Categories
E-Bikes Exploration

E-Biking In and Around Black Run

The ups and downs of a typical sand road in New Jersey. Source: TCM
Trail to one of the log circles at Black Run. Source: TCM

The Black Run Preserve is 1,300 acre tract of pine barrens in Evesham Township, New Jersey. There is a an active friends group that has developed an extensive network of multi-use and hiking only trails; recently REI has also been involved.

Black Run Preserve. Source: TCM
Having such a good time I almost forgot to take a picture of the bike. Source: TCM

Categories
Diversions Equipment

Hokey Smokes, it’s the Honda Hunter Cub!

Honda CT125 Hunter Cub in Matte Fresco Brown. Source: Honda Japan and rideapart.com

After re-introducing the Super Cub to the U.S., Honda is now releasing the CT125 Hunter Cub, a more off-road ready bike that’s an evolution of their 1960s-1970s era Honda Trail bikes. The Hunter Cub will be released in Japan in June and may (or may not) also come to the U.S.

Honda CT125 Hunter Cub in Glowing Red. Source: Honda Japan and rideapart.com
Categories
E-Bikes History

Pine Barrens Tavern: E-Biking Atsion-Quaker Bridge

Some would call the region through which it passes “desolate”; a better word would be “subtle”

A.D. Pierce, Iron in the Pines 1957

By the 1700s, a road, which likely followed a pre-existing Native American trail, ran from Camden, New Jersey, to the port town of Tuckerton on the Atlantic coast. According to local histories, to make their travel to yearly meetings easier, Quakers built a bridge over the Batsto River around 1772. The bridge predictably became known as the Quaker Bridge, and the road that passed over it became Quaker Bridge Road. In the 1800s, horse-drawn stage coaches regularly carried both mail and passengers through the Pine Barrens along this route.

In 1809, Arthur and Elizabeth Thompson opened the Quaker Bridge Hotel, also known as Thompson’s Tavern, just south of the bridge. The tavern remained open until at least 1850. Any remnants of the building vanished many years ago.

The area is now part of Wharton State Forest and Quaker Bridge Road is still a sandy trail through the barrens. On a pleasantly warm November day, there were few other people around: another (non-electric) fat bike, some hikers, a big dog, a couple of motorcycles, one jeep. From Atsion, a former company town and farming community, to the Quaker Bridge is about four miles. With some diversions, my round trip was 15 miles.

The 1826 Atsion Mansion and the remains of a concrete barn from the early 1900s. Source: TCM
It’s the Pine Barrens, so there has to be an abandoned cranberry bog along the way. Source: TCM
Categories
Diversions Exploration

Biking Down Historic Gold Camp Road

The Gold Camp Road runs through the Rocky Mountains south of Pikes Peak in Colorado. For over a hundred years, it has been traveled by tourists, first on passenger trains and later in automobiles. The Colorado Springs & Cripple Creek District Railway was built around the turn of the twentieth century to bring gold ore down from the mines around Cripple Creek and Victor. By the 1920s, the railroad was out of business and the route was soon converted into an automobile toll road for tourists.

Our bikes. Source: TCM
Near St. Peter’s Dome, with our destination, Colorado Springs, in the distance. Source: TCM

It remains a popular destination. We rented a couple of KHS mountain bikes from Challenge Unlimited and they drove us in their van up the unpaved and potholed Old Stage Road to St. Peters Dome, roughly halfway between Cripple Creek and Colorado Springs. Our driver dropped us off with a couple water bottles, a photocopy of a hand-drawn map, and a little backpack with a pump and repair kit, in case we got a flat tire. From there, it was all downhill.

The first eight miles or so are closed to automobiles, and we were riding on a Monday after the summer tourist season ended, so we had the gravel road to ourselves. We rode through two tunnels, stopping several times to take in the views. After about an hour and a half, we reached Tunnel #3. In 1988, this tunnel collapsed (which is why cars are no longer allowed), so we had to walk the bikes along a trail that goes over the tunnel. Below Tunnel #3 there was a parking lot, cars, and more hikers and bikers, but it was definitely not crowded. We continued downhill through more tunnels and rock cuts.

Categories
Diversions

Dashing Jeep Wagoneer Roadtrip Concept

New concept vehicles revealed for the Easter Jeep Safari and the coolest is also the oldest: Jeep Wagoneer Roadtrip.

That dashboard:

Categories
Equipment

Another Person Thinks the Toyota Tacoma is a Great Overlander

Yet another person concludes that the Toyota Tacoma QuadCab pickup truck is the best (new) vehicle for overlanding.

The Tacoma has been the gold standard for people who want a small off road truck for decades and while the “all new” model leaves a little to be desired in terms of keeping up with the new and strong competition as a whole, its missions specific dominance remains unchallenged. The Tacoma is right blend of capability and cost for maximum value to the overland traveler

2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD OffRoad QuadCab. Source: Toyota
2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD OffRoad QuadCab. Source: Toyota

Categories
Equipment

Toyota Tercel Wagon and Tacoma Truck in Dirt and Snow