I'm thinking about a 25-40 miler tomorrow morning, perhaps early. Interested in something starting at about 7 or 7:30 AM from Six Mile Run, like maybe a run over to Peacock's?... I need to evaluate whether I can attempt the Tom H. Twin Lights (65-75 mi.) or the Peter H. Mini-Covered Bridges (55 mi.) rides this Sat. I've got the pace, but probably not the stamina, since I had some exercise while off the bike for 7 weeks, but I'm only now getting back on.Well, now, Ed's just back from umpteen weeks off the bike after a skiing accident... and he's way stronger than the Old Guys... and with rain predicted, a 7:30 start might be just the thing... and, of course, giving him a chance to try himself out before committing himself to a group ride would be the friendly thing to do (and, of course, I'm completely unselfish about wanting to ride with a strong guy like him)... so we corresponded a bit more, and woudl up with this route.
That's just the route, not the actual ride, since, while I was able to get the route into my GPS, I didn't actually remember to turn the ride-saving option on (I plead last night's insomnia and the early start; still: D'OH!). But at the end, Ed's computer showed 16.7 average, 35.5 top speed (higher than mine, I'm sure; he's a much better descender than I), and 41.5 distance (we added a bit as we rode).
At the beginning, we had to deal with rush-hour traffic, but that didn't detract from the beauty of the ride; while we didn't have many of the scenic vistas that Laura OLPH seeks out on her rides, this one had a different kind of localized prettiness. It also had some challenges, including the ride up Dutchtown-Mt Zion, and a stretch of gravel (I misremember where). There was a neat, new-to-me descent on Pin Oak (we could do THAT again), and we went through the old Trenton Psych grounds, which are now parkland and completely unrecognizeable.
Ed and I are well-matched in strength and nearly so in speed, and his temperament doesn't get on my nerves (you'll have to speak to him to see if the corollary is true). I hope to do more with him, and I hope to see him lead some formal rides. And mostly, I'm glad to see him back on the bike; I know he missed it, and I (for one) missed him.
Edit May 18, 2013: From an email from Ed:
On thinking about how to improve things, I've realized that while the Zion climb is good, there is a better way to optimize ride flow around rush hour near the Sourlands. Here's my attempts.[Ed included a couple of .gpx files.] This is the kind of thing I'd enjoy leading in the fall… Just in case anybody (like Laura, Cheryl) tries to follow our route, I have emendments or corrections to the penultimate paragraph of your post. (As you know, I'm a part-time editor…)
And of course this is subjective, but I thought the stretch along the Raritan and the view east from Grandview was Laura-worthy…
- Ride up Zion Rd. from Neshanic (not Dutchtown-Mt. Zion)
- stretch of gravel- on Dutchtown-Zion between Hollow Rd. and Pin Oak Rd.
- descent was on a right turn off Grandview, descending Fairview to Camp Meeting Ave.