Monday, April 25, 2011

Hill of the North

Ah! Easter Sunday. For me the first warm ride of the year.

I don't know what it is; thin blood, warm heart, limp-wristed pinko-Euro liberal, whatever. But I am a cold mortal, or is it morsel? I just love to be warm. And today was the day, climbing to almost 27C/80F. My kind of day.
Pie time ...
Heading anywhere north of here means you are quickly into a climb. Stonybrook Road starts running alongside the Stony Brook (?) before climbing across Route 518 and up into the Sourlands Mountain.

Snydertown Road follows the contours across to Linvale Road where the climb recommences towards the outward summit of 145m/470ft around Mountain Road. The route undulates across the dissected plateau towards Lambertville, so there is no let up for the legs until the final 2km/1.5mile descent into the town.

It doesn't take much for me to pause for a pie stop and watch the Easter visitors explore the town before threading the back-streets and starting the ascent along Alexauken Creek towards Ringoes. I made a minor detour out of Ringoes until I realised I was committed to taking Route 31 south. This didn't appeal to me so I turned around and set off, instead eastwards along the Wertsville Road.

The Wertsville Road is possibly the most like an English country "B" road that I know of, so riding it is a bit of a nostalgic pleasure. Climbing the northern half of Linvale Road isn't such a pleasure, but I think it is one of the  easier Sourlands climbs which takes you up to the ridgeline road.

I met up with a cyclist who needed directions to Princeton at the junction with Mountain Road so we set off towards the Hopewell-Wertsville Road and over the summit of the entire route at 175m/570ft. The rider had the benefit of legs at least thirty years younger than mine so he sped off towards Princeton and I settled in for the final stretch diverted by the closed bridge in Hopewell and then home.

So, not a long ride, 52km/32miles, but 800m/2,600ft of climbing, so it was quality, not quantity. Next week should see me riding with a group, further, faster, but flatter ... I hope.
Enhanced by Zemanta