DC Randonneurs 400K: Sun & Fun, Mostly…

UPDATE: Russ Morris has posted photos and David Ripton has written a report. See the photos by Russ Here and David’s report at his Not Even My Wife Reads This blog. Thanks guys!

The D.C. Randonneurs 400K ACP brevet went off Saturday from Frederick, Md. and 37 riders were greeted with some of the best weather of the year. Sunny skies, low humidity, and an afternoon tailwind worked to keep us smiling.

The highlight, besides the terrific four-state course by Lynn Kristianson, was the 18th Century Inn control at mile 176. Ray Skinner and family put out a huge range of hot and cold entrees, desserts, fruit and drinks for us to enjoy poolside before the big climb through the Michaux State Forest. As I did here in 2007, I took a nice 10-minute nap in the cozy living room. Nice.

See photosets from Patrick O’Donnell, Bill Beck and yours truly.

(While we were riding, D.C.R.’s own Maile Neel and Carol Bell were with the N.C. Randonneurs for their 600K. See Maile’s photos and a writeup at Mike Dayton’s Research Trailer Park blog.)

You’ll notice at the end of Bill’s set that he has posted photos from the site of a hit-and-run collision by a motorist inflicted upon participant Keith Krombel. It took place around 11:30 p.m., just five miles from the finish after a four-way, stop signed intersection. The Armstrong family, who has helped crew a RAAM station previously, heard a loud noise and came out to find Keith, himself a RAAM finisher, and his bike on the grass. It appears he was sideswiped.

They found the emergency phone number on his cue sheet and alerted organizer Lynn and called the EMTs, who ultimately took him to Hagerstown, Md. to an intensive care unit. Keith was conscious but remembered nothing of the impact or anything of the previous six miles.

Keith had a number of serious injuries but appeared out of the woods as of Monday evening. What was upsetting was the Frederick County Sheriff’s office treated our organizer rudely, demanding to know what Keith was doing out riding by himself. Of course, I hope they somehow catch the criminal who left the scene. A driver who hit a rider on the Cascade 1200K in 2006 called his insurance company to put in a claim for damage to his car and was reported to authorities, so a resolution is still possible.

We’ve been using that same run-in to Frederick for more than a decade and it has always given me some concern. It appears to be a back way for the party hounds to drive into Frederick and I’ve ridden defensively in hopes of that the speeding drivers give me some extra room. It could have happened anywhere, true, but there’s always something edgy about finishing a brevet at a destination town on a Saturday night.

Best wishes to Keith for a speedy recovery. Here’s Bill Beck’s report:

Thirty seven riders showed up at the Quality Inn in Frederick on Saturday for the ACP 400K. Of course the main thing that we are all concerned about is Keith’s recovery following the accident that happened near the end of the ride. But the earlier part of the day was beautiful with temperatures in the seventies and a gorgeous ride designed and organized by Lynn Kristianson. Along with the memorable climbs to Snickers Gap, PA16, and Big Flat, there were stretches of rolling terrain with long, clear views of the surrounding mountains.

And, of course, the wonderful control at the 18th Century Inn, complete with log cabin, swimming pool, and the best selection of food that any randonneur could hope for.

Thirty three riders reached the finish within the time limit. One rider had to abandon at the 18th Century Inn with knee problems, two others reached the Gettysburg control past the time limit and elected to get a ride, and of course Keith was only 5 miles from the finish when his accident occurred.

The preliminary results are posted at
http://www.dcrand.org/dcr/results.php?page=display-results&year=2009
.

Special congratulations to Jan Bull, Lisa Catino, Lane Giardina, George Moore, Dave Ripton, and Ray Suziedelis who all completed their first 400K! Many people think that the 400K is the biggest hurdle. (Any other first-400 riders that I missed?)

Thanks to Lynn for her gorgeous route and for organizing the ride. Also to bike-inspector Rudy Hewitt and volunteer Bill Smith for helping at the ride start, and to Gordon Meuse for restoring the hotel room at the finish after our extended use for eating and check-in. And of course many thanks to Denise and Ray Skinner for that amazing food and hospitality at the log cabin.

I particularly enjoyed the chicken chili, but there were too many options to try them all! Ray also ferried back a rider from Newville, picked up Keith’s bike, and filled in at the finish check-in. Chris Mento and Michael Rowny went to the hospital immediately after they finished (still in bike clothes) to check on Keith and talk to the police.

Finally, I conveyed our thanks to the Armstrong family who live in the house next to Keith’s accident, and who called for help after they heard the noise and came out to help him. By the way, John Armstrong worked at a RAAM time station in a previous year and was impressed that Keith is a two-time RAAM finisher.

My pictures from the ride are posted at http://www.flickr.com/photos/wabeck/sets/72157619091131958/, and as a captioned slide show at http://tinyurl.com/mjgzna. The final pictures in the set show the site of Keith’s accident, taken on Sunday afternoon, with the Armstrong family showing where things were
located. A GPS track of the route is at http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/8353651

Bill

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2 thoughts on “DC Randonneurs 400K: Sun & Fun, Mostly…

  1. “Keith had a number of serious injuries but appeared out of the woods as of Monday evening. What was upsetting was the Frederick County Sheriff’s office treated our organizer rudely, demanding to know what Keith was doing out riding by himself.”

    This should not be news to us bicyclists. We need constant vigilance on the advocacy front…

  2. Get well soon Keith.

    Great pictures as always Ed. Nice riding with you and Mary for a bit. Riding with you and Bill in the same brevet seems to have got me into a near-record number of ride photos; I need to color-coordinate my helmet and socks with my jersey next time I infiltrate the Paparazzi.

    I posted a ride report at http://www.ripton.net/blog/?p=40 which details why I never caught up with you guys at the log cabin control. Luckily in my case it was just the usual minor mechanical issues and bad navigation and not getting the fuel balance right, not being hit-and-run by some lowlife drunk driver or psycho deer. But maybe the list of everything I know I did wrong will help a rider even greener than me not make the same mistakes.

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