photo by Chris Newman
Riders on the cool, rainy New Jersey 400k

Twenty four finish New Jersey 400k

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.

All who started finished Batsto 200k
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. 

Next up: Princeton 600k - June 11 & 12

This is brand new route for this year.  The Princeton 600k starts and finishes at the Clarion Hotel - Palmer Inn.  The first loop is a fairly hilly 218 miles venturing into PA.  Riders will return to the Palmer Inn where rooms are provided for sleep.  The second loop is 158 miles and is mostly flat heading to Tom's River.  Detailed maps and cue-sheets of this route are now posted to the events page.  Due to hotel space limitations in the Princeton area their is a field limit of 28 riders imposed. (registration is now open)

What's after the Princeton 600k?

New Jersey Arrow - July 9 & 10
For a change of pace we will host the New Jersey Arrow.  This is a team event similar to the fleche, but held during warmer weather.  The most exciting aspect of this new for 2016 event is we are holding it for the benefit of  Hunterdon Youth Services.  A recognized charity who provides shelter and passionate care to at risk adolescents.  Put together a team, design a route and get on board with this first time happening in Central New Jersey.  The ride will finish at Pete's Bike Shoppe in Flemington, NJ.  More details on the events page

New York City 200k - September 25
Our season will end with the challenging and scenic NYC 200k.  Ride over the George Washington Bridge from Manhattan.  Climb to the top of Perkins Drive on Bear Mountain.  Venture through Harriman State Park and beyond before returning to New York City and the majestic view from the GW Bridge.  The scenery on this brevet will not disappoint.  

More details on our 2016 Brevets can be found on the Events Page.

Those new to Randonneuring should visit the Brevet FAQ page.

We look forward to seeing you!

Joe Kratovil

RBA  New Jersey - New York City


Re-Cap of Past 2016 Events:

Princeton 300k-May 7th

Thirty riders took the start of the Princeton 300k at Princeton Forrestal Village this past Saturday.  It was a chilly, wet morning making the first few hours less than pleasant.  Riders passed through the first control at Whitehouse with daylight filtering through the overcast skies and roads beginning to dry out.  By mid-day things were looking substantially better.  The remainder of the ride was dry with occasional glimpses of sunlight.

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. 

Results Available: 2016 Preliminary 

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.  

Results are available.  Click here to view