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Amish Ride Next Weekend

Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

Amish Ride Next Weekend

Old 07-26-06, 08:48 PM
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markwebb
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Amish Ride Next Weekend

Sat-Sun Aug 5-6 is one of the best organized most scenic fewest cars lots of fun rides and weekends you can do - the Amish Lands and Lakes Ride in NE Indiana (Howe IN Sturgis MI). It's one of the largest Amish communities in the USA. Almost every farm you pass will have lots of kids selling delicious baked good, cookies, fruits etc. Oh yeah they also have well stocked official ride SAGS. The roaqds are flat and not many cars but you will see hundreds of buggies going to market Saturday.

This will be the 3rd year for me - I'm not connected to the ride or an organizer - just a devoted fan letting you know their ain't no better ride to do than this one - period. So come join me. We'll be staying at Hampton Inn in Sturgis Michigan. They have dorms available at ride HQ and also plentiful camping.

This year we'll do it in honor of the Flying Mennonite Floyd - on the ride you'll learn the difference between Mennonites and the true Amish.
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Old 07-26-06, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by markwebb
Almost every farm you pass will have lots of kids selling delicious baked good, cookies, fruits etc.
Even in the 90+ degree heat, the kids are covered head to toe in their regular clothes (black hats, with white shirt and black jacket and pants for boys, full length black dress for girls and white cap). Apparently hundreds of folks in lycra are prime entertainment for the children.

One boy last year, early in the afternoon (I got overheated, had to slow miserably): "Hey, Mister, how many more are there?" Gee, I didn't know how many were behind me. "Mister, why don't you want to tell me how many more!"

+ Friendly group of ride organizers last year, good routes, pretty scenery, enough to see in the small towns to maintain interest.
- Hot, 100% sun.
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Old 07-26-06, 10:54 PM
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I think I did that ride when I lived in St. Marys, Ohio. About 3 years ago?? I rememeber all the crazy looks I got. I also remember barely passing an amish girl that was hauling on a pair of rollerblades in full dress, bonnet, etc. Really kind of freaked me out. Kind of "Children of the Corn" meets "Dogma".

Everyone was SUPER friendly! We were definitely entertainment. One of the only rides I heard "Horse $h*t" instead of "Gravel" on turns....
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Old 07-27-06, 07:44 PM
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I've ridden it the last several years and the temps have never been near 90 degrees. Temps last 2 years have been perfect low 80's cloudless blue skies both Saturdays and Sundays.

Black is not only color they wear. The very last farm on the ride route (about 4 miles from Howe) the same family has run a lemonade/cookie stand for many years. The girls keep a notebook that they asks their "guests" to sign and they have a record of eber one that stops each year going back 8 or so years now. The young boy that helps out there usually wears bluish color pants (well...he is not so young anymore). The boys wear blues/grays and blacks. The girls may be wearing black/blue/gray or even darker reds or maroons. They have a small dog Sparky that plays with all the cyclists that stop to partake of their lemonade and chat with them. This year we're bringing Sparky some toys!!! Sparky will play fetch all day and never gets tired of fetching sticks or balls.

The rides been going on for may years - it's now an annual event that the Amish farms actively participate in - almost every farm sells veggies, cookies, drinks etc for the cyclists to consume. Not so much entertainment as a souce of small income for the kids on Saturday and a minor distraction for most of the adults.

Are you sure you were on the same ride I have been on for several years? It's not been near 90, they wear other colors than black, and they are most friendly and accomodating

Originally Posted by Seamless
Even in the 90+ degree heat, the kids are covered head to toe in their regular clothes (black hats, with white shirt and black jacket and pants for boys, full length black dress for girls and white cap). Apparently hundreds of folks in lycra are prime entertainment for the children.

One boy last year, early in the afternoon (I got overheated, had to slow miserably): "Hey, Mister, how many more are there?" Gee, I didn't know how many were behind me. "Mister, why don't you want to tell me how many more!"

+ Friendly group of ride organizers last year, good routes, pretty scenery, enough to see in the small towns to maintain interest.
- Hot, 100% sun.
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Old 07-27-06, 09:08 PM
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See you there. I'll be the Saturday SAG truck.
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Old 07-28-06, 02:59 AM
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It shouldn't be surprising that our experiences may differ, and that our memories and interpretations may not coincide. (If I had remotely imagined it might turn out to be so important for a debate, I would have taken notes--hampered as we are by the bike club admonition that photos of Amish are considered disrespectful.)

1) You ask if I am sure that I was on the same ride.
Well, you force me to admit my memory may be hazy. Perhaps I should not rely on memory, if it's that important to stage a debate.
Let's see: PDA, credit card charges for the room and auto refueling, ride map--yep, according to each source, I definitely participated last year. (I'd have to dig up my ride number or registrationconfirmation, if you think it's crucial.)

2) Just my wild guess, but your and my bodies may have different physiological reactions to sun and heat, and slight wind, for a few hours of extended exercise.
Or perhaps you and I rode different routes,
or perhaps we didn't start at the same times and ride at the same pace;
so perhaps it is within the realm of possibility that I ended up finishing my ride later, when temps had risen in the farmland under the cloudless sky?
(My ride data was provided by the temp reading on my bike computer in the shade, but of course again you force me to confess my memory may be hazy about an apparently crucial issue, so I just checked. South Bend [closest recording station in the 2005 data file] reported 86 Saturday and 89 Sunday that weekend per the NWS; you apparently expect the area around LaGrange and Howe, situated in sunny cloudless farmland, to be cooler, being further away from the effects of Lake Michigan--because 89 is not "near 90" and is obviously "perfect low 80's"?)

3) I didn't say the people weren't friendly; I mentioned 1 boy and 1 unusual conversation. It struck me as if the boy who needed to know whether there were any more riders coming might have been told he had to sit with his sisters and watch until it was over, or was trying to figure out how much longer it might remain decreasingly interesting, or whatever. I was mostly amused by an assumption that just because it was an organized ride, each rider must know where in the queue he or she are at any point, and that my failure to share that was intentional. It was funny.

I suspect that neither you nor I were able to meet each and every resident along our routes, or the identical subset of individuals. I noticed an area-wide school teachers meeting where dozens of horses with buggies were parked in multiple parking lots, other residents along the ride were working in the fields or mowing their lawns or tending their gardens, some rode bikes, some shopped while their buggies remained parked in large municipal lots. Perhaps my eyes are no longer sharp enough while wearing tinted sunglasses to distinguish between black and blue under the cloudless sky, or maybe a slightly lighter color erroneously seemed to me to have faded. (I do know I didn't see any Tommy Bahama print shirts, Speedos and flip flops worn by the Amish local residents.)
You and I may have had different sets of encounters. All of mine were respectful and friendly, although one that I related seemed a bit unique. Fortunately no mooses ran rampant, biting riders.
And Sparky the dog probably was taking a well deserved nap by the time I finished.


Originally Posted by markwebb
I've ridden it the last several years and the temps have never been near 90 degrees. Temps last 2 years have been perfect low 80's cloudless blue skies both Saturdays and Sundays.

Black is not only color they wear. The very last farm on the ride route (about 4 miles from Howe) the same family has run a lemonade/cookie stand for many years. The girls keep a notebook that they asks their "guests" to sign and they have a record of eber one that stops each year going back 8 or so years now. The young boy that helps out there usually wears bluish color pants (well...he is not so young anymore). The boys wear blues/grays and blacks. The girls may be wearing black/blue/gray or even darker reds or maroons. They have a small dog Sparky that plays with all the cyclists that stop to partake of their lemonade and chat with them. This year we're bringing Sparky some toys!!! Sparky will play fetch all day and never gets tired of fetching sticks or balls.

The rides been going on for may years - it's now an annual event that the Amish farms actively participate in - almost every farm sells veggies, cookies, drinks etc for the cyclists to consume. Not so much entertainment as a souce of small income for the kids on Saturday and a minor distraction for most of the adults.

Are you sure you were on the same ride I have been on for several years? It's not been near 90, they wear other colors than black, and they are most friendly and accomodating
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Old 07-28-06, 06:04 AM
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Why go by memory when it's all recorded just a few clicks away...
Aug. 6, 2005 (Sat.), Howe, IN:
Mean Temperature 71 F
Max Temperature 82 F
Min Temperature 60 F
Aug. 7, 2005 (Sun.), Howe, IN:
Mean Temperature 73 F
Max Temperature 84 F
Min Temperature 62 F

Aug. 7, 2004 (Sat.), Howe, IN:
Mean Temperature 62 F
Max Temperature 75 F
Min Temperature 48 F
Aug. 8, 2004 (Sun.), Howe, IN:
Mean Temperature 68 F
Max Temperature 77 F
Min Temperature 60 F
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Old 07-28-06, 08:31 AM
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Thanks - those are exactly what my experience riding the Amish ride have been the last few years. Perfect weather and nothing approaching 90+ like Seamless was claiming. In his first post he said the negatives of the ride are the heat hot 100% sun, and I thinking he could not possibly have been on the same ride as everyone else was on - the temps last 2 years have no way been anywhere near 90+

He must have been on a different ride.

Originally Posted by psuaero
Why go by memory when it's all recorded just a few clicks away...
Aug. 6, 2005 (Sat.), Howe, IN:
Mean Temperature 71 F
Max Temperature 82 F
Min Temperature 60 F
Aug. 7, 2005 (Sun.), Howe, IN:
Mean Temperature 73 F
Max Temperature 84 F
Min Temperature 62 F

Aug. 7, 2004 (Sat.), Howe, IN:
Mean Temperature 62 F
Max Temperature 75 F
Min Temperature 48 F
Aug. 8, 2004 (Sun.), Howe, IN:
Mean Temperature 68 F
Max Temperature 77 F
Min Temperature 60 F
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Old 07-31-06, 01:50 AM
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Originally Posted by psuaero
Why go by memory when it's all recorded just a few clicks away...
Howe itself isn't recorded that I could readily find (it's not part of the US National Weather Service network); a search on Howe at www.wunderground.com (for example) leads to info that's either for Sturgis, MI, or Goshen, IN (there noted as unofficial values).

For the 2005 dates (I wasn't there 2004), Sturgis and Goshen show 84 and 85 degrees in the afternoons (readings--if valid--taken in the shade). Typically it is warmer in the sunlight (i.e., where bike riders mostly ride).

Sparky T. Dog's conclusion (if his owners had a Mac for BF access):
YMMV (obviously),
"hot" obviously is not an objective description,
peace,
and
thanks for the toys!
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