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Old July 21st 19, 04:12 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Joy Beeson
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Posts: 1,366
Default AG: My first batch of switchel

Friday, 19 July 2019

I made switchel concentrate yesterday, and I boiled up two bottles of
tea today.

Tomorrow I'm going on my first group ride since the turn of the
millenium, and feeling nervous about it. Partly because it's supposed
to be ninty-five fahrenheit tomorrow, mainly because I don't know
whether the route goes past places where I can buy orange juice. I
seriously considered taking along a sample-size maple-syrup bottle
filled with thawed frozen concentrate, but I've settled on taking
salty meat sticks. And I have put orange juice in the bottle I will
start with.

Surely, surely I can tank up on water -- but I'm filling the pannier
with sandwich bags of ice cubes anyway. Five bags, one weighed nine
ounces -- well over a quart of water. I filled the pannier, then
moved the bags to the insulated bag that was part of a door prize at
the first Taste of Kosciusko I attended, and put the bag in the
freezer. Tomorrow I'll add the bottles and the bag of food and put it
into the car.

I can't remember the last time I was driven to the start of a ride,
group or no. But I'm planning to bail out where the route passes my
house, so driving to the start wouldn't be in the cards even if I were
sure that my rotator cuff could take it.

For the concentrate, I poured a half pint of vinegar syrup off my
home-grown bread-and-butter pickles through a strainer, found nothing
in the strainer but mustard seed and dumped that into the pot too.
Then I filled the jar with cold water twice, added one teaspoon of
gingiver molido and an eighth of a cup of red-wheat flour, and brought
it to a boil while stirring constantly.

Considered adding salt, concluded that orange juice would be better,
ended up adding all my salty "snack sticks" to my bag of food.

Saturday, 20 July 2019

I think that if there had been places where I could lie down for a few
minutes without attracting ambulances, I'd have made it past450 N and
EMS B 41. And it would have helped if I'd annotated my maps, so that
I'd have known that I was approaching Checkpoint Two and looked for

And I think my concentrate had too low a flour to vinegar ratio.

I didn't annotate my maps because I made them just in case I didn't
get a map at registration, and I could compare them with the county
map I aways carry. Turned out that I got a beautiful map that they
must have paid a lot to have made -- to fit on 24" by 32" paper. When
shrunk down to fit on 8 1/2" by 11", the best it could do was to tell
me that the lake should be on my right during the first loop. I
hadn't been able to get the image off the PDF file, so I made my
snippets from a J-PEG file on the Web site -- apparently *they* can
get the image off a PDF, but on the JPG the names of the roads were
too blurry to read even at 100%.

On the other hand, the layers of the tape markers did a splendid job,
except where the route turned onto SR 5. There were markers to say
turn right onto this drive or minor road to cut the corner of the
turn, and the logical thing was to turn right again where the driveway
ended on SR5, but there were no turn markers and I been on SR 5 for an
un-nerving distance before I got to the confirmation marks. I
actually turned around at the junction with SR 5 and went back to look
at the turn marks again.

I could tell that there had been at least two teams putting tape
arrows on the roads.

After the Checkpoint Two error -- which led to the tour director
calling me on my cell phone, but I couldn't get off the road and get
my phone out in time. I fear that my message on his voice mail wasn't
as polite as it might have been. The words were polite, but the tone
was "&*^%# spammer!"

But he called again a few miles later, and I told him I was in my own
briar patch and he should check me in. Which probably gave him the
impression that I was near Winona Lake; I hadn't told him -- we were a
bit rushed at registration -- how slowly I ride.

Turned out we obeyed one of the rules by accident. I checked my phone
as we were rolling out of the driveway of the kind man who had given
me refuge under his oak tree -- and an unsolicited glass of ice water
-- and it was precisely 1600 hours. You have to be off the course by
four o'clock. Which is why I'd told the director to check me off his
list of people he was responsible for even though at the time it
looked as though I'd get to checkpoint Three at the Trailhouse before

Dave said later that I'd sounded so rocky on the phone that he
considered siccing 911 on me. I had, of course, called him as soon as
I found a place to park the bike, before lying down for half an hour.

When I emptied the ice bags on the three-inch rosebush, it didn't get
much of a drink.

I've more to say, but it's bedtime for old ladies.

Joy Beeson
joy beeson at comcast dot net


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