Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Windy One

Did 50 miles this morning, Brand's route following Round Swamp Rd., the LIE service road, plus the loop through West Hills Preserve. Started out a little cloudy and cool (swapped shorts for knickers at the last minute) but a strong wind out of the east blew the clouds and the threat of rain away. Unfortunately, had to fight that strong wind all the way out to the turnaround point on the LIE service road. Made the turn then had a sweet tailwind back to Round Swamp Rd. Glad the rain held off today!

Met Mike W. as I was nearly home and stopped for a couple of minutes to chat. He told me the Brands group is starting to ride again so maybe I'll try to hook up with them for a Saturday morning ride in a few weeks. Trying to accumulate some miles in preparation for two planned centuries in early May.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tour de Parc Criterium - May 18th!

Mark your calendars, race fans. The Tour de Parc Criterium is scheduled for Sunday, May 18th at Cedar Creek Park, Wantagh. I registered for the Cat 4 race, maybe will do Masters 35+ (still deciding). Will probably be my first race of the year.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Early Birds, North

Joined the Early Birds ride out of Manorville this morning. A bit colder than yesterday. About 1/3 of us in shorts, the rest in tights, knickers, or leg warmers. The usual strong pace but not killer. Wind was a factor for the first half of the ride but the group stayed together unil Penny Lane and the tanks.

I seemed to get dropped at every hill, so the climbing legs are definitely not back. Caught back up to the group as they waited at the first regrouping spot. A quick stop to refuel in Cutchogue, where we almost lost Pyzahl as he got caught by some traffic. The group slowed to get all back together.

Pyzahl snapped this shot just as the group was heading out from the Cutchogue deli stop (I'm the orange jersey on the left).

(Check out Pyzahl's ride report.)

We had a fast tailwind-assisted return to Rt. 51, where I preceeded to get dropped again, this time, for good. Dave S. and I worked together most of the way down 51 but when we turned on to 111, I didn't see Dave to I rode in the last few miles solo. Arrived at the lot just as some of the first guys were leaving!

A good challenging ride, good to meet up with the guys who I haven't seen in 6 or 7 months. A wake-up call in terms of where I am in my overall bike fitness. Gotta do some hills!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Ride to Bellport

Rode out to Bellport today on a quest to pickup my new EECT jersey at Kreb Cycle. I ordered the team jersey over the winter but have not had a chance to drive out to Bellport to get it. Since I'm trying to build up miles to get ready for a couple of century rides in May, this seemed like a good opportunity to get in a long ride and finally pick up the jersey.

The object of my quest.

Great weather today, ride started in the mid 50's and was high 60's by the time I completed the 72 mile ride. Took about 4 hours, which is what I was estimating. The route was very familiar as I just got on Merrick Rd. (which soon becomes Montauk Highway) and headed east. Just after Patchogue, I got on Rt. 36 (South Country Road) for about 3 miles, which passes within one block of Kreb Cycle. Got my jersey, ate a Clif bar in the parking lot, then headed back home.

I ran the usual gauntlet between Massapequa and Babylon, where there is virtually no shoulder on the 4-lane road for almost 10 miles. I was sure to take a big drink in Babylon because I knew there would be no way I was taking my hands off of the bars until I got through to Massapequa.

Exchanged e-mail with John Y. this week so I am looking forward to doing the Early Birds from Manorville tomorrow. Hopefully won't get dropped. I don't know, my legs are kind of toast right now. Ride report tomorrow.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Same route as yesterday but this time with my regular road bike. Dry roads today but 10-15 degrees colder and windy. Legs not quite as fresh as yesterday but still feeling good, all in all. Glad to get two long rides in this weekend.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Old School, Baby!

Warm weather this morning but wet roads and threat of rain today. I decided to take the rain bike (1980's Trek 520, heavy steel touring bike). Switched out the cage pedals for the Shimano's from my Specialized and headed out for the LIE route.

I was looking forward to at least 40 miles, and hopefully more! Saw a notice on the SBRA web site about this year's spring century (a.k.a. the Bratwurst Century) that is traditionally on a Tuesday in April or May, leaving from Riverhead, going up the North Fork, across Shelter Island and back to Riverhead via the South Fork. I really want to do this ride and need to get some miles on the legs!

Ate a Clif bar at mile 20 and was still feeling strong when I got back to Round Swamp Rd., so I headed North and looped through West Hills Park. The old Trek did okay, and the ride was sort of "old school" with a steel bike, downtube shifters, 6-speed cassette and 27x1-1/4 tires. No computer on this bike so ride speed was strictly by "feel". Of course, this is 2008 so I had my cell phone, GPS, and CO2 inflater in my jersey pocket!

Downtube shifters

Quill stem

Reynolds 531 steel frame

Lugged construction

The sun peeked out for a while and the roads began to dry up. Used my new shorts from Performance today and they worked out fine. I think this was the first ride in shorts this year. Just a baselayer and jersey on top.

No significant wind and I felt pretty good on the climbs, even with the heavy bike. West Hills was nice and scenic and I saw some kids taking horseback riding lessons at the stables there.

Just like last Saturday, would like to do the same ride tomorrow, hopefuly the weather will cooperate.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

That didn't last long...

Cold, damp, and windy today. What happened to that spring weather?

Just two loops to Jones Beach. Met Mike W. on the path and stopped for a couple of minutes to chat and catch up. Hope the warm weather shows up again next weekend.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Finally, some great cycling weather!

Mid to high 50's today, some early clouds turning into bright sunshine. Rain all day on Friday threatened for this morning but it ended up holding off and it turned out to be a great riding day.

Last weekend I did two short 20-milers to Jones Beach to break the ice. Temperatures were still in the 30's, so they were cold and windy affairs. Today, all I needed were knickers, a base layer, and jersey to stay warm as opposed to last weekend's baselayer, jacket, full shoe covers, ski gloves, balaclava, windproof tights, etc.

Did the usual 40-mile "Brands" ride down the LIE service road. Nice tailwind heading out! I felt surprisingly good after so little riding this year and didn't need to eat during the ride, which was a good sign. I think the big waffle breakfast that Tina and I had this morning helped!

Speed distribution of today's ride, looks sort of B+ level.

Pyzahl was planning a century today and invited me along but I had to decline, knowing that I'm not in shape for that distance yet. Great for them (too bad for me), looks like it was a great day for it.

Here is the GPS track of the ride. Hope to do the same tomorrow!