Sunday, March 19, 2017

you decide

I don't know what to think about this ride. You decide.

I haven't gotten anywhere near as much riding in this year as I had by this time last year; injury, illness, family responsibilities, and meteorology have all conspired to keep me off the bike. Partly due to that, and partly due to general laziness, lack of discipline, and dissipation (defined at one of my sources in the happy phrase, "intemperate living"), I'm up almost ten lbs. from the weight I'd like to be, and I have neither the strength nor the stamina I'd like.

I've also been out of touch with friends (especially riding friends; readers of this blog will know that riding is a large part of my social interaction). I know far too much about what's going on with certain Youtube channels. The Excellent Wife (TEW) has remarked on her concern that all I'm doing is sitting with the computer on my lap for hours at a time.

The only way I know to get back on track is to act like I'm already there. Yesterday's cold and rain kept me off the bike, but predicted temperatures in the 36-45°F range today made me plan to do Winter Larry's "Back by Lunch" ride from Cranbury today.

When I get there, I saw Peter F with the ride sheet; he'd gotten an email from Larry yesterday that Larry was too busy to come. (Winter Larry emailing on a Saturday? Seems out of character to me.) Peter said he thought Sal would come (whom I did not remember), and Ralph (about whom, more later). At go time, though, there was only Peter:

...and Sal:

... and yours truly. We left, but we hadn't even gotten out to Main Street in Cranbury when Ralph appeared. So we were four.

And then we were six. Jeff X L, and another rider whom I did not meet, who were out on their own ride, met us at about mile 6 and rode along for a bit. I doubt either of them was the albatross (go look up Rime of the Ancient Mariner for the reference), but shortly thereafter, Peter had a flat. I got pictures while he changed it:

...and I got this of Ralph.

We were only a few miles further along when Peter felt like his tire wasn't right, and it wasn't; he had only a few lbs. pressure in it. Ralph pumped it up with the niftiest double-action road pump, and I lent Peter a CO2 so he'd be able to get back to the start. Peter gave Ralph a few suggestions on a route, and turned the ride over to him. So we were five.

Jeff X and the other rider already had miles in, and turned off a few miles later to go back. So we were three, and we headed to Roy's, notably along (I think) 624. There was a wind that I THOUGHT was a headwind; but it wasn't; it was a strong wind from the left side, only a degree or two ahead of dead lateral. It was tiring enough anyway. I was glad when we got to Roy's.

At Roy's, I investigated the niftiest rumor I'd heard about Ralph. He's trying to ride every day for a year; he started last June 8 and is just under 78% complete, having 284 days under his belt. He doesn't always ride on the road, but when he does, it's at least 20 miles. When the recent snow came, he went out after midnight, but before the snow would have impeded his progress. And he's doing this with no formal support (as far as I know), and with a real job and a family to whom he has responsibilities. If he makes it, I know who I'm going to nominate for the July "Member Focus" for the club newsletter.

Obligatory bikes pic at Roy's:

After the break, I had the usual stiff legs, but I never loosened up as much as I usually do after the break, and I started to fall back. Sal and Ralph were kind enough to keep back with me, and Ralph made noises like he was tired, too... but I think that was more kindness than accurate reporting.

But we did make it back together. When we got there, Peter's car was gone, and the note below was on my windshield:

Wrapped in the note was my CO2. So I guess he made it back.

I'm back home now, doing the laundry and complaining about how tired my legs are. TEW is rolling her eyes that I go out in this weather at all.

So what do you think?

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