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: Through Blooming Glen

Rides We Like: Through Blooming Glen

(2016) Get away from Bucks County center proper and it becomes obvious there are beautiful towns to be explored. In my experiences riding these locales I’ve found towns that encompass two houses or two miles of houses. Yet they seem to find a comfortable casualness about them that drapes itself over a passing-through cyclist.

 

I’ve always wanted to write about the hamlet of Blooming Glen. It falls under the category of “Could’ve Been Big” when discussing roles of towns in the County. The main thoroughfare of the town, Route 113 passes by some periodic architecture and cozy houses. The sole road that intersects the main street, Blooming Glen Road is lined with similarly cozy houses, historic structures, churches, and a couple graveyards. Once out of town, Penn’s Ridge becomes strikingly apparent to a rider. If heading north, the ridge must be climbed.

 

Before I made it to the hamlet I passed the bovines that provide milk for this house. Penn View Farm is a declining specialty in the United States. In the 1970s there were 300-plus dairy farmers in Pennsylvania. Today there are only about twenty. Look at any private farm store in the area and the quintessential Penn View returnable glass bottles are excitedly stored in the fridge, this generation’s link to the past. This is proof the Penn View effort is appreciated.

 

Lately the Holstein ladies have not been present in the fields lining Broad Street in the catchment area of Perkasie. Today they were on the move. As I approached they were “sprinting” to the road. While trying to snap their picture they began to huff, wheeze, snort, and stomp. I wasn’t entirely sure the single strand of wire holding them back was going to do its job. I was not sure what sent them into a tizzy but when I rode away they were calm, perhaps my thanking them as I rode away was what they were looking for. I plan on stopping at Penn View for a summer ride. And how often can one photograph the cows out in the open that provide the milk for the household?

  An easy schoolhouse to miss: The old Hilltown High School that started its life as a church takes its places amongst downtown Blooming Glen.

An easy schoolhouse to miss: The old Hilltown High School that started its life as a church takes its places amongst downtown Blooming Glen.

Quite a few years ago my dad, a former carpenter, showed me the signature traits of a Sears & Roebuck home. At the turn of the last century a property owner could order an entire dwelling from a catalog. That said person would build said house when the materials arrived. They were always brick. And they came in only a handful of combinations. I say this because Blooming Glen Road is lined with Sears & Roebuck homes. It’s like riding right back into the 1940s.

 

As luck would have it, and my perspective shifted, I took a regular route home but noticed something new. A structure viewed scores of times changed shape in front of my eyes. Across the street from the Deep Run Mennonite Church is a brick building with the signature three windows down the side. Though there’s not chimney nor flagpole, no sign out front, it has the shape and size of a schoolhouse from the bygone era. Isn’t riding a bike beautiful?

 

I came back with many more ideas than when I started. I thought for sure my inspiration had dried up until today. I think it would be disrespectful to not raise a glass of chocolate milk to the ladies I thanked as I rode away after snapping their picture. 

Review: Bike Ribbon Eleganza Tape

Review: Bike Ribbon Eleganza Tape

Being There: The Philadelphia International Cycling Classic

Being There: The Philadelphia International Cycling Classic