Wet here, wetter at the PA 400K

While later finishers on the D.C. Randonneurs 300K last weekend were blasting through driving rain and sheltering from lightning, our randonneuring brethren faced the same conditions, over another 100K, on Tom Rosenbauer’s PA Randonneurs 400K.

DCR members Kelly Smith, on tandem with the unstoppable Mary Crawley, Chip Adams, and New Jersey’s own Bill Olsen were among 23 finishers. Tom reports on his excellent site that later finishers were out in the rain for six hours or more. He calls it “a gritty, character building experience, to say the least,” and who’s to argue?

I like that Tom posts his own report and adds comments and reports, so we can compare the organizer’s view with the experiences of the riders. Invariably, the riders are a lot more descriptive of the hills!

Tom’s doing a great job and it’s worth the drive if you can get to one of his rides.

Here is an excerpt from a story on the ride by John Dennis:

Leaving Pottstown, we still had a tad under 36 miles to cover, which at 12 mph would take us another 3 hours or well after 3am. It was not a happy thought. I was running on fumes and I wrongly assumed that Dan was using the back-up copy of his cue sheets. If I had known, he was still using his first set, I would have asked for his second copy. Dan had programmed the course into his Garmin GPS and he explained that once on a given road, we could ride willy-nilly until the Garmin warned him that the next turn was coming up, whereupon he could then read the details from his Garmin or on his cue sheet or both. It all sounded like technology at its best. But then we arrived at the intersection of Smith Road and Swamp Pike. The cue sheet instructed us to turn left onto Swamp Pike from Smith. The problem was we had reached Smith while already traveling on Swamp Pike. In our fatigued state, we were totally flummoxed by this development. We had no map and the one or two cars that passed us by were clearly not stopping. We dithered and I felt a bone-numbing tiredness start to creep into me. Finally, I mustered up the imagination to pretend we had just reached Swamp Pike from Smith. Duh! I made the indicated left turn, traveled the 0.0 miles indicated and, voila, there was our next road waiting for us, Steinmetz. We could practically have swung a wet dead cat to it from where we had been dithering.

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