The Original BIYF 18/19


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2/8 friday

ride time 2:26

long story some point i may start a little blog on the local edison MTB trails we're developing, but for now...this...

rode the local edison conrail train tracks from inman ave all the way through to middlesex ave in south plainfield for the first time. just trying to extend the local off-road loop little bits at time. it's a nice 3.2 mile section of RR tracks, with only one street crossing (tingley lane) that's pretty rideable. just a public service message - they are very active conrail tracks, so stay off the actual tracks and just ride the "shoulders". unless you are a maniac.

i then hopped on middlesex ave and rode those abandoned RR tracks south towards the middlesex greenway. we've recently been doing some cleanup and riding there, right near the Chevron EPA Superfund site (note, not within the site, but adjacent to it).

I was worried we might be getting exposed to some nasty stuff, so i did a little research on the site and came across a few interesting facts.

1) according to the EPA document on the Human Exposure at the site and the adjacent property, the incremental lifetime cancer risk to adult trespassers and recreational users is approximately two in one million. so we've got that going for us!

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2) when we first rode through the gas line along the so called abramson property in south plainfield (adjacent to the chevron site) we noted a soapy/detergent like smell. i was a little worried this might be superfund related (i'm pretty sure it's not based upon the businesses still actively operating right there), but thought it might be coming from one of the adjacent businesses. so, i noted one of them was a company called Hummel Chemical. So I did what any reasonable person would do, went to their website and found, to my surprise, that not only is @jimvreeland a bike mechanci and championship high school volley ball player, but he also worked as a sales manager at Hummel Croton just after WWII. the guy never stops surprising!
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3) last but not least...according to the groundwater analysis on the EPA site, back in 1989 536 cubic yards of contaminated soil and 80 railroad ties were excavated and shipped off site for disposal. looks like they may have just moved it across the street!
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Exploring on The Other Side

Used the daylight to explore for the Northwest Passage leading over to the Helyar Woods Trails. It was soggalicious, so tried the high road, but was stymied by chain link. Will save the low road for a drier day.

Since I was already across the river, I rode down thru Boyd Park and checked out an orphan section of the D&R which appears to be the actual spot where the D flowed into the R. I'm assuming it was cut off from the canal proper when 18 came thru a few years ago. The double lock, with hand operated gates, still remains, very cool, and footbridges provide access. The locks are lined with these huge cut stones held together with iron staples. Building for the ages. Ha, never been over there, and it's practically across the river from my house.

The schpritzy rain that pissed on me at the start eventually gave way to some sun; I pretty much beat the forecasted gale, so win-win.





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