Rain kept me in from a group ride today (although Laura OLPH went on the ride I had planned; they were 31 miles along when the rain started, and they got back to Etra six soggy miles later), so I went with The Excellent Wife (TEW) to Quaker Meeting, and then to see Pirates: Band of Misfits, which was intelligent, silly, and genuinely funny. TEW was delighted not to be a bike widow for a day (which I had threatened; sometime over the summer we are going away to Florida for over a week, with no riding, and I was exceptionally cranky upon seeing the precipitation this morning), and to be going on a genuine date! Even in my cranky state, I could barely keep from glowing over her gladness to be around me. I undoubtedly married well; I'm not sure she can say the same.
After we got back, we called my mother, who is newly moved into a senior residence near my sister (in Buffalo, NY). Mother appears to be making the best of it; I feel like she's putting a brave face on widowhood and separation from all her friends and the life she loved in Asheville, NC. But she was scared to death of all the responsibility that fell on her when my father died, and this may be the best way for her. My sister has been seeing her every weekend, and sister and her husband have been helping mother to get settled. I am undoubtedly grateful that they have taken that responsibility. I'm sure that mother chose to move to Buffalo rather than around here, knowing that my sister would be more welcoming than I. How sharper than a serpent's tooth, Bill Shakespeare has Lear say, is an ungrateful child, but it is nonetheless true that my patience would have worn thin even before this.
Took the commuter bike out for a short ten miles (I was going to say a quick ten miles, but quickness is not the commuter's virtue). I was dressed in jeans, t-shirt, and Reeboks, and in the mugginess of the afternoon it was too much clothing. Still, I'm getting to like riding the commuter bike more. Partly, it's that it's a bike I can ride in civilian clothes, and partly it's the non-indexed bar-end shifters; I don't shift as frequently as I do on the Yellow Maserati, and also the shifting on the commuter bike takes some skill that I'm barely developing. It may be that the indexed shifting with which I'm familiar also takes skill, which I've already developed to the point I don't notice it.
I don't have a good car metaphor to describe my current feelings for the commuter bike the way the phrase "Yellow Maserati" describes the Yellow Maserati. The commuter bike is part Model T, in that it's old technology with the bar-end shifters; part hot rod, in that it's partly made of the cheap hybrid that I started with. But it also has that elegant Nitto handlebar. The Yellow Maserati is jealous, and has been clamoring for a Nitto Noodle, or perhaps that Grand Cru Course Bar I alluded to a few posts ago. And there's a certain "minivan aspect" to the commuter bike, with the fenders, suspension fork and seatpost, and rear rack; these make it more utile, but detract from the amount of jazz, pizazz, and razz-ma-tazz it delivers. And I could sure use some of that; I'm as white-bread as they come. (The suspended seatpost is better in the abstract than in the concrete; it settles after it's been sat on for a while, meaning the saddle-to-pedal distance gets shorter. Pedalling isn't as efficient.)
Tomorrow is the Princeton Freewheelers' Memorial Day All-Paces ride. It will undoubtedly be shorter than I want, so I'll probalby find a place to ride in from (the ride starts a Mercer County Park East; maybe I'll get a quick bite at Bagel Street Grill and ride in from there.
Here's hoping for decent weather. Maybe I'll see you... or, if you're reading this later, maybe I already did.