Winter Larry likes to lead rides October through March, when few others want to do it; he can be persuaded to lead in April, but when it gets this late in May, he's begging off. So Ed "The Shoulder" C had agreed to lead some of the "Back By Lunch" rides out of Cranbury on Sundays, and today was his first shot.
Ed had three routes in mind, and, when he heard about the wind strength and direction expected for today, he sensibly picked a route that went into the expected wind direction on the way out, with the expectation that we'd have the wind at our backs on the way back (and so it was). He also picked the slightly shorter of the two routes he had planned (by which he cheated himself out of a trip down the new paving on Coppermine Road, but so it goes). He had sent out links to the routes, and I loaded them in to my Garmin.
I met Laura OLPH at the usual spot behind Cliff's office for the ride-to-the-ride, on which we shared some of our work-related woes (it's cheaper than therapy for each of us), and rode to the Cranbury Knapp's parking lot (we were early, so we added a bit; we proved that you CAN ride on route 130 and survive, provided it's early enough on a Sunday morning and you keep the route short). We got to the start, and med Ed, Neil C, and Mark H, and the five of us did this route.
I started to follow the route in the GPS, but we went off-route shortly after crossing Route 1, and by the time the GPS recalculated, it decided we were on the way BACK, and kept telling me to do a U-turn - finally, a bit before the break, I turned the navigation off.
We went out to Peacock's, and went down Lindbergh Road - I think only the second time I've done that, and the first was when Ron S had his accident. I've been UP Lindbergh often enough that I was beginning to think it only went that way! After the break, we went up Rileyville, which Laura remembered as being hard... but I don't think it was as hard as Lindbergh, at least as far as Ridge, where we turned.
On the way up Rileyville, we passed some joggers. We got spread out (as we do on long uphills), and Laura and Neil, on their bikes, were passed by one of the joggers. They were "inspired" to new levels of effort, and passed the jogger again (we met him at the top of the hill, and we chatted and I gave him a Freewheelers card). Don't ever let Laura tell you she's not competitive. Hrmph.
On the way back, Ed had planned to take us along Washington Road in Princeton, but we discussed it and chose a different way due to Washington not being bike friendly (I generally don't support riders getting the leader off the planned route, but this was an exception). That route led us along College Road, and I know a way to get on the Plainsboro bike path that gets us near where we park, so Laura and I cut off the last few miles of the route.
Thanks, Ed. Good ride. Good choice in direction, given the wind, too. I look forward to some more of your leads.