Sunday, May 31, 2015

sometimes, you gotta let 'er rip

OK. I've been good all week; I swept on the all-paces ride, I did some chores on the bike; I went out with my wife a few times. Today, rain is predicted (I didn't want to get caught out again; it's happened twice recently), so I blew off Larry's "Back By Lunch" ride and did this mostly flat ride.

Pretty good, for before breakfast and after riding pretty much all week. Now I feel like I can go back to work tomorrow with only the usual number of regrets.

secretary of state kerry breaks leg in crash

AP story reported on KOMO news:

GENEVA (AP) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry broke his leg in bike crash Sunday, apparently after hitting a curb, and scrapped the rest of a four-nation trip that included an international conference on combating the Islamic State group.

Kerry was in stable condition and in good spirits as he prepared to return to Boston for further treatment with the doctor who previously operated on his hip, U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said. He said X-rays at a Swiss hospital confirmed that Kerry fractured his right femur.

See? Could happen to any of us.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

lancaster county ride, and tew does clipless pedals

The Excellent Wife (TEW) had it in her head this week to go to Lancaster County and do a few things (not least of which was to hit up the Strasburg Creamery for milkshakes and Americana). Se also got clipless pedals a few months ago (Laura OLPH was horrified that TEW was trying to keep up on some ride or other, with flat pedals on her bike!). TEW hasn't been using the clipless (her bike has pedals on that can be used with either clipless or plain shoes) and thought today would be a good day to try 'em out, not least because if she fell over, there wouldn't be anyone she knew around to sneer and make jokes.

The Lancaster Bike Club lists many of their rides on their home page (leader info is sometimes masked), and also has a number of cue sheets posted as well as some scenic tours (and the posting of cue sheets is a good idea that I'm going to suggest to my club, the Princeton Freewheelers). TEW looked at a number of the rides, and decided to try this one that stops at the Oregon Dairy for ice cream, and is listed as flat.

"Flat" evidently as a different meaning in Lancaster County than it has here in the Garden State. Our ride showed 1400 feet of climb in under 30 miles (that's after correction; the original GPS data shows more).

It was a lovely ride, on a lovely day, though.

Below: Laura ALWAYS get pictures of the cows in Mt Airy. I couldn't resist.

We crossed two covered bridges on the ride.

TEW did very well, for not having the hill legs that this ride demands (it turns out it's not a flat ride even by the standards of that club). We did stop for ice cream at the Oregon Dairy, and then (in order that the comparison would be accurate) we stopped again at the Strasburg Creamery, this time for a milkshake and a root beer float. The ice cream is comparable at both, but the building at Strasburg, and the wonderful old-timey-ness of the store there, made it my favorite of the two stops.

Friday, May 29, 2015

easy towpath ride with tew

The Excellent Wife (TEW) and I have been off this week; we had hoped to go to Montreal and Quebec, but health crises with both her folks forestalled those plans. Instead, she's been up visiting them, and we've been doing some day trips. Today's was a ride along the D&R canal towpath between Bulls Island and Lambertville (and back).

TEW had done some of this ride with some work friends last weekend, and wanted to do it with me. She'd never seen the walking bridge at Bulls Island.

Much of the ride is just a nice towpath ride: flat, with greenery on either side; you can see either the river or the canal where the greenery breaks up. As you get near Stockton, there's more interest. I'd never seen the Prallsville Mills from the canal side:

Below, a farm from the towpath:

TEW pointed out the bald eagle nest in the tower; you can just see a silhouette of a head towards the right of the nest.

I liked this on an old railroad bridge at Lambertville:

D'ya suppose "Nifti" was somebody's name?

On the way back, we had hoped to stop in the farmer's market in Stockton, which has hours on Friday evenings. Well, while the building was open, most of the stalls were not. But on the way back, TEW remembered that, while we were passing through Hopewell, we'd pass Nomad Pizza, about which we'd heard good things. We stopped, and were not disappointed (but bring cash or checks, no plastic here!).

Thursday, May 28, 2015

on free and cheap, and paying your way

I've been thinking recently about stuff that is free, about paying for services I use, about appropriate charges for goods and services.

We have four computers in the house, not including tablets and cell phones. Two of them run free operating systems (free as in free speech, and free as in free candy): the desktop on which I do most of my real work runs Linux Mint, and I have an old netbook that runs Xubuntu. While each would be grateful for a donation, neither requires one, and there is no downside to NOT donating. Nonetheless, I'll probably give a donation to Linux Mint, as my computing would be more troublesome without it. (The netbook is, essentially, a toy; I use it seldom, and mostly for experimental one-off stuff.)

All the software on both computers, and most of the software on my Windows laptop, is freeware. The financial program I use, and the personal organizing program, can have the data files in remote locations, so I use Dropbox (accessible from all of my computers, including my work desktop) to keep my data files.

(I used to pay for the personal organizer program, because it was useful in Linux under WINE, but they have subsequently broken the functionality and have said repeatedly that they will not write a Linux version. Well, tough, then. The free one works fine under WINE.)

Dropbox is free to personal users, and the cost for business use is higher than I want to pay for the service. However, I use a password manager, Lastpass, and a bookmarks manager, Xmarks, that sync with all the computers. They are linked, and the cost of the two is reasonable, and I pay for them, even though they are available free, because the service is worthwhile to me (and I get some added function).

I use Facebook for bike-related stuff. Facebook is "free, and always will be", in their phrase. Now, The Excellent Wife (TEW) reminds me that, in most cases, if you're not paying for a product on the web, then you ARE the product. With Facebook, you definitely are the product; they are selling your history, preferences, and who knows what else to advertisers. One of the reasons I spend so little time on Facebook, and use an adaptation of my real name, is that I don't want to be their product.

Many riders use RideWithGPS (there are other similar sites, but this one appears to get used the most, and I think there's good reason; it seems to me to be the most functional). I've recently paid for a basic membership, because I can, and, as in the case with Linux Mint, because my life is better with it. There are additional functions I may or may not use... but I spend a LOT of time (and money) around bicycles, and this site has made that time better. I want them to be around, so I am willing to fork up the cash.

Which leads me to my use of my local bike shop. My shop is Kim's. Now, I'm reasonably good with a search engine; I can always almost find a price that's lower than the price in the shop. And sometimes I do that. But I've developed a relationship with the shop where I'll find a price for something, and I'll bring that price to Kim's (I don't go for a ridiculously low price, but I will look for low-in-the-range, frankly). If they can come close to it, I buy from them; if not, I go on my own (and this plan seems to work for them, as well). More than half the new parts for the Krakow Monster came through Kim's, and, for a few of the parts, I was told they just couldn't and to get them on my own.

(My rule-of-thumb* for purchase through Kim's: Under $30, get it on my own; over $45, go through the shop; in between, use some judgment.

*And that "rule of thumb" almost certainly does NOT come from that "thickness of a thumb stick-for-beating-your-wife" canard. Hrmph.)

I do almost all my own building and maintenance. But every now and then, I get in over my head. For that reason, I want the shop to be there, and I want to support them. But there's more to it than that. Most people who are going to get into cycling are not going to start by building their own bikes or doing their ow maintenance (I certainly didn't). Most of us start at a local shop. It's important for us to have shops around for people to go to.

What do youse-all think? Is this the pipe dream of an upper-middle-class wannabe with no kids, or does it make sense? Or am I missing the boat in other ways?


My sister-in-law, Elizabeth, forwarded me this link about a coast-to-coast ride in support of Falun Gong in China. From the site:

Practitioners of Falun Gong, a peaceful spiritual discipline, are subject to horrific cruelties under the Chinese Communist Party, whose large-scale persecution campaign has caused the deaths of countless innocent Chinese citizens. The children of Falun Gong practitioners suffer especially great atrocities. Defenseless against the government’s severe persecution, many lose their homes, their education, their parents, and often their own lives.

It appears that sixteen young cyclists are doing the ride. The Ride to Freedom is asking for financial support, and posting of "selfies" with their hashtags:

Show your support by sharing your selfie on your favorite social media with including the following "hashtag":
 More info on the site.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

new garmin touring

My Garmin Edge 605 has become unreliable: it has turned off and lost routing on rides, it's lost data, it no longer accepts settings for zero averaging. I've grown dependent on a GPS, and I'd been looking at a possible replacement for over a year. The one that caught my eye is the Garmin Edge Touring.

It does pretty much everything I want it to do: it will store my ride info (route, speed, time); it will set a route to a saved point (like, if I remember to save the location where I parked the car); it will follow a pre-set route. The stuff it won't do - link with a heart monitor, for example, or do altitude with a barometric altimeter - is stuff I don't care about anyway.

I've never seen it in stores, and when I went to ask about it at Kim's, Benny and Dave had little knowledge of it. But they got it for me anyway (it's $250, as opposed to the $400 and up for the other devices with turn-by-turn directions), and wanted my experience with it when it was available. I've used it a bit, and here's what I can see:
  • It does well at storing ride data; it even beeps at you if it senses movement and you haven't started the recorder.
  • Where the 605 used buttons to move from screen to screen, this device uses a touch screen. The touch screen worked with my thin glove-liners; I don't know if it will work with my winter gloves.
  • It accepts routes in standard formats, but translates them to a proprietary format for internal use. I suspect this is so that Garmin can keep some control over the device, but the RideWithGPS website also reads the proprietary format. (The Garmin site is less than friendly; routes that are saved on the site can only be shared directly to devices, not downloaded for direct linking.)
  • The default settings are not useful. This RideWithGPS page and this other page show corrected settings that work better.
  • When following a pre-loaded route, it gives you plenty of notice of turns and loud beeps. If you depart from the route, routing will stall unless you re-enter the route at the same point. If you are NOT on the route, and it asks if you want to recalculate, it will pick the fastest route to the end. If you ARE on the route, and you recalculate, it will pick up the route at the point you are on.
So far, it's right up my alley. Here's the test ride I did today.

The car GPS speaks with a female voice; so it was always Mrs. Garmin. That led to the 605 being Mr. Garmin. Because I can't refrain from the easy, but obscure, joke, this device, because it is a computer, and because the model name is Touring... I'm calling it Alan.

My experience with Kim's and with the RideWithGPS site has led me to some thoughts about paying my own way and the use of my money... but that's a post for another time.

Edit 5/28/15: On the Princeton Freewheelers Facebook page where I linked this article, one of the respondents made the following comment:

... " If you depart from the route, routing will stall unless you re-enter the route at the same point". This happens on my 800 too. If you don't like this feature, what I found is that you can change the settings before you start the course to have it stop trying to bring you back to the exact point that you left the route (or where it stopped tracking you for some reason). Just set the 'off course warnings' to off (I think it is defaulted to on). This will keep tracking your and will pick up the route whenever you get back on course.

I will try that; I have not done so yet.

Edit: Later 5/28: What seems to work the best: Set "Recalculate" to OFF, and, for each course, set "Off Course Warning" to OFF. When you go off the route, nothing exciting happens, and, when you get back on, the Touring just picks up the route again.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

three from oddman

Oddman had two good bike-related pics, and another that hit one of my pet peeves today:

I'm not the only one who has asked that!


Above: The Harley devotees make such a big noise about their American-made motorcycles. So where was that VW built?

From today's Oddman.

Monday, May 25, 2015

memorial day all paces ride

Today was the Princeton Freewheelers Memorial Day All-Paces ride.

Some of my regular riding companions don't like to do this ride: because it's an all-paces ride, we get a huge number of people, many of whom don't ride frequently, or ride together, so it's hard to predict how they'll ride. Because today was the day that the 2014 leader jerseys were distributed, a couple of those don't-like-the-mob-scene companions came anyway and ducked out early... but I don't think you care much about that.

Ron M, of whom I haven't seen much recently, asked me to sweep for him, and we did this ride with a stop at Stonebridge Bagels. I promised him I'd sweep, and I was surprised at some of the people I was sweeping up... but I don't think you care much about that either.

One of the riders on that ride was a triathlete, with the spiffiest bullet-nose water bottle that sits between her arms on the aero bars:

... but unless you're a bike-gear-and-gadget freak (I am), I don't think you care much about that either...

...or about Chris Cook's very excellent "USA Frog" jersey, which comes out too seldom...

...or about the fact that I met Ed Kanitra, who runs the "Bicycle New Jersey" group on Facebook.

I don't think you care about any of that stuff.

I think what most of youse care about is getting a link to my Princeton Freewheelers 2015 Memorial Day All-Paces Ride Photo Album on Photobucket. Over 40 pics there; have a good time!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

bulls island hilly with tom h

Tom H, who wrote the book about road riding in NJ, decided to lead a hilly 50-or-so-miler that was not an official Princeton Freewheeler ride (but I'm lucky enough to know the right people to get to know about, and get invited on these).  Although The Excellent Parents-In-Law are still having medical problems (in fact, I'm at their house as I'm writing this), I was able to get away for the day to go along on this ride. (In fact, The Excellent Wife (TEW) was going out with a couple of friends on their own ride... but more about that later, if I remember.)

We met at Bulls Island near Stockton,

...and did this route. We started on a flat section of Lower Creek, then went up to the covered bridge near the (oft-mispronounced) Sergeantsville, then climbed Upper Creek. The climbs weren't bad for me, but I had another issue: I've written before about how much I like my Serfas Gladiator Glasses with the prescription inserts. They have four sets of replaceable lenses, three of which have tints. I broke the moderately-tinted once wen I had my crash, so I put some darker ones in. Well, with the mottled shadows on the road in the early sun, I couldn't tell where the holes and cracks in the road surface were! And after the crash, I'm hypervigilant about the road surface... so when I got back, I put the light tints in; they'll probably stay in for a while.

Upper Creek, though, leads to a neat downhill to the river, and we crossed and stopped at Black Eddy.

(Terrible picture of Marco, but good picture of the bridge, I think)

(That's really a bike pic; Laura OLPH's back just got in the way)

Laura had been emailing the coffee roaster, there, and got a tour of the roastery in the barn, while the rest of us ate junk food and made stupid jokes... until I realized that, if we were stopping at Black Eddy, we were almost certainly going to climb that wicked hill that goes up from there. We did. I got behind one of the riders who had a problem getting started; I rolled across the oncoming traffic lane (luckily, nothing was coming), and couldn't get started uphill again. I had to find a reasonably flat place to get some speed up to go up, and the other poor guy had to go all he way to the bottom again.

But no harm, no foul, and on we went. Tom led us through the park where Laura and I had gotten cut off on an earlier ride. It turns out that a sign saying "No Exit" is merely a suggestion if you're on two wheels, and back we came to the bridge at Lumberton. Tom needed a picture... and I decided I needed a picture of Tom getting a picture (to add to my collection of pictures of Laura getting a picture):

This was also my first ride using the Garmin Touring. I'll post more specific info as I have it, but so far, I like it.

You can see Tom's own blog post on this ride, too.

Meanwhile, The Excellent Wife (TEW) went out with two of her work friends on a 30-mile ride up and down the D&R Canal towpath between Frenchtown and Lambertville. They apparently enjoyed the ride, but went at a stately pace with lots of stops; when I got home in midafternoon, she was still not home. I didn't get a message from her until later afternoon; they had been having fun and lost track of time. Losing track of time on a bike? I'm not sure I know anything about that.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

reasonable request

Seems like a reasonable request to me. At least they're not asking that we make all that stink.

From today's Oddman.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

getting better

Almost a month after my crash (I can't bring myself to call it an accident), I wrote that I couldn't do pushups, which are (were?) part of my morning exercise routine. The pain from the injury to my wrists and hands, (from putting my arms out to break my fall) made them impossible.

Well, at this point, if I use a folded towel as a pad, I can do some pushups. But with six weeks of pushup idleness, I could only do about 3/4 of my prior number earlier this week, and, even now, I'm only up to about 7/8 of what used to be my regular total. The saying goes, "If you don't use it, you lose it." I had no idea that it went that quickly.

(I wouldn't mind losing these couple-of-pounds I've put on over the past few months, either.)

Monday, May 18, 2015

rosenbach library images from bike to work day

Professor Jack L, husband of Laura OLPH, does the 21st century better than anyone I can think of: he uses Facebook more than anyone I know and is not too shabby with the occasional guitar lick, but he does not drive (and lives in suburban NJ!) and uses fountain pens almost exclusively. (And besides, his eponym, "Professor Jack L," has such a great rhythm that if you say it more than twice, you might wind up dancing to it.)

He sent me this link of images from the Rosenbach Library, which was posted for Bike to Work Day on May 15, which I completely missed.

I love the dandy-horse look, and the terrified grimace on the face of the rider; it would appear that disdain for cyclists is not a new phenomenon (no, of course it's not, and maybe I need to do a post about that, too).

There are other images at the link, mostly with similar early-19th-century irreverence, but also one of a staff member actually parking a bike after riding to work! (An anomaly, I know...)

I could imagine Professor Jack on a bike, but it would be one of those English three-speeds with the Sturmey-Archer hub, the graceful-but-not-gaudy lugs, and probably the odd pinstripe. A Brooks saddle, of course; one of the ornate ones with the springs...

... and he would need somewhere to actually GO on it, which is lacking in our drive-to-everywhere suburban sprawl.

Thanks for the forward, Professor.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

high points ride and nbbx no-drop ride

I didn't post yesterday due to domestic disturbances, undifferentiated type (yes, The Excellent Wife [TEW] and I are getting along fine, and no, you don't get any more info than that for now), so this post includes info about all the weekend rides.

Friday, I was off; I took the Krakow Monster to do some grocery shopping, and, in the evening, TEW asked about doing a canal towpath ride, so we did about 12 miles on the towpath. It was a lovely night, but the bugs in the air forced me to pay attention to my breathing in order to avoid inhaling some entomology.

So for Saturday: Tom H, who wrote the book about riding in New Jersey, is planning to do rides to hit all the highest points in every county in NJ. He's already done at least two of 'em, but this past Saturday's was the first one on which I could go. Tom invited me to do some extra miles from his home to the start (and it was a reasonable alternative to doing another century - it would have been my second in two weeks - with Laura OLPH). I missed some communications with Tom, but we got it together, and rode down to Bruno's bikes to the start.

... where we met a number of others, many of whom had also ridden in. Some of them I've not seen for a long time (Mary, Mike M, Herb, Jackie), and I spent some of the ride thinking about absent friends, and about keeping in contact, and how I don't do it very well and need to do more.

Now, this was theoretically a high-points ride, but the total elevation of both points together is probably less than 300 feet. So it was a flat ride. (My GPS is still dodgy; you can use the Garmin page for the elevation, and the RideWithGPS page for everything else.) We rode past the highest point in Ocean, and I completely missed it (although Laura said she saw a watershed sign), but we stopped at the Speedway a bit further on for the obligatory pictures.

We stopped at a Wawa, where I had another of those huge apple fritters, and I completely missed Snakehead Ed's hint that he wanted a piece (and after he's been so generous; I need to get my cranium away from the vicinity of my coccyx). But more pics, of course, including the bikes pic that's always one of my favorites:

There was either a 30% or 40% chance of rain, and we caught it after the stop. It was just enough to wet us and the roads, and dirty up our gear (I was wearing a long-sleeve layer under my jersey, and I was glad I had it). Rule 9 describes people who ride in bad weather, so I guess the honorific in the rule applies to us.

But then we got around to the Burlington high point, which we pass frequently. The house across the street has a windmill on the lawn, so Tom got us in front of that for his picture... but I got a picture from in the group:

and one of Tom taking the picture:

(How meta!)

And then back to Bruno's. Jim's got a bike-shop-and-candy-emporium (can you think of a better idea?), where we restored ourselves a bit.

Tom had been making noises about wanting someone to pull him home, and Laura was looking for a route to add enough miles to make her total over 100, so we rode together for some of the distance (but Tom no more needed someone to pull him home than he needs someone t ghost-write for him), and I went home to rest my poor legs and go out on a date with TEW.

Today was one of my friendly, no-drop rides for the New Brunswick Bike Exchange. Although there were 20-odd signed up on the Facebook page, we started out with seven, until John S left us at Amwell Road. As earlier, here's the Garmin link and the RideWithGPS link for the ride.

Ed thinks the route is dangerous, and it is. The first turn onto Plum Street is demanding, as are the turns onto and off of Middlebush Road and the exit from the Better World Market. But I like that the route starts from the Bike Exchange (we've left from Johnson Park and from Six Mile/Blackwells Mills, and each of these has detractions), and I like to stop at the Better World Market. The ride goes through some suburbia in Franklin, and then along both Bennett's Lane and Skillman Lane, where the speedsters can burn up some sugar while I'm keeping track of the folks in the back of the pack. Here's Dan just before Middlebush Road:

I like that one. Here's some of the others:

Here we are at Better World Market. There was some discussion about whether to buy lunch, and Ed got a pass-around size of gelato.

(Of COURSE there's a bikes picture.)

Nelson (in the very cool red-and-black argyle jersey) was a student in my recent bike maintenance course. He had a slight wobble in his head tube, which (it turned out) was caused by his steerer being cut just a little too long for the other parts of his headset setup. We were able to fix it by taking a spacer off my bike and using it to allow for the extra height we needed, so for a $1.00 part, I was able to maintain my reputation as a decent bike mechanic. Whew! (Besides, I got a box of odd spacers in the garage. What am I gonna do with 'em?)

Friday, May 15, 2015

geo-orbital electric bike wheel

I don't understand why I think this might be a good idea. I don't understand why I'm not ranting and raving against this thing.

According to this article on DigBoston.Com, these guys have developed a bike wheel that puts a motor and battery pack where the hub and spokes are on a standard front wheel. The tire and rim spin around what is essentially a huge hub.

It's supposed to get up to 25mph (which you can increase by pedaling), they expect a range (without pedaling) of 20 miles, it'll cost about $500... and it will quick-release into your existing 700c fork (and they're looking at making a 26-inch version that would fit into mountain bike frames). There is a one-time installation of a controller, but if you want your road bike back...

...says Burtov. 'When I want to bike for fun or exercise, I take the front wheel off, put my regular wheel back on, and in 30 seconds I get back my 100-percent manual bike.'

It doesn't require all-new hardware? And their they're* asking what I think is a reasonable price?

It might get more cyclists on the road, which, by making cycling more common, would make drivers more likely to look for cyclists (which would be a help to drivers as well as riders).

If you check out the video, you'll hear some blather about, "You could put anything in there." I suppose you could, but I hope they won't.

They're available for preorder now. No, I don't want one... but I wish them every success.

Thanks to Laura OLPH for the link.

*Edit May 17: D'OH!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


I was looking at Dave Moulton's blog today (there's been a link over there on the right for ages), and noticed his links page. There were a few of the usual suspects there (BikeSnobNYC, Fat Cyclist [who's hardly fat anymore, eh?]), and I noticed a link called Retrogrouch.

Well, especially after one of my recent posts, I'm thinkin' I'm fairly retrogrouchy myself, so I checked it out. Of the first four posts I saw, three included a post on a hub making ludicrous (and ungrammatical) claims to increase efficiency, a eulogy on the passing of Jobst Brandt (one of the no-nonsense voices in the bike world; if you think I'm intolerant of new technology, you should read him.... he didn't think you needed more than a six-speed cassette), and a skewering of a theoretically-strong-but-poor-in-practice bottom-bracket technology from Campagnolo (let's face it: Campagnolo is a religion, not unlike Catholicism: people adhere to both for reasons beyond the demonstrable truth of either).

I'm smitten. I'm like a seventh-grader, wanting to pass a note asking, "Do you like me? Check YES or NO". I'm adding his link on the right, and I'm definitely goin' back to his blog.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

family needs

My wife's mother was admitted to ICU today. We are cutting short a planned trip to Canada, and may have to cancel entirely.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

damp, thoughtful century

Laura OLPH had planned to do a ride Sunday, and emailed a few of us about doing a ride to Belmar - either 100 miles from near her place, or about 85 miles from Mercer Park, or about 67 miles from Etra Park. But Sunday is Mother's Day, and it's also the day that The Excellent Wife (TEW) and I get together with The Excellent In-Laws to celebrate my birthday (earlier this month) and my brother-in-law's birthday (the next day; for one day each year we are the same age). Others, of course, had similar commitments, so Laura decided to move her ride from tomorrow to today.

Well, of course I was in for that, especially to prove that I could do it after my crash a few weeks ago. Every now and then, I feel the need to do a 100-mile ride, partly to prove I have it in me, and partly to remind myself that my real favorite distance to ride is about 60-65 miles. The day was predicted cloudy, with only 20% chance of rain (if there were a soundtrack to this blog, music of impending doom would be playing now).

Snakehead Ed and I met Laura at the start. Snakehead's pur 700x28 tires on his road bike; there is BARELY enough clearance for them; the picture below doesn't do justice to the closeness:

The tire rubs on the drive-side chainstay.  We had a discussion about possible fixes; I think the best is to tighten the non-drive-side spokes about a half a jottle, but Ed's reluctant to take a spoke wrench to the wheel.

So we left the start and headed to Mercer Park, at which we picked up Marco:

... and then to Etra, where Jeff X was waiting.

We took off into the fog, which became a mist... and before long, the rain that wasn't predicted was falling. I did fine until the first stop, in (I guess) Jackson:

Even (or perhaps especially) in the grey light, the colors on Laura's bike, Kermit, were poppin'.

But when we started up again after the stop, I was chilled and could not get warm; I kept my gearing down and my cadence up all the way to Belmar to get some body heat going. Ed and I shared a cheese steak sandwich, which was a risk: I was half afraid it would return for another appearance... but I was a bit warmer after the stop.

The obligatory all-of-the-bikes shot:

On the way back, Laura and I got to talking about somebody with whom we've both had disagreements; I thought he'd trolled one of our blogs, but he's been a lot of help to people since, and, although I still find him hard to take, I must admit he's not been as troublesome. I've had to think about how I deal with people like that - for example, at what point is my avoiding that person appropriate, and when does it become self-serving and cranky. (One of the advantages of a long ride like this is that it's good for time and focus for such meditations.)

And then about mile 67 or so, I got a flat. Through my rain-covered glasses,, I couldn't see it at first, but Laura caught the sound, and soon it was unmistakeable. Where I stopped, there was some poison ivy. I was grateful to the rest of the ride, especially Marco, who helped me avoid the poison ivy and change the tire. I had two bad bouts with poison ivy by the time I was 26 or so, and I'd rather not repeat the pleasure.

Later, Jeff passed me going up a hill as if I were stopped. He'd been an olympic hopeful, and is stronger and faster than I; I started to chase, but finally decided not to. I'm not good at this, but TEW helps to remind me that there are always going to be people who are faster than I, and they won't always be younger.

We kept going. We went by Etra, to drop off Jeff, and then by Mercer Park, before which Marco went off. And then I started feeling shaky. I'd been eating and drinking at the stops, but it felt like a sugar drop; I had the tremor that I associate wit that (although I almost always have some level of benign essential tremor these days). I had the last of a bag of maple jelly beans, which I had gotten from Cheryl M because they were too sweet for her. I have the sweet tooth of a four-year-old; I tried to eat 'em while I was riding, but I just couldn't. I found a stretch of road where I would be visible, pulled over, and finished 'em off. By the time Laura and Ed came back to me, I was ready to go.

There's some dispute about the results. My Garmin showed 101.6 miles, but Laura had about 104. Also, my average in the device, at 15.7, was almost a mile per hour lower than hers. As an experiment, I uploaded my results to both the Garmin site and to RideWithGPS. As you can see, the average on RideWithGPS corresponds with Laura's... but (as is often the case with that site) the elevation data is much higher than the Garmin site (I've heard that complaint from other riders). I've decided I'm going with the speed from the RideWithGPS site (since it's similar to Laura's), and the elevation on the Garmin site.

And for tomorrow, I'll be cleaning the road grime off my bike, my glasses, my bottles...