- About Oxygen Fed Sport
- Archived Articles
- Back to Schooley’s: Schooley’s Mountain Race Report, 10/30/2010
- Escarpment Trail Run 2001: Race Report
- Lake Telemark: Cradle of Skiing in NJ
- Lewis Morris Backcountry Skiing, Originally Published 1/28/2011
- Moosehuf at the Snow Bowl, 8/4/2010
- Shivering at Shenendehowa, 1/23/2011
- Whiteface Mountain Climb to the Castle, 10/8/2010
- Skiing New Jersey and Nearby
- Roller Skiing New Jersey and Nearby
God, I love rollerskiing on miserable roads. Your garden variety bumpy or rutted road is simply boring. I’m talking about roads featuring Smartcar-engulfing potholes and cracks so numerous and big they pummel your body and shake your fillings loose. Add dense fog, mist and light rain, and it’s a perfect day to rollerski.
Sorry, I almost forgot about the motorists testing their rallying skills on a twisting, narrow road with no shoulder and less visibility. Someone forgot to tell these macho clowns that they’re supposed to be sleeping late on Sunday morning, not flogging their vehicles on my rollerski route. Most of the time, I don’t have to deal with these guys, but today they were out in force. Even the Willy Nelson lookalike driving a Cobra a few years ago was more sedate.
It was all in a day’s overdistance workout at Lake Denmark Road today. We don’t have any control over the weather. But the road surface… oh yeah, I forgot that I’m a taxpayer and a citizen, so I don’t have any control over the road surface either. But this has been my go-to spot for roller workouts for 15 years, and I’m beginning to think I need a new spot.
The recent harsh winters, coupled with little maintenance and harder use than the county probably anticipated, has left the road in poor condition.
While there are some big potholes heading south from the picnic area up the long hill to Picatinny’s Navy Hill Gate, you can get around them.
Survival rather than effective training is the name of the game on the mile or so from the picnic area to Sterigenics. This stretch is badly cracked and pockmarked. Skiing at a decent pace risks faceplant.
While I’m glad I’ve been able to roll here for so many years, I wish the county had anticipated the sort of usage that the road receives. Generally, there aren’t that many automobiles. But there’s an increasing number of dump trucks looking for a short cut to or from the quarry as well as the occasional 18 wheeler. The road simply wasn’t designed with this type of traffic in mind, and is suffering for it.
All in all it was a less than satisfying workout, but at least I had an opportunity to do a good turn. I found the little guy below on his back, unable to turn over on his own. So I gave him a nudge and he tottered away.