Late Post. Central Jersey 200k – First Official Rando

Central Jersey 200k Brevet Card

Central Jersey 200k Brevet Card

Sept 19, 2015 – On this day, Kit, a friend and a fellow endurance athlete, and I embarked on our first official randonneuring event. This is the NJ Randonneurs Central Jersey 200k. We are not new to riding long distances and spending hours on the saddle, but randonneuring is different. It is a self-supported long distance ride, relying on the cue sheet given at the start (and a gpx/tcx map route if you happen to have a gadget like garmin where you can upload and follow the route). To get more information about randonneuring, visit these wonderful sites, RUSA and NJ Randonneurs

Weather forecast was mild and sunny, with a little fog in the morning. We started from my place, about 4 miles from the official start. Arrived at the start, got our brevet cards, listened to the last minute instructions, and off we rode with the rest of the participants – all 49 of us. The route traverses the central to southern part of New Jersey. A very scenic and flat course, passing through several farm lands.

We met Wirt, another friend and also an endurance athlete, before the first control at mile 31. The three of us continued on the route, enjoying the day while exchanging pleasantries. Wirt would join us until the next control at mile 51 – a Wawa food stop. Bought my favorite stuffed pretzel, re-filled my water bottles, and Kit and I continued with the rest of those doing the brevet. Wirt had to follow a different route to get back home. It would be 13+ miles before the next control, but the newly paved asphalt made if feel shorter (and faster). More nice and smooth roads leading to the next 2 controls. Took a break, and late lunch, at the Wawa control @ mile 91 marker. I bought my stuffed pretzel + some mozzarella sticks (my two goto quick bites). Kit, if I remember correctly, had a full sandwich, a coke, a coconut water – a full lunch serving enough to make me feel like taking a nap after.

The rest of the route was as smooth and scenic as the first 90+ miles. Central Jersey 200k is a wonderful brevet for those who want to embark on this type of long distance cycling. We reached the finish without any issues, mechanical nor physical. We signed and handed our brevet cards to the volunteer – 200k done.

Salamat Po.

Advertisements

Cranbury 200k+ Unofficial Rando

Sept 27, 2015 – I did an unofficial Cranbury 200k solo ride. The route map and cue sheet are available from the NJ Rando home page. Downloaded the map from RideWithGPS, Cranbury 200k, and uploaded the course to my tandem gadgets, Garmin Edge 305 and Garmin Forerunner 310xt. Both, by the current lineup of the Garmin products, are old and outdated. But they still work, and at the end of the day, they did their job and got me home safely. I have the 305 on breadcrumb trail display and the 310xt on compass direction display. Photos below taken about 10 miles to go back to the start.

The day’s forecast was breezy and cloudy, without rain. Wore a windbreaker jacket and stashed a waterproof shell, just in case Mr Weatherman got it wrong, and started from my place, about 3miles from the official start of the course @ Knapp’s Cyclery on Main St. Followed the breadcrumbs from 305 and the compass from 310xt. I did not enjoy the 1st 45-50miles of the course, with so many turns, directions leading to housing communities and back roads. Both my 305 and 310xt would occasionally beep, with matching ‘Off Course’ display, to inform me that I was off course. The course became better upon reaching the Atlantic Highlands, with a nice hilly section on Bayview Ave/Ocean Blvd. The official route has a controle at the Mt Mitchell Scenic Outlook, where, on a good day, you could actually have a view of the whole New York city. I decided to skip the view and went on to continue. On the course and not far from this Mt Mitchell Outlook is a popular and my favorite MTB trail, Hartshorne Woods, followed by another popular MTB trail, Huber Woods. This part, I enjoyed.  The course hit the best part on a long stretch on the coastal road on Sea Bright, Monmouth Beach, Long Branch, Asbury Park, and Belmar. It has been 4+ hours since I started when I arrived at Sea Bright. First stop was at a 7-11 along Ocean Ave. Quick bite of 4 pieces of mozzarella sticks and a big bottle of water for refill, and off I continued. The part I enjoyed the most was the section in Long Branch that followed the NJ Marathon course. Smooth asphalt, nice views, and a much-appreciated TAILWIND!  Asbury Park and Belmar were also a welcome, with the absence of the boardwalk fanfare typical on a summer weekend. The end of this stretch came at Sea Girth, turning right and heading west back to the mainland. Some scenic places, and some like the 1st-45mi section of confusing turns. A little past 4pm, I reached Wawa at Jerseyville, a controle in the official course. Wawa is my go-to stop on every unsupported ride I do. Bought another big bottle of water and my favorite on-the-go nutrition, Stuffed Pretzel with Sweet Cream Cheese. The best.

Did not stay long at Wawa because I was getting concerned with time. I still have some miles to cover to get back home. Pushed a little harder and had some relief when I saw some familiar roads. Now I was getting closer to start. The near end section of the route was mostly farm lands, very refreshing when you have tired legs. More pedal pushing and I was back at the official start of the course. But, it’s not over yet – I still have to go home. Told myself it’s just a a cooldown stroll back home. Stopped at the Plainsboro sign and took a picture. Cranbury 200k+ done.

At the end of the ride, I said my thanks. Salamat Po.

122210 Hartshorne Woods

122210 Hartshorne Woods

123115 Huber Woods

123115 Huber Woods

161010 Wawa Stop

161010 Wawa Stop

183348 Home

183348 Home

Garmin 305 Breadcrumbs

Garmin 305 Breadcrumbs

Garmin 310xt Compass

Garmin 310xt Compass