Sunday, January 13, 2019

rule 9a


I was NOT planning on doing a ride today, what with the cold and predicted snow, but Laura OLPH's email said,

If he doesn’t cancel, I’ll be on Ron’s ride out of Washington Crossing at 10:00 a.m.
Well, all right then. So with a certain amount of misgiving, I packed up the bike, put on five layers (well, it wasn't supposed to be above freezing until I was coming home!), and set the car GPS for Washington's Crossing Park. The fact that there appeared to be only a dusting of snow was a hopeful sing, despite the news on the radio about the heavy snow from North Carolina to DC.

Rule 9 of the Velominati: "If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period." My wussiness quotient is high recently; I could use a little badass.

Chris and Ken W joined Laura, Ron, and me.





Uhhh... note the snow on the parking lot? Well, it turned out there was going to be a lot of that.


Ron figured we'd go until we got cold, and then turn around and come back. We headed down the canal towpath towards Trenton. (I later found that Laura was all turned around, and thought we were going the other way, until we actually arrived in Morrisville. I feel vindicated in my perpetual directional disorientation.)

The snow made the day beautiful...


...but treacherous under my cyclocross tires (which I had purposely underinflated).






There were a few places where the path was slippery, and, with the canal just off to one side, I again had visions of pitching over into the gelid water.

I've decided rule 9 needs a corollary, which we can call rule 9a: If you're riding, and you're terrified, and you're still riding, you are ALSO a badass. Because courage doesn't mean you're never scared (people who are never scared are either crazy or stupid). Courage means you're scared to death, and you do it anyway.

We stopped in Morrisville. I'm trying to maintain discipline, so I abstained from my usual junk.



Ron allowed a mutiny to dissuade him from heading back the same route, so we had a case of duelling navigators who led us across the "Trenton Makes" bridge, through the city, the wrong way down a highway entrance, and back to the canal on the New Jersey side. At one point we had to climb an annoying little hill with barriers at the top, the pictures don't do justice to the nastiness:




But the Jersey side is also gorgeous.



And someday I'm actually going to have to clean off the Krakow Monster.


(Most of that melted off in the car on the way home.)

Saturday, January 12, 2019

ww is for weight watchers

So do you remember that great picture Marty G took of me doing the tire clinic at the Freewheelers Fall Picnic?


Yeah, that one. Click on it and blow it up, and note the several pounds of gut peekin' through the inside of the wheel in my left hand.

I've had that pic as the desktop image on the Ultra Geeky Linux Computer that I do most of my actual writing on (it's got the good keyboard; I can't do much on those laptop computer keyboards). I've been staring at that gut prominence for months.

There's also the fact that the middle digit in my three-digit weight (pounds, not kilograms) recently hit a number that I haven't seen in ten years. There's the fact that I'm hitting the high ends of weight ratings for some of my bike components. There's the fact that ol' Jacob, which is the name I gave to my hip-and-back pain a few years ago, has been more frequently insistent. There's the fact that I have skinny pants that I may never get into again, and that the medium pants I currently wear are starting to complain, and the fat pants that have been hanging in the closet (I mistyped a size on an order a few years ago) are eagerly anticipating their debut.

My sole efforts haven't done anything to bring a change about; I still find myself driving home from work packing away the potato chips I have in a bag on the passenger seat.

So with the blessing of The Excellent Wife (TEW), I got myself out the other night and went to my first meeting of Weight Watchers. It wasn't as awful as I'd thought: nobody pointed and snickered (or, on the other hand, told me I didn't weigh enough to be there); they let me sit in silence for the course of the main meeting; I got set up with my daily points (a daily budget from which you can withdraw the point values, assigned by Weight Watchers, for the food you eat). I've paid the freight and been invited back.

There's an app on my phone now with which I can scan bar codes and get points values for various foods, and track my points. For example, my usual work lunch has been four ounces of a red-cabbage-and-beet-juice salad that TEW gets for me in Polish stores, and four ounces of Swiss cheese. The good news is that the points value is only 2 for that salad. The bad news is that the point value for an ounce of Swiss cheese is 4, so that daily cheese is 40% of my daily budget of points. For yesterday, I cut it down to three ounces.

I don't know enough about the program to know how exercise fits in (and it's different now from what it was when TEW did it, years ago). I get more than a day's worth of extra points per week, and I figure I'll keep those for special occasions and ride days (and I may find that when I put in rides - there's a place to enter exercise in the tracking tools - that the food budget changes).

I suspect I'll learn more about it as the days go by. If my participation does nothing more than eliminate the stopping for the M&M's, or finishing off the donuts at work, that will be pretty good, huh?

Sunday, January 6, 2019

bar wrap nope

It looked more orange-y in the shop, but it sure is pink in the sunlight:




And those little white dots are already collecting grime and turning grey after only one ride. Nope. I'm changing this stuff out as soon as I can get a replacement.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

in the teeth of the wind

It's been a while since I rode out of Cranbury. but when Tom H advertised a flat, low-B 40-or-so, I figured that would be a good option for the last weekend of the year. Nobody else had a B ride posted from that starting point (the most popular in the Club), so I figured I'd be dragooned into sweeping for the large group that would undoubtedly show up.

Not so much. Tom had four takers (Ricky G, Winter Larry, Eric, and me). Peter F had a larger group in his B+ ride.








It was a windy day. The wind was supposed to be out of the west, so Tom planned a more-or-less north-south route in hopes of keeping us out of the worst of it. It was a strategy that was, at best, somewhat effective.

Wee took off at a good clip heading down to Allentown. And sometimes, teh wind was a treat; we had it at out back on Nurko Road, and I remember thinking (as I do), "This is a tailwind; I am NOT this strong". But as we came about west, as we did on Clarksburg-Robbinsville in the Assunpink, and on Polhemustown, I was feelin' the wind. I was glad for Ricky's pull.

We stopped at Woody's in Allentown,






...where there was this fully-faired recumbent trike, with the subtle color outside.


It was clear, among the patrons at Woody's, who the rider was. We got to chatting with him about bikes and stuff (well, DUH!). He had ridden in from the shore somewhere; he had the usual remarks about faired recumbents (not great on hills, little wind resistance, warmer in the cockpit than you would think).


And then back. Tom did the same thing on this ride that he had done on the last, on which there was also some wind; he took us INTO the wind for a few miles right after the break: on Gordon, and then a little later on Windsor to Church. Tom said we'd be grateful when the wind blew us the last few miles into Cranbury. (Winter Larry heard about this plan, and decided to ride straight back; his decision might have been the better part of valor.) Ricky allowed me to pull for a bit. He knows when I need an ego boost.

The last part of the ride WAS an easy one back to Cranbury. I'm just not sure it was worth the work.

To assuage our ire, though, Tom had brought along some Christmas baked stuff from his house. There is little that is not improved by the judicious application of chocolate, sugar, and empty calories.


Ride page.

Tomorrow, The Excellent Wife (TEW) has planned a date in Philadelphia: to the Rim Cafe for artisanal hot chocolate, and then to various Christmas-y hokinesses to try to drive the last of the Ebenezer Scrooge from my psyche. It sounds great.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

just right

I gotta start right off with Marty G mugging it up to guarantee he'd be in this blog, and Laura's.


(Marty G, with sheep.)

So after Tom H's windy, meandering ride yesterday, Laura OLPH thought about posting a recovery ride. I was in for that if it was to be a real recovery ride, but I was NOT up for a long, hilly slog. Laura promised 25 miles and one hill, or a little longer if we started from her house.

Which is what Ricky and I did.


 As we were riding to Twin Pines to pick up the others, I noted felt moose antlers in Laura's pocket.


You can't see it in that picture, and I didn't know it at the time, but they were way cool; they have red LED's. They light up!

We got to Twin Pines and picked up Chris C, Marty of the retiring attitude, and Racer Pete.




We did a route that Laura used to do on a chromoly bike on her C+ rides. We passed a place where Laura used get cow pictures. I improved upon the time by trying to fix a nagging little shifting problem. I wound up trying at every stop, but it wasn't until I got the bike home on the stand that I got it 90% fixed (and the rest will probably require a new derailleur).

The rest looked for the missing cows.



Shortly thereafter we came upon some sheep... but you already know that.


On such a short ride, a stop probably wasn't necessary... but near the end was Sourlands Coffee, which had caught Laura's eye, but at which we'd never stopped because it was too close to a ride ending. We stopped in today... and it's good enough that a tradition of an end-of-the-ride coffee would be a good one to start.


Pardon the poor quality of the next picture...but I figured that I had to get a picture of a magazine for baristas:


That was just too good to miss.

Laura decided to leave the antlers at Sourland Coffee.



Before we left, Marty decided to get a pic including me, so I won't be as anonymous as I usually am.


In the corner in hat and shades, lookin' suspicious.


Obligatory bike pics.





Sourland Cycles has placed bike racks liberally around the area;it's a good idea.

Ride page.

It was just the ride I needed before managing the holiday. Hope you survive yours, as well (holiday, that is... well, I hope you survive your ride, too, if you go on one!).