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: A Bluebird Outing

Rides We Like: A Bluebird Outing

Bluebird in status, it was only the second outdoor ride of the season. Rolling along roads that were authentic and not virtual reality felt strange initially. There was a genuine feeling of enjoyment to be out on the bike with multiple inches of snow piled up around the roadways.

 

While stories vary as to the origins of the phrase ‘bluebird day,’ the name describes a day - usually after a snowfall the night before – featuring blue skies and comfortable temperatures. The phrase is almost always associated with beautiful ski conditions. It evokes days on the slopes, perhaps without a jacket, and the wafting of burgers cooking at the lodge. Why do sizzling burgers always smell better in the winter, particularly at ski lodges?

 

My opening mile was an adjustment. It was my first ride outside in two months. I was able to lean the bike back and forth. I had to relearn how to activate my Garmin. Somehow the Bluetooth was disabled and it took time to piece that together. I was outside with clear roads and jagged piles of snow banks bordering the streets. In the first two miles I came upon a man and his two kids excited to get outside and witnessed a woman walking across a harvest cornfield. I didn’t ask.

 

I rolled along the trusty sixteen-mile loop. My faded outdoors experiences left me low confidence to handle any repair. I kept close to home hoping to build on the ride over the next few weekends for a successful Hell of Hunterdon. I could have selected a few segments to attempt. I fought urges to do so in order to maintain my pace. This was too enjoyable to redline. Before I knew it I was on the approach back home. Potholes look gigantic from bike level.

 

Though the ride was shorter than twenty miles, it was authentic. I took corners at speed, handled the bike around deep puddles and potholes, and even had to negotiate slight headwinds. It was great to be back outside with light winter gear to carry me the distance. Whether this past storm was the last one of the season, it was still a moment of enjoyment to get out among the warm air and bright snowfields. Spring precipitation and summer heat are coming. Why rush the approach? It’s not speed season yet.

Review: Counter Culture Coffee’s Intango

Review: Counter Culture Coffee’s Intango

Essay: On International Women’s Day

Essay: On International Women’s Day