For who haven't read my blog from it's inception in the winter of 2009 I should explain how it came to be called Mellow Yellow. Due to an injury late in 2008 I converted to riding a recumbent for the 2009 season. The change from riding uprights to recumbent was dramatic and difficult. I decided to document my progress by creating an online blog of my experiences with the new bike (see blog reports from 2009). The bike itself is a Bachetta Giro with bright yellow paint. I immediately began calling it Mellow Yellow. I would ride it for 9,000 miles in that single year completing an SR Series. Although, I wasn't particularly fond of the color at first it gradually grew on me.
|Riding the original Mellow Yellow on the 2009 PA Fleche|
|Mellow Yellow II - Bike Friday Pocket Rocket - Triple Chainring in Canary Yellow|
Given it was time for the June R-12 ride. My friend Al, who is working on his 2nd consecutive R-12, would join me for the 7am start in Hillsborough. On the chilliest morning we've had in awhile (52F) we take out from the Mountain View Plaza.
After a 13 mile flat warm up the Watchung Ridge is ascended via Morning Glory Road. Some miles later we climb to the top of the ridge on Sky Top Drive, which leads us to the control in Summit. The next segment is the hardest with continuous big rollers for the 34 miles to Budd Lake. After which, the terrain softens until the Changewater information control. Which is immediately followed by a knee breaking climb up Forge Hill Road. A few climbs of lesser difficulty appear before arriving at the Hampton Control. Soon after departing Hampton we encounter the "Twins". The name I've come to call the back to back climbing of Wilson Avenue and Herman Thou Road. Although, Wilson is the tougher of the two, they both take their toll on ones energy reserves. Haytown Road and Cokesbury Road follow right after with Cokesbury ranking pretty high in the difficulty factor. At the top of Cokesbury the turn is made onto Bissell Road. With that the profile of the route changes dramatically. The twenty-five remaining miles are on mostly flat to downhill terrain. It sets the stage for a fast finish. We take full advantage as we cruise to the Burger King in Bedminster. Limiting our stop to about 7 minutes we continue our brisk pace to the finish besting our prior year's fastest time by 40 minutes with a finishing time of 10 hours 40 minutes. An enjoyable day on the new bike.
|Al Climbs by Jockey Hollow Historic Park|
|Lion on guard in Califon|
|Al starting the climb up Forge Hill Road in Changewater|
|Mellow Yellow II complete with Detours High Tail rear pack|
It's funny how what I used to think was silly I now think is cool. Twenty years ago I would have snickered at the thought of riding a folding bike. Now it makes so much sense. The Pocket Rocket can be folded into a regular size suitcase for travel purposes. It is also allowed on trains most anywhere at any time. I love using bikes for transportation. Combining the use of a bike with public transportation opens up endless possibilities for car free travel.
The Bike Friday manufactured in Eugene, Oregon is a wonderful piece of engineering. It rides as well as any other bike I own. There is little difference in feel, and so far I notice no disadvantage in using the folding bike on any ride. I expect to be logging a lot of miles on it in the next couple of months. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.