Ride leader: Steve Palincsar
Members: Sarah Clement, Sue Gunter, Monica Imler, Jane Hudnall, Jim Hudnall, Jay Lewis, Ken Williams, Ron Altemus and arriving late and joining us at the Merkle Visitors Center, Wayne Hunt
Weather: Overcast -- ranging from cloudy-bright to a few minutes of bright sun and mostly blue skies, finally devolving into heavy overcast. Wind was promised, and wind was delivered. 12-16 mph with gusts up to 35 were promised; mostly it seemed around 12 but while we were at Merkle it definitely got up over 30 at the Visitors Center, almost blowing over one bike and definitely blowing over another.
Mishaps & mechanicals: none
AMS: 11.2 at the back
It was surprisingly warm for early January, more like an early March "in like a lion" day than anything resembling "lambs." The wind came as predicted from the south-southwest, which turned out to work pretty well with a route designed to ride across a northwest wind. Staying off main roads except for a couple of short stretches on Croom Rd, we mainly rode across the wind or had the wind at our backs. With no leaves on the trees the wind-blocking effect wasn't as pronounced as we see on this route in spring and summer but the riding was by and large pleasant and fun.
Jim posted photos on Facebook.