Saturday, July 14, 2018

bastille day 2018

A friend is having a house party later today, and that conflicts with the usual Saturday ride, so I went out on my own today to re-test the new part of the route for tomorrow's ride (are you coming?).

I left the house early and made an easy pace to Canal Road, then headed down to Rocky Hill and thence to Princeton on a route that avoids the worst of Mt Lucas. I was in full Anchor House regalia, and met a fellow who had also done it a few years ago (fewer than I); he asked if I were going to meet the troops at Quakerbridge, but neither of us had that plan.

Tom H would be proud of me; the route comes up Faculty Road in Princeton, part of which is closed...

... but that's not gonna stop us; there's a walkway beside that we can go up, and we get to pass several Lego-like barriers along the way. From there on out to Rt 27, where, at the launch, there was a rowing regatta with apparently hundreds of sculls from every upscale neighborhood east of Michigan:

It was great: the graceful sculls (so narrow! It's a wonder they stay afloat!), loud music, smells of cooking of all kinds, and well-muscled men and women of all ages.

Then up towards Kingston. As I turned up Laurel, I saw The Excellent Wife (TEW) pedaling down, so I reversed course and joined her for orange juice and cake pops outside the P.J.'s., late the old Main St Cafe (alas...). We then headed back up Canal Road for a bit, until I turned off to go home.

I have enough calories in credit that I intend to be excessively piggy at the party. And anything I don't work off today, I can hope to burn off tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

cancelled - ride for july 15 - 42 from blackwells mills

How about this: A visit to Rocky Hill and Princeton, avoiding Mt Lucas; 42 miles. We'll stop at my usual bagelry at about mile 20. Not too much climb. Hill Slug rules apply. Low B, unless the group gets away from me (as they did last time; I was bringin' up the rear, leadin' and sweepin' at the same time).

Route page. The elevation is probably underestimated, but it's not hilly.

Princeton Freewheeler Club ride. Hope to see youse there.

See the link on the Freewheeler club page.

Edit 8:38pm July 14: Pretty serious rain predictions. Watch this and PFW listing; if I cancel, I will do so by 6:30 am.

Edit 5:12am July 15: Cancelled; too many predictions of thunderstorms. We'll try again. (Maybe I won't get a leader jersey and I'll just go back to sweeping...)

i wanna be retired

I worked Sunday, and took today off for it (I work until 6pm on Wednesdays, and hate it). The Excellent Wife (TEW) has been urging me to go ride with Team Social Security, and I went; and she was right - it was great.

It was a lovely day, and there were a number of people at the start, many of whom I knew, and some I hadn't seen in quite some time.

I got a far worse version of that one above that you're not gonna see.

There were two C-pace rides (led by Ira S and Pat VH) and a C+ today (led by Al P); I went with Al.

We took a slightly different route down to the Old World Baker in Smithville. There were fifteen of us!

That pic above is gonna be my computer background for a while.

There's some crankiness at work, and I'm just done with it. I wanna be retired, and do chores around the house, and fix up the garage, and ride with these folks three days per week, and complain about my aches and pains and failing abilities.

By the way, for a C+ ride, we brought it in at a pretty good pace. I had one sprint that brought my average up a bit, but we were cookin' right along! (Maybe I can back off on the failing abilities thing...)

Saturday, July 7, 2018

jack's ride

Or maybe it was Tom's ride. The email went out to a few of Tom's Insane Bike Posse and a few other hangers-on that Jack and Dorothy wanted to have us over for a swim in the pool and some food from the grill after a ride. Tom would pick the route with Jack's suggestions, so it would have demanding climbs; at least one dirt road or bridge out (possibly both; possibly more than one of either); and ample opportunity for cracking jokes, complaints, slander, and gratuitous profanity.

I was certainly up for the ride, and The Excellent Wife (TEW) was up for the food thereafter.

We left from Jack's house and went through a map's worth of suburbia to get to Tyler Park and some hills.

Lots of folks were out at the park, many with their dogs. I had forgotten about the nifty bridge/dam situation:

That fellow above doesn't look happy that I'm taking that same picture with my point-and-shoot, does he?

We all (except for Tom) had GPS weirdness after the park; mine actually shut down and wouldn't find satellites again for miles. I had to do some computer magic to get the ride page to show.

After the park, we found about every hill in the area, including Jericho Mountain (via Eagle Road), which is a grave disappointment; after a demanding climb, you crest the top and immediately start a descent without any decent view. It's solely a hill for braggarts.

Atop another hill was a house that Jack had owned in the past. It was neat!

Shortly before the stop at the Wawa outside New Hope, we came upon this ruin that's obviously been having work done on it recently; there was a new course of brick in an arch closed by fresh plywood, for example. But the chiaroscuro of the bright light and the shadows was arresting, and my pictures don't capture it enough:

And after the stop? Of COURSE there was a bridge out on Street Road, and the workers, apparently seconds away from a concrete pour, waved us away. We turned onto the euphoniously-monnikered Pidcock Creek Road to make a detour. (Earlier, we had turned at the corner of Pidcock Creek and Windy Bush. I can hardly refrain from the pubescent humor that those names elicit...)

And back to Jack's, where we swam, ate, and made impressed noises about the work he's done on the house (it IS impressive). I hope your day went nearly as well.

Edit: As proof of the pool, witness these pictures Tom H took of Laura (in her bike gear) and me diving:

Sunday, July 1, 2018

hot and slow

Despite the fact that I didn't get the notice into the calendar until Friday, six riders came out for my "beat the heat" ride today. I figured that an early, short, not-too-fast ride was a good idea for a day as hot as today was predicted to be, and Ricky, Lynne W, Bill B, Laura OLPH, Prem R, and John W apparently agreed.

 I got junk for pictures, though. Here are some of the least worst:

I offered to let people sprint on Hillsborough Road, and nobody took me up on it (although Bill said it was his kind of road: flat and straight. Perhaps we'll do a Bill B ride, and just go up and down Hillsborough Road a few times, and then repair to Bagel Barn for lies and fellowship. I also offered to let people ride ahead on East Mountain... and they left me in the dust. They spent so much time waiting for me at the other end that Ricky needed to shave again and they were planning to have food delivered.

It's not a particularly hilly route, but all of the hills on it are annoyances. There's the climb from the canal, the too-tall-to-be-rollers on Homestead Road, the hill on East Mountain, and the climb after going the wrong way across the bridge at Opossum, and they were all made worse by the heat. By the time we got to the bagel shop at Princeton North, I decided to hide in the air conditioning for a while.

More poor-quality pictures:

The stop comes about 2/3 the way into this ride (here's the ride page), and once the folks got close to home, they rode on ahead. I'd ridden to the start from home, and told Ricky to let 'em know I'd split off to head to a shower and some junk food. And I almost brought it in at the advertised B pace.

After the shower, The Excellent Wife (TEW) and I went to see The Incredibles 2 movie. I don't know... what did YOU think of it?

Saturday, June 30, 2018

mad dogs and englishmen

In the Philippines
They have lovely screens
To protect you from the glare
In the Malay States
There are hats like plates
Which the Britishers won't wear
At twelve noon the natives swoon and no further work is done
But mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun

Oh, sweet Jesu, but it turned out to be as hot as predicted today. Tom H invited a few of his Insane Bike Posse (the cast of which shares most members with Laura OLPH's Hill Slugs) on a ride with an early start and not TOO many hills, hoping to be back before the mercury completely burst out of the glass tube in the heat of the afternoon.

Despite the heat, several of us rode bikes to the start (as did I; it's less than 7.5 miles from my house). Jack H warned us to "drink twice as much as usual", which 1) is completely contradictory to the advice I used to get about not drinking and going to the dratted meetings, and 2) was exactly the right advice for the day.

Prettiness along the way:

Laura was getting a picture of a vulture (I think) on the cross atop a steeple on a church off to your left in the photo above. I tried, but the picture didn't come out for me.

It was a great ride for me; kind of a rolling therapy group for much of the way. Cheaper than inpatient treatment, it was, and with fewer side effects than most medications. It takes riding with the same people over and over to get some of these benefits.

Seven of us started, but one left before the stop, another at the stop, and Very Truly Yours, Plain Jim, when I finally recognized where I was, rolled off to cut seven-or-so miles off what turned out to be a 57-mile trip for me. As Falstaff, never an Iron Man contender, said in Henry IV Part I: "The better part of valor is discretion, in the which better part I have saved my life." Well, he WAS alive at the end of all the plays, wasn't he?