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Covered Bridges Ride--Feedback?

Old 10-14-07, 03:09 PM
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lrzipris
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Covered Bridges Ride--Feedback?

If you rode the CBBC Covered Bridges Ride today (10/14/07), I hope you (and the other 3000+ riders) enjoyed the ride. And if you have any comments or suggestions, I'll be glad to pass them along to the club's officers.
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Old 10-14-07, 04:43 PM
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My love/hate relationship with this ride continues. It's the one ride I look forward to the most each year, I love the area, the hills make it very challenging, but the crowds seem to get bigger each year and that's the only part of it I don't like. Once the metric route was on it's own it wasn't too bad, but as the other routes joined in toward the later stages the roads got very congested. Several times I got stuck behind groups of cyclists taking up the whole road and leaving no option but to pass using the oncoming traffic lane, which I don't like doing, especially on winding road when you can't see what's coming from the other direction. It seems every year when I finish I say, "Never again," but a year later there I am slogging up and down the hills again.
My statistics, 61.5 miles, 3 hours and 55 minutes, average speed 15.7 mph.
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Old 10-14-07, 04:47 PM
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What an excellent event. It was very well organized, the people were friendly and the weather turned out great. What more could you ask for. I most certainly will be returning next year. It was my first organized ride and I loved it. I did the 33 hilly and truly enjoyed the views along the way. Maybe next year I will do the 60 mile. Thank You to all of the volunteers and organizes for making my ride a great one.

One quick question. There was a photographer along the route, how or where can we go to view the photos?
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Old 10-14-07, 06:59 PM
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This was my second CBBC Covered Bridges. The organization and friendliness of the volunteers was excellent, again. Last year I did the 20 mile route. Today I did the 50 mile route. Maybe I just had a better idea of what to look for, but I thought the road markings today were better than what I recall for the 20 mile route last year(when you cross the bridge into NJ I wasn't exactly sure where to turn, even with the cue sheet). Although I just followed the people who passed me along the way, I could have ridden the route solo without any problems or need for a cue sheet.
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Old 10-14-07, 07:27 PM
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This was my 3rd BCCB and decided on the 33 hilly route. Two rides on the same flat route in past years was too boring for me. While I did walk a short piece in two hills, I found the route enjoyable. However, not a great fan of hills, I will probably hold myself at the 33 mile route. And I suppose if that route doesn't change from year to year, I'll get bored with that one. Then again I may actually lose the weight I plan on and the hills will be so much easier. Actually I kind of liked catching up with the paks. My only real blockage was on a down hill with a car in front of me, that I wanted to past, but didn't feel safe in doing so. The one item I didn't care for was the cool morning weather at start. I haven't quite figured out how to dress for 50 degrees. As I'm writing this I'm thinking I just may start at 11am next year. The lunch and break snacks are superior to that other covered bridge ride. Only change I wouldn't mind seeing, since I now have 3 T shirts, that's enough, is an early registration option for NO T shirt, at a reduced rate of course.

Managed two photos of bridges.




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Old 10-14-07, 07:58 PM
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50 miles, 10 MPH average rolling time, 6.5 hours total including rest stops, accident for a riding companion, walking hills, and mechanicals for riding companions. I was the fellow in the pink and black Fat Cyclist jersey.

I thought the ride was very well managed by the club - well-stocked rest stops, friendly volunteers, good SAG, clearly marked courses, and thorough cue sheets. My only complaints are with the food selection for lunch - kielbasa - and the number of hills on the route. This last item isn't something the club can do much about, since the hills and the covered bridges are side by side.
 
Old 10-15-07, 07:45 AM
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Thanks for the comments. If I may respond without, I hope, sounding defensive.

Papedaler: Sorry about the congestion. I experienced the same problem riding sweep on the 33 hilly when that route merged with the metric and the 50. Many cyclists don't know the "rules of the road" or how to ride in crowds safely. We've tried to address this kind of problem with "safety riders" responsible for letting people know if they are doing something dangerous; unfortunately, I think most of the safety crew just ride and don't say much. I can also tell you that the club officers disagree about whether or not to cap the ride, a position with which I agree--even as the club's primary source of income, we don't need 3,000+ riders to stay solvent.

Jay68442: I'll try to find out about the photographer and let you know.

guybierhaus: If you start at 11, just think about when you're likely to finish. If you have a mechanical problem, for example, or something else that delays you, you may get back late, after we've begun to close up. An alternative might be clothing that adjusts easily. For example, I started out with arm warmers, which I rolled down to my wrists later in the ride; I saw one woman with knee warmers rolled down to her ankles. And, not only do the hills warm you up pretty quickly, but remember, too, the adage that if you're warm at the start, you're overdressed. I'll pass along the no-shirt pre-registration option. Nice photos.

The Historian: I was that "friendly volunteer" in the CBBC jersey/vest riding sweep on the 33, who tried to encourage folks. As for the kielbasa, we also offer a vegetarian dish, but we often have difficulty estimating how many to order, a common problem with large day-of registration numbers. To be honest, there were a number of people who underestimated the difficulty of the ride and did a lot of walking; as a result, their rides took much longer to complete, so they actually finished after the official "services shut down" time and long after the veggie burgers were gone. I hope your riding companion is all right.

Regards, Roy Zipris

Last edited by lrzipris; 10-16-07 at 05:04 AM.
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Old 10-15-07, 08:20 AM
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OK, long story, but bear with me.

I did the 20/30 ride. I was feeling a little under the weather when I got up yesterday morning (our hotel room turned out to be a smoking room), so I got a late start. Since I needed to be back around noon to meet up with my wife, get cleaned up, and check out, I decided to do the 20 mile route (originally planned on the 33 miler). Since I was a bit late getting started (9:30-ish), I anticipated the crowds. Once we crossed into NJ and got on 29, that was not a problem. Once I got to the rest stop at around 11 miles, I got a little confused. I didn't recognize that the 20 turned around at that point and went back the same way it came. Although it was on the cue sheet, I guess I missed the directions. I went on down to the next turn around point (covered bridge at end of Lower Creek Rd). I did the turn around, and made it back to the flagger.

Here's where things got interesting. I don't know if the flagger was distracted (I believe one of the policemen was speaking with him at that moment), but I thought he told me to go right, up the hill on 519. In retrospect, he was most likely saying that to someone coming into the road going toward the turn around point, not me. So, I got out of the saddle, and pushed my way up that big hill. After I got up there, past the little book store, and through the one horse town, I stopped and wondered why there was no one else around me. Hmmmm.... So, I turned around, went to the bookstore, and asked the owner for directions (very nice guy). I thought he told me to go straight, which was not the way I had gotten there. I ended up really lost, out in the country on Raven Rock Rd. I called the support number, and they had a little bit of a problem trying to figure out where I was, mostly because I said Rock Raven Rd. Anyway, I made my way back on my own, called them back and told them I found where I needed to be. I was hurting by the end, but I made it. Thankfully it was a beautiful day, and my wife is a total saint.

I really enjoyed the ride, even though my 20 mile flat ride turned into a 38 miler with 3 or 4 hills. Granted, it's mostly my fault, but I do have a suggestion or two based on my experience yesterday. I would suggest that the 20 and 30 mile routes be separated, or at least marked differently. They were both marked with white paint. I didn't actually realize I was on the 30 mile route until after I got lost. I did see a sign when I returned to the Bulls Island rest stop, but by that point I had already ridden quite a bit out of the way. I would also suggest writing "turn around point" or something to that effect in the cue sheet for those who are as dense as me.
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Old 10-15-07, 11:09 AM
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Here's the photographer information: The website is http://www.imageextreme.com/, the photos aren't up yet (today is 10/15), and CBBC will be putting a link on the website in a few days.
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Old 10-15-07, 11:54 AM
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Thanks Roy
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Old 10-15-07, 05:36 PM
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How does the climbing on this event compare to the Lancaster ride? It almost sounds like this one is more challenging in that regard and I'm thinking it'd be fun to do the 100k next year.
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Old 10-15-07, 05:42 PM
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It was only my 2nd organized bike ride (1st was the Philly Bike Ride) and I have only been riding a road bike since June- but I thought it was a very well organized ride with near perfect weather. And the amount of "snacks" at the rest stops was incredible.

I did the 33 mile ride - well,
actually (and accidentally) we did the "45 mile ride."

We got a late start (about 9:45) so there wasn't a pack of riders to follow - consequently we missed the very 1st turn and rode 6 miles down Rt 32 before recognizing our mistake. We called the ride support phone # (what a GREAT idea!) and decided to just turnaround - but that meant we added 12 extra miles! I rode the rest of the ride with the cue sheet in my hand - though we belatedly we noticed there were colored ride markers ... so no worries there...

But since we had been concerned about our ability to do even the original 33 miles - now we were really worried. Once we made it to the first rest stop (whihc was still there- HOORAY) we just kept pushing on to the end.

The hills and length of the ride were pretty tough for me, but I was so proud that I DID IT - and I only had to walk up 1 hill! (Though I must admit I was TOTALLY wiped out and could barely move by 6pm )

Can't wait to ride again and will defintely check out other CBBC rides!
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Old 10-15-07, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by rizz View Post
How does the climbing on this event compare to the Lancaster ride? It almost sounds like this one is more challenging in that regard and I'm thinking it'd be fun to do the 100k next year.
This is a tricky question to answer because the Lancaster partisans love their ride and are quick to defend it, but I've done both and to me there is no comparison as to difficulty. Even though I live only a half hour away from the start of the Lancaster ride I tend to pass it by because for me the course is just not challenging, certainly not enough to put up with the crowds. (It's a nice ride through rolling farm land, but that's what I get going out of my own driveway.)
The Bucks ride on the other hand is a four hour round trip, and the crowds are getting as bad, but it's worth it to pit myself against the hills. I've even seen some people post gps readings that seem to suggest that the climbing on both rides is comparable, but this just makes me greatly distrust gps. (I guess the theory is that every little climb in Lancaster adds up the the long climbs in Bucks, but try telling that to your legs.)
At the risk of insulting the LBC fans I would say that if you can do the Bucks ride then you will have no problem with the Lancaster ride, but the reverse isn't neccessarily so.
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Old 10-15-07, 06:08 PM
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This was my first "real" organized ride, and overall it was a great experience. I did the 30 mile flat also (which was actually 34 as per the cue sheet, so Drew you didn't do too bad...). Sure, there were a lot of people with all experience levels, but it looked to me like most had a good time. I applaud the amount of effort it takes to organize an event like this. I need to upgrade my bike and get in shape so I can ride some hills with you guys next year...any opinions on a used Trek Pilot 2.1 for an older rider? Thanks.
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Old 10-15-07, 06:16 PM
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Long climbs sound like a hoot. I'll definitely have to put it on my calendar for next year.
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Old 10-15-07, 06:24 PM
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this was a great ride. was my first year and i had a great time. felt more organized than some of the chrity stuff ive done over the years. felt the relationship between the riders and the motorists was better than what i see on the roads near me. food was great, volunteers were nice and helpful, and loved the course. i did the 63 mile. dont have a odometer so i dont know when i finished. hope all enjoyed.
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Old 10-15-07, 07:55 PM
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After reading all of these posts I'm feeling pretty good about my ride. I did the 33 mile hilly and I didn't think the hills were that bad. I'm not saying that it was an easy ride by any means but when it was over I still felt pretty good. I started riding just 4 weeks ago and this ride was my 13th time on the bike. I was really unsure if I should even do the 33 but I like to push myself. The hills I have been training on by my house are really tough and I guess that is why I viewed these hills as not so bad. I'm just happy to have completed the ride and to know that pushing myself up the training hills at home really paid off. Thanks again to the CBBC for putting on a great event.
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Old 10-22-07, 06:18 PM
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Just noticed that the photos are up: http://www.imageextreme.com
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Old 10-22-07, 08:37 PM
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Hi Roy,

Just wondering if you plan to post the cue sheets on the CBBC website? I would like to try one of the longer rides prior to next year's ride (I guess I should have thought to grab one during the ride, huh?). Thanks.
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Old 10-22-07, 10:34 PM
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Photos have been up for awhile. Got mine today. Had to stand up to show off the new jersey.

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Old 10-23-07, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by MnD View Post
Hi Roy,
Just wondering if you plan to post the cue sheets on the CBBC website? I would like to try one of the longer rides prior to next year's ride (I guess I should have thought to grab one during the ride, huh?). Thanks.
CBBC doesn't post the cue sheets. I think I kept a copy of the 50 mile route and I might be able to get the metric; then I could scan and email them to you. Or you could follow the markings that should, except in Plumsteadville, still be there.
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Old 10-23-07, 10:51 AM
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oh my word... how did i honestly not know about this ride and miss it?!?! i'm seldom this upset with myself or the world around me. ahhh......
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Old 10-23-07, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by MnD View Post
Hi Roy,

Just wondering if you plan to post the cue sheets on the CBBC website? I would like to try one of the longer rides prior to next year's ride (I guess I should have thought to grab one during the ride, huh?). Thanks.
If you do one of the longer rides on your own make sure you bring enough water and possibly snacks. I did two of the rides on my own years ago and found that there aren't a lot of places to fill up a water bottle or pick up something to eat.
When I did it I didn't have a cue sheet so I just picked a color and followed those arrows, hoping it wasn't the longest route or the shortest. (I think they had a full 100 mile route back then, but I'm not sure.)
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Old 10-23-07, 06:19 PM
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Yellow is the 33 mile route. Not sure about the other colors
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Old 10-26-07, 10:47 AM
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Probably isn't much need for another reply but what the heck. I did the flat 33 and my wife and kids did the flat 22. I'm the guy whose wife got stung on the tongue by a bee. I thought the ride was a lot of fun and I agree that it wasn't exactly clear where to turn coming off the bridge in Frenchtown. However, we bike there frequently and knew where to go anyway. Weather was great, ride was well organized, Safety Patrol guys at the Bulls Island rest stop gave good support, if only just emotional, to my wife after the bee sting and stayed with her as I rounded up the kids. When it became clear she would be alright, I took off to do the extra 11 on the flat 33. After doing 9 mph for 11 miles, it felt like I was let out of a cage and I averaged close to 17 mph (which for me is cookin') until I caught up with them on the way back up the towpath a couple miles south of Frenchtown. All in all a very nice spin, even my wife enjoyed it, bee sting and all. I'm going to try the 33 hilly next year.
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