Friday, September 07, 2012

Sourlands Planning Council makes the link between land preservation and great cycling

We at WalkBikeJersey have long made the connection between open-space preservation and New Jersey's superb, if not world class road cycling.  Well now the Sourlands Planning Council is making the connection as well by hosting the Sourlands Spectacular, a hiking and road cycling event, on Saturday September 8th starting at 7:00am.  If you can't make the Gran Fondo on Sunday (like me), then this event could be for you.

If you are not familiar with the Sourland Mountain, it is located on the boarders of Mercer, Hunterdon and Somerset Counties.  It is the last large contiguous forested area in Central New Jersey and it is home to some of New Jerseys best road cycling.  The area's geology has made it near impossible for agriculture and not very suitable for sprawl development.  This fact and progressive forward thinking local leaders determined to maintain the area's natural heritage have nearly halted sprawl development on and near the mountain.  The end result for cyclists is that roads that have long been small, very quite, scenic favorites of New Jersey's cyclists, have remained unchanged for decades.

Enjoying the view on quiet Rocktown Road in Hunterdon County. The farm in the foreground
and much of the forest on Sourland Mountain in the distance are protected from development.
This photo is over 10 years old and this sight on this Rocktown Road remains unchanged.
 
Much thanks needs to go to Micheal Heffler for helping the Sourlands Planning Council make this connection.  He not only got the Council to see that their efforts to preserve the Sourlands has helped maintain the areas world class cycling but also planned the routes for Saturday's ride.

There are three road ride options; a 37 mile, 50 mile and a Metric Century (63 mile).  More info about the event and directions can be found on the Sourlands Spectacular website.

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