Hardscrabble Grim



Returning little in exchange for great effort

That about sums up Hardscrabble Road. Twisting and turning from the hills of Bernardsville up to Mendham, NJ. A weaving 3 miles, rising 670′, at about a 4.5% mean. This scenic undulating and steady climb offers more than just a challenge.

http://ridewithgps.com/trips/122086527.7 miles – 2250′ up


A paradox of beauty and a violent notable past. Fore this was the home of the New Jersey 7th Brigade- the volunteers of the Continental Army who endured one of the most brutal deadly winters in history, from 1779 to 1780. Steadfast in defending the ridgelines of the area while on their way to the battles in New York…

This area of Morris County provides some of the best scenery and landscapes of roads to ride, while giving those who traverse them, a lesson in history.

IMAG0465 7th sm

This was the first day that actually felt like a true Spring day. 61 and sunny, though a steady head-wind of 10-12 mph prevailed. This was also my first ride of the year, where I donned shorts, but still wore long-sleeves and gloves.

I had planned on a 30 mile jaunt, but had to cut it slightly short, feeling my left calf starting to tighten up, just before the onset of a cramp. I wanted to ride a tempo, trying to reach 14 mph average, keeping out of the lower gears while climbing.

Though with the unrelenting winds and still an out of shape rider, it was proving
difficult. I also intended to achieve 90+ feet of ascent per mile, but came up short as well at 81.22′ per mile. Once I get into my prime riding season, May-Sept. I aim for 100′ per mile. It’s my own personal goal and ensures I get in a decent amount of climbing.

All in all, it was a good ride and by the time I rolled back in I was thoroughly exhausted.
I managed just under a 13mph average with 3 decent climbs. Not quite what I wanted, but I am making progress. My climbing times are getting closer to some of last years ‘best efforts’ which is a better metric to gauge my performance than overall average speeds.

With the cooler weather now looking like it has turned the corner and the promise of warmer temps finally here, the anticipation of great rides and big climbs are waiting in the wings! Bonus…the Giro is only 28 days away! Molto Motivation!