Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Thanks to all the Volunteers

The EM1240 would not have been possible without the following volunteers who answered the call to help out:

-Barb Anderson (Hallstead, Lamar, sweep)
-Ron Anderson (jersey design, Hallstead, Lamar, sweep)
-Andy Brenner (could not participate due to an injury)
-Eric Bower (Quakertown)
-Janice Chernekoff (Pine Grove, sweep)
-Kyle Chu (Lamar, Waterville, Pine Grove, Quakertown)
-Laurent Chambard (Pine Grove, sweep)
-Mary Crawley (marking, Quakertown)
-John Dennis (Selinsgrove)
-Bill Fischer (marking)
-John Fuco (marking)
-Matt Farrell (Danielsville, Fox Gap, Blairstown)
-Lane Giardina (preride, Lamar, sweep, Quakertown)
-Eric Keller (marking, Lamar, Jo Hays, sweep)
-Andrew Mead (marking, Middle Creek, New Holland, sweep)
-George Metzler (blog, sweep)
-Christine Newman (Quakertown, Danielsville, Blairstown, Raymondskill)
-Chris Nadovich (reserve)
-Maile Neel (planning, preride, Lamar, Jo Hays, Pine Grove, sweep, Quakertown)
-Chris Roth (bags, Quakertown, Hallstead, Lamar, Pine Grove)
-Katie Raschdorf (Pine Grove)
-Bill Slabonik (Selinsgrove, New Holland, sweep)
-Gloria Safar (Carbondale)
-Hugo Safar (Carbondale)
-Juan Salazar (blog, Hallstead)
-John Fessenden (marking)
-Keith Spangler (Selinsgrove, New Holland, sweep)
-Paul Scearce (marking, sweep)
-Steve Scheetz (sweep)
-George Winkert (sweep, Selinsgrove)
-Len Zawodniak (Lamar, Waterville, sweep)

Thanks also, to many of the riders who offered their help at the controles, after withdrawing. And special thanks also to Kim Fuoco, who provided neutral support while supporting Dan and John.

Jerry Phelps writes:
... just wanted you and all the volunteers to know that I arrived home safely late last night. I want to thank all of you for the hours and hours of hard work you put into making the ride possible. I'm sorry that I wasn't up to the challenge and I also want you to know that the responsibility for my failure lies solely with me. You did your best to inform all of us about the difficulty of the ride. My biggest mistake was not driving up for one of the shorter brevets to learn about the terrain first hand. ... Special thanks to Ron and Barbara for their support in Halstedt, Chris for schlepping me to Lamar, and to Lenny for the ride back to Quakertown yesterday. And of course, you deserve lots of credit for everything you've put into the ride. It will go down as one of the toughest challenges randonneurs have ever faced....

Greg Conderacci writes:
... I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and I wanted to thank you for everything you did to make it possible: from being flexible with the registrations to picking me up off the road. ... As usual, you built a classic: spectacular scenery, low traffic, superb organization and dedicated volunteers. A GREAT ride.

Nick Bull wrties:
Thanks ... to Tom Rosenbauer and all of the volunteers for runningsuch a well-organized and well-supported event. It was great to beriding and find a crew of volunteers at a control or by the side ofthe road with hot drinks &/or food. As Juan mentions, the terrain is very tough, but two 1000K's have beenrun over that same terrain, and to my knowledge those two events havehad only one person who DNF'd (and he just completed the EM1240,yay!). The weather this year in the mid-Atlantic region has beenabout five to ten degrees colder than normal, and that held true forEM1240. ... I ended up DNF'ing with a knee problem in the morning of the second day. Still, I'm really happy that I gave the EM1240 a try, even though I knew it was a long shot whether I'd be able to complete the brevet within the time limits, knowing how tough the terrain was, and watching the steadily-deteriorating weather forecast during the weekbefore the event. ....I figure it's far better to make the attempt and to not succeed thanto not even try.

Jim Logan writes:
A quick note of thanks to you and your volunteers for a great event. I had to launch into business travel Sunday AM, and won’t have time to write a proper thank you until perhaps next weekend. As your are probably aware, I arrived at the (Pine Grove) control announcing to the effect of “My cognitive abilities are very poor, ... I told (the volunteers) I needed to lay down 30 minutes, .... They went along with it, getting me to a room and providing appropriate food they thought I needed. ....The volunteers gave me just the right level of support, and I appreciate the concern I am sure they had for me the rest of the day. .... George Winkert checked in on me 10 miles down the rode, which was appreciated. They went along with my plan and helped me execute it as I worked my way out of the situation, while helping fill in the details (making sure I got food in my room, unhooking my pannier when I was unable to do so, etc). They acted as my reality check, and I really appreciate their support....

Guy Harris writes:
I want to extend my gratitude to all of the volunteers for their support. It was great to see so many fellow NJ and PA riders as volunteers. Seeing these folks provided mental revitalment that helped as much as the physical nutrition. Riders from outside our local area probably had no idea just how accomplished and capable these riders are themselves. Many thanks also to my riding companions over the four days. In fact, I think that I rode with different groups of folks on all four days. A nice change from my typical lone riding. What a great group of riders you attracted to this event! I met many folks for the first time. I have no doubt that the EM1240 will take its place as one of the premier grand randonnees, although it will and should always remain a challenging one.

Patrick Shank writes:
... Tom and his crew/volunteers were superlative in every way. It was physically challenging for sure. But, from my saddle, it was the mental game that needed to be won - unfortunately, I just couldn't get my mind right friday morning in the cold rain as I spun my way outof a nice warm hotel in Lamar, PA. I ride a lot in the wet/cold. but, I've never had to do a foul weather double century after riding 425 miles. And although I was pretty well-rested and well-fed, I simply lacked the experience and will to keep spinning in those conditions. I lost focus and quit. I'm pretty sure I was the youngest rider there, and I learned quite abit from watching the seasoned randonneurs on this event. A good attitude goes a long way. Literally. I was amazed to see riders coming into Lamar - near the cutoff time - ready to keep going after a quick nap and some food. I had just slept for 5 hours, ate my fill and could barely muster a smile. Stong legs and lungs will only get one so far. Experience and a good attitude will take one the whole way.

Jeff Bauer writes:
...a big thank you to you and everyone for hosting such a great ride. I would certainly participate again, assumingI'm in proper condition....

Randy Mouri writes:
I will be among many to say that the EM1240 was meticulously organized and well supported. I commend you on putting together a terrific, challenging and beautiful ride. .... The volunteers were second to none! Simply the best! Please extend my thanks and I hope to see you again in the near future ... All the best and many, MANY thanks for THE MOST CHALLENGING BREVET IN THEWORLD (until someone can prove otherwise)! - Randy Mouri (Greg's riding partner and near DNF)

Glen Steen writes:
...The organization was superb, the volunteers fantastic and the accommodations were the best. I dropped out at Sayre and I actually got a phone call from one of the volunteers at one of the secret controls at about 5:00 AM on Friday morning wondering where I was as I hadn't showed up yet. Great that they are concerned enough to call....Thanks again for a great event and if I can get my legs in shape, I'll be there next year....and finish!

Judson Hand writes:
Tom, I thought you did an outstanding job running your first 1200k. The course was beautiful, the volunteers well organized and extremely solicitous of the riders, and your cue sheet was near flawless. .... You warned us all about the difficulty of the course and we all could figure out the early October weather could be dicey (i.e. cold) and, despite a full moon, we would have 12 hours of darkness per day .... You have a gift for organizing and motivating people that is essential to large events of this kind. You take a great deal of care in your work and it shows. Personally, this ride was enormously challenging and rewarding, especially with the cold, wet weather, and I am so happy to have finished it within the time limit. I don't think I will ever forget it...

Bill Beck writes:
... I would like to thank you again for staging such a well organized and superbly staffed ride for us. I can't think of a singlething that wasn't done well (other than the weather requisition). I told John Lee Ellis that and he said that he had received other positive comments about your organization...

Bill Olsen writes:
THANKS to Tom Rosenbauer and allof the volunteers for running such a well-organized and well-supported event. It was great to be riding and find a crew of volunteers at a control or by the side of the road with hot (and cold) drinks and/or food. And I also want to apologize to many of you for not being as social as I would liked to have been at some of these stops. As much as I LOVE to talk randonneuring and bikes any time of the day or night, I just didn't have a lot of free time this ride to kick back and spend an hour or two in the shade - at least not until after I finished, and thanks for understanding this at 4:30AM when I'dfinished eating (or sleeping) and I was dashing out of the controle 1/2 hour after the official close time. This was a great event but required a riding style MUCH different from the Last Chance a couple of weeks earlier - including NO BEER (at all!!!) at any of the lunchstops or overnight dinners - not that I'm complaining, just a different type of event. .. and as I've commented to you a couple of times already, please don't let the high attrition rate (of the ALL very qualified riders) make you think you need to make major modifications to the routing. It was interesting to note that had you not "time averaged" the controles, many of us would have had difficulty meeting the controle closing times in the sections before 600K and we probably wouldnot have got enough sleep in the early controles. I STILL can't figure out why we lost so much time the second day relative to last year's 1000K. I wasn't as tired starting out the event and we made it into the first overnight an hour earliert han the 1000K but then we ended up losing so much time on the second day. As your average times for all of the riders shows, if one can average 12 mph with the hills, they'll have enough sleep time to recover every night. Once one's average drops to under 10mph, they had better keep moving as there's really no time to waste, and definitely not time for too much sleep at the controles.

Rob Welsh writes:
Now that I have had a day to recover some (not all yet) of my faculties I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated the great Endless Mountains ride last week that you and your wonderful team put together. I am still in awe of the challenges of doing the ride and the level of organization and support that were provided. I also greatly appreciate your personal comments about my progress on the ride. I always enjoy your rides and your friendship. I met some great new friends and felt good for the whole event...(you and your) team ofvolunteers did an outstanding job of preparing the route and buildingthe infrastructure to support the riders. It takes an unbelievableamount of preparation and execution to pull these events offsuccessfully and with enthusiasm. When you pull into a sleep controlor a secret control, it is great to hear encouraging words, help getting your food, your bike taken care of and your room arranged....(you and your) team made this a very special event.

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