Saturday, November 12, 2016

Pedaling off the election week blues

This election pretty much convinces me American-style democracy is for the birds and the usual reaction, "we'll get 'em in two years!", is a false resort.  In short, I am despondent, and only breathing the fresh air on some back roads can help.  So D__, M__ and I left from Adamstown elementary school in Maryland for 61 miles up, down, and around, on several roads I have not ridden and many more that I have but not recently enough.

D__ and M__ pass through some quiet intersection in some quiet Maryland burg.
It halfway worked.  The temperature dipped below 30 degrees, enough to make the digits tingle, and the hills went up and down before going back up again -- Mar-lu Ridge (the hard way!) and Reno Monument Road over South Mountain were the two notable climbs, but there were many others -- the pavement was good and the drives were polite.

We had a marvelous ice cream at South Mountain Creamery (doesn't make much sense to me either, but the creamery was there and so were we) and a coffee in Sharpsburg.

Nice job taking this into the sun!

This too!

That's better.  M__ enjoys the cold.
On the other hand, leaving the city puts one in Trump country.  In this part of the world, that means Trump signs next to Confederate flags and people in one coffee shop noting that "we are back on the right track" and "all them who were not working and on the dole won't be able to do that anymore."

So, I halfway escaped reality for a five hour stretch.

Good day for lots of wool.

Lots of lovely roads like this one.
I rode the newly rebuilt Ritchey with a handlebar bag.  It was comfortable -- no concern for back or front end discomfort with those tires!  Riding was a touch slow -- even with a light-ish load I felt the strain on the climbs and the front end was wobbly with the handlebar bag perched up high.  The front brake was squishy -- a tuning problem, as the back brake felt great -- and it didn't help that with a dry chain I was squeaking and the back gear tuning lapsed some as I rode.

All in all, a nice ride and a worthwhile escape.  Kudos to M__ for having the idea and thanks to D__ for inviting me.

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