Second (Annual) Sugarbarb Farm Stolen Ride

DateSeptember 24, 2005
HostsBarbara and Tracy Cate; Claire Hamanaka and Walt Willard (routemasters)
WhereBlairstown, NJ
Who (else) Judy Allison and Malcolm Boyd, Helen and Bob Bird, Marji Brandriss and Dave Kristol, Debby and Alan Cudworth, Brenda and Larry Isherwood, Susan Nicolich and Dave Snope; Tracy and Alan Giadosh, with Dylan, Preston, and Ashland

Route slips: 22-mile route [PDF]   33-mile route [PDF]   40-mile route [PDF]

[Dave Kristol report]

The DOGS gathered at Sugarbarb Farm on a splendid early fall day for a typical club event, comprising riding, eating, and socializing. The Cates are wonderfully gracious hosts, and we were all treated to pre-ride snacks as everyone gathered and greeted.

Walt and Claire had mapped out three routes of 22, 33, and 40 miles to choose from. After the ritual group photos, we got back in our cars to use what a tour leader Marji and I once had referred to as a "land bridge", to traverse the gravel road from the farmhouse back to the main road. Most people chose the 40-mile ride, and we set out through the quiet, rolling roads of Warren and (later) Sussex County. The pace was moderate enough that most of the group was able to ride together to the Allamuchy General Store for a break.

After the break, the group continued through the hills and dales until Dave and Susan, seized by an unexpected surge of energy, took off. Needless to say, the rest of the group picked up the pace to match, except us. By the time we returned to the farm, all the cars that were parked near the entrance had returned to the farmhouse. We loaded up the bike and did the same.

One advantage to being the last ones back is that the grill was already cooking, and food was ready. Tracy was busy cooking up "tube steaks", with two hunks of filet and sausages to follow. Of course there were lots of other goodies, as well.

It was delightful to sit on the deck, look out over the lake, and share good times with fellow DOGS. Walt and I took a paddle around the lake in a pontoon stern-wheeler. We subsequently picked up the two Giadosh boys as passengers. At the far end of the lake we startled maybe a dozen turtles sunning themselves on a log, and they all slid off into the water.

Later Tracy asked whether anyone wanted a tour of the farm, and Judy, Malcolm, Marji, and I signed up. He led us to his "mule", an army surplus vehicle that looks like the 21st century analog of a 19th century buckboard, but with an even harsher ride. The 16 HP, 2-cylinder engine is noisy and smelly, but it gets the job done, the job being to convey us around the farm.

The journey was part education about timber management, part Six Flags thrill ride, though it would never pass state inspection. We got to hang on for dear life to handrails on the flat, exposed cargo area as Tracy maneuvered over fallen brush and tree trunks with barely disguised sadistic glee. However, we all returned to the farmhouse in one piece (each), albeit somewhat jostled, just in time for dessert(s).

[Walt Willard report]

The Second (Annual) Sugarbarb Farm Stolen Ride attracted eight and a half teams from far and wide to enjoy an exceptional day of tandeming. After some breakfast treats and casual conversation at the house, we all drove down the quarter mile to the main road and saddled up. The weather was warm and sunny as we all divided ourselves up amongst the three rides Claire had created. Barb noted the only downside was the heavy traffic, having counted ten cars during the course of the forty mile ride. As everyone got cleaned up, we sorted out to various activities as the barbeque churned away. Some were content to rehydrate and engage in titillating conversation, while others gravitated to the lake for a swim or a trip on the paddle boat. After enjoying the fantastic spread put on by Tracy and Barbara, the newbies took their turn for the initiation ride and tour of the farm on Tracy's favorite toy, The Mule.

Pre-ride milling around

Now it's official!

Getting organized to ride.

On the road

Break at Allamuchy General Store

Post-ride socializing

The "mule"

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Copyright © 2005, David M. Kristol (text, photos); Walt Willard (text); Marjorie Brandriss, Brenda Isherwood (photos); Claire Hamanaka (routes)