FROM THE WEB EDITOR - This issue is the sum of a remainder of an unbalanced equation inherent to the writing of the Newsletter. It is the eventuality of an anomaly, which despite my sincerest efforts, I have been unable to eliminate from what is otherwise a harmony of grammatical precision. While it remains a burden assiduously avoided, it is not unexpected, and thus not beyond a level of control. Ergo, some of my reports you will understand, and some of them you will not.
APRIL 13 (Sun) - UP & DOWN THE RIVER & POET'S SEAT CLIMB - Sunny, 55°, stiff wind out of the north. Finally some spring-like weather! There was a good crowd today, 25 riders, I think. It was good to see John Marcil back riding again. He still doesn't have use of his right hand from a bad bike accident back in August of 2002. He had his bike modified to control braking and shifting (all 27 gears) with his left hand. This was a good starter ride after a long winter.
MAY 11 (Sun) - AROUND THE RANGE - Only 7 riders on this perennial favorite today. We only went off course once, but we were all together and managed to take a different route to the "Tailgate Picnic" for lunch (which included a nice little down hill!) The weather cooperated and everyone had a good time, thanks to all that came.
JUNE 29 (Sun) - DON MAYNARD'S MEMORIAL GUILFORD CONNECTION - Great weather, bunches of people showed up, including 5 tandems (I think).
JULY 13 (Sun) 4th ANNUAL "NEW" BELCHERTOWN SURPRISE - Absolutely beautiful weather for a bike ride! I think we had around 20 riders, including 1 tandem. There were some faster riders, but they "decided" (read: were too busy going fast to look at the cue sheet and ended up getting lost) to skip the first regroup and take a longer route to the lunch stop. I think Fred got a flat, but otherwise the ride was quite nice. There were some good views and nice stone walls.
JULY 20 (Sun) - Patty's Ice Cream Ride - Another perfect day for biking! 20 riders altogether. Joe's "red train", clad in their new, red SoHoBike.com jerseys, were out in full force. The ride started off a little hilly, but there were no major climbs (or killer descents). Joe picked some good roads; not much traffic and nice scenery. Well worth the trip. Joe said that his Cue Sheet was too detailed due to a new computer program. When we got back to the parking lot, Joe and Pat handed out some watermelon they had on ice in the back of their SUV. Since no one had ice cream, I think we should rename this Patty's Watermelon Ride!
AUG 3 (Sun) - Back Roads to Quabbin Summit - I counted at least 17 riders today, including 1 tandem, on what is becoming a perennial favorite. Despite the threatening forecast, the rain held off until almost everyone finished the ride, but it was extremely muggy. The rolling terrain and the climb up to the Quabbin Summit really strung the riders out, but I don't think anyone lost their way this year.
AUG 16 (SAT) MT WASHINGTON - A number of FHFers (and non-members that Joe rides with) took the challenge this year.
Andrew Watson - 1:22:40
Brian Caraker - 1:31:23
Joe Pitchko - 1:35:08
Scott Soutra - 1:37:38
Ken Rogers - 1:48:47
Theresa Lak - 1:49:11 (beating last year's time by 34 seconds!)
Stewart King - 2:02:04
Stephanie Brown - 2:04:50
Pat Pitchko - 2:09:33
AUG 24 (SUN) VERMONT DELIGHTS - Russ, Kenny, Bob G., Stew K., Steve R. and I started the ride. Conditions: Very Cool at 8am start. Strong head winds along RT30 in Vt as well as on Rt100 South for the 14-mile climb up to Mt Snow. 5 out of 6 riders survived three flats, crash and a broken stem. On the way back to Greenfield we took a chance on a detour, due to bridge construction. The bridge was taken out so we crossed the stream to get back to the start. Very interesting ride. 95.4 miles. Russ added another 55 miles to make it 150+. -Joe
SEPT. 13 (SAT) - COVAC (COnnecticut VAlley Century) - Well, the weather wasn't that bad after all, cloudy (but dry) all day with temps between 57-67°. My 16-year-old son (in his first century) and I started just before 8:00. We passed a number of others on our way to the 25-mile sag, but had yet to be passed ourselves.
Our avg speed to the sag was 17.7. So far, so good.
At our next stop at Streeter's Market in Bernardston, Theresa and Andrew (who both rode with Joe Pitchko & others up Mt. Washington) went zipping by. We re-mounted but they were already out of sight. I knew there was no way we could catch them, but within a few minutes, a group of 5 riders overtook us. It turned out to be people from the Bicycles Unlimited group that we've (my son and I) been riding with all season. We hopped in the draft and the race was on! We caught Theresa and Andrew before the 50-mile sag and, in turn, were all caught by a much larger group of 30-40 riders.
Avg speed so far was 17.9.
Seven of us left the sag and pushed on to Brattleboro, but 3 hours of riding had taken its toll. My son was low on energy and we couldn't stay with the group as they climbed into Hinsdale. We dropped back and then attempted to stay with the larger group as it passed a few minutes later. We hung on for a few miles but dropped off the back and rode the rest of "no man's land" (between 60 and 75 miles) by ourselves.
Avg speed was 17.6.
We left the sag feeling a little more refreshed but still totally alone. We didn't see any other riders until we finished. Total ride time: 5 hours and 38 minutes for an avg speed of 18.0 mph (thank goodness for that tailwind on the return trip).
At the pavilion, we grabbed some baked potatoes and thanked the COVAC volunteers for a job well done! They tell me there were 165 riders this year (but curiously, we don't recall seeing any tandems).
After turning the corner at Cape Neddick, we headed back south to the sag. It was getting pretty warm and we were starting to get tired. I was looking forward to our next stop at the Ice House for some of their excellent onion rings. There was a slight wind out of the southwest, as usual, and we both just wanted to get back to the hotel. We skipped the "inland loop" and made a bee-line for the Ashworth hotel.
Total miles: 70, average speed: 15 mph.
Sixteen of us had dinner at the "new" Old Salt restaurant. The food was excellent. Even the corn off the cob. Everyone had a great time socializing.
Sunday: A beautiful day right from the start, sunny, drier and cooler with a slight breeze from the northwest. Most of us had the buffet breakfast at the Ashworth and then went out riding. Karen & I headed north to Rye Harbor State Park. Low tide was approaching, and this is a great place to walk out and explore the tidal pools amongst the rocks.
In the past, I've found starfish, sea urchins, even a sea slug, along with numerous crabs and snails. This year, however, I only managed to find a golf ball (aside from the crabs and snails).
Total miles: 20, average speed: 15.4 mph.
We finished the day with a walk on the beach, where we ran in to some others having lunch, before packing up and heading home.
Annual Banquet held Feb. 8, 2003 at the Mill River Tavern in Williamsburg
We had a very good turnout. Thank you to everyone for coming out and sharing the evening, the more the merrier!
Dinner started around 7:00 with one table after another making the trek to the buffet. The entrees were as expected, except for the beef stew with carrots, onions, celery & mushrooms which replaced the London Broil. By 8:00 PM the tables were cleared and the cake was brought upstairs for all to see. The cake was taken away to be "plated" and by 8:25 dessert was served. It was a three-layer white cake with white frosting and fruit pieces embedded in the middle layers of frosting.
At 8:30, Suzanne stood up for some brief announcements. She thanked Pat & Joe for the banquet arrangements; Walt for coordinating the most rides last year and Marion for her years of service as the Editor of the Newsletter. She introduced Mike Gorczyca as the new Editor and everyone was encouraged/reminded to send in ride reports and other stuff for the Newsletter.
Dessert was followed by a slide show from Al & Marion depicting there adventures in Switzerland this past year.
The only negative report of the evening is the lack of photographic evidence I have due to technical difficulties. I intended to bring my digital camera to the banquet to take pictures, but the alkaline batteries I had were not strong enough to power it. I brought the 35mm camera instead. When I arrived at the banquet, I met Joe Pitchko who had brought his digital camera. "This is great", I thought, "now I can get some banquet pictures for the website." Unfortunately, it seems that Joe's rechargeable battery pack was dead and so were all 8 of the alkaline batteries he had with him. Now we're back to my 35mm again. Unfortunately, just yesterday (Feb. 22), someone opened the film compartment on the 35mm camera without rewinding the film…
MARCH 15 (Sat) - POTLUCK DINNER AND MEETING AT JACK & SUZANNE'S HOUSE
It's finally getting warmer ouside! There's still lots of snow on the ground and there are potholes everywhere.
Supper started around 6:25 and ended with dessert around 7:00 when the meeting was called to order by Suzanne.
Treasurers report - We are in the black by $[..].
New Business -
"All Out Adventures" is looking for donations. They are a local organization involved with helping people with disabilities, working with kids and promoting road safety. They will also be sponsoring a fund raising criterium in Northampton on July 4th. There was much discussion regarding how much our club should donate to this charity and about making donations in general. [If you want details, come to a meeting]
Sally filled in her calendar for the Spring Rides Schedule.
Mike filled us in on preliminary details for this year's century. The cost will remain the same as last year. $7 for FHF pre-reg, $12 for non-member pre-reg, and $20 for walk-ins. I believe we decided not to do any newspaper or magazine advertising. We are 99% sure the century will be Sept. 13th, but we're waiting for confirmation that the site is available.
JUNE 14 (Sat) - POTLUCK DINNER AND MEETING AT THE VINSKEY'S HOUSE
After enjoying a nice dinner on the back porch, we started moving inside around 7:15 to start the meeting. Irv volunteered/was chosen to be the acting president.
Old Business- Mike rounded up volunteers for the COVAC. The pre-ride century, for the volunteers will be Sat., Aug. 23 starting at the Lion's Club Pavilion. It was also mentioned that the COVAC will be Sat. Sept. 13 as planned, with the Granite State Century being held the following Saturday.
New Business - Sally filled the Summer Rides Schedule.
AUGUST 23 (Sat) - MEETING AT THE VINSKEY'S HOUSE
The "workers" century was held earlier today with riders (around 10) finishing in about 6 hours.
The meeting started at 6:20, after the pizza dinner
Old Business - Mike announced that we already had 30 pre-registrations for the century. He re-capped the volunteer list (basically just dotting his "T"s and crossing his "I"s). This was followed by a heated (no pun intended) discussion about baked potatoes and other potential foods for the century.
New Business - Sally once again filled the Rides Schedule.
Next meeting/potluck to take place Nov. 15th at Al & Marion's