We followed Featherbed to Rileyville, climbed to Ridge, hauled ourselves over the last hump on Lindbergh, and turned onto Zion.
I've been riding long enough to remember when Hollow Road was a preferred means of descent. Then came the potholes and repaving. Now, coasting down is like riding over a washboard. I thought I had a flat or that my fork was coming loose. Note to self: use Hollow for climbing only.
We collected at the wooden bridge on Grandview:
We made our way east to Canal, where, against all odds, the road was not even a little flooded. The Griggstown Causeway had been under water, though, if the mud-ice in the parking lot is any indication.
Two thirds of the ride were over when we got to our rest stop at Main Street in Kingston. Pete's phone had been ringing for miles; work beckoned, and he left for home without going inside. Marty had never been there before and was in awe. Snakehead, ever ready to use his panniers, bought macaroons to take home. Inside, we talked about beer and wine.
Our trip back to Pennington had a few more hills in it than I'd remembered, my knowledge of the roads from Kingston to the Princeton Ridge being somewhat less than thorough. Chris trash-talked at John: "He's not 29 anymore." I said, "Neither are you."
We had our chance to hammer downhill during the last handful of miles. Plain Jim not being present, I dropped into 53/11 with impunity (55-60 rpm, I'd guess, and only for a minute).
As we reached Pennington's Main Street from our side-street home-bound shortcut, we stopped for traffic and noticed a new sign in the cluster of shops across the street. "Coming soon," it said, "Sourland Coffee." Hmm...
Back in the parking lot at Pennington, John gave me a bag of coffee beans from the Trenton Coffee House. It's at 750 Cass Street, open whenever, and run by a fellow who roasts and sells one small batch at a time. John is fond of the place and the owner. You can read about them here and here. It might be a destination for a cold-weather MTB ride down the D&R canal and through the city.
On the way home, I mused to Snakehead, "We could start a ride at Sourland Coffee, ride somewhere to get coffee, and end with coffee. I'd never sleep."
"You're like one of those little dogs," he said, "You know, the ones that have to stop at every bush?" He should talk. He didn't go straight home from my house. He went to Rojo's in Lambertville to pick up beans, and then to Pure Energy (bikes and coffee!) to pick up a new pair of carbon wheels.
I need to stop blogging now. I have wheels to build, and Gonzo needs a bath.