Sunday, February 17, 2019

just because i can

Sometimes you mess around with a picture just because you can.

Click on it to see it full-size. I kind of like it.

Done in GIMP.


You know what that is? That's my Weight Watchers log book, to which I've attached my 5lb token, my 10lb token, and my goal token (I wasn't about to get porky and fussy asking for a 15lb token, although I've earned one).

I've hit my goal. I still have concerns about keeping the weight off; I went down about 45lbs beginning in 2009, and then over the course of the subsequent nine years gained back about twenty. From Weight Watchers, I've learned to count my food points, do my exercises, and go to the meetings (for support and information). My story right now is: that's all I know, so I plan to keep doing that.

If I maintain this goal (within 2lbs) over the next six weeks, I can be a lifetime member, and have access to the meetings and other tools (there's an app for the smartphone that's marvellously useful) without charge as long as I maintain my weight and weigh in once a month. The lifetime membership is my next goal.

I've thrown out all my fat pants. I have plenty of thin pants from when I could fit into them, and I bought one more pair recently because I could. The only fat pants I have left are a pair of khakis, which are too good to throw out, and my tuxedo pants, because they are my tuxedo pants.

It was hard. I was hungry a lot of the time. I now have to learn how to eat so I can maintain, and so I don't feel deprived, because I won't maintain if I feel deprived. But I feel better than I did a few months ago (and The Excellent Wife [TEW] is just delighted).

(Shh. This next will be our little secret. On ride days, if I do a demanding ride, I can eat junk with apparent impunity. Tom H was right about why we ride.)

kosher june ride in february

So Laura OLPH's email asking if I were going on her ride today said:

The Slugs are leaving from Pennington at 9:30.

I blew glass today.

(You need to be reading the posts entitled "A Hot Mess Part NN" on her blog - there's a link above - to get the glass reference.)

Well, when I get invited, I go*; and I also wanna chat with her more about blowing glass (BLOWING GLASS, of all things! How cool is THAT?!), so I replied I was coming, and got up and packed the car (in the 26°F) and drove to the start at Twin Pines in Pennington.

While assembling my kit, and trying not to freeze, I saw Marty G ride up.

He's got a new mount for his camera on the bike, and was considerin' today whether to wear mittens to keep his hands warm, or gloves so he could manipulate the camera.

Better sense prevailed, and he went with the mittens. There will be better days for pictures than today.

Andrew A rode in..., a few minutes later, did Laura and Ricky G.

And, although I didn't get a picture at the time**, so did Ken G, on a cross bike with extra-wide tires and a few pounds of dried mud, just for the increased challenge, I guess.

And sometime after we started, Racer Pete appeared in our midst.

Laura didn't have a route in mind, but Ricky had texted her about a shorter ride with a stop at the end at The Pig (see this post for some explanation... or just see the graphic on the linked page), and that was the plan at the start. So off we went...

...on a route that had almost 1000' of elevation in the first 13 miles. "C'mon, Laura", I complained, "This is a route we're supposed to be doing in June, not February!"

Laura was neither impressed, nor, as I think now, consoling.

We got spread out, and stopped at the top of some hill or other to regroup (we did it a few times, but I didn't get pictures of all of them**).

On we went without a formal stop; Marty stopped at least once for pictures (now, is THAT kind of thing gonna be allowed on a Hill Slug ride?), and Racer Pete had to look at his phone to see who called him, but we basically went through the ride, in hopes of getting back to The Pig before it closed at noon.

But when we were just turning off Wargo Road at something-to-twelve, it became clear that we weren't going to make it to The Pig*** (although we'd been pedaling along at a pretty good clip for a Hill Slug ride). So Laura changed the plan and we stopped at a Dunkin Donuts on Route 31 (sorry for the potato quality of these pics).

When we came out, though the day was considerably warmer than it was at the start, clouds had rolled in, and humidity was up so it felt raw. We rode the few miles back to Twin Pines, where Marty told me about an upcoming trip, and I held forth with bloviation and diapason gassery about the benefits of different diameter bike tires (I must bore people to TEARS about that stuff; it's a wonder anybody speaks to me at all.

In other news, I'm now the Website Editor for the Freewheeler web page; if you have suggestions or requests, you can send 'em to my PFW Editor address. If you have complaints, forward those to the special address at /dev/null.

In OTHER other news, I'm trying to learn better how to wrap my bars. This is an attempt to use alternating wraps of contrasting colors:

It needs work. But don't be surprised if I have different wrap every time you see me this year.

*Barring, of course, invitations from leaders who are too fast, too slow, too serious, too frivolous...

**Did I mention it was 26°F?

***Get it? In the title? Kosher Ride? Didn't get to The Pig? Oh, never mind.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

pennypack ride

This post is gonna be a bit disorganized; I lost my phone on this ride (it was an inexpensive Tracfone, so less of a crisis and more of an inconvenience); I replaced it and have to set up the new one.

There were a flurry of emails during the latter part of the week; Tom H thought of doing a ride along the Pennypack trail (in view of the low temps expected today), and invited a few of the Insane Bike Posse. Bob N, Laura OLPH, and I showed up to start. We packed three of the bikes on Tom's micro-truck, and piled into that and Bob's minivan and headed to the park in Philly.

The closer we got, the more snow I saw on the ground. The others had mountain bikes; I had my cross-hybrid. I was not sure about those tires on the snow...

But off we went.

Now, it was a beautiful day, and the ice and snow were gorgeous. It was NOT, however, either comfortable or particularly safe (although embarrassment was more likely than actual injury). I kept the speed low, and generally maintained some distance from fellow riders, in an effort to stay upright. And while there were no major hills, there were a couple of short, steep climbs on which I wound up walking.

But it was worth the cold.

We did less than 20 miles, from the park entrance to the Delaware River and back.

(Mrs N - Bob really DOES enjoy that mountain bike!)

The trail goes under a number of bridges.  I decided I'd wait until the return to get the pictures, in hopes that the temperatures would be a bit warmer. They were, by about 4°.

I loved the ice between the older and newer sections of bridge in that one. The picture doesn't do it justice.

Beauty doesn't give a damn about either safety or comfort. I managed to make it back without falling, and I didn't quite get chilled all the way through... and it was STILL a great ride.