Monday, July 21, 2008

Frenchtown : 19.07.2008

As I mentioned in my previous article, on Saturday I spent a very pleasant day - although at times I really did begin to wonder - cycling through some of the prettiest scenery New Jersey has to offer.

Now, back in the UK NJ has been referred to as The Essex of North America - Brits will know what I mean. But given how delightful the Delaware river countryside is, it's a bit unfair.

A baker's dozen assembled by the Delaware at Frenchtown, NJ in temperatures which were pretty warm to start with, but were to soar later in the day.

Our main aim was Merrill Creek Reservoir, a 650 acre / 264 hectare lake used to maintain the flow of the Delaware during periods of heavy utilisation.

There's a nice visitors' centre by the lake with good bird and wildlife lists and even a couple of decent telescopes for visitors to observe the impressive raptors.

I didn't see any exceptional big birds, but did spot a couple of hummers feeding in the bushes.

After resting our legs and replenishing our water-bottles, it was back in the saddle and heading for the general store at Bloomsbury where we chugged gallons of water and various allegedly healthy energy drinks, before heading back to Frenchtown.

All in all, this amounted to close on 60 miles of very hilly cycling. And hills weren't the only hazard. The bridge at Javes Road was out for big-time maintenance. No-one really fancied the detour so we ended up fording the river.

Thanks to my compadres, none of whom complained about the Brit hanging off the back towards the end.

If you want to read a fuller account please try Tom's Bike Adventures. For another rider's blog try Laura's PerpetualHeadwinds. I took the liberty of pinching a couple of pictures from these blogs, so thanks to Tom and Laura.