Sunday, May 29, 2011

Etra Lake Park - Clarksburg : 20110529

Great Sunday morning ride from Etra Lake Park, in the general direction of Clarksburg. Gary let Eric insist we complete a hilly loop around Perrine Circus, a hundred foot climb with a sweeping descent. Doesn't sound much but it got the legs going at an early stage. Thanks Eric.

We swept into the rest stop in Clarksburg as a few riders from south Jersey left, but obviously, today it was the crossroads of the cycling world as dozens of other riders arrived from the four corners of the state, even as we left.

It was hot day. A day to avoid cramps. Drink lots. Even if it means delaying the group. It's better than going down with that horrible feeling in the legs.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Griggstown Grinder : 20110524

Less than a month until Midsummer's Day and only on my third Grinder of the year.

But today my legs felt pretty good. Not quite KoM, but almost.

Diane's route had two nice climbs. Copper Mine Road (300ft/90metres) and Cherry Hill Road (400ft/120metres) with a couple of smaller hills thrown in for a total of 1450ft/440metres in almost 25 miles/40km. Have you noticed how hills sound more impressive in feet?

Anyway, this was one of the best evening rides of the year, so far. The threatened thunderstorms failed to materialise, and it was a bunch of happy riders who arrived back at the cars just as the sun set over the Sourland Mountain.

All routes published on this blog are recorded using a Garmin Edge 605.

If you want a bicycle GPS then the Garmin Edge 605/705/800 is hard to beat. However, there is a drawback. The illustration shows a 605 with quite a pretty map display with contours and colour and fine road detail.

But, despite costing far more than most car GPS' you still have to shell out a further substantial amount if you want mapping in that sort of detail. It's annoying to spend maybe $500-$600 and find you need to spend a further $100 for the North America map. And again a year later when the map's updated.

I have recently found this page on The Open Source Map (OSM) which has been adapted to run on any Garmin. I haven't tried it myself, although I'm shortly going to download the North America map onto a microSD and try it out myself.

I'll let you how I get on in a few weeks.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ride of Silence - new date

Last week's Ride of Silence was postponed due to heavy rain.

The proposed rain date is June 1.

Check details here ...

Rendezvous details on my blog here ...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Where was my bike made?

Where was your bike made? Oh yes, probably not where you thought it was.

Check it out in this article from The Bike Pedlar ...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Be Seen - even in the summer

I didn't make last evening's Griggstown Grinder. The threat of rain made me think twice. Sorry guys ...

However, it did remind me that it's still a good thing to be seen, especially under the trees on a dull day, or as sunset approaches. Even after a clear sunset, darkness can fall very quickly with just a mile or two to go.

Blackburn Mars 3.0
I use two lights, both of which frequently elicit comments from other riders and road users.

The Blackburn Mars 3.0 rear light is excellent value for money. One or two more expensive red lights may be brighter or flash in a more effective pattern, but the Mars 3.0 is very bright from the rear, employs an effective, attention grabbing strobe effect, and also shows a bright amber light to either side, a requirement of European rear lights. The Mars 3.0 uses two AAA batteries, which last a very long time.

Blackburn Flea 2.0
For the front I use a Blackburn Flea 2.0. The Flea 2.0 is a remarkably small, usb or solar charged light which has a flash mode which lasts for several hours. I'm not sure how bright it looks from the front, but it illuminates reflective road signs up to 100 metres away, so I'm assuming drivers coming the other way are aware of me. The Flea is not going to illuminate your way home, but is a very effective aid to conspicuity.

Blackburn also manufacture a Flea rear light, but its strobe mode employs LEDs only a few millimetres apart, so I'm not certain the differentiation is noticeable.

Of course, there are other effective bicycle lights available. The most important thing is to be seen. So, regardless of manufacturer, make sure front and rear lights face the traffic. Too many conspicuity lights are aimed down towards the ground, make them far less effective as aids to safety.

Incidentally, you can find New Jersey sunset times here ...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ride of Silence : 20110518

I will be supporting this year's Ride of Silence, an world-wide annual bike ride commemorating all cyclists killed and injured in the past year.

Riders who wish to take part in the Princeton/Skillman area should meet at Van Horne Park, Princeton - behind Princeton Fitness and Wellness Center - at 6.30pm for 7.00pm prompt, Wednesday, 18 May, 2011.

*Event postponed due to rain. More information here ...

Be prepared to ride 12miles @ 12mph. ie: 1 hour duration.

Other rides in the New Jersey area can be found here. Other US rides here.

Incidentally, it's quite hard to find bicycle accident statistics for New Jersey. The state's DOT Crash Records don't recognise cyclists as a demographic ... I found some really dated information which showed that NJ was one of the safer states for cyclists with 2.28 deaths per million over a period of five years in the 1990s.

However, this document shows fatalities aren't really falling nationally, although NJ rates are now around 1.49 deaths/million. Comparisons with Europe are difficult, since statistics there are compiled on the basis of accidents per 100million kilometres travelled.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Griggstown Grinder : 20110510

Tuesday evening saw the Grinders take off into the Sourland Mountain for the first time this year.

Major climbs included the Hollow Road / Long Hill Road ascent and Lindberg didn't fail to test our legs. Mine felt as if I was riding a heavy steel touring bike ... Oh, wait a minute ... Well, that's my excuse.

Bike route 964756 - powered by Bikemap 

PS: Top speed 38mph.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

The Commute

For the last couple of Fridays I've bitten the bullet and commuted by bicycle to work.

I can state that it is 24.17km/15.02miles door-to-door and that riding into work in the morning, which being slightly downhill and with a following wind, is rather more pleasant than homeward bound against the breeze.

About 10 minutes quicker too, although that may be due to it just being the start of the day.

There is a logistical situation too, because it's best for everyone that you have fresh clothes and a means of freshening up when you arrive.

It takes about 25 minutes to drive the route and, on a good day, about 50 minutes to ride.

On the rare occasion I commuted in Bristol, UK, the 35km/22mile ride took about 75 minutes. It used to take over an hour to drive. So I suspect the more urban your environment the closer commuting by bike gets to your driving time. In fact, if you live in the big city, cycling is probably the quickest way to go.

Try it.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Tour de Cure - 2011

Help fight Diabetes by sponsoring me on this year's Tour de Cure around Princeton, NJ, on June 12, 2011.

Last year, Gary, Gene and I rode the Century along the Jersey Shore. This year we're scaling back a little to a Metric Century - 100km/62.5miles - but with, we hope, a larger group of riders.

Me | Gene | Gary
in 2010
I feel a connection with this cause. My brother, Martin, has suffered with Type 1 Diabetes since he was a teenager, so I know how this condition affects a life. None of us are immune and the onset of Type 2 Diabetes is common enough as we get older.

I know any decent society would have prioritised the conquering of this and many other diseases a long time ago, but for now please consider sponsoring me or any other rider and help fight this scourge.

Thank you.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Back to the Grinder

It's the month of May. Sunset is after 8.00pm. It must be time for The Griggstown Grinder.

So the usual suspects, plus a couple of new comers to the agony and ecstasy of the Grind, started the season with a non-challenging route, as Diane put it, away from our usual roads through the Sourlands, and north through the Hillsborough 'burbs towards Millstone, then south besides the Delaware & Raritan canal to Rocky Hill.

Plenty of poison ivy about, so avoid running too close to the verge.

Now, if non-challenging means including the 300ft+ climb of Copper Mine Road, then I don't know what challenge Diane has for us next week.

Can't wait!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

South; but not that far south ...

So, it was time for my first regular Princeton FreeWheelers' ride of 2011. And so it was that a small, but perfectly formed group met up at Etra Lake Park and and took Gary's route south through the Assunpink and Clayton Park towards Six Flags Wawa .Don't let anyone tell you we don't we see the sights!!!

Diane said it was our own little part of the Deep South. Okay it wasn't Hazzard County, but I could see what she meant. Maybe Jersey Shore without the shore bit. I believe there were a few Daisy Mays there. You can Google that for yourself.

But, it was a nice ride on a very nice day ... things can only get better ...

Enhanced by Zemanta