I've got a friend who's decided he doesn't like driving to ride starts, and it makes sense: the bike is, after all, a form of transportation, and driving uses gas and pollutes (and subjects the driver to the stresses and indignities of traffic here in Central NJ). But riding from home restricts the routes I can use, and the people I see. And especially in the wake of being Trumped by middle-Americans in the election (I haven't taken it well; the crazy has been calling me), a decent long ride, with people I like, was a tonic.
Nine of us started at the Muschal school for Tom's ride that was supposed to be a recover-from-eating-too-much-at-Thanksgiving-ride (but which was inadvertently put into the ride list for the week before Thanksgiving). I was NOT among the first, which may be a sign of my decompensation.
Tom did the holy-kickstand blessing of the bikes:
...and it must have worked, because I think the only mishap was that I lost a navy bandana.
We did a route that's not unusual when we leave from there, except that we did it backwards, so that we could go on Axe Factory Road (what a great name!). This was a Tom ride, so it was, of course, closed...
... and, this being a Tom ride, we went through anyway.
There were two opportunities for a stop: at 20 miles, and at 32. We took them both, because the latter stop didn't have a usable toilet. When we turned off at 20 miles, we turned onto a gravel parking lot, and there was some discussion about whether this constituted a dirt section (also common on Tom rides), or whether he got a pass because it was a parking lot instead of a stretch of road.
Off we went to the Wawa in Brown's Mills, which, to my dismay, did not have the ridiculously-large apple fritters I like to get. Instead, there were kids (and their coach) collecting money for a new kid's basketball team.
We talked to the kids about basketball and bikes, and to the coach about the huge financial nut they have to make for space, referees, maybe a van, equipment, and so on. We THINK the name of the group was "Won by One", and we threw a little money at 'em. They were good kids.
I've not been able to figure out how to dress this fall; I'm either overdressed or freezing, and each ride I try to make up for how uncomfortable I was on the last one. Last ride I was cold, so I was completely unprepared when the weather was over 70ºF today. I had stripped off a layer before I left the school, and another at the first rest stop. But I was sweating to the point that the sweat in my eyes blinded me a couple of times. I wonder if I'll get this together before spring?