Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Ride for Sun Sep 24

The PFW now has the rides listed online, so I'm going to try leading one and let's see how it works. We'll do 35-40 out of Blackwells Mills/Six Mile starting at 8:30, weather permitting. My intention is to run this at a low-to-moderate B pace; if you want to ride ahead, you may (and there will be places to sprint if you choose). About 1700' of climb, according to my Ride With GPS page. Probably stop in Princeton, although I'm willing to entertain discussion. Watch the PFW calendar for updates and cancellations.

Note that the location button shows the Canal House; I intend to leave from the Blue Trail parking lot, a smidge  south of there on Canal Road.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

ride for mcbride 2017

From the Ride for McBride website:

Welcome to the Ride for McBride! Ride for McBride is charity bike ride held to honor the life and work of Joseph McBride. The money raised goes to the Joseph McBride Memorial Award for an MSW student in the Social Policy & Practice department at the University of Pennsylvania.

Joe was a beloved member of the NJ/PA community for forty years, where he raised a family, coached and refereed sports, taught and worked as a social worker, and was a friend to many. Sadly, Joe lost his life in 2010 doing something he loved: riding his bike. We gathered together for the first time as a community in 2011 to ride and remember a man who touched thousands of lives. Participants in Ride for McBride can ride one of three routes (10, 25, 50 miles) and there is a luncheon ceremony held after the ride. The proceeds raised by the ride go to the Joseph McBride Memorial Award at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice – a masters program in social work.  

I've done all of them, even a pickup ride held a few weeks after he died in 2010, and The Excellent Wife (TEW) has come out for the last few, as well. We went along today; she had intentions of riding the 25, but wasn't feeling up to it, so she did the 10 and a bit more, and waited patiently for me to get back from the 50.

I got a few pics, but most of  'em didn't come out (it was a misty day, and I think I need to be more diligent about wiping the lens).

Below, Tom shows off some new shoes. How long will they look that good?

Below: Team Pink and Black. Lookin' good!

On the road.

At the stop:

The building wasn't open at the stop; we invaded a CVS to enjoy their plumbing.

We started with a large group of Freewheelers and on hanger-on, a young guy who'd never done more than 30 miles. He gamely kept up with us, even when we broke into a faster and a slower group. After the stop we consolidated again, and came in as a large, if somewhat bedraggled, peloton. Sure enough, the young guy made it in the whole way. Good on him!

Ride page.

TEW and I are a little concerned about the continuation of the ride. I know that the organizers want to keep it small, but I hear there were fewer riders this year than last, and I'm not sure the weather was a real contributor to that. We like this little charity ride; we hope it continues.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

laura olph's idea of short and simple

Disclaimer: Honesty demands that I begin this post by letting you know that a woman came along on her first Hill Slug ride today. I think she was a bit trepidatious at the start, but by the time we were about 70-75% through, she said, "I'm hooked." And she said it again, through the tiredness, at the end of the ride.

That said...

Laura OLPH's blog post announcing this ride read, in part:

Sunday is the 7th annual Ride for McBride, and I will be there for the 50-mile route... To save my legs for Sunday, Saturday's route will be short and simple. 

Well, since I also intend to do that ride tomorrow, I thought this sounded like a good idea. I showed up at Laura's for the usual extra miles... to be surprised when Sean rolled up, in his wool Campagnolo getup, riding a lovely repainted Masi frame kitted out with all his gorgeous Campy stuff from the 1970's.

Yummy. Sean's had reasons not to ride and wasn't planning to come out with us, but he rode along for a while. He'd had all that stuff on a purple frame that just didn't fit right. This seems to suit him better.

We went to the Twin Pines to find seven others waiting.

That was Ken G; and a couple of others who looked like fast boys to me; and Nevada, who's been looking for ascents; and Blake who doesn't need to look for 'em, he's just that good on hills; and another woman whom I thought I recognized but couldn't place; and Ricky, who's become a Slug regular.

Laura didn't have a route planned. But there was a discussion of avoiding new chipseal road surfaces, and the plan became to head up to Sergeantsville.

I needn't have worried about the lookin'-like-fast-boys: one was Ed, and we got to talking about being good at math and science vs. being good at writing, and the other was Jose, who stopped with us for pictures.

The woman I couldn't place turned out to be Sue, with whom I'd ridden about a month ago. She'd been talking about wanting to do hills, and I talked up the Hill Slug rides, with the easy attitude and the waiting for the folks in the back. She was sufferin' in too high of a gear. She got advice from, well, probably too many of us, and she ground her way to the top of some hill or other... and then she apparently found another lung or something, and did pretty well for her first ride. She was the one who wound up being hooked.

But we were rolling up to Sergeantsville, and I was beginning to think the come-on of "short and simple" in the ride description was false advertising if it wasn't actual fraud.

When I began to breathe again I got a look at Jose's bike.

Yes, that is two-color bar tape that picks both up the accent colors on the frame. What you may not notice right away is that the end caps are different colors, each matching one of the accent colors. And yes, there is a light-green cast to the hub. Jose wins the day on style.

We restored ourselves in Sergeantsville, along with a couple on a tandem.

From there, we rolled around to show off the Sergeantsville covered bridge to Sue... and then we started to head back.

Ken G told me about this sign at the top or another hill:

Here's a better one Ken sent me as I was typing this up:

He's a chiropractor. If he'd had a table out when we were going by, he'd have taken all we had.

By the time we got back, they had about 47 miles; Laura and I had over 54, with just south of 3000' of climb. Short and simple. Hrmph.

Two things, though:
  1. Yes, I'm still doing that Ride for McBride tomorrow, and
  2. Yes, I'll still ride with her again, probably at the next opportunity. After all, I got Sue hooked. I feel a certain culpability now.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

combine your split gps files

This may be something that everybody knows about except me... but after I whined about having two separate GPS files for the Sourland Spectacular, Bob W commented with this link to an online service where you can combine them. I just tried it, and it worked. Cool!

THIS is getting a "Stuff that Works" tag.Thanks, Bob!

Edit: I'm prolly gonna want this again, so I've added a link on the right.

32-mile recovery ride

So, after bitin' off more'n I could chew yesterday, I decided t do a reasonably flat, low-pace recovery ride today. I modified that route from last week a bit to add a couple miles and reduce the distance on busy Auten Road (I wasn't up to it today, but I've got a 35-mile route based on that one from Six Mile/Blackwells Mills, with [probably] less than 1000' of climb and a stop at about mile 25; I may offer it as a Club ride on Sundays*). I left from home, and rode over to Six Mile, where I found Snakehead and a few of his pals (including Sean, a volunteer at the bike exchange, and Andy, who is faster standing still than I am on a downhill on my best day). One of their number had a pedal cleat stuck, and, after a certain amount of imagination, profanity, and misuse of specialty tools, we got things back together so they could go.

They headed left. I headed right, at a pace that was faster than "funereal", but not as sprightly as "regal".

I headed up through Hillsborough again and got off Auten in a half mile this time, which was an improvement. There's not a light where I had to turn left onto New Amwell Road, but there wasn't enough traffic to make it a problem.

The route goes down by East Mountain, by that entrance to the Sourlands Preserve. It was another glorious day, with repeating cacophonies of those yellow flowers (are they Black-Eyed Susans?).

I had enough coffee on board, but no breakfast, so I stopped for a Granola Bar break at the Griggstown Firehouse to revive my flagging spirits. I'm not sure it worked; the ride page shows I didn't even break 15mph.

OTOH, my intention when I offer this ride is to have a flat, "real B" ride, that I bring in with the average below 16mph (low "B" range). There are places for the fast boys to sprint, and I'll let 'em... but I'll ride alone if I need to, and make a space for the B riders to ride along. So maybe that pace is not a bad thing.

*fama est: Rumor has it that the club is going to a ride listing online, where I don't have to commit to a ride six or seven weeks in advance; I can list it a day or two before. That's kind of the way I see leading this ride - if there's no alternative on Sundays that grabs my fancy, I'll put this up. Or something.

Sourland spectacular: ol' fashioned navigation on a great day

Rob N sent an email out to a few of us early in the week asking about doing the Sourland Spectacular. I like the cause, and I like the people who were invited, and we made a plan to go. Laura OLPH's husband, Professor Jack, had his 50th birthday the day before, so we decided to leave at the more civilized hour of 8am rather than the suggested 7am. But, of course, I was there early...

They have volunteers managing the traffic at the departure. Nice touch.

I got terrible pictures of Ricky and Laura:

Robert N rolled in a smidge late; he'd had to deal with a "paperclip-sized" wire puncturing his tire. and we were off.

All four of us had GPS devices, and NONE of them worked completely reliably. My Garmin Touring, usually pretty dependable, gave up the route and never got it back; I even restarted it (which is why the ride pages are split). Laura and Rob had issues. Ricky's was the least worst, and even his lost the route for part of the way. I had Velcro-ed a binder clip to the bars and was carrying a cue sheet, And the arrows on the road gave us the way. (Some were missing, apparently pulled out, as the adhesive was still on the road. Sheesh.)

All kinds of riders were out.

I loved this old steel Trek, built up as a touring bike. The rider said she'd had it for years (I'm sure she has!).

And it was, of course, a glorious day.

You can check my arithmetic; here's the first part of the ride and the second; I make our average a smidge over 14.1. Whatever; we pulled in at the end about fifteen minutes before they began rolling up the tables (yes, they were round tables, and one over-energetic fellow almost caused a couple of incidents as the tables rolled away), but we did have time for the excellent lunch and ice cream.

But I hurt. The back pain from the strain was severe. I may need to think about long, hilly rides; today's will certainly be flat and slow.

Edit: Aaaand... two other things: I was wearing my POLSKA jersey, and a rider at the start began talking to me in Polish! I had to let him know that my wife was the Polacka. At the rest stop, a volunteer also asked if I were Polish. (Do they make a "boring old white guy" jersey?)

Also, the amount of new chipseal on the roads in Hunterdon County... is to damn high. Like the rent, I guess.