This Saturday I will be leading a ride from Gladstone NJ. This area is a nice change of pace from our normal riding areas. This will be a hilly ride of just under 50 miles. Total climbing will be around 4500 ft and we will get to the highest point in Summit County. This is a slightly different route than last year so we will see some new roads. There should be no real killer climbs but there won't be any flat spots and a lot of ups and downs. The payoff at the end of the ride will be the Cocoluxe bakery so besides a mid ride stop we will also have a post ride stop.
Tom was not surprised when I was waiting for him at the start, but there's another reason I chose this ride: I suspected that a lot of my regular pals would choose this one, too... and I was right: by the time we left, we also had Cheryl, Blake, Ron S, Marco B, Barry Y, and comparative-stranger-to-me The Other Ken G (not to be confused with the Ken G who leads the rides out of Hart's).
Tom was right about not many flat spots, and we started right off with a climb up Pottersville Road, which gave us something to complain about (and how would you know you were on a Tom H ride if nobody were complaining?). Barry was complaining of back pain, and had a hard time mounting his bike the first time. He complained about some of the rough spots in the road... but he was rollin' up some hills like I've never seen him before!
Blake and I were discussing some of the holes in the road; Blake suggested I send one home... and we got into a discussion of negative space and metaphysics. However, by the end of the ride, we had devolved more into bad puns rather than ontology.
Marco had a bit of a mechanical; he was trying to adjust his rear derailleur and still get out of the house in time to make the ride (yeah, I've been there), but it gave him some trouble; we did a quick road adjustment and off he went.
We stopped at a Krauszer's near Long Valley, who were kind enough to let us use the rest room... and I needed it; I'd had some leftover cream in my coffee this morning, and I suspect that the cream had been leftover just that little bit too long, and a science experiment had been going on inside. I DID leave the Krauszer's a bit lighter than when I'd arrived (ahem). But my stomach was complaining throughout the rest of the ride.
The other thing I did was to bring along some Skratch restorative drink; friend Ed C had given me the mix when he couldn’t stand it. The key thing I can say about it is that in getting rid of it, Ed has proven himself a man of refined tastes and excellent discretion. I poured it out, and replaced it with Gatorade.
By the time we got back to the cars, I just wanted to go home, but I knew The Excellent Wife (TEW) would be interested in some truffles from Cocoluxe... and I was not disappointed; if there WAS to be doghouse-sleeping in the next day or so, the gift of chocolate has removed the intention.
When Tom got to the start, there was a wicker chair in his truck. He SAID he was delivering it to the in-laws... but I note he used it to put his shoes on pre-ride. Hrmph.
At the start. First, The Other Ken G:
On the road, over my shoulder (one of the few flat spots on this ride):
At the stop: