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NJ hills 2010

Old 06-27-10, 06:07 PM
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Ken Roberts
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NJ hills 2010

I've been out riding my favorite big steep hills in west + north NJ. They're still a good interesting challenge for me. Main thing I've noticed this year is that some of them have gotten better:

* Fiddlers Elbow: lower half was torn up for construction in springtime, but now it's been repaved better than ever. And the new paving of the upper half from last August has settled in nicely.

* Barry Dr (big interesting climb up north of Vernon + Highland Lakes into the NY state border) has been nicely repaved.

Hard for me to remember any of my usual climbs that's in bad condition any more.

So I'm waiting for a non-hot day to try my big link-up of steep climbs out west, like 15000 vertical feet total for the day, including 6000 ft in sections with steepness at 12% grade.

Not a "favorite", but . . .

* Washington Av / rt 529 in the southwest Watchung up from rt 22 near Dunellen has been nicely re-paved. (next road east from Warrenville Rd). I never used to ride it because it's not as wide as Warrenville Rd and has at least one section with questionable visibility with overtaking cars + trucks. But now it seems a little bit wider than before, and I find I sometimes climb it at times of low traffic.
(but the gentle connection from its top to the top of Washington Rock Rd has nasty erosion and potholes, worse than ever).

Ken
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Old 06-27-10, 08:27 PM
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Inertianinja
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I have been venturing up 9W, up by Piermont where things start to get hilly.

i like to climb, but i'm having trouble with the descents. there's something about going more than 30mph downhill that is just hard for me to get over - just out of my comfort zone. i guess the only way to get through it is to keep going down...
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Old 06-28-10, 05:03 AM
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Ken Roberts
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Originally Posted by Inertianinja View Post
i like to climb, but i'm having trouble with the descents.
I heard from a reliable source that an experienced bicyclist this month died after hitting a guardrail descending a steep road in the Watchung hills.

Seems like at least one day in three this year out riding hills I see a deer in the road. Worst was just last week on Mt Lebanon Rd on the north Musconetcong ridge, a mid-size deer repeatedly darting into the road.

Also lots of cyclists haven't practiced critical braking techniques - (like quick hard stops using only the front brake), so they ought to more scared on downhills.

But no matter how good the road surface, how good your equipment, how good your braking technique, there's one thing you can't control: animals.

So even though I love high speeds, nowadays on most hills most of the time, as soon as I see my speed getting above 30 mph, I slow down. Put me in some other region -- on high mountain roads above tree-line where I can see the animals coming, and I'll be glad to go 40-50 mph. But not on most roads around here.

Ken
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Old 07-01-10, 02:44 PM
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Ken Roberts
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re-paved Lommason Glen, fresh in the last week or so - (curvy road next to Fiddlers Elbow on the Montana ridge out west near Phillipsburg + Belvider). Went down it twice yesterday -- very sweet.

Great day riding up + down hills on Wednesday, wonderful weather, not too hot, dry, blue skies. Pretty much every steep hill on the Musconetcong + Montana ridges, plus a few more on the Pohatcong ridge between them [area map]

Glen come up from Philadelphia, he started later, we stayed in touch by phone, finally met at the top of the Halfway House climb on Montana. Chatted a while, rode on Coleman Hill together, then met again on Lommason Glen / Buckhorn climb -- chatted some more, then he headed south to get back to his closer-to-Philadephia parking spot.

My total for the day was around 17500 vertical feet -- more than 3 miles vertical. Including like 6800 vertical feet steep -- in sections of 12% grade or more. Without repeating any climbs.
(This set of climbs plus 4 more at the end.)

A bit bigger and much steeper than any of the climbing events I've heard of in the western U.S. -- Markleeville Death Ride, Shasta Summit Century, RAMROD.

Great that we have such a set of climbs here in New Jersey. In the midst of such pretty farm country.

Ken
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