Thursday, July 24, 2014

sourland spectacular team

I posted on the Freewheeler's Facebook page that I was planning to lead a team at a mid-B pace for the Sourland Spectacular on Sep 6. If you sign up, and you want to be on my team, let me know; I gotta send an email to , and then you've gotta send a confirmation email.

I'll send an email that I'm trying to assemble a team.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sunday, July 20, 2014

d ride 7/20/14

Since my first D ride of the season, I've had email correspondence telephone conversations with the club president, and a board member has been despatched to two of my rides to make sure that all the rules were being followed.

I had no idea I was such an outlaw.

In the board member's defense, there have been two riders on two of my rides (one each) without helmets. In my defense:
  1. The first joined the ride after the start, and did not hear the safety speech;
  2. The second joined the ride on a day I had to change the route on the spot; there was a half-marathon at the place I planned to start, with a certain amount of chaos resulting;
  3. I now keep two extra helmets in the car when I drive to ride starts (although I don't always drive);
  4. The ride announcements on my blog usually include a notice that helmets will be required.
In any case, both my The Excellent Wife (TEW) and Laura OLPH decided to risk being outlaws with me today on the "D" ride I led from Blackwells Mills today. I had gotten an email from a Susan, but she was not at the start when it was time to go.

You may find the route link confusing. I rode from home to Blackwells Mills, then up to Millstone, then back down to Blackwells Mills, where I met John S. then I went out along Canal Rd to see if anyone had parked in the wrong spot. We got the riders together, and went down to Kingston and returned, at a stately, not to say regal, pace. TEW decided she wanted some more miles, so we went up to Millstone (for the second time today, for me). Then I rode back home.

On the way down to Kingston, we came up to the Other Terhune farm, and Laura was taken with the look of the old farm implements. She didn't have her camera, so I took some pictures for her; you'll see them below.

After this stop, I looked in my mirror, and saw that a young lady in black was riding along behind us. After a while I dropped back to chat with this "stowaway", and discovered that she was the Susan of the email; she'd gotten a late start, and caught up with us after we stopped at the farm.

And so down to the Main St Cafe, where we met Ken G and the group from his Sunday "Come Ride Hills with Hart's" ride. TEW, Ken, and I chatted about his luck about meeting people he knows everywhere he goes - even in foreign countries!

And then back. On the way back, TEW noticed that Susan's back tire was low, and had me pump it up. You don't suppose TEW's turning into a ride sweep, do you?

Pictures. At the start:

At the farm. (Did these come out OK, Laura?)

Sue, who caught up with us:

Meeting up with Ken G's ride:

tom h goes to califon

Despite his giving me a hard time sometimes (see the bottom of his post), I like riding with Tom H; as I've said in another post, I like hilly rides, and Tom frequently comes across with them. What's more, I like the people that come out on Tom's rides. So when Tom had a ride starting at Raritan valley Community College, and going to Califon, for yesterday, I decided that was what I wanted to do.

When I got to the college, Tom was there, as was Winter Larry (usually a flatlander). One by one, Barry Y, Blake, Cheryl (doing maybe her last hilly NJ ride; she's moving to Florida in a few weeks), and Laura OLPH came into the lot.

We did this route.  That average is deceiving; my max was 36.7, and I set a new record for a minimum, non-stopped speed; I now know I can keep the bike upright, if the grade is not too steep, at 2.4mph (well, how slow can YOU go?). I remember rather more hills than the elevation profile at the bottom of the RideWithGPS page shows... but it may have been that the complaints of the riders made the hills feel longer and harder than they were. A few of our number were waxing poetic about the demands of this ride on their body parts: lungs, legs, and other anatomy were referred to.

We stopped at the same Krauszer's we stopped at on the Cocoluxe ride a month ago. It's only a Krauszer's, but the proprietor treats us like folks when we come; I like this stop. While there, Larry and Tom had some discussion about the route and the hills.

I like the stop, but I didn't like the hill on Old Farmer's Road that started immediately afterwards. It was neither the longest, nor the hardest hill of the ride, but it started right after the stop, when we were not warmed up. I get a post-stop phenomenon I call "rigor mortis"; right after a stop, my legs are stiff, and I usually like to be able to spin a bit before doing anything real demanding.... but the routes don't always go that way.

After the hills, though, the last part of the ride was easy: Rockaway, then down some soft hills to the end (although I nearly tripped at a curb; Blake was there to remind me to "keep the rubber side down"). There's a small uphill just as you get back to the college to remind you of what you've done. It gave the complainers something more to exercise their throats about.

Still, I liked this ride. And, as I said, I like the people who come out on Tom's rides.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

easy ride 7/20

Let's do another of those rides to the Main St Cafe. We'll start at Blackwells Mills at 10; you can use this link to find the location (it's the loop to the right of Canal Rd, just below the Canal House).

It will be a road ride. It's just over 17 miles round trip. The usual rules apply: wear helmets, ride safely, and so on. Pace will be easy (and set by the group; if you can keep the bike upright for the distance, you can do this ride).

No attitudes, nobody dropped, lots of stops, and only the obligatory speeches! Hope to see you there. Sunday, July 20. Weather is iffy; if anything changes, I'll post here by 7am Sunday.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

probably-shouldn't-have ride with ed c

On Friday, I did the slow ride with The Excellent Wife (TEW), and on Saturday, the only riding I did was back and forth the the Ciclovia with my tools. So I was feeling like I deserved a ride today.

I like long rides. I like hilly rides. I especially like long, hilly rides. Friend Ed C had one in the book for today, a more-or-less metric century with hills. Some of his friends weren't coming, so I resolved to do this ride.

But riding slower than my comfortable pace, as I did on Friday, is hard work. Being on my feet outside, wrenchin' bikes, as I did yesterday, is hard work, and then riding home into the wind is work.

I was tired before we started today. In fact, I was chatting with Peter F (the only other rider on this ride) before the start about how tired I was and how I wasn't going to be showing off today. By the time Ed came and discussed his possibilities for the route, I was within an ace of getting back in the car... but I didn't.

We did this route, improvising as we went. I remember worrying on that big hill starting about mile six... and then the rain came (in defiance of the predictions). But I swallowed my misgivings, and on we went.

My judgment was off. I completely missed the General Store in Oldwick, and we went around Hill-and-Dale Rd and added a few miles before the stop (we met a few riders there; one got my picture; you'll see below). I felt better after having eaten a bit, and we went on from there, but after about another ten miles, I was slogging again. Cheryl M had given me some maple jelly beans which were too sweet for her. I've not found the candy item too sweet for me, so I took them from her, and had brought some on this ride. They helped he up the hill at Liberty Corner. (The humidity didn't help; even with my Halo headband, the sweat was dripping into my eyes and onto the bike.)

I found a second wind when we turned onto River Road, and I realized that the next turn would be into Johnson Park and the end. I don't think I looked as tired as I felt, but I was glad when we stopped.

I'm also glad that I get to go to work tomorrow. I need a rest after this busy weekend!


The guy below doesn't look as tired as he is.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

new brunswick july ciclovia

No group ride today; instead, today was the second New Brunswick Ciclovia for 2014. As last time, the New Brunswick Bike Exchange had a location (next to the stand for PRAB, out parent organization); we set up another mechanic stand, and Paul B, Mike B, and I did some wrenching on a number of kids bikes and way too many toy-store bikes.

I'm conflicted about toy-store bikes. There is definitely a place for low-end, affordable bikes for people who don't want to commit several hundreds, or several thousands, of dollars into something they may not use much, However, even in the cases where these bikes come with adequate components, they are rarely adjusted adequately, and many come with mismatched parts, or cheap parts, or cheap, mismatched parts, that make close adjustment impossible. Much of what we did today was adjustment on toy-store bikes, and it's frustrating.

But much of it was fixing kids bikes, and they're great. They're usually simple, and just need a tire inflated, or a tube patch, or a chain put back on, and they're ready to go. The kids are delighted, as are the parents (as best I could tell; many of the parents don't speak any language in which I am conversant).

Some people couldn't believe we were doing this for free, and, in truth, I wasn't; I tried to make sure that any person I wrenched for, or the parents of any kid whose bike I worked on, took info about the Exchange. We can always use volunteers and donations (and customers!).

We were busy. I only got a few pics, because once we started, we were going right along. First, setting up with the PRAB staff:

David, and Mike B:

(Laura, I couldn't resist the one below.)

Thank heaven Paul found that shady spot!

Next one's in October. You ought to come out!

Edit: In a group email about this post, I was referred to as "Volunteer Extraordinaire". While I'm grateful for the title, I have to insist that Paul get the title as well. He's at the exchange most shifts, I understand, and has been deeply involved with its success since he started.

Friday, July 11, 2014

stop and smell the roses ride

The Excellent Wife (TEW) got a bike last year, largely so she and I could ride together sometimes. We decided we'd go out on Sue M's C-ride from Bruno's this morning.

Only one other rider, Donna, came along. We did this route. It was a leisurely ride on a nice day, and TEW and I liked hanging out together. (Edit: But it can be hard riding slowly up a hill!)

But almost none of my pictures came out (in fact, NONE of the pictures of Donna facing the camera did!). Here are the only ones that did:

i will ride with this guy any day

Here's hoping he stays with it long enough to need to buy another jersey and shorts. And then another one.

I wish I saw more of this. C'mon, man. You got this.

From today's Oddman.

Monday, July 7, 2014

strike the pose, jim

From the ride yesterday - somewhere or other, leader Tom H got this picture of me striking a vogue pose:

I especially like the jaunty angle of the helmet.

Go read his full post about the weekend, with hills, cramps, in-laws, and dropping us.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

92% of a hilly ride with tom h

After yesterday's fast, hilly ride, I didn't want another fast one... but Tom H had one in the book:

HILLS ALONG THE DELAWARE: Join Tom as he heads along the quiet roads and scenic hills along the Pennsylvania and NJ side of the Delaware River. Terrain will be hilly with a couple of tough climbs at a slow B pace.

Tom promised 45-55 miles, and I figured I could do that. So I headed out to Bull's Island at some ridiculous hour this morning to get there by 8:30, and came up behind Tom's pickup.

Six others came: Laura OLPH, Cheryl, Blake, Barry Y, Henrietta (who came out on yesterday's "fast boys" ride), and Ed, whom I've not met before. We set up, enjoyed the plumbing at Bull's Island (it was open! Yayy!), and set off.

Before you look at the route, you need to know that I forgot to turn off the GPS when I put the bike in the car. The last three miles of the linked route are an arrant fraud, as is the top speed, and (to a certain extent) the average speed. Laura and I did about 45.5 miles; the last time I looked at the GPS prior to packing the bike, my top speed was 37.0 and my average was 14.1. So here's the linked route, stupid mistakes and all.

We started off by heading up to Sergeantsville to see the covered bridge (Henrietta asked me a couple of times if these were the same roads we had done yesterday. HAH! As if I would know! That's why I have a GPS!). I remember suffering on Upper Creek, but I was able to keep going. I wasn't always out front (Blake and Henrietta were usually showin' me the way), but I had better recovery from yesterday than I would have predicted.

Hartpence was tough, but I remember the nifty, ripping downhill on Hickory Corner, and Milford-Mt Pleasant. Unfortunately, the camera batteries gave out, so I didn't get good pictures there. We crossed the river at Milford, and stopped in at the Black Eddy store, where I got replacement batteries while Cheryl and Laura fed their coffee addictions. I got some pictures there.

The off to climb the hill at Bridgeton Hill Road (Whew! No warmup! Just leave the stop and climb!). We rode the ridge in Pennsylvania, and when Laura stopped to get a picture, we lost the rest of the group. We came to a place where one road said "No Thoroughfare" (or something), and took the other road when we saw a shadow of a rider ahead. It turned out that the road we didn't take went into a state park, and that was where Tom led. Laura and I took Tory Road to Cafferty, and Laura was impressed with Cafferty enough that I wouldn't be surprised if there were a Hill Slugs ride that incorporated Cafferty before the pumpkins are ripe.

After some phone conversation with Tom, Laura and I went on to the pedestrian bridge at Lumberville to wait for the rest, and we swapped opinions about wheel construction and eleven-speed cassettes. Laura got some pictures of fauns going beneath the bridge (I'll link to 'em when she posts 'em, if I remember Edit: I remembered; see her blog post here), and we chatted with some other folks crossing the bridge until Tom and the rest of the ride showed up.

And then I put the bike in the car without turning off the GPS... but you know that part.


At Black Eddy:

(I like bike pictures.)

At the top of some hill or other:

Making sure this was the correct turn:

It was.

Laura taking a picture; we're about to get lost.

Re-connecting at the bridge: