Sourland region residents and hard-core cyclists from the tri-state area are well aware of the punishing routes of the Sourland Conservancy’s annual bicycle rally fundraiser, the Sourland Spectacular. Cyclists who complete the legendary climbs earn legitimate bragging rights, but event organizers are offering a new route this year for casual bikers to join the fun.
The committee has mapped out four traditional Sourland region routes to challenge riders of all levels: 26.9 miles, 35.9 miles, 52.7 miles and the 65.4 miles. The longest of these, the Metric Century, includes a total of 3,275 feet of climbing. A new 4.7-mile family fun ride has been added this year in an effort to appeal to cyclists of all levels.
“There are a lot of serious cyclists who love the vertical challenge,’ Sourland Spectacular chair Cliff Wilson said. “There are also those who would like to participate, but would rather skip the climbs. This year, we’re including a new family fun ride that’s almost completely flat.”
Cyclists will choose their preferred course and plan their own ride start accordingly. The event begins this Saturday at 7 a.m., but riders may start as late as 10 a.m. All participants will plan their rides to end between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to enjoy a food truck lunch courtesy of Thai Elephant Food Truck and New World Pizza. For dessert, riders can enjoy the event’s famous homemade brownie sundae topped with Sourland Spectacular secret gourmet chocolate sauce. Lunch, snacks and support and gear services are included in the registration fee.
Riders will follow cue sheets that are available online and at registration. Temporary arrows will be affixed to the roads, marking every turn. The four traditional routes are marked using different colored arrows. Bathroom facilities, water and snacks will be available at rest stops along the route.
According to the event’s website, you may ride any human-powered contraption permitted by law, including electric bikes. Event sponsor, Sourland Cycles, will have their electric bicycles on hand at their event booth to test drive. In addition, Sourland Cycles will be providing support and gear services for event riders.
Event registration is open now. Proceeds benefit the Sourland Conservancy, a nonprofit organization dedicated solely to protect, promote and preserve the Sourland Mountain region—90 square miles of forest, wetlands and grasslands, home to many endangered and threatened plant and animal species, and a critical stopover for migratory birds.
The sixth annual Sourland Spectacular will begin and end at the Otto Kaufman Community Center, 356 Skillman Road, Skillman – rain or shine – on Sept. 9 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Parking will be available across the street at Montgomery High School.
For more information, call the Sourland Conservancy at 609-309-5155, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the event website at sourlandspectacular.com