A Day at the Races

DateNovember 16, 2008
HostsBarbara and Ron Anderson
Where Hamilton Veteran's Park, Hamilton Twp., NJ for the ride; Mercer County Park, Princeton Junction, NJ for the cyclocross races
Who (else) Dave Snope & Susan Nicolich, Ed & Pat Gifford, Al & Deb Cudworth, Larry & Brenda Isherwood

Ron & Barb's very first DOGS ride was delayed to their rain date of Sunday due to the few inches of wet weather we had on Saturday. Sunday turned out to be dry, with cooler than normal temps in the low 40's and the winds gusting near 25 mph! This was in sharp contrast to Saturday's rain-soaked unusually high temps warming near 70 degrees. Four teams were still lured to the ride with the promise of hot homemade chicken soup to be had after we completed the 40 mile ride. Unfortunately Al & Deb had some mechanical issues not too far into the ride and had to backtrack to the ride start.

The terrain was flat to rolling, re-visiting some of the good old Pumpkin Patch Pedal roads. There was some road debris from the prior day's nasty weather and of course the not so good pavement found on a few of the initial roads where the traffic was a little more pronounced until we "got out of dodge" so to say. We had a good run for about the first half of the ride and had a rest stop at the Clarksburg General Store, where we found a group of single bikes with a tandem in tow... or should we say tandem-towing singles! The couple were of course quite interested in so many tandems riding together and said they would like to try and make it to a DOGS ride. There were also some single bike club friends there of Ed & Pat's!... small world.

After the rest stop we had to pay the piper and had quite a gusty headwind most of the way back. The hot homemade chicken soup hit the spot with some side snacks included. We ate so much of it that most could not even eat their bagged sandwiches they had brought!

Then it was time to drive a mere 6 miles to the Mercer County Park to see the USGP Cyclocross races. Our hosts were more than kind in paying the few dollars for each vehicle's entrance as we arrived in time to see the last part of the Elite Women's Race. Then it was on to the Elite Men's Race of one hour of racing plus a lap! Quite a grand childlike time was had as we watched the racers slip, slog & ride, and even have to try to run through the course which consisted of grass, mud and obstacles!

Some of the spectators made for a "carnival atmosphere" (as Ron said), by sticking $1 and then some $5 bills in the mud at a turn that was pretty much a "run up" for most of the riders whilst the spectators hollered "preem" and "get the mo-money"! The racers who were nearer the back seemed to enjoy this almost as much as the crowd while they "cleaned up the cash" (as the Cycling News photographer states).

It was quite cold & windy and therefore as soon as the race was over, the DOGS were on their merry way giggling about the silliness they had just spectated. We thank Ron & Barb for all their efforts and look forward to a Second Annual "Day at the Races" next year!

Here are links to some of the pictures... look & see if you can find the "Waldos" (your DOGS members) all bundled up in the crowd. If you would like to look at all the pictures on cyclingnews.com, just click on the "Related Gallery" link under a picture.


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Copyright © 2008, Brenda Isherwood (text, photos)