Sunday, July 5, 2015

off-the-books kinda-hilly ride with tom h

Tom H had emailed a few of us that he was planning a "sort of hilly" ride for July 4, to which I could not have gone due to family responsibilities. But yesterday's weather was iffy, at best, so Tom sent around an email tat he was moving it to today, and I could do it today (and the start was close enough taht I could ride from home). So I got up early did the pre-ride prep, stopped for my early morning bagels, and found myself at 8:05 or so at the start near 518 and Canal Road (for an 8:30 start). Shortly thereafter, Laura OLPH rolled up:

We weren't either one of us sure we were in the right place until a few more people came, first Blake:

... and then Tom himself.

Cheryl is up from Florida for the summer; she came along (she SAID she was at the All-Paces ride, but  nobody seems to have seen her...)

Snakehead Ed has developed a predilection for colorful socks; here he is showing off the ones he has today.

Not to be outdone, Laura called for a comparison picture.Laura's sock is on the right.

(I wear black low socks; I am not in this league.)

We did this route (the linked page also shows my ride from and to home). As we approached Dutchtown-Zion, Tom announced his intention of going up Grandview... but Snakehead needed his D-Z fix, so he went that way and met us near Hollow. Some on-the-way pics:

(Blake's been complaining of back problems, hence the stretch.)

Maybe on Dunkard Church, Laura saw some cows in the water. She stopped for pictures, so I did, too:

When we got to Sergeantsville, there were a few bikes there already, and more came in. Several riders wore Anchor House jerseys, no doubt preparing for the upcoming ride. (I did it a few years ago. It was a great experience, but I suck at meeting new people in informal ways, so I wouldn't do it again unless I had a team of people I knew who were going.)

Somewhere-or-other on the way back, I was taken by these chickens struttin' around the lawn.

Snakehead and I got a bit off the front of the group and missed a turn going the wrong way on the one-way part of Opossum, but we went back and found it (figures... I can get lost anywhere!). I wound up with about 70 miles for the day, and about 120 for the weekend. Good enough.

Friday, July 3, 2015

july 3 all-paces

The usual link to the photo album is below, but I want to tell you a couple of things about the "B" ride I went on that Winter Larry led.

We did this not-quite 40 miles.We started strong, but we weren't far along Gordon Road when we passed a sign that said the road was closed. It was not only closed; it was out - we rolled over mud for maybe a quarter-half mile:

From there, we went to Bordentown, where there's been some construction at the river.

Here's Larry expounding:

Good-lookin' crew, ain't they?

We stopped at a familiar deli in Bordentown.

That guy in the red is Mark. I hadn't met him before, but we had some friendly competition. I hope to see him again; he left at the end before I could chat much with him.

One of the reasons I like to come out to the all-paces rides is that The Excellent Wife (TEW) comes out, too. She's learning clipless pedals, and apparently did pretty well with 'em today. I can never tell if she will like a picture of herself or not, but I like this one:

But what you're REALLY here for, I know, is the link to the 2015 All-Paces Album. Here ya go!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

rebar bike

That's reinforcing rod for pre-stressed concrete construction, commonly known as "rebar". It's heavy, and soft compared to other kinds of bars and tubes.

You may not have noticed the saddle is made from bent, drilled sheet metal. There's not much breaking-in gonna be happenin' with that saddle.

Interesting concept, but no, thanks.

From this old Oddman.

Monday, June 29, 2015

this one's for me

I found this in my internet stumblings. I need this one today.

I have no idea where the original is from.

Anxiety and depression suck. (I wasn't deep enough to think of suicide, but it still sucks.)

Sunday, June 28, 2015

weekend rides

Not much doin' this weekend. There was going to be rain most of Saturday, so I got up early did this one. Unrepentant brag: not my best speed, but done on no breakfast and no coffee; started at 6:38 am and uploaded by 8:10.

I had hoped to lead a no-drop ride for the New Brunswick Bike Exchange on Sunday, but the weather continued bad through the morning, so I cancelled. I was in the foulest of moods; with work going bad, I had hoped for the ride to be able to be competent and do something nice for someone, and when that didn't work out, depression and preoccupation moved in. (I'm used to anxiety, which is miserable, of course, but depression is new for me, at least to this depth.) Late in the day, I got an email from Snakehead Ed, back from Korea, and The Excellent Wife (TEW) decided I needed a ride and almost threw me out of the house to go meet him... and then was concerned when I was so preoccupied; she thought I might be dangerous on the bike (I nearly was).

I went to Blackwells Mills to meet Ed. The recent rains have the canal very high:

But there was no flooding on the road. Ed showed up early (I'm chronically early, so I was waiting):

We did this route (that link includes my rides to and from home). I didn't want to risk the unpaved section of Dutchtown-Zion in the wet, so we did Grandview instead. I like that much better! Across Ridge Road, we decided to go straight down (more or less) into Hopewell, and then we investigated a back road to see if there was a bike path (there wasn't). Ed told me about the bike vending machine at Sourlands Cycles:

What a great idea! You can use your debit card, and there are tools, cables, chains and links, tubes... Why don't all the shops have these? (Well, except maybe Kim's. The machine would never survive in that neighborhood.)

While there, I saw this nifty frame:

The Medici brand didn't last long; these guys studied under Masi, but had a falling out after making only a few frames. But how neat! The metalwork cable guide, the lugs at the head tube - and nicely built, with leather bar wrap. (I'd be afraid to take it out and ride it!)

Then on to Boro Bean.

Kitchen was closed, but they had muffins, and a few fresh-squeezed OJ's left.

Then home. I parted company with Snakehead at Butler Road, and came home to do the grilling and the evening chores. The ride did help me get a new perspective.

Back to work tomorrow. Won't THAT be fun.

By the way, TEW and I went to see "Inside Out" this weekend. It's hardly a complete, or even consistent, description of personality, but it's a good movie.

rebellious act

A friend of mine needs this reminder.

From yesterday's Oddman.

Friday, June 26, 2015

nbbx ride june 28

I'm leading a ride for the New Brunswick Bike Exchange on Sunday. We'll be starting at the Blackwells Mills/Six Mile run lot; this link shows a map (the lot is the loop to the right of Canal Road, just below where Blackwells Mills crosses).

Weather is dodgy as I write this. I'll update this post with info about whether the ride is actually going to go by early Sunday morning. Check here for more info.

Edit middle-of-the-night-Saturday-am: At this point, rain is due to end early morning Sunday; if that happens (if it's not raining 30 minutes before start time, and no more rain is expected), I'm going. Keep an eye here.

Edit 6:12 Sunday AM: We had a blackout in the middle of the night, and we're still recovering. Here's the deal: if the weather looks OK at about 8:30-9:00 (when I have to leave to go to the start point; I'll ride the bike there), I'll do the ride; if not, I won't. Check your weather and this blog.

Edit 7:56 Sunday AM: Forget it. I'm cancelling.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

no, thanks

On a recent ride, I heard about these.The Kickstarter raised over $85,000 CAD, and they're now available for preorder.

Bike Balls. Good grief.

No. Don't get 'em for me.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Laura OLPH sent me this:

Original article here.

 Colorless, reflective paint. Is it really colorless? And how long does it stay on?

(It does seem like a good idea...)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

reflection on driving

With the in-laws being sick, The Excellent Wife (TEW) and I have done our share of driving from Central Jersey up to Bergen County, often at the worst of times and in the worst of conditions. We take the Parkway, mostly because the tolls are lower than the Turnpike. But I hate the Parkway; the lanes are too narrow, and I think the presence of trucks on the Turnpike has a calming effect on people in cars. (Do you know why the toll is higher on the Turnpike, in my opinion? Because it's worth it.)

On the way home from staying overnight at the in-laws last night (the Excellent Mother-In-Law was released perhaps just that little bit too early from the hospital), I composed the following bit of doggerel. It's to the tune of "Oh, Tannenbaum":

I hate to drive, I hate to drive;
It really makes me mental.
I'd rather go be skinned alive,
Or have procedures dental.
On turnpike, or on country lane,
It causes pain inside my brain.
Serenity doth fail to thrive:
I say again, I hate to drive.

It strikes me that Laura OLPH's husband, the excellent Professor Jack, does not drive. Perhaps he will relate... or perhaps he's never endured the exquisite torture of, for example, Route 21 in Newark on a rainy rush hour.

no rain, no brain ride

I DID do a ride yesterday... but I hadn't recharged my camera, so no pics; and I'm still not right mentally (as if I ever were), so I don't remember much. You can read Laura OLPH's post about it at this link, but she didn't have her camera either.

She wrote, "Jim got his speed on, up front with Chris and Mark through Fort Dix", which was true, but I was in the back often, too; with my preoccupations, I just didn't want to be riding too close to people in case my wheel drifted as much as my mind was doing.

Route and data here. (I don't remember rain, as Laura alluded to in her post, but there was some misting, and the dirt Laura refers to was definitely there. Snakehead Ed would have eaten it up.)

This depression sucks. I just gotta keep slogging until it passes some. Thank heaven I can ride with people who know me.

bike pic day

Today's Oddman was a collection of bike-related pics and .gif's. Too much cheesecake and bike bling, but I was taken by these:

Remember those? (Or aren't you old enough?)

Below: If I were to have a stained-glass work...

The one below got my attention. If I thought that was what happened to most of the bikes where the front wheel was left behind, I'd be more appreciative, but I suspect most of 'em just get thrown into the back of a truck. Still...