Pre-Mother's Day Ride

DateMay 10, 2008
HostsMark Cook and Cheryl Prudhomme
Where Bedminster One; Somerset and Hunterdon Counties
Who (else) Judy Allison and Malcolm Boyd, Barbara Flint and Neil McPhee, Brenda and Larry Isherwood, Jane and Paul Kimmel, with Marilyn Ryan, Susan Nicolich and Dave Snope, Linda and George Wells

Route Slip [PDF]

Around 5:00 AM at Team Wells HQ, Linda and George were studying the NOAA web-site, looking closely at the radar map for the Northeastern USA. There was a storm in mid-PA that looked like it might come across NJ but then again, it might not. More views of the motion of the storm and Linda said "let's do it." So we had breakfast, took care of Muggles (breakfast, medication , Sub-Q fluids, second breakfast, medications, ...) and got everything ready to participate in the ad-hoc ride planned by Mark & Cheryl that used "borrowed" cue-sheets from the Morris Area Freewheelers. (Our thanks to the MAFW for the ride route.)

Participating were Teams Isherwood (Larry & Brenda), Allison/Boyd (Judy & Malcolm), Cook/Prudhomme (Mark & Cheryl), Wells (George & Linda), Nicolich/Snope (Susan & Dave), Kimmel (Paul & Jane, along with Marilyn Ryan on their triple), and Flint/McPhee (Barbara & Neil).

Starting at Bedminster-One, we headed out for a 41+ mile jaunt through Somerset and Hunterton Counties. The route was not as challenging as it could have been, yet we did have to do our share of climbing to get from the start point to Califon (familiar to all who have done the annual Pancake Rides). Most of that climbing was gradual, although there were a few granny-gear ascents.

The opening miles were fast and the triple showed its speed on the gradual downhill of Burnt Mills Road onto Copperthwaite. We all moved along at a pretty good pace. Despite the evening rains from Friday night, most of the roads were clear and dry, with only the occasional puddle to be avoided (although, by the end of the ride, all the tandems were well dirtied). Then, some climbing started. Guinea Hollow, Suttons, and Farmerville Roads gave us some climbs that eventually led to a stiff granny-gear-grunt as we approached Route 512 and began the run into Califon. I (George) watched a pair of single bikes doing the famous "paperboy-zig-zag" up the steepest climb, we dropped to granny and spun our way up, and our quads burned! The run down to Califon is fun, with a long screaming-downhill that leads into the center of town with a sharp right hand turn. The Pelethon decided to make use of the "facilities" at the Califon Island Park, so we went off-route at about the mid-point of the ride. (A good choice!) Then we were back in familiar territory going up Philhower to Frog Hollow and up the short, very-steep climb onto West Valley Brook Road (another quad burner).

By the time we got to Parker Road we were going mostly downhill with the occasional climb. With over 20 miles in our legs, these climbs got a bit difficult but were not overwhelming. We breezed past the Pottersville Deli on Black River Road and discovered that we were getting the "feel" of the cobbled classics from Europe. The road surfaces suffered badly this past winter and the rumble under the wheels was almost annoying and we had to dodge the occasional potholed section of the road. Finally we reached the nice, smooth stretch of Rattlesnake Bridge Road back to Burnt Mills heading towards Bedminster-One and the end of about 42 miles of riding. (Note: George made a mistake and was not drinking sufficiently, and, therefore, started to get quadriceps cramps during the last three-miles every time he tried to stand and pedal -- both stupid and painful).

Within minutes of getting back to the car our cell-phone rang, and it was Claudia (the Cat sitter) who, once-again, was foiled by Muggles' attitude and could not get him to eat. (This is going to put a bit of a crimp in our summer riding and a limit on the distance we can go for DOGS rides, as we cannot be away from home for more than about six to eight hours -- bummer). Team Kimmel/Ryan arrived shortly after the main group, proving that their triple wasn't all that slow despite the climbs.

We had all ordered sandwiches from Annie's Deli prior to the start of the ride that Cheryl picked up following our arrival back at Bedminster-One. We stayed around, briefly, and then headed home to get Muggles to eat and take his Post-Prandial-Medications.

In all, it was a great day out with the DOGS.

For those who did not participate, you missed a great day of riding with the DOGS. Of course there are more rides listed on the web-site () as well as many open dates for you to share a favorite ride with your fellow DOGS. As Mark and Cheryl showed today, it is fine to share a local bike club ride and to have the post-ride refreshments come "Dutch-Treat" from a local Deli -- it doesn't get much easier than that. So, please plan to share a favorite route with your fellow DOGS this summer. Also there is a growing interest in some "Fat-Tire" rides for those who prefer off-road rides. So, the opportunities are growing for DOGS rides.

Linda & George Wells
Leaders -- Doubles Of the Garden State

DOGS Home Page

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Copyright © 2008, George Wells (text), Mark Cook (photos)