Laura OLPH's post about today's ride began, "We're going to Main Street in Kingston, where Ed might share a cake with us." It ended, "I put some hills in that only Ed likes. You can thank me later." I'm not sure we were all grateful for the hills.
Ed, Chris C (rockin' some tights I don't remember seeing before; see 'em in the pics below), Ron S, and I appeared a Laura's house for the ride to the ride, early enough that we interrupted her husband Professor Jack's breakfast. We met Sean, recovering from overdoing it on his bad leg; he went as far as the Pennington start, then took a roundabout way home to continue his recuperation, so we can ride more with him later in the season.
At Pennington, we picked up Eoghan, Barry, and Cheryl, who had gotten the time confused and had spent entirely enough time in the Pennington parking lot, thank you. We did this route, taking a long route to the Main St Cafe in Kingston by way of Poor Farm Road, which might have been one of the hills only Ed likes (it might not have been; Ed is adequate on the ascents, but he excels on the descents). Eoghan's wife, Celeste, had been debating which half of the ride she would do (they live close to the stop at the Main St Cafe), and her absence at the start suggested she had chosen the latter half.
On the way to Kingston, Ed and some others got into a discussion about the "reptile brain", responsible for survival. Through a series of conversational processes too complicated to reproduce, by the stop in Kingston, we were referring to him as "Ed the Snake" (reptile... snake... oh, never mind).
At the Main St Cafe, Ed had reserved a cake, and we had a minor party for him (at which Celeste DID appear to join us for the remainder of the ride). Then we had a major wait for the loo; a gentleman not of our party was monopolizing it for about 20 minutes; I suspect he was changing his clothes, but he might have been going bald and growing a beard as well, for he was certainly bald and bearded when he finally emerged.
The wind had kicked up by the time we left the Cafe (or perhaps we were just going in a direction where we noticed it). It posed a real obstacle as we went up Grandview, by which time we were taking the wind head-on as we climbed; it was a relief to get into the trees as we climbed, and then went across the ridge. Laura had thought to go down to 518 via Hopewell-Wertsville, but we turned off on Mountain Church to save some headwind. And so back to Pennington.
At the top of Poor Farm. Eoghan and I were up first; I got some pictures as I caught some breath:
Above, Cheryl almost got by me! Below, a tree burl on Crusher Road that has been a landmark; I remember it when it was still whole:
At the Main St Cafe:
Below: Ed's cake:
Celeste joins us:
Below: Sorry I cut his head off, but those are Chris's latest tights. He has a fashion sense that I never will.
Below: Some dour Irishman or other: