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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Last weekend was the New Castle County (Delaware) Habitat for Humanity's Bike to Build fundraiser ride and the Wilmington Grand Prix. Even though I haven't ridden 40 miles in one sitting for a couple months, I thought that this should not hurt my desire to go the whole 100k.

Open registration began at 7:30 am. I'm allergic to early, and got there about 8:05. My brother lives nearby, and met me in the parking lot. We fooled with his bike some, and figured on him sneaking in for the first couple miles. He's way more of a recreational rider. Also, he had plans on making it to the world record attempt at the largest bike parade.

Apparently they did much better with last year's attendance. No records were harmed on Saturday.

This was my first group ride with a mass start. Kind of a pain. I also wonder, half in jest, just how much of my $100 entry donation went toward police OT. I don't really want to know, I think.

Some of this ride was planned to go by a couple Habitat sites. The neighborhood near there is, well, rough.

Some of the other routing decisions were odd, though. I was pretty dissatisfied until we got on some of the more scenic portions of DE route 9. That portion of the ride made it all worthwhile - even negotiating the I-295 ramps at the Delaware Memorial Bridge (hairy... even more so in the afternoon when the escorts were nothing more than a fond memory).
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
The clapping guys are Habitat volunteers. I'm not so good at shoot-n-ride, so some heads are cut off.


The Booker T Washington school was my first job back with my old company. It was near the route, and I detoured to see it. It was an adaptive reuse job, which is a fancy name for taking an old hunk of rotten abandoned space and recycling it. It is my favorite job of all of them. The space is great, we kept some of the old, made some repairs, tried to be careful not to modern it up too much, etc. It's really just a cool old building that gets beautiful light, and looks like a great place to have a senior center.


All that industrial stuff is where some of your gasoline comes from. It smells bad regularly. It was really bad on the way back after I'd been riding for over 4 hours.


Reedy Point bridge crosses the Chesapeake and Delaware canal. You can see the Delaware in one of the pix.


Some of those other riders on the bridge called to me that I shouldn't jump. I was leaning over some to get that side of the bridge picture.

After I took the turtle's picture, I moved him the rest of the way he was going.


There was quite a storm around here early in the week, and you can still see leftovers.


The corn's not as high as an elephant's eye. Yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Those yellow duplexes are a Middletown DE Habitat site, and it was supposed to be the lunch stop and turnaround.

I'm slow and poky, and I stop to take pictures. Everybody else must have been a hammerhead. The support crew thought there were no more riders, and started to close up. The guy in the white pickup was hauling the food, saw me, ran a stop sign, and got pulled over. In the turnaround.

It got interesting and crowded there in a hurry, what with John Law, John Law's buddy in another cop car, the perp, and me figuring out where the hell I was supposed to go. I kept on toward another driveway. Lunch guy got out to call to me, and was promptly warned in a very serious cop voice to get back into your vehicle, sir.

John Law wasn't taking any sh*t from anybody, and didn't care who he stopped or why.

Another support worker approached the suspect's vehicle, and was warned away also. Somehow she got me a banana and granola bar, and asked if I was OK, needed anything, etc.

I'm OK. Thanks, I said, and I cruised by the pickup. I asked if I had anything to do with the whole thing, and he said something about he thought all the riders were through, saw me, etc.

Step away from the vehicle sir.

I'm sorry the guy got busted, but I got the hell out of Dodge at that point (In a law abiding manner, signallaing and stopping as appropriate, as if another officer was going to nab me).

In all that excitement, I didn't really get much in the way of lunch. So I got some from the Dutch Country Farmer's Market.

Later, when I was parched from the fried chicken, I got water at the MacDonald's drive in. That was not a neighborhood I was going to leave the bike outside while I bought some water. Loungers - hookers and blow are easier to find than water near I 295. Just so ya know.

I like the juxtaposition of old and new in the last picture.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That's about the end of the ride.

I caught up with my brother again (and even snuck a picture of him in here), saw the sights, and he led me to the best jerk chicken ever. The place was on Market Street near the Opera House, for those of you who are from around here. The Jamaican food guy closer to Trolley Square is good, but nothing like this. Good home made ginger beer, too.

The gal sitting next to us thought I had a 40. She didn't know that ginger beer has the same amount of alcohol as ginger ale. Funny.

Following are pix from the crit in Wilmington. Neutral support bikes and gear, sights, bikes, etc.

The courtyard full of bikes was a valet parking setup by the Urban Bike Project folks (http://urbanbikeproject.org). I think I'll be going over there this week with some leftovers that they could use more than I can. Fun people with a mission.

A good time.
 
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