Category Archives: Ride Reports

Colts Neck – July 10, 2016

Three Groups went out on the fifty mile Colts Neck Ride this past Sunday.  Roy Fischman led the A Group and was accompanied by Bekim and Joseph.  John Warner led the B+ Group joined by Jack Halpern, Leon and Gary Warner among the six in his group.  I had the pleasure of taking out the B Group.  It was the largest of the three groups.  There were eleven of us, Alexa Halpern, my wife Nancy, Corie, Gale, Nahide, Nanette, Rolf Freerks, Frank Katalenas, Jay, Alex Ginsburg and myself. 
The Ride was one of our favorites because of the long stretches that allowed you to get into a tempo and zone out.  Zoned out to the point where turns (like in our past rides) were missed, making U turns on this ride has become the norm.      
Navigating the streets with a large group of riders created some concerns when getting around the turns and crossing the intersections with traffic lights, luckily for me, I had the help of Frank and Alex, I can’t thank them enough for their help. They took turns staying behind the group signaling me after all riders had cleared the turns and the intersections.
Thirty miles into our ride we stopped at the Breakfast Club Diner for rest and brunch.  There we met up with the rest of the groups.  We ate our food and exchanged conversations until it was time to move along and finish our ride.  The last twenty miles of our ride went smoothly all the way back to Monmouth County Battlefield Park were we had started.
At the end of the ride all of us had such a good time we were smiling from ear to ear.  It was a great day with wonderful weather and with a great bunch of friends.  I personally was pleased because we started and finished with the same amount of riders in the group.  No one was left behind.
Honorable Mentions go to the two C members that joined us on this ride, Jay and Nanet.  They stepped up to the occasion by keeping up with the pace from start to finish.  It was their first B level Sunday Group Ride and their first fifty mile ride.  Welcome to the B group guys.        

The Cheesequake to Atlantic Highlands ride – July 3, 216

cheesequake1We did the Cheesequake to Atlantic Highlands ride on July 3, 2016. It has been awhile since we last did this ride. (Last year bad weather cancelled it )

The start to this ride is the closest of any NJ rides, 15 minutes from the Outerbridge. The parking lot we pulled into is just off the Garden State 120 exit.
The route took us from there over to our rest stop at mile 25.8 at a Quick Chek. There were some uphills along the way but we all persevered with our low gears and afterward enjoyed the downhill payoff.
Only two flats during this ride and Armando, the quick flat fixer, once again showed his skills.
After the rest stop the route led up to the Mt Mitchill Scenic Overlook.  The view from there is panoramic.  The Sandy Hook peninsula is below, the ocean beyond, and in the distance, the Manhattan skyline.
The best downhill of the route is right after this on Ocean Blvd.  A long winding road.  You soar down this incline shaded by the canopy of trees overhead and wonder when it will end.
At the end of the ride, Joe Ribaudo, one of our new members, received his First Sunday NJ ride initiation, the water bottle soaking (OK I admit it was his second but it wasn’t done last time )
Won’t  it be great when the Outerbridge is done, with the new bike path,  predicted to be 2017, and we can do some NJ rides without driving there in a car?

Flemington area ride, ( Hunterdon Hundred metric) 10/30/16 – report


Beautiful weather day!  When we started the ride it was 65 F and when we finished it was 80 F.

This is a wonderful area to cycle in. There were many back roads with few cars and country scenery.   One of the highpoints was riding around the rim of the Round Valley reservoir.
There were a good amount of climbing hills but the payoffs were the health benefits of getting our heart rates way up there, the conditioning for our legs, and the descents – reached 40 mph!
Soon after Round Valley reservoir we stopped around mile 22 at “Jerry’s Brooklyn Grill”. A cozy place that has some special pancakes.  I had the Black Forest pancakes.  Neal had the fresh fruit pancakes.
Though it was not a farmland area,  we did pass a corral with some cattle. The farmer came out to chat with us and said the bull in the picture was about a year and a half old. ( No horns because he was  bred to be without them )  He said he raised the bull in his basement.  And now all he has to do is tell the bull if he wants him in the corral or the field and all the other cattle follow his bull. ( no pun intended )
This ride has a first hilly loop of 40 miles and then a fairly flat second loop of 22 miles,  The end of the first loop went right by our cars so we gave in to the temptation and ended our ride.  Next time we’ll take a ride on the “Flateau” area.

Colonial Hopewell 10/16/16


Congratulations to the two new ride leaders that emerged from this past weekend’s ride, the Sourland’s.

Gene Garber led the B+ group that consisted of John Warner, Allan, Mike Shoan and Aziz Gabriel.  This by the way was Aziz first SIBA Sunday group ride.  Corie Lorocco lead the B’s, the group consisted of Nancy, Jay, Edgar and Gary and myself. Both did great, thank you.

It was a winter like morning this past Sunday for the Sourland’s ride.  Leg and arm warmers, my wind jacket and long fingered gloves was how the ride started for me.  The morning’s dense fog and cold blistering air on my cheeks had me wondering why I didn’t put my Bennie on.  The temperature certainly called for it and my frozen ears had me regretting not having done so.  The weather also had me wondering if this would be the last on my New Jersey Sunday rides for the season.

Similar to two other rides we have coming out Colonial Park, we ride out of the park and a couple of turns later we’re riding along the Canal.  At the seven mile point we turn right, this is when it stops from being similar.  At this point we start to ascend and I quickly forget the frigid temperature.  Seventeen miles into the ride we approached our rest stop the Brick Farm Market, the temperatures have warmed up and the fog is gone.

After our rest stop we headed for the hills.  We hit some long climbs and I kid you not when I say long.  One of the climbs went on for just over 4 miles, at times it would taper and level only to introduce to you the next grade you’d be graduating to.  The scenic views at the top of these climbs were rewarding and I can’t remember encountering any cars while in the mix of a climb.  There was a point we had approached, an intersection where the roads opened up, here you could clearly see we had reached the very top.  But that didn’t mean there was no more climbing and it didn’t matter because knowing we reached the top meant it wouldn’t be long before we start descending.

We barreled down a hill that had to have been at least three miles long, some of the riders (I heard mention) reached speeds as fast as thirty six miles per hour on the descent.  For the rest of the ride there would be some more hills to reckon with but nothing of the likes of what we left behind and all had settled within the last eight miles of the ride.

Special Note: The Sourland’s ride is a ride that was shared with us by Gary Warner, we will add it to our rides rotation (can’t wait to do it again).  The Brick Farm Market (our rest stop) is a place worth stopping even if you’re not riding but happen to be in the area

Incidentally, we found a perfect spot two miles before the finish for a photo opportunity, we embraced the moment and took a few (see attached).



The not Warner Brothers, John and Gary led several SIBAs on this nice route through central Jersey in beautiful cycling weather. Gary led the B group, of which I, along with Roy Evans, Corrie, Jay, and a new member, Edgar, participated in. John Warner led the B+ group.

As noted the weather was sunny but cool. The sun was bright so our journey along tree lined roads was a mixture of sun and shade, typical of our NJ rides. During the earlier hours of the ride, I found myself hoping to ride along a sunny section rather than looking for the shade, as I would have been doing just a few weeks ago. It was chilly. The good part about the cool weather was the fact we weren’t consuming as much water as we would have if the weather was hot. This turned out to be a blessing, because when we reached the 37 mile mark, where we expected to have a nice sit down at the planned lunch stop, a cute diner with pictures of ’40’s and ’50’s cars, we found the place HAD BURNED DOWN 😨
There we were in the parking lot staring at this shell of a once nice diner, thirsty, hungry and in need of an outhouse. Fortunately, some of us had extra jells and snacks which we shared, while sitting on a low wall in the abandoned parking lot.
After a short break we rode on till we came to a 7 eleven and those that needed to replenish their water supplies and get something to eat were able to do so. Roy Evans managed to down 2 slices of pizza during our short break.
One of the things we discovered on this ride is that it is definitely NOT FLAT because as Gary noted we’d done about 1200 feet of climbing and were only at the halfway mark. Even so we agreed we were glad we were doing this ride vs the Twin Lights ride as we encountered groups of riders along the road where the routes for the two rides merged.
When we finally got back to Brookdale college we all agreed it was a good ride. Ther B group put in a solid 14.7mph average which is at the top of the category’s 13-15 expected pace.
Congrats to Jay who said this was the longest ride he’d done in years. Corrie rode her usual solid ride and provided the group with her unique take on things. She even showed us how not to come to a stop at an intersection with a fine demonstration of elan and humor. I’ll let Corrie fill the curious in on the details.
Thanks Gary and John for leading the ride🚴



2016 Amish Country Bike Tour – Sept. 10, 2016

2016 Amish Country Bike Tour

This year’s Amish Country Bike Tour was the fourth one for me.  The first one was four years ago.  John Swofford and I were the only two that rode in the event that day.  John’s wife Coral and my wife Nancy were also there with us.  It was my first century ride that day and one of John’s many.  Since then our group of riders has grown for this annual ride event.

Who was there?  Twenty members attended this year’s event, among them were our clubs President and Vice President, Roy Fischman and John Warner.  Congratulations to SIBA’s new members Joe and his wife Susan attending their first event and completing their first 50 mile course.  Other attendees were the usual, Lex, Marion, Carlos and Corie.  Hugo, having just recovered from his recent injuries joined us along with Linda, Gail, Roy Evans, Neal Secher, Rolf, Nahide and Ira.  In addition, John Swofford, his wife, Nancy and myself.

Social Nights.  We had two Socials that weekend, seventeen members attended the first nights social at the Piazza Mia Restaurant where we enjoyed good food, some drinks and talked about our upcoming ride.  The second social took place on the evening after the event at the Country Eatery, sixteen members attended and again we indulged to the likings of great food and desserts.

The Ride.  The weather on ride day started overcast with cool gusty winds but as the morning progressed it became warm and muggy with the winds picking up at certain times.   Soon after, the sun was out and the winds lingered.  The temperatures climbed, it reached 94 degrees and I heard at one of the rest stops that the heat index was at 104.  We took full advantage of all the rest stops to cool down.  It was a day where many riders after stopping at a rest stop didn’t seem to be in much of a hurry to get going again.  As we rested at the rest stops many riders reminisced how this year’s ride was similar to the one two years ago, I remember it well.

Many of our members rode the fifty mile course and some the Metric while others tailored the course creating a distance not offered, not by choice.  Corie, Gail, my wife Nancy and myself started together to do the intended Century ride but somehow my wife and I managed to get separated from the rest. Nancy and I did finish the Century together and Neal and Roy Fischman teamed up and completed the Century as well.

Other Rides.  The day before the event, a few of us managed to get a short ride in.  Short enough that I referred to it as “an equipment check ride” but long enough to break a sweat and loosen up.  Sunday morning the day after the event John Swofford took us out on a twenty five mile recovery ride.  John will be moving to Idaho soon and he’ll be missed.  I wish him the best in his new adventure and hope that this event is not the last time we get to ride together.

Posted by: Armando

PS:   Of the four Amish Country century rides I’ve completed, none have been the same (see past years’ blogs).  The course is as flat as a pancake but the weather conditions packed a punch.  It was so hot that for the first time at every rest stop I had to pour cold water on my head and neck in order to cool down.

Tony’s Sunday August 28, 2016 Ride

To celebrate my 80th birthday and my 28th year in the club I decided to come out of retirement and lead a NJ bike ride. For those of you who don’t know me or forgot me, I used to be known the Greatest Ride Leader on the Planet however and thanks to my good buddies Lex & Marion I have been upgrade from Planet to Universe. “Nuff” about me.

On Saturday’s ride Lex asked if two new members Sue & Joe could join us. I said of course. Then I noticed they rode hybrid bike and I wasn’t so sure. After riding with them I saw they were capable riders and would not have a problem on the ride.

Sunday morning we met at the bagel store, attending were: Lex, Marion, Linda, Sue, Joe and my riding partner Bob. Sue & Joe confided in me that they still were somewhat apprehensive about the ride. I assured them they would do just fine and they believed me!

We departed the bagel store and drove to the ride start; Brookdale College. We were going to ride Dale 2 Dale a ride of 44 miles. After parking and while unloading the cars I heard a scream of delight. It turned out to be Lex, she found out the bathrooms were opened. Some people find delight in such simple things.

After all did their thing we finally got started. About half mile later I stop the ride, I realized I forgot my cell phone and went back to my car to get it. So much for the

Greatest Ride Leader etc.-etc!

The weather wasn’t too hot and the road provided a lot of shade. Everyone was together as I set a blistering pace of 14 mph and we were on mostly flat roads. At the 20 mile mark we stopped at the Manasquan Reservoir for a rest stop and of course a bathroom break. I really don’t like to stop there but if I didn’t the four women would probably cause a mutiny! We were off again and the road had a few climbs and who should pass me but Sue & Joe, so much for being apprehensive. We arrived in Farmingdale for lunch and stopped at The Breakfast Club, a club favorite.

On the return ride Linda hit a pot hole and flatted. I immediately sprang into action. I removed the wheel and pulled the tube out and put a replacement in however the value stem seemed to be a ¼ inch long and we were unable to attach the pump. So I had to remove the tube and install another. When suddenly it dawned on me, I was doing all the work while all the “youngins” were standing around watching me! They claimed they were learning, yeah right! I could not get the last bit of tire on the rim and gratefully Joe finished the job.

We were back on the road and very happy to see the entrance to Brookdale College.

When we made the last turn I heard someone behind yelling “we did it” It was Sue, her and Joe had just completed their first NJ ride and they rode 44 miles the longest ride they ever did at an average speed of 13MPH and they did it riding hybrids! Congratulations to both of them and when they get road bikes, they will do just fine.

What a difference from the morning, this time Lex almost had a nervous breakdown when she found out the bathroom was not opened!!

As a long time ride leader it always gives me a sense of satisfaction when I take new riders on their first NJ ride and see how much they enjoyed the ride. It also makes the ride more enjoyable for me.

See you next time.

Tony I

The First Penn Dutch “Stay and Bike” ride – June 2016

We had our first SIBA “Stay and Bike” ride in the Penn Dutch area this year. ( It may have been the first ever SIBA overnight run by the club )

Some of the reviews of this trip were – “best cycling area there is”, “the
friendliest club (Lancaster Bicycle Club) members”, ” a wonderful weekend”, “have to come back here”
The Plan: Stay two nights at the Holiday Inn Express in Lititz,Pa.  –  join the famous Ice Cream Lovers ride of the Lancaster Bicycle Club on Saturday (which was being planned especially for us) and their Giro d’Earl ride on Sunday – enjoy some tourist attractions in the area, when possible –  eat some good meals, often
Our trippers were:  Gail Mercuri, Laura Barlament, Linda Benedetto, Gary Warner, Armando Lisojo, Nancy Lisojo, Roy Evans, Gene Furman, his wife Sabina and their daughter, Rolf Freeks, Nadia, and myself
Friday 6/10/16
We arrived at our hotel, the Holiday Inn Express in Lititz, on Friday afternoon. We got in touch with the other SIBA members who were arriving and made a plan to meet in front of the hotel for a short ride in the area.
Armando had set up a route on his Garmin that took us by the meeting points of the club rides on Saturday and Sunday.  After completing this first ride, about an hour, we came back to the hotel at about 5pm.  Perfect timing to think about dinner.
Gary had done his research and discovered that, serendipitously, the monthly second Friday celebration, was taking place in the town of Lititz, that night. The streets were crowded and some merchants had their goods on the street, like the free wine tasting. Also, street musicians. That night we dined at Joboy’s Brew Pub. We sat at a wooden round booth where we enjoyed each other’s company and the good food, though Armando was put out when the waitress recommended the fried Mac and Cheese balls and then came back to tell him that they had run out. The poor waitress was harangued by him almost every time she came back to the table! (But the good news is that item is on our menu at the next SIBA social event on July 8! )
Armando’s observation:
The surrounding panoramic countryside views are breathtaking and not enough can be said about the Lancaster Bicycling Association. It’s good knowing we have friends in the cycling world, in the town of Lancaster.
Saturday 6/11/16
The next morning we enjoyed the extensive hotel breakfast. And coffee was available 24/7!  Meeting at 8 am in front of the hotel we rode together, for a half hour ride, to meet the Lancaster Bicycle club for the 9 am start of the Ice Cream Lovers ride.  The meet up was very similar to the SIBA meet up at Miller Field for our club rides, in a parking lot. But the number of cyclists was four times as many. This club has over 400 members.  At this ride, I calculated about 80 riders.  We all put our names on the sign up sheet for the ride (even club members put their names on the sheet)  Some of us signed up for the C group for a 30 mile ride and the rest with the B group for a 42 mile ride. I introduced our club to the Lancaster members who gave us a welcome applause. By 9:30 am we were on our way. Within minutes we were in the thick of the fabled Penn Dutch farmlands. Pastures and cropland stretching to the horizon!  Horses, mules, goats, sheep, etc. were seen on many farms. (Thankfully, the farms have a deed restriction that ensures the seller of a farm sells to someone who will also maintain a farm ) So, twenty and more years from now, this beautiful sight will still be here. The roads were marvelously smooth, the vehicular traffic was almost non-existent, almost no stop signs or traffic lights, and it was blissfully quiet rolling along the roads. About the only common mention among the SIBA riders was the smell of manure in the air. (The locals in the Lancaster club were acclimated to it by now) It was explained to me that this is the fragrance in the area each spring and fall.  As I’ve said, the roads were wondrously free of the potholes that we SIBA members deal with on Staten Island, but, they had their own challenge, running the occasional obstacle course of horse and what may have been mule, poop. (I can’t tell the difference)  I rode along enjoying the scenery. Two sights that I found unique were, passing an establishment with the black Amish buggies lined up ( The 2016 models?) and four volleyball nets set up with about 100 Amish dressed in the traditional clothing, men with long pants and white shirts and women with long skirts and bonnets, playing serious volleyball.  We, the B group, got to the Lapp Valley Farm, the famous ice cream stop, which was at mile 20.9 in this ride of 42 miles. The ice cream store was staffed by two girls wearing  Amish clothing. The ice cream was incredibly creamy. So thick, it was the consistency of satin wall paint.  Outside the store, in a pen close by were cows. So I surmised that  the cream was fresh. Also, for amusement, there was a litter of kittens outside the store that many cyclists played with and a friendly bulldog. The bulldog stood on the porch outside the door to the ice cream store and was friendliest to anyone who would give him a taste of their ice cream. We finished the ride by 1 pm which gave us most of the day to pursue other activities.
Most of our group took off to explore the Tanger Outlet stores in Lancaster. Armando, Gary and I, went to the Railroad museum of Pennsylvania. But before entering the museum we had a delicious lunch at a chain restaurant next door called Isaac’s Famous Grilled Sandwiches (recommended). After our excursions some of us relaxed at the hotel,  I met Laura and Gail at the Lititz Springs Pool to enjoy the cool waters.  For dinner, we went to a restaurant, the Federal Tap House, in Lancaster, which had been recommended to Nancy by a Lancaster club member. It was there we met the final members of our SIBA group, Rolf and Nadia, who had just come up that day. The restaurant had a long list of beers, wines, and ciders. In fact,  there was a wall sign listing 100 beers on tap!  (Armando wanted to make sure this was noted ) And the food was delicious as well.
Sunday 6/12/16
After another hearty hotel breakfast, we cycled over, only a 15 minute ride, to the meeting point for the Giro d’Earl ride. There were considerably less Lancaster Bicycle members, maybe 30.  Then, one of the Bike club organizers told us that many were concerned about cycling that day because of windy conditions. She said that in lieu of riding out to the countryside, some riders were going to be riding around the local town of Lititz, where the riders would be sheltered from the wind by the town buildings. But most of us decided to head out. After all, it was only a 32 mile ride. And the club President, John Mullineaux, told us that he was going to escort our SIBA group.  So, we rode off. As we cycled along, I was thinking, where is this fierce wind? Well we soon found it. Though I believe I can attest that though the wind hit us from various directions, it never came at us head on, which would have been somewhat detrimental to our pace. The wind, for that day, was 15 mph, maximum at 26 mph and gusts up to 37 mph. Despite the wind, the ride was enjoyable. Some highlights: sailing down a long hill which funneled us through a covered wooden bridge, spotting the occasional Amish black buggy being pulled swiftly along by a strong and beautiful fast trotting horse, catching a photo of one of those buggies, and watching the tall grasses of the fields undulating as the waves of wind passed through them. Worthy of an Andrew Wyeth painting. Later, I turned to John, the club President and asked him if the weather is usually like this at this time of year. I meant to say the warm temperatures. John turned to me with a contrite look and said that it was unusual to be that windy. I absolved him of responsibility for the wind and explained that I meant the warm and dry weather.  He said that this is always the weather at this time of year. Bang! That was just what I wanted to hear. That was the final factor in my resolve to make this an annual SIBA trip! Upon returning to the hotel we showered and then met in the lounge area of the dining room. This had become our unofficial meeting place. The general consensus was to start the drive home. But again, serendipitously, there was another Isaac’s Famous Grilled Sandwich restaurant next door to the hotel! So I enthusiastically sold everyone to go there for lunch. Oh, and all their beverages have free refills. But sorry, they don’t carry alcoholic drinks. 
Summing it up, this trip was a great experience that, I believe I speak for all the trippers, we must do again.  And, also, the trip was enjoyed by non cyclists as well. Gene’s wife and daughter were on the trip and enjoyed their weekend with the other activities in the area.
For the next trip to this area, the possibility of renting a vacation house is being considered.  We can have a SIBA club house!
Thanks to all the trippers for the good time with good friends.
Roy Fischman

Bedminster to Reading – 41.6 mile – November 22, 2015

We rode more wonderful biking roads on our Bedminster to Reading ride. As soon as we left the town of Pluckemin, N.J., we found ourselves in the countryside. With barely a few hills we ate up the miles with Gary Warner leading.

At about 20.5 miles we took a break at a WAWA.
Soon after, mile 23, we began rolling along the Raritan river. That to me was the best part of the ride. Almost no cars and some narrow winding roads, We had almost no more hills to climb and continuous views of the river.We crossed the Raritan about four times on the way back and enjoyed watching the change of the seasons from our bikes in the company of Alex Matskovsky, Emil Fliorent and Gary Warner. And the temperature stayed in the comfortable 50’s for the whole ride.

We got back to the start a little after midday and then only had about a half hour ride to return to Staten Island.

Keep rolling,
Roy Fischman

Allamuchy – Allegory – 41.8 miles -November 15, 2015

We pedaled an area in New Jersey that was quite different from the other New Jersey SIBA rides. Similar to some of our other N.J. rides, the roads were almost devoid of motor vehicles, the pavement was smooth, the scenery was bucolic. What made this area unique was the extent of the country scenery, the many lakes we passed, the farms with not only horses and cows, but goats as well.

We met at the bagel store; Alex Matskovsky, Gary Warner, Gene Garber, and I. The drive to the start of the ride in Allamuchy took an hour. All of us, were dressed in our cold weather gear so we were prepared for the 40 degree F. Besides, we knew that the bicycling would soon warm us up.

The first half of the ride had some huff and puff hills. The second half were mostly hills of the roller coaster variety (we were able to power up most of them).

At one point we came upon a sign that the road ahead was closed. We took one look at the detour, up a steep hill ( someone said they were ready to go home rather than go up that monster) and decided to see if we could get through the closed road. About a half mile further we came upon an electric utility truck. I got the driver’s attention and asked him if we could get through this closed road. Turned out that there was a downed power line and we had already rode over it. So, we continued down the road

One stop was by a field of cows who looked contented: many of them lying in the field But as we approached their fence I noted a few of them get to their feet and seem to glare at us. It seemed a bit peculiar, until Gary deduced the reason why; I was wearing a bright red jacket which must have triggered their innate reaction to red. I backed away and lo and behold, they returned to their placid stances.

We had previously decided that we would probably skip the meal stop, but we came up to the restaurant, Max’s Station House, mile 27.5 at 10:15. So, we decided to prolong the ride since there was only 12.5 miles left to ride. And we were glad we did! It was a homey bar/restaurant with red draperies on the windows and comfortable seating. And, we were the only diners there!

Around the town of Andover we came across the strangest hills of rock and dirt in the woods. They were of various shapes and sizes. Some as big as a house and some as big as an ocean liner. So jarring was the sight of these behemoths among the wooded areas it seemed like an abstract sculpture in the woods. A little research turned up the probable cause of those rocky outcroppings. Talus slopes from a glacier! if you care to see an example look at the picture at the top of page 7

A nice ending to our ride was the rising temperatures. By the time we finished it was in the 50’s

Let’s keep rolling,
Allamuchy ride - break time

Allamuchy ride - excited cows

Allamuchy ride - on the road