Tour of Happy Valley is this months R-12 ride. I wanted to get this one out of the way early, so I could get ahead of increasingly bad weather that is sure to come as we head deeper in to autumn. Well, that plan fell a bit short, as weather was the main story of the day.
Before I describe the ride, I thought I should mention that the Tour of HV is one of the only two free route RUSA permanents in PA. Free route is a fun way to do rando – we need more of them, methinks… (It’s harder in terms of route design, though…)
Anyways, we knew we would see some moisture, but the forecast looked pretty good, and we didn’t expect that there would be any chance of rain after 9am or so. That turned out to be pretty far off. We were rained on fairly steadily till we made it to our first refuel stop out past Hartleton (at Harvey’s store).
During the last 5 to 10 miles of that segment I noticed our roaring west tailwind. Crap. We were as far east as we were going to be, and that meant we were destined to battle a headwind for the next 70 miles or so. So yeah, that sucked, but at least the rain stopped. I got pretty chilled riding into that wind, as we were still quite wet from the first 40 miles out to the controle.
We eventually made it down to our westernmost point (controle at Warrior’s Mark), and were fully expecting to enjoy a strong tailwind, but unfortunately, the wind had decided to die down considerably.
So, all in all, what should have been a fairly easy 200K was actually fairly hard. Not Splendid Isolation or AMCUP hard, but certainly a respectable day’s work.
This is a nice course. Eric has designs on developing a happier Tour of Happy Valley, where we delete the mountain climb on 45, place the first turnaround in Woodward instead, and take the route further west into Sinking Valley, which has some primo cycling roads.
Then it started to sprinkle… Hey at least it’s not cold or windy….
Rest of the Photos: http://s771.photobucket.com/user/steamer_03/library/Tour%20of%20Happy%201?sort=3&page=1