28 October 2018
Today was my annual ride to Lambertville to see Union Street's Halloween decorations. Yesterday's rain had cleared out but the roads were still coated in wet leaves. Ricky met me at home and we headed to Pennington under clouds, with temperatures in the high 40s.
There was a nearly full complement of regulars to meet us. Tom, Bob, and Spare Jim had driven in. Andrew and Racer Pete had biked over. We were waiting for one more, one of the new post-docs I work with, who, despite being from the Netherlands, wants to climb every hill he can, including Fiddler's Elbow.
When we saw someone approaching at high speed, tucked into aero bars, I knew it must be my colleague. Several decades younger than I am, he put the fear into some of the Slugs. Colleague pulled in and immediately started introducing himself. Pointing at him and Racer Pete, I said, "You two are going to have something to talk about."
My plan, since we had new blood in our midst, was to get to as many of my favorite roads as distance would reasonably allow.
It was a chatty bunch that rolled through Pennington, across Route 31, and onto Woosamonsa. The "bridge out" signs are still up. The bridge is still up.
From there we turned onto Bear Tavern and then Pleasant Valley-Harbourton Road. The leaves had turned more since last weekend, but they weren't putting on much of a show. The low clouds and silver-gray light added some drama on Pleasant Valley Road.
We turned onto Goat Hill and then Hewitt. We crossed 518 at Rock Road. We took Dinosaur Hill (Harbourton-Mount Airy) in the fun direction and stayed the course all the way to the Mount Airy cows.
Alexauken Creek Road was awash in brownish-yellow. I didn't want to stop for more pictures, though, because I'd held up the group enough already.
At Rojo's in Lambertville several Slugs sat down at a table with a solitary rider. They were already deep in conversation by the time I got there. Carrying coffee in a glass mug, I was reminded of my latest glassblowing achievement and had to show off the coffee mug I'd made in class last week. (There will be pictures in my next blog post.)
We ended up talking about medical technology for a while. We probably stayed a little too long.
As I suited up again outside I noticed the little geocache stone in one of the Rojo's planters. "Perk Up," it said.
We were chilly and I didn't want to spend too much time on Union Street. The display I'd come to see was a little disappointing because the artist had covered up a lot of the statues to protect them from last night's wind and rain. Unlike previous years I didn't get off my bike to walk around. I relied on my camera's zoom instead, with mixed results, because there's no manual focus.
The house next door had a pirate theme, which was less interesting than the political signs.
We climbed out of Lambertville on Rocktown Road, heading for Route 31.
"Jim's not here to sing us across," I said to Tom.
"We can sacrifice the new guy," Tom said.
"Yeah. Post-docs are cheap. My boss can always hire a new one."
I relayed this information to my colleague as we waited for traffic to clear. We all made it across, even though it took three waves to do it.
Tom wanted to know if I'd led any rides recently in sunshine. "We had a little last week on the way home," I said.
We went up Linvale and turned onto Snydertown.
At the bottom of Stony Brook Andrew and my colleague left us for home, both of them living in Princeton. In my front pack I had hidden a handful of Halloween candy; I handed them each a piece for their efforts.
Everyone else had to wait until we got back to Twin Pines.
This time I got a closer look at the back of Spare Jim's truck.
"Honk if you think I'm Jesus" was given to him by his kids.
"No farms, no beer," because hops.
"Support our pants," because that's what belts do, and all those rah-rah support-our-troops magnets do nothing of the sort.
"Tacoma BFD," because one can purchase extra letters online for cheap, so why not?
As Ricky, Racer Pete, and I negotiated our way out of the parking lot, Ricky said, "This parking lot was the scariest part of today's ride." He was right. Maybe I should consider starting from the old spot two miles up the road until it's too cold for weekend sports.
Racer Pete turned off on Federal City. As Ricky and I turned onto Route 206 the sun came out.
In my driveway the fallen leaves were still wet from last night's rain.