Are Ed and I really that fast?
Ed C ("Ed Snake-Eyes", "Ed the Snake", or, as I began to call him today, "Snake-head Ed") sent an email to about half-a-dozen of us asking if anybody wanted to do a pickup ride today. One had a conflict, and all of the others begged off, giving some variation on, "I don't want to push that hard," or "I don't want to slow you down".
So Ed and I met at Six-Mile at Blackwells Mills canal crossing, and did this ride. That link includes my ride to Six Mile, and my turn-off on the way home; nonetheless, 66 miles, which is pretty good.
We went out a little late in an effort to miss the rush-hour traffic (and we mostly did); what we didn't miss was the headwind. While perhaps not Laura OLPH-worthy, it was certainly hard enough for me ("What's riding into the wind good training for?"). Ed had planned to go up Dutchtown-Zion, and we were almost blown back before we got there. I kept telling myself that it was better to have this headwind on the way out than on the way back, but my resolve was certainly flagging well before the stop.
We came to Alexsauken Creek Road from a direction I didn't expect (but I can get lost in a bathroom; I can get lost in my own living room if someone re-arranges the furniture). Alexsauken Creek road is one of my favorites, not because it's challenging, or a whippin' downhill, but it's pretty; it's like fifteen minutes of vacation.
From there to Lambertville. Ed's been to Rojo's any number of times, but couldn't remember if he'd ever been to "the other, small coffee place", so I led him to Lambertville Trading. He wasn't sure if he remembered it or not, but I have a picture proving he was there this time. We stopped for coffee, and decided we would also stop for food in Hopewell (one of the advantages of such a small group is that we can change plans like that).
Out of Lambertville, we went up Franklin, just because there was nobody with us who would complain about it. Franklin gets you near the top of the hill you have to climb to get out of Lambertville in about a tenth of the distance of the other routes. it's short and steep. We like it. We wambled around to get back onto 518, and decided to drop in at the Wheelfine Imports store, which I've passed a gazillion times, but never stopped in.
It's a glorious mess. I've got pictures below. The proprietor is a champion wheelbuilder (he's earned the championship stripes that encircle his building), and he has no problem talking to people who come in. I have no idea how he makes any money, but he doesn't seem to care. He's got bikes, old and new frames, parts... and he's got CD's, DVD's, videotapes (really? Can anybody even play those nowadays?), and he had all manner of accessories, some of which require imagination (or a collection of old bikes) to visualize their utility.
From there to Hopewell for food. We stopped briefly at Brothers Moon, who advertises "bike friendly" in the club newsletter, but it was clear from the layout and the prices that they didn't expect sweaty riders to actually sit in the actual dining room. So we went over to the Boro Bean (which barely won out over the Nomad Pizza, about which I've heard great things) and each got panini. They're big; in future we'll probably split one. Then back. But you probably figured that out.
Come along next time. We had a great time.
Pic's. I got there early (well, THERE's a surprise), and got some pics of the canal:
Snakehead Ed at the start, below:
Along Dutchtown-Zion, there's a section where the paving is a dim memory. Ed's showing me one line to take.
Below: Ed's been to Lambertville Trading:
Below: Several of Wheelfine Imports. I'm DEFINITELY goin' back.
There are two rooms back there I couldn't even get into.
(I love these frames. If The Excellent Wife (TEW) ever changes her mind about my getting a new bike...)