The cuesheet and map/profile have been updated to Draft 4, dated 8/8/10. The 2010 edition is very similar to the 2009 route, however there have been several route tweaks and additional controles added. There might be some minor updates, pending a scouting checkout of the course. The notes below highlight some of the changes, and will hopefull help you finalize your ride plan.
*** Start Controle ***
Sign-in, rider packets, and bike inspection will be available on Wednesday night at the start/finish controle: the Weisel Youth hostel in Quakertown. For those of you staying at hotels instead of the hostel, I encourage you to swing by the hostel Wednesday night to sign-in, pick up your rider packet, and get your bike inspected. The hostel is in a remote area, and can be difficult to find. There is ample parking to leave your car there for the duration of the event. The parking lot is off to the right of the driveway, half way between the road entrance and the hostel. Be sure to park your car on the gravel surface -- the grassy area is very soft, and if it rains, it's easy to get your car stuck if you park on the grass. If you are staying at the hostel, you should strip your bed in the morning and leave it the way you found it. Any personal items should be left in your car. A hot breakfast will be served 1 hour before the start.
*** Drop Bags / Overnight Controles ***
A single drop bag will be collected at the start and transported to each overnight controle. A tag for your drop bag will be in your rider packet. Please keep the bags small. The bags can be picked up at the volunteer room at the 2 overnight controles. A message board in the lobby of the overnight hotels will direct you to the volunteer room, where you can pick up your bag when you arrive. You should return the bag to the volunteer room when you are ready to leave. The drop bags will be returned to the hostel Saturday afternoon. Food will be available at the volunteer room, where you will also pick up your room key. Riders will be paired up in rooms, based on arrival. Arrangements have been made with the hotels, to have breakfast food available when you are ready to depart.
*** Course Notes ***
- The early 4AM start should allow you to get through the Bethlehem urban area under the cover of darkness before rush hour.
- At mile 23, there is 2-3 mile section of road that has been ground down and is pretty rough to ride on. If you can hold a straight, steady line, there is a small ridable shoulder that is smoother.
- The first controle stop (#2 Little Gap) is an untimed, information type at mile 37. You may want to replenish your supplies before then at mile 31, which is the last store you'll see until controle #3 in Saylorsburg at mile 53.
- For the "Special Right" at mile 71, you'll be turning off the main road, going upon a short side walk, and then onto a pedestrian bridge which gets you across the Delaware River. The spotting cue has you looking for a mini mart where the bridge is located. The pedestrian bridge, by the way, was the site of the last covered bridge across the river. That covered bridge was swept away by the great flood of 1955, brought on by storms Connie and Diane (which dumped around 2 feet of rain in the Poconos within a couple of days of one another). The replacement bridge offers a classic view of the Delaware Water Gap to the north.
- The first controle on day 2 (after the first overnight controle) is an untimed post card drop. The first timed controle is #10 at Towanda, ~70 miles into day 2. This will perhaps allow you stay a bit longer at the overnight controle. The terrain after the overnight controle is a bit gentler, so you should be able to bank some time on the way to the Towanda. If you leave the Hallstead overnight controle by 5AM, you have more than 6 hours to cover 70 miles (~11.5 MPH pace).
- Many riders found the many steep rollers after Canton (controle #11), one of the more challenging parts of the course. The terrain becomes easier once you reach Liberty.
- If you leave overnight controle #2 by 6AM, you have nearly 3 hours to cover ~26 miles to the next controle (~9.5 MPH pace).
Eastern PA RBA