Sunday, July 14, 2019

bastille day

There was nothing particularly revolutionary, or French, about the ride today, but, of course, today is July 14; it's the 230th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, so the event has to be commemorated.

The only thing that we did was storm across the newly-reopened bridges on 518 (yes, there are two of 'em; see yesterday's post), but I'm getting ahead of myself.

I looked early yesterday, and two of my regular friends, Laura OLPH and Ricky "Front Wheel" G,were registered for the ride; I checked a few hours later, and two more, Andrew A and Jack H were registered; this morning, Gary W and John W (not related to the best of my knowledge, despite the similarity of last initials) had signed up; this morning, John K, and Mindy N and Jeff P showed up at the start... good heavens; there were TEN of us! (Andrew complained that I had chosen this route just so he couldn't cut it short but cutting out at the break, but I pointed out that at the time I chose the route, I didn't know he was coming, as I hadn't seen him in some time. I chose the route so Laura couldn't cut it short... but she sort of did anyway.)

We started at Blackwells Mills/Six Mile, headed down to Princeton, went through ETS, chuffed our way up the hill to Mount Rose (courageous cyclists among The Usual Suspects; that hill was right near the edge of some of their capabilities). Thanks to Gary W for taking on sweep responsibilities.

Somewhere along the way, we encountered a group that might have been the East Brunswick Cyclepaths (they were in the distinctive, de rigeur safety-yellow jerseys). I thought I recognized Steve S, and I'd swear I saw Dov K among them.

We stopped at the Boro Bean.

(There's one more, with the WORST picture of Laura ever. I'm not posting that one; my friendship with her is worth more than that.)

John K had an old Lotus, replacing a Lotus he had decades ago, and Laura and he were discussing pictures of that, and bike pictures in general, at the stop.

... which, for me, was just an excuse to take more pictures of the bikes.

That's John's new-old Lotus right in front.

Someday I'll get over my love of bike pics... but not today, and probably not soon.

We went across the newly-reopened bridge at 518. It's not pretty... but it's OPEN.

That's enough.

On the way back, Laura and John W rolled off; the rest of us returned. Ride page here.

When we were at the lot at the end, Ricky showed me pictures of the great improvements at the New Brunswick Bike Exchange. They've made great strides; I'm very impressed.

Bastille Day, right? Off with their heads! Let 'em eat cake! Allons enfants de la patrie...

Oh, never mind.

Saturday, July 13, 2019


If you're looking for information about the ride scheduled for July 14, click here.

All of 'em - Tom H, Laura OLPH, Ricky G - all of 'em were doing something else this morning. The B ride out of Cranbury, normally led by Dave H, was to be led by an unnamed volunteer (I thought for a short time of showing up with a ride sheet and a 40-mile route, but them boys [and girls] generally go faster than I wanna go]). And the news was that the construction on the bridges at 518 near Aunt Molly Rd was complete - so I decided to head out alone on one of my routes that crosses there, and see for myself.

One of the advantages of going out on my own is that I can start when I want to, and I was on the road before 8 am. I made a detour to a local bagelry (there was a committee outside the laundrette next door, some of whom looked a bit shady, so I took the front wheel off the bike to dissuade any of 'em from just jumpin' on the Yellow Maserati and making for some unknown destination). After the purchase, I headed over towards the Blackwells Mills/6 Mile lot, and did the latest version of my route to the Pig.

Yes, the construction at the bridge appears complete; the bridges are passable to any kind of traffic, with the possible exception of Mr Trump's tanks.

(These two bridges are right next to each other - the only thing separating them is a [possibly man-made] island in the creek they pass over. How are they numbered 252.2 and 252.8? Where are 252.3 through 252.7?)

I also noted that the milled sections of Harlingen-Dutchtown near Veteran's Park in Montgomery, and Camp Meeting Road in Skillman, have also been repaved.

Life is good at the Pig; it wasn't busy, and the barista woman let me ask questions about her interestingly-colored hair (apparently, I haven't risked a "Me Too" outing by so doing). I had my usual decaf Americano and the double chocolate cookie, for strength for the ride home.

And back. Go see the ride page. I'm not that fast, so it's pretty clear I had a tailwind pretty much the whole way.

OK. My ride for tomorrow is also planned to go across 518, but in the other direction. I feel better knowing that there will actually be road under my tires.


In other news: my rear shifter setup has been falling out of adjustment for many months. I haven't been able to determine what the problem was, until I had the suspicion that the barrel adjuster on the rear derailleur might not be holding its position. But the part is small, and one section of the turn collar looks like the next. I had put some beeswax on the doings, but that didn't seem to make a difference. I finally had the idea of making distinctive marks on the turnbuckle to see if I could see that it had loosened... and, after a ride across some particularly rough road, I could see it had.

I opened up the barrel adjuster, and put in some teflon packing usually sold for plumbing applications (it's usually sold for about 99¢, so it's not worth remembering if I have any at home, and now I have two or three rolls). And that seems to be holding; I haven't had to re-adjust the adjustment in a few dozen miles, where I used to have to do it after every rough stretch of road. The marks on the rear derailleur look a bit dodgy (done freehand with a silver-paint Sharpie), but I'm glad to know what the problem is and to (apparently) have a fix for it. (The "proper" fix is, apparently, to use Loc-tite Purple, but that's not easy to find, and while you can get it for $7.95 for a bottle that holds about ten drops, the $15 shipping charge makes it seem less desirable of an idea.)

Also have a new mirror; I'll post about THAT debacle another time. Maybe.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

ride for july 14 2019

So I hear the construction at 518 has gotten to the point that it's bike-passable. Let's check it out. We'll take this route over, with a stop at the Boro Bean.

The usual Plain Jim, low-B pace; about 40 miles. 8:30 am start.

I'll be grateful if you pre-register, but (of course) you don't have to.

(It will be Bastille Day. I have no doubt there will be references to La Marseillaise and "let 'em eat cake".)

Hope to see you there.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

not doin' that again.

So this week's ride was basically a re-run of last week's ride, because I wanted to see if there were a better way in or out of the center where the Thomas Sweet is. Six or seven adventurers joined me: Dave S, Lynne W, Bill B, Laura OLPH, Tom H,and Robert N; Dave H found us along the route and rode with us for a while (the second time he's done that. He doesn't get it together for my early starts, so he figures where we're likely to be, and when we're likely to be there, and picks us up as we go. I'm flattered he puts in the effort).

Tom H has a way in that goes through the parking lot of an abandoned building... but the dropoff is steep; Tom fell trying to manage it. He wasn't hurt, but his controls were affected:

Yeah, that shouldn't be twisted to the inside like that. Some of us tried to move it back, but I was afraid the plastic would break before the shifter would move. It really ought to be uncabled, and then loosened and reset.

We made quite a party goin' down the hill.

Yeah, we're not doin' that again.

At Thomas Sweet:

On the way out, I tried a route that kept us off 206, on whihc we had ridden last week. Although the roue on 206 has a wide, safe shoulder, I wanted to see if going on 518 to Merrill and Montgomery Ave worked better. The Sense of the Meeting was that it did not: the shopping center parking lot was more hazardous than the road traffic.

So we're not doin' that again, either.

(But Bob N DID give me a hint about avoiding that long-enough-to-need-a-shave-afterwards traffic light at 206 and Homestead Road, and it looks good on RideWithGPS, so we might try that next time).

Ride page.

I really want to do one of my routes that goes out to Hopewell, though. Any news on when the construction on 518 near Aunt Molly Road will be bike-passable?

Thursday, July 4, 2019

july 4 all-paces

Today the Princeton Freewheelers ran one of the All-Paces rides that we do on holidays in the riding season (for those of us that don't ride in the cold... but I digress). I could tell you about my ride, that I intended to run at a low-C+ pace, but on which we actually hit the middle of the range (my high speed was 27.5; not slow for a comparatively flat ride). So far, I'm still on speaking terms with The Excellent Wife (TEW).

I had seven registered, but at one point I had eleven riding with me, some of whom had fallen off (or left) other rides, and some of whom went back to those rides after a while. It was a bit chaotic... but nobody got hurt, and everybody got back. I think.

Ride page here.

Yeah, not many pictures here. That's because they're all up in the photo album for today's ride on the Princeton Freewheeler web page.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019


I worked Sunday, and got today off, so it's like I have two weekends this week. Well, when that happens and the weather holds, I plan to ride with the Team Social Security folks, the mostly-retired gang that goes out every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (and whom I hope to join more regularly in two years, eleven months, and twenty-four days... but who's counting?*).

(*I am. I'm counting. I set up a spreadsheet to do the counting for me.)

These days, there are two rides, the C ride that goes at a C pace, and the C+ ride crew that would leave my "slo-B" Sunday gang in the dust.

Above, seconds before Chris stopped, about four inches away. Below. Spence H, who I wanna be in 24 years if I live that long.

Marty woudl be a lot of fun if he'd just come out of his shell, right?

Al P, who leads the ride, never counts on his ride sheet signups to actually match the number of riders he's got, so we took a count once we were underway, and came up with thirteen. But nobody wanted to be the thirteenth rider, so we settled on 12A. (Mike wanted to know what the "A" stood for. I said, "Aaaaaynobody wanted to be number thirteen." He sounded disappointed; I think he was hoping for something more profane and specific.)

Al thought of the Olde World Bakery, but weather threatened, so we did this route so we could turn back in a hurry of the weather changed... but it didn't. We did, however, have to cross a closed bridge, just as if this were one of Laura OLPH's or Tom H's rides.

We stopped at Emery's Farm.

So now laundry's in and chores are done. I'm out to a Weight Watchers meeting in a bit. Hope to see you at that July 4 All-Paces tomorrow.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

change of plans

(At East Mountain Road)

My listing for this ride included this:
  • Even though the weather is iffy for Sunday, I'm posting this one, because I'm working Saturday and need to get a ride in if there's any chance I can. We'll do my usual 35-mile route, at my usual barely-B pace. Leave at 8:30, from Six Mile/Blackwells Mills lot...
... but the weather turned out clear as a bell, and six of the Usual Suspects showed up: Laura OLPH,Bill B & Dr Lynne, Steve S, Bob N, and Prem R.

(Yes, that's The Excellent Wife [TEW] in the background, preparing for a solo ride.)

We did my usual route into Hillsborough, down to Skillman, and towards Rocky Hill...

(More at East Mountain)

... but along the way, we were complaining about the terrible service at my usual bagelry... and then somebody mentioned that there was a Thomas Sweet in the adjacent shopping center... and then Bob N rolled up and said he thought he could get us to the Thomas Sweet with minimal peril...

...and the next thing you know, we're rolling up to the Thomas Sweet.

... at which there was no wait, all kinds of goodies (muffins, croissants, &c.), coffee (apparently of some quality, although I'm a coffee Philistine who deserves to be restricted to Wawa, so my opinion is useless), Gatorade for the folks who needed it, TWO toilets instead of one, and (of all things) ice cream. At 10:30 in the morning.

That picture's the best I could manage, holding the ice cream in one hand and the camera in the other. Laura doesn't do ice cream on rides, saying it doesn't agree with her, but the only thing that didn't agree was the envy in evidence from TEW when I mentioned stopping at the Thomas Sweet.

Even Laura's husband, Professor Jack, gave his nihil obstat when she texted him about our stop at Thomas Sweet. And I admire Professor Jack more than I would ever let him know; if I have his blessing, I may never change the procedure, ever again.

So now I'm adjusting my routes to include the Thomas Sweet as a break. Bob has promised to look at the location (which is close to him) and see if there's another back way out, but even if not, there's likely to be a number of Thomas Sweet stops. Youse-all may want to consider that if you're thinking of a Sunday ride.

Ride Page.

Obligatory bike pics:

In other news, this is my tenth ride for the year, so I'm eligible for the 2019 Ride Leader Jersey. Thanks to all of you have have come on my rides this year; it's not a thing you can do alone.

In other other news, I was taken with Bill B's mirror (my Monkey Mirror has seen better days; the reflective surface is starting to flake away).

Bill's is no longer available... but Dr Lynne uses the Safety Sport Mirror that attaches to her eyeglass frame.

The owner is threatening to close it down. I've ordered two of 'em.