Tuesday, September 30, 2014

looking to my own house

Oddman probably stole it, but this reminds me to clean up my own house.

pumping up the tire

I pump my car tires with the bike pump I keep in the car. I must look like this guy:

Maybe it's time to get a pump that works off the car battery.

Edit: Original from Oddman. Sorry I forgot to link earlier.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

why i won't lead slow rides for the pfw

I had a post here complaining about how I felt I was being singled out by a board member of the Princeton Freewheelers. It was petty, whiny, and petulant, and I've removed it.

I apologize for the post, and for wasting your time.

nbbx new brunswick bike exchange ride 9-28

As you might see for the previous post, I almost forgot to post at all about the New Brunswick Bike Exchange ride for today, what with The Excellent Wife (TEW) going away and The Excellent Father-In-Law being ill. But when I checked the Bike Exchange Facebook Page, I saw that several people had signed up to come. Some of them, and some others, actually did!

Seven of us, including me, to start. They're mostly (though not all) students at the Bloustein School. The Bike Exchange was a pet project of a Bloustein student a few years ago, and the students have kept up interest.

I promised a no-drop ride, which is actually easier than the D-rated ride I used to do when I advertised this as a co-hosted ride with the Princeton Freewheelers. On a no-drop ride, we can let speed demons go ahead and wait at the turns, and slower folks can catch up at their leisure. We only had one leave, and he had a prior appointment.

We did this route. Not too demanding, but still with enough hills that the flatlanders were disconcerted. Aah, it's good for 'em!

We stopped at the Better World Market, a cafe and local-produce store that's a project of Elijah's Promise (go check out the link; they are hugely cool). I learned today of a lunch stop in a church in Highland Park called the Better World Cafe which is a pay-what-you-can place; they're only open for weekday lunches, but I may have to go check 'em out.

Addendum: I promised Nick I'd include links to the handlebar mirror and helmet mirror I use.

Pictures! They're a good-lookin' crew, ain't they? Lucky none of the pictures include me. We got a group shot with me in it, but it's not showin' up in THIS blog! Outside the Bike Exchange at the start:

On the road. Some of those over-the-shoulder shots just don't work.

At Better World:

nbbx bike ride is on

ACK! With all the craziness (father-in-law ill, wife going away for a week), I forgot to put up an announcement about the New Brunswick Bike Exchange ride today. The ride WILL take place; we'll be leaving from the Sandford Street side of PRAB at 10.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

ride with kim's bike shop sep 27

The Excellent Wife (TEW) is leaving tomorrow morning (at a time when the only person awake is usually me) for a week to go down to Florida to see new nephew, so she wants some time with me today (imagine!), and, as I said in an earlier post, her dad is in the hospital and wants some visiting...

...so if I was going to get a group ride in today, it was going to be the early one with Kim's Bike shop. Well, twist my arm. I did that ride two weeks ago, and it was great, so going out with them again today is the opposite of a problem.

(If you want to see the pictures from that ride, click on the link in the previous paragraph.)

I get up early enough anyway to make this ride on time. At this time of your, it's cold early, which is not a problem, but it's also dark, and that is. I had my lights on, and rode it to get there by the 7:00 posted start time, but I could have been fifteen minutes later and still had time.

Early on, some were saying we'd take it easy today. Hrmph. Didn't work out that way...

The route is the same as last time. I'm posting links to today's GPS import to my Garmin site (which is better for laps) and to RideWithGPS.Com (from which you can print a cue sheet; one of the riders asked about the route). These include my rides to and from home.

There was one slower rider on the route, so I volunteered to sweep. At each stop, he started out bravely, but fell further and further behind; by the time we got to Griggstown, he decided not to go up Coppermine and went his own way back. So I struggled up Coppermine myself, and caught up to the rest of the waiting group.

We sprint in a few places: through Colonial Park, down Canal Road after Six Mile/Blackwells Mills, and on the last stretch up Rte 27. By that time the traffic is wakin' up, and to have fourteen-or-so riders taking up the road causes a bit of consternation. But there are enough of us that we can manage the traffic through New Brunswick with grace. (Well, maybe.)

IF Dave thinks about moving the ride to Sundays in the winter, when the shop will be closed, perhaps we could start when there is actually some light out. Huh? Maybe?

Oh, well.

Pictures! Early in the shop and at the start:

At the stop at Six Mile/Blackwells Mills:

Speedin' on back up Rte 27:

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

stuff that works: blackburn anyvalve replacement pump head

Edit July 13 2017: Nope. No longer. See this post. Links in the post below will be disabled.

I have a cheapo-cheapo Blackburn floor pump that I keep in the garage. It had given up filling Schrader valves, and recently it had become unreliable about filling Presta valves as well. I thought about replacing the pump, but then I found out about this Blackburn Anyvalve Replacement Head:

For a Blackburn pump, you can just unscrew that bottom collar, unscrew the old head from the hose, and replace with the new one. For other pumps, if the hose is within a standard range of sizes, you can cut the hose off cleanly, slide the bottom collar onto the hose, insert a plug that goes into the hose, and screw the head into the collar.

It's better than the head that came as original equipment on the pump I bought years ago. It's good enough that I've ordered one (from my new fave bike shop, Kim's) to replace the two-hole head on the Topeak pump I keep in the car.

Monday, September 22, 2014

tew's dad in hospital

My wife's father has been in the hospital the past few days. He's stable, but he's 90.

Of course we're worried.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

hopewell valley stampede... partly

I should have guessed that after a quick ride Friday (yeah, I was off, but it was alone, and I don't blog about all of my solo rides), then a quick Ride for McBride yesterday, then staying out late last night with The Excellent Wife (TEW) to see Antony and Cleopatra at the McCarter Theater last night... I should have known that I'd be shot for a ride today. But I got up and out anyway to do Laura OLPH's Hopewell Valley Stampede ride today.

The Hopewell Valley Arts Council got a number of fiberglas oxen, and arranged for local artists to decorate them. Laura set up a ride to visit as many as practical, with plans to stop and take pictures. I went (including some extra miles), but I was tired and hurtin'. When Bagel Hill Barry had a fairly substantial mechanical problem about 25 miles in, I took the opportunity to shepherd him back to his car, then ride back to my car; I've been nursing my sore legs for the rest of the day.

Even if I had been in good shape, I can unequivocally say you probably would have hated this ride. It was ALL stops for pictures; some stops were within a few hundred feet of the last. I got a number of pictures of the six riders who came along (John K, Jack, and Celeste completed the sextet), and of the oxen. Some are below; the rest are in my album on Photobucket.

Below, John thought the picture on the leg of the ox above was of his 8-speed cassette:

Above: Cointreau was bottled in Hopewell for decades; this ox had a decoupage of prints of posters and labels. Below, crocheted recycled plastic bags, we think:

I had fun identifying the originals of the artworks on the one below:

Over two dozen more pics in the Album on Photobucket.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

mcbride ride 2014: paved with good intentions

Laura OLPH's blog post read:
The Ride for McBride is this Saturday, September 20.  I will be leading a team of FreeWheelers on the 50-mile route starting at 8:00 a.m.  I plan to keep an honest strong B pace; in other words, we'll probably average in the high 16 mph range.  Those who wish to go faster should go faster without us.

Well, that was the plan. But as you can see from my RideWithGPS upload, we came in a little faster than that. Since it wasn't a Freewheeler ride, we don't feel too guilty about the speed...

It was a glorious day, and we had a number of riders, most of whom were in good shape and were, shall we say, showin' off today.

Lots of pics, I'll put a few below; all of them (including these) are on my McBride Ride 2014 Photobucket Album. (Tomorrow, Laura's leading a completely different kind of ride; we're going to visit some of the oxen in the Hopewell Stampede!)

Starting up:

We got there early, and the guy hadn't been there to unlock the gate. The resourceful vandals took out a piece of the PVC pipe fence to let us in to park. In this pic, you can see the locked chain to the left, and the open section of fence to the right behind my bike.

Haven't seen Chris in AGES!

He hasn't changed much, has he?

Below: The Excellent Wife (TEW) came and did the 25-mile ride. Sue M (above) joined her for part of the way.

See the rest of the pics in the Photobucket album.

After the ride, I set up clipless pedals and shoes for TEW, replaced her brake shoes (she had cheesey brake shoes; watch a subsequent post for info on those, and on something else that's a Thing that Works), and changed out my rear tire and wheel. Marco B noticed my rear tire was low; I got home on it OK, but there was a gash in the tire, so I replaced it (about 3400 miles on it, but it was gashed down to fabric in two places and showing wear). I also put on the all-cross-3 rear wheel. If we're doing hills in Hunterdon tomorrow, I don't want to risk the radial left rear wheel. Yeah, it SHOULD be fine, but...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


The Excellent Wife (TEW) recently referred to me as avuncular.


I don't know; what do YOU think?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Freewheeler Picnic 2014

Today was the Princeton Freewheeler Picnic & All-Paces ride.

I went on Gary Wotton's pretty-fast B ride (and I forgot to turn on the GPS for the first coupla miles), but that's not what you're here for.

You can see more of the pics in my 2014 Freewheeler Picnic & All-Paces Ride album on Photobucket.

(Shortly after that one, I dropped & killed the camera. I'm working on having another by next weekend's rides.)