DOGS 6th Anniversary Event

DateSeptember 14, 2003
HostsConnie Mertens and Don Engleke
WhereBradley Beach
Who (else) Judy Allison and Malcolm Boyd, Marji Brandriss and Dave Kristol, Judy and Dave Buckland, Christina Chan and Rich LeGrand, Claire Hamanaka and Walt Willard, Brenda and Larry Isherwood, Susan Nicolich and Dave Snope, Cheryl Prudhomme and Mark Cook, Pam and John Ruggini, Tricia and Ed Troike

Brrrrrrrrnnnnnnnnnnnggggg! The alarm rings at 6:15 AM, and, when we look outside, it's dank, dreary, dripping, dismal, and foggy. Not a very promising day for a bike ride. But we rouse ourselves to join the DOGS 6th Anniversary Event. Connie and Don have announced it will take place, rain or shine, because it had to be rescheduled from yesterday, and that we would try to get some riding in if weather permitted. Otherwise we would just eat, something we're all quite capable of! The weather forecast, calling for possible showers during the day, is none too encouraging.

As we make our way down the Garden State Parkway, the fog lifts a bit, and we even get some sun as we cross the Raritan. But the gray returns as we approach the coast, and when we reach Bradley Beach and the Englekes' house, we meet another eleven (fool?)hearty teams assembling in the mist, including two new member teams, the Bucklands and the Rugginis. (Ten(!) other teams had planned to come on Saturday but cancelled due to the rain-out.) Connie and Don have provided a nice selection of juice, muffins, fruit, and cookies(!) to prepare for the ride. After posing for the customary group photo, which provides evidence of the unpromising meteorologics, we make our way to Ocean Ave., and up the coast, reversing part of last year's ride from Bradley Beach. Almost immediately, all our glasses get misted over, making it hard to see.

To everyone's surprise, the weather improves as we make our way toward Atlantic Highlands, where we get a few hills. We return through Rumson, Little Silver, Fair Haven, Oceanport, West Long Branch, and on down the coast to Bradley Beach again. By the time we're done, the sun is shining brightly, and it's a beautiful day.

Having pretended to earn our picnic, we begin serious eating. There's a bounteous array of salads, chips and salsa, and fruit to start, while we wait for the grill to heat up. Next course includes marinated chicken on skewers, hamburgers, turkey burgers, Boca burgers, and hot dogs, along with fresh corn and baked beans. And finally, when we're all twice-over full, come the desserts: carrot cake, ginger cake, cherry pie, and leftover fruit, cookies, and muffins from breakfast.

Ahh, but the story does not end there. As we sat around, gabbing and remarking on the terrific turn in the weather, the weather turned on us. Clouds moved in, the skies darkened, and we got some serious rain showers. Eventually they passed, leaving puddles all around, and we dispersed for home, excessively well-fed and having enjoyed another great DOGS event.

During the meal, Don led an informal business meeting, which George had planned to lead but could not because of a prior Sunday commitment. One question we discussed was whether the club needed more structure. The consensus, though not unanimous, was that the current loose structure seemed adequate for now.

Another topic we discussed was finances. No one was strongly opposed to how the finances are handled now. As things stand now (as we seem to understand it), there is a separate DOGS account, in Linda Wells's name. There was a suggestion to have an official DOGS bank account, one that perhaps has other people besides Linda and George as signatories, to prevent club funds from winding up in limbo should something happen to them.

DOGS in the mist.

On the road...

Pack up,...

... then EAT!

... and play.

... until the rain returned.

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Copyright © 2003, Dave Kristol (text and photos), Marji Brandriss and Walt Willard (photos)