Gearing or Gaining?

Rims arn't supposed to look like that

A ride I tried to take last week kind of got destroyed, derailed, demolished, destructed or whatever other word you could come up with when I smashed my rear wheel off of a pothole at some good cruising speed rendering the wheel useless and me to the spandex clad walk of shame. Not too many things are as awful as walking some fancy ass bike wearing some fancy ass clothes back to some not so fancy car. It just sucks. Like taking your cousin to the prom, nothing good is going to come out of it.

To make up for the mishap of last week, I decided to get some revenge on part of this course. I sort of got up later than expected and my front derailer decided that it would like to stay home and avoid the 90+ degree temps and the work related stress that Shleck’s mishap caused for all front ds, but instead of that ruining my chance for revenge, a new shifter cable install did the trick. We were off and running (driving) to the Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve.

I normally would not drive to a ride where I had such limited time, and distance, but I needed to exact some revenge and if I do the same Philly loops one more time, I might just ghost ride my fleet of bikes into the river to avoid the monotony. With myself all kitted up (wearing a white jersey for the first time ever, and breaking the cardinal roadie rule of no Camelbacks) I was ready for my revenge. I visited the place that took my wheel. I should have left a stuffed teddy and some plastic flowers there, but that spot did not deserve the reverence that dollar store remembrance tokens would provide. A simple umph and off I was continuing on the ride that was taken from me the week prior.

This ride has a good amount of climbing, and I am not sure if I am over geared or under fitness, because I felt like a gear I would normally push was way too hard. I am going to have to take a look at my gearing ratio and change some things up. I think I am ready for a sprint when I really need the legs and the gearing for a climb. I actually enjoy climbing, but I guess I have not been getting it in like I thought I have been. There are two rides coming up in August that are going to require some serious climbing, so I better buck up and train as well as make sure I have a good gear ratio. Maybe the new Apex cassette is calling my name? I am not ashamed of an 11-32.

As for the ride, this is how I described it for mapmyride.com: This route starts out at Bowmans Wildflower Preserve. There are tons of pretty flowers and such to see there and is worth the stop if you have the time. The ride starts with a bit of a gradual climb up and across that will drop you into a nice downhill with a pretty sharp heavily traveled right turn at the bottom. You will have to cross two major intersections and then you are on your own till you get down to route 23. Cross the bridge into Stockton. Drivers are a bit crazed there, but keep your eyes open and you will be fine. There is a bit of a climb ahead of you past some farms. Once you are on 605, it is pretty smooth. Part of the ride down Brookville Hollow Road is sort of paved, but not well, and then you will hit gravel for a bit. It is fine, and as long as you can handle your bike, it should not be a problem. Once you are down From Brookville hollow road, you will be back on Route 29 below Stockton, I jumped on the tow path,the road here is fine, but pretty busy. I took the tow path all the way to Lambertville and then crossed the bridge into New Hope. I climbed out of new hope on York/Bridge and then turned back onto Sugan road here. Be warned about the serious climb back up to Aquetong Rd. The ride down Aquetong and back to the Preserve is worth the suffering of Sugan road any time.
I think that more or less sums up the route. I had a rough idea of how the route is layed out, but I kind of found some of the roads just by using the homing device in my brain and a bit of experience around the area. The route really has me thinking about setting up a Gentalmans ride of my own in the vein of the Rapha rides, or even Al’s spring classic. Maybe if I could find a weekend in the fall when the cross race circus is out of town I will invite you along for a ride. There are plenty of great roads in and around the New Hope/Lambertville area that are really the classic style of riding that I enjoy these days. Long stretches of barely improved roads, farm houses, and babbling brooks is what road riding is all about. Forget the crits and the doped up cat4s, I am off into the great unknown.

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