Claire's Ride 2008 was another awesome RIDE!!!
We had an awesome KickOff
Dinner on the eve of the ride provided to by our Hosts Maryann and Don. It was a PASTA Extravaganza!
On Saturday morning all the riders (Don Tomaszewski
, Don Van Teyens
, Tony Van Grouw
& John Burke met at Claire's Garden. We departed at approximately 5:30 a.m. It had rained overnight so it was a little damp and cool which suited the riders. All in all the adrenaline was a pumping and everyone was anxious to get going.
The ride began and within the first mile or so JB
(John Burke) suffered a rear flat. Not a good sign but better to get it out of the way. The flat repaired the riders were on their way down Ringwood
Avenue. The ride took the group through the hills of Butler and Boonton
. A very scenic route but challenging due to the long inclines. But we all know if there is an incline there is a decline which was always welcome. It appeared as if JB
was the guy going to be roughed up this day. Leg cramps started around mile 15 for JB
but he continued on with the assistance of his fellow riders.
The riders were approaching the end of the first leg when the next incident took place. Apparently down near Bedminister
the Railroad Crossings have beautiful gates which they don't have to use unless they want to. The riders were approaching a RailRoad
Crossing when a Rail Service Car was approaching. The gates were expected to come down as the train slowed to a stop just prior to the crossing. In the confusion that followed Don Tomaszewski
braked and JB
didn't and BAM
crashed into the NEW TREK MADONE
and went flying landing on his head while knocking Don to the ground as well. Thankfully HELMETS are a must for our RIDERS and should be for all RIDERS. No major injuries other than a scrape, a bent spoke and a cracked helmet. Donnie questioned the brilliant rail employees who stated, "We Stop at All Crossings". Don questioned then why didn't the gates come down? No reply!
The riders continued on and connected with their SAG Wagons headed up by Maryann Tomaszewski
and Trish Burke. The rest of the support staff included Carly & Katy Tomaszewski
as well as Jenna & John Charles Burke. It was at this time our 5th
Rider Gene Buonomo
joined the ride. Better late than never (especially when you can avoid the hills of north Jersey...right Gene?)
The ride continued under Sunny Skies. It was a beautiful day for the ride. All was going well until the riders and SAG Staff ran into a Cycling Racing Event on Canal Road. The riders were allowed to continue on but the SAG had to detour...and the adventure began. The riders continued on without their support. Unfortunately, the SAG Staff was given poor directions for a detour and it was 1 hour and 30 minutes before they were able to meet up with the riders again around lunch time. This delay extended lunch and the day a bit longer than expected. The riders were able to get replenishment and even some home-made ice cream when they chatted up a store owner waiting for the SAG Wagon and lunch. When finally together again lunch was served and the riders off again.
The rest of the ride was incident free. There were stops at the Wood Shed where we met up with Don's Brother, Steve. The ride through Brendan Byrne
State Forest/Pine Barrens. Who could forget the 19 mile flat leg in the beating sun. Once across the Mullica
Bridge the riders were in the home stretch.
The riders arrived at the Cape May Lighthouse to a GRAND and WELL DESERVED WELCOME provided by The Van Teyens
Family, The Buonomo
Family, The Tomaszewski
and The Burke Family. It goes without saying but The ENERGY from STEVE TOMASZEWSKI
is AWESOME. Thanks Steve and we have to get you on a bike next year.