DOGS 7th Anniversary Ride

DateSeptember 11, 2004
HostsConnie Mertens and Don Engleke
WhereMergens/Engleke house, Bradley Beach; Monmouth County
Who (else) Susan and Greg Adam, Judy Allison, Helen and Bob Bird, Marji Brandriss and Dave Kristol, Barbara and Tracy Cate, Lydia Chambers and Bill Stusnick and Henry and Hunter (late arrivals), Christina Chan and Rich LeGrand, Debbie and Alan Cudworth (for the party), Jane and Paul Fialcowitz, Jo-Ann and Tom Figurelli, Claire Hamanaka and Walt Willard, Brenda and Larry Isherwood, Susan Nicolich and Dave Snope, Cheryl Prudhomme and Mark Cook, Linda and George Wells

[Team Wells report]

Ocean Avenue. Lake Terrace. Fletcher Lake Drive. Deal Lake Road. Oceanport Avenue. Ocean Boulevard. Remember last week's ride, and the names of the roads. Today we had the anti-hill ride.

A large group of DOGS gathered early, if not bright, at Don and Connie's house, where we found a wonderful assortment of breakfast foods (bagels, muffins, cookies (okay, not your typical breakfast food...), orange juice, coffee. We took over the block in front of the house with cars and bikes and people milling around, but, this now being the off-season, we didn't interfere much with the locals. After noshing and nattering, we collected for a group photo, then got underway.

Under partly cloudy skies, we headed north along the coast through shore communities until we reached West Long Branch, then headed inland. Due to some -- ahem! -- inability to follow the route slip, the lead group of DOGS found itself confused and temporarily lost. However, among the plethora of stuff we carry on Rosie, we had with us a Monmouth County map, and we were able to rejoin the route without backtracking, taking in a view of Monmouth Park Raceway in the process.

Then we headed toward Mount Mitchell County Park, which was supposed to re-open today with a 9/11 memorial. (Don't let the "Mount" fool you. This is the Jersey shore's version of a mountain.) But when we reached the entrance, we discovered barriers in place, and people there waved us away. So we continued along Ocean Blvd. to the scenic lookout opposite the Hofbrauhaus Restaurant. Two teams (who shall remain Mark/Cheryl and Bob/Helen) couldn't resist the downhill thereafter and failed to note that the route slip called for a U-turn at the lookout. The rest of us waited for them to see the error of their way.

From here we headed back to Rt. 36, then toward the entrance to Sandy Hook National Recreation Area. We headed south along the coast, eventually retracing our outbound route, enjoying a nice tailwind.

And then.... Well, what's the DOGS' other favorite activity? Yes, it was party time. As usual, everyone contributed wonderful dishes, and we had another dog-out.

Besides eating, there were other activities. A bunch of people went for a dip in the ocean. A few went for a dip in our hosts' pool, including the Stusnick kids, who elicited a lot of barking from Don and Connie's sheepdog, Teddy. Ellie the cockatoo also made an appearance and got lots of attention.

Footnotes: Connie wasn't able to join us for the riding and most of the festivities, because she was attending a funeral. Al Cudworth is still trying to get his back to heal, so he and Deb didn't ride, but they joined us for the party. Tom and Jo-Ann Figurelli joined us for their first DOGS event. Bill Stasnick and Lydia Chambers and their sons Hunter and Henry arrived after everyone had already left. They rode north a ways, then returned and joined the festivities. And they (re)joined DOGS as members.

Saying hello, getting ready

(Big) Group photo

Teddy longs to run with the big DOGS

On the road

Lost... and found in Oceanport

Pit stop at Hartshorne Park

Scenic lookout

Party time

Down to the beach

Ellie gets around

Boys and their toys

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Copyright © 2004, David M. Kristol (text, photos); Marjorie Brandriss, Walt Willard, Brenda Isherwood (photos)