Events: Fleche Buffoon and Why You Should Do It
(2017) Cover photo and all photos featured are courtesy of Mike Maney Photography. Be sure to check out his work; he is a fellow cyclist in the Bucks cycling community.
One last spring cycling challenge remains on the calendar in the Delaware Valley, and tomorrow night is the last night to register. Kermesse Sport’s tribute to the Ardennes classics, Fleche Buffoon, will take place April 29th, rolling from New Hope, PA. Unlike the other Kermesse spring classics, this route will tour two states, crossing the Delaware River in two separate locations.
Last year we wrote up about the Fleche Buffoon. We wrote about the climbs and the struggles they possessed. Going up is never easy. Neither is understanding the people who like to go up. And like we said, going up one of these climbs is something group rides seek out. Going up thirteen of them in one day is certainly a challenge with rewards.
Each climb has its own personality amplified by the order in which they are attacked. Fretz Mill Road is difficult because it’s initial gradient is steep. However it’s early in the day. Riders might think the fresh legs will last. Uhlerstown overshadows nearly every climb with difficulty. It distracts riders from preparing for the remaining New Jersey climbs. Adamic Hill Road is difficult as the day wears on; Tumble Falls Road is a deal with the Jersey Devil. Armitage Road is not bad on a regular day but being last makes it feel three times the size.
Then there are the views. How often have you climbed a seasonal road (Uhlerstown) complete with a farm gate at the top and bottom to be locked from December to April? How often have you ridden a seasonal road after bouncing through a covered bridge? Perhaps the Delorean is still in the field off of climb up Stamets/ Gallmeier Road. And though it’s in disrepair, how many rides have passed by an authentic Dutch windmill? Perhaps we should purchase it and turn it into the new creakybottombracket.com office. The only problem is that we’d have to climb up Adamic Hill Road each time to report to the office. Anytime the word hill is in the road name, it's a deal breaker.
To get to the finish line, one can utilize the numerous general stores along the route. Perhaps the climbs coincide with general stores. Of course we’ll always recommend a stop at the bottom of Bridgeton Hill Road where our favorite coffee, Dead Man’s Brew by Homestead Roasters can be found. Last year the Lumberville General Store - also a seller of Dead Man's Brew in case you were wondering - was plundered, miles from the finish, acting as a lifeline to get us home. Once you’re home, you can expect a nice relaxing atmosphere in Saint Martin of Tours Catholic Church parking lot where Rubber Soul Brewing Company from Salisbury, MD, will sling the beers for a second year.
Unless you sign up on ride day ($55), tomorrow’s your last chance to preregister for $45. There is hardly a more challenging spring all pavement route than the ride from Kermesse Sport. Don’t forget that moment when you didn’t put a foot down at the top of Uhlerstown, because you’re only halfway home at that point.