The link to the photo album will be down there somewhere, but I might make you read through the whole blog post to find it; I'm in that kind of mood.
After last week's Saturday ride, on which I assiduously avoided the rain that never came AND overdid myself on little sleep and no breakfast, I tried to do a recovery ride on Sunday that was a failure-to-recover ride. I was sore-legged and tired all day Sunday and Monday, and I was a little worried about doing the All-Paces ride today.
(For the few readers I have who don't know, a few times per year, my bike club, the Princeton Freewheelers [they keep promising to update the website, and it is my fond, if waning, hope that they will] holds a collection of rides for member riders at all paces: we leave from the same place at the same time, and [theoretically] get back about the same time.)
I look forward to the All-Paces rides. I like to see the people I haven't seen for a while, and to meet some new folks; I like to see how some are holding up marvellously from year to year and others are less so; I like to see the bikes I haven't seen. There is always some new technology or bike-y weirdness. The rides themselves are rolling chaos: we ride with people who don't often ride together and aren't used to one another's styles and behaviors. Rarely, though, are there injuries because of it, although there are usually enough close calls for some good stories and high dudgeon.
Along with the occasional surprise visitor.
So with some anxiety, I packed up the bikes and The Excellent Wife (TEW), and we rolled down to Mercer Park early enough to find parking. Dave H was leading, and I'd swept for him at the Spring Fling, and THAT was rewarding: Dave actually stops to make sure the folks off the end are keeping up, and tells me where we're going. I enjoyed sweeping for him, and looked forward to it today.
(Yes, I can be anxious and look forward to something at the same time. Do I contradict myself?)
Dave led us on this ride up through Mount Rose to Hopewell. Shortly before the break in Hopewell, I looked down to see my bottle cages were empty. The two bottles I had so diligently filled and put in the car were safe in the car where nobody could get them, especially me. I was grateful when we stopped at the convenience store there, and loaded up with Gatorade. (Our usual stop, the Brick Farm Market, was closed for the holiday.)
And while we were there, Team Erudite passed by; I called out my greetings.
On we went to Rocky Hill and then towards Kingston, and on the Kingston road I felt the rough surface and squirelly handling that usually means a flat in the rear wheel. I pulled over with the common Flat Tire Committee, and I was replacing the wheel on the bike before Dave rolled back to investigate the holdup. A rider asked if I wanted water to clean my hands, and I pointed out my empty cages. Dave helped me with water the rest of the way back (he freezes half a bottle, and then fills the rest; it's an idea I might steal if I ever get organized enough the day before a ride to do so).
WE got back just about the same time TEW's ride did. I left the warmer-than-tepid water in the car and drank a couple of Dr Pepper's as a restorative. I'm better enough now that TEW is reminding me of the chores that I've been avoiding.
And HERE's the link to the photo album. There are some good ones; you'll want to see if you're in there, and you'll also want to see if there are bad pictures of some of your friends.
Addendum: Chris C got a couple of pictures of me changing my tire.