|Date||May 18, 2013|
|Hosts||Barb Flint and Neil McPhee|
|Where||Prallsville Mills, Stockton, NJ|
|Who (else)||Caren and Mike Bianco, Marji Brandriss and Dave Kristol, Deb and Al Cudworth, Karin and Dave Katz, Mary and Ron Lessard, Cheryl Prudhomme and Mark Cook, Wendy Samuelson and Jeff Winick, Harriet and Robert Voysey, Linda and George Wells|
[Team Wells report]
Saturday, 18 May, Team Flee (Neil and Barbara) hosted: "On the Border" which was a borrowed ride originally called: "The Tour of Open Spaces." The advertisement that this was an easy ride was correct. In fact, there was only one "serious" (6.3%) climb on the route. The rest of the ride consisted of gentle grades, rolling hills and lots of flat. While this ride could easily have turned into a Hammer-Fest, it didn't. We maintained, as if by mutual agreement, a social-paced ride where groups could ride together and talk without straining for breath.
The climb up from the park to the plateau was a long, gentle tertiary road that rose deceptively over 400 feet for the first five miles and then the final climb to the plateau which was that 6.3% climb that put us on top. The remaining roads were long undulations and, despite the temptation to break-away, we pretty much stayed together. True, the 6.3% grade did separate the full pack, but to the best of our knowledge no DOGS team rode alone, separated from everyone else.
The full ride was 35 miles, but some of us, for various reasons, including too many miles in our legs to too few, opted to shorten the ride (Team Wells, included). This was pretty easy, as the plateau portion of the ride consisted of two large loops that could be bypassed easily or done partially.
The return did see some great downhill segments where gravity did its thing and Team Wells hit a top speed just shy of 40mph before braking to make the turn back into the park. What we found when we arrived was the setup for a wedding that was to begin at 2:00 PM. The outdoor venue became an indoor wedding as passing sprinkles (and one good shower) fell on the area. When all the DOGS had returned, we setup our DIY picnic and chatted for almost as long as the ride took. Eventually, the off-tandem duties and commitments arose in our brains and we all said our goodbyes and headed off.
For those DOGS not attending, you missed a wonderful social-paced ride. But this isn't the last DOGS ride, so the opportunities abound, and many more social-paced rides are possible -- all you have to do is plan and schedule it. Next up on the current DOGS calendar is the Summer Solstice Ride & Party way down in Atco, NJ hosted by team Troike and given the flat topography, this could also be a social-paced ride if the members so choose.
Linda & George Wells
Leaders -- Doubles Of the Garden State (DOGS)
Ten teams gathered to ride some wonderful, lightly-traveled, gently hilly roads in Hunterdon County, near the Delaware and Raritan Canal. The weather was supposed to be mostly sunny and warm. While the weather never met expectations, the ride itself did.
We met at Prallsville Mills, just outside of Stockton, NJ. The Mills hark back to the time when water was the source of much industrial power, and the site is now used as a museum and venue for various community events. Indeed, when we returned from the ride, we encountered a wedding party that was about to get underway.
As is customary before a DOGS ride, teams greeted one another upon arrival, mingled, and chatted. After the (also customary) group photo, the ride got underway. The ride itself, about 33 mi., covered relatively gentle terrain that often paralleled a stream. The roads were generally in good shape, and the absence of much traffic allowed teams to socialize while riding. The pace was relaxed, and most of the teams were able to ride together through the first part of the ride.
There was a welcome rest stop at Highland Gourmet Market at about mile 22. A few teams peeled off a bit earlier and headed back to the Mills directly. The rest grabbed snacks that they either brought or bought at the Market. A little sprinkle from above reminded us to leave, so following our fueling up, we returned to Prallsville Mills along a route that was a bit hillier than before (both up and down).
Back at the Mills, we gathered on the lawn for an informal picnic. Everyone brought lunch for themselves, plus a little something extra to share. But the main thing we shared was a good time. As if to see us off, a rain shower began to fall as we said our goodbyes, packed up, and departed.