Saturday, April 30, 2016

2016 princeton freewheeler spring fling

The Princeton Freewheelers, the bike club of which I'm The Excellent Wife (TEW) and I are members, holds a Spring Fling every April, at which there are rides for all paces, a catered lunch, and the handing out of the ride leader jerseys to those who have led ten or more rides in the previous year.

Last year, I went along with TEW on the C ride she did, and thought, "This is dumb; I could lead my own C ride, and that way TEW and I could have an excuse to ride together". So this year, that's what I did.

Now, a few of you will have come to this post to see that ride page (which includes my ride to the location, the ride up Canal Road and back [a real Plain Jim route], and my ride home), and a couple of pictures from that ride:

A few others will have come to this page to see a picture, the description of which has become notorious. George, who's been off the bike for a couple years, came on the ride and offered to take a picture of TEW and me, and we got a bit excited:

But MOST of youse will have come to this blog post to get a link to the album of my pictures of today's Spring Fling, to see if there are any decent ones (maybe of yourselves). So here's the link to the album. Enjoy!

Monday, April 25, 2016

little pick-me-up

Friends know that there are people who are actively hallucinating and delusional who have more emotional stability right now than I do at my best times, so when The Excellent Wife (TEW) told me she thought I should get out for a ride with The Old Guys today, I went, even though I didn't wanna.

We took some days off this week, and for today, I didn't have anything planned. I've got exceptional amounts of mopiness going (not least because the last time I took time off, less than a year ago, I was fired shortly thereafter, based on stuff my then-supervisors and coworkers dug up in my absence).

That absence-leading-to-job-trouble thing was also a problem once decades ago, when I was working in a different industry. But one of the features of the anxiety disorder I have is that I never forget a misery. Another feature is that I jump to conclusions based on arguments that don't have anything to do with one another. I've worked in my current field for over thirty years; I've got a good reputation (except at my prior job); my boss (and HER boss) are impressed with me, and I've been working my donkey off on a new project. Rationally, I have nothing to worry about.

That doesn't stop me, of course.

So despite mopey mood and little sleep, I packed up the bike stuff and headed off to Etra for the Monday ride with Team Social Security (regular readers, and Princeton Freewheelers, will know about the older guys [they're mostly guys] who get together Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for club rides of about 30 miles). I got there early, of course, and met Al P, who gave me the glad hand and the welcome back, as did club president Ira S, and some other guys of whom I haven't seen enough recently.

Above, Joe M, who's got a very pretty new Soma San Marcos.

Above: Bill, about whom, more later.

Dan Z, above, is one of the club octogenarians.

We did this route. Nothing special; no great sights or hot speeds, but it just felt great to be out with these guys. In a few years, when I retire myself, I want to be among them.

We stopped at the Wawa. I got to talking to Bill (who listens way too closely to the jibber-jabber that falls out of my mouth) and found out he's a non-denominational chaplain on an oncology ward. He's a volunteer, so he sets his own schedule. It sounds like an ideal position; I'm envious. I hope to chat with him again soon.

We stopped for just long enough and came back. Al P was asking for takers on a post-ride ride, but I had chores (and another work thing to do to manage that anxiety), so I respectfully declined.

I'm not all better, but any means, but I'm some better. This is the kind of emotional clearing out that I hope for from a ride. And the good company makes the effect that much more effective.

So thanks to TEW for throwing me out of the house, and thanks to The Old Guys for letting me come along and for being so welcoming.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

scattered thoughts after a saturday afternoon ride

While the argument over why we ride has been settled almost definitively by the author of Road Biking New Jersey, there are a few other reasons besides the one he points out. Some of my reasons include:
  • I like to ride;
  • I like the steampunk sensibility of road bikes, with cables, gears, and chains (you can keep your plastic frames and your electronic shifting; I'm not interested); 
  • I like the people with whom I ride;
  • I like the health benefits, physical (I haven't been above 180 in years, and I'm off blood pressure medication) and mental (even though it doesn't always work, riding helps to control my rampant anxiety).
So I was disappointed today when Tom called off a morning ride for rain (although it was a sensible call). My demons were coming out to play, though, and even though it was still dripping rain at noon or so, I decided to get the bike out, to reign in the demons, and in honor of Rules 5 and 9. I need to H.T.F.U., and as for riding in the weather, there's been a distinct lack of badassery coming from Plain Jim's quarter recently; it was time to try to even out the deficit.

Besides, the rain let up after a while.

I also wanted to try out a new route that I may offer for Sundays when I don't like the other offerings. It's a bit under 40 miles (plus my ten-or-so round trip from home), and I'm thinking of billing it as a recover ride for those who overdid it of a Saturday (is 37 miles, and 1100 feet of climb, too demanding for a recovery ride?). I'll email folks a few days in advance when I'm planning to do it; feel free to bring like-minded riders who would enjoy the 15mph-or-so pace I expect to do when I'm in company (today's ride page is here; don't let my 17.1 throw you - I save my fastest paces for when I ride alone; it's part of a promise I made to The Excellent Wife [TEW]).

The usual suspects (say, regulars in the Hill Slugs and the Insane Bike Posse) will get invites; if you'd like to get 'em, too, let me know when you see me.

for the birds

Somebody needs to ride more.

From today's Oddman.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

hot date, and making up the hundred

The Excellent Wife (TEW) and I decided that for her first group ride of the season, I'd tag along to make it a hot date. Max F does a "low C" ride out of Cranbury on Sundays and that seemed just the ticket, so I packed up the Krakow Monster and her road bike, and we showed up at Village Park this morning. We met a few others, including a newbie on her first group ride.

We potted along for an easy 17 miles. At one point, on Plainsboro Road, we got passed by the "Back by Lunch" B ride that I sometimes go on; I was greeted by several of their number.

We turned up Petty, and went around by Culver...

... and had our stop at the bagel place on Georges Road in (I think) Dayton.

We came back along a similar route, some of the same roads; you can see here. About 17 miles. This was a good idea; TEW and I need to do more bike dates.

Although she was tired, I felt like I needed to get more miles in, so when we got home I put up the Monster and pumped up the tires on the Yellow Maserati, and hit the road. I stopped in at the Wawa for an apple fritter (early in the ride; I hoped I'd burn it off), and then to the cash machine (why not? I was passing the bank, and I was gonna havta go anyway), and then to Kim's to pick up some new cleats. I hadn't seen the Kim's crew for a while so I chatted for a bit.

When I got back on the bike, I kind of bobbled over towards Colonial Park... and realized that if I brought this ride in at 26 miles, I'd have 100 for the weekend (but I didn't want to ride a lot more than that; I was tired). So the route page shows some of the permutations I made, including riding around the parking lot of the rental apartments down the street, to make it up: 26.6, at 16.3 average. Not bad; much of it was in-town riding and on the second day of a weekend.

I've been eating everything in the house, when I can stay awake. How're youse-all doin'?

Saturday, April 16, 2016

mopey ride

57 mile ride with Laura OLPH, Jack, Peter, and Chris. Having work and home troubles... this was the first time since I've been doing long rides that a 57-mile ride DIDN'T clear the emotional cobwebs out of my brain.

So I'm just linking to the ride page... and posting the pics. All of 'em, no edits this time.