Dave's Annual HOT Ride and COOL Pool Party

DateAugust 1, 2009
HostsDave Snope and Susan Nicolich
WhereDave's house, Califon
Who (else) Helen and Bob Bird, Marji Brandriss and Dave Kristol, Julie and Stu Conway, Deb and Al Cudworth, Barbara Flint and Neal McPhee, Pat and Ed Gifford, Brenda and Larry Isherwood, Cheryl Prudhomme and Mark Cook, Linda and George Wells

Dave & Susan's adventure in climbing

Today, the DOGS had a great ride hosted by Team Nicolich/Snope (Susan and Dave), exploring the various grades around Califon. To be sure, this area of New Jersey is anything but flat. The upside is that it is picturesque and the payback for all the climbing comes in the form of some magnificent downhill runs.

The ten DOGS teams assembled at Dave's home in Califon were Teams: Cudworth (Al and Deb), Flint/McPhee (Barbara and Neil), Bird (Bob and Helen), Gifford (Ed and Pat), Conway (Stu and Julie), Cook/Prudhomme (Mark and Cheryl), Brandriss/Kristol (Marji and Dave), Isherwood (Larry and Brenda), Nicolich/Snope (our hosts Susan and Dave), and, bringing up the rear in more ways than one -- Wells (George and Linda). [Note: Untrue, untrue! We most definitely brought up the rear. -- Dave K.]

The majority of teams opted to ride the middle distance route of 32 miles. Most of the routes covered the same roads, with the longer ride adding about nine miles of flatter terrain before returning to the climbs. It was only a little over three miles into the route that the first big climb of the day started -- Summer Lane -- that was followed by undulating terrain and some great downhill runs. Due to the recent rains that left areas of gravel and mud making Cold Springs Road a bit dicey, the captains remained alert while the stokers could enjoy the scenery.

The mid-ride sections gave our climbing legs a little respite before launching us up towards the ridge line that borders the southern border of Califon. This is a long, steady climb beginning with Rockaway Road as it undulates upwards towards Guinea Hollow Road where some gradients top 15% as our tandems climbed to the crest. Looking at the profile of ascent, as recorded by our Garmin, (2,454 total climbing feet), those last seven miles were pretty awesome.

This was Linda's first "big" tandem ride since our accident on 20 May. Her stamina and strength were on display as we made our way up the final climbs where, at one point, George just had to stop a mere 0.3 miles from the end of Guinea Hollow Road. As we made the final ascent, Teams Isherwood and Cook/Prudhomme passed us on the final grade. Then we got the fantastic downhill run on the smooth pavement of Academy Street into the center of Califon with speeds topping 35+ mph then the final climb up to Dave's house.

We all lounged around the pool following the ride, recounting the day's ride and talking about other rides yet to come and enjoying all the delicious food that was shared by all DOGS. While Team Wells has to admit that this amount of climbing is not everyone's cup-of-tea, we also realize that those who were unable to join us today, missed some great riding, even if it was hard. Keep in mind -- if Team Wells can manage these climbs -- you probably can, too.

The good news is that there are more rides yet on the calendar and if the post ride talk comes to fruition, there will be even more rides on the calendar soon. Next weekend is an inaugural ride hosted by one of our newer DOGS -- Team Weiner (Bob and Ronna), in the area of Upstate New York but not far from the New Jersey border. We hope a lot of DOGS will RSVP and join Team Weiner in their first hosting of a DOGS ride. They are going to offer some really nice riding in cycling-friendly areas near the Hudson. If you can clear your calendar, this will be a great ride. Not all the DOGS will be attending since we know some of you will be attending the MATES Rally so,...

Finally, we do want you to share some of your favorite rides with the rest of the DOGS. If climbing isn't your thing, then share one of your flatter rides with all of us.

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

Pre-ride milling around and catching up

The inevitable group photo

Scenes from a ride

The aftermath

Ogling Mark's new toy

Winged visitor

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