Tom H has been leading rides to all the highest points in each county in NJ this year, and he calls those of us who go along with him his "insane bike posse". After last week's ride, though, he repented of his evil, and decided to lead a ride to Cassville to see the Russian church of St Vladmir, along normal roads, many of which we frequently ride. Tom advertised 55 miles from Mercer East. Well, Laura OLPH lives just far enough away to make about 70 miles if I parked near her house. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to do it; I had a hot date with The Excellent Wife (TEW) last night... but I was awake and out early enough to join Laura.
We got to the park to find Tom and Barry, and then Marco rolled in.
(I tried to get better pictures at the start, but the sun was so low they burned.)
There was autumnal excellence right at the park.
Many riders don't come out after the weather gets cool; they don't have the gear, or whatever... but for me, these are some of the best riding days: not hot or sweaty, and gorgeous colors everywhere, even where you don't expect them. Most of my pictures didn't do justice to the real thing (so I'm deleting them).
We kept up a quick pace (for us), and talked about upcoming rides, jobs, friends... all the things that remind me how social these rides can be. At Cassville, we stopped at a breakfast-and-antiques place that's a hoot:
I got that last picture of the bikes because it looks like they're for sale, along with all the other impedimenta at the place. Foodies aren't going to seek out this place for brunch, but an OJ and a bacon-and-egg sandwich was just the thing to keep me going the rest of the way today. (I've been in this town a couple of times with Winter Larry, and he usually stops at the place across the way; they have a great porch, but the whole place has an air of tobacco smoke. I had heard that one of the proprietors died; the place was open today, though. Below, it's center; on the right is the liquor store.)
Then to the church. We interrupted some skateboarders, and I got these pics.
Ride page is here. I didn't sweep on this one, and I'm impressed that I did the pace for the distance (and that I'm not crippled as I'm writing this!).
So, all in all, a nice sane ride. I doubt Tom is going to come up with a new name for us, though, so I suspect he'll plan some more insanity for a future outing.