Challenging Tyler State Park Ride Report

I’m offering this report to my fellow members of the Delaware Valley Trike Riders Club. As I write this I’m still catching my breath. Note: if anyone is interested in joining me next time – please let me know of your interest – I will be riding this again while applying what I’ve learned from this attempt. Just bring a strong heart, strong legs and a strong will to succeed. That is about all I had with me and it was great fun!

A few DVTR members, who I’ve not had the chance to ride with yet, have hinted that they were looking for a ride that was challenging. In an effort to find such a ride I visited some well known and beautifully paved trails that run through Tyler State Park in Newtown, PA. If you are looking for a challenge, this is the place… particularly for recumbent trikes. Tyler State Park offers about 10.5 miles of paved, cycle-friendly trails that seem as though they are all uphill.

I mapped out roughly a 9-mile route so that the steepest grades were on the down slope and set out early in the morning in order to beat the heat (it was very warm when I got there and warmer still when I finished). As I was preparing my trike after parking, I began mentally reviewing over all of the advice I had heard from others regarding challenging, novel rides:
• Start with a carbo-load
• Pace yourself
• Hydrate often
• Take a break at the plateaus
• Remind yourself “This is not a race”
• Take in some of the beautiful scenery along the way

I scored 1 out of 6 for myself. I skipped my toast and honey because I wasn’t feeling hungry after loading the trike (it was *very* humid at 6:00 AM and I just didn’t feel like eating when the deed was done). I was very excited to ride on a paved surface so I just took off like kid on the last day of school (I’ve been triking gravel trails almost exclusively). I did drink, but maybe not enough on a day like today (I probably should have mixed my raspberry electrolytes before I left home). Admittedly, I’m a second-wind person and thought that I could catch my breath sufficiently on the descending trails (“Ride Leader School” says “Always wait at the top of a climb to regroup”). Again, I couldn’t help but to “race” after finding so little friction between me and the smoothly paved road. After all of this, I did somehow notice that the cornfields had matured nicely since my last visit (hiking) and that the Neshaminy Creek was still flowing well in the absence of needed rain, and that most of the folks sharing the trail with me, cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians, were friendly and accommodating (except this one guy who insisted on running the center of the trail with headphones – arrrgh!).

If you’d like to join me on my next, more thoughtfully strategic attempt, here are some statistics to help you decide (this WILL be a challenge no matter what your training has been):
• 9+ miles – about 6.5 of them uphill
• 445 foot elevation gain
• 7.5% Max uphill grade (granny-gear all the way!)
• 25+ MPH downhill coasting
• Average Speed was 9.8 MPH

Following this post, I’ll announce another ride for this upcoming weekend.

I look forward to riding with you soon!
Wayne K

Request for Trail Conditions

Hi Everyone!
I’d like to get our Delaware Valley Trike Riders’ Club rides started soon, especially now that the weather is being much more kind. Have any of you ridden any local trails lately, and if so, could you provide some quick feedback regarding the conditions of that trail?

My report: My home trails, the D&R and the D&L (along the Delaware River between Trenton and Frenchtown) are mostly unpaved and are still too wet in many places due to the recent snow melt. The highways nearby are much drier (only a rare standing pool) but are very poor due to pot holes, debris and some erosion along the shoulders (but I have seen some recent patching).

In the next few days I will be making a reconnaissance trip to inspect the roads and trails I have mapped for the Pinelands rides and will provide a report when completed. I hope to begin scheduling these in the upcoming weeks.

Until then, if you find your trail is in good condition, and you would like to lead a ride there, please let us know. You can:
• Forward your trip to me and I will post it online, or,
• Make use of the members’ email list (and I will cross-post to the web).

One final note: please check the Members’ email list as it has been updated to include new riders.

I look forward to riding with you soon!
Wayne K

Ride Event: Meet, Greet, Shiver and Roll 12/21/14

I’d like to invite any hardy souls among us to join me on Sunday, December 21, 2014 for the FIRST Delaware Valley Trike Riders’ Club Winter Solstice Ride of 2014!

The Ride:
Prallsville Mills/Stockton NJ Visitors Center to Frenchtown NJ.
24 mile round trip.
• Please arrive early. Ride will depart the Visitors Center at 11:00 AM – Sharp. Ride expected to end no later than 2:00 PM.
• Primary Route: To & From via the D&R Trail is conservatively about 2.25 hours ride time.
• Optional Route: To via the D&R Trail and From via Rte 29 is about 1.75 hours ride time.
Note: Rte 29 and the D&R Trail run parallel.
• Trip Sheets and Maps will be available online to print (check back later): https://delvaltrikeriders.wordpress.com/ride-archive/

Registration:
If you plan to join me please contact me no later than 8:00 PM Saturday, December 19, 2014.
• via email, please include your phone number so that I can contact you for cancellation if necessary (I will call by 7:30 AM on the day of the ride).
• via Telephone or Text – if I have your email address you will find a message directly from me with my telephone number. *Sorry, we’ve got to agree on an email address list to reduce duplicate notices. With your consent I can post a Members Only email & phone list behind a password.
• via website comment – again, please leave your name and telephone number. All comments are moderated and your comment/personal information will not be posted.

Weather:
Weather is currently (7:00 AM, 12/18/14) predicted to be sunny and clear with 4 mph breezes from the north. Temperatures expected to peak at 42 degrees soon after we start and hold for the duration of the ride. I will cancel this ride if inclement weather (rain/snow) moves in or if temperatures shift downward closer to freezing. This is a flat course so we shouldn’t expect stragglers though I do plan to stop mid-way to regroup. We will also stop for breakdowns.

Preparation:
It will be cold. Dress in warm, wind-breaking layers. Keep Hands, Feet and Face well protected. Helmets are required and a waiver of liability must be signed (at the parking lot). Earphones and calling “Clear” at any time are forbidden. Terrain and road surfaces can be unpredictable in winter so prepare for environmental and mechanical glitches (bring spare inner tube, tools, air pump or CO2). Bring adequate hydration – water is only available at the turn-around in Frenchtown.

Parking:
Parking is available at the Visitors Center and at the Mill located adjacent to and north of the Visitors Center. NOTE: As you approach the parking areas from the south – SLOW DOWN – or you may miss them on the left. The driveway to the first lot at the Visitors Center (traveling North on Rte 29) is both ingress and egress. The next driveway is the egress from the Mill’s parking lot. About 100 yards farther north is the mostly unmarked ingress to the Mill’s parking lot – look carefully because it is a very sharp left turn into the lot (nearly doubling back and below the grade from Rte 29). This driveway is directly across from the small street named “Worman Rd.” If you reach the fork in the road (left, Rte 29; right Rte 519) then you have gone too far.

Visitors Center is at about 22 Risler St, Stockton NJ 08559 (40.409095, -74.984901).
Prallsville Mills is at about 40.411113, -74.986219.
Note: Google Street View can provide a great visual of this location.

Description:
This will be an easy ride at a moderate pace (10-ish MPH… we’ll see what everyone is up for) following the D&R Feeder Canal and State Park trail. This trail is nearly flat and consists of mostly densely packed gravel and hard-packed dirt with a few portions paved. The absence of foliage will allow excellent views of the Delaware River and adjacent farms, though the dense tree lines will keep us mostly in shade.

There are a several places to take a rest stop along the way (porta-potty) and there is a full-service rest opportunity (food, restrooms, etc.) in Frenchtown. On any sunny day we’ll find several other cyclists hanging out with coffee, sandwiches, cakes, etc., at Maria’s and the adjacent bike shop, “Cycle Corner.” Because of the cool temperatures we will not linger long at the Frenchtown turn-around.

Optional Route:
Upon returning, and depending on the group’s consensus, we can make our return, southward trip, via Rte 29. This highway has wide shoulders and is locally a primary training route for road bikes and most local drivers are very aware of cyclists using this highway. The return trip via Rte 29 also provides a very long downhill ride on a paved surface with a few opportunities to switch back onto the Canal Trail if desired.

I’m looking forward to riding with you!
Wayne K

Welcome to the Delaware Valley Trike Riders’ Club & Blog

Recumbent Trike Riders Wanted!

I’d like to extend an invitation to other Recumbent Trike Riders in the Delaware Valley, S.E. Pennsylvania, Central, Southern and Coastal New Jersey, and elsewhere, to join with me in forming a group that will fulfill the Trike Rider’s goals just like those groups who support DF riders. What goals are these? Here are a few of mine:
• Meet new people
• Ride new routes for fun and for challenge
• Offer group clinics for maintenance, safety, commuting, touring, etc.
• Charter portage for longer one-way trips
• Share tips, techniques and technology to enhance our rides

Our region is home to hundreds of miles of high quality trails and roadways that are ideal for recumbent trike riders and riding these with a group can only enhance the fun. There is no fee to join other than your interest and maybe a little sweat equity to help plan, organize or lead a ride along your favorite trail.

Please contact me via a “comment” to this site if you are interested in helping to form our Trike Riders group, to lead rides, to join rides or to contribute to a list of suitable routes. I hope that we can form a core group who will help to create our “Club” this winter of 2014/2015 and be ready to offer new group rides this spring (and maybe take few rides on suitable winter days too).

I’ll be adding a Club Calendar and an archive library of ride tip sheets soon. Please “Follow” this blog to receive notices of updates.