|Date||June 21, 2014|
|Hosts||Tricia and Ed Troike|
|Where||Troike home, Atco, NJ|
|Who (else)||Dawn Casey and Joe Scheneck, Eva and Kris Chirapongse, Stacy and Ed Delgros, Cheryl Prudhomme and Mark Cook, Wendy and Bruce Rubin, Harriet and Robert Voysey, Linda and George Wells|
Participating Teams: Troike (Ed & Trisha, our hosts), Wells (George & Linda), Voysey (Harriet & Robert), Scheneck (Dawn & Joe), Cook/Prudhomme (Mark & Cheryl), Chirapongse (Eva & Kris), Rubin (Bruce & Wendy, our newest DOGS Team), and Delgros (Ed & Stacy - who make their home in Pittsburgh, vacationing/camping in Cape May, checked out a tandem cub ride and noticed the DOGS were having their Annual Summer Solstice Ride and Picnic not far from where they were camping).
Early Saturday morning was dark and quiet as George's brain awakened. A look at the clock told me that in a mere three hours and 11 minutes the Solstice would officially begin. There were things to attend to before Team Wells could begin the journey to Atco for the 2014 Summer Solstice Ride/Party. At that moment, while awake, I really didn't want to start the routines and rituals that make up the beginning of Team Wells's day. Linda was still sleeping as were Harry and Ron (our Siamese Cats); Ron was under the covers snugged along my left side and Harry was curled up on my abdomen. Unfortunately, I had to disturb sleeping cats and begin the routines and rituals, or we would not make our start time, and there was a lot to do. As I started to move, Ron and Harry awoke, knowing that I was headed out of the bedroom to start the day. Linda, still fast asleep, was blissfully unaware that anything was happening.
A quick check of NOAA assured me that the day would not end with any significant rain, so Team Wells was good-to-go, time to make breakfast, (my omelets), for both people and cats (Royal Canin, moist, for Spayed/Neutered one year old cats), as well as getting the elements together for a trip with the tandem. After breakfast, we stopped at Starbucks for more coffee for me and a snack and a mug of coffee for Linda that we took along with us in the car, down Routes Ten East and 287 South and then off towards the New Jersey Turnpike South with tandem racked, the gear in the trunk and dressed for riding. We realized, way too late to turn back, that while our Camelback bladders were in the car, the actual Camelback holders were in the garage. Fortunately, Ed and Trisha have spare Camelback holders that we got to borrow. (Thanks; you guys are lifesavers!)
When we left the house, we knew of six teams that were going to participate, but by the time we arrived, the number had grown to eight, Team Rubin, our new DOGS, and Team Delgros, being tandemists who wanted to ride with a club. We rolled off at 11:19 AM (pretty close to the official start time of 11:00), and everyone chose to do the 33 mile loop, although Dawn and Joe were thinking about doing the longer route, but had time to decide before the long route extension started.
We pretty much stayed together with a bit of accordion-style riding but everyone within sight of each other. As the miles accumulated under our wheels, we counted tandems and realized that Eva and Kris had fallen behind the pack, so we drifted back to try and pull them back to the pack. Shortly, Ed and Tricia also drifted back and Ed told us that they would take Eva and Kris on a shortcut that would bring everyone back together, and we could chase down the pack if we chose to do so. So, we hammered and caught the main group while Ed, Tricia, Eva and Kris disappeared behind us.
We got to one section of pavement that was really bad from last winter and, in dodging one large pothole, Team Wells's rear wheel hit a smaller hole that gave us a pinch flat. We managed to stop in a shady spot and put in a new tube and re-inflate the rear wheel while getting moral support from Mark and Robert. (Thanks guys.) The group pedaled on through the miles, eventually summiting what George named "Mount Chesilhurst", the highest point on the ride at 174 feet above sea level. Unfortunately, the extra effort Team Wells put in to catch the group left us unable to maintain the pace, so we slowed and rode the last five miles at a slower pace. As it was, it was only a few minutes after everyone else had arrived that we showed up.
The post-ride festivities were a credit to all the DOGS's cooking skills. George and others sampled Ed's skills as brewing beer. That was really welcome after the long ride. And we all enjoyed Trish's homemade bread and muffins. Of course, we spent time getting to know our new tandem friends while devouring the food. Then the day started to wind down and one-by-one the teams packed up and headed home. It was, as is usual, a wonderful day out for the DOGS.
A lot of you were not there and missed a great time with the club members, our newest team and a guest team. However, there are more rides on the horizon, specifically, that ride you have been planning to share with the rest of the club. There are lots of weekends available so pick one and host a ride.
Linda & George Wells
Leaders -- Doubles Of the Garden State (DOGS)