You are here

Weekend Bicycling

With Pedal2Pints coming up, I'm trying to get lots of time in the saddle so I'll be ready. I've riding to work most days and have taken a few longer rides, including to the ends of the bike trail -- ~20 miles round trip. And the long weekend looked like a good opportunity to get some riding in. But it was hot.

On Saturday, I meant to get out early, but delayed too long. By the time I set out, it was already sweltering with temps in the high 80s. I ended up riding to downtown Amherst where I discovered the town was packed due to an Amherst College reunion. All of the outside tables at Amherst Coffee were taken, but when I arrived at the Black Sheep, a table opened up just as I arrived. I parked my bike and left my helmet on the table to claim it. When I poked my head in the door, the room was jammed with people. So I sat outside and drank water for a few minutes until the line went down. Then I ordered a small latte and enjoyed it sitting on the sidewalk by Sweester Park. I noticed that the out-of-town traffic was crazy, though. People kept racing back and forth in cars.

Aŭtoj rapidas
kaj unu la alian
provas pasigi.
Mi nur vojflanke sidas
kaj trinketas la kafon.

In the afternoon, I rode downtown again to help run the Amherst Media table at the Rotary Fair. Attendance at the fair seemed a bit low due to the high temperatures (in the mid 90s) and we also had a brief shower that was momentarily quite heavy. It was a lovely way to to spend an afternoon with friends and, afterwards, I could mostly just coast home.

On Sunday, I got out a bit earlier and rode to the bike trail. The last section of the Swift Way before you reach the Norwottuck Trail is pretty steeply uphill. At the top, I stopped briefly on one of the benches there and rested before continuing on. I debated whether to go down, toward the river, or up, toward downtown. I decided to go up and see if I could get coffee at Amherst Coffee. I got back on my bike and started riding. I pushed on up the trail and then turned and headed up the long hill into downtown. I crested the hill, coasted into downtown, and parked by Amherst Coffee. Then I discovered I had lost my phone.

I normally carry my phone in a shirt pocket for playing ingress, but I was wearing an Istvan Bierfaristo shirt that doesn't have a pocket. So I had put my phone in my back pocket. But when I sat on the bench, I had to take my phone out of my pocket and I realized I must have left it on the bench.

So I headed back. I rode back up the hill by Amherst College and then coasted back down to the trail and down the trail to the bench. And my phone was still there.

At that pointed, I decided that what I needed rather than coffee was beer -- and it was nearly lunchtime -- so I rode back to Hangar and sat outside until a waitress came to inquire whether I wanted anything. I admitted that I'd been hoping someone would bring me some beer if I waited long enough. She assured me that my wait was nearly over and brought me back a beer menu.

I've been really happy with Hangar since they took over the Amherst Brewing Company's food service operation. They have a great selection of beer and the food is excellent. I ordered a pint of Wormtown's Be Hoppy while I looked over the menu. I got a couple of samples to try: the Lagunitas Waldos Special Ale and Maine Beer Company's Another One IPA. They were both interesting and different. The Another One was citrusy -- almost lemony -- while the Special Ale had a whole palette of interesting flavors. At 11.5% alcohol, you can only get it in small glasses, but I got a small glass anyway to savor the interesting flavors at more depth.

Eventually, it was time to leave to get home in time for the Cardinal's game with Lucy. But I was glad to get some riding in as Memorial Day was scheduled to be rainy. (Although it's nice to have an excuse to not go out and ride today. :-)