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2018 Past Events

Thirty-five riders finish Batsto 200k
photo Joe Chahwan

The season opening 200k saw 40 riders take to the roads of southern New Jersey in summer like conditions.  It was over 60 degrees at the Low
Tavern, in Egg Harbor Township, when the organizer gave the go to the eagerly awaiting field. 

With bright sunshine the thermometer would move quickly into the eighties.  A brisk southwest wind accompanied the warm weather making the trek south to Salem quite arduous.  Especially, for those riding solo.  

With the support of the organizer and a full compliment of experienced volunteers riders were in good spirits at the halfway mark.  Most were looking forward to helpful winds on the second half of the ride.  Mother nature would not disappoint them in that regard.   

Thomas Dunn and Patrick Musselman arrived at the finish together setting a new course record at 7 hours 4 minutes.  This bested the prior record set by Jim Vreeland in 2017.  Nine other riders managed a finish time under 8 hours.  With almost half the field finishing in under 9 hours.   

Unfortunately a small group of riders did not arrive the Franklinville control within the time limit.  They had suffered a variety of problems on the trip to Salem losing a lot of time.  One rider was sagged to the finish by a volunteer and the remaining four rode back by a more direct route.  

A complimentary meal was graciously provided to all riders, thanks to Lower Bank Tavern owner Bill Reagan.  Who happens to be a fellow Randonneur and one of the Batsto 200k pre-riders.  All appreciated the good food and beverage.  

 Sixty-one Riders finish the Cranbury 200k 

Despite a late April date the Cranbury 200k was started in cool temperatures with some misty precipitation.  The weather would become more pleasant as the day wore on.  The conditions were obviously agreeable with the riders as a new course record was set by a group of eight who arrived
the finish in an elapsed time of 7 hours 10 minutes.  This would be 24 minutes faster then the prior record set by Jim Vreeland in 2016.  Three more riders would finish in under eight hours and ten more would finish in under nine hours.  The remaining field all arrived well before sunset. 

A small army of volunteers attended to the needs of the participants throughout the day.  With a good number of first time Randonneurs among the starters the presence of this level of support was helpful to many who completed their first brevet.   All controls were staffed.  In addition, several volunteers roved the course, including the Safety Officer, Gil Lebron,  who assisted several riders with mechanical issues.   Organizer, Nigel Greene, coordinated the entire event with precision.  

All who reached the finish line were treated to Pizza and Beer at the Italian Touch restaurant.  A fine way to end a day on the roads.

Eight Riders finish Princeton 300k

The skies were decidedly unfriendly at 5am when twelve hardy Randonneurs took to the roads of Princeton.  Rain fell steadily in the early morning hours and would continue for most of the morning.  The small group seemed determined to complete the 187 mile loop which featured some of the toughest climbs in the state.  A spell of decent weather happened late morning and continued until the early evening when the precipitation returned.  The challenge would prove too much for four of the starters who decided to call it quits at various points along the route.  

The first rider to make the finish was Dougin Walker with a brisk time of 
13 hrs 46 minutes.  Over the next four plus hours the remaining seven would find their way around with the additional challenges to include heavy rain, cool temperatures, and a passing thunderstorm.  The last rider to arrive the finish would do so just after 11pm

There were as many volunteers supporting the event as there were participants.  This included a roving vehicle with a crew of two to assist with mechanical problems.  Riders were treated to a catered lunch in Blairstown at the Foot Bridge Park.  Pizza and beer were provided at the Clarion Hotel - Palmer Inn.  

Twenty Six Riders Finish
New Jersey Devil 300k 

Under rainy skies 30 riders took to the roads for the 187 mile south Jersey loop.  With fairly persistent rain and cool temperatures throughout the day the group was challenged by more than just the distance.  Four would abandon for various reasons ranging from health issues to mechanical problems. 

The first of the finishers would be Andreas Prandelli arriving the Econo Lodge in 12 hours 44 minutes.  Line Barlow and  Oliver Zong were just three minutes behind.  

Over the next four hours rain soaked finishers continued to arrive the hotel in Hammonton.  Hot pizza and refreshments were available to all.  

A full complement of volunteers helped to keep the riders in good spirits throughout the day.  

Wildwood 400k - A day of Challenges

Despite a very scary weather forecast twenty-nine riders clipped in at 4am and began the 250 mile trek of the 2018 Wildwood 400k.  The conditions at the start where warm and oppressively humid.  Most weather services were reporting a high probability of strong thunderstorms later in the day.  

Twenty-six of the starters would see their way to the finish line despite heat, humidity, and numerous passing storms in the later hours of the day.  Some of the storms were strong to violent.  

The first finisher was Bill Russell, piloting a velomobile to an elapsed time of 12 hours 14  minutes. That time is just a few ticks past the minimum allowable 400k time.  The first upright riders to see the finish were Line Barlow and David Ophel in 15 hours 36 minutes.  

Much of the field was subjected to a last minute detour caused by a downed power line with live current. Organizers and volunteers scrambled coming up with a detour which allowed for safe bypass of the area, then directed riders around the closed road.

Riders would continue to arrive at the Days Inn, East Windsor, until the early hours of the morning.  The final finisher, Sarah Hreha, came in at 05:00 to claim her first 400k Brevet.  In addition to the weather challenges she endured five flat tires over the course of the day.  In true Randonneur style Sarah kept a positive attitude overcoming all the obstacles thrown at her.  Chapeau!

All riders were well supported by a full experienced team of volunteers.  

Fifteen Finish Princeton 600k  
A brutal test of strength and perserverance

The late June timing of the Princeton 600k brings to it the potential for a warm event.  The 2018 edition fell victim to the odds with the entire weekend  being classified as a summer scorcher.  High heat and humidity would add significantly to the challenge faced by participants, organizers, and volunteers.  

Twenty-two riders took the start at the Clarion Hotel.  The initial miles were pleasant with temperatures in the low seventies.  By the time the Bloomsbury control was reached the thermometer was steadily moving upward.   The field then moved into the hills of Eastern Pennsylvania, where the first would succumb to heat related cramps.  Two other riders were forced to abandon before the end of the first loop.  All were sagged back by volunteers.    

Many were considering a night riding strategy for the second loop.  Some riders hoped to depart for the flatter south jersey loop with just a meal and a shower.  In the end the hot day filled with climbing left no one with enough energy to employ such a plan.  All would take sleep.  Anthony Mennona was the first to depart the sleep control at 1:30am Sunday.  In the relative coolness of night he would put a big dent in the 155 remaining miles before having to deal with considerably less pleasant conditions.   He arrived the finish before 1:00pm.  The next finisher was almost two hours behind.  

Two additional riders would abandon on Sunday one riding back to the start, not long after getting underway.  A second rider was sagged by volunteers from Whiting, NJ.  

In an effort to assist with hydration needs organizers positioned additional volunteers with ice and water on sections of the route where there were limited services.   Riders had the option to top up fluids about every 20 miles.  This helped keep some going during the worst heat of the day.  

It should be noted that the three women who took the start, Dawn Engstrom, Sarah Hrera and Erica Jacobs all finished successfully.  For Sarah it was her first 600k.  

All Teams Finish the New Jersey Arrow

The New Jersey Arrow was held for the second time in the history of the region.  It would be safe to say that the events of the 2018 season were  filled with weather chall
enges.  The Arrow would prove no different.  Four teams began the 24 hour journey Saturday morning with the expectation that at some point they would encounter precipitation.  Even the pessimistic opinions were milder then what actually happened.  

By most estimates rain was encountered for about 18 hours of the 24 hour ride.  Though, the worst of it may have been the wind which gusted to the point of blowing down trees, power lines, and anything else that wasn't securely tied down.  Teams were forced to detour around closed roads in the middle of the night.  In addition, the heavy rainfall caused some flooding which had riders venturing through deep puddles.  The only positive spin one could put on the whole situation was that it never got particularly cold.  The storm had a tropical feel to it that saved the day for those who normally have problems with cold, wet conditions.  All four teams reached the finish with all riders present and accounted for.  They were treated to a Police escort for the final short section of Route 31 which brought them from Hunterdon Central High School to Pete's Bike Shop.  A small crowd ringing cow bells cheered the riders in.  Food and beverage awaited all. 

Indeed the highlight of the after party was the fact that the four teams of riders had played a strong role in helping others.  The event raised over $4,500 for Binnacle House, a home for abused, abandoned, and neglected teens.  Perhaps that is part of what kept everyone going throughout that rainy night.


All riders receive a common finishing time of 24 hours        

Rick Lentz  (C),  Dawn Engstrom,  Walt Pettigrew

Victor Urvanstev (C), Kate Marshall, Nigel Greene

Chris Slocum (C), Michael Gorman, Gil Lebron, Bill Olsen

Joe Kratovil (C), Brandon  Mak, Gerry Montague, Chris Newman, Steve Weng

RUSA 20th Anniversary Celebration

Thirty-nine Finish Princeton 120k
On a muggy August morning the RUSA 20th Anniversary Celebration would begin with 40 riders taking to the roads for a hilly 120 kilometer loop.  The route featured two passes over the Sourland Mountain Ridge along with other significant rolling hills along the way.  The heat and hills did not seem to effect the pace of the lead riders.  The lunch stop at Pete's Bike shop saw the first rider, Timothy Creytes of New York City, arrive before 12pm.  That was at least a half hour ahead of what was expected.  Creytes would breeze through the control opting for only a water refill and an energy bar.  He would reach the finish in a total elapsed time of 4 hours 41 minutes breaking the course record set by John D'Elia in 2017 by 19 minutes.  The next rider, Kilbert Reynoso, would arrive 29 minutes later.  

All but one rider would reach the finish.  The lone DNF was due to heat issues.  Anniversary medals were awarded to all finishers.  Pizza and beer were enjoyed at McCaffrey's.  

Half Dirty Populaire 100k - Anniversary Celebration Part II 

With potential rain clouds overhead the field of 22 starters would leave Pete's Bike Shop on a new Populaire route that would feature 50% unpaved surfaces.  A combination of recreational bike paths and dirt roads in Hunterdon and Morris Counties would account for the unpaved portion.  The majority of the remaining roadways would be paved country lanes.  The riders would have a good day of it as rain never came, nor did hot temperatures.  The mostly overcast day with a light breeze would be a pleasant reprieve from oppressive heat and humidity that was becoming the norm this summer.  All those who took the start would see the fnish and enjoy a barbecue hosted by Pete's Bike Shop.  Five of the riders were finishers of the Princeton 120k the prior day. Anniversary Medals were awarded to each finisher.  All seemed very pleased with the new route which is also available as a permanent year round.  

Seventeen Riders Complete
Sam Collins Memorial 100k

Photo: Chatswoth Bogs

On What could be described as a perfect day 17 Randonneurs took out of Princeton Forrestal Village with one mission in mind.  To honor the memory of a fellow rider.  Some had driven considerable distance to take part in the event.  

All would successfully make the finish having been over the same roads Sam Collins had ridden numerous times while participating in NJ Rando events.  While most of those present knew Sam, and may have ridden with him at times, a few simply came out of the respect that one has for a fellow Randonnuer.    

Riders who participated:

Marc Bernardo, Andy Brenner, Bill Charlton, Jeremy Edmiston
Stephen Jones, Thomas Keenan, Joe Kratovil, Jonathan Levitt, 
Douglas MonticcioloRobert NovickEric Pederson, Michael Povman
Anne Racioppi, Paul Shaprio, Mac Vegara, Paul Weaver, Len Zawodniak