So it was GONNA be a weekend away for a few of us to do a couple rides in Delaware (including a border-to-shore-and-back, which sounded cool), but the weather wasn't cooperating. As a consolation, Tom H offered a 57-or-so to Round Valley from Griggstown. Well, Tom's Griggstown start is about seven miles from my garage door, so I decided to ride to the start; it would make it about 70 miles for me, which is just about right.
On the road to the Griggstown Causeway were these energetic, earnest young folks offering a water stop for walkers or runners on the canal.
It was some supported event; I didn't get what it was about - their energy was greater than their accuracy or my attention (and weren't they generous!). A minute later I saw these folks heading for the canal, the guys on bikes, and the women on foot:
Laura popped up.
... and we rolled over to the lot from which Tom starts. Robert N was there (pics below).
Tom brought out his new device, the sanctum status pedis, the Holy Kickstand.
and after ritually holding up his bike with it, in sympathetic magic to keep our bikes upright on the ride, poured some filtered water on it, and sprinkled us in imitation of the asperges ritual of the Catholics.
Regular members of the Insane Bike Posse will be expected to learn the incipit of the chant for the ritual:
(Don't worry if you can't read chant; those of us in the know will teach it to you at our earliest opportunity.)
And off we went .
See? There's Robert.
(This camera distorts. They're not really that off-balance.)
We saw a number of riders on the road, at whom I dinged my bell, although after the stop in Whitehouse, the ding was muffled. I had hung my first headband over the handlebar to dry out, and was using my second; it was that humid. The laundry on the handlebar muffled the cheery bell.
Before I knew it, we were at the Round Valley Reservoir.
(Distortion, and the camera sucks for distance anyway.)
I turned to see this poor guy puffin' up the hill.
Laura and I rolled over to the parking lot, where Tom and Robert were talking to him and his wife. The had decided to celebrate 27 years of marriage with a 27-mile ride... and she had just cooked him coming up the hill to the reservoir.
She had done it, by the way, on a nothing-in-particular steel bike. If she keeps pedaling, she's gonna be a monster.
From Round Valley, there's some more climb which is just annoying, and then a highly-satisfying downhill where I crossed 40mph for maybe the third time in my life (and that's plenty fast for me, thanks). Then to the Wawa:
...with the void-of-redeeming-social-value apple fritter (hey, I was doin' about 70 miles; I knew I'd burn it off). I also got this pic of Laura's Miss Piggy (in the current incarnation) and her helmet and shades:
And back. Laura stopped for pictures; we stopped at this bridge.
We climbed Lindbergh on the way back; Laura was torn about heading back from there or finishing with us, but she'd wind up with about 88 miles for the day, and it was to much work to spin that out into a century, so she left us at Ridge Road.
Tom, Robert, and I headed back to Griggstown.
Robert has numerous offspring and the appurtenant parental responsibilities; we wish we'd see him more frequently, but we understand why we don't. He was kind today while I was spoutin' off about my various forms of crazy and my work complaints (as, of course, were Tom and Laura when I was spoutin' off to them). But part of the wonderfulness of this ride was that, for most of it, I could just enjoy the ride and the company.
And 70 miles or so is just about right, when I have the time and I'm in shape.
So what's right with all of youse-all today?