by Mac Vergara
Mary and I had a fantastic pre-ride of the Nockamixon 200k route yesterday. It started brisk in the morning, but the sun came out and made it a beautiful early spring day. Daffodils and forsythia were in bloom everywhere, and the trees were beginning to sprout new leaves.
It’s always a pleasure to ride the quiet hills around Lambertville, and the tour through rural Pennsylvania was beautiful; gold fields still fallow from winter were punctuated by the bright green seedlings of freshly planted fields. There’s a surprise change of scenery as the route rides along the Nockamixon with glimpses of the wide expanse of water.
The climbs are challenging, but doable, and the last climb in Pennsylvania rewards us with a memorable view of NJ, followed by a screaming and very fun descent towards the Delaware river. Back in NJ, we started to ride parts of the Princeton 120k that we know and love, except in reverse! It gave us a different perspective of the route, and familiar places were fresh and new.
I actually started to laugh out loud when I reached the Seargentsville covered bridge, realizing that instead of a fast downhill from the General Store to the bridge, it’d be a steady climb in reverse! There were farms, silos, and barns I had never noticed in the opposite direction, and the views looked completely different in the late afternoon instead of the morning.
Nockamixon is a challenging ride that made us practice managing our stopped-time and pace, but it’s a challenge that is definitely approachable, doable, enjoyable, and good preparation for the brevet season to come!