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.

Events: Festive 500 Day Six

Events: Festive 500 Day Six

(2015) Ride Distance: 25 Miles/ 95 Miles Remaining

Fear comes upon me. Oh much I fear some ill unlucky Festive 500. This blasted endless dosage of precipitation is the work of some natural apothecary preventing me from riding 500 kilometers. The one enjoyable aspect of all of this is that the Festive 500 keeps sending me out of the door to do maths on Bucks County roads trying to piece together how I can make it to the final sum.

I dug deep into my apparel drawer to snag garments I hadn’t used in years. I even left the house wearing a rain cape. I had sworn them off years ago. Truth be told I swore it off again about four miles in. I used leggings that existed in some far off place in my memory. The wool socks were entrusted to carry me through undoubtedly heavy wheel spray for today’s ride. Yet again, I pushed down the driveway heading out into weather that would normally keep me inside.

One deviation saw me take standard roads around my house. These were the trusty roads that come through in a pinch. Several quick routes were knitted together to produce today’s effort. I was hopeful the ride would unfold itself and I would take a sizable dent out of my remaining miles. Each mile was a bonus today.

Just like the last few days it rained amidst heavy fog. Luckily the traffic was light. Or perhaps I chose correct roads. Some of the roads were early portions of the Nockamixon Century ride. The faint red arrows are still visible and can still be followed. I selected the old stand-by of Sweetbriar to transport me a considerable distance while keeping me within range of the house should the skies open up or the fog became a safety issue.

I passed by a windmill I often thought about photographing. Today I actually carried my camera to snap it. It was satisfying to finally record it for Rapha’s proof of my doing the Festive 500 without a GPS or Strava account. I passed old farmhouses with a sudden new construction randomly dropped throughout the back hills. The miles are still uniquely Bucks County.

  A windmill that always seems to be spinning finally gets photographed.

A windmill that always seems to be spinning finally gets photographed.

When I was within a few miles of the house I managed to race three deer running alongside the road atop a small ridge, bounding and calculating their escape. They picked their way up a stream and out of sight only to have three new deer cross the road in front of me moments later. Where they went, I don’t know. I wish I had pulled out my camera for that long shared time.

When I reached the driveway I was satisfied. I chipped away more miles toward a roundel that will probably get dropped in some box and forgotten about until it almost gets thrown away during a spring-cleaning. “I want to keep that,” I’ll say. To remind me of how much effort it took to finish off 500 kilometers. And I’ll remember Friar Lawrence’s quote about fear and smile because I came very close to not finishing the whole thing.

Events: Festive 500 Day Seven

Events: Festive 500 Day Seven

Events: Festive 500 Day Five

Events: Festive 500 Day Five