Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Princeton 300k Volunteer Ride - The Best of New Jersey

For the past three years I've had the pleasure of organizing one of the most beautiful rides in the region, The Princeton 300k.  Not by coincidence it also has the distinction of being one of the most challenging.  Each year the weekend prior to the official date a volunteer pre-ride is undertaken.  A small group of volunteers completes the route checking the accuracy of the cue sheet and the condition of the roads.  On this occasion I was joined by fellow volunteers Jon and George.  On the Saturday prior to the official ride we started from the Princeton Forrestal Village center at promptly 4am.  We followed the exact route and visited the same controls as the riders would the next week.  We undertook the five major climbs, along with the corresponding screaming fast descents.  Also, many lesser hills took their toll on our small group, especially in the later hours of the ride.   Upon reaching Hacklebarney State Park at mile 142 we agreed to attempt the finish before sunset at 8:02 pm.  We arrived at 7:58 for a total time of 15:58.  Also, we were joined partway into the ride by fellow New Jersey Randonneur Len and his friend Ferris.  They were both training for a PAC tour event out west.  Big hills were what they were seeking and hopefully we delivered it to them.  They were with us for over 100 miles and all of the five major climbs.

I had previously posted a detailed description of our ride to this blog.  Unfortunately, it only remained there a couple of days and Blog Spot had a problem losing tons of data from their servers.  I just couldn't muster the time or energy to re-create it at this time.  It requires several hours of time and careful thought.   A valuable lesson learned to back up my writings on my own hard drive from now on.

I'm re-posting the photos and captions.  I will try and re-write the report at a later time.  If you are mostly looking for a route description please visit the Princeton 300k blog at: princeton300k.blogspost.com

The terminus of Rockaway Road in Moutainville
Jon riding in Allamuchy Township
Yours Truly, Allamuchy Township
Jon, Ferris and George on one of the few flat sections of the route
Len aboard the Bachetta recumbent

Ferris climbing Jenny Jump

A relaxing break at the top of Schooley's Mountain
Jon on the northern Stillwater Loop
Personally, I favor big climbs. Good size mountain ridges, that instill memories of pain and accomplishment. I also enjoy long descents. Screaming downhill in a skiers tuck, winding through S-turns on the outer edge of the tires is exilarating, scary, and fun all at the same time. As well, I favor the month of May. It is a fine month to be a cyclist in New Jersey. The biting cold winter has finally yielded. Sunshine and moderate temperatures become the norm. Colors of yellow, blue, red, and green abound everywhere. The Princeton 300k delivers on all of these levels and more.  The chance to participate should not be missed.


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