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.