The First Ever Sugarbarb Farm Stolen Ride

DateJuly 3, 2004
Hosts Barbara and Tracy Cate
WhereSugarbarb Farm, Blairstown; Warren County
Who (else) Helen and Bob Bird, Christina Chan and Rich LeGrand, Mark Cook (with guest stoker, Anita Birdson), Debbie and Alan Cudworth, Jane and Paul Fialcowitz, Claire Hamanaka and Walt Willard, Brenda and Larry Isherwood, Jane and Paul Kimmel, Greta and John Mast, Linda and George Wells

Warren County is well known for its nasty climbs. Claire and Walt (who planned the route) made this a little less challenging than their original three rides (explanation to follow). Tracy and Barbara Cate provided a secluded forest venue at their "Cabin in the Woods." (At least that's what Team Wells calls it.)

Last Saturday's lineup included the following teams: Hamanaka/Willard (Claire & Walt, respectively), Cate (Tracy & Barbara), Isherwood (Larry & Brenda), Cudworth (Al & Deb), Chan/LeGrand (Chris & Rich, respectively), Fialcowitz (Paul & Jane), Kimmel (Paul & Jane), Mast (John & Greta), Bird (Bob & Helen), Cook (Mark, with a first time ever cameo appearance of one of our newest DOGS member -- Anita Birdson, in the stoker seat; Cheryl was home, preparing for the family get-together later last Sunday afternoon), and yours truly -- the Wells (George & Linda).

The cars, trucks and SUVs moved around a bit. The farm's driveway is a bit long and not really nice to skinny tires. As we launched off onto the cue sheet directions (near the end of Sugarbarb Farm [that's what Tracy and Barbara call it]), we noted that there really wasn't going to be much in the way of "flat" roads, but that was expected in this territory. The roads rolled along and the group stayed pretty much together until the legs of the big DOGS warmed up and they took off. Linda & George had a flat and a few teams hung in (thank you, guys), while repairs were being made. (George took a bit of ribbing about all the stuff he packs in their little tandem bag, suggesting that there is "probably a spare wheel in there, someplace.")

As always, just the sight of the name "Shades of Death Road" gave us visions of a long, hard climb, but Claire turned us off before the really hilly part of the road began (thanks, Claire). A stop at a familiar deli, some refreshment, and we were back on the roads. Shortly after departure from the deli, Team Half-Fast was all alone (yet again), as we had succumbed to shifting problems while trying to maintain contact with the faster teams. Oh well, we're used to this. There was one section where there was an optical illusion. The "visual" cue said that this was a slight "downhill," but the inclinometer on The Enterprise (our tandem), as well as our legs, said this was a shallow grade up. Optical illusions are always frustrating.

As always the post ride festivities lasted longer than the ride. (We didn't go home until 4:30 PM, leaving Teams Isherwood, Cudworth and Hamanaka/Willard enjoying the deck and conversation with each other as well as our hosts, Tracy and Barbara Cate and Tracy's younger brother and sister-in-law (California folks) who were visiting the East Coast, for the first time, ever. All of us eating, swapping tales of today's ride (as well as other rides), more eating and discussions about just about everything else -- and a birthday cake for Brenda (that we all shared) and ice cream from Barbara's freezer -- a ride, a picnic and a birthday party!

It was a good day with our extended tandeming family. Thank you for being such a wonderful group of people.

Linda & George Wells
Leaders - Doubles Of the Garden State

The scene of the... fun!

The assembled masses

Along the route

The hosts

Fun and food at the farm

Happy Birthday, Brenda

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Copyright © 2004, George and Linda Wells (text); Larry Isherwood, Walt Willard, Paul Kimmel (photos)