I would have the pleasure and privileged of being on a team with four veteran randonneurs. After much debate we settled on the team name of Shiftless Vagabonds, depicting our commitment to ride fixed-gear bikes. We wanted to honor the original Fleche concept of a point-to-point ride. We selected New York City's Penn Station as our start. Team Captain, Mordecai Silver, designed a route which avoided much of the severely hilly terrain through upstate New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Our designated start time was 9am on Saturday for a Sunday morning finish in Westfield.
|The D&R Canal at Blackwell Mills Crossing on the way to the New Brunswick train station|
We started the ride on 7th Avenue in Manhatten utilizing the Greenway bike path along the river. We would spend many miles on bike paths making our way to the north. Our first 100 kilometers were almost entirely on paved trails to the town of Carmel, NY. We continued our northerly trek utilizing both roads and trails through Millerton, NY and into Connecticut. A rolling section on Route 44 would deliver us to New Canaan, Ct. 117 miles into the ride. From there mostly gentle terrain would take us to North Adams, MA, near the Vermont Border. We arrived around midnight and spent time at a 24 hour McDonalds After a lengthy break we would undertake the hilly portion of the ride, including a 3-mile climb with gradient about 9%. As cool temperatures set in we plodded on to the 22-hour control in Northampton, MA. The rules required a 7am departure. We would spend over an hour and a half there awaiting our opportunity to move on to the finish. We did so promptly at 7am. The final section was mild., as the day rapidly warmed up. We arrived at 8:15 in Westfield for the finish. Another team arrived shortly thereafter having ridden south from Vermont. One of the riders Bill Russell is a regular on New Jersey brevets.
|Roy, Jon and Mordecai on the North County Trailway|
|Roy catching a nap at Bruegers Bagels in Northampton, MA|