Monday, August 31, 2015

5/5 & 8/10 ride with the old guys

This forced idleness may kill me. I went out on the Monday ride with the old guys today because I'm not working yet, and because I had the opportunity to get a ride in. But I'm not at my best; I've ridden every day for the past five days (I don't post every ride here) and eight out of the last ten days.

I'm taking tomorrow off.

Twelve went out today. Pics from the start at Etra:

Al P is on vacation, and Dennis W still isn't back leading (although a couple of us saw him out on the bike over the weekend; here's hoping his recovery continues apace), so Joe M led this route. As has been the case on a number of rides I've done recently, we rode a few roads in the opposite direction of the way I expect. We stopped at the Minit Stop near Jackson.

Before the ride, I was discussing the installation of some new gear that one of the riders has bought, and it's got me thinking about the mostly old-school gear on my bikes. There's a somewhat rant-y post coming, I suspect.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

cranky & hoarse on jeff's ride.

I've been putting off this post because I haven't known how to start it; I wound up cranky, hoarse, and exceptionally tired on today's ride. I thought it was because of riders not moving right and making a path when cars were behind (I was sweeping, which means I was often last in line, which means I often had a mirror full of car grille, and once was "brushed" by a guy on a motorcycle - no, he didn't hit me, but he made sure I felt his wind). I was shouting about traffic, and largely, apparently, ignored by some riders. But The Excellent Wife (TEW) reminds me that I was cranky even earlier this morning, so perhaps I was primed for it.

Anyway, I went to Cranbury to go on Jeff's "Back by Lunch" ride. He's a new leader, and he's generally doing well (and I'm sure I don't want to lead rides myself!). We had twelve to start, but I didn't get pictures of everybody.

We were about to roll out when up came Vern H and Yassir of the Major Taylors, with Vern on his fixie. Jeff said he planned about 50+ miles with a stop at about mile 34. We left to do this route, which you'll see is shorter. Jeff planned to add a 12-or-so-mile loop, but when we got to Walnford Road near Allentown, he discovered it was dirt. there was some discussion about how it was shown on Dustin Farnum's NJ Bike Map... but we proceeded to a stop at the Wawa near Six Flags.

Then back. Vern and Yassir rolled off on their own, and John cut off near the end to go home. I wound up riding in front much of the way home; sometimes pulling, but mostly alone just not to spread my bad vibes.

This will pass. I plan to ride with the old guys tomorrow, which always picks me up, and I plan a rest day for Tuesday (I've ridden seven of the last nine days; I think I can use it).

Saturday, August 29, 2015

easy, flat pickup ride with tom h

Tom H and company have apparently had it with climbs for a while. He sent out an email to some of us about doing an easy, flat ride today. I replied in an email that I figured it would be a god ride for the heavy, steel Krakow Monster; when she saw that, Laura OLPH thought she'd bring Gonzo, her newly-reconfigured steel beater. Dave C has an old Bianchi, similar to one he rode decades ago, that he restored, and (not to be outdone) Joe M figured he'd bring his venerable Heron, which apparently is his around-town bike. (Others rode their usual bikes; this was not a steel-bike ride, although there are murmurings about such a thing.)

We gathered at Mercer Park East picnic area for 8:30.

Below, Dave and his Bianchi:

... and Joe's Heron. In the second picture, I like the moustache-y handlebar and the way he has the cockpit set up.

We wound up doing this ride. Some little hills (not many), not a real fast pace, but not as slow as I thought we would be either. We stopped at Roy's, my new favorite stop.

As we were on the way out, we saw Don S coming in; he was the vanguard of Ira's ride out of Cranbury. A little later, I saw Dennis W on his bike, taking it slow; he hasn't ridden much since a couple of episodes of vertigo on the bike (I think).

Then up and out, around through the Assumpink and back to Mercer.

When we got there. Laura decided I needed to get pictures of the reconstructed Gonzo and the new rear wheel, with the neat red hub, and the alternating red and blue spoke nipples (can you see 'em?).

It doesn't come out in the picture, but the frame has a neat colorful metal-flake effect under the black. Nice ride.

Friday, August 28, 2015

"got it wrong" ride with the old guys

Today is Friday, and on Fridays, the Old Guys, "Team Social Security", ride out of Etra. I drove to the start (I had an afternoon appointment with employee health about the new job), and found that Al P was leading today; Dennis is a bit under the weather. Al was coy about the route; I later discovered he was improvising as he went along. At the start:

On the way to wherever we were going, somebody noticed that Don S's chain was hanging; it turned out he'd missed the orientation of the rear derailleur when he took it off and replaced it. We took a little time to fix it. When we got going again, he discovered he had a brake rub that needed attention, and by the time he and I got riding again, the rest of the group was not to be found. We guessed they were going to Roy's... but they weren't. Here's Don laying down the law to leader Al P's voice mail:

After some missed communication, we heard that the rest of the group was going to Woody's in Allentown, so we went there... and found no bikes or riders. Here's Don, quoting chapter and verse again.

We decided to head out along Ellisdale... and saw, first Al L, then Lynne... then the rest of the group. We'd beaten them to Woody's. So we fell in with 'em, and I laid low while Don and Al had words at first, and then made peace. In Allentown:

Some of the folks decided to go straight back, the rest continued with Al the long way. Don and I wound up doing this route (I have no idea what the others did).

Back at Etra:

I'm going to miss this when I have to go back to work.