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: Short Road

Rides We Like: Short Road

(2017) It starts at 14%. Just off of one of our favorite roads is a regularly overlooked connector called Short Road. The Fleche Buffoon passes it by in favor of the longer Fretz Mill Road. The Bucks County Classic opted to go up the longer Wismer Road. Its entrance is tucked neatly between two houses rendering it nearly invisible. But we know it’s there. And we hit it from time to time.

 

We rejoin weekend rides with our hero, Mike. It has become normal to allow a ride to unfold as we go along. Short Road was suggested only a couple dozen minutes prior to linking up with it. It’s more enjoyable that way.

 

To get to Short Road one passes through our favorable hamlet of Carversville, PA. Link up with Fleecydale Road and take the first left after about 300 meters. It’s easy to miss due to its narrow nature. It was suggested because of rumors the road was resurfaced.

 

Mike went first. The climb is not long at just over 300 meters, but the top is not immediately visible. Passing a house on the right-hand side hints at progress. The road is pinched shortly thereafter by guardrails on both sides and a sign warning of pedestrians. I’m not sure how often people cross this road, but there are houses on both sides. A kid played in the front yard while I wondered how he rides his bike on this road.

 

The stop sign comes into view but it just hangs there. The gradient softens only to taunt any rider with a steeper finish. Experience dictates getting in some rest on the softer portions but impulsivity always seems to prevail. Looking for gains leads to tired legs for the final few feet. The stop sign hovers as if in thin air.

 

And like that, it’s over. Just like a thrill ride, don’t be surprised to look back and wonder, “What the hell just happened?” The legs didn’t last, the chest heaves, and strangely the arms hurt too. Yeah. What did just happen? We went up Short Road. And was it repaved? Only the first couple of feet at the bottom. I doubt a roller could maintain itself on something that steep.

Essay: On the Time Trial Vacancy

Essay: On the Time Trial Vacancy

Stops We Love: Frenchtown, NJ’s Early Bird Espresso & Mercantile

Stops We Love: Frenchtown, NJ’s Early Bird Espresso & Mercantile