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?

Sunday, June 24, 2018

coulda done more

Freewheeler Brad set up a ride for yesterday that sure sounded like it wanted to be a Hill Slugs ride; he was looking for a social B pace in the hills, and he had a new coffee place in Pittstown he either wanted to try out or show off. It caught Laura OLPH's attention, and she sent out an email to The Usual Suspects saying that we should plan to go on Brad's ride, or, if weather intervened, she would plan a similar ride for today.

Weather DID intervene, and Brad cancelled (which I why I was able to waste yesterday at the rowing challenge). Laura's ride was planning to be 54 miles with a gazillion feet of climb... but I got an email from Tom H that he was planning on shortening the ride and reducing the climb. Well, altruism demanded that I couldn't let him ride back alone, almost as quickly as good sense poinited out that I haven't done well on rides over 50 miles this year (especially with climbing), and by the time my inner voices had finished shouting at one another, I had resolved to go back with Tom from the stop.

There were nine to start. NINE? Two Peter's, Ricky, Jack, Andrew, Brad... and Tom, Laura, and me.

On the way:

Laura was taken with this barn that had a bad case of what I've been taught to call Adirondack sag:

Tom's route tracked Laura's up to the stop, the Brew 362 in Pittstown (the only web presence I can find is their Yelp page). they don't have a lot and they are WAY under construction, but it's a pretty place and they seemed happy to see us (and that last always gets a recommendation from me, as there appear to be so few people who ARE happy to see us!).

There was another crew of bikers there when we got there.

They cleared out, and we moved in. The place is going to be pretty when the construction is done.

And, as noted, Tom and I came back by a fairly straight, and less hilly route than the others had planned. I wound up with 46 miles and about 2600' of climb after adjustment. I coulda done more... but I'm glad I didn't have to.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

rowing for the team

My coworker, Michelle, goes to at least one gym, and maybe several; regular crossfit isn't demanding enough for her so she goes to places that are more serious. Until a real local gym aficionado comes along, she'll do.

Weeks ago, she'd spoken about a rowing challenge from local gym Bodhi to support the Somerville Ambulance & Rescue Squad. I only found out yesterday that I didn't have a conflict, and offered to go, and Michelle was able to make space for me on her team.

The event was to take place on Division Street in Somerville, which has been closed to traffic and made into a pedestrian mall.

For the $25 charge, the organizers offered support and water (and some gimmes), and set up maybe a dozen rowing machines for the teams. We were to row the equivalent of 13 miles, a half-marathon; we had two hours to do it.

There was a crowd of people there, all of whom were way younger and far more fit than I.

And the young lady in the picture below was chief organizer and cheerleader. She has a flair for it.

The counters on the rowing machines are set so that as the difficulty is increased, the distance equivalent is farther, so we had the pointer set fairly high (although not at the maximum that Michelle usually uses!) Pardon the potato quality of this picture of the rest of my team at the start.

That's Lauren, another coworker, on the left in the blue jacket, then Mel, then coworker Michelle, then Julie on the right.

Gettin' down to work:

We took turns doing distances; most of the team was faster than I, but I did slightly longer distances than some. Michelle put in the most.

A better team picture at the end:

Yes, that's a cane on which I'm leaning. It's my excuse for my poor performance.

The organizers had made sure that refreshment would be available...

.... but I'm afraid, after hearing about this place from The Excellent Wife (TEW), that my attention was elsewhere:

...and soon I expect I'll be tuckin' into a pizza. Or two.