The predictions of rain for this morning kept getting earlier and earlier, with higher and higher percentages, as the week went on, so I chickened out on Laura OLPH's planned ride and went out by myself this morning.
(Laura thought the chickening-out was about feeling weak and slow, which it probably was to some extent, but it was really about the rain. She needn't worry; about the only B-pace rides I would feel comfortable trying to keep up with these days are hers.)
I got out a bit before 8am to do this ride; it started out being the longest of my usual routes, but I played with it a bit and found a micro-turnoff that works a little better than what I had been doing. I go out by Six Mile, cross the canal, bobble about a little in Hillsborough before heading towards 601 and Dutchtown. Along the way, I came across a church with this sign:
I don't have much good to say about religion anymore, but if I hadda go to church, I'd hate it less if they had that kind of sense of humor.
I went down by Skillman, and waved and rang the bell at an oncoming rider (as I do), and it turned out to be Bob W, whom I haven't seen in next to forever. Bob doesn't like his picture going up online, so the following picture is not Bob:
Continuing only a bit further, I came upon a guy with a bike at the corner of Skillman and Hollow; I thought he needed help, and he thought I was part of a group that was going right. Neither of us was correct. Continuing down Hollow, I saw a motorcycle leading a YUGE peloton of riders; subsequent research suggests it might have been the Hell of Hunterdon. I didn't get a picture, although I waved to all of 'em. They didn't wave back.
These guys weren't part of that peloton, and the picture's pretty bad anyway.
Since I was close to Sourland Cycles, I decided to see what was up with the vending machine in which they have various parts and tools for sale.
I remember thinking what a great idea that was when I first saw it, but some of that merch looks like it's been in there for ages, the sun bleaching of the packages is that bad. OTOH, I've never dipped my debit card in there, either. They did pop for a new card reader, though; the yellow is new, and the black one above is taped up.
On up to Mount Rose, then through the twisties at Cleveland, then the makes-me-grumpy hills on Pretty Brook. It turns out you can turn left off Great Road onto Mountain at the bottom of the hill, rather than fighting both gravity and traffic to get up the hill to do the left at Cleveland or Hodge, and you can still bobble through to get to Palmer Square. I did. A quick reconnoiter showed that the Rojo's is still there, the Lahiere's appears to be gone, and there are a few other places I might have stopped, but I didn't.
I passed the site of the old Main St Cafe to see if the new thing had opened yet, but it hasn't. Then home; got home before 11, and while there was drizzle here, correspondence with Laura indicates that her crew rode dry-shod like the people of Moses through the Red Sea. So there's that.
42-ish miles, 15.1mph average, 1600 feet of climb (some of it exceptionally nasty, if short).
In other news, my job depends on the continuation of the Medicaid expansion under the ACA, so the defeat of Trumpcare/Ryancare means I'll still have a job, unless the ACA explodes, as Our Orange Leader thinks it might. (It also doesn't hurt that the defeat means that some millions of Americans get to keep healthcare, so there's that, too.) I'm on-call this weekend, earning my keep. There's been a change to the on-call responsibilities so that I could consider a ride like this (or a group ride, on a different occasion). Life is good. Good enough, anyway. And maybe by Labor Day, I'll be able to do a group ride again.