Sunday, January 27, 2019

no need to apologize; it was just right for me

At the end of today's ride, Laura OLPH apologized for the shortness of the route.As far as I'm concerned, there was no need to apologize; it was just right for me.

(Great picture of Ricky, isn't it? I wanted it up there because that's the one that will show up in the Facebook post.)

Laura's listing indicated we'd either do 45 miles with a break, or 30-ish without, which implied we'd stop at a place we recently tried a few miles from the end. I had a slight preference for the new stop, but not enough that I was willing to argue for it.

Laura also indicated extra miles were available, but I'm not sure these days whether I have the extra miles in me (it turned out I did today, but I'd rather have the extra energy and not need it, than be worn out and miserable, and possibly be riding like a jerk, at the end). So I got to the advertised start at Twin Pines and found Chris C setting up. He found a gash in his rear tire; it didn't look great, but we decided he'd make it through the ride today (he did).

Soon Peter G rolled in (and rolled out again to look for Laura's crew), and then Laura, Racer Peter, and Andrew A came in with Peter G in tow.

We had the discussion about how far we wanted to ride, and decided on the no-break-but-stop-at-the-end option; we'd stop at the place I call "The Pig", because that's their graphic and I can't remember the name of it. Keep reading and you'll see why I call it "The Pig".

In consideration of the temperatures and the wind, Laura decided on a widdershins route around Hopewell, in hopes that the winds to kick up later would be at our back on the way home. This is my kind of route; I don't have to worry about knowing where I am; I can be in kid-brother mode all the way and let the leader choose the roads. And, although a bit cold, it started out a lovely sunny day.

It was a chatty ride; I got to talk to pretty much everybody, and had a good time with that (the fellowship is a major reason I like Laura's Hill Slug rides). We talked about bikes, and family, and jobs, and Laura's glass blowing (I hope Laura doesn't read my interest and fascination with her glass blowing as pushiness for her to continue.. but I certainly hope she DOES continue. Go see the "Hot Mess" posts on her blog for info about that).

Andrew mentioned an article in the New York Times about how a substantial number of fraternities on campuses were embracing a philosophy supporting inclusion and respect for women. I was flabbergasted, but apparently the article actually exists.

Racer Pete was on call, and got a call he had to address, so we stood in the cold for a while as he responded. Peter G took advantage of the opportunity to ride on; the rest of us waited.

When we went on, my hopes were realized, and near the end, we did stop at "The Pig."

The real, if too conventional name, is Sourland Coffee (and that may be why I don't remember the name), but there's this nailed to the counter:

...and the merch has these graphics:

What would YOU call it?

We got there ten minutes before they planned to close, and they were kind enough to serve us anyway.

And Laura's antlers were still on the buffalo, from last time.

At the end, Laura apologized because we hadn't quite hit 30 miles. Yeah, now THERE'S a crisis.

Ride page. We're not too fast; you oughta come out some time.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

rule 9a

I was NOT planning on doing a ride today, what with the cold and predicted snow, but Laura OLPH's email said,

If he doesn’t cancel, I’ll be on Ron’s ride out of Washington Crossing at 10:00 a.m.
Well, all right then. So with a certain amount of misgiving, I packed up the bike, put on five layers (well, it wasn't supposed to be above freezing until I was coming home!), and set the car GPS for Washington's Crossing Park. The fact that there appeared to be only a dusting of snow was a hopeful sing, despite the news on the radio about the heavy snow from North Carolina to DC.

Rule 9 of the Velominati: "If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period." My wussiness quotient is high recently; I could use a little badass.

Chris and Ken W joined Laura, Ron, and me.

Uhhh... note the snow on the parking lot? Well, it turned out there was going to be a lot of that.

Ron figured we'd go until we got cold, and then turn around and come back. We headed down the canal towpath towards Trenton. (I later found that Laura was all turned around, and thought we were going the other way, until we actually arrived in Morrisville. I feel vindicated in my perpetual directional disorientation.)

The snow made the day beautiful...

...but treacherous under my cyclocross tires (which I had purposely underinflated).

There were a few places where the path was slippery, and, with the canal just off to one side, I again had visions of pitching over into the gelid water.

I've decided rule 9 needs a corollary, which we can call rule 9a: If you're riding, and you're terrified, and you're still riding, you are ALSO a badass. Because courage doesn't mean you're never scared (people who are never scared are either crazy or stupid). Courage means you're scared to death, and you do it anyway.

We stopped in Morrisville. I'm trying to maintain discipline, so I abstained from my usual junk.

Ron allowed a mutiny to dissuade him from heading back the same route, so we had a case of duelling navigators who led us across the "Trenton Makes" bridge, through the city, the wrong way down a highway entrance, and back to the canal on the New Jersey side. At one point we had to climb an annoying little hill with barriers at the top, the pictures don't do justice to the nastiness:

But the Jersey side is also gorgeous.

And someday I'm actually going to have to clean off the Krakow Monster.

(Most of that melted off in the car on the way home.)

Saturday, January 12, 2019

ww is for weight watchers

So do you remember that great picture Marty G took of me doing the tire clinic at the Freewheelers Fall Picnic?

Yeah, that one. Click on it and blow it up, and note the several pounds of gut peekin' through the inside of the wheel in my left hand.

I've had that pic as the desktop image on the Ultra Geeky Linux Computer that I do most of my actual writing on (it's got the good keyboard; I can't do much on those laptop computer keyboards). I've been staring at that gut prominence for months.

There's also the fact that the middle digit in my three-digit weight (pounds, not kilograms) recently hit a number that I haven't seen in ten years. There's the fact that I'm hitting the high ends of weight ratings for some of my bike components. There's the fact that ol' Jacob, which is the name I gave to my hip-and-back pain a few years ago, has been more frequently insistent. There's the fact that I have skinny pants that I may never get into again, and that the medium pants I currently wear are starting to complain, and the fat pants that have been hanging in the closet (I mistyped a size on an order a few years ago) are eagerly anticipating their debut.

My sole efforts haven't done anything to bring a change about; I still find myself driving home from work packing away the potato chips I have in a bag on the passenger seat.

So with the blessing of The Excellent Wife (TEW), I got myself out the other night and went to my first meeting of Weight Watchers. It wasn't as awful as I'd thought: nobody pointed and snickered (or, on the other hand, told me I didn't weigh enough to be there); they let me sit in silence for the course of the main meeting; I got set up with my daily points (a daily budget from which you can withdraw the point values, assigned by Weight Watchers, for the food you eat). I've paid the freight and been invited back.

There's an app on my phone now with which I can scan bar codes and get points values for various foods, and track my points. For example, my usual work lunch has been four ounces of a red-cabbage-and-beet-juice salad that TEW gets for me in Polish stores, and four ounces of Swiss cheese. The good news is that the points value is only 2 for that salad. The bad news is that the point value for an ounce of Swiss cheese is 4, so that daily cheese is 40% of my daily budget of points. For yesterday, I cut it down to three ounces.

I don't know enough about the program to know how exercise fits in (and it's different now from what it was when TEW did it, years ago). I get more than a day's worth of extra points per week, and I figure I'll keep those for special occasions and ride days (and I may find that when I put in rides - there's a place to enter exercise in the tracking tools - that the food budget changes).

I suspect I'll learn more about it as the days go by. If my participation does nothing more than eliminate the stopping for the M&M's, or finishing off the donuts at work, that will be pretty good, huh?

Sunday, January 6, 2019

bar wrap nope

It looked more orange-y in the shop, but it sure is pink in the sunlight:

And those little white dots are already collecting grime and turning grey after only one ride. Nope. I'm changing this stuff out as soon as I can get a replacement.