RECAP: Little Britain 200k | PA Randonneurs

2020 brings a new calendar for the Pennsylvania Randonneurs and this past Saturday was the opener for the season. The Little Britain 200k.

My happy ass did not have the base miles to carve out 125 miles that day but Kit, always having that fitness on hand, registered for the event.

After 2 days of hard rains, the weather was looking pretty damp for the brevet and a little slice of me was glad I was not doing it. However, a bit of me was sad that I was not joining Kit on her first 200k ride since she moved to the Keystone state. So the least I could do is roll out to the start of the ride, reconnect with Andrew Mead (RBA) the organizer, and say hello to some of the riders whom I met last year at the Victory to Remember 200k.

With lights on the bike, at 5:50am we pushed off towards the starting point of the ride.
The meetup point was at The Shops at Landis Valley. The 20-minute bike ride to the start was under the darkness of the early morning and covered under a blanket of dense fog. A fog so thick (10 yd visibility) that I took us a block too far as we navigated our way through the housing development that backed up against Butter Road. Doh!

These rides require all riders to wear the proper visibility pieces; a fluoro-reflective vest and have proper lighting on your bicycle. I wore my reflective rando vest and ankle straps despite not participating in the ride. So I looked the part, just riding that day.

"You're not registered for this ride, Will.", Andrew pipped up upon seeing me.

"Yeah, I know. I'm just going to roll out with Kit and everyone if that's cool. I know that's not the brevet protocol but I'll keep my miles brief.", I optimistically replied.

Andrew turned away and looked like he was mentally chewing on my sale pitch of the morning.


Kit chatting with RBA Andrew Mead before the start of the Little Britain 200k.

As 7am approached, riders gathered said their pleasantries and then were debriefed by Andrew before heading out Landis Valley Road for the start of the brevet. Still misting/light rain, and loads of standing water on the roads... and no fenders for me or Kit. Oy!


Stats of the Little Britain 200k.

The course ran a figure-eight pattern across the north and south end of the county.
The starting point was the crossover spot and a mandatory control spot for the riders where they needed to have their brevet cards signed as proof of checking in; as noted by the brown squares on the above map. No check-in, no credit for the route.

At the 5 mile mark, I peeled off from the group when they turned left onto Disston View Road.

I couldn't see shit.
On my way back home I was grateful for knowing the roads and the locations of all the potholes. My glasses were completely rain-soaked and the moisture droplets were bleeding out on the lens. Time to use The Force, while winding my way home.

Seriously, that small ride with the group has forced me to sort out what to do with eyewear should it rain or be severely humid during low-light rides. At this point, I'm thinking about getting glasses with some sort of hydrophobic coating to prevent the clinging of raindrops and moisture. Maybe Rain-X or Fog-X for now to treat my current eyewear? Thoughts?

I rolled into the garage, covered in a film of farmland manure. At least hanging my bike by the front wheel would allow the water to drain out the back of my bike. I yanked out the seat post and left it on my workbench for later.

"If 18 miles of my bike looks like this, Kit's bike will be wrecked by the time she's finished the brevet.", I emphatically stated. Which it was.

I stripped down in the laundry room and tossed everything, right down to my shoe covers, into the washing machine. Done.

I watched Kit wind her way around the county.
Using the Find My Friends app on the iPad I was able to watch her progress from start to finish.

As she got closer I decided to pop into Highland Pizza the finishing spot and grab a beer and talk bikes with Andrew Mead and some of the other riders.


10 hours later, riders rolled into Highland Pizza for the final signing of their brevet card.

Kit was about 15 minutes off the pace of the main men's group of riders. She strolled into the restaurant looking pretty satisfied with what she just accomplished that day. I raised my beverage and said CONGRATS!


Rainy rides call for zip-lock bags to keep your supplies dry and wearing layers to stay warm.


This is what being 51 looks like.
First PA brevet, DONE! 125 miles.
One happy woman.  


The next brevet is the Beyond Hope to Hopewell 200.


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