Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Acadia National Park

On a family vacation in Bar Harbor, Maine. Got up early for a short ride in Acadia National Park on the beater bike. Did a ride to the Summit of Cadillac Mountain, then a loop of the park on Park Loop Road. Only about 31 miles but lots of climbing.

From the summit of Cadillac Mountain.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Recovery ride a day late

After riding Friday morning and racing Friday night, I figured a moderate paced Brands ride on Saturday morning would be just the ticket for a recovery. NOT!! Most of the usual group was there but once we hit the LIE service road things broke up on the hills. We kept a high pace on the 16 miles of rollers and finally called a truce back at the intersection with Round Swamp Rd., where we waited to get our group back together. We kept an easier pace back to the LBS. A great ride! As usual, it seems to take about 10 miles of riding before the legs get warmed up and start feeling good after a hard ride the day before (or 12 hours before, in this case).

Today, Sunday, I got up early to do a solo ride but as I was having my traditional oatmeal and coffee pre-ride breakfast, lightning, thunder and rain moved in. I took care of some items around the house for an hour or so until it cleared, then went out for 40 miles on the LIE again. Legs really sore today! An hour after I got back home, the thunderstorms started up again and have been going most of the day. So, good timing to get the ride in.

Heading out of state next week for a vacation with the family. Bringing the bike but most likely will just do one or two short, easy rides.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Kreb Friday Night Race Report

I drove out to Riverhead for this evenings Kreb Friday Night Race. I rode the "B" race, which is Cat 4 & 5 riders. After signing in and a few warmup laps, we all took a break to watch the kids races. When they finished, the A, B, and C groups lined up for the staggered start. The B race was 15 laps, which gave us a total of about 28 miles of racing.

I led the group around for most of the first lap. It was mostly status quo until the first prime at six laps to go. I got 3rd or 4th in the sprint for the prime, but the 2nd place rider kept going and I motored up to get on his wheel. Most of the others sprinting for the prime sat up. The two of us had a big gap for one lap. A chase group of three riders bridged up to us and we were a break of five. We hammered away for a lap or two. When I looked back, the rest of our group was nowhere in sight. We all put in some good, strong pulls to make sure the break would succeed.

On the final lap, I ended up in a less-than-ideal situation, taking the final pull to the bottom of the last climb before the finish. As I drifted to the back of the group, Dan opened the sprint with a strong acceleration. I could not respond immediately. Before I could get a couple of breaths, Victor was on his wheel and they two of them gapped the rest of us. They finished one and two, Victor with the win. A fellow East End teammate, Chris nabbed third, ahead of me by a couple of bike lengths. I gave it all I had and crossed the line for fourth.

A satisfying race in that I put in a big effort to make sure the break stayed away, and it did. It may have cost me a top three at the end but if the whole group of twelve made it to the finish together, I think there were a few more strong sprinters who could have finished ahead of me.

On a side note, I met my companion from last week's Brands ride. He raced the A group and got 5th. A great result for him. Will probably do Brands tomorrow morning. Caio!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Short Sunday AM ride, the TdF Enters the Alps

Shortened my early morning ride to 40 miles so I could get back and watch the pros hit the high alps for the first time in this year's Tdf (stage 15). Still, a good fast solo ride this morning along the Brands route. It was really warm out, 76F at 6:00am as I headed up Round Swamp Rd. I was home by 8:00am, fed the dog, brewed a pot of coffee and refeuled with some bacon and eggs.

Watching the tour on Versus now, peloton over the HC climb. Four man break out in front (USA rider Danny Pate in there for team Garmin-Chipotle!!!) but it looks like the real fireworks will be on the final Cat 1 climb.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Brands Ride Takes it Up a Notch!

I thought today might be an easy day, but the Brands ride turned out be a bit of a hammerfest today. I started off with a solo ride to the beach then arrived at the Brands lot to do the usual Saturday group ride. After about a dozen riders assembled, we rolled out at an easy pace as everyone warmed up. Things broke up a little on the long rise up Round Swamp Rd.

On to the LIE service road and it was still together until Dix Hills. Four of us broke away on a short steep climb, then one strong rider pulled us along most of the way to the turnaround point. With four strong riders, we didn't wait for the group and got a good paceline going back into the wind. At the next steep climb, I got away with one other rider and the two of us hammered our way back to Brands for the last 15 or 18 miles. Around the Bethpage golf course, we caught up with some of the original remnants of the starting group so them must have turned back early.

The two of us arrived back at Brands, big smiles and handshakes on a good fast ride. Also impressive was that my ride companion did the Riverhead races lastr night. Can't believe he had that much left in his legs. In summary a hard, fast ride witha grand total of 51 miles. Lots of fun!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Gold Coast Ride Report

Just back from the Gold Coast ride. I ended up with 115 miles as I rode to the start and headed home before the official ride end when the route came back down near Round Swamp Rd. At least I saved a couple of gallons of gas! One of the harder centuries on LI, due to the hills.

After riding to the start at BAE Systems in Greenlawn, I met up with the EB group and we headed out. Perfect riding weather and a challenging route. We kept it all together until the 2nd rest stop where most riders split off to follow the 70 mile route. Seven of us continued on with the 100 mile route. Kept fueled with Gatorade, PB&J sandwiches, bananas, and GORP (good old raisins and peanuts).

I was pleasantly surprised to meet up a few times with Mike W and Bob from the Brands group who were riding together on the 70 mile route. Good to see them doing well on the ride.

After the 3rd rest stop, and climbing steep Avery Rd., I split off alone on Rt. 25 to head home. I already had my hundred miles and cruised the last 15 home down Round Swamp Rd. Now showered, bagel, coffee, and fruit to refuel and watching some Tour de France highlights on TV. Feeling a bit battered, and so is my bike. Some really rough pavement on this ride. I feel like I really absorbed a beating from the road. Not to mention, someone knocked over my bike at the last rest stop, but no damage.

Percy had his camera along, as usual, so I'll link to his photos if he posts them.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

"Coast" Recon

Scouted out the route from home to the start of the Gold Coast century. I'm planning on riding to the official start, then doing about 80 miles of official route with the EB group, then continuing home on my own when the route swings back down to Round Swamp Rd. Did a loop of the LIE service road on the way home for a total ride of 53 miles today.

Should take me about an hour to ride there in the morning.

Monday, July 07, 2008

July 4th Wekend Ride Recap

Friday, July 4th
Headed out early on a cool (55F), misty morning for my traditional climb up Harris Hill. I've blogged about this ride before, its mostly flat until Harris Hill itself, which is a steep wall of a climb. Then a fast descent back down to the Chemung River valley, a circuit around the local airport, then back to Corning. This time, I doubled-up and did another ascent of Harris Hill and airport circuit. This turned the usual 35 mile ride into a 47 mile ride. Its been quite a few weeks since I've needed the gloves and arm warmers for a ride but the morning here upstate are 20F cooler than they have been on the Island.

Saturday, July 5th
Another brisk morning! Felt a bit tired so I opted for a ride that would be mostly flat, with the option of hills if I felt up to it later. I headed west out of Corning on Rt. 415 (Bike 17) to Savona. Still didn't feel great but I knew I had time for 50 miles today, the weather was good and warming-up, so I wanted to make the most of the ride opportunity. I made the right turn onto Rt. 226 and headed into the hills. The climbs are not steep until Weston, and I didn't go that far. Green farm country and small towns. A nice quiet ride on good roads and good pace. As soon as my odemeter click to 25 miles I turned back and retraced my route back to Corning. 51 miles on the day.

Sunday, July 6th
Legs were feeling great this morning, weather was clear and warm, so I decided to go for a long ride. I decided that I could make a challenging century by combining the full Savona-Weston hill route with a loop around Keuka Lake, which I had done once before without Savona/Weston piece. It turned out to be a 108 mile ride, lots of rolling hills, a couple of steep tough climbs, some fast tempo sections, and a hard return home with the last 25 miles into a headwind. Here is a map of the route:

I took the camera along so here is a little photo summary...

About 10 miles in, on Rt. 415, the sunrise is lighting up this wet cornfield.

My shadow as I cruise toward the turnoff at Savona.

On a small uphill section through the farm country on Rt. 226, headed to the town of Tyrone and then Weston.

Still on Rt. 226, about 20 miles into the ride, some horses grazing in the morning sun.

Mile 25, yet another nice farm scene! There were just too many picture opportunities so, around this time, I decided I needed to curtail the photo stops or the ride would take all day.

The post office in Tyrone. Now some big hills as I head back toward Keuka Lake.

After a long, tough climb into Weston, I'm about to lose a large portion of that elevation gain on this 40 mph decent toward Hammondsport and Keuka Lake.

Descending to Keuka Lake, passed this pond on the hills overlooking the Lake. The hills in the distance are on the other side of the lake, which is not yet in view.

This is upstate wine and grape country, as illustrated on the side of this barn. You can see a small bit of Keuka Lake, which is still below me, to the right of the barn.

I got down to the bottom end of Keuka Lake near Hammonsport at mile 35. Then is was a fast, flat 20 mile run up the west side of the lake to Penn Yan. See yesterday's blog entry for a photo from the boat harbor there.

Heading out of Penn Yan, I stopped at a scenic overlook for this photo looking down the western fork of the lake.

Heading back down the east side of the lake, the road is a continuous series of rollers and narrow, twisting roads, unlike the flat and straight west side. I was constantly getting out of the saddle to keep my momentum going. Finally, at mile 80, I got to the town of Hammondsport and stopped in the town square for a Clif bar.

Left Hammondsport on the way to Bath and passed the Curtiss airplane museum.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Corning Area Ride Report and Photos are Coming!

If you have been checking my velog, you know I was away riding in the Corning, NY area for the July 4th weekend. Got home late today and getting ready for work tomorrow. Ride details and photos to follow in a day or two.

Okay, here is one photo to start...

At the top of Keuka Lake, Penn Yan, NY.