Sunday, November 30, 2008

Bailed Out

Just about to step out the door this morning for a ride and the rain and sleet started! We weren't supposed to see this until 10:00 AM. So, taking a day off. Gonna watch the Giants and Jets instead.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Colder Today, But a Better Ride

This morning's ride started at 34F but, for some reason, it felt more comfortable than Thursday's "Turkey Day" ride. No half-measures with the kit today: full shoe covers and ski gloves, but just a cycling cap under the helmet, balaclava was in the wash!

I headed out solo to do the Brands route and West Hills but bumped into Mike and Bob just a mile in. We rode together for about 10 miles, to about the midpoint on Round Swamp Rd. At that point, I wanted to pick up the pace so I headed off on my own. Wind was favorable heading east on the LIE service road to the turnaround. Now into a headwind but not too bad. The sun was out by this time and really started to warm things up.

Felt great back at Round Swamp Rd. so proceeded through West Hills, seeing the horses out and running around a bit in the paddocks off of Sweet Hollow Rd. Through the preserve then a fast return down Round Swamp Rd. passing Bethpage State Park and the golf courses there.

By surprise, caught back up with Mike and Bob on Central Ave., now joined by Harvey, too. We rode in the last 5 miles together to Jerusalem Ave. and I then took the shortcut home. All in all a really great ride for the end of November. Hoping for another good one tomorrow!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Hard to Disconnect

Hard to get in the groove for today's ride. Hands got numb quickly due to my last minute substitution of neoprene cycling gloves instead of my ski gloves. Also had a stiff back, I think due to having to stand the past two nights for the train ride home from work. Thinking about a lot of things that need to be taken care of before the end of the year. Anyway, I carried on and by mile 20 I started to loosen up and get more comfortable on the bike and getting a little into the "zone".

Very light traffic in the morning so it was a nice quiet ride. No howling winds today.

Did the 50-mile Brands/West Hills route again, solo. A lot of other cyclists and joggers out to burn some calories before today's traditional Thanksgiving feast. Can't wait!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Difference a Day Makes

Today I did the 50-miler that I wimped out of yesterday. Temperature was still only 27F at the 7:00 AM start but much less windy. I was outfitted the same as yesterday but felt good at the LIE and decided to go for the 50. Nice tailwind as I headed west, and light traffic. At the turnaround, I hit into the wind. The sun started to come out a little bit by then and I tried to catch every bit of it that I could.

Starting the West Hills route on Sweet Hollow Rd., I was surprised to meet Mike W.! We chatted a bit as we climbed up through West Hills on Sweet Hollow Rd. and Mt. Misery Rd. (great names!). We split at Round Swamp and I got into a good cruising mode, especially when I headed back south.

Numb feet by the time I got home but good to get in a long ride!

Hey, check this out! I always thought it would be cool for my picture to appear on, now here it is, but unfortunately, its not me on the bike! I'm crouched between the 1st and 2nd riders, taking a photo (blue hat).

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Day at the Races

I went to Southampton this afternoon to catch some professional cyclocross racing, the 2008 Whitmores Landscaping Super Cross Cup. It was a bitter cold and windy day, but the racing action was HOT! Here is an article from, too.

Here is a slideshow:

Some video too:

Elite Women

Elite Men


And finally, a picture of a (small) group of fans from the moveitfred blog. I'm the guy with the blue hat pulled down over my ears.

Earned that Hot Cup of Coffee

Was planning on the usual 50-mile Brands route this weekend but a glance at the weather forecast last night started to but some doubts in my mind. Predicted temperature of 24F and 20-30 MPH winds, wind chill of 12F! I do have cold weather gear but 3 hours in sub freezing temperature and high winds gets uncomforatble no matter what you're wearing on the bike.

I settled on a planned 25-mile ride up to the LIE and back, via Round Swamp Rd. Going to see the cyclocross races in Southampton this afternoon and I figured if those guys could race an hour in this cold then I should be able to get my ride in too! Depending on how I felt at the halfway point I could extend to 30 miles by doing the West Hills loop or 40 miles by doing the whole service road. Since this was going to be a shorter-than-normal ride, I skipped the pre-ride meal and kitted up for a 7:00 AM start. Broke out all the cold weather clothes: balaclava, ski gloves, barrier jacket, windproof bib tights, full shoe covers.

Started right off into the headwind. Tough going but at least it kept my core warm. Predictably, fingers and toes were the first victims of the cold. At the LIE, I felt okay and decided to go for West Hills. I took my last sip of water at mile 14 as the water bottle froze up at this point.

Got the tail wind for the return loop but it actually seemed to be colder coming back, maybe due to the increased wind chill or maybe because I wasn't working as hard without the headwind to fight. Back home in under two hours and fumbled to get out my house key with numb fingers. First order of business after peeling off all the extra layers...get the coffee going!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Brrrrr! Looks like a COLD Ride Tomorrow AM! says it will be 30F tomorrow morning, winds 22 MPH and a wind chill of 18F! Some real winter weather. Breaking out the AMFib bib tights!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rain One Day, Wind the Next

It rained all day on Saturday, so no riding for me.

This morning I met Mike W. at Brands to do the regular route, 7:00 AM start time. Heavy rain last night so I took the rain bike thinking it would be a wet ride. The strong wind dried everything out so the roads were in good shape after all. We had favorable winds for the first 20 miles, out to the turnaround point on the LIE service road.

Then the fun started!!! We did the next 28 miles into a 22 MPH headwind/crosswind. It was a hard ride. Usually this is a 2 hour 40 minute ride, today it was 3 hours! I was drained at the end but glad that the weekend was not totally washed out. Temperature was about 50F, so not bad for the middle of November.

Need to lube the Trek drivetrain, it was squeaking like a rust bucket for most of the ride, probably since I didn't have a chance to clean it after Thursday's and Friday's morning wet rides.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


Thats how I would describe this morning. The rain from the past couple of days left and this morning I headed out under cloudless, sunny skies, no wind, and temp around 51F. Nice fall cycling weather and the cool temperature kind of woke me up and got me motivated for a vigorous ride.

I started at 7:00 AM, solo, as I didn't want to wait until 8:30 AM to meet up with the Brands group (although I did see Mike, Bob, and a couple of other riders starting out as I was almost home). Did the usual Brands route and West Hills on the Specialized. Little or no wind for the first 20 miles, then the wind seemed to pick up and I had headwinds and crosswinds for the last 30.

Fall foliage was lit up by the morning sun so it was a colorful ride, in contrast to yesterday's rainy, gray day. Just need to do some minor bike cleanup and chain lube later this afternoon. Hope we get a few more weekends like this before things get really cold.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Wet and Windy Saturday Ride

Some time constraints this morning in order to make it to my daughters' 9:00 AM soccer game, her last of the season. No way to make it to PyZahl's RP2IPBP ride :-(.

Up and out at 6:00 AM, fueled with banana, yogurt, and granola. Lots of rain last night and possibility of showers this morning, so I used the rain bike (the Trek). Still dark at 6 AM so I attached my headlight and red blinkie and headed out. Splashing through the wet roads and leaves, taking it slow around the corners.

Tried hard to keep a good pace. At the midpoint turnaround, already 1 hour and 10 minutes, so I knew I would not have time for the West Hills loop and this ride would have to be kept to 40 miles. Against the wind on the way back but, luckily, no real rain on the ride, just wet roads and occasional mist or drizzle.

Passed a cement company on Round Swamp Rd. and got covered with cement mud that had run out into the street. Hard to see through my glasses. Home by 8:15 AM and just enough time for a shower, make a hot cup of coffee, and head over to the soccer game. On a side note, my headlight lasted for the whole 2 hr and 15 min ride so that was a successful experiment!

Dirty bike sat outside in the rain all day until I finally had a chance to clean it up this afternoon. But this probably won't last long since I'll most likely be facing another wet ride tomorrow.

Planning on the same ride again tomorrow except that I will start later and probably get my usual 50 miles in. Tried to hook up with Mike W. for Sunday but he is doing the Brands ride and 8:30 AM is a bit too late for me. Check out the blog for Sunday's report.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Maintenance Rides

Home after Sunday's chilly ride.

Recap of the week's rides...

Did the 15-mile pre-work ride on the Jones' Beach bike path Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday (Wednesday was wet). Cold mornings so I was usually wearing a balaclava, ski gloves, and winter cyclinging jacket.

Saturday warmed up into the 50's. I did a good early morning solo ride on the Brands route and through West Hills park. Sunny skies and light wind. Especially nice was riding through the tunnel of gold leaves on Sweet Hollow Rd.

Set the clocks back an hour on Saturday night but I was still up and out early (6:00 AM instead of 7:00 AM) today (Sunday). Same route as yesterday but made more challenging due to the colder temperature (40F) and windy conditions. Riding against the wind for the first 35 miles, then got the tailwind when I turned back for home. Thought I might see the Brands group at some point on my way back but didn't maybe it was too cold for everyone? Or, possibly, I just missed them.

This time of year, I'm not really training for any specific long-distance rides or races, so just trying to make sure I get out on the bike for a few hours every weekend.

Coming up later in November, hoping to head out to South Hampton to catch the cyclocross races. These are the last two races of the NACT series. Should be good!