Early in the week, Tom H sent out an email that he was thinking of doing a ride from Rocky Hill, but the answer came back that this was going to be Cheryl M's last weekend in the area before she moves to Florida. She wanted to visit the store at Carversville, so Blake promised a route starting from the Yardley Park & Ride.
My first problem was planning a route there for the car. I'm not much better at navigation when I'm behind the wheel than I am when I'm pedaling two of them. The only address I could find on Google gave a road name without the intersection... but the intersection came up on the associated map... but then my GPS wouldn't do an intersection... but then I found the directions on how to enable that feature in my GPS, and got it set up. (I know that in 2014, most people use their smartphones, but I don't have a real smartphone. It runs Android, but it's only got limited memory; it's not smart... I guess you could classify it a "dull-normal" phone.)
I got there early, and slowly, four more riders came in, trying to avoid the earnest, smiley young woman with the Christian literature. In addition to Tom, Blake, and Cheryl, Laura OLPH appeared. So we set off, and did this route.
Early on, I got to talking about a fix for a creaky thunk I had somewhere in the drive train; I thought it was the pedals, or the bottom bracket, or the torque on the cassette was too low, but it wasn't any of these; it turned out that the nut that held my rear hub together had worked slightly loose. I torqued it up yesterday, and it's been fine. We also got to talking about my no longer supported, but still functional Garmin 605. Blake had put the route up on Ride with GPS, and I had downloaded it into the device. Except for the two places where the route crossed itself, the unit successfully told me the route. Blake was a little nonplussed that I looked like I knew where I was going!
We went up Eagle Road, which I'd done with the fast boys a few weeks ago. Now, friend Dave C has been talking about Jericho Mountain for years, but I didn't know that Eagle Road crosses Jericho. When I heard the talk about Jericho, I grew a bit concerned (although the only hill I've ever really had trouble on with this crew was one a few years ago that was short - a few hundred feet - but so steep I couldn't keep the front wheel on the ground and wound up rolling across the oncoming traffic lane). So now I find I've done Jericho. Twice, as it turns out. (Not my favorite hill; it's challenging, but as soon as you're at the top, you're rolling down the other side, and there's no great view).
There were great views today, it was beautiful and clear, and not hot until late in the ride. We rolled into Carversville (I don't think I've been here before) to see an excellent minimalist bike rack; just a pipe on legs on which you catch the front of the saddle. A simple idea; picture below.
As soon as we left Carversville, though, we had another hill on Stover's Mill; not long, but tough enough after my legs had gotten wooden from the stop. The other tough hill on the way back was, I think, Cedar Lane. I think it was after that that I got to talking to Blake about bike noises, and promised him I'd include a link to Jim Langley's Bike Noises page, where I found an answer to one of my annoying noises. And now I've done it. (Jim Langley has a huge amount of neat bike stuff on his site; I've wasted too many hours rattling around it. If you're bike-geeky, bookmark that one and spend some time there.)
Only a few pictures. One over my shoulder of the rest of the crew:
At Carversville. I don't know who that guy is on the right, but he bears a resemblance to my father-in-law.
Below, Cheryl seems dubious about the Hill Slugs free coffee card. (Want to find out about it? Come out on a Hill Slug ride.)
Below: Cheryl using the minimalist bike rack/
Another of the minimalist bike rack. Those four bikes closest to you are all titanium.