HistoryThe Story of the Event
Not all European Classics are about cobblestones. The Ardennes Classics allow the climbers to shine before the Giro d’Italia begins.
Rural Pennsylvania and New Jersey have a similar look to the Ardennes region of Belgium, particularly in Bucks & Hunterdon counties. These areas are heavily wooded, and feature steep climbs, that require power and stamina.
Based upon the success of our other Spring Classic event, the Fools Classic and the Hell of Hunterdon, it was determined we needed a ride that offered all of their challenges, but without the unpaved roads. Hence, the Fleche Buffoon was born, as a tribute to the hilly Ardennes Classics.
The name was conceived by Whit Yost, former Directeur Sportif of the Mercury Pro Team, contributor to Bicycling Magazine, and founder of the Pave blog, as a play on the Fleche Wallonne and the Fools Classic. Fleche is the French word for arrow. Wallonne refers to the French speaking portion of southern Belgium. Our rooster logo comes from the official flag of the Wallonia Region, where the Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege are held.
April 25, 2015
The third edition had 85 participants. Although cooler than 2014, it was another beautiful spring day. Due to a change in public use policy by the school district, the start location was moved up the street to St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church.
Instead of offering post ride food, Nina’s Waffles provided Liege Style Waffles & Coffee to all participants pre-ride. Post ride was turned into a tailgate party, with many participants making a picnic of it.
75 miles, 5800’ of climbing. Course Map
April 19, 2014
Despite a successful 1st edition, the ride was on hiatus for a few years due to scheduling conflicts. The second edition was finally held in 2014. There were 90 registrants. It was a beautiful spring day, with temperatures reaching the mid-60s.
Nina’s Waffles provided Liege Style Waffles & Coffee to all participants pre-ride.
With construction on the Upper Black Eddy – Milford Bridge long completed, the course was our originally intended route, once again starting & finishing at New Hope – Solebury High School.
Post Ride there was an informal gathering at Triumph Brewing Company in New Hope.
74 miles, 6100’ of climbing. Course Map
March 26, 2011
57 people registered for the first edition. The night before the ride, with rain in the forecast, we sent a note to all pre-registered participants, in an attempt to inspire them:
It is 43 degrees and raining, what would Bernard Hinault do?… He’d win!
This was a reference to the 1980 edition of Liege-Bastogne-Liege, which was exceptionally hard: snow fell from the start and temperatures were near freezing point, leading commentators to call it ‘Neige-Bastogne-Neige’ (Snow-Bastogne-Snow). Bernard Hinault attacked with 80 km (50 mi) to go and finished nearly 10 minutes ahead; of the 174 starters, only 21 finished. See the photo below.
Unfortunately not all of our registrants were so inspired, but 8 people signed up the morning of the ride, despite the steady rain.
The ride started and finished at New Hope – Solebury High School. Unfortunately the Upper Black Eddy – Milford Bridge was closed for renovations, forcing us to modify our intended course and cross the Delaware at Frenchtown, NJ.
The Post Ride festivities were subdued not only due to the rain, but due to school policies forbidding alcohol consumption. Nonetheless, River Horse provided us with beer to go; pizza was supplied by Villa Vito.
75 Miles, 5350’ of climbing Course Map