I've been working too hard, and taking it too personally, and generally not doing well with work stuff. After the weekend on call (including 86 hours straight with a cell phone, during which I couldn't be more than thirty minutes away from my computer), I took today off. The initial plan, suggested by The Excellent Wife (TEW), was to go do the Wednesday ride with The Old Guys. I had a soul-crushing depression (even though I taught my bike class last night, which is usually good for my mood), and almost didn't go, but TEW pointed out that I always feel better when I'm around these guys, and she's right.
When I used to ride with them regularly on Wednesdays, I'd add miles with Erich W by parking at Etra Park in Hightstown and riding to the start in Allentown from there. I did that today, so my route shows almost 60 miles, even though the guys rode about 40. I thought about Erich on the way down. I miss him.
Dennis W led, whom I've not seen on a ride in a long time after some health problems. It was good to see him, and the rest of the guys I knew... and, of course, since it's a group that continues to go out, there were guys I hadn't met, some of whom I met today.
Above, I like that one of Don. Below, Al's got a recumbent now.
Above: I got Howie to stop complaining and smile long enough to get this picture.
Off we went, on the usual roads (don't worry; I can get lost anyway). After a while, I felt the gloom start to lift. Mike offered to sweep, a task I usually take, saying that I needed a day to cut loose, and he was right. Thanks, Mike.
We stopped at the Pemberton Wawa, where this young guy let me bend his ear about bikes for a few.
He was kinder than I deserve.
We got to talking about the bike class I teach at the New Brunswick Bike Exchange (one guy asked when I was going to offer it again, which was gratifying!). The class is listed as the Second Annual, which it turned out to be, but that wasn't my intention. I could offer it again, especially if there's some interest in people volunteering at the exchange afterwards.
We also talked about my glasses with the prescription inserts. Serfas isn't making them anymore, citing too much cheap competition, but I found a few on Amazon: High-Balance Peloton, High-Balance Tour, High Balance Tri (prices have gone up since I looked at 'em a few months ago!). The key, though, was the getting the Rx inserts filled. Local opticians didn't want to do such a small job, but LensesRx will do 'em by mail. I got the progressive lenses, and the Rx part probably cost about $65 with shipping.
Above, more of Al's recumbent. Below, the Yellow Maserati.
This group has a range of abilities and gets spread out on the way back. We got passed by a faster group, and I just had to chase one of the guys in that group. We chatted a bit, and I almost missed a turn. I DID miss Dennis, whom I thought had gotten ahead of me... but he wasn't at the park at the end, and it took a long time for him and the rest of his cohort to show. It turned out they had taken a break. Sensible.
I'm back, of course, and TEW was right; I'm less engulfed by depression and anxiety (it's not all better, but it's undoubtedly better). I've got to set some limits at work: I can't maintain the pace I've been keeping, and just because I'm able to do something, that doesn't mean it's solely my responsibility.
Oh, well, Back to it tomorrow. I'm grateful for this day. That's all we really have, isn't it?