Looking Forward to 2017
The 2017 calendar should be quite good for those looking to complete more than one series with lots of options for tying things together. We will take our usual off PBP year approach to running the brevets a bit later than our neighboring regions.
The Batsto 200k, from Egg Harbor, will open the season in late April. This will be followed by the popular Cranbury 200k held one week later.
For May our 2017 calendar will feature two 300k ACP Brevets, the first being the challenging Englewood 300k. This will be followed one week later by the considerably flatter New Jersey Devil 300k from Vineland. This will be a brand new route designed by Rick Lentz.
This year the 400k route will be updated to feature Wildwood, NJ as the turnaround point in lieu of the previous destination of Salem. Other route and control changes are in the works as well. This brevet will be in early June.
Scheduled for late June and back by popular demand is the Princeton 600k. This two loop route, with a challenging first loop, proved difficult to conquer on our first running of it last year. Heat and high winds, along with a wildfire, were responsible for many DNF's. None the less, when put to a majority vote it won out over all other options.
Details are available on the 2017 events page of this web-site!
We look forward to seeing you!
RBA New Jersey - New York City
Re-Cap of Past 2016 Events:
Twenty-nine finish New York City 200k
September-25 NY City
Thirty four riders departed the Starbucks on 181st Street at 7am sharp. After just a few blocks of city riding they were on the top level of the Geroge Washington Bridge under clear skies with a stunning view of the Hudson.
With near perfect weather they wound their way through the suburbs of New Jersey entering New York State. On the way to Stony Point they rode along the Hudson River passing by the Tappan Zee Bridge and Piermont New York.
They took on some serious climbing as they traversed Harriman State Park on the second stage. With the favorable conditions most of the riders handled the challenge quite well. The Silver Mine Picnic area provided a refreshment point mid-way through the park. All but one rider, who was feeling poorly, made it to this point. The next stop would be Monroe, NY.
Unfortunately, a second rider had to end their day on this leg as a car spun out of control on Rt 17M near Monroe. Vadim Gritsus was cycling on the shoulder of the road when a vehicle, who had been hit from behind by another car, collided with him. The crash caused him to lose consciousness for about five minutes. Fellow rider Gil Lebron was the first to come upon him. Gil states that Vadim slowly regained his senses eventually becoming lucid. He was still needing to go to the hospital for evaluation and possible treatment. Gil stayed with him until he was sure he was being properly cared for. Vadim spent the rest of his day in the ER, but was eventually released with bumps and bruises. Fortunately, there were no life threatening injuries. It appears he will be okay and will likely ride with us again next season.
Gil Lebron and the remaining riders continued on to the Monroe control. After which they worked their way over hilly terrain back to Harriman for a second pass through the park. The Pomona control provided the final resting point before undertaking the final more gentle miles to the finish.
Another rider would make the choice not to finish on this stage. For unknown reasons he simply headed home instead of the finish control. None the less, there were two riders, on their first hilly brevet, who would not give up on reaching the end no matter what. The two brothers, Rodolfo and Miguel Lopez ran into some problems along the way, but never lost sight of their goal. They made it to the finish shortly after the official time had expired. This in no way diminished their sense of accomplishment. It would have been convenient for them to give up, but they refused to do so. Chapeau!
Results for the 2016 New York City 200k are here!
Five Arrow Teams began their journey at 10am on Saturday. Each would follow their own route for the first 335 kilometers, at which point all would converge at a diner in Hillsborough. Twenty-one tired riders enjoyed breakfast and told stories of an adventure with some challenging weather. Most teams were forced to take shelter at some point during the night while strong thunderstorms passed through a large portion of the region. In the true spirit of the event the violent storms prevented no one from completing the ride. In fact, only one rider was forced to abandon due to a mechanical failure.
At the 22 hour point into the ride teams where dispatched at two minute intervals from Hillsborough for the final 25 kilometer leg to Pete's Bike Shop in Flemington. Following a common route along the south branch of the Raritan River riders maintained a steady but casual pace under clear sunny skies. Teams would re-group at the Hunterdon Central High School in Flemington for a final one mile ride to the bike shop. They finished together as one large group to the sound of cheers and cowbell ringing provided by bike shop staff and volunteers. Relaxation and food where available to all.
The New Jersey Arrow was not just another ride on the calendar. This one had added purpose. The New Jersey Randonneurs donated all the entry fees to Hunterdon Youth Services, a local charity providing shelter and care for at risk youth. In addition, many of the participants raised funds from family and friends. The end result is a total donation amount of $6,322 and a step forward for NJR as a club that reaches out to help others.
All riders receive a common time of 24 hours
Arrow Dynamics: Jan Dembinski, Robin Landis, Simon Muil, George Swain - Captain
Arroz con Frijoles: Greg Keenan, Neal Lerner, Rudi Mayr, Joe Ray - Captain
Broken Arrows: Dawn Engstrom, Michael Gorman, Gil Lebron - Captain
Rick Lentz, Christopher Slocum
Crooked Arrows: Ernie Bayles, Jim Bondra - Captain, Steve Yesko
Shiftless Vagabonds: Joe Kratovil, JB Levitt - Captain, Chris Newman
Brandon Mak, Paul Shapiro
Princeton 600k-June 11 & 12
Twenty-one riders lined up in front of the Clarion Hotel for the start of the inaugural Princeton 600k. With a comfortable air temperature of 57 degrees the group had high hopes for a successful completion of the first 217 mile hilly loop, which would return them to the hotel for some much needed rest. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons nine riders would not complete the first day of the brevet. The first fell victim to a high speed crash on a descent before the Bloomsbury control. While the rider was largely unhurt the bike was not in shape to continue. The second to fall would be due to a broken handlebar, while a third rider snapped off a rear derailleur on a steep climb.
With the temperature and humidity level climbing steadily throughout the day the remaining six would drop out later in the loop due to heat related issues. All DNF riders, who needed transport, were driven back to the start by volunteers.
The remaining field, who made it back to the hotel under their own power, were in much need of food and rest, which was quickly offered. The weary riders were provided with a meal and a clean hotel room for rest. It was clear to the volunteers working at the sleep control that these riders had been through a tough day.
With the cooling off that would take place during the early morning hours riders still in the game were hopeful of an easy day on the second 157 mile flatter loop. Once again nature would present them with a significant challenge in the form of high wind (20-30 mph) throughout the afternoon and evening. The return trip from the farthest control at Tom's River would be quite a grind for the remaining field, but that would not yet be the final challenge. A forest fire fueled by heat and high wind forced a road closure, and an on the fly detour through the Pine Barrens. With limited options Mount Misery Road was used to avert the trouble. Volunteers would assist riders with navigation and assure all returned to the route once past the fire. They would also transport two additional riders to the finish who could not continue on their own.
The first riders made it to the finish at the Clarion Hotel at 4:42pm. Christoph Boeckeler and Michael Gorman would come in together sixteen minutes before tandem riders Kate Marhshall and Victor Urvanstev, who were the next to arrive. The volunteers would greet six more finishers up until 8:31pm when the last rider crossed the line.
Perhaps it was the inordinate amount of suffering throughout the two-day event that prompted one of the finishers, Nigel Greene, to suggest the brevet be re-named to the Mount Misery 600k.
New Jersey 400k - May 21
It was dry in East Windsor at the start of the New Jersey 400k, but unfortunately the day would not stay that way. A few showers pelted riders early in the day but the real bad weather was waiting for the final hours. The conditions deteriorated as the day progressed. Unfavorable wind and rain was the norm for the final hours of the ride which for many represented about 100 kilometers. Flat tires were an additional complication for many. Mechanical issues combined with weather caused six to abandon the brevet before the finish.
Bill Russell riding the Quest Velomobile was the most fortunate of the group. Staying ahead of much of the bad weather he reached the finish at 4:17pm for a course record of 12 hours and 17 minutes, just a few minutes over the minimum allowed time for a 400k. Although, he reported having one flat tire along the way.
The next finisher would not be seen for almost six hours. Andres Gutierez, riding his first 400k reached the Days Inn at 10:05pm for a time of 18 hours and 5 minutes.
All who arrived in darkness would do so with steady, relentless rain and wind. Most of the finishers were part of a group. Sharing the workload with others was the best strategy for survival. Cold and wet Randonneurs continued to finish until the early morning hours. While no one had an easy time of it perhaps the most epic of finishes would be that of Chris Slocum who suffered a double flat six miles from the finish. Without enough supplies to repair both flats Chris walked the final miles to the end arriving at 5:20am, one hour and 40 minutes before the cut-off. He was reported to have been in good spirits and proceeded to drive home immediately after. Chapeau!
Moral support was provided by many volunteers throughout the day. All official controls were staffed. The Lower Bank Tavern had multiple volunteers including establishment owner and randonneur Bill Reagan. Hot food was provided to all the riders and was well received given the weather. Super volunteer Steve Hallett was seen at many controls, including the start. Perhaps his most difficult assignment that day was the penultimate control in Pemberton, where many riders contemplated packing it in rather than enduring the last twenty-five miles. Steve did a great job getting most of them to keep riding.
The final weary finishers were greeted by David Eisenberg in the early morning hours at the Days Inn - East Windsor.
All other volunteers did a terrific job keeping things going. Organizer, Rick Lentz, managed quite a work load staying on top of the 400k and the simultaneously run 200k from Egg Harbor City. He even sagged a rider from Lower Bank to the finish. A difficult day tested the staff as much as the riders. Fortunately our volunteers are just as tough.
Batsto 200k - May 21
Eight of the twelve registered riders took the start line at the Lower Bank Tavern, Egg Harbor City on Saturday. The no shows were scared off by a rainy windy forecast for later in the day. While the 400k riders were making their way south the eight 200k starters were given the off. The two brevets would share the same route from Egg Harbor City to Salem. The return from Salem would be challenging for all with lots of headwind and some strong showers. This would not prevent any of the 200k field from reaching the end successfully. Len Zawodniak was the first to make the finish in a course record time of 6 hours and 54 minutes aboard the bright orange Quest Velomobile. All finishers were treated to a meal at the Lower Bank Tavern.
Princeton 300k-May 7th
Riders were greeted at every control by volunteers. Most were especially awed by the food spread on offer at Hacklebarney State Park, 142 miles into the route. The Greene family offered outstanding hospitality to go along with a first class feed zone. Riders kicked back and fully enjoyed the break from the hilly route. The calories taken in would serve them well over the 45 remaining miles to the finish. More food awaited them upon arrival at Princeton Forrestal Village. All but two starters would make the finish within the time limit, many arriving in daylight.
Cranbury 200k-April 25th
The Randonneur Season officially opened in New Jersey Saturday, April 25th as 52 departed Cranbury on a rainy morning to undertake a 200 kilometer tour of Central New Jersey and the Jersey Shore.
While the morning was a bit wet the day would turn to sunshine and favorable winds making for the fastest edition of the Cranbury 200k in the history of the event. The first group would make the finish in 7 hours, 35 minutes, about one-hour faster than the previous course record. Many more would arrive in under the nine hour mark.
Also, a new record for the number of volunteers around the route to offer support and document the riders through controls. All controls were manned by multiple volunteers who provided much encouragement to many first timers attempting the event.
All who started found their way to the finish within the 13.5 hour time limit. Although, one rider, new to the activity, would require the full time allotment to get it done. He was greeted by two volunteers and slices of warm pizza at the finish.