Despite his giving me a hard time sometimes (see the bottom of his post), I like riding with Tom H; as I've said in another post, I like hilly rides, and Tom frequently comes across with them. What's more, I like the people that come out on Tom's rides. So when Tom had a ride starting at Raritan valley Community College, and going to Califon, for yesterday, I decided that was what I wanted to do.
When I got to the college, Tom was there, as was Winter Larry (usually a flatlander). One by one, Barry Y, Blake, Cheryl (doing maybe her last hilly NJ ride; she's moving to Florida in a few weeks), and Laura OLPH came into the lot.
We did this route. That average is deceiving; my max was 36.7, and I set a new record for a minimum, non-stopped speed; I now know I can keep the bike upright, if the grade is not too steep, at 2.4mph (well, how slow can YOU go?). I remember rather more hills than the elevation profile at the bottom of the RideWithGPS page shows... but it may have been that the complaints of the riders made the hills feel longer and harder than they were. A few of our number were waxing poetic about the demands of this ride on their body parts: lungs, legs, and other anatomy were referred to.
We stopped at the same Krauszer's we stopped at on the Cocoluxe ride a month ago. It's only a Krauszer's, but the proprietor treats us like folks when we come; I like this stop. While there, Larry and Tom had some discussion about the route and the hills.
I like the stop, but I didn't like the hill on Old Farmer's Road that started immediately afterwards. It was neither the longest, nor the hardest hill of the ride, but it started right after the stop, when we were not warmed up. I get a post-stop phenomenon I call "rigor mortis"; right after a stop, my legs are stiff, and I usually like to be able to spin a bit before doing anything real demanding.... but the routes don't always go that way.
After the hills, though, the last part of the ride was easy: Rockaway, then down some soft hills to the end (although I nearly tripped at a curb; Blake was there to remind me to "keep the rubber side down"). There's a small uphill just as you get back to the college to remind you of what you've done. It gave the complainers something more to exercise their throats about.
Still, I liked this ride. And, as I said, I like the people who come out on Tom's rides.