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Six Mile Reservoir and the D&H Canal Trail

sixmilerunreservoirIn Somerset NJ is a hidden gem for biking of all kinds. From road to trail riding there is something for everyone at six mile run reservoir site and the surrounding area.

About an hour from the GWB this place is well worth the trip.

Don’t ride six mile run after a heavy rain the soil takes a while to drain and conditions are slick as snot when wet.

Certain areas allow for bow hunting however on  Sunday’s  hunting is prohibited through-out the park.

My ride today consisted of a short ride on the single track from Jacques Lane Parking Lot to the Canal Road parking lot.

Six Mile Run

Abandoned car on the red trail

The single track at six mile is excellent. Tight and twisty with some off camber sections.
There are plenty of roots and some rock, logs, v-ditches, and man-made features make for a challenging and exhilarating ride.

 Six Mile run Trail Map




Bridge on the D&R Canal Path

One of the many Bridges along the D&R Canal Path

I then rode a short way south on Canal Road to Blackwellsmill Road and made a left to go over a wooden bridge and start on the canal path at mile marker-21.
The Canal path is almost completely flat with only a few short rises. It crosses over a few spillways which are reminiscent of the Pave in France.

Although the trail is not too interesting from a strictly riding point of view (straight and flat), the scenery along the trail more than make the D&R Canal Path a worthwhile ride.

At 34.3 miles long, the D&R Canal Towpath is the longest completed trail segment of the East Coast Greenway (ECG).
The ECG is an ambitious effort to create a trail system, spanning nearly 3,000 miles. Starting in Maine and ending in Key West Florida, the ECG links all the major cities of the eastern seaboard.
Over 25 percent of the route is already on safe, traffic-free paths.
New Jersey East Coast Greenway Map

Where to Park:

  • Mountain Bike Ride : Route 27 Lot by the soccer field
  • Canal Path: 625 Canal Road , Somerset NJ 08873
  • Mix it Up: Jacques Lane Lot

Pictures from today’s Ride

Rays Indoor MTB Park Road Trip 2013 – YouTube

Rays Indoor MTB Park Road Trip 2013 – YouTube.

On March 22nd Sean Champignon and I set off on a Road Trip to Cleveland Ohio

Our destination Rays Indoor MTB Park.

Although my trip ended me up in the hospital the days riding was by far

one of the coolest riding experiences I have ever had.


My First Bike

My First Bike

My First “Real Bike”

I remember waking up on Christmas morning and seeing it prominently displayed in front of the Christmas tree multi-colored lights reflected off the shiny white finish on the bike. This was more than a ordinary bike. This was a Evel Knievel Bike! Adorned with decalled plastic red white and blue accents it looked like a dirt bike. It had a gas tank and a #1 plate and knobby tires. That first bike would be my bike for the next 3 years until it was stolen from out of a storage area under our front stairs. I moved a lot and in this one apartment which had two flights of 15 stairs and limited living space it wasn’t possible to store it inside the apartment.
I rode that bike everywhere on that bike. The over-sized motorcycle style seat often meant I would have a passenger on the back.
That first bike lead to a number of firsts as well. My first “real” kiss from a girl that I had given a ride to.
My first “real” crash where I face planted after hitting the front side of a landing ramp. I went over the bars and broke part of my front two teeth.
I remember cleaning that bike all the time – my current bikes would be jealous. It must have been the desire to keep the Red White and Blue looking sharp, and a sense of pride that I felt whenever I rode that bike. It resonated with my inner daredevil riding as fast as I could, trying to jump as high as I could (even if it was only a few feet) trying out whatever tricks kids were doing.  Back then you could ride along neighborhood streets without fear of getting run down by cars. Me and my friends would ride to nearby West Hudson Park . We would ride on the dirt trails/paths down stairs and always looking for stuff to jump. In the spring there would be a big pile of sandy dirt dropped for the parks baseball field. For a few weeks we had the ability to build a series of jumps our own little bmx track (emphasis on little) but it was fun and it was exciting. Through that spring, and on that bike a seed was planted that would grow over my lifetime. My First bike will always hold a special spot in my heart and mind. Although I may have had many bikes since then – My Evel Knievel bike will always hold that special spot – FIRST Bike.

10th Annual Birthday Ride

Mountain Bike Group PhotoAbout ten years ago on my birthday my girlfriend at the time asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday. We had both purchased mountain bikes during the spring and had been riding through the summer and fall so I suggested we would do a mountain bike ride.

I had read some trail reviews and had heard good things about Mahlon Dickerson. Some technical sections good climbs, and great views.

We started our ride on a leaf covered rail bed then entered onto some singletrack and basically explored much of the 20 miles of trails. Winding up and down and around the reservation we discovered some technical sections that were challenging but rideable.

After a long climb we found a sign that stated we were at the

highest point in Morris county and later after a little hike a bike we were treated to an amazing view of multicolored trees as far as the eye could see at Headley Overlook. We made our way back to the lot at Weldon pond and looked for a place to eat.

Through a Serendipitous event we came upon the Thirsty Moose . A great place for a burger and a beer.
In the years that followed I found myself back at Mahlon on or around my Birthday.
If cyclists have one thing in common it is a sense of tradition and a little superstition. So after finding myself there by coincidence a few time I decided to make the ride a more formal event this year will mark the 10th year I will be riding at Mahlon Dickerson Reservation as a way to mark the passage of another year, take time to appreciate and enjoy time on the bike and spend time with friends.

Mahlon Dickerson Trail Map

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2009 Second-annual Jorba Bikefest

The weather this past Saturday may have impacted the turnout of the 2nd annual Jorba Mountain Bike festival.
But those who did brave the rain and cool temperatures (quite a contrast from last years festivals that was hot and humid) were treated to an experience, that despite the large open venue had a more intimate feel than the previous years festival, and quite frankly any other festivals that I have been to.

The Technical ride with Jeff Lenosky felt more like a Sunday group ride with friends than a impersonal group ride with a bunch of strangers. We were a small group of about 6 or 7 riders. Everyone could ride and had a great attitude. By the middle of the ride we were conversing and
cracking jokes with one another like we old friends. Bob Workman coordinator of the Allamuchy Chapter of JORBA gave us a preview of some the new trails that are being worked on as well as showing us some great staples of Allamuchy including Rolly Polly, Caridac, and Cardiac Bypass. Our ride took us up some loose leg burning climbs made a bit more difficult by the wet
For our efforts we were treated to some flowing rolling sections, and Grin-inspiring down hills. The trails at Allamuchy are tecnical, rocky, and root strewn but at the same time they inspire confidence. Most of the downhill rock section are roll able and lines are pretty apparent.
Our ride was a little over a 2 and 1/2 hours you can view a GPS Map of the ride here.

After our ride, Jeff handed out some t-shirts and hats.
One of the vendors was giving out Slushee’s much appreciated and needed after our ride.

After some lunch and a change clothes I headed over to check out

the Cyclesports Skills clinic. The clinic had a course setup with some skinnies, teeter-toter’s, and other obstacles. The clinic instructor provided some tips to the riders on speed control and sighting your line as well as showing off some skills of his own riding a wheelie across one of the skinnies.
The Festival went on mostly as planned but Jeff’s Stunt show was cancelled due to the weather conditions.
Trek, Giant, and Specialized were on site with Demo bikes to ride and I am sorry that I did not seize the opportunity to throw my leg over a remedy The Trek representative was friendly and knowledgeable and spoke with me at length about the Trek/Fisher line of bikes.
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The 2009 Livestrong Challenge

What an incredible weekend! There were just over 6,500 riders, runners, walkers. 800 volunteers participated in the Challenge weekend. Through the generosity of 44,051 donors the event raised $3.2 million toward the fight against cancer.

The Livestrong Challenge is a 5k walk or run, or a bike ride of varying Distances Ranging from 20 to 100 milesThe purpose of the event is to raise funds and awareness for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
The Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) unites people through programs and experiences to empower cancer survivors to live life on their own terms and to raise awareness and funds for the fight against cancer. The LAF focuses on cancer prevention, access to screening and care, research and quality of life for cancer survivors.

This year was my 3rd Livestrong Challenge during my 100 mile ride I had a lot of time to think about why I was riding. Some of the reasons were clear to me before the ride and some came to me while riding and one almost brought me to tears.

In my life I lost my Aunt to breast cancer when I was 19 My grandfather from Prostate cancer when I was 36, My father from health issues related to his treatment. Another Aunt is fighting against breast Cancer currently. A Friend of mine has been on a 2 year battle with Lung Cancer, another died from brain cancer.

I ride because they cannot and I can.
It is no different than if a person was to hurt them in front of me. I could not stand idly by and watch it happen. I would need to do something.
It may seem silly riding a bike how can that help? Well as you read above it helped to raise 3.2 million dollars and it united over 51 thousand Riders, Runners, Walkers, Volunteers and donors in a fight against Cancer. There are four Challenges throughout the US every year and while the Challenges may not be the cure they can help to lead to one.

I want the Challenge – This year was steamy making the hundred miles through the hilly route a true challenge. It occurred to me that this is what the Challenge should be.While I am not saying that what I faced in a few hours is comparable to what a cancer patient goes through I am saying that the challenge represents on a much smaller scale amicrocosm of some of their emotions and experiences.There is pain and suffering, there is doubt and fear (tight turns on roads with gravel).There is support from others and there is the will to go on within ourselves. There are those who do not complete the challenge and those who come out stronger from it.

Stories from the road.- On my ride I came across a Father who was riding in memory of his son. On his jersey he had a picture of a boy with a smile full of life and joy. As I got closer I was able to read the dates His son was born just one year before my daughter and had succumbed to cancer in his 5th year.The gravity of what this man must of went through hit me like a truck. My thoughts went to my own child and a life without her. I could not bear the thought and here was this man with the strength to ride in his son’s memory. As I passed him a little teary eyed we exchanged nods and I rode on. I wanted to say something to him but didn’t know what. All I could think of was how sorry I was for his loss and how much respect I had for this person who was able to honor his son in this way.

Elden who started the blog Fat Cyclist Team Fat Cyclist who lost his wife just three weeks prior to the Livestrong challenge. His team raised over 275 thousand dollars they all wore Team Fat Cyclist jerseys that had the phrase “Fight Like Susan” (Elden’s Wife). Elden has been able to transcend this awful disease and his personal loss to do something positive and help others.

By participating in the Livestrong Challenge we are able to put up a fight against this repugnent disease that hurts and kills those we care for.

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Take a ride on Wharton’s mountain bike trails

When Chris Arterburn wants to go for a bike ride, he doesn’t want to pedal a long way to get there.

Arterburn is a mountain bike enthusiast who lives in Collingswood and works in Cherry Hill.

When he wants to go off-road wheeling for a good workout and for good fun, he likes to go to the Wharton State Forest all-terrain bicycle trails.

The Wharton bike track is the lone all-terrain trail park in South Jersey. The site is run by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Parks and Forestry with help from the Jersey Off Road Bicycle Association (JORBA). The next closest trail park is in Allaire State Park.

“There are little bitty parks, but there is not a destination like at Wharton where you can go ride for two or three hours,” said Arterburn, about riding in South Jersey. “There are other little parks, but they are like after-work parks, not a destination park to ride.”

Read the Complete Article at: Courier post online

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Independence Day Ride – Free from Cars

This year was the 400th Anniversary of the Exploration of the Hudson River.
In honor of this the 2009 Macy’s fireworks show featured more than 40,000 shells exploding at a rate of more than 1,500 per minute (that’s eight times more high-level fireworks than last year’s show). The fireworks were set off from six barges positioned between 24th and 50th Streets on the Hudson River.
We rode our bikes along the river path in Edgewater to City Place then once the roads were closed hauled down to Weehawken (River road is a great place to ride when there aren’t any cars) We found a great spot to view the fireworks from. The video below captures some of the highlights including the grand Finale. Enjoy

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Have you been on an Epic Ride

Epic Mountain Bike RideWhat is an Epic Ride?
When you hear someone refer to their ride as Epic does it conjure images of twisty single singletrack through a cedar grove, an endless expanse of slick rock in a painted desert, or a rocky ridgeline that climbs into the clouds as the town below disappears under its opaque blanket.
Whatever terrain the phrase brings to mind the term epic is synonymous with a ride that is grander and more adventurous than your ordinary Sunday group ride.

So back to my original question what elements make a ride epic?
Time: Does a ride that is four or more hours make it epic? Not necessarily I have done many group rides that have been at or above the four hour mark and while they were enjoyable and even memorable I don’t think I would put them in the category of Epic.

What about mileage does a ride that is twenty or more miles make it epic? Maybe but you could rack up 20 miles doing a 5 mile loop repeatedly. 20 miles on a Rail trail does not really feel “Epic” especially when towing a toddler in a trailer.

While I think Epic Rides generally are longer in duration and mileage than a ride that would be considered ordinary, what makes a ride truly epic is its’ ability to challenge the rider and enthrall the spirit.
An epic ride is dynamic and comprised of layers of tension and release that build upon one another to create a unique experience. It is like a gourmet meal that delights the taste buds of the diner; each course exceeding your expectations and eclipsing the previous one.

On an epic ride you are challenged even punished as you make your way up a winding and seemingly endless rock strewn climb only to be delighted with an amazing expansive view that takes what little breath you have away. As you descend into the picturesque postcard scene that lies below you become aware of a strange sensation only to realize that it is from your muscles pulling at the corners of your mouth to form the ear-to-ear grin that has spread across your face.
An epic ride should test you and require you to reach deep down into you bag of biking skills. The trail will throw varying and unfamiliar terrain at you. Throughout the ride you start to become more relaxed and comfortable. You are tackling off-camber sections, rock gardens, and tight switch backs with deft skill and agility. You see a gnarly section and immediately visualize a great line through it. You are flowing like a Jedi master.

After the ride you feel transformed somehow and although your muscles and mind are fatigued you want to celebrate with a much deserved drink and something to eat.
You kick back and recount the day with your riding partners. Hell you want to tell anyone who will listen; the waitress, other patrons, the guy who refills your water glass and nods politely as you recall how you carved up some S turns going 25 mph. (this speed will increase over time). That night as you drift off and are somewhere between the head bob nod and comatose, images of the days ride flip through your head like a slide show. Your body reacts as though you are still on the bike not wanting to let go of the feeling just yet. Today you had a ride that was adventurous, sometimes torturous and completely exhilarating in a word it was……..EPIC

Clicke Here to Find an Epic Ride in your Area

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Ten reasons why Road Cycling is better than Mountain Biking

Lance Armstrong Riding His Bike with Floyd Landis The other day I wrote about why Mountain Biking is better than road cycling . To be fair I decided to list some reasons I can enjoy the Road over Mountain Biking. In reality I do not care where or what I am riding (Beach Cruiser on a Bike path = 🙂 Just as long as I get to ride.

  1. The Elements: Ride on the road and avoid ticks and run-ins with bears.
  2. The Terrain: A long stretch of newly paved road can be sublime.
  3. Getting air: What goes up must come down. Keeping both wheels on the ground helps to keep you in one piece.
  4. Centuries and Charity rides: Well organized events with after ride parties and BBQ’s. The Livestrong 100 in PA is my local century pick.
  5. The Grub: There are no Starbucks on the trail for a mid-ride coffee break.
  6. The Learning Curve: If you can balance on two wheels you can ride on the road.
  7. The Scenery: Ride through Manhattan at 6:00 AM on a Sunday, over the Brooklyn Bridge, or through Central Park on a warm day and experience the city in a unique way that is reserved for cyclists.
  8. The Workout: Pedal between 80-100 rpm keeping your heart rate at about 60-80% of your max hr. and experience one of the best low impact aerobic activities around. (IMHO)
  9. The Challenge: Ride up a winding steep climb for a ½ hour then down the other side at breakneck speeds on thin slick tires.
  10. The Fun Factor: No long car rides to the trail. Walk out your door and hop on your bike. Instant gratification.
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