Gravel Season

Weather patterns have shifted the last few years. What this means long term, I’m not sure. What I do know is that in the northeast, we are able to ride our bikes much later into the year. Our winters have spilled into March and April, bringing us some late snowstorms and chilly spring weather.

However, this holiday weekend, was warm and for the most part, sunny. With a series of weird snowstorms coming up this week, putting in some quality miles was high on my list of priorities.

3B319C36-2AF8-463E-9470-BC388F50866D

Saturday was a group ride. I met up with Eric, Joe and Andrew at Action Bikes & Outdoor in Milford and set out on a mix of B roads, dirt roads and gravel. We slithered through Milford, dropped down past the Metz Icehouse, up to Rt. 209 and over the Milford Bridge. A bumpy ride down what Eric coined “Old Mine Field Road” (due to the many potholes) across Tuttles Corner and up the Peter’s Valley climb.

B5DF65E5-F826-451E-B97D-E9070DAE5F0C
The Dingman Bridge in the background

About a mile past Peter’s Valley Crafter’s Village, We veered left onto Brook Road, a dirt path that cuts right through the Walpack area. Brook Road becomes Mountain Road after going through a gate and over a small bridge.

2E003BF4-2803-49E6-99D5-B4FA9F7CD64F

Midway down Mountain Road, the crown jewel of our ride appeared. Buttermilk Falls cascades almost 100 feet off the Kittatinny Ridge. With the Appalachian Trail passing across the top, it’s a popular destination for local hikers and sightseers.

434319D7-0805-4589-A3FD-003798276D71
“One Lynskey takes a shower, another fights off a tree limb”

We pedaled back out to Haney’s Mill Road and hung a right on the Walpack Flatbrook Road for a climb to the top of the Walpack loop and dropped back down past the Walpack Inn. We took a quick breather at the Peter’s Valley store and continued back over the Peter’s Valley climb.

8DCDE178-6344-46A2-ABEF-71C53ECCEB5F

Eric peeled off and over the Dingman Bridge as we cruised back along Old Mine Road and back to the shop. It was nice to finally get in an extended ride with good company.

Easter Sunday started out on the dreary side. Rain and snow flurries in the morning turned to sunshine in the afternoon. I went out for a jaunt through the Delaware State Forest. It seems the winter wreaked havoc on the roads, as potholes are everywhere and most of the gravel is off to the sides. Melting snow created a muddy surface that made pedaling feel like a leg workout. My bike and I were covered in mud. It was so much fun!

C3A973EB-3563-4A44-8E57-13421F184530
How fast can you ride through?

Riding through puddles and creek crossings, turns a dirty ride clean, well, almost. The only way to get your bike dirty is to get out and ride. So what are you waiting for, put down the tablet, laptop or phone and pedal into the woods.

What’s playing (what am I listening to while writing or what’s dancing around in my head while riding),  today – Queen & David Bowie – Under Pressure

BB077FC3-04CA-43FE-8F35-7C34405B658B

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s