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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

September 28, 2011



Somerset, NJ to Hammonton, NJ
80 miles
2500 feet of climbing
You may wonder why I always start with a weather report. The reason is because it affects our ride so much. Wind, rain, heat, humidity et al can turn a fun ride into a disaster. Today we got rained on twice (hard, but for only 20 minutes each time)! It was warm, so we dried while riding. This afternoon we rode head-on into a 15-20 mph headwind. It slows us down by 2-3 mph and makes us "chug" lots harder. The first half of today's ride was still in highly populated areas with LOTS of traffic. We also encountered 2 bridges out from the hurricane - easy detours though!
Evidently there's a move to encourage Governor Christy of NJ to run for Pres. Unless he fixes the crappy roads here and adds some bike lanes he won't get my vote.
Yesterday I said our group broke out into the big, mid and small dogs! My group (the mid dogs) took exception to the name, so hence forth we are the "Pedigrees"! You can tell we all have a sense of humor!
This isn't pretty, but unless you ride a bike you have no idea how much "road kill" there is out there. Here's an informal survey (a guy has to do something while he pedals along): for every 100 squirrels there will be 61 raccoons, 54 muskrats, 49 birds, 14 snakes and 5 deer. On the cross country ride armadillos were #1 in the southwest states. This is something you were really interested in, isn't it?
Okay, here's something that is more interesting. We stopped at Grover's Mill and Pond (see picture above). The location where the aliens from Mars landed in Orson Well"s radio program: The War of the Worlds. Back in 1938 it shook the country when it aired...because listeners thought it was real. As you can see it's just a big red barn and a pond.
I need to lodge just one minor complaint today. My poor butt is hurting. The last 40 miles today were tough...lots of standing and moving around in the saddle.
This was our seventh straight day of riding - and most of us are feeling it! Thank goodness we have our first rest day on Friday so our bodies can recover.
The picture with the scarecrow and the two good looking guys was taken at our SAG stop today (mile 36). It was a great farmers market which was all decked out for Fall and Halloween. The handsome dude with me is Larry Freidman - a fellow Lafayette College grad (15 years behind me). (Carol's aside: Everywhere from Maine to here we have seen unbelievable Fall decorations in yards, nursery's and businesses. Pumpkins, scarecrows and beautiful chrysanthemums everywhere)!
So far we've ridden 523 miles - just about a third of the 1600 total miles. It's amazing how fast time flies when you're having fun.
Hammonton, the town we're staying in this evening claims to be the Blueberry and Cranberry Capital of the World. I can't vouch for the accuracy of that claim, but I can tell you we saw a whole lot of fields of blueberries. Tomorrow we're off for Dewey Beach, Delaware (state #7). We ride to Cape May, NJ and take a 90 minute ferry ride to Delaware. I wonder if those miles count toward the ride?
Our son Steve is going to meet us in Dewey Beach and spend our day off with us. We're excited about that! I hope the sun shines because I have a vision of sitting on the beach and doing a little body surfing. All is good!

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