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: Hell of Hunterdon 2017 Prep

Events: Hell of Hunterdon 2017 Prep

(2017) It has been a lackluster environment as the seasons shift, yet the suspicions of a bombardment of cycling headlines is certainly on the horizon. I have been confined to the basement with The Sufferfest App in hopes that tomorrow’s sold out edition of the Hell of Hunterdon, departing from the Princeton Elk Lodge, is less abrasive due to the winter efforts.

 

We were supposed to test fenders on drippy surfaces, mostly to see how durable they could be on potholed descents. What better way to do so than at forty miles an hour and blurry vision? But the forecast has called for a balmy day in the seventies and dry.

 

Much like superstitions at bike races and cycling events, there is always a moment when a rider must execute a ritual to melt the mind into the task at hand. Similarly, toeing the line at the Kermesse Sport’s spring classic, The Hell of Hunterdon is installed to mark the official start of a new year. With nearly 800 fellow riders signing on for eighty miles of tarmac and pave, I think I’m in good company.

 

Each check of the forecast reveals a warmer start temperature form the Princeton Elks Lodge in Blawenburg, NJ. The only difficult question regarding attire comes in the form of wondering if the arm warmers are necessary. They will certainly be shucked before the halfway mark.

 

In the aspects of nutrition it is to be expected to snap a batch of Skratch Labs Liege waffles together and fill each square with a dosage of peanut butter. Each waffle half will come in handy over two hours, though the Kermesse rest stops are always well stocked.

 

The 2017 season is excitedly beginning to take shape. I can’t remember a year when I haven’t started a season with an exploration of unpaved roads in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. With a small expectation of rain and prevailing warm temperatures, perhaps tomorrow’s only concern before leaving the house will be: Which Belgian Boys Club jersey to bring? After all, what’s a spring classic without a little Belgie flare?

Events: Hell of Hunterdon 2017

Events: Hell of Hunterdon 2017

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Review: Long Rifle Soap Co. Tallow Shave Soap and Bar Soap