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?)

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