Saturday, December 12, 2015

unseasonably warm hill slug ride, and the monster is fine the way he is

Those of you who only see this blog when I post a link on Facebook won't have seen it, but last month, I ran a post about getting a smaller big ring for the Yellow Maserati, my road bike. I figured if I was gonna do it for that bike, I might wanna do something similar for the Krakow Monster, my modified-cyclocross-and-do-everything-else bike. But before I did anything drastic, I wanted to take the Monster out on a road ride and see if it needed modification.

Laura OLPH posted about her plan for today's ride that "We'll take a circuitous route to one of our local haunts." No more info than that. I figured that this one would be a good one to try out the Monster: not too tough, but tough enough to see what it would do.

I met Laura at her house for the usual extra miles, and then Pete rolled in, and we headed to Pennington where we picked up John K and a friend of his, Marty:

We did this route. You'll note shorts and knickers in the pics. I had on tights and two layers, and after the first fifteen miles or so on the hills, I was sweating furiously and wishing I hadn't worn my beat-up shorts (that are not fit to be shown in public) under my tights... but the morning clouded up a bit after that, and I survived the heat. Who would have thought I'd be sweating so much in mid-December? Below, at a couple of getting-caught-up-and-wardrobe-adjustment stops:

(Laura also wanted a picture of the "Hillbilly Hall" sign for a friend. We pass that place every so often, and it's just jarring to see a reference to hillbillies in New Jersey.)

This was a new route for Laura, and we rode a road neither she nor I had ever been on.

I'm trying to persuade myself that I have some ancestral claim to the property.

We stopped at the Sergeantsville store, where we picked up Kevin, who has ridden with many of us before; he continued with us a short way thereafter.

Above, Laura trying to look dangerous with her new black hill bike, called Miss Piggy.

On the way back, I finally remembered to get a picture of this sign, which I've missed several times before:

The letters on the top tube say "Mechanic Hideaway". It's not at my house.

On the other side of the driveway is this "M" with the BMX wheel.

Woooo. Mysterious. Some crypto-bike-shop in the Sourlands.

In any case, the Monster performed admirably on this ride; it doesn't need any mechanical modifications for me (although I may put on a set of fenders I've got hanging around). So I'll only need one 46-tooth chainring.

Hope you're managing during this unseasonable warmth. I'm thinkin' of puttin' in tomatoes.

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