Ghetto Hill

There are few things more I appreciate more during my commute than not getting hit, rained on or referred to as any thing else other than “Mr. Dick”. It’s always a special treat when I see other bikers on the road.

I was on Broad St. in Clifton rambling along when at 11:00 o’clock I spotted two people riding single file. They were too far away to make them as day laborers or kitted out cyclists. As we closed in on one another, I noticed panniers and safety vests. Day laborers don’t use panniers. Maybe in Portland, but not in Jersey. This is Huffy Country. I hailed the riders and called out to see where they were touring to. They didn’t hear me, so I doubled back to catch them. Turns out they were on their way to the Bike Expo in Philly. They started their journey in Glen Rock, NJ. Roundtrip that would make their trip around 250 miles. Not a bad take. I wished them well and they continued on their tour while I continued on my death march.

Paterson for all it’s “decrepitness” has really great steep climbs. More and more I’ve been seeking these monsters out. I rode one yesterday and logged it with Strava. Turns out, another guy had already ridden the beast and named it “Ghetto Hill”. I took offense as I just don’t like that word. It was however aptly named as it is in the ghetto and is a hill, but I still don’t like the moniker. I made a point of at least taking the KOM from the guy that discovered the road. I’ll know if I got it when I get home this evening. I almost the crested the 17%er when I “Schlecked It”. My chain went flying off the ring causing me to stall. Some guy yelled out that I’ll get it some day. I yelled back that I’m about to get it now! I rode back down to do an impromptu repeat gassed from my first effort. I downshifted to my 39×28 and started the ascent. I practically pee’d on myself trying to take the title. It would have been worth it. What’s a wet chamois compared to besting an ignorant fuck? With my best shot out, I continued into work.

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