Sunday, August 26, 2012

Snaps of the commute

Here are three quick tidbits...

I stopped and swept a bunch of glass, sand, and schmutz from several places in the bike lanes on Cornwallis Rd as I biked to work in the RTP today.  I sweep about twice a year, when I get sufficiently annoyed by the mess.  The broom I carried may have been responsible for cars passing so widely today.  (Click photo at left to enlarge.)

And it's so nice of the DOT to provide bike parking slots along the road.  (See photo at right.)

Finally, I heard a freight train coming as I approached the railroad crossing on Cornwallis.  I had just enough time to dig my camera out and start filming while sprinting one-handed.  Of course, as soon as I reached the gates, I had an 'oh crap moment' when I realized I needed to stop.  Enjoy the shakey 30-second video.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Belmar-Princeton-Belmar 200K

I rode the RUSA Belmar-Princeton-Belmar 200K permanent in central New Jersey on Saturday.

The weather was unusual:
Morning was foggy and humid.  Mid-day was clear, hot, and humid.  Afternoon brought clouds and storms to the area, but not to me.  The coolest I got was by standing in a lawn sprinkler [Click the thumbnail photo to enlarge].

Permanent owner Paul has improved the route in a few places since last I rode:
- One change avoids a lively traffic circle on Highway 35 by taking a bike trail.  Very nice.
- Another change straightens the route a bit, but bypasses a butterfly bog.  No big deal.
- Another section detours around construction on a bridge over the NJ Turnpike.  The new route has a wide new bridge, and a long stretch in the shade.  Extremely nice.

I was lucky in traffic twice today:
- I took the lane to climb a vary narrow overpass in a construction zone.  Luckily, no cars approached the whole time I climbed up and over the bridge.  Yay.
- I warily rode with traffic alongside parked cars in a 'door zone'.  A pickup driver opened his door in my face.  Luckily, he saw me at the same time I yelled, and he slammed his door closed in the nick of time.  Double yay.

Dumb bonk:
I wasn't hungry or thirsty most of the day.  I finally remembered the Hydration Triangle after the temperature got hot, my body stopped sweating, and my legs started cramping.  A heavily salted piece of cold pizza from the Cranbury Pizza checkpoint kickstarted my recovery.

There was a friendly crowd at Cranbury Pizza.  Two people strode across the street to specifically ask about my red blinky on an outrigger.  They were cyclists, and intrigued by my DIY light.  As we were chatting, they asked my route.  When I answered, the lady paused and said "well, that must be more than...  100 miles!".  I smiled and nodded, as I remembered why I ride...

Another great day on the bike.

and a few boring [photos].