An even dozen D.C. Randonneurs (counting Mary Crawley as one of ours!) traveled to Quakertown, PA Saturday for the PA Randonneurs 200.
After a pre-ride group dinner at the popular McCoole’s Red Lion Inn in Quakertown, we went back to our hotel and hostel beds to dread the forecast of showers throughout the day Saturday.
We gathered under rain at the Weisel Hostel and Tom Rosenbauer delayed the start when thunder and lightning rolled through. It was very ominous. Yet the rain had tapered to a mist as we departed at 6:15 a.m. and we rode the rest of the day under partly sunny skies, save for a sprinkle in the afternoon when the winds shifted from the south to the west. Temperatures climbed into the low 70s and we drank a lot of water.
A total of 37 riders (Tom pre-rode the route, bringing the official field to 38) undertook the loop route that consisted of four long ascents and numerous little steeps along the Delaware River, alternating winding descents, riverside romps and slow crawls back to high ground. There were four tandems: Chuck and Crista, Mary and Kelly, me and MG, and Ron and Barbara of Hamilton, N.J. on a well-equipped Burley Paso Doble. There were many excellent randonneur bikes on this ride — I’ll post about them this week.
Tom had a terrific route, beautiful and challenging. Chuck logged about 9,700 feet of ascent on his GPS. It felt harder because most of the climbing was steep, such as Fox Gap, which had sections of 13 percent. On our tandem, that’s about 4.3 m.p.h., or more than 30 minutes to climb the 2.6 miles to the top of Fox Gap. Oof!
In all, the event was well run and Tom took very good care of us. We’ll be back for more.