Before I get into this post, I want to talk about two people who came on this ride, each of whom did something I respect. One was a few miles in, and realized it was more than he could handle; he went back. We've ridden with this person before, and I expect he'll come out again, but he wasn't ready today, he knew it, and he decided not to risk anything by trying to keep up.
The other was a person, normally a strong rider, who was having a bad day; he did stay with us, and did fine on the flats, but lagged on the hills. He kept his attitude up, and finished with us.
I have no use and no patience for riders who put down others who are slower, not as strong on hills, or whatever. I have every respect for those who know their limits, or who admit that they are beyond their limits when they discover that they are. I have even more respect for the people who then do something about building strength or getting back in shape.
We shouldn't put these people down. We should welcome and encourage them.
Now for the post: Those who have been following Laura OLPH's blog know that she's been active in the opposition to the Penn East Pipeline. For today's ride, she took us past a number of places where the pipeline will impact open space, rights-of-way, and suchlike that will affect those of us who ride in the Sourlands. This ride was originally scheduled for yesterday, but the snow made it impossible to ride in the hills until today. I haven't done a hill ride in forever (certainly not this year) and I was glad for an opportunity to get out, as were a number of other Hill Slugs.
We did this route (that includes some miles to and from the formal start at the Administration Building in Pennington). It turns out that the pipeline will affect many of my favorite roads, including Alexsauken Creek Road, which I think of as "ten minutes of vacation" (one of my associates, Paul, says he does it in about six minutes, but first, he lives in the neighborhood and can get there more conveniently than I, and second, as far as I'm concerned, if you're doing Alexsauken Creek Road quickly, you're missing the point).
I'm not a fan of the pipeline, and Laura explained a lot... but the point of the ride, for me, was 58 miles on a sunny day, with some hills, some headwinds and tailwinds, and some people I wish I saw more frequently.
We stopped for a moment at Lambertville, but decided to go on to Sergeantsville for the break. You'll see a picture below of the Sergeantsville Inn, which recently suffered a fire (is there a rule that there has to be an annual fire at Central NJ bike landmarks?). The ride back was more-or-less straight, but we did stop at an anti-pipeline sculpture that you'll also see in the pics below.
Apologies to Winter Larry for not doing his ride... but Larry, I really needed some hills!
At the start:
Visiting the girls in Mt Airy, below:
The remains of the Sergeantsville Inn: