Death or Glory: Racing the Giro del Cielo

My first road race was all about planning. This weekend’s stage race, the Giro del Cielo in Sussex County, NJ, was just the opposite. People had been recommending the Giro to me for months, but I was hesitant to commit and a nagging injury had seriously cut into my training time. So when the Wednesday before the race rolled around, my husband and I agreed that if we had good legs and could hang with our A-group ride that we’d give the Giro the green light. Needless to say, the group couldn’t shake us, so we hit up Bike Reg later that night.

The race consisted of an uphill time trial followed by a crit. Then Sunday was a circuit race. To me this felt more like the Giro de New Scary Things. When I started racing, I swore I would never race a notoriously crash-filled crit, so what the hell was I doing signing up for one? Continue reading

The Heaven and Hell of Hunterdon

BethRobHOH

I could write a typical ride report, stating how perfect the weather was for a spring classic and complaining about how brutal a course the Hell of Hunterdon is, especially in March, but that wasn’t what yesterday was about for me. Cycling has the power to break you down and build you up and yesterday’s ride was a little of the former and bucket loads of the latter. I arrived shaky and nervous about riding in a group, especially with 18 sections of dirt and gravel. I didn’t know how my shoulder would hold up or if my legs could go for 79 miles and hit 5,700 feet after resting all of last week. I assumed I would cut the course early and use it as the week’s long ride in my training plan. Continue reading

Post-Sandy spin in NJ

One of my most memorable rides last year occurred the day after Hurricane Irene hit the Hudson Valley. There’s no better way to experience the heart of an area than by bicycle and to take in all the tiny details in the landscape. Plus after spending time without heat and power and fighting half the county just to charge my cell phone and get a cup of coffee, I was more than ready to stretch my legs and see how our local roads fared. Since gas is a precious commodity right now, I decided to hop on my bike, heading north through Hunterdon County.
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Round Valley Recreation Area, Lebanon, NJ

Round Valley Reservoir, Clinton Township, NJ

Round Valley Reservoir, Clinton Township, NJ

My husband and I are pretty easy to please when it comes to finding housing in a new state. Plant us as close to nature and low-traffic backroads as possible (and throw in a garage for all our bikes) and we’re happy as clams.

You can imagine our delight when we gave our real estate agent those guidelines and she came up with a place less than a mile from 5,200 acres of pristine blue water. The property wasn’t bad either. Where do we sign?!

 

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