Ride leader: Steve Palincsar
Members: Patricia Sanders, Randy & Jackie Schoch, Ken Meredith, Linda Bankerd, Karen McMillan, Ron Altemus, Sarah Clement, Janell Saunders
Weather: Sunny, low 40s at the start, rising to nearly 50 with bright sun, blue skies and no clouds - much nicer than the early forecasts, which called for clouds and temps no higher than 43. As it turned out, the clouds came rolling in moments after we left Oak Ridge Park.
Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29069876 Nominally, 30.2 mi but we ended up with 31.6, partly due to a wrong turn on Stein's Store and partly because the pavement extends farther on Woodburn HIll than is shown on the map & satellite imagery.
Mishaps & mechanicals: none
AMS: 11.6 and up.
It was a very pretty day, and a scenic route on which to enjoy it. It was New Bike Day for Janell, taking her first ride on her new Trek Domane and it took a few shifts for her to get used to the DI2 electronic shifting, but by the end of the ride she was all smiles, on her way to the bike shop to tell them "I'm keeping it!"
We had our first rest stop at the Amish schoolhouse on Ryceville Rd, and although the ride had spread out quite a bit in the first 15 miles, when Ron and I arrived everyone was there, chatting with an Amish farmer. I think everyone enjoyed the conversation. After heading down N Ryceville and Dixie Lyon, we turned off Thompson Corner Rd onto Woodburn Hill and entered the heart of Amish Country. It's a narrow farm road with almost no traffic and bucolic scenes on both sides of the road including farms, an Amish schoolhouse and a cheese shop. Almost nobody had ever been on it, and I think everyone enjoyed it.
At the end of the pavement, we found a curiosity: a farm with a large sign that included its name and a large notation: Sin Pollos. Without Chickens. It was also without crocodiles and as far as we could tell, armadillos; why was it important to single out chickens, and to do so in Spanish? The Clover Hill Dairy cheese shop and a farm a few tenths down the road had signs advertising Queso for sale. Is there a large Spanish-speaking Amish population in St Marys County?
In all, a great way to usher in Christmas and the New Year! Happy holidays to you all.