Monday, March 19, 2012

Lambertville : 20120318

Well, originally, the weather forecast promised much. Once again, unseasonably warm and sunny. But Sunday morning started cool and foggy. Even by our start time of 11.00 the skies looked very grey through my cycling glasses.

We headed out for Lambertville; basically up a big hill and down again. It was my first ascent of Hollow Rd/Long Hill Rd this year. But really, I was quite pleased that my legs felt good. Okay, it wasn't in any way comparable to my season's best, but, hey, I'll be doing this one plenty of times in the next few months.

Lambertville, NJ
Even as we pedalled the dissected plateau towards the Delaware the clouds remained steadfastly dark and threatening and I was glad I'd opted for long-fingered gloves.

However, it was quite a sociable day for a ride. I spotted a number of friends out for a day's ride, usually speeding the other way, and at one point we were joined by a couple of riders who mistakenly thought we were members of their group.

Lambertville was very busy. Not just cyclists, but plenty of day-trippers. As we leant our bikes outside the coffee shop a group of about 40 riders clattered through the town. But while we sat there sipping our coffees and teas the sky began to perceptibly lighten, pretty much around the time the morning's forecast had predicted.

The return was basically a run straight back the way we came except we diverted off Hollow Rd and took the fast descent of Grandview as a reward.

Incidently, Hollow Rd is in a very poor state for fast descent. Don't follow your leading rider too closely to avoid the frequent potholes and gravel.

So a nice ride with a cool start but a warm finish. Roll on the warm weather ...
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Thursday, March 08, 2012

Canal Cruise : 20120308

Hey! C'mon!! The sun is shining and it's 72F/21C!!! Even an icicle like me can ride a bike in March in New Jersey. Okay, there was a bit of a stiff breeze, but the trees by the canal broke it up. And flats? Pah! I laugh at flats!! Oh yes!!! There were flats ... but not mine ...

It was day when riding your bike was hard to resist. So I drifted down the hill from where I live to the start of a meander down the tow-path of the Delaware and Raritan Canal, situated in one of the longest and thinnest state parks in the USofA. 

Bike route 1445602 - powered by Bikemap 

The path is in a fairly good state, following an exceptionally mild winter. However, mild doesn't necessarily mean dry, so the path showed signs of repair where the canal had overflowed during the progress of the season.

But it was a good sign that the work had been done, although, at the moment, some of the repaired sections are pretty rough, but another month of riders, joggers, walkers and doggies should see the path relatively smooth again.

It's over 10miles/16km from our start on Route27/Old Lincoln Road in Kingston to Millstone and over that distance there is a fall of 30ft/9metres, not that you'd notice it other than the slow progress of the water on the canal.

There's a little deli in East Millstone which makes an excellent sarnie, although, unfortunately, it's closed on Sundays. But still, a simple sandwich in the open air is one of the pleasures of life, and having partaken, it was time to return, this time against the imperceptible climb, and more importantly, stiffening breeze.

A half-a-dozen turtles/terrapins turned out to salute us and a huge heron did a fly-past to finish off an unseasonably warm and pleasant ride.