Riding Milford Filthy 50

Late August usually provides premium weather for longer days in the saddle. At 75 degrees with a slight breeze most of the day, last Sunday did not disappoint, as I followed a pattern from years past and did a long gravel ride, four weeks before the Maple City Century, in an attempt to inject some fitness into this old body.

I met up at 8am with Eric, Jerry, Brian and Austin at the Rt. 739 Parking lot for Five Mile Meadow Road. After a quick meet and greet, we headed directly uphill, over the loose gravel surface. After the descent and a few smaller hills, we made a right on Ben Bush Road. This short tunnel through the woods provided a great place for us to figure out our pace. A left on Standing Stone Trail, allowed a 2 mile gradual drop to Silver Lake Road.

We looped through Little Mud Pond and onto Flat Ridge Road. The 4 mile, through road is about the smoothest gravel surface in the entire Delaware State Forest. We crossed over Bushkill Falls Road and jumped into the Burnt Mills Trail system. Burnt Mills is a rough, technical trail, adding a bit of fun to an otherwise long and grueling day. Crossing over Rt, 402, we hopped on Pine Flats Road and cruised down to Highline Road for the 6 mile roller coaster through thick gravel and over to Hobday Road and eventually to the base of the High Knob.

The High Knob climb is a 2 mile gravel ascent that averages about 7% and tops out at 16%. The steepest sections are near the top. As you cap the summit, the views of Pike County hit you in every direction. After a quick lunch at the top, we enjoyed the descent and button hooked our way back to the parking area. Satisfied with the days effort, I look forward to some longer rides as the weather gets a little cooler.

Crossing our path

What’s playing (what am I listening to while writing or what’s dancing around in my head while riding), today – Joe Walsh – Life’s Been Good

Minor Adjustments

For about 18 months, I’ve been dealing with quite a bit of pain in both feet. Until recently, I was not sure what was causing it. I was feeling soreness in the middle of my right foot after several hours on the road bike and occasionally pain in either foot would keep me on the couch for several days to a week. About 6 months ago, pain in my left big toe brought me to the podiatrist. He recognized right away that I was suffering from gout. Then, a recent work trip found me working from my hotel for a few days, with immense pain in my right big toe.

A trip to an urgent care led me to a local Physicians Assistant, who recognized that a certain medication I’ve been taking, was more than likely causing my gout issue. I immediately discarded that medication and accepted the consequence.

With the thought that gout was behind me, I decided to discard my road pedals for mountain pedals. My Speedplay Zero pedals on both road bikes have served me well for many years, but I needed a larger contact point for both feet. I switched the Crank Brothers Candy Pedals from my gravel bikes to the road bikes and purchased 2 pairs of Crank Brothers Double Shot Pedals for the the gravel bikes. The flat side will allow me to ride even if I have an issue with my feet, while the reverse side allows me to clip in while still resting on a larger base.

The final piece of the puzzle was adjusting my cleats. I rode for mamy years with my cleats jammed to the front of my shoes. I decided to set my them all the way back. This allows my feet to move freely. Finally, the allure of having one set of shoes for all my bikes as well as being able to walk while off the road bike is very inviting. Hopefully, most of the pain is in the rear view mirror. We’ll see…..

What’s Playing (what am I listening to while writing or what’s dancing around in my head whill riding) – today – Foreigner – Feels Like the First Time

Nantucket Island

It’s been quite some time since I’ve had an occasion to write about my exploits on the bike. Work has found me riding only a couple of times a week. Nothing sexy, just stress relieving jaunts through the forest with some sprinkled in road rides.

However, hard work rewards and this week, reward it did! I was able to spend 4 days on Nantucket Island, a 30 mile ferry ride from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Home to the Uber rich, Nantucket is an island, town and county. Within the town sits numerous small neighborhoods, all with a quaint seaside feel. The island is approximately 14 miles long and 3.5 miles wide, with too many picturesque spots for any one place. Wild life is everywhere. Terns, ducks, seals, whales and the occasional shark can be spotted on and off the beaches.

A typical road in town

Now, if you’re on Nantucket and plan to ride, stick to the bike paths. The roads in town are either cobblestones or just 400-500 year old stone and what’s paved is not great. Traffic is another obstacle. If your staying in town, plan on navigating through traffic for about a mile before getting clear. This is a cycling blog, so I do not want to forget to mention that this is as beautiful a place as any on the map.

Siasconset

The ‘Sconset Bike Path, the Polpis Path and Milestone Road are the best routes to get you from Nantucket to Siasconset, the far end of the island. The paths are paved, well maintained and serve as the main transportation link around the island. The bike path network here rivals any place I’ve traveled. If its the only thing you do while your here, you’ll leave fulfilled.

I met a lot of people while riding, walking and paddling. I certainly made the most of my time off from work. I met people that sailed from Long Island, NY, Nyack, NY, Maine, and Boston. While searching for a good cafe, I met Paul Anthony Morello, Chef at the Corner Table. He brought me over to his eatery at the corner of Broad Street and Federal Street. The coffee, eggs and sun dried tomato sandwich as well as the sweet potato hummus were incredible. It felt like I died and went to hummus heaven and reminded me of the Pattisserie on Broad in Milford. Gone, but not forgotten.

I am not a beach person. I would much rather, spend time in the woods or near a lake. A place like this could change my mind. If you have an opportunity to visit this history filled, beautiful, Northern Atlantic spot, do it. You will never forget it!