photo of Bob BennettCRR Bob Bennett passed along a tidbit about a National Trails Day Hike locally….

National Trails Day Hike
Saturday June 2 at 9 a.m.
As a member of the Mason Dixon Trail Club, I will be leading this three-hour, five-mile trail to celebrate National Trails Day. We will meet at the Nature Center of White Clay Creek State Park (just north of Hopkins Road along Creek Road) and head south along the creek on a trail that will loop back and bring us by the Arc Corner Monument. Pack water and a snack. Call the Park Office (302-368-6900) to register.

For those of you who also cross-train on the bike, CRR Chris Knight submitted this post….

On Saturday I completed my first 300K brevet (190 miles with one small wrong turn). This is my rookie season as a member of Randonneurs USA (RUSA, www.rusa.org), which is an organization that supports endurance cycling events with more camaraderie than competition. No matter what your status or goals are, everyone seems to be really interested in your success [sort of like Creek Road Runners]. It isn’t racing, and finishing times are listed alphabetically.  But, of course, whenever you have a personal challenge and a clock, some people will push themselves. I hear that some of the riders are training for the Race Across America (RAAM), and others are accumulating points for various levels of accomplishment within RUSA. Among these cyclists, there seems to be a considerable amount of interest in completing an event called Paris-Brest-Paris—a 1,200K with a 90-hour time limit. My local club is Pennsylvania-Randonneurs.

For Saturday’s Water Gap 300K, we had beautiful weather and a 4:00 a.m. start from Quakertown, Pa. Watching the moon fall and the sun rise over beautiful countryside was well worth the early start. One of the philosophies of Randonneuring is sell-sufficiency, and the support on these rides is in the form of well-placed stops called “controls,” where you have your little passport signed in a designated restaurant, bakery or mini-mart and then spend however much time you choose eating, talking, and resting. After completing a handful of brevets and visiting many controls, it remains true that all potato salad is different and most of it is good. The low-traffic route took us on a loop that went northeast up into the Delaware Water Gap. I was able to complete the ride in 16:10 (~11.7 mph average), which means that I had time to notice which birds wake up first and which are the last to go to sleep. Meanwhile, the first finisher completed the course in 12:48 (14.7 mph)! Of course, the main priority on the ride is safety—staying vigilant for the whole ride and being mindful of the status of those around you. Sometimes you’re the one hurting, and other times your new buddy of 12 hours is hurting; as much as possible, you help each other through it. It might sound odd, but there are also experienced randonneurs and randonneuses out there who actually make you feel more at ease just by riding near them, and, if you haven’t noticed the vocabulary, this cycling culture originates in France. The director of PA-Randonneurs amazes me with his organization, route design and enthusiasm.  Imagine riding this 188-mile course on the prior Wednesday as a volunteer pre-ride in the cold, pouring rain to ensure that any hazards are well marked, that the controls will be open, and that the five-page cue sheet is 100% accurate. And on top of everything else, he even made time to bake who-knows-how-much vegetarian lasagna for our group.

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