Start Date: June 1, 2013/12:59 pm
Ride Time: 4 hours, 4 mins (total time 5:06)
Prototype: 47 years, 8.44 month old rider
Distance/Ascent: 55 miles – 4600′
-It was the 3rd day in succession of riding this week, with plus 90° temps-
each of the 3 days. Thankfully, it hadn’t really bothered my riding so far…
Today, the Antagonists of hills lay ahead. I rolled out, making my way up the
slight, steady grade of Meeker then down to Harmony Falls and then
onward to the climb of St John on the Mountain.
Hardscrabble, bumpy and broken throws her all at me, 3 miles,
long, 675′ up at about a 4.6% avg grade. I keep the pedals turning,
fighting for every second. Off along the edges of the road, lay
the remnants of the 7th Brigade, as Revolutionary rocks form
the hardscape, while the streams run their course.
The top of Talmage- with the heights of Randolph in the distance
The miles are rolling by and the scenery has me smiling today.
I approach the 3.5 mile Cold Hill-Woodland Climb that takes me
past Potts Reservoir– The rays of sun dance and glean off the still water.
She rises up 547 feet, with a slight reprieve and dip in the middle.
I’m struggling to keep a steady pace. Shoulders rocking, labored
breathing, The sun is pounding my head like a 10lb hammer sledge.
The cars of passers by, look into my suffering eyes…I’d ask them-
tell me what do you see- someone real? yea this is for real, as real
as it gets… At the summit of Mt Freedom, I stop for a respite, water
and food to fuel the second half of the journey.
I roll down South Road- peeling off onto Ironia. This is the big, fast
descent of the day. I was thinking to just coast and roll down her wicked
esses- but just then, the ‘racer’ got the better of me…
Carbon wrapped in Flesh and Bone, plunging down steep Ironia-
Riding into sweeping Fury…
( I scorched the downhill- 1:37 and shattered the record of 1:49-
Now I covet the #1 spot…but for how long?)
The road bends right-left-right-left, with a decreasing radius in the
2nd right-hander. Here is where I nearly met my fate… I made a rare mistake of
turning in just a second or two early, I was in way too hot…and had to just feather the rear brake. The tire locked for a brief moment, my eyes-wide with fear…I immediately
released the lever and the rear tire hooked back up.
I stomp the pedals and the gears once more gathering precious speed down
Snake Hill- as my heart rate slowly comes back down. Oh, I got lucky today, no doubt.
“straining the limits of machine and man…laughing out loud with fear
and hope I had a desperate plan…”
Three more climbs were still in front of me before I made it back
home, Campbell, Clark and the finish up old familiar Liberty Corner.
The 90° heat was beginning to takes it toll…as I could feel my face radiating,
the sweat pouring off my arms and legs. Thankfully, there was
a little shade on the Clark and Liberty Corner climbs for a bit of cover.
I am taking on a steady flow of water and now at mile 50 I was empty.
So one last water stop at Dunham Park, just 4 miles from home…
It’s 5:37 pm now and the sun shine is unrelenting, but Sol is a welcome friend, always.
My hands, back and neck are all aching, as I head for the solace and
comfort of the house door. I’m thinking about the big post-ride meal,
as I look to bright, blue sky with thanks and remember the sights
and sounds on this first day of June…
Cogito – Ergo – Zoom…
4 thoughts on “Moving Mountains…”
Sounds like a gorgeous ride despite the brutal heat. As a history enthusiast, I would enjoy being surrounded by landmarks while climbing. One day ..
Oh yea, it was as usual. I am lucky to live in a such a place where the scenery is beautiful and there is so much Revolutionary and Colonial history Aaron. Many people around the nation forget or don’t realize that the Continental Army camped and marched through most of central and northern New Jersey- Jockey Hollow has a brutal story of the winter of 1779. (a few miles from my door). Of course PA has Gettysburg and Phila, but NJ has a rich Colonial history as well. And, I live about a mile from the French Encampment in Liberty Corner. Hey man, anytime you want to come north, I would gladly host a ride!
I have a couch or a cot waiting…:)
That sounds spectacular. I’m actually finalizing a history degree, and have read about a lot of those stories, although probably not in the same fascinating detail that you get living around them. My bucket list (http://steepclimbs.com/climbs/the-50-state-project/) has me riding up High Point, NJ someday. I’ll need to work in some extra time to spend around the historical sites.
Wow, that is interesting Aaron, a History major! Cool.
Yes, HP NJ in Sussex Co is another great place to visit/ride. Big Climbs up there for sure. Part of the longest day. 200 miles from Cape May to High Point. I have never ridden up there, but it is on my list.
I want to climb Fiddler Elbow and Iron Bridge- probably the two toughest climbs in NJ.