NYC Populaire (189km) – Sunday, July 23rd

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  • NYC Populaire (189km) – Sunday, July 23rd
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Anonymous's picture

"(See the RUSA glossary for the definition of a ""populaire."" If you want a registration form, please e-mail me and I'll send it to you. Following is a message from Laurent Chambard, RBA of NJ Randonneurs.)

New Jersey Randonneurs present:

New York City Populaire (189km) – Sunday, July 23rd, 2006 – RUSA BR

Start / Finish: Corner of Riverside Drive and W. 145th Street, Manhattan, New York City
(Entrance of Riverbank State Park)

This event is no less than the tried-and-tested route of the traditional NYC 200, cut a little bit to comply with RUSA rookie RBA regulations.

Riders leave Manhattan in amazingly little traffic, enjoy fantastic views over the City from the George Washington Bridge, and head into Northern New Jersey through rolling and interesting suburban lanes. Views become increasingly rural as riders approach the first control in Bloomingdale, where refreshments are a good idea before tackling the seriously hilly next stage leading to Greenwood Lake and the next control. Again, it is recommended to refuel at the control, since the next stage offers a succession of long hills over reasonable gradients, including delightful Harriman State Forest. By the time riders reach Nyack on the Hudson and the penultimate control, they will be ready for food and a bit of rest. The home leg leads riders over New Yorker’s favourite week-end ride route, through Piermont and back to Manhattan by way of Route 9W and GW Bridge. No doubt randonneurs will make countless encounters on this stage, as recreational and club cyclists head back home too after their day out.

This event should not be regarded as a mild introduction to randonneuring, which some Populaires tend to be. It has instead been thought as a real preparation ride to BMB for entrants who wish to hone their condition once qualification is in the bag. The amount of climbing does reflect this, and humid heat at that time of the year contributes further to making of it a good workout. There is no killer gradient, though, so riders should be able to enjoy to the full the amazingly good scenery on offer so close to the City.

Stage 1: Manhattan 7h00am SHARP – Bloomingdale (Closes 11h12am)
39 miles - Strongly rolling - Refreshments at controle by commercial establishment

Stage 2: Bloomingdale – Greenwood Lake (Closes 1h20pm)
20 miles - Hilly - Refreshments at controle by commercial establishment

Stage 3: Greenwood Lake – Nyack (Closes 5h08pm)
35 miles - Hilly - Refreshments at controle by commercial establishment

Stage 4: Nyack – Manhattan (Closes 7h32pm)
23 miles - Strongly rolling at first, gently rolling then

This ride is not a race. Competitive behavior is not welcomed on brevets, sociable attitude is the norm, should you be fast or slow. Please enjoy, whatever way you like.

A preliminary cue sheet will be e-mailed to riders who pre-registered upon reception of the entry, for the information of the entrant. Fee is $10 pre-registered, $15 on the line.

This event is unsupported, meaning all controles are commercial establishments where you have to pay for your food, have your card timed and initialed by the shop staff, and time the sign-in sheet on the counter where applicable. Controles will know you are coming.

I should be at the mid-point controle in Greenwood Lake, and will have room in my car for just one rider and bike to be driven up to Englewood, NJ. Failing this, you are on your own to come back should you decide not to finish.

Upon registration you will be handed over at the start your rider pack containing brevet card, cue sheet, safety instructions, and 10 Hammer Endurolytes electrolyte replenishment pills. I will have water at the start, too.

Please notice the change of venue (again!) compared to NYC200s run in years past. I will be waiting for you from 6h00am, wearing a Randonn"

Anonymous's picture
Joe (not verified)

Anyone here planning on doing this ride Sunday?

Anonymous's picture
Neile (not verified)
Presuming I can get someone to cover for me at work, yes. (nm)
Anonymous's picture
Bob (not verified)

Looks like such a fantastic ride, but I'm too chicken of getting stranded for whatever reason in the middle of nowhere with no mass transit or SAG available.

Anonymous's picture
Tony Rentschler (not verified)
Count me in

I am, as long as the weather is fairly nice.

Anonymous's picture
Steve (not verified)

What is the difference between this and a regular century ride (other then the extra 13+ miles)? Is pacelining not allowed?

Anonymous's picture
Mordecai Silver (not verified)
Brevets vs. century rides

Pacelining is certainly allowed on brevets.

I can think of a few differences between a brevet and a century ride:

1) Brevet distances are 200km, 300km, 400km, 600km, 1000km and 1200km. Populaires are shorter than 200km.

2) A brevet has a strict time allowance:
200km - 13.5 hours
300km - 20 hours
400km - 27 hours
600km - 40 hours
1000km - 75 hours
1200km - 90 hours.
There are also checkpoints along the route where the rider must stop to get the brevet card stamped. Missing a checkpoint or arriving after it has closed results in disqualification.

3) Records are kept for each rider on a brevet. Riders are really competing against themselves and the route, but it's inevitable, because of human nature, that people compare their times with others'. Some fast riders do treat a brevet as a race and vie for bragging rights.

4) Most centuries are well-supported. Some brevets are well-supported, with a good number of volunteers, but others have very little support, or none at all, and you're expected to bring what you need with you, or buy it on the way. Self-sufficiency is the hallmark of the true randonneur.

Anonymous's picture
Steve (not verified)


Anonymous's picture
Mordecai Silver (not verified)

"There is no online registration. You can e-mail me and I'll send you a registration form. Or you can e-mail Laurent Chambard at njrando(AT)verizon(DOT)net. Or you can just show up at the start, fill out the form, pay the fee, and ride.

This has been Laurent's first year as RBA. He took over from Diane Goodwin, who moved to Ohio in the winter. At first, he was restricted by RUSA's rule that a rookie RBA can only organize three events (a 200 km, 300 km, and Populaire), but after seeing how well the 200 and 300 were run, despite terrible weather conditions, RUSA authorized him to run an entire series. The 400 was a great success, despite rainy weather again: of the 24 who started, 22 finished. Laurent again did a masterful job on the 600, a beautiful and very challenging route from Englewood to the Catskills and back.

Very few NYCC members took part in local brevets this year. One reason perhaps is that Laurent has been far too busy to put up a new website yet or do much in the way of publicity. When Diane was RBA, the brevets were well-advertised, on the website, in the NYCC bulletin and on this message board, and elsewhere.

For those of you who don't know what this is all about, a brevet is more like an organized century than a club ride, but the shortest brevet, after a populaire, is about 125 miles. Those who complete a series sometimes go on to do 1200 km rides, like B-M-B or P-B-P. You don't have to be an A rider to finish brevets successfully. You can ride fast, with minimal stops, in order to set a personal best, or you can take your time, smelling the roses, provided that you reach each checkpoint by a certain time. You can ride in a group or solo. You are likely to meet up with other riders riding at approximately your speed, if you want company. Randonneurs are generally a very friendly bunch.

Whether you are thinking about riding P-B-P ( next year, or just want to try a scenic, challenging ride, I highly recommend the Populaire."

Anonymous's picture
Mordecai Silver (not verified)
Good weather forecasted

The high is forecasted to be around 80° F. Much nicer than last year's NYC 200 km brevet, when the humidity and heat began to take their toll by mid-morning. I started getting bad cramps in my right leg on the climb out of Bloomingdale (Glenwild Ave) and continued to suffer from them until Harriman. At times I had to stop and get off the bike for a minute until the cramps went away.

Looking forward to Sunday!

Anonymous's picture
Neile (not verified)

"Warning: Randonneurs use a fairly perverse criteria to define ""good weather"".


Anonymous's picture
The stealth rider (not verified)
Congratulations to Neile

Congratulations to Neile on his stellar performance in today's event! Watch out Floyd Landis--

Anonymous's picture
Neile (not verified)
Racing the Sun

I don't know about congratulations, as I officially DNF-ed for arriving at checkpoints after they closed, but I had a great day nonetheless.

Actually congratulations *are* in order -- to the ride organizer, Laurent Chambard for a beautiful, CHALLENGING ride (Granny and I spent a lot of time together.) All very well handled, including his day of the event shuttling back and forth to the control points to see that all was going to plan. Bravo Laurent!

For me, the day started with a flat ... a blowout ... walked the bike for a mile till a passing cyclist gave me a tube ...nursed the boot into Westwood ... then waited 45 minutes for the bike shop to open ... before I cound change the tire a third time.

Once the tire was replaced, I resumed the ride. Once I determined I could get back to the GWB before dark, I completed it, rather than continue north and bail at Garrison.

My only regret was that there were a number of riders I knew and never got to see. How'd you all do? We want stories.

Anonymous's picture
Floyd Landis (not verified)
My Story


This is Floyd Landis here. I'm so sorry that I couldn't make your NYC Populaire (189km) – Sunday, July 23rd

I had a little bike ride of my own, but next year, if my hip replacement does not work out, I'll be sure to make it.

Good luck on your future rides.

Just a few tips one accomplished cyclist to another:

1) lose the elbow pads. it's a major faux pas amongst we roadies.
2) loosen up. life's too short, dude.

Anonymous's picture
Neile (not verified)

"Starve the troll.

Hey ""Floyd""; Rather than hijack a thread representing a lot of hard work by organizer and riders, why don't you start your own with a real name and we can discuss whatever you like.

Or better yet, email me. Others might be not be interested.

""if my hip replacement does not work out""

One thing though, I got the pad idea from a couple of friends with shattered elbows. You think the Tour is painful? Rehab's the bitch."

Anonymous's picture
Robbie McEwen (not verified)
Elbow Pads

It is easy for you Floyd to make fun of Elbow pads. You ride with the protection of the peloton or alone on the hills and in the time trials. You don't rough it up with the real sobs in the sprints. I have often finished rides with bruised elbows and would love to have the option of elbow pads. No faux pas to me.

Anonymous's picture
Levi Leiphammer (not verified)
Floyd and Robbie-I wish I knew whether it's pads or no pads!

I don't know if I'm a sprinter a climber or just an average time trialer, but I sure as heck am willing to try out elbow pads, shoulder pads or heck---a football helmet; if any of them will help me win the Tour now that I'm with Discovery!

Anonymous's picture
Tony Rentschler (not verified)
A mystery explained

I was surprised not to see you at the start - I figured you couldn't find a sub at work after all.

Granny gear? I think I was in my granny gear for at least 90 miles. I put a dinky little chainring on my bike last week - as a spoof, you know, just to see what super low gears are like. I used it! More than once!

This is indeed a challenging ride, but rewarding if you can find a nice pace and slowly (in my case) knock off the miles.

Time went by quickly for me. I think that between checking the cue sheet to make sure I didn't get lost, and focusing on climbing all the hills, I didn't have much time left over to think about anything else. Well, OK, maybe I was thinking about a nice shower and a cool air-conditioned apartment for the last 30 miles or so, but other than that, I was pretty well occupied.

I was surprised how much traffic there was for a Sunday. A summer Sunday, I guess. Higher gas prices don't seem to have made one bit of difference - there were still plenty of SUVs and big pickup trucks on the road.

So, what's with the flats? I take it you WEREN'T using your Armadillos?

Anonymous's picture
Neile (not verified)
Hey Tony. Congratulations.

"""I was surprised not to see you at the start.""

My bad. I saw that the first checkpoint was open from 7-8:00AM and presumed the procedure was like a staggered start. Whatever time I got there would be the time I got credited with for the duration. [I figured *you* might be late trying to decide which bike to bring. :)]

Also, I looked a the distance and the time allowed and figured there was *plenty* of time. Didn't expect to do more distance in a granny than the overall length of some SIGs. [Bloody amazed Mordecai did it on a fixed.]

""So, what's with the flats? I take it you WEREN'T using your Armadillos?""

Made a previous post that I was trying some Panaracer Extreme Duros ... well I found out they ain't no Armadillos.

Picked up a sidewall puncture just before the GWB. Replaced the tube, but a five miles later it blew again -- this time with a ""star"" pattern on the tube. Got another tube from a group heading to Piermont and booted the half inch cut with Tyvek which held till Westwood. The toughest tire they had were Gatorskins -- nice, but no Armadillos neither. Even thinner sidewalls that the Panaracers.

""This is indeed a challenging ride, but rewarding if you can find a nice pace and slowly (in my case) knock off the miles.""

Yeah, there was a distinct zen. Closer to Mobil Economy Run than Indy 500.

The challenge was as much mental as physical. Was determined to keep focus and avoid mishaps (no ""brain farts"" ... ).

Was also better with nutrition -- much thanks to Reyna Franco's SIG posts as well as online contributions. While I never had any great speed, I finished the day as strong as I started."

Anonymous's picture
Rob Marcus (not verified)
Congrats Neile

I knew you could do it.

But a real man would have just peddled on their rims without a tire.

Congrats, you are always up any challenge. Better men would have quit.


Anonymous's picture
Neile (not verified)
Kind words, but out of 20 starters, there were 18 finishers.

If you discount the exercise in patience and humility, my performance was extraordinarily average.

We got some tough SOBs/DOBs in this club.

Anonymous's picture
Ellen (not verified)
fantastic day of riding

Here's Laurent's summation of the day............

Thanks to local Randonneur Mordecai Silver who had spread the good word about this event throughout the City, a sizeable contingent of 20 riders showed up at the start, with strong participation from the New York Cycle Club and many new faces. Interestingly, as many as four Randonneurs from New Jersey had crossed the usually formidable barrier represented by the Hudson river, and were there too. It might well be an all-time record considering the predecessor (NYC200) of this particular event!
With 189km and a good many hills the route has strong parenthood with the NYC 200 of years past, and had been advertised as such. Riders had hence come prepared and brought their climbing legs and small gears with them, complete in two cases with respectively yellow and polka dot jersey. A noticeable exception was Mordecai riding his beloved fixed gear, and for good measure wearing an old-style woollen jersey looking like it had seen some action in times past of uncertain date.
Two riders showed up pretty late, not far from controle closure time... Perhaps New York is not quite the City that never sleeps, after all!

In perfect cycling weather riders made good progress over rolling suburban roads, up to Westwood where two riders encountered lethal mechanical troubles that would force them to DNF. Further up the road the viciously steep, short lumps leading to Bloomingdale were hardly noticed by our hardy Randonneurs. The tough 10 miles after the first controle in Bloomingdale did trigger some more comments, but everybody was looking fine and cheerful when entering the mid-point controle at Greenwood Lake, reached by most riders with a comfortable cushion of spare time.
This being the NJ series, it was inevitable to see front riders greeted by some rain as they were ascending Rt 17A towards Harriman State Forest. Seasoned veterans of the Princeton Classic Brevets simply decided to laugh about it, so off went the rain and on came the tailwind! Appreciative comments were received about the beautiful climb through Harriman State Forest, already visited earlier this month by finishers of our 600, only one of them (Jonathan Levitt) being there on the Populaire too. Riders reached Nyack on the Hudson still on time for indulging in the specialties of the Runcible Spoon, an illustrious cyclists cafe in those parts, and all found the answer to the Info Controle question. The tailwind-assisted ride along Rt 9W was something of a flight, resulting in that everybody was accounted for at the finish-cum-ice-cream by Riverbank State Park in Manhattan more than one hour before cut-off, allowing the RBA to indulge in the unusual luxury to be home and done by 7h30pm. Nice stuff, this Populaire business!

Detailed results are as follows. Riders listed by order of registration.


None! The 18 pre-registered riders showed-up, and were joined by two entries on the line. Full marks for your seriousness, folks!



Andrew was let down by his handlebars, and I am glad this happened where it did and not while descending from Harriman State Forest at 45mph. Neile was done by a failing tire.
We hope to see you back guys, on a day with somewhat better luck.


Ellen JAFFE, Okan DEMIRMEN, Walter RENTSCHLER, Sebastian MAURER, David DE LA NUEZ, Joe KRATOVIL, Joseph ASKIN, Caroline BRAGDON, Jeff STEIN, Mordecai SILVER, Stephanie BUSLOFF, Dolores McKEOUGH, Allison SILCOX, Jonathan LEVITT, Todd KEREKES, Althea Grace PINEDA, Walter PETTIGREW, Judson HAND

Judson was first back, proving that he is not taking it easy shortly after having signed an impressive performance on the Mount Washington time trial. Mordecai was first (and last) fixed gear rider, but second overall which is quite an achievement on a course that is by no means a picnic. Jonathan was there to ho

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