Sunday, May 30, 2010

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!

Just got back from Halter's Cycles (Rt 1, Monmouth Junction, NJ) and they were able to fix my favorite bike the Giant TCR Advanced (see my stable) for tomorrow's ride. I haven't had a chance to get it in to the shop due to work, family, The Longest Day Event and training. I expected it would be in the shop for more time than I like (separation anxiety) so I put back together my Mongoose Ti RX100 road bike. By the end of today I'll have 3 working bikes (yeah!). That should lessen the separation anxiety a whole lot.

So far the Longest Day event is going along pretty well. Since this is my first year and I haven't a clue as to what I'm doing. I actually expected a lot more problems. The majority of the registrations came in at the last minute and have kept me up late dealing with them. I have some small things to deal with but we're pretty much ready. Kevin Tatoris did me a huge favor and took over the Jersey (next year it will be part of the event from the start). He's doing some redesign work and changing the Jersey enough so that it is distinguishable from the previous Longest Day Jerseys. Thanks Kevin,

This week end I really need to put up the information on Longest Day teams.

Well more training tomorrow! I have a 124 mile (double metric) planned and 62 mile (metric) planned for Sunday. The heavy part of my training is done and afterward just some light road work (miles) to actively rest for the Longest Day. Looks like it will be a good year.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Longest Day and a ride to Tuckerton

Longest Day update: Well the registration forms keep coming in and I'm busy processing them. Wow did I get a lot of last minute registrations. I'll have the last in by tonight and the vest order will go out tomorrow. The Longest Day Jerseys are now the next order of business but I need the entire email list complete. The Jerseys will be $60 and pretty much exactly like last year (updated date of course). Sorry but I didn't have a lot of time to handle this. There has been a lot of interest in the Jerseys and they will be a part of next year's Longest Day instead of a separate part. The route review is going well I've got 150+ miles complete with a minor change at the Bridgewater Foothill Rd section. The second part of Foothill Rd is notorious for it's pot holes. This year we're going around it. While Bridge St is not one of my favorite roads it's better than Foothill (narrow, dark, cratered, too much traffic for conditions). Well I've got more work to do.

So this weekend as part of my training I took a ride down to Tuckerton. We started out in Allentown because I didn't want to make it 130+ miles, 117 was quite enough. :-) There was Lane, Will, Mark and myself. Will, Mark and myself will be doing the Longest Day. Will expects to keep a 16 mph average speed while Mark and I should keep at least a 17.5 mph average for the day. Lane has other business to attend to that weekend but if his riding is any indication of his speed he could do it faster than 18. Lane only had his heavy commuter instead of his nice carbon fiber. We told Will to hang at the back so he had a chance to survive. He did come out for his turn at a pull but we made sure he wasn't on there too long. Better to survive and ride than drag and possibly get lost on the way back. I don't like loosing riders.

The ride started out in all the familiar places: Waln, Emiley's Hill, New Egypt, Whiting. Common enough places for my rides. We then headed down to Tuckerton and passed through Lacey. As always there were plenty of pine trees (Pine Barrens). We saw the section of devastated pine forest from a few years ago. Nothing taller than 3 ft for miles in all directions. And as is common in such devastation, new growth pine trees, thick as can be. It was a 3 ft tall blanket of Pitch Pine trees. Eventually the forest will thin out and we'll see the more familiar 15 to 20 ft tall Pitch Pine Forest. It will be interesting to watch this grow over the next few years.

I was surprised at just how busy Rt 563 to Tuckerton was. It was heavier than I liked but not enough to worry about (this ain't Rt 206 between Pemberton and Hamminton). Once we reach Tuckerton we discovered that it was busy (not surprising). There is enough of a shoulder where it's not a problem but summer weekend traffic must be a nightmare. Once we reached our turn (Stage St) we were quickly out of the traffic and quickly back into the quiet Pine Barrens (nice). The forest down there was a quite a bit thicker. We crossed over several bridges over the Mullica and picked up the Longest Day route below the Green Bank Mullica Bridge. Lots of folks out fishing! We 'ran into' a cyclist in full mating colors riding a carbon time trial bike riding on the wrong side of the road (???). That was weird! As we started heading up towards Chatsworth we picked up a tail wind. One that would last most of the way home. In the Chatsworth Barrens we saw (and heard) a convoy of Corvettes, a group of motorcyclists who didn't know where they were going (Mark pointed them in the right direction). We checked out Mick's Canoe Rental and they're ready for us (they stay open until 5 PM). We also checked out the Ranger's Station. It looks like it will remain open, this is good news. In the end we averaged 17.8 mph had no problems with the route and enjoyed the day. Overall the Tuckerton ride is a keeper so I'll post that with my routes soon.