Wednesday, October 22, 2014

nbbx ride sunday 10/26

This Sunday beginning at 10, we'll do a ride from the parking lot by the Blackwells Mills Canal House (mountain bike riders will know it as the beginning of the trail at Six Mile Run). We'll take the D&R Canal Towpath down to 518, and then go by road to the Main St Cafe in Kingston. And then we'll go back.

If you click on the link in the previous paragraph, the lot is the short road extension pointing to the right just below the Canal House.

As usual, no attitudes, lots of stops, nobody dropped, and a minimum of speeches. This will be a slow, social ride; if you can keep the bike upright for the (roughly) 17 miles, you can do the ride. I expect about 2 hours of riding time, plus stops. (I'll have just done a long ride on a similar path the day before, so I'll be in no shape to be speedy!) Helmets will be required. This ride is an activity of the New Brunswick Bike Exchange.

Alex B tells me that the towpath surface is good enough to ride on. I'm counting on him to be right.

The Main St Cafe is one of The Excellent Wife's (TEW) favorite coffee stops, and their baking is good, too (and there's usually a chili that's not to be despised).

At this point, weather looks good. I'll post any changes by about 7:00 that morning. Hope to see you there.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

weekend rides

Friday was one of my Fridays off. I had chores to do, and hadn't slept well the night before, so it was afternoon before I got in this short, easy ride... besides, I had two other rides planned for this weekend that promised to be more demanding.

For Saturday, Tom H had emailed a few of us about a ride from near where I live to Lambertville, but when I contacted him about the ride, I was the only one who could go. The start was about 7 miles from home, so I rode in... and then added six miles when I couldn't find a porta-john. So I had 13 miles when I met Tom.

This route includes my ride from home, the ride to and from Lambertville, and my meandering up Canal Rd to New Rd when I decided to add a couple miles rather than fight the hill on Old Georgetown on the way back. It was almost a Plain Jim route; close to straight out and back. We discussed bikes, family matters, jobs; we slandered a few people who weren't along with us. We stopped at Rojo's, where I should have had something in addition to the coffee; I nearly bonked on the way back. It became a 70-mile day.

WE did see one of the oxen from the Hopewell Valley Stampede; Tom got a picture, and I got a  couple pictures of Tom in the lovely autumn day.

Sunday was the Central Bucks Covered Bridge Ride. I didn't have a group to ride with, and Paul I said he planned to lead a group at a B pace, so I hooked up with him. We had eleven to start, including Paul and Alf, but eight of them disappeared up a hill, leaving Paul, Alf, and I. Where the 50-mile route split from the 60, Alf went off, and Paul and I continued on the longer route, promising to maintain a reasonable pace. A few miles later, I noticed we had picked up a hanger-on. His name is Cen, and he liked our pace, so we were three.

At the second rest stop, Paul met Larry, who rides with Paul sometimes (I'm sure I've met him, but I can't remember where). Paul and he got going a bit faster than Cen and I, and, when Cen and I got to the last rest stop, Paul was already ready to leave. I told him to go, and finished the ride with Cen at a pace we could both handle. (Link to my route page.)

 Too many pictures. I'll post a few below; the rest are in my 2014 Covered Bridges Album page.

Above: Alf, Paul, and (I think) Brent D at the start. Below, some of the bridges:

Above is my attempt at a National Geographic cover. Below, Cen:

... and Paul:

Below, the reason I didn't stay for lunch - the line, in several pictures:



Oh, sheesh.

More pics in my Album.

Addendum: Cen sent me these two:

Sunday, October 12, 2014

new brunswick october ciclovia

Today was the third New Brunswick Ciclovia, where the city closed a few miles of streets for cycling, scooters, skateboards, and family fun. As for all of the previous Ciclovias, The New Brunswick Bike Exchange and our parent organization, PRAB, had a presence, and as in the April and July events, I went and wrenched bikes at the booth, along with several young volunteers from the Bloustein School.

I rode in with three layers, and after a short ride, went back for gloves this morning, but by the end of the day I was down to my turtleneck and wishing I had a tee-shirt; it turned out to be a great day. We had a slow start, but when the neighbors fond out we were there, I was busy almost non-stop through the day; we started at 10, and I had a short break about 2:15 or so. I'm grateful that Alex ran off to get me a sandwich, and Stephanie got me an iced tea.

I thought I did about 60 bikes, but others said I worked on about 100, and the other volunteers were working on bikes as well. Mostly, of course, it was simple stuff: inflating tires, putting chains back on. But these are mostly toy bikes, most of which have never been adjusted, so there was adjustments of brakes and derailleurs as well. One bike came in with a missing jockey wheel in the rear derailleur and a chain routing that defied description. The bike owner said it came from the store that way and nobody had worked on it, but I can't imagine the bike ever worked like that!

The van from our parent organization, PRAB, was there, and the staffer, Cuqui, had music going and kept a party atmosphere. She also had hula hoops, and I understand they were quite a hit, but they were on the other side of the van... by the time I got there to take pictures, much of the hoopla (HAH! I crack myself up!) had passed.

Pictures: Alex toasts me with his morning bagel:

Tom & Stephanie:

A few of the (dozens of) college volunteers.

Setting up.

Customers! and Bikes!

I loved that low-rider cruiser above.

I loved the look of the kid in the picture below.

Below: Cuqui (in red) would be a lot of fun if she'd just loosen up, doncha think?

Below: Stephanie & Alex, in uniform, at the end of the day.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

low riders and kustoms

In my stumblings around the web, I happened on this page of pics from a lowrider and kustom bicycle show on the left coast.

Forgive me, but I think that's way hotter than one of those Renovo bikes...

A couple more to whet your appetite:

The original page has DOZENS more pictures.

In my volunteering as a mechanic at the New Brunswick Bike Exchange, I've had a chance to work on all kinds of bikes, and the more I see, the more I love. These are not my style, but they're great.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

i thought that was the wrong word.

To me, the word "feminism" has always had the implication that the feminine is greater than the masculine. I like "egalitarianism", but I tend toward the prolix and sesquipedalian.

And he should be drinking coffee, or even beer, rather than tea.

From today's Oddman.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

towards "the rules" for amateur non-racing cyclists

Readers will be aware of the Velominati Rules, about which I have mixed feelings. . Below are some thoughts towards some "rules" for amateur, non-racing cyclists. I'm opening them for discussion towards additions, deletions, and edits. What do you think?
  1. If it ain’t fun, don’t bother.
  2. Cash spent on your bike and accessories < miles in your legs.
  3. In case it needs to be specified, lightest and latest equipment also < miles in your legs.
  4. Notwithstanding rules 2 & 3, get good equipment.
  5. Harden the f--- up.
    This rule is kept as rule 5 in homage to the Velominati. In general they are a bunch of racers and pseudo-racers over-obsessed with style, but on this, they’re right.
  6. Yes, there is a contradiction between rule one and rule five. Life is full of contradictions. Light is both a wave and a particle. It can’t be, but it’s so.
  7. Learn enough about your equipment that you have an idea what maintenance might need to be done, and what might go wrong.
  8. Ride your own ride. Be master and commander of your bike. You don't need to do stuff that is scary or uncomfortable just because others do.
  9. If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Also in homage to the Velominati, this rule is kept as rule 9.
  10. Yes, there is also a contradiction between rules 8 & 9. See rule 6. 
  11. Respect the other rider’s bike. It may be the best he or she can afford. The kind of riding that rider prefers may differ from your preference. Or – and you may not be eager to find this out – the other rider may be able, on that bike, to outdo you on yours.
  12. Learn what works for your body: nutrition, training, other exercise, weight, distances, and so on. Rules 1, 5, 7, 8, and 9 will come into more clarity as you are able to grow in this rule.
  13. If you ride enough, and pay enough attention to equipment, or races, or riding styles, or fitness, or something, there will be something about which you will be a complete nutball. It’s OK. Learn what it is, and try to manage it.
    There may be more than one thing. Be careful; there’s not a clear distinction between enthusiast and fanatic. One person can have six cats and be a cat lover; another can have four and be a crazy cat lady.
  14. They’re fun, but charity rides are not an efficient way of raising money. (Edit 10/11/14: In a future edition, this will read, "They're fun, but charity rides are an inefficient means of raising money."
  15. As long as your other responsibilities (financial, familial, social...) are maintained, "because you love it" is a perfectly acceptable reason to buy a bike, or bike toys.
I expect to include edits, changes, additions, and deletions in subsequent posts. Feel free to comment, email me, or speak to me when you  see me in person about these. Final acceptances and refusals will be at the pleasure of the editorial staff of this blog.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

scenic penna hills with tom h

I just have not gotten it together to go on one of Tom H's rides for months. I like his rides (they're usually pretty, hilly, and not too fast) and I like the people that go on them. He advertised his "Scenic Hills of Pennsylvania" ride for yesterday, but rains conflicted, so he moved it to today. It was a pretty day, if cool (two layers on top and tights were almost not enough for me), and it was a pretty ride.

We hit enough of the hills to make Tom's description accurate on this route, including a hill on Callowhill in Perkasie that was a particular nemesis on a previous ride (lost control of the bike and went across some traffic lanes), but I had no problem and was able to keep the front wheel down today. It was a beautiful, clear day, and when we stopped at the dam at Peace Park, Laura OLPH and I took pictures of the birds holding court atop one of the buildings (we also saw what Joe M called a blue heron; see the pics).

We stopped at a great coffee place of which I got neither names nor pictures; I hope Laura will enlighten me in her post.

On the way back, Barry's chain broke and fell out, lying like a steampunk snake on the road. We fixed it with a replacement link and a multi-tool that includes a chain tool. Despite the fact that it was a 10-speed link in an 11-speed chain, and the fact that the chain was a bit short to begin with, we all made it back. No speed records were broken today, but it was a beautiful ride with people I like.

Pics. At the start:

Dratted camera strap!

Above, Marco is making sure Jack doesn't cut him out of the picture!

Below: at Peace Park:

Above, Joe passes the heron. Below, the heron is relieved that we're going away.

What's on top of the building at the end of the jetty (or whatever it is)?

How many birds?

After the fixed chain, above. Below, at the pedestrian bridge at Lumberton.