Known for riding off the front of group rides only to be caught in the first mile, CJ got back on a road bike and realized he must win the Donut Derby at least once in his life. Regularly pledging he's "not a climber," he can be found as a regular attendee of Trexlertown's Thursday Night Training Criterium or sitting on the couch watching Paris-Roubaix reruns. CJ has been a constant rider of the Hell of Hunterdon in New Jersey and races the Tour of the Battenkill before going into seasonal hiding on cross-country ski trails.

Rides We Like: Java’s Brewin’ Group Ride Led by Spinteck

Rides We Like: Java’s Brewin’ Group Ride Led by Spinteck

(2015) I’ll say it now that I like Java’s Brewin’. Let me update that: I love Java’s Brewin’ as evidenced by getting in my car and driving about an hour to the start of the group ride. It was an awkward sort of day, but it was set to be a leisurely one.  

I had hit out on the Spinteck group ride months before. It is a well-controlled ride that winds it way through Montgomery County. That’s what I like about it: there are no strong attacks but the pace is considerable. I’m not one to sign up for club rides but I do enjoy a good pace. I always seem to be the guy who hears about how a ride is too slow/ too fast. Here, I can pedal my way through the paceline and enjoy myself. It’s an added benefit of riding new roads in the next county.

Starting at Java’s Brewin’ is a plus. The bike racks out front tell a story that cyclists are welcome. I pulled my bike off the roof rack and cozied it into its slot. I then spent a few more minutes turning into a cyclist in the back seat of my car. Being December I struggled with the concept of wearing a summer kit with the addition of arm warmers. December 12th. And no other accessory but arm warmers. It was supposed to be 65 degrees.

Java’s Brewin’ is a shop that facilitates group rides. They have a bike rack, which I alreay mentioned. It’s usually got at least one bike nestled on them. They promote group rides. Their social media involves cyclists. It is as I image a coffee shop should be with tables but also a television and a plush couch. Everyone is supposed to meet at 9am. This is to rotate the coffee sips and muffin tastings through before the miles are to be ridden. Unsure to the amount of riders showing up I decided to wait until we returned to raid the muffins, cupcakes, and coffee of the place.

Today it was only five of us total. I’ve been here when it’s been over ten and even when it was over fifteen. This ride is relaxed. It took us a bit of a spell to start based on the lower attendance. Bagels and coffee are great coping skills to waiting for more to show. I kept thinking of how great the post-ride coffee would be, so I didn’t order any.

It’s been weird weather in these parts. It’s been on average thirty degrees higher than normal. We’ve been under an air quality alert for several days now. The ridges look dusty in appearance. The air feels heavy before rolling out. It feels even worse when trying to locate a satisfying deep breath. I saw tulips in bloom at one spot throughout our ride. The weather is getting weird.

This ride winds around Montgomery County. It varies from major roads with shoulders to tertiary roads with only white lines pointing the way. It also passes Eichele Road hillclimb but does not go up it. In its stead Miller Road is supplied as a replacement climb. It’s not as bad but it can be if one were to assault with the goal of winning the Strava segment.

There was no real rotation to the group. Some guys went onto the front for a spell while others led the way for numerous miles. It felt like more riders wanted to figure out the meteorological significance of the feel more than the ride itself. One climb found me ultimately ditching my sleeves for a summer riding approach. I would feel mostly comfortable for the remainder of the ride. Remember this is December 12th, and I was wearing summer riding kit.

We returned in roughly two hours at a comfortable pace. It was nice to cross these roads again. The guys in the group were incredibly welcoming. The exuded a strong happiness to ride these roads. Of course the final experience was to order a coffee and some cupcakes (or muffins) and sit outside to contemplate the golfers across the street. I suppose they’ll still play if the grass is still green. Just like we’ll still ride if the roads are clear (or it’s thirty degrees above the seasonal norm). This is a cycling group that moves quickly. If you’re up for the ride, bring a couple bucks for before and after the ride.

Rides We Like: The Local Loop / #BraverThanTheElements

Rides We Like: The Local Loop / #BraverThanTheElements

Events: Planning the Rapha Festive500

Events: Planning the Rapha Festive500