(Last updated: Sat Feb 28 2009)
Welcome to my bicycle page! I live in NJ and ride pretty much in the center part of the state. My intention is for this to be my portal page to all my other bicycle related pages and links.
- CJBC's - Central Jersey Bicycle Club
- PFW - Princeton Freewheelers Bike Club
- JSTS - Jersey Shore Touring Society Bike Club
- NJ Bike Map - Dustin Farnsworth's site, this is probably one of the greatest resources for creating routes in NJ. Dustin has created PDF maps of NJ and describe road conditions for riding the roads. This is a must see site for NJ cyclists. Thank you Dustin!
- Bikely.com - This is where I create my route maps and cue sheets.
- My routes on Bikely.com - This is where I create my route maps and cue sheets. All my new routes will be added on this site.
- BikeForums.net - an online cyclists community. Lots of forums.
- My Blog - It'll probably be mostly about cycling but I may have a few off topic articles.
- The Longest Day ride - 208 miles in a single day. Port Jervis, NY to Cape May, NJ.
- My current stable (Pictures). I currently have a 2006 Giant TCR3, a 1998 (?) Mongoose RX100 (out of service), a 1992 (?) Trek 1100, a Schwinn Double Trouble Tandem and a Schwinn Paramount MTB.
I tend to ride in southern central Jersey (NJ, USA). We have plenty of agricultural, horse farms and low traffic. I also like to visit the Pine Barrens. I find them to be beautiful and I enjoy the heat (though some of my riders don't). There also tends to be Blueberry farms, Cranberry bogs and parks. The traffic tends to be lower and the roads are good for doing pace lines and they're very flat. Just be aware of the mosquitoes, the snakes and the Jersey Devil. It's said that chamois cream is like steak sauce to the Jersey Devil. :-). Thanks Dennis for that line! Oh, we also have wind, the closer to the Delaware or the shore the stronger the wind. The best you can do is to ignore it (it won't be a tail wind).
North and West NJ tend to be hilly but South Jersey is flat. There are rolling hills and a few short steep hills to climb but they're slightly more challenging than an overpass. :-) I've begun to work on rides that lead more west and these will include hills. Very few of my rides are North as I don't know the area, it's congested and the layout of the road systems makes it very difficult to go North. To accomplish this we have to go West first then North. That eats into the mileage pretty fast.
I'll also add my shore rides as I can. I'll post recommendations for when I think it's safe to ride (see the BBC ride below). Beach season is not a good time to ride down the shore. Winds in the south central part of the state tend to be out of the West. During the summer it's usually the wind out of the South/West inland.
My favorite rides are to the Pine Barrens. My furthest tested ride is the Cranbury Griggstown Chatsworth ride (118 miles) or the shorter version, the Chatsworth - New Egypt - Tabernacle ride (101 miles). I can add sections to turn it into a double metric. I really enjoy riding through Ft. Dix and the East to West ride between Chatsworth and Nixon's in Tabernacle. Both are great in the heat (I like it hot) and good for practicing pace lines. In 2008 I added the new route Cranbury - Country Lake - Tabernacle (Sandy's Rte - named after Sandy Somers, the 2008 Longest Day chairperson). The Mt. Misery section of Lebanon Forrest is a miserable road but still ridable. The new untested routes are:
- Cranbury - Tuckerton - Tabernacle (133 miles) - this route contains a lot of East to West and a lot of Pine Barrens area.
- Cranbury - Batso - Tabernacle (125 miles) - takes you down the 19 miles of Rt 563 (Chatsworth to Green Bank).
- Cranbury - May's Landing (146 miles) - this is probably pushing it as far as a one day club ride.
- Cranbury - Sandy Hook (101 miles) - a nice ride out to Sandy Hook and back. Contains some heavy traffic sections.
- Cranbury - Round Valley (93 miles) - whoa major hills!.
Hilly vs. flat rides
A lot of people think that a hilly ride is more difficult than a flat ride and while hilly rides are much more difficult than a flat rides there are a few things that most people don't anticipate. Because a flat ride is usually in an open field there is a lot of wind. Another fact about a flat ride is you'll pedal the whole way. With hills you can coast on the down hill but with flat ride you have to pedal the whole time.
Now let's add a ride into the Pine Barrens (that's really flat) and let's make it summer time, mid-June (like on the Longest Day). Now you have a couple of other interesting things. The first is usually heat. The Pine Barrens are usually warmer than other parts of NJ for a given day, as long as the sun is out. Also the roads are directly in the sun (little or no shade) which increases the heat index (how hot it feels). The last part is purely psychological. The scenery in the Pine Barrens is pretty much the same. There are very few homes, very few people and one tree pretty much looks like the rest. You are now dealing with heat, boredom and some wind. These factors take many folks by surprise.
Well mostly complete routes, these should have cue sheets that should be filled in. Bear with me as I haven't checked for errors (left vs. right, spelling, missing turns, etc.). Some of these are quite long and take hours to enter. Yes I have shorter rides and I'll add them throughout the season. Normally I lead rides as short as 30 miles during the dead of winter. The majority of my rides are Metrics (62+ miles) and above.
- BBC - Belmar, Bordentown, Cranbury - 106.9 Miles - Not recommended for beach season (Memorial Day - Labor Day). Mid-May and October are excellent times for this ride. This is mostly and East-West ride and crosses the state at it's narrowest point. It's nickname is the "Longest Day the shortest way" in reference to CJBC's "The Longest Day" ride which is a, single day, Century, Double Metric or Double Century ride. The "Longest Day" rides the length of NJ (Port Jervis, NY - Cape May, NJ). This ride is fairly flat ride with lots of rest stops and stores along the way. Your biggest problem will most likely be dealing with the winds. NJ tends to have a westerly wind, inland.
- Cranbury - Chatsworth, Pine Barrens Century - 97.3 miles - This is one of my, all time, most favorite ride. I enjoy doing this ride when the temperatures are above 80 F (much to the consternation of my regular rides ;-). A few rolling hills at the start but after that it's mostly flat. Several long sections where pace lines can form. The only problem with this ride is that there is one area where the stops are 30 miles between stores. That's also the hotest section of the ride (the Pine Barrens). Watch your liquids as there are few homes in this section.
- Cranbury - Griggstown - Chatsworth - 120.8 - Like the Pine Barrens ride above but with the Raritan Canal in Griggstown. This is one of my training rides for the "Longest Day"
- Monroe - Lebanon State Forest - 99.7 miles - Similar to the Pine Barrens ride above but via a different route midway through the ride. This ride is untested and will remain that way until mid summer.
- NJ, Monroe - Allaire State Park - 61.8 miles (I'm not sure this one is correct).
- Longest Day, 2005 - This was the route we used for the 2005, Longest Day ride (200+ miles in a single day). It is not for the faint of heart and it is a wise idea to train properly. I'll try to make note of where available resources (food/restrooms) are available. Generally we start this ride at 4 AM and finish at before 8 PM.
These routes are routes I either threw up real quick to check the mileage or they're a work in progress. So don't be surprised when you see no cue sheet. Also the shorter distances are rides with my wife on the tandem. She's not ready for the longer rides yet and the tandem isn't built for those rides either.
- Monroe - Sweetmans Lane (Co. Rt 1) - 28.1 miles
- Cranbury - Allaire State Park - Manasquan - 27.4 miles
- Cranbury - Griggstown - Lambertville - 69.2 miles
- (unnamed) - 33.8 miles
- Sandy Hook - 10.1 miles
- Milllake school - ? - 2.6 miles
- Milllake school - Outcolt - 7.2 miles
- Local loop - 5.2 miles
- Base ride - 6 miles
- Cranbury - Ringo - 72.4 miles - Ride west take in some hills, see the Black River Rail Road.
- Cranbury - Ringo - Stockton - Frenchtown - 100.5 miles - This is an untested route. I stole the Stockon/Frenchtown portion off Bikely.com. A davidbwright created the Stockton portion of the route.
- Longest Day, 2005 - This was the route we used for the 2005, Longest Day ride (200+ miles in a single day).