Sunday, September 25, 2016

freewheelers all-paces rides and fall picnic

Today was the Princeton FreeWheelers All-Paces Rides and Fall Picnic. The Excellent Wife (TEW) and I like to go together; although we don't do the same ride, we go together, hook up after, and get to see a number of people we don't always see. There's a bit of chaos because the groups that go out are people who don't often ride together, so some of my fellow riders don't like the all-paces rides. Today's was no exception, but I was with a group of (mostly) experienced riders who were able to clean up the detritus of the unpredictability.

There will, of course, be a link to the picture album below... but before that, of course, I get to bloviate about my experiences on the ride. I went out on a ride with 18 or 20, and we split into a fast and a slow group. I'd promised the leader I'd sweep, and I kept track of the folks in the back. But we got to the top of the Assunpink, and got split by traffic on a left turn, and we lost track of the riders in the front! (If you're going to use a sweep, it's a good idea to make sure you let him see when then rest of the group makes a turn. Hrmph.)

The slow group wasn't that slow; it included Laura OLPH, Winter Larry, and John K,along with Andrew, Mindy (whom we met while volunteering at the Event), and another young woman whose name I didn't get. The anonymous young woman was initially hanging on the back, but after we got split up, she surprised me by catching up some distance on a long straightaway. (Remind me never to underestimate riders with whom I'm not acquainted). She later had a series of mechanical oddities, which turned out to be the computer pickup on her chainstay rattling in the spokes; it finally got bent too far in and was decapitated. Alas.

Our dropped ride tried to find the others at the Ptomaine Ptower in Clarksburg, then were unsuccessful in finding Roy's (which was apparently where some of the rest of the group went), and finally got to the Stonebridge in Allentown. From there, we took the straight route back to Mercer East for the picnic.

But you're here for the pictures, aren't you?

You can find the album here.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

misty metric, and need another saddle

I don't think any of us were planning on a mostly misty, rainy ride today.

Tom wasn't up for a hilly ride after the ride that my tire problems kept me out of last week, so he opted for a ride to Delicious Orchards over mostly flats, and he invited a few of his Insane Bike Posse to add a few miles from his house. The weather was supposed to be OK-if-cloudy, so the mist and occasional raindrops on my windshield didn't put me off much. Still, I dug the arm warmers out of my bike bag for today.

Laura OLPH and I met Tom at his house, and we rode to Etra Park, where we met Peter G and John:

And still it was misty and rainy. We thought it would clear in an hour or so.

It didn't.

(Mist on the camera on those last couple.)

The ride to Delicious Orchards is over many roads that had traffic, at least today, so the banter, complaining, and character assassination that occurs on many of Tom's rides didn't come out much until the break. The fare at the Orchards is high-carb, and potion sizes are extra-large. I didn't take food pics because, well, what is this? Instagram?

On the way home,the weather cleared up some, but the skies were still dramatic. Across from Etra, when we left off Peter G, Laura went to get a picture of the clouds, and Tom got a picture of Laura getting a picture of the clouds. I couldn't resist:

Yep. That's a picture of Tom getting a picture of Laura getting a picture of the clouds. This may be the first double-deep self-referential picture in Princeton Freewheeler history.

I'm proud to be part of it.

Ride page.

In other news, I've now got 100 miles on this new Specialized Ruby Expert saddle. It's got good flex, which I like, but I don't think it's for me (I think 100 miles is a good enough time to tell, and plastic saddles don't break in the way leather does... and my posterior doesn't seem to be breaking in, either). It'll probably go up on Ebay as soon as I replace it, unless somebody makes a reasonable offer. It's sold as a women's saddle, but the BG-2 it replaced was also sold as a women's saddle, and I loved that one, until it just didn't do it anymore.

Monday, September 19, 2016

mcbride ride

After missing out on the Hill Slug ride on Saturday (well, mostly), I was most eager to do the McBride Ride the next day. I was beat, thought, and almost didn't get to Sawmill Road for the early start. But I did.

(Yeah, I know, too many pictures... but one of the things I like about this ride is that there are a non-trivial number of people who come out whom I don't know, and who are not regular riders, and they're out to have a good time anyway.)

Below, the team:

Dave H, Chris C, Marco, and Laura led me around the course. There was a larger (and slower) group of Freewheelers ahead of us, too.

Chris got a picture of me getting a picture of him. Oh, the self-reference! Oh, the irony!

After we passed the other Freewheeler group, Ken got ambitious and decided to catch up to us; he stuck with us the rest of the way.

At the stop:

I am not hip enough to have a beard like the guy in the picture above.

A team of four came rolling in with the jerseys in the pic above. It was too good to miss.

At the finish:

The fellow in the center, above, reaching across the table, was this year's recipient of the McBride scholarship.

Ride page. We don't do this one for speed, but for fellowship. That's good enough for me.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

veho interruptus, tire boots, and making the best of the day

Well, my intention was to do Laura OLPH's Hill slug ride today. I got up early to get to her house for some extra miles, and we left to head for the Pennington group start. On the way, we picked up Peter G:

...and we met some of the usual suspects, some probably-soon-to-be-regular Hill Slugs (right, Rick?), and some less-familiar faces at Pennington.

...and off we went.

We hadn't gotten mile when I heard the hissing and regular thump that I thought meant I had a leaf caught in the wheel... but no; I'd run over something that cut a 12mm (1/2") gash in the tire, and I had a righteous flat. It needed a boot. I stuck a folded ATM receipt in the tire, pumped up a new tube, and proceeded.

We got about two miles further on when the same thing happened again. This time, I booted the tire with a dollar bill, and left the rest of the group to continue Laura's ride; I went more-or-less gingerly back to the car on my last tube and CO2. I made it to the car (over a different route than we usually take; you can see my ride page here), and drove home in a miasma of sulks and feeling-sorry-for-myself about missing this ride.

At home, I changed the tire. Here's the inside and outside of the tire showing the gash:

The ATM receipt that I used for the first boot. You can see four holes have been worn through the paper where the tube worked through the gash in the tire again:

The dollar bill. Although the tube did not work through, the friction at the fold basically wore a gash in the bill.

Park Tool sells tire boots... but they also sell some self-stick tube patches that are next door to useless for actually keeping air in the tube, but would have been just the thing for this temporary repair, I think.

So when I got over my grumpiness a bit, I noted that the weather had not appreciably deteriorated (au contraire, in fact), so I went out and got in a few more miles over one of my usual routes. While on that ride, I met The Excellent Wife (TEW) on HER ride; we talked about chores for the rest of the day, and she made the suggestion of a late lunch date (I do not lightly call her "excellent"). So here I am, fed, watch fixed, drowsing off listening to the laundry, and about to spend a few bucks at Jenson USA, a vendor with inexpensive tubes (I buy 'em ten at a time) and free shipping for orders over $50. $50? That's a challenge to which I think I can rise.

And that part of the title you don't understand is Latin. It will do for "interrupted ride" until somebody comes up with something better.