I have a 66-mile route planned for Saturday. It's flat, and this time I promise I won't make wrong turns. We'll start at the East Picnic Area at Mercer County Park at 8:30 a.m. We'll pick up the 50-mile Ride for McBride route (sign up now for the September 20 event) south of Allentown. There will be two rest stops.... If 66 miles isn't enough, start with me at my house at 7:45 a.m. and finish with 80 miles. Let me know ahead of time and I'll make enough coffee.I knew I wouldn’t make it in time for coffee, but I did get there for the extra miles, as did Ed C. After some potting around, we headed over to Mercer East, and picked up Tom, Gary S, and Barry, and headed out to do this route.
Well, that was the plan. When we got to New Egypt, it was raining. Perusal of the radar was not promising; at first, Laura couldn't get a radar image at all; when she did, it looked like there was going to be rain for hours. So we put away the cue sheets, and planned on taking a direct route back to Mercer East.
But about ten minutes after our departure from New Egypt, the rain let up, the sky looked clearer, and we decided to continue the route anyway. And we did.
A few minutes after that decision, Laura heard the sound of a flat from Ed's wheel... but we couldn't find the flat, and Ed uses the "Stan's No-Tubes" system, which uses sealant to keep the tires from flatting. We couldn’t find a problem, and Ed completed the ride on his tire. (In addition to the no-tubes, Ed's looking at putting together a bike with a drive belt and disk brakes; Ed is, if anything, even more into bike weirdness than I. Ed's also raised his saddle a bit, and is now giving me a challenge on the hills where I used to be able to easily outrun him. He was already a better descender than I. He credits Jeff X with the suggestion, and it seems to be effective.)
Although Ed didn't have a tire problem, Tom did; he may have had a slow leak for a while, but Barry noticed his tire was down. Tom changed his tire, and I couldn't help noticing his drivetrain; it was clean enough to eat from. We got to talking about how he maintains his chains; he lubricates with melted paraffin. I asked him about his process, and it involves hanging the chains, lubed and dry, in the garage; cleaning them with mineral spirits, allowing the chains to soak into the melting paraffin on the stove, and sometimes heating the chains in the oven on a cookie sheet, after soaking them in the mineral spirits. If I were to perform the process at home, the first steps would probably look something like:
- Get a divorce from The Excellent Wife (TEW);
- If you have any money left over...
As Mr. Vonnegut said, "So it goes."
One picture on the road, the others in New Egypt: