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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
"Live Steam"'s Staten Island Bicycle Association had their annual Pumpkin Patch Pedal event in NJ today. I'm not usually one to do organized/charity-type rides. A few guys mentioned this one to me earlier in the week and I had noticed the announcement in the Mid-Atlantic Forum.

As the weekend approached, everyone was still talking about it but had a "we'll see" attitude. I happen to live 20 miles from the start and don't know many of the roads in that area so I thought it might be a good idea.

Even the day before, people were still undecided. I had nothing else to do so I said what the heck, I'll go. In another act of defiance I decided I will ride to the start rather than drive. The night before, I got a call and made plans to meet a couple other people at the start.

I left my house well before dawn. The blinkie lights were blazin for the first 30 minutes or so. The roads are pretty dead that early on a Sunday. I was able to use some roads that I normally wouldn't consider during the day. I encountered only a handful of cars.

Just under an hour after starting I arrived at the event start. Registration had only been open for a few minutes but was already buzzing. I paid my fee, grabbed my bag of freebies which even included a LS shirt. I wasn't expecting that since I didn't pre-reg. Cool! Registration was well manned and smooth.

A special note for all of you involved in last week?s Ride Pirate discussion. The orange wrist band indicates that I paid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I did ask around for you Live Steam. I got some strange looks as I asked your club members if they knew a guy who goes by the nickname "Live Steam". Since it was a last minute decision to ride, I didn't make an attempt to contact you here. Oh well!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I made my way over to the breakfast gazebo. Since I knew they were offering breakfast, I had only had a bite to eat as I left my house. I was again happy to see it well stocked and ready to go. Bagels were the main dish with toppings and accessories. Bananas, candy, and oranges finished off the food table. There was a coffee bar although I don't touch the stuff. Opposite that was plenty of Gatorade and water. I grabbed a bagel, banana, and fig bars. I topped off my bottles and went to meet my buds. I ran into a couple of my fellow club members along the way. Mike and Gary were also going to enjoy a good day of riding. I’m the one in the middle.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
And we’re off. Mike (black and grey) was feeling feisty right out of the gate. Chris and I were feeling the effects from our ride the day before. George (sleeveless) does some TT riding and I overheard him mention that he does mostly 30-40 mile rides. We planned to do the 50-mile route. Keep in mind that I had ridden to the start. I was expecting another longish ride. We were riding briskly and of course our group swelled as we passed other riders.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
We made our way to the first rest stop. As always, the first rest stop was packed. I took a peak just to see what they had. This poor woman was left by herself to fight off the pack. You’d have thought you were in the Caribbean after a hurricane. She had been wiped clean and it was still pretty early. I topped off my bottle since I had stopped to take pictures and we moved on.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
From here the 100-mile route split off. Since we left early and were only doing the shorter route we didn’t see too many riders for a while. The winds were howling right in our face. Those doing the century were going to have a long ride. Mike surged ahead and left us. Chris and I alternated pulls into the wind and kept it smooth and steady. George hung out behind and got a good lesson in drafting and pace line technique.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
We made our way to the second rest stop. This one was a blessing in more ways than one. It was being run by a nun! More bagels, candy, Gatorade, and PIE!!!!!!! Now I’ve got a weakness for sweets so I tried to curb my appetite for the pies. I did sample each of the apple and pumpkin pies but kept it within reason. Sister was very busy trying to shoo away the bees which also have a sweet tooth. The score of the day was the bagel sandwich I created. I took a pumpernickel bagel with Peanut butter and dipped it in a plate of raisins. Damn that was good. I finished that one slowly on the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
After BSing for a few minutes we regained our drafting form and fought off the wind for the rest of the ride. My house was within a couple miles of the second rest stop and after that I was just getting further and further from home. I split off just before the finish to start my return trip. I have to admit, I returned to the second rest stop and sampled the pies again. I also made another small bagel, PB, raisin sandwich. It was just too good to pass up.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Like the day before I did another 90+ mile ride and had to get back for daddy duty. After a recovery drink and a shower we headed over to the Italian-American festival to tire the kids out. I was struggling to keep up. It has been a long day!
 

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Question:

What's that "bag" thing on Mike's frame. I've never seen one of those before, I'll venture a guess it's some sort of aerodynamic thing?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Honestly,

4bykn said:
What's that "bag" thing on Mike's frame. I've never seen one of those before, I'll venture a guess it's some sort of aerodynamic thing?
Honestly, I have no idea. It was the first time I'd ridden with Mike and didn't feel comfortable asking. I've never seen it before either. It may be an aero thing.
 

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Great Report & Pics!

If there was Pie at any of the stops I've ever pulled into, I'd never leave!

Thanks for the great report

ps. Nice family pic too!
 

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biknben said:
Like the day before I did another 90+ mile ride and had to get back for daddy duty. After a recovery drink and a shower we headed over to the Italian-American festival to tire the kids out. I was struggling to keep up. It has been a long day!
good looking family. thanks for the report!
 

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biknben said:
Honestly, I have no idea. It was the first time I'd ridden with Mike and didn't feel comfortable asking. I've never seen it before either. It may be an aero thing.
I've seen one of those before. It's a home-made bag containing a camelback bladder or two (you can see the drinking tube coming up from the bike). It's a nice way to lower your center of gravity, get a weight off your back, and carry a lot of fluid.

The only downside is the potential for getting blown around by crosswinds,,,
 

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Ben--great looking Support Group....thanks for the report.
 

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Nice report, ben. i was supposed to do the pumpkin patch ride this year but was held back by some family crap. i opted out for 35 miles around the montclair area including about 20 miles of climbing. (ugh)

I did the pumpkin patch last year and it was a terrific event. too bad i have to wait another year...

btw: did you do the rutherford crit last week?

-pom
 

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Discussion Starter #16
pomole said:
Nice report, ben.

btw: did you do the rutherford crit last week?

-pom
No Rutherford Crit for me. I had a MTB race that day. I wish I could have done it. I have family in Rutherford and spent a lot of time there as a child.
 

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Hey Ben thanks for the nice report. We try very hard to make sure everyone has an enjoyable time. It takes a lot of prep and day of work to serve 550 cyclists. You could have asked for me by my name, Bill. Everyone knows me :O) I am happy you guys had a good time and the weather cooperated. It really was a nice day for the event. I guess you didn't hang around for lunch. We had a band and Subway sandwiches for the riders. Everything, to my knowledge, went off without a hitch.

Oh, two things, you probably received that shirt in error. I won't tell ;O) Second, that wasn't a nun. She is the wife of one of the members. The people running that rest stop chose to show up in costumes. That other guy isn't really a pumpkin either :O)

I really wish I had known some of you were going to attend. I would love to have met you all! I just did the 25. I was bushed from all of the prep during the week and since my wife was working the 13 mile rest stop on the 25 mile loop, I figured I would give her a hand. I got to fix a few flats and help some riders with cue sheet directions. All in all, the PPP always gets good reviews because of the effort we put into making it a worth while event to attend!

PS Thanks J for making this a sticky! :O)
 

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I should also thank you for doing such nice job on the ride report. I would like to use some of your pics and maybe even some quotes from your post, in our newsletter, if that's OK with you. Also, how where the cue sheets and road markings?

Yeah, no one would know me as LS. You just should have asked for the "nicest guy in the club" and they would have pointed you in my direction ;O) I have to say that we really have a good group of people. I have found quite a lot of new friends in the club. The club has become a nice component of my life, full of friendly people who will help someone in any way they can.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Live Steam said:
Hey Ben thanks for the nice report. We try very hard to make sure everyone has an enjoyable time. It takes a lot of prep and day of work to serve 550 cyclists. You could have asked for me by my name, Bill. Everyone knows me :O) I am happy you guys had a good time and the weather cooperated. It really was a ice day for the event. I guess you didn't hang around for lunch. We had a band and Subway sandwiches for the riders. Everything, to my knowledge, went off without a hitch.
Yes...it was a good day and a well run event. After deciding to go Sat. night, I came here to get your name but couldn't find it. I was forced to ask for you by your RBR handle. I figured the chance of meeting you was relatively low since you were busy and could have been in a sag vehicle or at the rest stops. Oh well!

I didn't splurge for the post-ride sandwich and was watching the clock. I went back to Jamesburg before turning around. I rode the route in reverse to the "pie stop" for seconds. I had a 15-minute ride home from there.

I believe many people were missing a turn near the end. If memory serves me correctly, my cue said to make a right at a stop off of Applegarth Rd. I came back via Applegarth and saw that many riders had missed that turn and were continuing on Applegarth Rd. I may be mistaken though.

The first stop had been wiped dry when I was there. All that was left was candy and water. Although, as I left, a couple sags were pulling in which I suspect may have been sent for more supplies.

The Pie stop was really well organized. Food on the table was ready to go, drinks were plentiful, and there was no line at the porta-potty each time I was there.

Feel free to quote me or grab any of the pictures. I'm happy to help.
 

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Oh well, hopefully we can get together to do one of your rides. The PPP is an effort by more than 50 members and some of their extended family. Many give up time for not only the day of, but for planning and many other chores.

Sorry to hear about the problem at the 35 mile RS. I am sure, as you said, there were supplies on the way. I too had to rescue some people from failing to make the turn at Applegarth Rd. It seems that the arrows were faded or soemthing like that. Glad you had a good time and thanks for allowing me to use your post for the newsletter.
Bill

PS I had too much pie at a rest stop one year and ended up paying for it. My blood sugar must have zoomed up and then crashed. I could barely maintain a 15mph average going in :O)
 
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