Saturday, April 29, 2017

2017 princeton freewheeler spring fling

When the thunder and rain woke me up at something-to-four this morning, I wasn't sure it was gonna happen, but the skies were clear enough, and the roads were dry enough, for quite a number of club members to come out for the Princeton Freewheelers Bike Club Spring Fling, an event where we have rides for all paces, a free lunch, and awards for the leaders from last year (among other things). The Excellent Wife (TEW) and I make a date of it; she rides at her pace and I ride at mine, and then we have lunch together and hang out with old friends and new acquaintances.

Carol J had been holding my new club jersey; I rode down with the jersey I wore last week in the rain and mud (it did not survive; it's been demoted to muddy-day wear), and changed out of that one into the club jersey.


I went out with sixteen eighteen twenty twenty-six (the numbers kept changing) on a B ride that Dave H led (that ride page includes my eight-or-nine miles from home and back). Some people don't like the all-paces rides; the rides always include people who don't ride together and don't know one another's styles (and there IS sometimes some dangerous and stupid riding). This group, as far as I could see, was well-behaved, and I had fun today. I swept for Dave, and I'll do it again any time: he stopped frequently to make sure we were all together, and kept me posted on where he was planning to go. We didn't lose anybody except one who decided on her own to leave when she was near home. (We're not gonna talk about the young lady who let me pull her in a sprint, until my lungs were about to burst. She was grinnin' SO wide in my mirror, I didn't have the heart to stop, until I almost didn't have any lungs, either. We're not gonna talk about that.)

And OF COURSE I got pictures, both too many and not enough. Go check out my album on Photobucket.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

mine, too

I was catching up with the ODDman posts I've allowed to slip by, and I came upon a graphic that said, "Using Latin phrases to look smart is my modus operandi."

It's mine, too.

I was gonna copy the graphic here, but since the only thing on it is the text, it's really unnecessary, don't you think?

ODDman's post here.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

overdid it

I didn't know until I read Laura OLPH's blog post about yesterday's ride that she would have called off the ride if I hadn't shown up. If she had dropped a hat, I would have gone home, with my disappointment tempered by thoughts of her good sense.

Y'see, all week, the weather prediction had been for sunny weather on Saturday and rain on Sunday, then cloudy Saturday and rain on Sunday. Then the late Friday night prediction was for rain later on Saturday, and I thought we might get away with it... but I was willing to defer to Laura.

Instead, the two of us rode ten miles to the ride start, where we met Alan, Ricky, and Peter:

...and we departed on her planned-52-mile route around the Round Valley Reservoir.

We got a drip of rain on the way up to the reservoir, but I thought they could use it; the end of the boat launch is still nowhere near the water.

At that point, Andrew, who had other plans, left us. We remaining four continued the clockwise-around-the-reservoir route Laura had planned.

(By the way, it was Earth Day, and we saw a number of folks, like these, cleaning up various spots.)

From the reservoir, we repaired to Jerry's Brooklyn in Whitehouse Station (which I had unjustly maligned in an earlier post), where we got good treatment, and were visited by bad weather.

We stayed there for a while until the rain let up a bit, and then proceeded. Much of the way got muddy, parts of it dramatically so; the jersey I wore yesterday will never be the same. The rain came and went - as I've heard, we got more in the Sourlands than we did here in the Brunswicks, where I make my abode.

With the wet, I got cold... cold enough that I didn't take a picture of the bridge that was out at South Branch onto Pleasant Run. We added a few miles getting around that.

The we had a discussion about routes, and changed up... and added a few more miles. So my plan of "just over 70" wound up as "just under 80". Although I did better than I had thought (I had energy the whole way; no "hitting the wall" this time), I was beat at the end of the ride, and still tired this morning when I got up. I cleaned the worst of the mud and grime off the bike this morning (I need to remember to brush my shoes...)

Luckily, I only had fourteen miles planned for today. That's the distance between home and the location of the Bike Maintenance Station that the New Brunswick Bike Exchange sets up at the New Brunswick Ciclovia, the first of which for this year was today. The city closes about three miles of road to car traffic, and folks come out on bikes (mostly families with young kids, but also others: aging hippies, tribes of adolescents, Rutgers students, young local professionals). Most of the bikes we see just need inflations or new tubes, although I did a number of adjustments of various sorts.

I claim tiredness in only getting three pictures:

Below, Annie, who went to the March for Science in NYC yesterday while I was wasting energy. I relieved her when I came on.

Below, in the hat, Ben T. He's always that sunny, as far as I can tell. He was there all day, and I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Late in the day, Sr Francisco, mechanic at Kim's, rolled by; they had a stand but only worked on about three bikes. I assure you, we outdid that. (Later, a sweet girl on an English three-speed had to put up with my incompetence when her valve cut while I was filling her tire; after replacing the tube, I had a bit of trouble adjusting her English three-speed... but I got it right.)

So fourteen miles, and three hours on my feet working on bikes and packing up the tent, tables, and tools. I've had it. I'm glad I'm going to work tomorrow where I can relax.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

earth day

I'm afraid I think this is the truth.

It's probably the best thing we can do.

Original at Imgur.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

back to cranbury

My bike club has rides out of Cranbury most Saturdays; they're flat and dependable, and usually get a large number of riders (these days, there are rides at different paces: for me they're too slow, too fast, and just right). I don't go because the Cranbury rides are flat and shorter than I generally like, and I've developed close friendships with folks that ride in the hills... but the hilly riders are going out tomorrow, on Easter. I have family commitments on Easter, including to my mother-in-law who treats me like the apple of her eye (nobody in my family of origin seems quite that delighted with me!), so if I wanted to get a group ride in, it wasn't going to be with them.

I did want to get a group ride in; I feel the crazy coming on, and isolation (even on a bike, sometimes) makes it gallop. So I went to Cranbury, and saw a number of people I haven't seen for a while, many of whom acted as glad to see me as I was glad to see them.

Jeff H, above, led the ride I went on.

And I just like the pre-ride vibe.

Jeff led us on this route. I wasn't expecting anything unusual... but on Dey Grove Road:

It coulda been one of Laura OLPH's rides, or Tom H's.

Mostly, though, i was just good to get out and ride, and to see some people I haven't seen for a while (and to meet some new ones). Andrew and I complained about the Christian demands family put on us atheists; I chatted with Jud and with Donna, with Dave H, with Jeff the leader. We stopped at Phil's.

I'm glad I went. I probably should go more often, but there are only so many rides in a season... Still, it was a good day.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

back onna bike

The Excellent Wife (TEW) and I are just back from a trip to London (I'm sure most of the readers of this blog are better travelers than I - it would be hard NOT to be - so I'll spare you the travelogue unless there is a specific request). We got back Friday night at about 9pm NJ time, but it was 2am to me, and those who know me well know that's not my time of day. I was a bit farshimmelt yesterday, so I did this ride in the wind. I caught an email exchange about a ride for today and agreed to go; Peter G decided to lead from a place near out Pennington start (it has PORTA-POTTIES! We need to petition to make this a starting point!).

I wasn't sure I could find it, so, at her invitation, I started from Laura OLPH's with her guiding me there. We met Peter, along with Snakehead and Ken G (whom I now hear is called the Mayor, because he knows everybody, and he really does).

Peter's route was moderately hilly, and included a wrong turn or two, but we weren't a demanding group and didn't complain about that (we saved our complaining for other stuff).

EVERYBODY was out today. We stopped at the convenience store in Hopewell (eschewing both the Boro Bean and the Brick Farm Market)...

... and saw this crew at the Brick:

(anybody know who they were?) And when they rolled out, another group rolled in.

A little later in the hills, we came across a group that included Peter H, Cristina M, John W, and a number of others I'm not fast enough to ride with anymore. And while we were sharing the road with them, we came up on Kiyomi and Brad at the side of the road, as well as meeting (or getting passed by) any number of riders we didn't recognize.

Shortly before the end, one of our number had a flat in the rear, and a few yards later, had another. With remarkable forbearance, we mostly allowed the rider to change the tire alone, but we slowed our pace a bit. The route ended up like this (I'm claiming 50 miles, including the extra with Laura, because I forgot to engage the GPS for a few miles in the beginning).

When I'm in shape and able to keep up, I really love riding with folks I know and like. I was in shape today, and it was a great ride for me. I'm looking forward to more of them.