Sunday, June 12, 2011

NY Times features NJ Randonneurs - Longest Day Ride this weekend

On June 3rd, The New York Times ran this nice article about the New Jersey Randonneurs.  Almost unknown to even the most knowledgeable bicycle enthusiast,  randonneuring can probably be best described as the ultra-marathoning of bicycle racing / riding.  Short rides start at 200km (124 miles), with long rides going up to 600km (372 miles)!  For most, the goal is simply finishing the ride within the allotted time window.  Only a select few look to win outright.  Obviously at these distances, rides last for many, many hours with the longer rides even going on for multiple days, usually with minimal breaks.  And as the Times article indicates, rides are not cancelled due to weather and bikes are usually fitted with fenders and are otherwise specially equipped. If this sounds like fun to you, well keep on reading.

Source: NY Times

This weekend also marks New Jersey's most famous long distance ride, The Longest Day.  Held yesterday June 11th (I thought it was next weekend), the name Longest Day ride is a double entendre.  The ride is held close to the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year (on or around June 21) and the route connects the two most distant landmarks in the state.  At 208 miles, the ride starts on High Point in Sussex County and goes all the way to Cape May Light at the southern tip of the state.  This ride is considered the ultimate achievement for many New Jersey cyclists.

Well'p, there is always next year!  If you're looking to put this ultimate notch in your cycling belt, you can start with doing the New Jersey Gran Fondo at the end of August.  You should be able to prove that you are able to ride at least 100 miles before you register for the full length route of the Longest Day.

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