Saturday, June 23, 2007

Saturday Ride on the Langster

Today was one of those days that make living in this part of the US worth it. The temperature was almost perfect. Not too hot and very little humidity. On the way back from The Peddler with my mountain bike I was planning my ride for the day. I was not sure where I was going to go but I was determined to get up to Scenic Overlook which is one of the highest points on the Eastern Seaboard (I was skeptical when I was told this first but I think it is based on the fact that it is less than a mile from the shore line. I could look it up but I have already convinced myself that it is true so why ruin a good thing). I was also thinking that I could ride over and take a picture of my bike in front of the convience store that was featured in Clerks (

However, by the time I got home I was kind of worn out from all the errands (I am definitely getting old) so I end up running a couple more. One of which was a trip to Starbucks. I was thinking of taking a quick nap before I went out for a ride but I did that last weekend and it was raining by the time I woke up. About 2:30 PM I was ready to head out. I got my clothes on and I filled my water bottles and I was off.

I still was not sure of the route I was going to take but I decide to avoid the hills in Holmdel and head directly into Middletown. However, there are still some decent long climbs but nothing as steep as Takolusa Drive. It is also a more direct route into Red Bank and I wanted to spend more time out by the shore.

Once I got to Red Bank I had my ride planned out. I was going to take RT 520 through Little Silver and hop on Seven Bridges Road and head out to Long Branch. Once I got to Long Branch I took Ocean Drive (which is the main road that runs parallel to the beach) to the south end of the boardwalk and I got on the street that runs next to the boardwalk and started to make my way north.

I was low on supplies when I left the house so I decided to stop at the Peddler and get some snacks to stuff in my pockets. Unfortunately, they were pretty well picked over and I decide to use my last gel and continue on my way.

I brought my camera with me because I wanted to take some pictures to use on this blog. I really do not like stopping but having the pictures to record the ride is kind of nice. I stopped at Strollo's Lighthouse to take a picture (I almost got an ice but I decided not to). Then I rode past Seven Presidents Park (a Monmouth County Park/Beach) and got back on RT 36 to head up through Monmouth Beach, Sea Bright and Highlands. Once you cross over the drawbridge in Highlands RT 36 curves around the follow the Bayshore (The Rariton Bay). Highlands is the northern tip of the Jersey shore. It is also the entrance Sandy Hook National Park.

At this point my goal was to get up to Scenic Overlook and get some pictures. Scenic Overlook is a small Monmouth County Park that also contains the Monmouth County 9-11 Memorial. There is a sculpture of an eagle carrying a piece of steel from the World Trade Towers. All of Monmouth County residents who lost their lives on 9-11 have there names engraved in the base of the sculpture. Even though both Holmdel and Middletown both lost a number of people in the attacks I only know one person on this memorial and it was only because I had interviewed for a job in the WTC in 2000 with the person on the memorial.

Even without the memorial Scenic overlook would be a nice park. The view is spectacular and on a clear day such as today it was just fantastic. The ride up was hard but not as challenging as I expected. I took some pictures and I proceeded to take the road down into Atlantic Highlands. This is fun easy descent since it is all down hill and it winds along the edge of the bay. The road is in good condition and the traffic is light so it possible to use more of the road on the ride down.

Once I got down into Atlantic Highlands I had a decision to make. While I wanted to get a picture of the Clerk's convience store in Leonardo I was also thinking of taking on the hill at Kings Highway. I had scouted it out on the way back from the bike shop in the morning and while it is a long climb I do not think I would have that much trouble with it. My only real issue is that the road is narrow and has a fair amount of traffic. I decided to bail and head back into Middletown and not stop at the convience store.

As I was riding I noticed that getting to the Convience Store would not be that much of a problem so I decided to go for it. I was hoping that it would not be that crowded and no one would see me taking a picture. As I drove up I noticed that no one was around so I had figured that I lucked out. Of course once I got to the store and I got ready to take a picture everyone started to show up. After I took two pictures I got back on my path and returned to my house.

Even though I was on low energy this was one of the better rides I have taken since I have had the Langster. I am not sure where I am going to go on Sunday. Maybe I will head out to Sandy Hook and then go down to Deal. I will probably figure it out as I am riding. If I get out early I should be able to catch up with an organized ride.

While I have a hard time with the concept of driving somewhere to ride I am finding myself riding in the same direction no matter what the plan is. I could head out to Colts Neck and Marlboro but the shore line just has much more of an attraction for me at this point. I am thinking of joining a cycling club and taking part in some organized rides but I am really looking for other single gear riders. I have been chatting up everyone on the benefits of single gear riding but no one has really taken the bait yet.

1 comment:

Rodrigo said...

Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.