Medford - Sooy - Chatsworth Loop

DateSeptember 26, 2004
HostsJudy Allison and Malcolm Boyd
WhereAllison/Boyd house, Medford
Who (else) Helen and Bob Bird, Julie and Stu Conway, Claire Hamanka and Walt Willard, Brenda and Larry Isherwood, Susan Nicolich and Dave Snope, Cheryl Prudhomme and Mark Cook, Linda and George Wells

It was quite a weekend for the DOGS -- two back-to-back club rides.

Sunday dawned in darkness for Team Wells. Since we faced a two hour ride to Medford, the alarm-clock radio woke us at 4 AM (or, as a good friend used to call it -- Oh-Dark-Hundred), so that we could accomplish everything without rushing. The drive down for Team Wells was uneventful (and that is a good thing on NJ highways) -- but not for Team Conway who also came down Route 287 at a later hour and passed a car going the wrong way on that same road! We got to Team Allison/Boyd at 9 AM, about a half-hour before the scheduled start of the ride (9:30 AM). Malcolm has been riding a bike for several years and many of them on a tandem with Judy, so he spent at least 15 minutes reviewing with us his knowledge about pace-lining. Even the "Pros", Larry and Brenda, gave us all advice pertaining to pace-lining. This was a true day of learning how to pace-line. Team Wells really appreciates all the info/knowledge you passed on to them this morning. Thank you, very much to all you knowledgeable folks.

Attendees at the Sunday ride included "Beta DOGS" -- Bob and Helen Bird, Stu and Julie Conway, and George and Linda Wells; and the "Alpha" DOGS -- Larry and Brenda Isherwood, Dave Snope and Susan Nicolich, Mark Cook and Cheryl Prudhomme, Walt Willard and Claire Hamanaka, and Malcolm Boyd and Judy Allison, our leaders for Sunday's ride.

The plan for the day was to practice our pace-lining skills. The Alpha DOGS kept saying that they were going to keep things "sane" so there was some hope that we might all finish together. For the first ten or so miles, we managed to maintain a tight pace-line of eight teams. (We can only imagine what people on the side of the road thought when they saw us working in a nice tight line.) Ever so slowly, though, the pace ratcheted up and pretty soon we were going along around 20 mph. For those who were in the middle and back of the line, this was great because we were coasting at 20 mph because we were sucked along in the draft. The pulls at the front were difficult, but if you didn't stay out front too long you got a chance to recover. As the pace inched up Team Bird pulled out of the line realizing that they weren't going to be able to maintain the increasing pace. So, as per agreement among the "Beta" DOGS (that's us folks who are slower than the "Alpha"-DOGS), Team Wells pulled out to work with Team Bird. It didn't take long for the pack to disappear. Teams Bird and Wells traded pulls and maintained a good pace up to the first rest stop at about 24 miles. That is where we found the leaders finishing their rest. We also picked up Team Conway, who were getting a bit tired hanging with the "Alpha"-DOGS. Now the "Beta's" had three teams! That works a whole lot better as each team gets a bit more rest, not to mention that Stu is a tall guy and provides a nice wind break -- Thanks Stu! Oh yes, we got to see Team Lian (Bob and Donna) on their recumbent pass us going in the opposite direction on the same road -- Hi Bob and Donna! It was good to see you on the roads. Too bad you didn't come to Malcolm and Judy's following your ride.

Team Bird did have one point where they "got into a rhythm" and started to accelerate. Linda actually blew her whistle to get their attention and bring down the pace a bit. Shortly after that I (George) started to feel the energy tank get low. I asked Linda, "How far to the next rest stop?" The answer, "Six-miles," something I wasn't hoping to hear -- I had to conserve what little energy I had. I drank just about all of the Cytomax in the bottle and nearly drained the hydration pack. Then we introduced Stu and Julie to the term "Sitting on" when we told them that we just couldn't pull through. We made it to the final rest stop at 47 miles. Two Dunkin' Donuts (one lemon filled and one apple filled) and about a quart of water revived my energy level - Bob said I looked better. Then we went off to tackle the final 12 miles of flat roads. We even had a little burst of energy for the finish line sprint.

Malcolm and Judy will be leading another ride next Saturday, if you would like to join us for some "flatland" riding. The "Beta" DOGS average between 16-18 mph, if you'd like to practice pace-lining with us even if you aren't planning to attend the Seagull.

Once we returned to 35 East Centennial Drive (Malcolm and Judy's gorgeous home), we enjoyed lots of delicious food and beverage along with more pleasant conversation.

Even though a few of the rides are "Pace-lining Preparation For The Seagull Century," they are DOGS rides for anybody who would like to participate. So, please don't stay away if plans for riding the Seagull Century are not in your immediate future. Maybe it will be, someday, like for Team Wells. We've been riding "The Enterprise" (the name we gave her, when we brought her home from Mel and Barbara's), since 1 July 1995 and 9 October will be the first time we will have ever ridden her 100 miles in one day.

Please come out and join us. We have a lot of fun.

Happy Pedaling!

Linda & George Wells
Leaders - Doubles Of the Garden State

Pace-line class

The assembled masses

Blur of color

What's left of Upper Aetna Lake dam, and the lake

DOGS Home Page

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Copyright © 2004, George Wells (text); Walt Willard (photos)