Sunday, December 31, 2006

Last Two Rides of 2006

Doing the LIE rollers on a cold, windy New Year's Eve morning.

Did the LIE service road ride yesterday and today. Wind was much more of a factor today. Strong, steady headwind for the first 20 miles and crosswinds for the rest. It was a deceptively hard ride today.

Normally I would have gone out east to do the "Trevor" ride on a Sunday morning but I just have not been riding enough to maintain the legs to go with those guys. Also, this weekend being New Year's Eve, I wanted to get home before 11:00am to help get ready for this evening's guests. If I can get a few solid weeks of solo rides, I'll give the Winter Early Birds another try.

My new Cateye Vectra bike computer has worked flawlessly on its first two rides so I'm happy about that. Aside from the occasional GPS track, I've been riding without a computer for over a month. It really helps to see your speed and distance to judge what kind of effort you are putting out on the ride.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Happy Holidays from Harris Hill

I spent this past holiday weekend upstate. I was able to get in two nice rides, both including the tough climb up Harris Hill (see elevation profile and GPS track that I previously posted in September). I made a good choice in bringing the rain bike since the ride on Sunday was on wet roads. I did the route as posted in September, riding the flat route from Corning to Harris Hill, the steep climb up the hill, then a flat loop around the airport and back to Corning. Total was about 31 miles.

Monday’s ride was dry but I chopped-off the airport loop and finished up with about 26 miles. Tuesday was a bit too wet to ride. It was really nice to do those long climbs for a change.

I should have rode on Wednesday but didn’t. Weather was great on Long Island but I was busy catching up on other things before heading back to work today.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Rider Down at the Early Birds

Met up for the Early Birds ride at Port Jefferson Station this morning. Had a super-sized breakfast in an attempt to not run out of fuel today. Ride started out at a fast pace once again but I hung with the front group without a lot of trouble. Definitely felt much stronger this time as compared to last Sunday.

Unfortunately, John S. went down very hard about half way into the ride. As the main peloton was making a sweeping right hander at speed, there was a touch of wheels and John went down very hard. It was a serious crash and we tried to keep him immobile until police and ambulance arrived. Really hate to see that happen to anyone, especially a guy like John.

Hopefully injuries don't turn out to be too serious and he will make a quick recovery.

After the crash and waiting for the ambulance, the group split in two with one group taking a shortcut back to the ride start and the second group continuing with the rest of the planned ride. I ended up in the second group but stayed in a 4-man paceline that we got working pretty well. We finished well behind the front group but we were all pretty happy with the pace. Still felt a little weak by the end of the ride. I will have to bring some power gels or something next time. The last half-hour is just really tough to get through.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Good Weather, Good Ride

Did a nice 48 mile "Usual" ride today. A bit windy but temperatures in the 50's and sunny. Felt good on the ride so hopefully this will carry over to the Early Birds tomorrow. Goal is not to get dropped this time! I need to bring some more food with me, I think.

Rode the trainer three mornings this week and a nice long ride this morning, so I shouldn't be as stale at the Birds tomorrow. I think it also depends who shows up.

Pyzahl posted at the SBRA forum for anyone to join him on a 100 mile ride today but we are all just a bit too busy here getting ready for the holidays. I couldn't afford to spend all day out on the bike. Not to mention that I've lost more than a little endurance over the past few weeks.

EB report tomorrow.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Got Dropped on the Early Birds Ride Today

Well, I finally got dropped on the SBRA Early Birds ride. This was not totally unexpected as I have been off the bike for the better part of two weeks. I was yoyo-ing off the back for most of the first 40 miles and finally the elastic broke.

Ride started out pretty well. We gathered at Port Jefferson Station for the 8:30am start. Temperature in the mid to high 30's, with a favorable wind for the initial easterly section of the route. I struggled over the 10-mile hilly section at the beginning as the heavy hitters set a grueling early pace that put the hurt on a lot of guys. Middle flat section was hard but I was always able to maintain contact.

As we headed back to Port Jefferson I lost contact on a hill and just had to get up it at my own pace. I hooked up with Dave and Dan who were also dropped and the three of us worked to complete the last 10 miles at a more comfortable pace. I started to feel the familar "bonk" feeling coming on and stopped the group for I minute so I could gulp down a power bar. As it was, I still struggled to finish. Even with the struggles, we finished the 53.3 miles with a 19+ mph pace. Respectable.

Man, I've got to get back in the riding groove!

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Back from a 29F degree ride.

Did a 24-mile ride up Round Swamp Rd. and back this morning. Temperature was 29F. Winter is really hear now. Tried to keep spinning in an easy gear to stay warm. I think I had the right amount of gear on to stay warm: helmet, balaclava, sunglasses, long-sleeve base layer, short sleeve jersey, Pearl Izumi Barrier jacket, wind-stopper tights, Smartwool socks, bike shoes, shoe covers, 2 sets of gloves.

This is the same ride I did last Sunday. It is supposed to warm up a few degrees tomorrow so I might try to join the Early Birds. Stay tuned...

Will the real Frozone, please stand up?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Weekend Ride(s)?

Did an easy 30 mile spin today, up Round Swamp Rd. to West Hills and back. Leg is still a bit sore but weather was too nice not to ride. I'm sure the really cold days are coming. Not sure yet about Sunday...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Doctor's Orders

Taking a break from the bike for a few days to (hopefully) let my bruised leg/hip heal up from my crash of two weeks ago.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Back to the Birds

The route

Finally made it out to an Early Birds ride. This was my first time riding the winter route, also known as "Trevor's Ride". Most of the regulars were there plus a few new faces. All STRONG riders. I spent practically no time on the front as I did not know the route and also wasn't sure if I would have the legs to finish with the group. So, I tried to conserve as much as possible. I was pretty toasted by the end, even though the consensus was that today's ride was on the easy side compared to the last few rides. It was nice to do a new route. Really nice rural roads most of the way and the weather was a repeat of yesterday (great!). Here is the Motion Based track.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Nice Weather for November

"Usual" Ride elevation profile. Distance: 48.15 miles, elevation gain: 1,764 feet

Did the "Usual" ride this morning. No camera but I did bring the GPS. Here is a link to the MotionBased track of the ride. Weather was great for this time of year. Temperature averaged 46F, sunny skies, light to moderate wind. Maintained a moderate pace, just trying to get some miles in. Tomorrow will be another story if I make it out to the winter "Early Birds" ride, also known as "Trevor's Ride". I expect to be dropped, or at least hanging on at the back most of the time as I have not done any high-intensity rides for over a month. Hopefully the weather will be the same as today!

Monday, November 20, 2006

On the Road Again

Did my first post-crash road ride on Sunday, 50 miles out-and-back down Round Swamp Rd., LIE service road, and West Hills. I had also planned to ride Saturday but I unexpectedly got stuck working for most of the day. Ride was good. A little windy going out but turned into a partial tailwind on the return leg. I think I’m feeling up to an Early Bird ride next weekend. Brought the camera for a ride photo but, once again, discovered that the battery was dead when I went to take a picture.

This morning I took the Trek out for the first time since I crashed with it. I notice some shifting problems and upon closer inspection see that the rear derailleur is scratched up. I guess something got bent out of alignment, will have to try and fix it this weekend. Luckily, it’s still rideable.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

And now, for something completely different...

Been off the bike for a few days recovering from my crash. Maybe this is a good opportunity to revisit the bass guitar...

Maybe learn a new song, just for fun...something like this ;-}

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Wiped out on the morning ride today. Some road rash on right side elbow, hip, shoulder, and ankle. I was making a right hand turn and must have hit some wet leaves. The front wheel slipped out and I went down on my right side. I slid a few feet and my lights went clattering down the street. It happend too fast to get my leg out, I wasn't even using clipless pedals. I haven't checked out the bike yet. Other than the handlebars twisting and the chain coming off I didn't notice any other damage. Small rip on my jersey sleeve. Lesson learned: take it easy when trying to turn on wet roads in the dark!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

This Weekend's Rides

Sunday's 30-mile "wet" ride

Mixed bag with the weather this weekend but managed to get in two good solo rides. Saturday was the "Usual" 50-mile ride under bright sunshine. Sunday forcast was rain all day but at 7:00am was misty and overcast. So, I got out the rain bike and took a 30-mile ride up to West Hills and back. Roads were wet and there was some heavy fog and mist but it was unusually warm for November (60F). First time I've worn shorts on a ride in over a month. I was happy to get two good rides in this weekend as the next couple of weekends will be busy.

I took the GPS with me on the Sunday "wet" ride. Here is the track.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

2006 Tour of the Hamptons Photos

Just found these photos from this year's Tour of the Hamptons in August on the Massapequa Bike Club website. They are kind of low-res...

Look Mom, no hands!

Kind of worn out after 100 miles.

From left, Robin, Owen, me, and John.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Getting Back on Track

Lack of blogging for the past few weeks is a direct result of lack of riding. No rides last weekend due to inclement weather. Only one 36 mile ride the previous weekend as we took care of a bunch of family stuff that weekend. This morning I did the 50 mile "Usual" route and plan on doing another 50 tomorrow, either with the Early Birds out east or another "Usual". Temperature was around 40F this morning, not as bad as I was anticipating. Still doing the 45 minute rides before work in the morning but its important to do the longer rides on weekends so I don't lose all my fitness over the winter.

2006 mileage by month, through October

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Saturday Morning "Usual" Ride

Did the usual Saturday morning solo ride from home, up Round Swamp Rd. to the LIE Service Rd., out to about exit 52 and back, then through West Hills park, and back down Round Swamp Rd. Really nice autumn weather for riding. Saw a number of other cyclists, too. I brought the camera, so here are a few photos from the ride today:

Bethpage State Park golf course, watering the greens

Bethpage State Park golf course, ready for some golfers

I followed part of the Gold Coast Century route

Sweet Hills Riding Center, which is off of Sweet Hollow Rd.

Sweet Hollow Rd. climbs gently through West Hills Park

Monday, October 09, 2006

Three Day Weekend

Took advantage of the long weekend to get in three good rides:

Sat: 50 miles, Round Swamp Rd. and LIE Service Rd.
Sun: 56 miles, SBRA Early Birds, North route
Mon: 50 miles, Round Swamp Rd., LIE Servide Rd., West Hills Park

Great weather this weekend, especially today with temps in the high 70's. I picked up the camera to take a photo on the ride today but the battery needed to be recharged. So, no picture.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Cyclocross Race Report

The Cyclocross racing on Saturday was a lot of fun. I only attended as a spectator but the great course, great riders, and great music really contributed to a fun atmosphere to spend the afternoon. I've really got to hand it to the riders. The course seemed really difficult. We had great weather today so I can only imagine how much tougher it would be if it were wet and/or cold.

East End/Krebs was well represented in the beginner, masters, and B races. The men's and women's elite racers put on an awesome display of power and bike handling as they flew across the course. The elites included former World Champion and current Canadian National Champion Lynn Bessette, former US National Champion Tim Johnson, and former Cyclocross National Champion and Road Racing National Champion Mark McCormack. Other cyclocross stars included Ryan Trebon, Barry Wicks, Ben Jacques-Manes, Troy Wells (U23 Champion), Matt White, Christine Vardaros, and others!

Makes you want to go out and get a cyclocross bike...

B Race and Masters Race Photos

Elite Race Photos
Lynn Bessette leading Elite Women
Elite Women's Podium
Elite Men Start (Wicks, Johnson, Trebon)
Elite Men gathering for the start
Elite Men Start (McCormack, Wells, White, Wicks)
Wicks Leading the Elite Men
Elite Men
Tim Johnson Leading the Elite Men

B Race Start (1st turn)
Lynn Bessette leads the Elite Women through the Barriers
Elite Men zip through the Barriers

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Cyclocross Races on LI This Weekend

Whitmore's Landscaping Super Cross Cup 2006
September 30-October 1


The 4th annual Whitmore's Landscaping Super Cross Cup is scheduled to take place Saturday September 30th (Uci C1), and Sunday October 1st (Uci c2) in Southampton NY.
Reigning U.S. National Cyclocross Champion Todd Wells will have his hands full, with northeast cyclo-cross stalwarts Mark McCormack, Tim Johnson, Jesse Anthony, and Jeremy Powers all scheduled to attend the two day UCI sanctioned events. Bolstering the lineup for the men's fields are also Team Rock Lobster, Richard Sachs- RGM watches-Rex Chiu, and Independent Fabrications.

"Hampton Velo Club is also working hard to increase awareness in our town, for cycling and our events", said club secretary Sinead Fitzgibbon. "The owners of Wildthyme Restaurant and Bar generously agreed to show cycling films in the week leading up to the event, and donate a portion of their dinner revenue during that week. They have also arranged a world premier of Sam Smith's new cyclocross movie, scheduled for the evening of Saturday the 30th."

Furthering their tradition of equal prize lists for women racers, Saturday's C1 event will have a ladies prize list of over $4000. The action packed field will see 2006 Canadian National Champion Lynne Bessette take on former national team members Christine Vardaros, Maureen Bruno-Roy, and more top northeast competition in the fight for what may be the largest women's prize list in North American cross history. More information can be found at, or

(There is a beginners race on Saturday...Hmmmm......)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Early Birds - South

On Dune Road, waiting for a flat tire (Photo: PyZahl)

Did 50 miles in the wet and rain on Saturday, on the Trek. This morning, despite the threat of rain, I headed out to Manorville for the Early Birds ride. Due to weather, other rides, and schedule conflicts, it was about a month since I last joined this ride.

Despite the clouds there was a good turnout of riders. We had favorable winds going out and some tough headwinds on the return. Still, we managed 22 mph average speed for the 52 mile ride. Also, a nice 30 mph sprint at the end, which is typical for the south route.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Highlander Report

Highlander Elevation profile

Well, the day of The Highlander finally arrived yesterday. This is a century with over 11,000 feet of climbing and several climbs with a grade over 20%. (Checkout the About section on the Highlander website for a great description of the route.) The weather cooperated as it was a cool, overcast day with light winds. It was a bit misty in the morning but no rain developed and the roads were dry.
The ride was challenging, as expected. Although the route was changed slightly this year, it still included the three "killer" climbs up Bopple, Gannet, and Sliter. Two accomplishments this year: new all time maximum speed of 54 mph, and I did not have to walk up Sliter! I did the whole ride solo, which was good in that I was able to keep to my own pace.
Ride organization was excellent. The route was clearly marked and a map was provided. There was no cue sheet listing turns and distances but the map and road markings were great. No wrong turns at all. Rest stops were plentiful and well stocked, another improvement from last year's ride.
The Finger Lakes scenery was great. Overall, a very enjoyable ride.
I did not bring a camera but I did bring a GPS and I will post the route track here when I get a chance to download it at home.

Highlander GPS track on

This morning should have been an easy recovery ride but I felt like I had recoverd well from the century and did my usual Corning-Harris Hill loop. I will post the GPS track for that ride here as well.

Corning-Harris Hill Elevation profile

Corning-Harris Hill GPS track

All in all, a great weekend of hill climbing for a change of pace from the usual LI landscape. I will update this post if I locate any photos at a later time.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Century Gear

I’m starting to gather my gear together for The Highlander on Saturday as I will be leaving straight from work on Friday to drive upstate. Ride start is 7:00am on Saturday and I will have about 1 hour drive to get there from from Corning and register. So, here is a list of what I will bring on the ride. Based on last year’s experience, when I only found two of the expected 5 rest stops, I’m going to bring a bit of extra food and, possibly and extra water bottle. Also, this century is in a rural area so if I get stranded by a mechanical it may be a while before I can get a SAG pickup. When I pull out of the ride start I will be carrying the following:

- 3 Clif Bars
- 2 bottles of Performance energy drink
- 1 extra bottle of water in a jersey pocket (maybe)
- GPS unit
- Plastic bag with cue sheet, clipped to my handlebars
- Seat bag containing 2 spare tubes, tire levers, 3 CO2 catridges, CO2 inflater, patch kit, emergency tire boot
- Cell phone
- Money for food and drink in case I need to refill and there is no rest stop around
- Mini pump

Based on the weather forecast, I expect to be wearing:

- Short sleeve jersey
- Undershirt
- Bib shorts
- Arm warms (if less than 60F at start)
- Cycling socks
- Cycling shoes
- Helmet
- Short finger gloves
- sunglasses

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Long Ride

PyZahl posted on the SBRA Bike Forum that he was looking to do a 100+ mile A pace ride today. I took him up on it! We left Rocky Point at 8:00am, and headed east to Orient Point. We made it there after 52 miles. With a nice tailwind, the two of us average about 21 mph.

We refilled bottles and then headed back to Greenport to catch the ferry from the North fork to Shelter Island. There was a bit of a wait for the ferry but we were kept company by about 50 other cyclists in the middle of a charity ride, also waiting to go to Shelter Island. After some trouble disconnecting the ferry line from the dock, we arrived at Shelter Island and made a quick crossing to the South Ferry terminal. A short wait there and we sailed down to the South Fork.

We headed into Sag Harbor but were turned back by a traffic officer who told us that bikes were not allowed down main street in Sag Harbor. This was a bit of a problem because we were following a route in PyZahl's GPS unit and couldn't modify it. We refilled bottles again and took a detour to East Hampton.

We rode down the South fork to Riverhead to fill bottles one more time. We realized then that we had added about 15 miles to our original route. From Riverhead, we slogged North, back to Rocky Point. Total ride distance, 122.58 miles, my second-longest ride, ever. Here is the GPS track on MotionBased.

It was a fun ride with a bit of adventure, revising the route as we went along. The legs are kind of sore and this turned into an 8-hour ride instead of the 6 hours I had anticipated so I will probably skip the Early Bird ride tomorrow. Actually we travelled many roads used by the EB North and South routes, also Bike-Boat-Bike, Tour of the Hamptons, and North Fork Century. Thanks to PyZahl for organizing a great ride. Here are some other photos from the ride:

Lighthouse at Orient Point
Ferry to Connecticut, at Orient Point
Nick at Orient Point, 9/9/2006, 52 miles into a 123 mile ride
Percy at Orient Point, 9/9/2006
Boats around Shelter Island, while waiting for the ferry
Main Street, Sag Harbor
Percy and I, back at Rocky Point, after 123 miles
Nick outside Tilda's Bake Shop, Rocky Point, our start/end point

Friday, September 08, 2006

Losing Daylight on Morning Rides

Its been getting dark in the mornings and I've started riding with
headlight and taillight on my pre-work morning loop to Jones Beach. I've been using my low power LED headlight Nite Rider Ultra Fazer 3.0) so I'm more visible to cars and to provide some light for the first 15 minutes of my ride until the sun starts to come up.

In another week or two I'm going to have to break out the Nite Hawk halogen and its big batterty pack so I can get enough light on the path to see.

Two problems with the Nite Hawk:
1) I only have one mount so I need to decide which bike to put in on (the Specialized or the Trek)
2) the battery pack distorts the bottle cage so I'm concerned it might break the new lightweight cages I just put on the Specialized

It looks like I will mount it on the Trek and it will become the default "winter/morning" bike.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Harbor Hills

Met up with SBRA group in Stony Brook for the Harbor Hills ride. This a a scenic but hilly ride at an A+ pace. This instance of the ride totaled out to about 40 miles. Had a rather large group to start but it broke up along the way as various smaller groups peeled off to do their own thing. We had a beautiful day for riding.
I will try to hit some hills next weekend as well to try and prepare for The Highlander. One rider had a camera on the ride and snapped a few photos. Here is a photo of the group (thanks PyZahl!).

Sunday, September 03, 2006

First post!

Hello! This is the first post for the new "nlec" blog. Check back for info on what "nlec" have been up to. There will probably be a cycling bias to these entries but we'll see how it goes.