O'er the Highway and Through the Woods

DateMay 14, 2005
HostsCheryl Prudhomme and Mark Cook
Where Prudhomme/Cook house; Morris County
Who (else) Judy Allison and Malcolm Boyd, Helen and Bob Bird, Marji Brandriss and Dave Kristol, Barbara and Tracy Cate, Brenda and Larry Isherwood, Susan Nicolich and Dave Snope, Linda and George Wells

Route Slip [PDF]

A Tour of the Somerset Hills

While NOAA was telling us that we should have expected showers, Saturday the 14th of May turned into a glorious day for tandem riding. The riders included the "usual suspects" including Mark & Cheryl (our gracious hosts); Teams Wells, Cate, Bird, Brandriss/Kristol, Isherwood, Nicolich/Snope, and Allison/Boyd.

Mark and Cheryl's house is on the corner of Mountain and Summit Avenues. Our ride began in the church parking lot that is on Summit Avenue. Before we began, Mark informed us that today's ride was originally planned for a colder month and that the short distance, which included a lot of climbing, was meant to keep us warm. Between the ambient temperatures and the climbs, nobody on this ride complained of being cold. In fact, we all managed a good early season sweat.

The climbing started early and put a sting in our legs fast. For about the first four miles we climbed, climbed more and climbed even more. Ah, but with all the climbing there has to be a reward. Right around four miles, on Basking Ridge Road there was a screaming downhill where Linda and I managed to hit 40 mph without trying hard. That was fun, but short lived and we had to get back to pedaling and made a left on to Cross Road and headed towards Liberty Corner. This road undulates, constantly, so there were short periods of climbs followed by short down sections. If you got it right, it turned into a section of tandem-rollers. Too bad that there have to be cross streets and traffic lights on this road. Swinging right onto Church Street, in Liberty Corner, we passed Team Witt's parish church where the faithful (mostly young people) were busy with many activities. We presume that Cam, Karen, and the girls were amongst the working faithful, while we gallivanted through the countryside, but there were so many people, we couldn't find them. (Their Presbyterian church is a "very" healthy parish). Oh, yes, this road turns up as well. This road is also memorable to Team Allison/Boyd as it was the same road that they crashed on during the 1997 Eastern Tandem Rally. Ouch memories!. Well, we climbed past the Golf Museum and took a left onto Douglas Road and continued to explore the secondary roads of The Somerset Hills. We emerged on Schley Mountain Road which has a great downhill section that took us to the park.

Riding in the park was crossing bridges (that say you must walk your bike--in your dreams!) and riding on a Multiple Use Path (MUP) like all MUP's it was designed for many uses and to keep the cyclists slow, it is fairly narrow with many twists and turns. There just aren't any straight-aways in this MUP to build up speed. Of course, there were walkers, roller-bladers, dog walkers, joggers, and assorted other citizens using the paths. Then we came out of the park in Bedminister and headed back on Liberty Corner Road (which becomes Church Street) and headed towards "The Hills." [Now, for an editorial comment: I'm from Basking Ridge and "The Hills" is a large upscale development that claims to be part of Basking Ridge--us "old timers" won't have a bit of that. While this may be Bernards Township, it isn't Basking Ridge.] From the park, to "The Hills," to Mountain View Road, Teams Wells and Bird traded leads with Team Bird leading on climbs and Wells leading on descents.

Exiting "The Hills" there was more climbing. (I did mention, that this was to have been a "cooler" weather ride with lots of hills to keep us warm) along Mountain View Road to King George Road. This is another undulating road, at least until the last half-mile where it takes a decidedly upward turn and there is a short steep section that tops out with a 15% gradient (the quads do burn on that one). We made a left on King George Road, (which changes name here so looking at the street signs can be confusing). Then, there was a fast downhill with a hard right onto Mountain Avenue where we traded leads with Dave and Marji all the way to Stirling Road, crossed Valley Road and returned to the church parking lot.

There was a good spread of sandwich materials, salads, chips, pretzels, etc., along with a lot of good conversation with the many stories about the happenings during the ride. Nary a drop of rain dampened our day. As the afternoon progressed, one-by-one, each participating team expressed thanks to Cheryl & Mark for a great ride and their wonderful hospitality, the gathering said their good-bye's and we all headed home to our other lives as ordinary citizens who just happen to have a "Tandem Disorder."

Team Wells won't be able to make next Saturday and Sunday's DOGS rides so we depend on the rest of you to let us know what we will have missed. And for those of you who will preparing a ride report, please include how much fun you guys had so that when we read your report, it will hurt so much, that in future, we don't miss two ride--back-to-back!

Linda & George Wells
Leaders - Doubles Of the Garden State (DOGS)

Pre-ride milling around, munching

The inevitable...

What's that, you say?

At the park, after the bridges

Glorious gustatory delights

DOGS Home Page

Generated automagically on Fri May 20 22:02:34 US/Eastern 2005 from 050514.pho dated Fri May 20 22:02:28 US/Eastern 2005 by /home/dmk/perl/pho.pl, @(#)pho.pl 1.24.
Copyright © 2005, George Wells (text); David M. Kristol, Marjorie Brandriss (photos)