Wednesday, September 27, 2017

ride with team social security

Four days a week, I work 6:30am-2:30pm, which suits me just fine, although I know some others who would have some trouble with such an early schedule. Wednesdays, I work 10-6, which is just an ordeal for me; that 5:30-6:00 half hour is the longest 30 minutes in the week.

So every time I have to take a day off, I try to do it on the Wednesday, for that reason, and for the reason that the Team Social Security guys leave from Allentown on Wednesdays. This means that if I get up early enough (not usually a problem; cf. the first sentence of this post), I can drive to Etra Park, get ten miles in riding down to Allentown, do the ride with the old guys, and do ten more miles back up to Etra and the car. Often enough, I stop in at Bruno's Bikes for chat and to throw a few bucks at one of the nicest bike shop owners in Central Jersey.

I'm scheduled to work Saturday, so I took today, drove to Etra this morning, and rode the roundabout way down to Etra, crossing the Turnpike twice and inspecting the berm in front of the Amazon warehouse. I got to Etra to see a few folks I know and a few I didn't.

Al P, above, came out with the C+ ride for a few miles, but he wasn't leading; Bill B was taking that responsibility. And Eddie and John P., above, were taking a tandem on the C-paced ride. Below you can see Eddie and Al assist as John puts his heart in his back pocket.

Below, Chris frequently tries to get me to post in this blog pictures he takes of me; I almost-as-frequently resist.

I think I'm resisting this time.

The route page shows my ride down to Allentown from Etra (I avoid 539 in the traffic), then the ride down to the Pemberton Wawa. Just before the Wawa, one of our number had a flat.

On the way down, we had a tailwind, and on the way back we didn't. We got a bit separated, and as those of us in the slow group came around a corner near the park, we came upon one of the fast group who'd gashed a tire. Chris lent him one from his seatbag. (Chris carries an extra tire in his seatbag?)

Barry made a joke about this being a flat ride. We let him live.

I went back up to Etra into the headwind, straight up 539 (luckily, the traffic had passed; while I could have done the longer ride, I'm glad I didn't have to). Almost 60 miles. With working Saturday and a likely family commitment on Sunday, I'm glad I got this in. (On the other hand, a lecture commitment for next Wednesday may be falling apart, so I may be out with these folks again next week. Watch this space!)

Sunday, September 24, 2017

first all-online ride - i think...

So in yesterday's post about the picnic, I pointed out that I was so smitten with the online ride calendar that I put up a ride for today. It wasn't my sole intention, but I THINK it's the first club ride that's actually gone out that was only posted online on the website calendar, and not in the emailed ride list.

I only put it up on Thursday, and I wasn't sure anyone would come out, but Ricky G said he was coming. At "go time", Andrew A was there as well. (I forgot to put the chip back in my camera, so Ricky obliged with cell phone pics. I don't usually have pictures of myself here, but there I am in the flag jersey.)

(Yes, that's The Excellent Wife [TEW] in the background; she didn't come with us, but she does her own rides from the same start, and we happened to leave the house at about the same time.)

My description included:

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. 
 The ride page suggests I brought it in as intended. Nobody took me up on my offer of sprints. We agreed at a stop at the Halo Pub in Princeton, but they didn't have toilets, so instead of doing the last hill, we repaired to Andrew's to enjoy his plumbing. Ricky and I pacelined the last few miles which brought the average up; I was at about 15.5 when we passed through Kingston.

I have a flatter route, but it depends on East Mountain Road being open, which it won't be until November. I expect to lead a few Sundays if I don't see anything I like, and if weather or hotheaded heads of state don't intervene.

Youse-all oughta come out. Maybe one of these years, I'll earn the coveted ride leader jersey. (But I gotta find a stop in downtown Princeton that has drinks AND toilets.)

Edit: Not the first; Paul gets that credit. Nonetheless...

Saturday, September 23, 2017

2017 princeton freewheeler picnic

The Princeton Freewheeler fall picnic was today, with the appurtenant All-Paces rides and me takiing too many pictures. I'll link to my album on PhotoBucket below, but there are a few things I gotta do first:
  1. The Excellent Wife (TEW) and I got there early, to be sure we got parking and so I could get early pictures. Before we left on our rides, I was able to do a quick brake adjustment on a fellow club member's bike. I love doin' that stuff.
  2. This summer, I've fallen into a habit of sweeping on the B-pace rides that Dave H leads on these all-paces events. I like sweeping for him, because he makes a point of waiting for those of us in the back, he lets me know generally where we're going, and he seems to care when somebody is flagging or having trouble. I swept on his ride again today. Laura OLPH said in her blog post that it was about as much as she could chew, but she didn't spend much time in the cheap seats at the back of the ride, so her protestations may exhibit a false modesty. You can read her post and make your own decision.
  3. I work with a few Filipinas, and one of them in particular is just going to love this Philippines kit that Marco was sporting today:

  4. Friend Lou, below, made a point at lunch that he had a life goal of getting into this blog. He thought he'd have to do it by coming along on a ride and getting dropped, but I ain't as mean as that. C'mon, Lou, here you are!

  5. Club president Ira S had the new website up for us to play with. I was so taken with it from my earlier foolin' around that I've got a ride up for tomorrow already, but there are features I didn't include (and that I will in the future). I've already updated my profile, at the urging of Carol J. This website, while not perfect, is pretty damn good. Here's Ira:

  6. Oh, yeah. Go check out the photo album. I might have a picture of you!

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.