, but rather for Gardiner Wells, a local businessman who was, according to local history, the one person who didn't show up for the meeting when the residents were naming the town.

These days, the most exiting event in Wellsville is the annual Balloon Rally.

Food wise (always a bike rider's priority), there are several excellent options for fueling up before a night brevet. Check the cue sheet for the "official" start location, but two good pre-ride meal options might be Texas Hot or the Beef Haus. Both of these close at 9PM. There's also a 24 hour 7-11 convenience store.

Texas Hot


Parking is available at some on-street locations. Also, there is a large lot at the UR Jones Memorial Hospital 191 N Main St just past the Marathon gas station. Please heed all posted signs and prohibitions regarding parking.

Suggested parking locations for the start/finish are public places, with theft and vandalism a real possibility, especially in cities. Park during the event at your own risk. Please do not leave valuables in your car during the ride.


There are several nearby hotels, including the relatively upscale Microtel on Main St, and the less expensive Budget Inn and Best Inn out on 417.


After the night brevet a good place to gather for a post-ride breakfast is at Modern Diner, open at 5AM.

Ride Description

Cherry Spring SP

Beat the heat with a cool summer-night brevet through an area with the darkest skies in the Eastern USA, Cherry Spring State Park.

The ride begins in Wellsville, NY.   We will gather for a pre-ride meal  Texas Hot and then ride off into the darkness at 9PM, well after sunset.

Due to the evening riding hours and the VERY rural route, there are very few services.  The first chance to refuel is in Galeton, PA at mile 49.  Faster riders might also make it to Trails End pub in Germania (mile 56) before closing time  The next and last chance to refuel will be in Coudersport at mile 82 so, riders will need to have enough fluid and fuel on the bike for the first 49 and last 46 miles of the course.

Cherry Springs SPAfter Trails End, the route passes through Cherry Springs. Cherry Springs State Park was named Pennsylvania's first dark sky park by the DCNR in 2000. The International Dark-Sky Association named it the second "International Dark Sky Park"; under optimum conditions the Milky Way casts a discernible shadow. Cherry Springs has received national press coverage and hosts two star parties a year, which attract hundreds of astronomers.

After Cherry Springs, you will reach Coudersport, which has several claims to fame. The newly re-opened Coudersport Ice Mine is a popular tourist attraction in Coudersport. The mine freezes with ice in the summer, and the ice melts in the winter.  Coudersport was the home of "Untouchable" Eliot Ness at the time of his death, and there is an Eliot Ness museum in town. Coudersport is also infamous for being the home of  John Rigas of Adelphia Communications.  Adelphia was a cable tv  conglomerate and Rigas donated huge amounts of money to the local economy,  unfortunately, his cable company was essentially a ponzi scheme and things ended badly for Couderspot and the Rigas family. 

As noted above. the Coudersport Sheetz will be the last open service on the route. It's designated as a merchant timed control, please get a receipt if possible and stock up on fluids and fuel to get you to the finish.

After the Coudersport Sheetz, there is one last climb before a postcard control in Shinglehouse, PA, and then about 20 easy miles back to Wellsville and breakfast at Modern Diner.

All riders must be prepared with adequate reflective gear and a lighting system that will last for over 8 hours of night riding. It's recommended to have a headlamp and/or flashlight. There will be NO MOON and other than from the milky way (which they say casts a shadow) there will be NO LIGHT.

Services along the route are mostly closed during the period of this event, so all riders should prepare to ride  self-contained with ample food and water.

Course History

Course Record 2024-07-06: Patrick Gaffney (09:58, 20.1 kph)

General Info

This ride is a randonneur style bicycle event under the sanction of Randonneurs USA. Completing this event can help you train for Paris-Brest-Paris and earn RUSA  awards.  You need a current RUSA membership to ride this event. You can sign up for RUSA here.

First time riding with PA Randonneurs? Read an overview of what to expect on your first PA brevet. All participants are obliged to follow the rules for riders as well as local vehicle laws (PA, NJ, NY). Safety is a primary concern. All riders must sign a waiver. Please read these Safety Instructions.

To receive credit for finishing a randonneuring event you must complete a brevet card as required by the rules. PA Randonneurs accepts traditional brevet cards filled out with stamps/signatures and backed up with merchant receipts. PA Randonneurs encourages use of the eBrevet cell phone app. (Version 1.3 minimum required) as an electronic brevet card assistant. Nevertheless, you must check into all controls on the app -- or provide traditional proof for each control. Your finish time and finish code from the  app must be written on the paper card, along with your signature, or you may be disqualified.

These events are not for beginners.  The courses are hilly. You may face extremes of weather: heat, cold, wind, rain. The roads are unmarked and open to automobile traffic. There will be night riding in the longer events.   Complete several ordinary century cycling events before starting a 200K brevet;  complete several 200Ks before starting a longer brevet.


Registration Fee

Pennsylvania Randonneurs members ride FREE!
There is an extra $25 charge for registration if you are not a member of Pennsylvania Randonneurs.
Pre-payment only. Day-of-event payment is not available for this event.
Registration is closed for this event.


20:00 Sign-in, Bike Inspection
20:50 Rider meeting
21:00 EDT Riders depart


Finish Cutoff: 10:30 EDT 7 July 2024 (13 hours, 30 minutes)

Daylight Hours

Sunrise: 05:37
Sunset: 20:34

The hours for this event extend beyond daytime. Riding at night without appropriate reflective gear and lights will result in an immediate disqualification. See the rules Article 10 for requirements. See the reflectivity guide for best practices.


Weather forecast for start location: Wellsville, NY.

This event runs rain or shine. Rides are sometimes postponed or canceled if there is a significant chance of extreme conditions that threaten safety (e.g. ice, snow, high winds). Check the message board for last minute announcements.

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