I would have thought, with the inclement weather we've been having, and with no rain predicted for yesterday until at least 3:00, that Tom H's Pinelands Metric Century scheduled for yesterday would have brought a lot of riders to the start in Columbus, NJ, not far from a deli where the Team Social Security (the three-day-a-week Old Guys Ride) often stop.
I would have been, and was, wrong.
The only folks to appear, with ten minutes to go before the ride started, were Tom himself:
Joe M, with the nifty new Soma San Marcos (and a VERY handsome Lezyne pump, way cooler than the Road Morph that Tom and Laura OLPH use):
...and Very Truly Yours, who, as usual, managed to keep his own picture out of this week's blog post.
After slandering some Freewheelers who show up minutes before the ride is due to leave (or, in some cases, minutes AFTER), we left just at 8:30 to do the route. It's one from Tom's book, and it's a great route; you can see it here.
The day was warmer than I expected. I showed up with two layers, and stripped down to a jersey and arm warmers before we left, and soon that was too much. Here's Joe at a "wardrobe adjustment" stop (I think Tom was changing the battery in his GPS):
As Tom noted in his post, much of the ride went along the routes (mostly in reverse) of the Urban Promise Ride. This ride had a lot of support, not only with SAG and rest stops, but plastic signs for routing and for warning of hazards ("Dangerous Intersection", "Pothole Ahead"), and paint on the roads around rough spots. Tom pointed out that there is a limited number of roads in this area with little traffic, so if you're going to ride there, you're probably going to use these roads. (I was impressed with the rider support, though, and jealous: I remember saying that "this ride has too much money.")
We stopped at Nixon's in Tabernacle, which I really liked, even though the porta-potty was about a quarter mile away. If you're gonna do this route, or one like it, plan a stop at Nixon's.
In the middle of the ride, we did a seven-mile stretch along the euphoniously-named Sooy Place Road, where we got to talking about how good this ride was, and how we expected more takers. I really liked it. I told Tom, "I'm not complaining. I'm anxious and depressed, but I'm not complaining."
We stopped again at the big Wawa in Pemberton, where I got The Obligatory Bikes Pic:
...and thence back to the start at the park in Columbus. Kids baseball games were breaking up, and Joe was impressed by the amount of gear the kids had; we saw many backpacks, full of something (what? Steroids, maybe?), with holsters for two bats.
No formal ride today; wind threatened, and chores to do, and I just wasn't up to it. I did this one before the wind got too bad, but then came home to many loads of laundry and umpteen other things to do, than which I'd definitely rather be riding the bike.