Sunday, September 16, 2018

barely b

So I posted a ride, and this time the weather cooperated and I didn't have to cancel, like I've done four times this year (!). I've done thirteen listings, and led four times. Hmm.

Laura OLPH and Joe M came out for this one. I'm still pretty crazy in my head, and I was glad of the company. Laura and I chatted about work, friends, bikes, and such (she use parts that are no longer made, and has been haunting Ebay for "new old stock" and "used but usable"). Joe is quieter, but I was glad he came as well. I have terrible pictures I'll post below.

Now, for my thirteenth listing, SOMETHING had to happen...  and as I was riding I felt water droplets on my leg. Huh? I looked down, and, of all things, the lid to my water bottle had gone missing while the bottle was in the cage:

We traded theories about how it happened. Any suggestions?

We did this route (that ride page includes my ride from home and back). My average was just 15.0, barely into B range, and Laura and Joe were with me the whole way, so I doubt their numbers were higher by much!

We stopped at the bagel place in Princeton North, where I got these pictures that border on libelous:

Laura left for home after the stop; Joe and I road back to the start.

I'll be leading a slow C+ ride at the picnic next week. I hope I can keep up.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

ride for september 16

So y'know that ride I wanted to do last week that got rained out, and I wasn't in any shape to do it anyway?

Let's try it again this Sunday. This will be the third time this year I've moved a ride by a week. I'm getting good at it.

35 miles or so, at my usual low-B pace.

Route page. If you're riding in, you can figure where to cut out.

This will be a Princeton Freewheeler club ride. Link to listing on Freewheeler site.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

ride for september 9

I'm working Saturday September 8, so I was glad to see the weather prediction clear up a bit for Sunday 9/9. Let's do about 35 from Six Mile/Blackwells Mills. I'll list at at my usual low-B pace, but I went out with Team Social Security today, and couldn't finish the C+ ride, so the pace may be slower (I hope that the heat, and the brake bind I found later, were the problem, and not my general decline).

Route page. If you're riding in, you can figure where to cut out.

This will be a Princeton Freewheeler club ride.

Link to listing on Freewheeler Website.

 Edit Sp 8 2018, 8:19 pm: Weather threatens  again, and my sole sign-up has family stuff to do. We'll try again.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

visiting mom

Shortly after my father died, six years ago, my mother moved into senior housing in Buffalo, a few miles away from where my sister and her husband have a house (the announcement of the move came as a surprise to me). Mom's birthday is today, so every Labor Day, The Excellent Wife (TEW) and I take a long weekend and drive up to visit.

We stayed in a guest room at the apartments where she lives, and dropped in on her after the drive up on Friday.

On Saturday, before mother was potting about, we went to a HUGE farmers market near my sister's house. It's big enough that there's competition, and instead of paying a premium for buying at a farmers market, as seems too often to be the case here in the Garden State, stuff is actually cheaper (and, usually, better) that stuff in stores. Here's TEW, my sister, and her husband rejoicing in their farmers market finds:

From there we went to the Burchfield Penney gallery. Burchfield was an artist who mostly did trees, and I wish i liked his stuff better than I do. He left some money for the gallery, as well as his works and collection. They specialize in modern (many of them, living) artists. Some of the stuff was cool...

 That above is Backpack by Jason Seeley, from 2013, and I thought it was great. But much of the stuff is disturbing in various ways, like this Little Dancer by Jonathan Rogers from about 2000:

It's part of a series of works, and they were NOT comfortable.

Mom came out with us to the gallery, though, and loved it. I think much of what she loved was being out with family, though. More later on that.

The next day, Sunday, my sister and her husband, and TEW and I, did the "Maid of the Mist" boat trip that goes to the bottom of Niagara Falls.

...and a gajillion other pictures that didn't come out.

Then back to Mom's apartment, where her little brother, who's 83 and the life of the party, came over from Rochester. We went out to dinner and had a great time.

But mother is 88 now. She can take care of herself with some help, but she can't retain new memories, and doesn't remember that she's already told you what she just told you, to say nothing of what she told you last week. She's not to the point where she can't be trusted living on her own, but I won't be surprised if she's at that point by the time next year rolls around.

She's twenty-four years and a bit older than I, and I worry for my own condition in the upcoming years, as well as hers. My ride home was thoughtful and emotionally difficult. And the end is not yet. I am lucky and grateful to have TEW to put my parts back together.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

finding where i fit

Normally I'd go out with Tom H, but he was leading his annual Lying Bastard ride around Lake Nockamixon, with about 3000 feet of climb in the 50+ miles. I'd had a problem overdoing it on my last hilly ride. (I didn't make it clear in that post, but things felt spinny at the end of that ride. I think it's due to a new blood-pressure medication, and I don't want to risk such a demanding ride until I'm sure I can handle it.) So I figured I'd go out on the B ride in Cranbury today. I figured a flat B pace was within my capability.

I found it curious when Jud H, whom I know has done long-distance riding, headed off with Ira's C+ group instead of the B group.

We went out pretty fast and got faster. At Dey Grove Road, the order was given that people could sprint to the end, and I was immediately dropped. I rode at a pace to get to the end and was dead last, and still had an average speed of 18.1 when I pulled up to the group. I told them to go on without me; nobody likes to be the one holding the group back.

Alone, I proceeded back along Dey Grove... and came up on Ira's C+ ride coming the way I'd just gone. Among them were a number of people I knew. So I joined that ride, with Ira's permission.

It was a friendly group. At one point I zipped ahead to get some pictures.

We stopped at Roys.

...and of COURSE I got bike pics:

Now, we all know riders who have been used to riding at a certain level in the past, but their abilities are perhaps fading with time. Nobody likes to tell anyone that they can't ride the way they used to. The Excellent Wife (TEW) has made it abundantly clear that she's worried that I won't be able to let go, and I'll put demands on myself riding that I won't be able to meet. Perhaps today's ride is a sign. I'm sure once I get used to the meds, I'll be able to go do hilly rides again. But as for speed and pacing, perhaps it's time to admit I can't be a fast boy anymore... if I ever was.

It's humble pie. But if it means I get to ride with folks I like, and converse while I'm pedaling... well, perhaps the humble pie has an aftertaste of honey.

Ride page. (If you play it in the player, you can see where I did the back-and-forth as I'm heading toward Manalapan. Play it at 200x; it's deadly boring otherwise.)

Friday, August 24, 2018

tew & i ride with team social security

So if you read the last few posts, you'll know that The Excellent Wife (TEW) and I have been off this week. TEW knows better than I do what's good for me, and she planned this week to maximize rides.

Team Social Security is the self-bestowed nickname of the riders who go out of Etra on Mondays and Fridays, and Byron Johnson Park in Allentown on Wednesdays. Once upon a time, years ago, I had a job from which I had off every other Wednesday, and I rode with 'em then; I still like to go with 'em when I can. And TEW has started; she rode with 'em last Friday.

Well, they have a C ride that TEW does, and the C+ ride that I do, so we went together to the start this morning.

It's a shame Eddie's such a grump, right?

And I love Al P's face in that one, above.

The Team Social Security folks don't need me to sweep (they're pretty good at keeping track of one another), but I like to do it, and they pretty much let me. Though they have two rides at the different paces, their abilities are all over the map; the C+ ride was high in the range (don't use my average as a guide; see below), and TEW, who rode the C ride, said that some of those riders were off the back of their peloton. So I keep track of the riders in the back on the C+ ride, and Al makes believe it's useful when I do.

We did this route, and stopped at Roy's. Roy's has an Indian food buffet on Fridays. It wasn't out yet when we got there, but it was in prep, and it smelled GREAT. (Well, that was my opinion - maybe that was why everybody was hanging out outside. OTOH, it was a great day!)

I haven't had a portfolio of obligatory bike pics in a long time:

I love the look of road bikes.

On the way back, along Bresnahan Road, we heard the bang-and-hiss associated with a sudden tire problem; one of the riders had blown out a piece of sidewall. Uncharacteristically for Freewheelers, most of the group headed back; Al P and I stayed with the affected rider while I fitted a tire boot and got him back up and running again. (Yes, you can use a bar wrapper or a dollar bill, but I've had the problem in the past, so I carry a Park tire boot.) When we got back rolling again, we put in a spirited pace (ahem!) back to Etra, and I'm sure that raised my average.

We got back about twenty minutes before TEW and her ride.

Better picture of TEW (she might not think so, but I do):

A good day.

So listen; I know the Sprague Memorial rides are going out Sunday, but I don't have the stamina for either at this point. If you don't either, maybe you wanna come out for about 36 miles from Franklin? Low B pace, I expect. (I only need three more rides to qualify for a jersey. Come out and support a guy!)

Edit:  See Martin's comment.

The "uncharacteristic" behavior to which I was referring is this: in my experience, when a Freewheeler has a flat, at least two thirds of the other riders hover around those addressing the flat tire, offering assistance, good advice, bad jokes, and the like. My standard, unfunny riddle is, "How many Freewheelers does it take to change a flat?" to which the answer is, "How many have you got?" It makes more sense, on a day such as this, to seek shade (and, this far along into the ride, to head back to the cars), but it was, in my experience, unusual. I meant no censure, and I'm sorry if I hurt feelings.