Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Amish Country Classic Ride

Saturday September 9, 2017

Al L, Rich B and I decided a while back to skip the Lancaster Covered Bridge Ride and attend the Amish County Classic.  The ride is still in Lancaster but in a different area of the county.


It was a very early morning as we decided to drive up to the event the day of.  There was no mass start so it made that decision a lot easier although we were one of the last to start the ride.  We decided to do the metric and started at 8:45 AM.

It was a chilly start.....53 degrees!  For a Floridian like me that's really cold!  However the scenery and the ride were definitely worth the trip.  It made me wish for a simpler life and wishing I could actually do it but I know myself and know at this point in my life it's not possible.

 Look next to the second's a horse and buggy 

A better photo of the buggy w Rich B in the forefront in his cycling gear.  What a contrast!

The first part of the ride was rolling hills and lots of farmland.  It has a different look that the farmlands in the Millstone area or Hunterdon County.   We were lucky enough to see one covered bridge.

The Conestoga Covered Bridge

We knew that there was one tough climb ( Welsh Mountain) at mile 20 but we really had no clue how hard that climb would be.  It was a one mile 444 ft climb and very tough with grades of 10-14%. 
 The rest stop at the top of Welsh Mountain

What is this food item?? Laura OLPH should know this one
It's a Whoopie Pie!  Chocolate cake with marshmallow creme in the center.

Rich B loves these things and I happily gave him any that were suppose to be mine.  I think at last count at the end of the ride he had six!!!  I was very happy to pass on these although I ate one small piece to keep Rich happy and experience part of the Lancaster culture.

From the left...Rich B, Al L and me.  We made it!!!

This was at the top of the climb and I was glad it was over.  I wish I would have been able to take a photo on the decent.  It was one of the most beautiful views of the countryside I have ever seen.  I was at 36 + mph and didn't want to hit the brakes on that decent for a photo.

 The rest of the ride was rolling hills.  Here is one of the small churches I saw along the way.

If you zoom in on the photo you will see that this is an Amish Mennonite Church

Unfortunately at mile 30 Al L went down after going over some potholes.  He was hurt but decided to try and finish the ride.  At mile 46 at the last rest stop he abandoned because of his knee was locking up.  I decided ( happily I might add because the headwinds were strong) to go back with him in the SAG to the EMT's.  Al decided he was well enough to not go to the emergency room and go home with us.  He is still very very sore drop him a note and wish him a speedy recovery.
Rich B finished the ride and met us back at the end of the ride.  He saw two more covered bridges on the last 18 miles.  Oh well.....maybe next time.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Surprise Historic Ride

Thursday 8/17/17

Joe M and I decided to take an easier ride from the house today since it was such a beautiful day.  We were going to do a 26-28 mile moderately hilly ride until we changed course near the end of the ride. We ended the day with 31 miles and lots of memories.

I had wanted to go back to Washington Crossing National Cemetery and ride inside the park to see it rather than view it from the road.   Here is a link to the park for some additional information.

Washington Crossing National Cemetery

It was interesting to see how the park is laid out and how all the headstones are upright and at a angle.  Here are some photos of the park.

Entrance to Park on Highland Road
Gravestones upright and at a perfect military angle

The visitor center

There is even a bike lane that surrounds the visitor center

It is certainly a site worth visiting.

I had asked Joe M how far the Garden of Reflection was from this location so we decided to visit that 911 memorial site once we left here.  It was 1.6 miles from the cemetery on Woodside Avenue.  Here is a link with more information.

Garden of Reflection

Here are some photos from our visit.

A piece of the World Trade Center tower

Visitors have put rosaries and other items to remember their loved ones

A mailbox ...not sure why this is here?

A guide to the memorial gardens

The memorial fountain

The fountain where the glass name plates identif  the victims both Bucks County as well as all of the victims

The first of the glass plates that surround the fountain.  They are in alphabetical order.

A memorial bench located on the path surrounding the fountain

There was an additional stone plate that said that there were 17 victims from Bucks County, PA where the memorial garden is located.  See below and look closely or enlarge the photo to see the writing on the stone.

A play area for children
The play area
It was a sad reminder of what is now history.

With the events of this past week including Charlottesville, VA and today's Barcelona, Spain terrorism attack.....I have to wonder what has happened to the people of this country and all countries to want to bring such death and destruction.  It is a sad time for sure.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Ride to Carversville

Sunday 7/30/2017

Today four riders...three female and one male... went to Carversville, PA on one of the most beautiful days this summer.  It's Team Estrogen and a I call it.  Look at the photo below and you will understand.

We headed up the ridge via Aquetong Road and took the less hilly way to Carversville via Sugan Road.  Sunday's are busy on the PA roads even in this area so we were extra cautious to pay attention to the traffic.

Here are some photos from the rest stop at the Carversville Deli

 Team Estrogen and one Male

It seems that I have more than once found myself with a Team Estrogen and one Male.   There was a ride in Florida that had Joe B as the one male and there were four other females.  It's rare to find this mix of riders but it seems as though there are more females joining in on the adventure of road riding.

This puppy seems to have a permanent spot at the window when her owner visits the deli.  The owner puts her on the ledge while he visits with friends inside the store.  She constantly looks inside to make sure she sees her owner.  It's a win win for both....she gets to hang outside getting lots of attention and her owner gets to visit his friends!

The Carversville Inn across from the deli.  Fleecydale Road is one of my favorites!

We changed the route on the ride leader ( thank you Blake for being flexible) and headed down Fleecydale Road towards the river.

Enlarge the photo and look at the sign on this house.  It says Fleecydale Cottage.  I keep waiting for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to come out and say hello!

Fleecydale is under construction and it seems that we often find ourselves on a multisport ride.

That's me carrying my bike across a plank that is supporting a heavy piece of equipment.  This was actually one of the easier bike carry-over the construction sites that I have experienced with this group.  Tom H. should have been with us as he often seems to find these type of road conditions/construction.

We headed back towards the ride start location via River Road.  Sunday's are very busy on this road but we managed to stay safe.   Once in New Hope, PA ( also a very busy town on Sunday) we headed back up Mechanic Street and up the hill out of town and out of traffic.

There was a stone structure ( I think it might be a house or a garage) that was picture worthy at the top of this climb.  Thank you Perpetual Headwinds for providing these photos of that structure.

You had to be there to really appreciate this structure.  It looks like part of stone building that has fallen apart but it has a beauty to it.

We made to back to Yardley Park and Ride with 47.3 miles and 2,400 ft of climbing.  Great ride with a great group.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Rainbow Hill Ride

Saturday 7/22/2017

Nevada and I would have loved to go on Tom H's ride ( see Jim B's blog) but it was too far a drive for us so we decided to do our own thing.

Jim B's blog

We rode out of our usual spot in Pennington which is the Administration Bldg.  We headed up the Sourland Mountain Ridge via Stony Brook OLPH says is the most gentle way of climbing  up to the top of the ridge.   We turned left onto Syndertown Road and saw barriers that were previously blocking the road entrance but now allowed us to pass through the area.  What we didn't know was that the road was full of tree debris and downed power lines.  There were even downed power lines across driveways.  It looked as if a tornado had gone through the area.

 A transformer on the ground

 A downed tree that has been cut up

A split tree trunk with a downed wire through it. 

This is the worst condition of this road that I have ever seen in my years of riding!  It really did look like a tornado had gone through the area.

We were able to get through the debris and turned right onto Linvale Road.   That was also a mess.  There were three work people from Jersey Central Power and Light assessing the damage on properties with downed power lines.  

When we came to the intersection of  Mountain Road and Linvale we saw this.

 We were lucky that the road was not blocked from the other side and that we were able to get through at all.

We followed Linvale Road to the end and climbed the "S" curve climb of Rocktown Road where the view is stunning and there is a nice horse farm

We climbed up Losey Road to Amwell and made a left.   Dutch Lane was our next turn and we continued until Back Brook Road and made a left and had a nice ride on the floor of the mountain range.

I always try and find a new climb that Nevada and I have not done this summer.  Rainbow Hill was that climb. were with us there in spirit.  There is always a sense of peace riding these roads of  Hunterdon County and it really does make me miss living in NJ.

We climbed back over the ridge on Lindberg Road ( Nevada's favorite climb) and over the other side via Province Line Road with that beautiful view of the Skillman area.  If you have never seen this would be worth a drive in the car to see it ! ( if you don't like climbing hills on a bike)

Our rest stop was the Brick Farm Market where many other cyclists stop for refreshment and a snack. Although a bit pricey they have a good selection of baked goods and cold brewed coffee as well as many other selections of food and drink for dehydrated cyclists.

We headed back to Pennington via Crusher Road. ( I call it my church because there is a calmness and peace that comes over me when I pedal on that road)   We ended the day with 39 miles and 2,270 ft of climbing.  It was enough on the hot and humid day.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

A Short Ride Followed by Some Wine Tasting and British Cars

July 15, 2017

The weather was not cooperative overnight so when I woke up to ride with the diabetes training ride the roads were still wet at the 8 AM start time.  I decided it was not worth riding in the hills with tree lined roads and running the risk of a crash. and was lucky enough to find a local ride with Joe M.  We ended with 29 miles and almost 1,100 ft of climbing.

My neighbor from Florida was suppose to arrive today but her flight was canceled due to the airline not having enough crew.  Amazing that the airline can get away with that as an excuse. She was suppose to join a group of British car owners who were going wine tasting at Old York Cellars in West Amwell, NJ.

The group obviously went wine tasting and I was lucky enough to be invited.  Here are some photos of the winery and the cars.  Enjoy!

 A view of the Sourland Mountain range from the winery

 One of the attendees having fun

 Our tour guide describing the wine selections

Immature grapes on the vine. 

And now the cars.....from the rear.  There was suppose to be special place for the cars to be displayed...from the front....but it didn't happen.

 The red car is a 1997 Jaguar  XK8 and the blue car is an 1968 MGB Roadster

 A 1970 MGB roadster

 A 1974 MG BGT Sabrina model

A Jaguar S Type

It was an afternoon of fun with some British people and their cars sampling NJ wine.  It's a good life!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

A Summer Ride to Summer Road

Saturday July 8th

The were three of us lucky souls that decided to climb in the mountains in the Sourland Mountain range.  We have ridden some of these roads before but we extended the route to include some tough climbs.

Along the way we were on some beautiful country roads.  One of my favorites is Cider Mill Road because it has a steel bridge that crosses the Raritan River and makes you feel like you are a million miles away from the civilization when in actuality you are only several miles from a number of retail concerns.

The Cider Mill Road Bridge

A silo from one of the farms on Cider Mill Road

As the photo taker I rarely am able to take photos with myself in the photo but I was able to catch up with my two riding buddies, Blake W and Laura C, and take a photo of them a bit further up the road.

Cider Mill Road with a view of the countryside and my riding buddies

We didn't do any major hills at this point (Stony Brook is not that hard just long) and continued on our way through the country roads until the next bridge which was on Higginsville Road just before a short but steep climb.  The climb comes after this bridge.

Farm on Higginsville Road

Our rest stop was at the WAWA on Summer Road.  It's always busy at this convenience store but it's a welcome rest stop for cyclists.

I did manage to make it into some of these photos!

Fully hydrated we headed back down Summer Road into Neshanic before one of the big climbs of the day....Zion Road.  This road has been feared by many cyclists because of the length and the never ending false tops.  I was too busy climbing to think about that or to take any photos!

We continued up the Sourland Ridge on Long Hill ....another long climb, although not so steep, to the top where it intersects with Lindberg Road.  We were now at the top of the ridge.   We made a left onto Lindberg until the split in the road and took the left onto Provinceline Road.   Anyone who has done this section of Lindberg before it forks at the top knows the steepness of the climb.  It gives you a false sense that it is not a hard climb but it certainly is a difficult one because there is no momentum to be had before the climb.  Most times my average speed climbing this section is 4-5 mph!  It just enough to stay clipped in without falling over and off the bike.  You may ask why we do this road??  Well the short answer is that there is the most beautiful scenery on the downhill after that climb.  I wish I could snap a photo but because of braking and a sharp turn in the road before continuing that decent all the way to Route 518 it would be unwise and almost impossible to stop for a photo.  Cars do use this road and it's unsafe to stop along this decent.
We headed into Hopewell Boro and decided we had enough water in our bottles and enough energy in our legs to forego a rest stop at the Brick Farm Market or Boro Bean.  We made a left after cycling through town onto Crusher Road and a right on Pennington-Hopewell Road to head back to Pennington and back to the ride start.  
We ended up with 44.4 miles and 2,949 feet of climbing.  Not bad for a day's ride.  The awesome scenery takes your mind off some of the tough climbs for sure.