The cuesheet and map/profile have been updated to Draft 5, dated 8/21/10. Draft 5 has a couple of route changes and several corrections/clarifications. This update is based on a recent scouting trip, and should be the final one that goes to press, unless any last minute problems or issues crop up. The following highlights some of the important changes and scouting info.
Mile 23: The rough road, previously mentioned in update #1, has finally been paved -- so instead of ground-down pavement, you'll have a fresh ribbon of asphalt to ride on.
Mile 26: The cue sheet notes that this is now the last store for 27 miles (the one at mile 31 appears to be out of business). You should plan to replenish your supplies here, if you need anything to tide you over until controle #3 at mile 53.
Mile 35: Minor route tweak to take advantage of better road markings.
Mile 48: This left turn, as noted on the cue sheet, is VERY easy to miss. I've updated the spotting cues near this turn to help you avoid logging some bonus miles here.
Mile 166-177: Reroute due to bridge construction.
Mile 233-243: Reroute around Binghamton (and it's many traffic lights and cross streets). As noted on the cue sheet, you'll be joining the "Bike 2" route for several turns, which is marked with small traffic signs that have a bicycle icon on them.
Mile 256: Minor reroute to simplify navigation.
Controle 9: I've added the 'easy to miss' designation to where you need to stop for this post card controle. The post office is at the end of a nondescript white building near a golf course, in a very small town. Hopefully, the many spotting cues I've added near the controle, will prevent you from missing it.
Mile 264: Minor reroute to take advantage of better road markings.
Controle 10: This has been changed to a 24-hr Dunkin Donuts in Towanda (the toasted panini sandwiches are pretty good). This is in place of the Sunoco mini mart that would've been closed for riders passing through very early. But most of you will probably be passing through after sunrise, and there are several diners in Towanda if you would like a more substantial breakfast. Towanda will have the last services until the next controle stop in Canton.
Mile 299-316: Reroute to avoid poor road surface. The original route was along a very scenic ridge, away from the main road that carries the main traffic through the area. Unfortunately, the side road along the ridge is now in very bad shape with many potholes, ruts, and several road cuts that have been filled in with loose gravel. A couple of these were at the bottom of some descents -- and one cut that was hidden in the shade seemed particularly hazardous to me. The reroute keeps you on the main road that unfortunately will have much more traffic, but at least a decent shoulder and safer surface.
Mile 413: Road work is scheduled to begin on 8/23, with possible single lane conditions. It did not appear that there will be any detours associated with the road work.
Controle 18 has been changed to an untimed post card drop, since some riders may be passing through before the pizzeria opens at 11AM. The pizza is actually pretty good, and would be a good lunch stop for riders passing through later in the day.
Mile 616: Reroute due to road construction.
In addition to the highlights listed above, several other minor corrections and clarifications have been made.
*** Message Board / Rider Tracking ****
Please be sure to check back on the message board at this link:
...for any last minute changes or announcements. This message board will also be updated with rider tracking info, if you have any friends or family who want to follow along during the event.
*** GPS ***
If you are looking for GPS files, you won't find them on the website. However, some participants have offered to share their GPS data, and I can forward their contact info if you send me an e-mail. Of course, the usual disclaimer applies that the cue sheet is the one and only official route and the GPS device is a supplemental aid to navigation -- if there is any discrepancies between the two, the cue sheet takes precedence.
You may also find some painted "EM" markers on the road, from the EM1240k -- although the EM1240 and EM1000 share some common roads, you should not rely upon these for navigation.
*** Other Notes ***
As you make your final preparations, please note the services that have been listed on the cuesheet. There are several long stretches with limited services -- be sure you replenish your supplies as you head out into these desolate areas, especially during the late evening and early morning hours, when many stores will be closed.
With the large roster of riders and limited space in the SAG vehicle, please keep your drop bags as small and light as possible -- the 10x20" RUSA drop bag is an ideal size:
Please take a moment to review the posted safety instructions:
...and the posted bike inspection checklist:
And now would be a good time to make your plans for alternate transportation, if circumstances prevent you from finishing under your own power.
The long range weather forecast is looking very promising ... hopefully, that cold front will clear the area by Wednesday night. Day 1 temperatures in the mid 70F's are in the forecast for Binghamton. Overnight lows on Thursday night will be in the mid 50F's, but some of the valleys can get much chillier. Friday is shaping up to be another dry, cool day. It looks like a general warming trend will be starting on Saturday, with 90F's in the forecast by Sunday.
Drop me note if you have any questions or concerns, and hope everyone has a safe ride.
Eastern PA RBA