Pennsylvania Randonneurs

Four State
400K Brevet

Saturday 11 May 2024
04:00 EDT Start Time

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Four State 400K Brevet

Saturday 11 May 2024
04:00 EDT Start Time

Start Location

Chamounix Carriage House Hostel

3250 Chamounix Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19131

Chamounix Carriage House

Chamounix, also known as Montpelier, is a historic home located in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Federal-style house was built in 1802 by George Plumsted who was a wealthy Philadelphia merchant, then enlarged to nearly double its original size by subsequent owners after 1853.

We will use the Carriage House for our start, finish, registration, and lodging. The Carriage House is the building on the left before the eyelet loop at the end of Chamounix Drive.  Do not confuse the Carriage House with the Mansion, which is partway around the loop on the right.


Please park cars along Chamounix Drive in front of the Carriage House. Do not park back in the circle by the mansion or on the side alley to the left of the Carriage house. Park on the left side of Chamounix drive within easy view of the front porch of the Carriage house.  Park end-in, not parallel to the curb.

We believe that Chamounix is a generally safe place that is convenient and comfortable, but there have been instances of petty theft in the area. Do not leave valuables in your car. There should be nothing visible that might tempt thieves. If you must leave clothes and minor gear someplace during the event, it would be best to leave these inside the Carriage House, but please don't leave anything of great value. Thank you for your understanding.


Parking Layout


There are other free on-street parking alternatives a short distance away, including along W Ford Rd, that may be a safer alternative. Several commercial parking garages are also nearby. The Hilton City Ave garage is an off-street, fenced lot nearby and costs only $13 per day.

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.


Riders are advised to make sleeping arrangements at or near the start/finish. Please don't try to drive a long distance before or after a tough brevet.  Multiple options are available.



As you approach the finish control there are two buildings in the cul-de-sac eyelet. We are in the Carriage House on the left awaiting you with refreshments and eager to hear your tall tales, some of which might even be true.


This event needs volunteers for the following jobs:

Contact Organizer to Volunteer.

Ride Description

By the time you hand in your brevet card to the bureau, your paperwork will prove that you’ve visited four states in one ride. What it won't indicate, though, is how many hills you climbed to accomplish this feat.

The adventurous route starts out in our home state of Pennsylvania, taking off from Chamounix using the first 20 miles of the Tscheschter Kaundi brevet. The early miles feature a control on the South Street Bridge in Philadelphia with a view of the city before it wakes up. The route then follows a marked local commuter route called Bicyclists Baltimore Pike to Swarthmore and then continues southeast on Smithbridge Road.

Next, the route crosses Smith's Covered Bridge over Brandywine Creek and enters the second state of the ride, Delaware. After the bridge, riders can look to the hills on the left and see one of the historic estates of the Du Pont family called the Granogue Estate. It is especially beautiful in the early morning light. We turn onto Creek Road along the scenic Red Clay Creek on the way to a control in Hockessin. After filling up with goodies from Wawa, riders continue on to another creek named after a color of clay, White Clay Creek.

Precisely at mile 47.1, while on Hopkins Road, the route returns to Pennsylvania, but only for a 200-foot stretch of road. Just a few feet into the woods on the left side of the road, riders can get a glimpse of the Delaware Arc Monument. This marks the point where the Delaware Arc meets the Mason Dixon Line. After the short stretch of PA road, the route enters the "Delaware Wedge," a wedge-shaped piece of land belonging to Delaware between the Arc and the Mason Dixon. This was a disputed piece of land between PA and DE during the 19th century. At one point in recent years, long after the dispute was settled, the local government attempted an April Fools' Day joke by claiming that the land would be returned to PA.

The route then enters the third state of the ride, Maryland. It returns to just-above sea level when riders near the Elk River and a control in Elkton. Before Las Vegas became a destination, Elkton was known as the place to go for a quick marriage due to more restrictive laws in nearby towns and cities. Use that trivia to remember at the control: quickness is the theme because there is still a long way to go on this brevet. After Elkton, the route follows quiet and winding roads along the scenic Little Elk Creek.

The route re-enters PA through Chester County and sends riders past the town of Oxford and Lincoln University, one of the nation's first HBCUs. As the route continues north, the landscape will change and begin to resemble Pennsylvania Dutch Country. The route enters Lancaster County as it crosses Octoraro Creek. After climbing over Mine Ridge, riders will fly into the Conestoga River Valley and the heart of PA Dutch Country. There is a postal control in the town of Bird-In-Hand. Legend has it that the town's name was inspired by the expression "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." The Bird-in-Hand Bakery is a great spot to stop for a snack, but there are also many other Amish bakeries and farmstores along this section of the route.

Lancaster County can be challenging riding terrain due to the exposed nature of the landscape. Strong winds, a lack of shade, and endless amounts of rolling hills can make for tough riding. In recent PAR 400s, the Lancaster section came in the second half of the ride, adding an extra layer of challenge. Fortunately for this 400, riders will leave Lancaster behind before the halfway point. It officially leaves PA Dutch Country as it climbs up Hammertown Rd and into the hills of the Hopewell Big Woods. After passing over these hills, riders  descend into the Schuylkill River Valley and to a Turkey Hill control in Birdsboro, which marks the midpoint of the route. Be sure to stock up on water and food because there is plenty more riding and climbing to come. By this point, riders will have completed more than half of the route's climbing, but the three biggest climbs are still ahead.

The route leaves Birdsboro, crosses the Schuylkill River, and rides through the scenic and historic Oley Valley. As riders head into the valley, they may begin to feel as though they are surrounded by mountains due to the horseshoe shape of the hills known as the Reading Prong. The climb out of the valley is on Oysterdale Road. 

Later in this section, riders will stop at a Wawa in Coopersburg and then ride around the infamous Flint Hill, avoiding a big climb and saving their legs for the last major climb of the day on Staats Road. Be sure to thank the RBA for sparing the riders from the Flint Hill climb. The designer of this route loves these kinds of climbs and included it in the original version.

Next, riders continue heading northeast and enter our fourth state, New Jersey. Don't plan on a simple trip across the river, though. After a control in Bloomsbury, the route makes its final big climb over Staats Road, another climb known to many PA Randos. The most challenging roads have the best rewards though. After the tough climb, riders will enjoy a winding creekside descent on Myler, Sunset Hollow, and Javes Roads. The next section is along flat terrain through the river towns of Milford and Frenchtown. We cross the Lumberville-Raven Rock Foot Bridge over the Delaware River into Pennsylvania. Once riders reach Doylestown, those who completed the Covered Bridges 200 and Water & Wind 300 will recognize the rest of the route back to Philadelphia.

Join your fellow randonneurs at the Chamounix Carriage House for a buffet and share your epic tales.

There are several steep, extended climbs and an endless array of non-flat roads on this route.  A triple or 39x27 is highly recommended.


Course History

Course Record 2023-05-13: Greg Lang (19:49, 20.2 kph)

General Info

This ride is a randonneur style bicycle event under the sanction of Randonneurs USA and Audax Club Parisian. Completing this event can help you train and qualify for Paris-Brest-Paris and earn RUSA and ACP  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 also accepts Electronic Proof of Passage (EPP), but the only form of EPP accepted  is the eBrevet cell phone app. (Version 1.2.4 minimum required). Your finish time and finish code from the EPP app must be written on the paper card or you will 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.  There is no sag wagon. Complete several ordinary century cycling events before starting a 200K brevet;  complete several 200Ks before starting a longer brevet.


Registration Fee

For PA Rando members: $80
There is an extra $10 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.


Breakfast buffet at the start, dinner buffet at the finish.

Lodging at the Start-Finish

Pre-registration required.
Registration closes 23:59 EDT, Saturday 4 May

Note: You must already have RUSA membership before you can register for this event. RUSA Membership applications take 3-5 business days to be processed by a human volunteer, so plan accordingly.


03:00 Sign-in, Bike Inspection
03:50 Rider meeting
04:00 EDT Riders depart


Finish Cutoff: 07:00 EDT 12 May 2024 (27 hours)

Daylight Hours

Sunrise: 05:46
Sunset: 20:08

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: Philadelphia, PA.

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.

Questions About This Event?

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