Wednesday, October 27, 2010

NJ Transit 200k Permanent - The first taste of winter!

As the weekend approached the timing felt right for another longish ride.  My friend Paul, recently recovered from a knee injury, wanted to test himself on a challenging 200k.  We settled on my NJ Transit permanent which features more than a fair amount of climbing. 

Paul adjusts layers of clothes at the Hampton control
We started from Hillsborough at 7:45 Saturday morning with the thermometer reading a finger numbing 33 degrees.  The day warmed into the upper sixties making it a challenge to carry all the cold weather gear we peeled off.  There was a stronger than predicted wind from the west which we slogged through for a good portion of the day until the Hampton control at mile 85.  From there we would battle the biggest hills on the route for the next seven miles, then finally enjoy some wind at our backs.  Darkness fell just as we arrived at the penultimate control in Bedminster (mile 109).  From there it was a quick 17 mile dash to the finish in Hillsborough.  We clocked in at just a tad over 12 hours havng spent a good amount of time resting and adjusting clothing layers at the controls.  Paul's knee held up admirably under the strees of many challenging climbs.  I'm happy to see him making a strong comeback with 200k's on succesive weekends.  

I was pleased with my decision to leave the fixed gear bike at home making it around the course smoothly on the Salsa Casserole Triple.  The granny was used on more than one occasion during the day.   While unpleasant the cold morning was good preperation for the cold rides yet to come as winter rapidly closes in on us here in the north east.  Next up will be the November R-12 ride.         

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