December 9, 2011 Werewolf Ride

28 Nov

Lets meet in beautiful downtown Rockaway Borough on Friday, December 9th at 7:30 for a full moon adventure. Lets meet here at the small town clock on West Main at Maple.  Here is the proposed route. It is roughly 12 miles.

The towns of Rockaway, Wharton & Dover grew up around the Morris Canal, I really dig the old canal, so we will visit a couple of the remaining canal features in each town.

There is a long but not very steep hill for a couple miles when we leave Rockaway, it will be a great warm up. Richard Mine Rd. will get us howling as we zip towards Wharton. Near downtown Wharton, we can check out a really nice park where we can ride the Morris Canal’s towpath along a water filled section, passing a lock and loop back on an old railroad bed for a nice 1 mile or so off road session. The trail conditions are usually very nice and smooth most of the way. Super skinny race tires and some caution are likely to be ok. Back on the road we’ll make our way down into downtown Dover for refreshments. I’d love to have a drink at The Hop to check out their black & white photo of a hundered or so nude cyclists, only 1 drink though please, because I hear the place is frequented by undesireables.

It’s a nice spin back into Rockaway. Bring lights!  I hope you can make it.

Update: 

I crested the old inclined plane (its obliterated under a parking lot) in Rockaway, took a sip of hot tea and zipped towards the town clock to find 7 other riders ready to go. I was 10 minutes late, forgot my cue sheet, had a cold I was recovering from and I was tired and chilly. As I chatted about the route, a lifetime member said he knew an old railroad bed that may be just the ticket to bypass a slightly nasty rt. 15 crossing. Great! I love learning of new byways, backroads & trails. Everybody was pretty psyched. My mood brightened as we shoved off.

We passed under rt. 80, directly through a small playground and made our way up some mellow hills to Richards Mine Road. We checked out a few neighborhoods decked out with some really good holiday lighting. We zipped down past a small santa in a helicopter display blaring some music towards the street. My sore throat & stuffy nose didn’t mind the cold air, it actually felt pretty nice. We detoured left onto a dirt path and followed it under rt. 15 and howled, the old railroad bed was perfect for getting us across the highway safely. The moon was high and bright overhead. We had to stop for a while to fix a flat, the culprit was a long nasty metal wire poking through. Back on the path, but now its paved, after passing over a small bridge that paralelled Main St. heading straight towards downtown Wharton. We made a right off of Main St. and after a few bumpy blocks made it to Hugh Force Park.

We cruised along the Morris Canal towpath that leads through the park. The canal, full of water, is on the left and the Rockaway River is on the right. We passed Lock 2 East that is in the process of being dug into! Apparently in 1924, they filled in the lock with dirt and called it done. The lock walls, gates and some of the machinery sat buried since and is just now being unearthed. Very cool, but not much to see at night. We followed the towpath until its interruption at an old railroad bed. We hopped on the railroad bed and followed that back to a rough bumpy trail back down to the parking lot. I saw a lifetime member losing his balance and holding a tree for support as he rounded a bumpy bend, I through for sure he’d go down but he happily stayed upright somehow. Good job!

Leaving the park, we again crossed Main St. and followed a great road downhill through quiet neighborhoods. We passed some more great xmas lighting and the coolest car I’ve seen in a while. We crossed rt 46 and followed Blackwell Street into downtown Dover. We again found the old Morris Canal near a plaque describing a horrific accident involving a drawbridge a canal boat and a train. Some of us got thirsty so we headed to the ‘At The Hop’ bar. What a unique place. We loved the décor and enjoyed a drink. The bartender was an occassional cyclist and seemed into the wolf ride, I gave her a flyer.

A quick cruise down the road had us back at the clock in Rockaway. Great ride everybody.

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3 Responses to “December 9, 2011 Werewolf Ride”

  1. Peter December 8, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

    I’m looking forward to checking out the canal stops you have planned. As for the “undesireables” link, I went to school in Hanover and had a classmate by the name of Kitchell. I think he may be related.

    • Douglas December 9, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

      Have fun guys, it sounds like it will be cold.

  2. dean December 8, 2011 at 11:38 pm #

    The Kitchells have a very cool history http://www.geni.com/people/Samuel-Kitchell/6000000003938220797

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