Princeton 115km


I got breakfast delivered to the room at 6am, quickly ate it and then out to get the bike ready. We were leaving at 7am and the bike was not ready to go.

On Friday, as I putting the bike into the car, I noticed that BOTH of the water bottle cages had snapped.  I have no idea how that had happened and to make it more mysterious, they had snapped on different sides.  So we had to make a detour to the bike shop on our way to New Jersey.  I got some spare gas cylinders as well just in case of another puncture.

We decided to go through Lincoln tunnel this time instead of Holland tunnel as it took ages last time.  We got across Manhattan with little problems but once we emerged into New Jersey, route #1 took forever.  Wasted a lot of time going down that stretch – probably should have jumped on to I-95.  We came via Verrazano Bridge and I think that turned out to be the quickest way.  We will try that in a couple of weeks when we head back down.

So I had to quickly switch the cages and then head over to the check in point.  I signed in, got my brevet card, and found out I was leaving in Group 2.  I think there must have been 50-60 riders.  Group 2 set off at 7:05 and we made good pace.  The wind was blowing from the North West at about 15-20mph so it was considerable.  I tucked in near the front and matched the pace.  I hit a couple of potholes in being close to the rider in front so kept a little space, about six feet, so I could at least see what was coming up.  However, I lost the wind break then but preferred seeing what was ahead.  We gradually lost some people and were down to about six riders.  We passed some stragglers from Group 1 and maintained the pace.

At about the 25 mile mark, I heard vibration from my bike.  I looked down and saw the rear cage rattling.  We still had 12 miles to go to the check in point and I thought that the cage would have come off by then.  I pulled over and quickly go to tightening the bolts.  Nobody passed me whilst I was fixing the bike and I was soon on my way.

At some point during the ride, I finally worked out why I had been getting late notification of the turns on the GPS.  I was zoomed all the way in.  I found the zoom out button, pressed it a couple of times and I got to the point of having advanced notice of the turns.  Much better especially for roads I didn’t know.  I missed a turning as I was paying attention to the GPS but the device soon notified me of my mistake.  It wasn’t long before I came into Frenchtown and it actually felt familiar due to us spending the weekend there three weeks ago.

I signed in and got some snacks.  I didn’t realise but I was there for half an hour.  That was much too long!!  I set back out for Princeton by myself.  I missed turnings a couple of times but the GPS unit alerted me to the fact.  When I had checked the route earlier in the week, I noticed a big climb on the return journey but couldn’t remember after what mileage it came.  I checked my route earlier this morning and saw that it was around the 60 mile mark and that was the section where the climb was over a mile long.  I remember when I reached the top, I stopped to consume a sachet of Gu.

Due to a road being closed, there was a detour after 69 miles.  I got to the point of the detour and stopped to get the cue sheet out.  I was going to have to navigate using the paper and I was going to have to hold it in my hand as there was no where else to put it.  The GPS complained as soon as I took a right turn but I ignored it.  Here I was praying that I could actually follow a cue sheet again.  A few miles later, the GPS announced that it had found the route again and the detour was over.  And a few minutes later I was pulling into the parking lot.

There were two brevets going on yesterday.  A 115km and a 200km.  The beginning randonneurs were mainly doing the 115km so they could get used to the system.  I think there were ten of us in total doing the shorter ride so I was hoping I was first back.  Nope, not that day.  I was second back but a person from Group 1 had just beaten me back by a couple of minutes.  Doh!!

I handed back my brevet card forgetting that I was going to take a photo of it for the blog.  I hadn’t actually realised that I would be handing it back otherwise I would have taken a photo of it earlier.  I took some video but no photos. 😦

It had been a good ride with some very picturesque places.  It is a nice part of New Jersey.  The 200km in two weeks time will head the other direction and hit the Atlantic coast but it is a flatter ride.

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