|Date||July 19, 2008|
|Hosts||Laura Nesbitt and Pete Sklarow|
|Who (else)||Judy Allison and Malcolm Boyd, Pat and Ed Gifford, Brenda and Larry Isherwood, Renee Mayeux and Bud MacIlvain, Susan Nicolich and Dave Snope, Debbie and John Paulson, Cheryl Prudhomme and Mark Cook, Fran and Brian Sanchez, Linda and George Wells; non-DOGS single rider Eric Phares|
Team Nesbitt/Sklarow (Laura and Pete) hosted their first DOGS ride today, Saturday, 19 July 2008, with two optional routes of 61 and 43 miles, but due to the heat, we all decided to complete the 43 mile ride.
Participating in today's ride were teams: Nesbitt/Sklarow (Laura and Pete), Gifford (Ed and Pat), Sanchez (Brian and Fran), MacIlvain/Mayeux (Bud and Renee), Nicolich/Snope (Susan and Dave), Wells (George and Linda), Isherwood (Larry and Brenda), Allison/Boyd (Judy and Malcolm), Paulson (John and Debbie), Cook/Prudhomme (Mark and Cheryl), and a single, non-DOGS rider, Eric Phares, who managed to hold his own with the tandemists. The route consisted of small towns and rural roads that did not have lots of traffic, and what there was drove in a respectful manner when coming by he tandemists.
While the ride was advertised as "flat", there were more than a few gentle rollers along the route, and we can never omit the dreaded "invisible hills" of this area of NJ (a.k.a., the wind). Team Wells took off in our usual position of riding "sweep" and gradually worked our way up the peloton but could never make the bridge to the front group, largely because of the timing of traffic lights. As the teams stretched out across the route, we found ourselves close to Team Paulson. With a sprint that we developed by riding weekly sets of intervals, we managed to catch them. We chatted about a ride that Team Paulson wants to host in September. (Look for more info on this in the near future.) We do owe them an apology because we hit a section of rollers that were just made for Team Wells. George announced "Grade-Up" and Linda responded with a burst of power to the pedals that took us over the top and powered us down the other side and part way up the next. We got in sight of Teams MacIlvain/Mayeux and Sanchez just a bit out of capture range who managed to get the lights in their favor. Looking in the rearview mirror, we saw Team Paulson steadily closing the gap on us as the miles rolled under our wheels. Unfortunately, the lights kept separating us, so we never managed to form a group of four tandems.
We rolled into the Old World Bakery which our hosts told us was a special place. Great bakery/deli with all kinds of treats. They don't mind bicyclists filling up their bottles with ice, so Team Wells filled their Camelback bladders with their remaining water. And that was a good thing. Did I mention that it was HOT? (The reason nobody chose the 61 mile loop.) Refreshed, carb-loaded, and re-hydrated, we started out to cover the last 13 miles back to the home of Team Nesbitt/Sklarow. This is when we ran into the dreaded Southern NJ invisible hills. During the earlier part of the day, we could manage to cruise in the low 20's but now we were relegated to the low teens. We passed a small group fixing a flat tire and heard later that there were a total of three flats for two teams today.
Following the ride was the usual DOGS food fest with an abundant supply of protein and carbs for our hard working tandem engines. The meal was enhanced by the myriad conversations between the members and the overall sense of camaraderie.
This was another great DOGS outing and there are more to come listed on our web-site including the first "Dirty DOGS" gravel road ride for all those fat tire folks. And there are still a few open weekends if anyone wants to host an impromptu DOGS ride.
Linda & George Wells
Leaders -- Doubles Of the Garden State (DOGS)