Metal Bike Commuter

Longest. Ride. Ever. (For Me).

Posted in Uncategorized by metaljaybird on May 24, 2009

33 Miles

Today I set out on a mission.  To break my record, which, though I don’t remember it, I pretended is somewhere in the 20’s for mileage distance.  I can’t remember any rides longer than 25 miles since I started riding again last year.

Here are the details of the ride, with some unprofessional photographs, and the first ever Shaky Metalcommuter Video!

The Start

I started out heading down Franklin road towards the south end of Denville (or Ward 4, according to all of those political signs out on the yards right now).  This is a rural part of town with winding hilly roads, and even a couple farms.  My first stop was at the Veterans Memorial Park on Zeek Road:

This is a nice park with soccer fields, baseball diamonds, a dog park, and…a tank!

Like any red blooded American dude, I had to stop.  I love tanks.  If anyone can tell me anything about this particular model, please do.  I know next to nothing about the intricacies of the American tank.  I do know they are awesome at blowing things up.  My Specialized looked great next to it, though I was a bit worried the tank would just crush it.  Doubtful, because the Specialized is made of aluminum alloy, which sounds like Terminator.


After confronting an American tank, I swung past the local insanity asylum.  Greystone Park, in New Jersey, is a must do for all Weird NJ trekkers.  I didn’t go past the haunted building, but I did catch a sign as proof that they weren’t able to put me into the cuckoo’s nest.

I once read that the original hospital had the largest building footprint in the world until the Pentagon was constructed.  I would not recommend trespassing because you’ll get arrested.  There are cops stationed at the road entrances waiting for midnight runners.

Patriot’s Path

Eventually I ended up on Sussex Avenue in Morristown.  I finally spotted the paved portion of the Patriot’s Path.  It was a nice break from the roads, though I was confronted with more uphills later on.  This was about 3 miles, and no one was on the road.

Village City

Eventually I ended up on Washington Street in Morristown.  I didn’t stop to hang out, though.

I followed South Street down to the Loantanka Park.  I have visited this park plenty of times, and love it.  There are a few miles of paved trails, and a dirt trail that takes you through a brook a few times.  Fun, easy, and a top of the line park.

Funny, I drafted a couple newbie roadies on the way to the park.  The girl was in the lead, and the guy was trying to hammer it to break me.  Heh, first time on the road, probably.  I let them go when I turned into the park.  Not bad for a 240 lb guy on a mountain bike, carrying a pack on the rear rack.

Timeout for the word

I took a much needed break and spent sometime studying the book of Exodus.

There were plenty of recreational riders with the kids, a cool thing.  Again, this is a favorite park of mine.  I guess I hold some sentimental memories for this park.

I then headed down the trail towards Madison.

More paved trails in the woods.  Morris County New Jersey is a nice place to live.  This one taken while in motion.

Sweet Tea

I decided to stop at Atlanta Bread in downtown Madison.  Lori and I spent many of our “honeymoon” years living in downtown Madison.  Madison is a cool little town with a lot of boutique shops.  Also, for a conservative town, they are really bike friendly.  It seemed like there were “Share The Road” bicycle signs every 50 yards, and they painted out bike lanes on most of the major roads.

Ymmm…sweet tea hit the spot.  While there, my wife called.  She locked the keys in the car, and was at her brother’s house in Parsippany.  It was decided she’d just wait for me to get home.  Good, because I was a long way from home.

This is my 30th birthday gift.  I love it, and can’t imagine carrying a backpack ever again.

Madison-Morristown Traction Line

From there, I headed towards the Traction Line.  Or, I tried to find it, going down side streets off of Madison Ave.,  only to realize that the Traction Line entrance in Madison is off of Park Ave., which runs on the other side of the train tracks.

I did catch an entrance at the Convent Station stop.  I used to ride on this for exercise back before my bike commuting days.

You can see the sky grew dark.  That is because it started raining.  As soon as I entered the dangerous intersection on the Morristown side, it started to downpour.  Honestly, the rain was refreshing.  No big deal.

Through Morristown onto Morris Plains, and back up my familiar bike commute.  Here’s a picture of the Mt. Tabor park entrance.

If you like old Victorians, then you’ll love Mt. Tabor.  Some very interesting architecture lay beyond these gates.

I leave you with a terrible video of the last minute of my ride.  This was taken with my digital camera, and you can tell my attempt at creative angles failed miserably, and the auto-focus feature had a hard time keeping up with my pace.

All in all, it was a great ride.  I’ll be feeling it tomorrow.


2 Responses to 'Longest. Ride. Ever. (For Me).'

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  1. crazyguyonabikenj said,

    Awesome ride Metal! You can really see a lot riding 33 miles. The poor motorist has no idea what they are missing. You’ve come a long way. Can’t wait to get another ride in with you. Now that your in better shape, we should hit the Jockey Hollow area.

  2. metaljaybird said,

    Definitely! I’m still out of shape, but I don’t know that I would have been able to accomplish this ride a year ago.

    My charlie horses last night reminded me that I have a long way to go!

    It was cool bringing the camera along.

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