New Jersey's Covered Bridge Ride

DateAugust 11, 2007
HostsDeb and Al Cudworth
WhereBull's Island State Park
Who (else) Helen and Bob Bird, Barbara Flint and Neil McPhee, Brenda and Larry Isherwood, Reneé and Fred Neibauer, Pat and Bill Rock, Linda and George Wells

Al and Deb Cudworth planned for a DOGS Ride from/to Bull's Island State Park, in Stockton, to be held on the 29th of July -- a ride that would take us through the only covered bridge in New Jersey. But due to the weather that day, the ride was washed out by rain. (The seven teams who signed up for that ride did get a chance to enjoy a picnic in the ranger's station at the park). Unbowed and undaunted, they persevered and scheduled another ride that was held Saturday, the 11th of August, which turned out to be a beautiful day. There wasn't a cloud in the light blue sky, comfortable temperatures and low humidity helped make the ride quite a success. Participating in Saturday's ride were teams: Cudworth (our hosts) (Al and Deb), Neibauer (Fred and Reneé), Flint/McPhee (Barbara and Neil), Isherwood (Larry and Brenda), Wells (George and Linda), Bird (Bob and Helen), and Rock (Bill and Pat).

Early on, Al and Deb took to the front of the Pelethon, leading a gentle pace. The road surfaces went from smooth pavement to chip-and-seal and roads with almost no motor-vehicle traffic. Al and Deb led us off the official cue sheet to assure that everyone got to pass through that one-and-only covered bridge in New Jersey. We then turned around and returned to the cue-sheet route. Most of the roads were tree-lined and shady, with the Pelethon staying together at a moderately brisk pace until we hit the rolling section that sorted the pack into smaller groups.

The weather was perfect for a summer ride. A gentle breeze was all the winds managed as we explored various roads, including some sections of the major roads in the area which were both smooth and fast. When we got to the Airport, where there was a planned rest stop (an airport so tiny that George calls it a "One Coke machine airport," (but they had Pepsi)), there were several small planes, even a World War II trainer that was being taken out for rides. (Thanks to a mistake Team Wells came upon at the end of the road (past the airport)), Al and Deb consulted their map and planned a slight route change that got us back on the cue sheets and headed us back towards Bull's Island State Park.

There was some climbing, but all of the climbs were gentle. Then we got that screaming downhill on Federal Twist Road as we approached the end of the ride. A short ride up Route 29 North and we were back at the park for our planned DOGS picnic following the ride. A few hours of food and conversation, which included a visit from a single bicyclist (on his bike, of course) -- Mark, who lives in Somerville, is on Team Somerset and formerly raced in the Annual Kuegler Memorial Day Bicycle Races. Eventually, we all decided, it was time to return to our daily lives, left only with the memories of another great day out with the DOGS and the knowledge that you missed a super ride, and, hopefully, Al and Deb will do it again.

Of course the riding season is far from over. There are three rides scheduled in fairly quick succession, and, hopefully, more rides will be planned. Check out the Events Calendar and come join us. Please keep in mind that Saturday, 8 September, is the DOGS 10th Anniversary Ride and Picnic. It would really be great if all DOGS Teams (and there are now 80 of us DOGS Teams), could participate in our special day.

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

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Copyright © 2007, George Wells