A Metric and a Headache…

Yesterday was the 11th edition of Pedaling Paths to Independence, a charity bike ride to benefit the Community Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. The ride is a delightful romp from Linden to Woodward Reservoir and back through Milton on the return. The February weather can be cold, foggy, rainy or brutally windy, but yesterday it was just cold, and wind and wet weren’t an issue.

Joni Bauer is the major domo (doma?) behind this event, and she makes sure that a good time is had by all. The rest stops are well spaced and well stocked, the course markings are clear and easy to follow, and the post ride meal from DeVinci’s in Linden can’t be beat: pesto pasta, roast chicken, salad, focaccia, and desserts. Even though I rode 65 miles I probably gained a pound or two.

Half of the SBC Riders Who 'Pedaled a Path'

Although it seemed the number of riders was down from previous years, the Stockton Bicycle Club rider total was a healthy 24 or so. Most of us started together at 9 am, and most of us opted for the ‘Metric Century’ (100 KM). We more or less stayed together, and when we did get split up we mostly regrouped. One of those regroups caused a bit of confusion: a rider who had been only slightly slower and another rider who chose to hang with him took a shortcut on a gravel road. Since the main peloton, which included me, did not see the detour, we waited for a good long while at the intersection of Jenny Lind Road and Hwy 26. Finally we started again and finished the ride without seeing our two compatriots.

When I saw both of them at the finish already having lunch when our group arrived, I assumed they had sagged in, but no, they had merely cut the course a bit short. And our regrouping delay gave them a big head start, which they used to their advantage and got to the post ride meal before we did. No good deed goes unpunished, especially where regroups are concerned.

I actually had a pretty good day on the bike. Captain Hawk said I pulled the group (i.e. rode in front taking the brunt of the wind and sheltering trailing riders) 80% of the time. That is too high, but I do think I had my nose in the wind for 2/3 of the ride. My average speed was pretty impressive (for me anyway) 17.5 mph for 65 miles with a few rollers. And that includes a very easy roll out for about 4 miles at 14 mph with a tail wind.  We could have been doing 19 to 20 but we rolled easy chatting and warming up. That will bring an overall average speed down a lot.

At the lunch stop at mile 40, I pulled out my smart phone to shoot some video of the large SBC contingent. Alas, my smart phone had decided to be stupid and do a completely unprompted factory reset. That meant that all I could do was make an emergency call unless I could enter my passwords and do a complete new phone set up. That was impossible mid-ride, so I didn’t get any video.

After the ride I got home and contacted Verizon Tech Support. I was able to get my contacts back quickly, but most of my apps had to be downloaded and signed into. I also had to reconfigure all my screens and preferences and options.  I’m still working on this today. I didn’t yell at the tech person on the phone but I did express my frustration. Why should a phone suddenly do a ‘factory reset’ on its own, unprompted? She couldn’t tell me, although she did say I was not the first person with this problem that day.

I was especially frustrated since this phone is a replacement for another phone with issues, and I went through all this reset, reload, reconfigure business just 7 weeks ago. Twice in 2019! And there is no certainty that the bug is a one time thing: it could be that the phone might decide to reset again. Now every time I swipe my finger to unlock it I am relieved when I see my home screen instead of a ‘sign in to Google’ message.

So it was a great day on the bike and a lousy day with the tech. My bicycle doesn’t depend on anything electronic or software dependent to work, just my legs. And yesterday they worked pretty well.

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