Saturday, December 3, 2016

hilly and windy, quick hop to black eddy

Laura's post said:

Let's do one last trip to Upper Black Eddy this year.  The first half will have hills; the second could be flat if we don't feel like climbing, or hilly if we do.  The route will be about 50 miles either way.

So eight of us met at the CVS in Lambertville.

Now, on the way there, I'd gotten a call from TEW that I'd left my water bottle home, and I was running late. I ducked into the CVS to see what I could find, which was a Poland Spring bottle that more-or-less fit into he cage if I left it upside down... and Tom H lent me an extra bottle. I have a pre-ride checklist, and the bottle is on it, but it didn't work today (I've been a mess recently).

It was another of those late-fall, dramatic-sky days.

Laura had chosen to go to Black Eddy, which is at the bottom of a wicked hill on Bridgeton Hill Road, and we usually either come screaming down it (competing with traffic, and with a blind left turn before the bottom) just before the stop, or grind out way up just after. I asked Laura which it was gonna be. "Neither," she said. She doesn't know the roads in Pennsylvania, so we were going to ride some hills in Jersey, cross at Milford, and cross back and decide whether we were ready for more hills, or whether to take the mostly flat route back.

Avoiding that one hill didn't mean it was a flat ride, though, and with winds gusting to near 30 mph at the summits (I saw riders leaning into the crosswinds), we were ready for a break. We got off to walk the bikes across the bridge at Milford...

...but first we had to wait for this gal running her dog across the bridge.

At Upper Black Eddy:

In case you hadn't heard, there's been a drought.

With the wind and hills, we opted for the flat route back, except for a detour to get us off the main road between Stockton and Lambertville (the road's narrow and busy, although I think a few of our number would have been willing to risk it). Overall, 52 miles with 2300+ feet of climb, on a day that didn't reach 50°F in December.

You should have come! Get out your winter gear!

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