I decided for this morning that I'd do the ride from Kim's Bike Shop; they do a ride most Saturdays (used to be at 7:30, but it was after 8 before we left today). I know a few of the folks who do this ride, and they're always welcoming to me. I called yesterday evening to verify they were going, and Dave said to come at 7:45, but I'm pathologically early, and when I get there at 7:30 or so (after riding in from home), I was, of course, alone. I rode around a couple of blocks until people started to show up.
That guy in the center above with the universally-flattering Kim's jersey is Jose, who seems to be the de facto leader of the ride.
Above, Neil, below, Stan, both of whom I met today. Neil and I were talking about folks to ride with; I mentioned the Princeton Freewheelers club, but it's a bit far south for him in Edison.
Most of the other riders speak Spanish, and they treat me as if I could, too. Those smiles are genuine.
We did the usual route (note that the linked page includes my rides to and from home, and is a bit deceiving, because my rides follow part of the route exactly - also, for new visitors, that's a link to the ride on my RideWithGPS page, with route and speed/time/elevation data). The pace was a bit brisk, but either they went slower than usual, or I was in unusually good shape, because I found I was in front frequently. We paused a bit after going through Colonial Park.
And shortly after leaving, there was the metallic pop that accompanies a breaking spoke. One of the riders had a spoke out on the front. I had my trusty Crank Bros M19, and had a spoke wrench that would fit; we opened the brake and adjusted the true of the wheel so we could proceed. (And that's part of the reason I carry the biggest wedge seatbag I can find. Don't give me no more nonsense about how I have to carry less stuff; you'll be glad I do have all that impedimenta in my bag someday!)
Then on to the parking lot at Six Mile Run, where we had gossip and the use of a porta-potty.
From there, we went to Coppermine at a regal pace, and then up Coppermine. I got a few pics of us recovering at the top.
Over-the-shoulder shot of the ride on the way back up 27 back to the start at Kim's:
(Those never look as good as I think they will.)
Back at Kim's, at the end:
(I had to get a picture of a guy gettin' a selfie.)
A good morning. It's been a disheartening week because of little progress on finding work and other stuff, but this was a good end to it.