Saturday, November 7, 2015

hell mountain

Laura OLPH has replaced the frame of Miss Piggy, her climbing bike, and to test it out, she posted a ride description that included this:

 To test the mettle of the new Miss Piggy, let's go look at the trees in central Hunterdon County. The route is 47 miles of rollers with a big lump in the middle. (Hell Mountain. Seriously. That's what it's called.)

I didn't get the route in advance, but  that ride description got my attention, so I was at the start early, as were Jeff H, Snakehead, Tom H, Peter, Marco, and a new (to us) rider, Graham, who moved to NJ from North Carolina (on purpose) and who's a post-doctoral fellow at Princeton in Physics, if I've got the details right.

Above, Jeff; below, Tom H.

Above, Snakehead. Below, Graham. Well-behaved (for a young guy); we hope he comes out again.

Snakehead and Laura setting up.

We did this route. We went to Solberg Airport, where we saw a Norwegian flag. Somebody asked about it, and I said it was in memory of Olav Solberg, unless his name was Knut Solberg... but it turned out that the plaque on the flagpole had his name as Thor Solberg, so I guess that's the case.

I don't remember where we saw the cows... but we stopped to get pictures, and, as one was standing in the creek, Laura and I broke into our usual, terrible rendition of "Cows in the Water", a parody of the Deep Purple song.

Then we started the climb to Hell Mountain. I'm rarely as knackered by a climb as I was by this one; I was afraid I was going to see my breakfast again. We came to a tee in the road, and turned left for no reason than to climb to the top of the hill (the top of Hell Mountain. I expected to see the devil chewing on Brutus, Cassius, and Judas.). Since we'd been doing high points all season, Tom stopped to get a summit picture, and I got pictures, too, while I put my pounding heart back into my chest and tried to catch some breath. I was partially successful (well, I got pictures, anyway).

Then down the hill. We stopped at the Oldwick Store for coffee and other refreshment. I got my obligatory bikes picture:

Then back. No wicked hills on the way, but the weather seemed colder and more damp. It's hard to dress at this time of year; there's a balance between too cold and too hot that's hard to reach, and unpredictable and changing weather doesn't help.

Also, there seemed a lot of traffic on some of the roads. But it was a good ride. At this time of year, riding days can be rare; I'm glad we got out today. Tomorrow, to the Philly Bike Expo! (My credit cards are already nervous...)

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