Beautiful weather day! When we started the ride it was 65 F and when we finished it was 80 F.
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 https://www.brickfarmmarket.com/
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.
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.
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.
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 )
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.
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