Snakehead Ed C was leading a ride today out of Blackwells Mills (one of the few starting locations that's close enough to my home for me to ride to), and who else should appear for it, but Peter F and Sean D! Evidently, given the recurring rain and wet roads yesterday, they didn't go out, so they wanted to get one in today. I was sure I was going to be dropped somewhere in the Sourlands...
Ed had sent an email with a link to this intended route (which is how I knew the Sourlands was in the plan), so I downloaded it into Mr Garmin, my intermittently-reliable GPS, and rode out to the start. Now, the GPS is a computer, and computers do what you tell them to do, not what you want them to do. Ed made minor adjustments to the route in a couple of places, and Mr Garmin got all farblunget; I had to reset him a couple of times, and finally tuned the routing off entirely.
Ed had warned us to bring food, as the first stop was to be at mile 32, AFTER the worst of the hills. We proceeded at a pretty good clip (it was windy, but the wind wasn't much of a problem for me until the last part of the ride [and wouldn’t you know that?]). We stopped at the turn onto Riverside Road so that we could "calorie up", and then did the hilly bits - on which I did better than I'd expected, so they didn't leave me gasping at the side of the road.
After getting to the top of the ride, and turning onto Mountain Rd, we got to the church, where a young lady was having difficulty getting her minivan out of the lot; she got if blocking the road and it wasn't going much farther. Peter took a look in her driver's side window, and pointed out that the vehicle would probably proceed with greater ease if she would disengage the parking brake. She did, and off we went.
We took a break at Boro Bean in Hopewell (Peter declined to come inside, citing both the inside temperature and his fear that someone might take one of our bikes), and then we rode back towards Blackwells Mills, into the wind (about which I've already complained). I turned off at Butler Road (which I called Bennet's Lane at least three times; I must have been thinking about the NBBX ride from a couple of weeks ago).
Here's my data, including my ride to and from.
Pics! At the start. Thank heaven: the porta-potty is back at Blackwells Mills!
Sean looks like he's either dancing, or conducting the orchestra, in that one above.
At the top of Zion: