Monday, May 21, 2012

bicycle weekend stuff

Almost 110 miles this weekend! And I am, as one of my Brit-born co-riders would put it, knackered.

Saturday, Laura OLPH celebrated her birthday with a 50 48 44 43-mile ride on the flats, starting from her house and headin' mostly west. Prior to the ride, she had coffee and bagels (and if I'd known, I would have gotten there earlier and made more of a pre-ride pig of myself than I did... although my weight's been creepin' up, and I'm going to have to adjust my food plan again). Sixteen of us; most planned to stay for the post-ride birthday cookout. We sixteen were a motley crew who have never all ridden together, and there was a bit of disorder and a variety of riding styles, which caused some consternation, but it appeared that we were all on speakin' terms again by the time we were packing up the bikes and either heading home or heading for the appetizers.

We learned on the ride that the DOT website does not have up-to-the-minute info on Turnpike crossing closings. We tried to cross at Perrineville road, and passed at least two "Road Closed" signs, but, since it wasn't on the website as closed (and since we can cross on bikes places where the cars might not go), we soldiered on in the hope that we'd get over. But the crossing looked constructed upon, and when John D went up to investigate, he came back saying, "Two words... Evel Knievel." So we went back around and crossed the Turnpike on Old York Rd (and weren't we a big crowd to be rippin' down Old York on bicycles!). Then the long way to Woody's in Allentown for a break... but there was so much good stuff waitin' back at Laura's that I wasn't really interested in Woody's.

So back to Laura's by about the quickest way (and crossing Route 1 at Franklin Corner is only slightly terrifying; much less so than most of the crossing further up), where a few of the riders went right home, and missed great food, loud & silly talk, and a friendly end to a great ride on a pretty day.

Sunday, Joe M took us on a ride from Hightstown to Belmar. Another pretty day. A bit of a headwind on the way out to let us know we were earning our way! My first ride to Belmar was a century with Don S, so I was surprised to discover how short the direct ride was. The same eleven finished that started, although the group split toward the end, with two of the faster riders going off the front (I stayed among the riders in the cheap seats to make sure there waere no crises). The route back was different from the route out; I thought I might recognize some of the roads on the way back, and was mildly concerned when I didn't (is my road-dyslexia really that bad?), so I was glad to see on the map that we didn't go back the same way.

Belmar appears to be one of the less "Jersey Shore" destinations on the Jersey Shore (not as strong in the flavor as Seaside Heights, although moreso that Point Pleasant, IMHO), but there was enough of the shore theater to make it worth the stop: colorful motorcycles and their (possibly more colorful) riders; beachgoers showing perhaps more skin that the coolish beach day would suggest; young folks trying to look bored and uninterested while at the same time trying to see who noticed them; and bicycles and riders: the eleven of us in lycra, as well as beach cruisers, BMXers, mountain bikes, hybrids, and the wonderful motley mixes that seem to spring fully-fashioned, rust and all, out of the backyards of shore houses.

66 miles. That made it a 109-mile weekend for me; a lot of riding for this early in the season. It made getting on the rowing machine this morning feel like stepping into an iron maiden. Oh, well. Back to work today. Rain is expected all week; I'm glad I got the rides in that I did this weekend.

1 comment:

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