Dirt Rag Magazine

Hell of Hunterdon + Monkey Knife Fight = Bliss

By Stephan "Geronimo" Kincaid.

Over two recent weekends I rode in two different events, the Hell of Hunterdon and the Monkey Knife Fight.

Neither of these are "races", but there are some people that will "race." It’s no bother to me. What matters most is we all are safe and have a great ride. Both of these rides accomplish this handily.

Hell of Hunterdon

The HoH traverses the beautiful roads of Hunterdon County New Jersey. The HoH is a good ride to prepare for the Tour of Battenkill and touted as such. The ride covers 79 miles with 18 sections of gravel/dirt and 5,900 feet of climbing. Here is the Strava map/info.

Photo Credit: Pat Engleman

I traveled to the ride Saturday morning with someone beautiful and whom I recently serendipitously met. She simply wanted to do the ride because she heard it was fun. Her name is Sandie. Sandie is smart.

During HoH I encountered multiple mechanical issues, which cost me approximately 40 minutes of stopped time. I was initially frustrated and these mechanicals brought me down for a bit. It’s tough to have so many people ride by and know I’m not in the "lead" group but the real question was: Why does it bother me at all?

+ Monkey Knife Fight

The Monkey Knife Fight (MKF) is a fundraising ride for the Pennsylvania Perimeter Ride Against Cancer.

The MKF is a tough ride. Riddled with punch climbs at 20 percent, gravel and dirt roads, and it always seems to be windy. I decided to ride up with my good friend Shane Kline. We both know the roads well and knew that this would be a long day. I was worried. My fitness is well below what it usually is AND I’m riding with Shane. He’s uber strong and talented. Here’s the Strava ride data.

Photo Cred: Jimmy Cavalieri

All day I struggled. I struggled to the start. I struggled on the ride. I struggled on the way home. It was like being hollow. Nothing inside. I even skipped a beer stop. Too tired to stay too long.

= Bliss

So two weekends, two less-than-ideal rides and I’m really worried. How am I going to be ready for Trans-Sylvania Epic? How does this equate to fun?

Answers:

1. I got to see way more of my friends when I slowed down.

2. I thought about my TSE team. Joel, David, their lost Army brother Chris, Chris’s young son Benjamin and the real reason why I’m riding with them. They were a smiling motivation to keep my pedals turning.

3. I’m in a transition. Moving away from bike racer Geronimo to bike rider Geronimo. Cycling is much more about where and who I’m riding with than just being fit. I’m getting older, life is evolving and I am evolving. Cycling has always been important to me but I’m finding new meaning and new purpose with many things. I’m now living with a renewed vitality.

This is bliss.

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