Saturday, July 5, 2014

"fast boy" ride

Paul I has been hinting, or outright inviting me to go on his rides for months, so today I took him up on it (he's one of the riders that Laura OLPH refers to as "fast boys"). His announcement said:

Cross the Delaware like Washington, and storm the heights of (Bald) Eagle Road. Strong B ride.

Now, the Washington part I got; we'd probably be crossing at Washington's Crossing, but I didn't know nothin' about no Eagle Road. I learned, though.

Fourteen (good heavens, fourteen) started, including Paul, me, Peter H, Eoghan B (good to see him again!), Alf, and a number of other fast-lookin' guys that had me sure I'd bitten off more than I could chew with this one. And one woman, Henrietta, a Dane by way of Michigan who's in town for a few and wanted to get some riding in.

I had downloaded the route that Paul sent, but we departed at one point, and wound up doing this route. (The GPS kicked off for a while around mile 35; that was NOT a vertical ascent you see at Byram-Kingwood Road; I think my average was a smidge higher than the page reports, too).

Of the fourteen, though, we lost a few. We lost one within the first ten miles when he fell off the back, made a turn he thought we'd make, and didn't catch up to us where we hoped to connect. After that, I decided to sweep; I kept my count and did decently well, except when there was a good hill that I just had to attack, or when I got tired and couldn't count to thirteen. Or twelve. Or, later, to ten.

We crossed at Washington's Crossing, and the talk began about Eagle Road. By the time we got there, I was wondering if that was going to be a hill I couldn't climb; it didn't help when another rider decided he'd be off the ride at that point (so we were down to twelve). And so up Eagle Road.

Many of you probably know it, but I didn't. Eagle Road is a demanding hill. At the top, though, there's not a great view, and the ensuing downhill starts right away. It's a neat, ripping downhill, but I find it just that little bit consternating when, after working that hard to achieve the altitude, I have to give it up right away. I think I feel cheated somehow.

But it IS a fun downhill, and from there we went to the general store in Lumberton Lumberville for a break, where they were having making-change troubles, so we had to be flexible and indulgent (generally good stop, though... but not great for coffee, like the one in Black Eddy).

Back across to Jersey, and a demanding climb on Byram-Kingwood. Two more dropped out after that, saying they were going to rest up for a more demanding ride tomorrow. So down to ten.

(At one point, Paul asked why I referred to these riders as "fast boys" when he'd seen me attacking a hill and passing some of 'em. He was kind, but some of those guys could have cleaned my clock and still been up in time for breakfast.)

WE took a roundabout route back to the start at the Amwell School, and I awed Paul I with my geographic ignorance when we were on Wertsville Road, and I had no idea where we were or how close to the end we were.

Whew! Enough. Tom H has a hilly ride for tomorrow, but it should go at a pace I can keep!

Pictures. At the start:

At Washington's Crossing:

On the road:

In Lumberton Lumberville:


  1. It won't let me tag the photos ;)

    1. Sorry, Paul, it's the d-mn Blogger settings.It won't even always let me reply to comments, and I'm the blog owner.