Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pinelands 200k Permenant - New Jersey's Latest Edition

If one were to perform an RUSA permenant search for the state of New Jersey it would now yield 11 results.  Five of those being of the 200 kilometer variety.  I've not yet ridden all five.  My friend Paul recently created this Southern Jersey edition featuring predomantly flat terrain.  It seemed like the perfect opportunity to put a few miles on the tandem, which has been idle for nearly a month.  Friend and tandem stoker Al, and I, undertook the route on a Tuesday as there were no free weekends left in May.  Al needed the ride to maintain his R-12.

Miles and miles of smooth rolling

Blueberry fields

Cranberry Bog
The start is in Rancocas, New Jersey just off of I-295.  Convenient parking is available at a nearby park.  For the starting control a riders choice is offered, of which we selected the McDonalds.  The route heads south to Mays Landing then loops back to the north.  There are some nice long sections through the wooded pinelands on beautifully paved roads.  With a light tailwind we were able to keep the tandem rolling at a nice pace for the early miles.  The first control is a quaint general store in Tabernacle.  We then head to the Tuckerton Wawa at the 50 mile point.  After which we continue south passing by Batsto Village and on to May's Landing.  The control point which is a very nice diner is the perfect stop for lunch.  The people there were very friendly seating us at a table within view of the bike.  The food was also quite good.  Reluctantly, we push on headed back to the north and into some headwinds to the next stop at Atco.  We quickly refill water at the convenience store and continue our northerly heading to the finish.  Al was suffering a bit on this last stretch to the end.  Frequently asking to stand to stretch out his legs.  We manage to keep moving and finish in 10 hours and 20 minutes.  Given the leisurely lunch and the tough finish for Al we were both satisfied with that time. 

Team work in progress

Al at work

Big Red at the lunch stop

Big Red meets Bigger Red
Overall, I really liked this new route and look forward to riding it again soon.  It seems well suited for tandem riding or fixed gear for that matter.  This ride may prove valuable in the off season as snow is less likely in southern Jersey.  Although, the beauty of the forested areas is most enjoyed through the warmer months.  All I can say is; it sure is nice to have options.

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