Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
The Rally starts at the Campgaw Mountain Reservation ski area at 200 Campgaw Road, Mahwah, NJ, with easy access to nearby major highways.
The short rides stay in the Bergen County area near Mahwah, NJ. The longer rides head towards Morris County and its many scenic country roads, including the Splitrock Reservoir and Black River Wildlife Area. (Pic below of Splitrock Reservoir--maybe you can get off your bike and go swimming?)
The century midpoint is in the charming town of Chester. The 125-mile route includes a challenging climb up Schooleys Mountain but rewards its participants with a great descent. There will also be a series of led rides for all distances departing at set start times, for those who prefer to ride in a group. But the routes are well-marked and detailed cue sheets will of course be supplied.
For registrations postmarked by Aug 1, riders will receive a free six-pack insulated cooler.
There will be six well-stocked rest stops featuring home-baked goods, and SAG support backed up by ham radio operators. [Note from editor, hopefully the "ham" operators won't have taken some samples from your beer cooler, and will be able to radio your exact position when you get a flat.]
Register at www.active.com or download form and get additional information at
www.btcnj.com/ramaporally . Before Aug 1, registration is $25 for BTCNJ members, $30 for non-members, afterwards $30 for BTCNJ members and $35 for non-members; day-of is $35 for all.
We’ll have a light meal back at the start site for returning riders, as well as music and a merchandise tent.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit Camp Sunshine, a camp for multiply-handicapped children and young adults, located in Ridgewood NJ."
For those of you who are still skeptical about the greenery in New Jersey, here is a quote from Wikipedia about Schooley's Mountain, which the Ramapo Rally will pass through:
Schooley's Mountain is an unincorporated community in Washington Township, in Morris County, New Jersey, named for the Schooley family who owned a considerable amount of land there in the 1790s, is on Schooley's Mountain, a mountain with an elevation of about 1,000 feet directly north of Long Valley. It rises 600 feet above the surrounding valley, located about 45 miles from New York City. It contains many housing developments and Schooley's Mountain Park, a recreational area with an overlook, a waterfall, and numerous hiking paths, as well as Lake George. In its past, Schooley's Mountain was a resort and an estate. The Lenni Lenape Native Americans called it home.The Vanderbilts were among the numerous New York City socialites who trekked to the mountain for its restorative waters. The rich chalybeate-infused waters were thought to improve health, detoxify the system, and generally "make it all better". Schooley's Mountain County Park offers active and passive recreation on 797 acres. The park was acquired by the Morris County Parks Commission in 1968 and opened to the public in 1974.
So how could you pass up a place where the Lenni Lenape indian tribe lived, and where later the Vanderbilts trekked and bathed in the rich chalybeate-infused waters!
Be there or be square!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Tour de Brooklyn 2009
Words & Photo by Alfredo Garcia
Kudos to Transportation Alternatives, the City of New York and the Tour de Brooklyn marshals, including Josh Gosiak.
The Coney Island start was great, although it took a bit to get used to (yeah, I live in Manhattan and had to take the subway).
Among the things I saw at the Brooklyn Cyclones parking area was the statue of fabled Brooklyn Dodger greats Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese; Keyspan stadium; the cycling marshals, who were clad in orange safety vests; and remnants of the Parachute Jump ride seen on the Riegelmann Boardwalk.
It was a warm day, so the Atlantic Ocean breezes coming from Coney Island were refreshing.
Lots of people were there, probably more than the expected 1,500 riders. Public announcements and speeches made by TA officials like Noah Budnick, who spoke from microphones powered by people riding stationary bikes that doubled as generators! The start line of cyclists snaked from the entrance of the stadium to across the parking lot.
The NYPD was there—besides the patrol cars and bike cops, and mounted motor scooters. The same cop corps that probably ravished cyclists on Critical Mass rides.
The route was nice, especially the roads lined with trees and brownstones and old homes that shaded us from the sun.
I didn’t care much for the Prospect Park stop. Had a hidden anxiety of encountering Poison Ivy. I saw a bike with a damaged and detached Honjo fender.
Suggestion for next year: go all the way to the East River, and use Brooklyn Bridge Park for water and rest stops.
The ride continued. It was great going through Borough Park. Lots of residents were standing in front of their homes, fire escapes and stoops, smiling and applauding. More than several were families with young children.
However, there were a few Borough Park residents who were angry and riled up, especially those driving cars. One driver nearly hit a friend of mine. A few cool heads of the marshals and NYPD motorized patrol settled matters.
The finish was as great as the start—back to Coney Island. The parking lot was just right to accommodate us, unlike previous Prospect Park finishes. There were cheering young women welcoming us. There were T-shirts, but I got there too late to get one.
For once, after the Five Boro Bike Tour and the Montauk Century, it didn’t RAIN. It was sunny throughout.
Lots of us had lunch at where else—Nathan’s. My group munched on their renowned hot dogs and fries at Coney Island beach. Oh, to be young again!
Thanks again, TA. For next year’s edition, I would suggest: start again from Coney Island, get a rest stop and halfway point at Brooklyn Bridge Park, get the NYC DOT and NYPD to close the BQE and the Bay Shore Parkway so we can ride closer to the waterfront and end it again at Coney Island.
We should do outreach with Borough Park residents, perhaps let them know in advance about the bike event and maybe get them on bikes instead of going for a drive.
For my part, I’ll ride faster so I can buy that $10 Tour de Brooklyn t-shirt, which quickly sold out.