Monday, May 25, 2015

You Shall Know Me By the Frog and the Braid

Ward Road, Bordentown

25 May 2015

I: Hill Training

On Friday, Jack left for 5 weeks in DC.  When all of his traveling fellowships are over, he'll have been away for nearly five months out of twelve. I suck at being alone, which is to say that, even though I might be very good at filling the time, I don't enjoy rattling around inside my own head. That he left on the eve of a three-day weekend didn't help matters either. Long story short, I sunk uncharacteristically low on Friday evening.  As tough as I seem and want to be, there are times when biochemistry takes over.

Buddies are there with you in the good times; friends are there for you when things are bad; and the FreeWheelers always have something going on when the weather is good.

Saturday was an off-the-books ride concocted by Tom to get us ready for the hills of Bike Virginia. It was also a test of Miss Piggy's latest repair to end all repairs (a new washer to replace a stripped one between the front derailleur and the braze-on).

I'm not used to the bike not making any noise.

We started at Bulls Island and warmed up on Route 29.  I was surprised, and relieved, when Tom didn't put us on Federal Twist.  Instead we went down to Lower Creek, which is one of my favorite roads.  I might have to take it off the list, though, because it did not fare well over the winter.

We went under the Green Sergeants covered bridge and onto Upper Creek, where I felt obligated to point out the long driveway leading to the glass studio where I spent a weekend in February.  I was right back then when I told the instructor that, come the good weather, glass blowing would be far from my mind.

Instead, bike repair has taken up residency; I'm not even making jewelry.  Gonzo is a little bit back together again, Ross having installed the new bottom bracket and headset.  For my birthday, Jack and Jim colluded to get me a repair stand and some specialty tools.  I have everything I need to start building the rear wheel, too.  My goal is to have the wheel built by the time Jack returns.

Anyway, we rode up on the ridge for a while before slightly descending and then re-ascending near the Alexandria airport.  We were south of it, on Schoolhouse, when we saw half a dozen people parachuting down, floating in the wind.  We talked about the relative degrees to which we would be shitting ourselves were we the ones up there.  "I like being on the ground," I said.

Tom took us up Rick Road and then the nasty grade on Hartpence just so that we could coast down Hickory Corner. We dropped into Milford by way of 519.  Of course, we had to walk across the bridge. Of course, I had to take a couple of pictures.

I've been buying coffee online from Homestead Coffee Roasters because as often as I buy from them it's too far to drive.  A few weeks ago I had a long email conversation with Mike, one of the roasters.  He'd run out of the estate Sumatran and wouldn't be able to get more, which is a pity because it was really good.  He sent me a couple of other single origin beans to try instead.  So when we got to Homestead and I saw him in the store, I had to thank him for his efforts.  That led to him leading me to the roastery next door to the general store.

He offered me a sample of cold-pressed Papua New Guinea beans that he'd run through compressed gas and served from a tap.

It tastes like cold coffee and seltzer water. Because that's what it is. I pass no more judgment than that.

Often there's a kitty wandering about.

Over our snacks, Tom, Marc, Ron, and I began discussing the logistics of our drive to Virginia. Four people, four bikes, at least four suitcases, and two hotels make for some interesting planning.  I made it worse by suggesting that, since Jack's fellowship ends the day we return, I might as well swing by DC to pick him up. Tom didn't seem fazed by this.

He also proposed stopping to ride on Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, halfway to Abingdon, Virginia.

With three days of climbing in mind, we got back on our bikes and started up Bridgeton Hill Road. There's a hairpin turn not far from the bottom.  This was made far more interesting by traffic in both directions, a rut in the road wider than a car tire and as long as a pickup truck, and a rider in front of me who ran out of gears. I managed to get past him, but Jim didn't.  I heard him swear and, in my rearview mirror, saw him stop on the other side of the road.  I called ahead that there was trouble, but when I looked behind again I saw that Jim was back on his bike.  Spinning away in the granny gear as I was, it didn't take long for Jim to catch up to me.  "What happened back there?"

"We're not going to talk about it."

"Is everything okay?"

"We're not going to talk about it."

Not until I read Jim's account a day later did I learn what happened.

We wound our way up and down to Ralph Stover State Park.  We're allowed to ride across this bridge...

...but not the one leading back to Bulls Island.

I stopped at Hart's on the way home.  I needed to adjust Miss Piggy's saddle position (because I didn't own a torque wrench) and to pick up Gonzo.  Although the store was moderately busy, Ross took time to talk with me about tools and wheel building. He also shared some sad news about someone Cheryl and I used to ride with back in the day.  Godspeed, Richie.

II: Saturday Night

After lunch, a shower, and a few chores, I headed out to the porch to put together the repair stand. It took me far longer than I expected it to, hampered further still because I was texting Dale and Terry C the whole while.  I finally got it together and settled down to read Roger Musson's Professional Guide to Wheel Building, which Jim instructed me to read before getting anywhere near my new wheel components.  When it began to get dark, I decamped to a room upstairs -- the room where my beadwork glowers at me for ignoring it -- to continue reading.  Loneliness and hunger were setting in, and I texted Jack to call me whenever.  Just then, a text arrived from Dale, asking if she could stop by to see the repair stand "like, now."  When I got to the front door, Dale and Sean were on their bikes in my driveway.

We ended up sitting out back, the frame on the table, until it occurred to us that none had eaten dinner.  We went back to their house so that they could change, and wound up at the nearest diner. Salad bar and sweet potato fries for dinner at 10:00 p.m.

III: No Energy for Cranbury

Bike Virginia will be three days of hard riding, so I was prepared to go hard in Cranbury on Sunday and long on Memorial Day.  I figured the usual passel of Fastboys would be out in force. They weren't, but I was off the back anyway. I didn't want to blow myself out and leave nothing for tomorrow.  I don't recover quickly enough for that.

Larry saw that I was lollygagging and pulled in front of me.  He reached out his hand and said, "You're tired.  Draft behind me."

I feigned exhaustion by groaning.

"Draft behind me.  Save something for Jack."

"He's in DC."

"Oh.  In that case, you can pull me."

So I did.  For, like, ten seconds.  

The rest stop in New Egypt helped me recover, and I dutifully took a pull on Old York Road.  We had a tailwind; it felt like cheating.

IV: More Tools

The tools that Jack gave me were a good start, but I needed more. I had a list.  I was on a mission. For the second time this weekend, I found myself conforming to a stereotype I loathe:  the weak girl.  The fellow minding the tool section was helpful to a point; he helped me pick out a drill.  But when it came to the torque wrench, he merely gestured, said, "It's expensive," and trundled off.  I didn't let that stop me. I figured it out, and got a bunch of other tools too, many sorely needed to round out the meager household collection.

The woman who rung me up was impressed.  "These are some serious tools!  What are you building?"

"A bike."

"Is your husband helping you?"  Stereotypes.

"He heckles from the sidelines."  So much for stereotypes.  

She did redeem herself when she asked if I had brothers, found out that I came by my tomboyishness naturally, and admitted that she hates dresses. So do I.  "Instant objectifictaion," I said.

Still, I sent a list of what I'd bought to Jim and Jack so that they could advise and mock me.  In the end, I did pretty well. I might only need to return the SAE fittings for the torque wrench because most bike parts are metric; and the wrench might not get up to the torque I'd need to remove a bottom bracket or a cassette.  I can deal with that later, I guess.

I sat in bed with the wheel building book.  I'd understood everything so far, but I got stuck trying to grasp the difference between leading and trailing spokes.  I read the section again.  I tried to remember what Jim had taught us in class.  I stared at the illustration some more. I gave up and went to sleep.

V: The Memorial Day Mutiny

It's an open secret that a handful of us don't like the crowds of All-Paces rides. Sometimes we plan our own mutiny ride from somewhere else.  Sometimes I agree to lead a small group, putting a cap on the number of riders at twelve. Sometimes a few of us conspire to start with a group and then politely break off with a few people in tow, which is what Tom and I figured we'd do today.

I biked to the park, where Jim found me and handed me a sock full of wheel building tools. 

There were so many B riders that two groups formed.  One leader goes more slowly than I like. The other is new to the club and was leading for the first time, bless his crazy head. He's also volunteered to lead the Sunday B out of Cranbury, so I know for sure he's crazy, but bless him for taking that on, too. The new leader's group was smaller, but looked faster.  Tom and I chose the smaller group. I figured I'd get dropped if we didn't mutiny first.

The plan was to head north toward Cranbury. We got word that Gordon Road was closed. I wondered how closed it was, and if we could try to get through.

We started off slowly, heading east through the park then doubling back. We left the park on Hughes Drive, where Marc somehow managed to run over a rusty, 1-inch screw in such a way that it embedded itself completely in his tire. I offered up a boot for the hole, but I'm pretty sure the tire is going to need a tetanus shot.

While Marc fixed his tire, I talked with Ken G, whom I haven't seen for a couple of years.  "I saw you last week," he said, when he was with his son at a lacrosse game out in the flatlands.  "You were with a few other people. I knew it was you. I saw the braid and the frog."

I took the screw so that I could get a better picture of it later:

When we turned onto Old Trenton Road I found myself near the front. Tom and Marc were in back somewhere.  I didn't push to stay up front; I kept my pace and watched as rider after rider passed me until I was back with Tom.

"I think it's time to break off," Tom said.  "Wanna go to Gordon Road?"


"I'm staying with the group," Marc said.

A mutiny of two is still a mutiny, I guess.

Gordon Road has been obliterated from just east of 130 past Bresnahan even.  What's there now is hard-packed dirt and gravel rippled with construction tire tracks. Another McMansion farm is springing up and the road is being realigned. That we got through the mess at all is because we've both been mountain biking and there's been no significant rain for a while.  Write off Gordon Road for the rest of the summer.

We decided to stop at the tiny strip mall on Ward Road in Bordentown.  At 28 miles, one of my water bottles was empty. The deli was open and the clerk biker-friendly.

Even though we were maybe half a mile east of where Routes 130 and 206 come together, and next to a massive high school on the other side, our view from the picnic table was this:

On Windsor Road at 130 we caught up with Dennis W's group. We rode back with them, Tom turning for home on South Lane.  At the park entrance I passed someone who looked vaguely familiar, someone I hadn't seen in years.  It was Ben P, who used to ride with me in the hills (kicking my ass) until he moved to New Egypt.

He hadn't been sure it was me at first, he said, but then he saw my braid and the frog.

Some of the riders we'd ditched were still in the lot when I got back.  Despite our trek through the dirt, a few of them wished they'd gone with us instead.  The new leader, unfamiliar with the local roads, had them on too many busy streets.  "Where'd you go?" I asked.  

"If there was a road with a double yellow line, we were on it."

The main attraction for me at the end of the ride was Ben's BMW Electronaut, a fully battery-powered car.  I asked to see under the hood. All that's there is the wiper fluid reservoir and a storage bin for extra power cords.  The battery is under the chassis.  The engine is in the rear. Chris and I spent time talking with him until everyone else had left the parking lot. 

VI: I Should Be Reading About Wheels, But...

I'm blogging instead, and now it's time to head out with some friends for dinner.  As long as I keep one step ahead of the crazy I'll be able to handle being on my own.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Hill Slug June Rides

16 May 2015

I have no rides listed for June.  Between visiting Jack while he's at his fellowship in DC and training in the hills for Bike Virginia, I don't know where I'll be when.  

However, we B ride leaders are being shamed because there are no B rides listed on Sundays for the month of June.  If I'm around and have the legs I'll post something unofficial here. 

#41: Ocean and Burlington High Points: Make it a Century

Arney's Mount (photo by Tom H)

16 May 2015

"Yawn.  Arrgh, whinge, groan, moan, whine, grrrr, complain.  Not quite a snarl, but I’m not ruling it out tomorrow.  Not necessarily a morning person, that’s me.  Don’t be surprised to notice some extra drag from the bungee cord that could mysteriously appear connected to your bike.  Do I sound Jim-level grumpy yet?"

That was Snakehead Ed at 8 p.m. last night, upon resigning himself to a 7 a.m. start from my house on Saturday morning.  Pete's email arrived at the same time; his was grump-free.

Tom's Ocean/Burlington high point ride would push off from Bruno's at 8:30.   Tom knew what I was up to. I had a 19-ish mile route that would get us there, barring mechanicals, with plenty of time to sign in. I'd wanted to front-load the distance more than that, but waking up at 5:30 a.m. is early enough; anything before that would have had me whingeing Ed-style.

Although there were showers in the forecast, we started off  a few minutes after 7:00 in sunlight.
Despite a moderate headwind, we arrived at Bruno's with time enough to refill our water, grab a snack, look at some bikes, and sign in.

Tom, with Jim, had biked in 10 miles from his house.  Chris, Mary, and Herb had done the same from their homes.  Mighty Mike, Jack H, and Ron were the only ones in the parking lot and were wondering where everyone was.  "Didn't anyone else drive?" Jack asked.  Jackie did; she'd parked across the street.

So there were twelve of us, a huge crowd by our standards.  We stuck together until we got near the halfway point, when Mary and Herb decided to go a little more slowly, which had been their plan all along.

The Ocean County high point is east of New Egypt, on Route 539.  A sign alerting us that we were now entering the Barnegat Bay watershed at the top of a small hill was the clue.  Tom stopped there to take a picture of his GPS reading, sending us on to the New Egypt Speedway.  He said the group picture would be better there.

We stopped at the Wawa in Browns Mills.  As is the custom, I handed my muffin stump off to Jim, who made his way through the crowd, as is custom, offering up "Laura's bottom." (Thank you, Dave C, for that gem...)

We turned south.  I looked up a the sky because that's what I do when I'm riding with Tom in the Pinelands.

Neil C agrees with me that, for some of us, himself included, a ride through the Pinelands must include rain. So you know what happened next, because it pretty much had to.  "I can't think of a ride down here in recent memory where I didn't get rained on," I said, as the downpour pelted us.  It was brief, but strong enough that the drops hurt.  At first I thought it might be hailing.  It took longer to get past the wet roads.

Burlington County's high point is Arney's Mount, where we've all been a zillion times.  Tom posed us in front of a miniature windmill that, despite us all having been there a zillion times, none of us has noticed.

During the ride, and I'm not saying when, in order to protect the (*cough*) innocent, this exchange happened:

Slug 1: Do you know the three rules for old men?

Slug 2:  No.

Slug 1:  Laura, you shouldn't hear this.

Me:  I'm half deaf anyway.

Slug 1:  Rule number one is never pass up a bathroom.  Rule number two is never dismiss a fart. Rule number three is never waste a hard-on.

Me:  If I can remember that, it's gonna be the lead-off quote in my blog post.

We had a tailwind pushing us home. Back at Bruno's, we rested and ate some more, then left with Tom and Jim to get in the 18 miles' we'd need to complete our century.

On Gordon Road, Pete asked me how I was feeling.  "Pretty good," I said.  "But that question is only relevant for this moment."  In a century, one can go from good to misery with one pedal stroke.

When we passed Perrineville Road, Ed asked, "Are we doing the full hundred or just 90?"

"What do you think?"  I grinned.  "Would I come all this way for 90 miles?"

I did feel pretty good.  Moving my saddle back by 7 mm after last week's ride made a huge difference. Tom had kept us to a reasonable pace. It was warm enough not to have shivered after the rain. I'd eaten the right way (PB&J on cranberry nut bread rocks!) and had plenty of coffee. I didn't hit my 70-mile wall until well after 80 miles, but it was a short wall, not the 10 miles of misery I'm accustomed to.

Still, I'm taking a rest day tomorrow.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Hill Slugs Ad Hoc: Make it a Century

15 May 2015 UPDATE:

Tom's ride is ON, although he advises checking his blog in the morning for last-minute changes.

14 May 2015

Tom is leading his next high point ride on Saturday, provided the thunderstorms hold off. If the weather looks bad, his ride will be postponed to Sunday. See Tom's post after 6:00 p.m. Friday for updates and details.

My mission this summer is to be on all of the high point rides, and to get a handful of centuries in. 

So, my ride for this weekend will be adding 43 miles before and after Tom's ride in order to finish with 100 miles. If his ride is a go on Saturday, meet me for a 7:00 a.m. start at my house. If he moves his ride to Sunday, mine moves too.

Please contact me if you want the 100 miles.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Gonzo's New Look and Other Miscellany

10 May 2015

This post is another catch-up photo dump.

First, the Delaware River at Yardley at 6:30 p.m. on May 1:

We went to Charcoal, a restaurant on the river, with a friend who'd come up from Philly.  Before getting to Yardley, we stopped at Wheelfine, where Michael banged out Gonzo's headset and bottom bracket (declaring the latter dead, which I'd kind of figured out already from the grinding) and said that the frame was still in good condition.  He said he could re-paint it after Labor Day, or I could take it to be powder-coated by a friend of his in Trenton, for a lot less money, and a lot sooner.

Mojo later that night:

Moxie getting comfy in the bathroom sink at the same time:

Our department had a retreat at the Molly Pitcher Inn in Red Bank on May 4 and 5.  I went for the day on May 4.  This is the view of the Navesink River from the inn:

There's a small park east of the inn, where a short boardwalk gets close to the river:

I carpooled to the retreat with one of the lab's post-docs.  On the way home I took her to Monmouth Battlefield:

On Wednesday, I took Gonzo's frame to Fred at Powtec in Trenton.  If you've ever been to Wheelfine, imagine the same organizational ethos, but coated in a layer of fine dust with very little in the way of lighting.  Nevertheless, Fred, who is as much of a talker as Michael is, had much to show me, and I settled on something with a touch more 'zazz than basic black.

The next day, in Jim's final bike maintenance class session, I finished taking Gonzo's rear wheel apart:

Friday morning I picked up the frame.  This is what it looks like from a few feet away in bright light:

It's called "City Lights," but I think it should be called "Stealth Retro," or "Cheap Nail Polish."

Here it is again, next to Kermit, under fluorescent light, without a flash:

And with a flash:

Yowza!  What have I done?  This fits my fleet's color scheme better than I'd ever thought it would. Wait'll I get everything put back together:  a red rear hub, red spoke nipples, a red stem accent, red cables, red bar tape.  I should spare you all and only take this bike out on cloudy days.

#40: Belmar Century

Manasquan Reservoir 

 May 2015

I've lost track of how many times I've been to Belmar.  I've lost track of how many of those times I've started from home to turn the trip into a century.  I've lost track of how many times I've done the trip as an off-the-books excursion with selected trustworthy Slugs.

Yesterday, though, was the first time I've led the ride as officially sanctioned by the Freewheelers. I also did something today that is on the list of Things One Must Not Do, which was test a new saddle on a 100-mile ride.  I'm happy to report that my butt, as well as all of the riders, made it back in one piece, if not a wee tad sore.

When I woke up, the ground was wet, but the chance of rain was only 20%.  Things had begun to dry out when Snakehead Ed and Jim arrived.  Both were early, so that Jim could help Ed with his too-fat tires.  Ed has been obsessed lately with disc brakes and 28 mm tires, neither of which, in my irrelevant opinion, belong on road bikes.  I had to show both of them Gonzo's new paint (more on that later), and both had their turn chatting with Jack, who was, surprisingly, awake and downstairs. So we left the house almost ten minutes later than I had planned to leave; at least I wasn't the last one ready.

As soon as we pushed off, Ed expressed delight at the soft ride of his fat tires — "Escalades," he called them. [Jack just taught me how to make an em-dash! Nerd squeal!]

We were riding at the dew point. The air was holding as much water as it could without actually raining.  Instead, we pedaled through something less than mist and more than fog. When we picked up Marc at Mercer County Park, we were already damp.

The two riders who had planned to meet us at Etra Park had both bailed in the last 12 hours.  I figured nobody would be there, but we found JeffX seated patiently on the curb.  We had made up some time, so we were only a few minutes late.

I was using a cue sheet that Joe and I had used in 2012.  I had studied it on Friday evening, so I was relatively sure of where we were going. Still, I sent the route to Jim, Ed, and Marc just in case.  They have GPS.  I don't.

Route 571 takes a sharp turn south of Hightstown.  I was only sightly behind JeffX and Ed when the turn came.  I hollered out to them but they didn't hear me. They were too busy talking.

At the beginning of all of my rides, as part of my spiel, I always say, "If you ride ahead you're on your own."  JeffX and Ed were now well ahead. My rule is tempered by how much I like the people off the front. I could have kept going, but I didn't.  It took them a couple of minutes to figure out what had happened.

We stopped for a water break at the MinitStop in Jackson.  Ed emerged with chocolates that he forced upon us.

JeffX said something about Marc's relative silence.  "He doesn't say much," I explained.  "But when he does," Jim added, "It's choice."  As if on cue, Marc handed me a rhinestone-encrusted, fake-gold hoop earring he'd just found on the ground. "You want this?" he asked.

"Bling!"  I hooked it into my jersey.

Jim and I complained about feeling cold when we started out again.  The air was still slightly chilly and our clothes sill slightly damp.  It took me a few miles to warm up again.

Now nearly 40 miles into the ride, I felt confident that the new saddle was going to work out.  If I could be comfortable even with wet shorts, this would be a good sign.

After we crossed Route 9 was when the mist turned to real rain.  It never lasted more than a minute or two, but it tended to happen as soon as we had dried out from the last one.

Most of my trips to Belmar have passed the Manasquan Reservoir.  I've rarely, if ever, stopped for pictures.  Today I didn't even bring my camera (I needed the pocket space for food), but when we got to the water I had to call out "Picture!" and reach for my phone.

On Belmar Boulevard, which goes on for miles before getting anywhere close to Belmar, the roads were wet.  I praised our lateness; had we been on time, we'd have been soaked.

As we approached the ocean, we could smell the beach, but we couldn't see the water.   This was not a beach day.

We had the entire outdoor seating area to ourselves.  I moved the bling from my jersey to around Kermit's neck. We took our time.  Ed, Jim, and Marc got steak sandwiches.  JeffX (home-made granola) and I (PB&J) looked over in amazement.  "I don't know how they eat those things," he said.

"Me neither," I said, and added that it doesn't always work out so well.

A chilly breeze was coming at us from the ocean.  Jim groaned when we started up again.  Now that he's had a big birthday, he's been playing it up.

People who ride centuries with me know that I sometimes hit a wall at 70 miles.  I've learned how to stave it off by eating something, even if I'm not hungry, at 65 miles.  Still, Jim stated that I was not allowed to make any decisions between 70 and 80 miles.  He was lucky that I heard his front tire slowly go flat at 69.2 miles, although even then he didn't believe me at first.

We were somewhere in Freehold at the time, stopped next to a creek I'd never noticed before:

I looked back to see if Kermit was still wearing his bling.  It was gone, and I hadn't thought to take a picture.

A rare tailwind pushed us home.  Marc (now having completed his fourth century in six weeks or so, contemplating a 250-miler next weekend, yet sill reluctant to call himself a randonneur) peeled off in Windsor.

South of Mercer County Park, Jim stopped to refuel.  This led to an assessment of my new saddle.  Much better, but I need to move it back by a few millimeters. This led to a lesson for Ed on how some seat posts work. (Ed thought I could make the adjustment on the road; this is something best left to a back porch and short trips around the block).

The last of Cheryl's maple syrup jelly beans did Jim a world of good.  A burst of energy had him leading me and Ed through the park and back home.  Despite a large discrepancy in our distances and times (I blame his old Garmin), we finished with over 100 miles and an honest B pace, as advertised.

 My butt was a little sore, my legs tight. I was ravenous. We went out to dinner with 6 other people, and I ate everything on my plate, plus a snack when we got home.  Recovery from the season's first century is always the longest century recovery. After my first century of the season, I take the next day off.  I do this:

I'm scheduled to lead a ride a week from now, on Sunday, the day after Tom's next high point ride. His plan is to cover Burlington and Ocean Counties, starting from Bruno's in Allentown.  Depending on his route and rest stops, I might start from home to get in another century.  If I do this, my scheduled ride will be relatively easy, if I lead it at all.  It depends on how well I can toughen up in one week's time.  I'm no Marc, after all.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Hill Slugs Ad Hoc, SATURDAY, 9 May: Pick Your Distance

7 May 2015

This ride was originally scheduled for Sunday, May 10.  By popular demand it has been moved to Saturday, May 9.

With Miss Piggy undergoing exploratory surgery, I'll be leading in the flatlands.  Our destination is Belmar.

If you want to ride 100 miles, meet at my house for an 8:00 a.m. start, and let me know that's what you're doing.

If you want to ride approximately 85 miles, we'll pick you up at the East Picnic Area of Mercer County Park around 8:30 a.m. and leave as soon as everyone is signed in.

If something closer to a metric century is your cuppa, meet us at Etra Park for a 9:15 a.m. start.

We'll ride at an honest B pace, adjusting our moving speed to fit the crowd.  Pace-pushers are not welcome.  This will be a social ride.  I'll also be testing a new saddle (stupid, I know, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do when your butt hurts), so I'm sure there will be plenty of opportunity for ridicule.

See y'all on Saturday.