Sunday, October 28, 2007

Final EB for 2007

A windy morning in Manorville as the group assembled for the final 2007 Early Birds ride. Actually, the ride continues year-round but most of the East End Cycling team will switch over to Trevor's ride out of Port Jefferson for the winter. Also about a 55-mile ride but it starts at 8:30am instead of 7:30am and there is no food stop.

Today's ride was intense (for me). It blasted out of the parking lot and several riders were dropped in the first mile. It didn't really regroup until there was a flat tire about 10 miles into the ride. It was together again until the hills by the "tanks", at which point a group of 5 went off the front. I chased by myself, about 50 yards behind. Once over the tanks, myself and another rider were chasing a group of four.

We were HAULING down Sound Avenue, and a 3rd rider went of the back of the lead group. So now it was 3 chasing 3. The front group bypassed the regroup point and we did too so as not to lose them. A few miles later, the front group let up so we could catch on. Then the 6 of us pacelined to the deli in Cutchogue.

The remainder of the group arrived at the deli a few minutes after us. The group was mostly together on the return leg of the ride. A second flat, but it was repaired quickly.

At Rt. 51, two broke away. At first I just intended to close the gap and follow the wheels, but no one came with me, so we were three in front for a short while. When we go to the steep part of 51, I was dropped and chased, on my own, most of the way down 51. The group behind was hammering and caught me, then the lead two, just as we turned onto Rt. 111. A hard pace again split the group into several pieces but I was able to stay with the front.

I know, its not a race, but I definitely rode as hard as I would in any race. A really good, tough, ride to finish off the EBs!

Some of PyZahl's pictures from todays ride. Also, check out his ride report.

At the start in Manorville.

Rest stop in Cutchogue.

Waiting while they change flat #2.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

EB South

Second-to-last EB ride for the year. Headed south with about 14 riders and a tailwind. Only lost one rider on Dune Road. Together for the rest of this nice, fast ride.

I think next week is the last EB out of Manorville, then it will switch to Trevor's Ride.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

LLoyd Neck Out-and-Back

Met at Brands parking lot for a 7:00am start. Two other riders were there, Bob and Mike. We talked about last week's Cold Sping Harbor loop and decided to head in the same direction today. Roads were wet from previous day's rain. And I jinxed myself by commenting, "These are the kind of roads where you get alot of flats."

Here is the GPS track of my ride.

We rode an easy pace up to Cold Spring Harbor. Bob and Mike needed to head back at that point but Bob described a little extension to the ride that he had done up to LLoyd Neck Harbor. He mentioned that it went up Snake Hill Road, so I decided to add another 10 miles to my ride.

On the way back, I flatted (as predicted!) at the bottom of Snake Hill so that was a bit annoying. I need to replenesh my CO2 supply today! A nice ride, good weather, and good company.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

TOSREC - PyZahl's Photos

Pyzahl had his camera (thanks again!). So here are some shots from the ride.

Reviewing the plan as we wait to board the ferry from Orient Pt. to New London, CT.

Sunrise framing the ferry as we board.

On the road!

Most of the ride was through scenic, tree-lined roads.

Fall foliage.

The group navigates a turn.

Coffee break after 45 miles.

104 miles later, back in New London waiting for the ferry home.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Updated 18-Oct-2007
Here is my GPS track of the ride.

Met up today with 5 other riders for the Tour of Southern Rural Connecticut. This is a homegrown century ride put together by John Y. from the SBRA Early Birds. The other riders are all EB veterans. We had a forecast of good riding weather, light wind, temperature in mid-60's.

I left the house this morning at 4:30am to meet the group at Orient Point for the 7:00am ferry to New London, CT. We met there, got our tickets, loaded our bikes and got on board. The ferry is huge, as it transports cars, trucks, and passengers. There is a smaller, faster, high-speed ferry but it doesn't allow bikes.

We stowed the bikes and headed upstairs for a cup of coffee as we started the 1 hour and 20 minute ferry ride. Once in CT, we disembarked and started our ride. We were quickly out of the New London and into rural areas.

Nice smooth roads with wide shoulders and only light traffic. Colorful beginnings of the fall foliage surounded us as we passed lots of farmland, lakes, state forests, and small towns. I had never been in this part of CT but it reminded me a little of Vermont, will smaller hills. One unfortunate incident at mile 25... a water bottle fell from the rider in front of me, and as I drifted right to avoid it, I accidently caused PyZahl, who was right behind me, to go off the road. The soft shoulder grabbed his wheel causing him to go down. No apparent injuries or bike damage but it was kind of a scare that was in the back of my mind for the rest of the ride.

After 45 miles we stopped for coffee at Dunkin Donuts. One rider decided to shorten to a metric century while the other 5 of us proceeded on an additional loop North. More scenic roads and rolling hills for an additional 30 miles. This was a quite hilly ride, with total elevation gain around 7,000 ft., at bit more than the Gold Coast century.

We met up with our 6th rider and some of ther other guys grabbed a quick lunch. I had a Clif bar and felt like it was enought to hold me for the last 35 miles back to New London. We rode strongly and made good time back to the ferry terminal by 3:30pm. The ferry departed at 4:00pm and we had a smooth passage back to LI.

All-in-all, a great route and excellent group of riders. Its good to see some new places from the bike. I think we maintained a good touring pace and though the hills were challenging, they were not too difficult. Can't wait to do it again next year.

GPS track of the ride and links to PyZahl's picks to follow...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Fast Early Birds Ride

Another cool morning, this time out in Manorville for the Early Birds. North route, for a change. It was a fast ride but I was hanging comfortably for 95% of the ride. Got dropped on the hill on Rt. 51 and just could not jump back on to the wheel. Then, the wind was a factor and I watched the group slowly pull away, even when I was doing 27-28 on the flats.

A hard ride, but it felt good and I really didn't "blow up", just couldn't hold the wheel when the attack went. Well, there is always next week!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Cold Spring Harbor Ride

Only one other rider showed up at the Brands lot this chilly morning. I had to break out the fall/winter gear, long finger gloves, long sleeve jersey, base layer, and tights. The two of us headed out for the usual LIE ride. We met up with a third rider just past Hempstead Turnpike and the three of us proceeded up Round Swamp Rd. to the LIE service road. Two of us decided to change things up and head to Cold Spring Harbor. We went over some of the same roads as the Triangle Ride and the Gold Coast Century.

Here is the route as well as I can remember. Lots of turns, so I'm sure I got some of it wrong.

Good ride, brisk pace, with a few climbs. If I remember it, it could be a good solo route too, over the winter.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

More Tour de Parc Stuff

Here is a link to photos. Mostly the same as below with a couple of new ones.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Early Birds Today plus Tour de Parc Results & Photos

Here are the results from Saturday's Tour de Parc. Two East End riders placed in the 35+ masters race.

Here is a link to some photos from the 3/4 race.

Great, fast ride with the Early Birds. South route again, with some wet roads, but a fast pace! Legs were a little dead after Saturday but the group stayed together, for the most part. A few regulars were missing either racing in Prospect Park or at the cyclocross in Southampton. Off from work tomorrow so I will probably do a short ride in the AM.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

2007 Tour de Parc Race Report

On the line, ready to start.

I raced wit the Cat. 3/4's today at the Tour de Parc at Cedar Creek. I missed it last year and the race was not held the year before that. The whole family came by to watch the race, and that was really special.

I got there early and picked up my race number. After watching the Cat. 5 race, I took a warmup ride down to Jones Beach and back. A few minutes later we were lining up for the start (photo above). There seemed to be small breakaways off the front for practically the whole race. Mostly, just one or two guys at a time. At one point it looked like the field would split in half but it was pulled back together.

This was one of the biggest fields I've raced in, at least 50 racers (40 were pre-registered by Friday night). There was constant shifting of lines, but amazingly, no crashes, even with the tight hairpin on one end of the 1-mile course.

I had two laps where I tried to bridge to a lone breakaway with two other riders but we never did quite make it. The pack eventually caught us. One scary moment, there was a loud "bang" and some guy's front wheel just exploded (a bunch of spokes just gave way). He kept it upright somehow and drifted to the side of the course, but those of us behind him had to hustle back to the group.

Short clip of the peloton passing by the start/finish with 4 laps to go.

In the end, the finish was a group sprint, and I finished somewhere in the middle of the pack. Maybe they will post results online in the next couple of days. There were two other East End riders in the race but none of us placed in the top 8 places.

Tomorrow, Early Birds on tap.