Sunday, June 28, 2009

Weekend Rides - Corning

Had to miss the Tour de Cure charity ride with the Brands group on Saturday as I was out of town with the family. Tried to make up for it with a couple of long rides through the countryside.

On Saturday, family function at noon, so I hit out early to do a 70-mile version of the century I was planning for Monday, just skipping the loop around the lake. Ran into an unexpected road closure so I doubled back to Corning, did the Harris Hill loop with its single long, steep climb, then another 20 rolling miles for 77 total. Didn't feel great that day but it was a good workout.

Felt much better on Sunday, early start again and this time I worked out a detour around the road closure. Favorable winds heading west. Beautiful scenery, why didn't I bring the camera!?! Most flat and rolling route, one steep climb. Saw a few deer, wild turkeys, woodchuck, gophers, chipmuncks, some kind of soaring bird (a hawk, maybe?), horses, cows. Bit of headwind heading back and it was hard work on the rolling west side of the lake and the long (but not too steep) climb from Hammondsport to Bath. Nice cruise back to Corning and good timing as the rest of the family was just sitting down to brunch. 108 miles on the day.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Brands Ride and Bonus Miles

A good morning, weather-wise, getting a break from the rain that has been hanging around all week. Had a great 80-mile ride today, some solo, some with the Brands group, and some with a 4-rider group that split off from the Brands ride to hit some hills on the North Shore.

Did two laps solo on the bike path before heading over to the bike shop. Met Mike W. on the return and the two of us went over to Brands. There was a steady stream of buses on the Wantagh Parkway ferrying spectators to the U.S. Open Golf Champoinship.

At Brands a group of about 10 riders assembled and Jamie gave us a last minute route alteration to avoid Round Swamp Rd. bacause of the U.S. Open. It was the exact same variation I did on my own last weekend.

The group broke up (as usual) once we started hitting the rollers on the LIE service road. There were a few attacks on the west-bound leg and I finally just decided to hammer off on my own and see if the group had any desire to chase me down. Mike W. and I had chatted about heading North to do some hills at the junction with Round Swamp Rd., so I waited there until the group came by. Some riders filled water bottles, Mike W. sharing his extra Gatorade with me (thanks Mike!!!). So Mike, myself, and two other riders from the Brands group headed up into West Hills, crossed Rt. 25 and did a few climbs around Cold Spring Harbor, Woodbury, etc. Mike was our navigator and those few hills really added to the ride.

We retraced our route back south and back to Brands, trading some strong pulls. All four of us agreed that it was a great ride. I thought I'd be doing 50 miles today, it turned out to be 80, and I have no complaints. Legs still feeling great at the end. Not sure what the weather will bring tomorrow but this weekend is already a success!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Soggy Sunday

Another early morning ride to be home in time for work. Start time 5:30 AM, same route planned as yesterday except this time threat of rain, so I headed out on the old rain bike, expecting to get wet. Just 5 miles in and the rain started, light but steady for the next 20 or so miles. Rain stopped about halfway back on the westbound leg of the LIE service road. Slow climbing through West Hills then a welcome tailwind as I headed south, back home. Another 51 miles.

I made a point yesterday and today to avoid Round Swamp Rd., expecting closures around the U.S. Open Golf tournament at Bethpage. I only realized later, they will be playing NEXT weekend. Doh!!!

Spent a few hours on the phone and the computer with work, then cleaned the bikes under sunny skies this afternoon.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Early Solo Saturday Ride

Early start today because I needed to be working by 10:00 AM. Did a modified Brands route to avoid Round Swamp Rd. and any congestion and road closings due to the U.S. Open golf tournament. Instead, from Central Ave., made a left on Broadway, up to Plainview Rd., a right on Old Country Rd., which let me out right at the corner of the LIE and Round Swamp. From there, just the usual LIE service road, then West Hills (both directions). Then, the same route home.

Warm, humid day, a little taste of summer!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Two Great Rides This Weekend

After three straight days of rain, the weekend weather forecast looked promising for some good bike riding and especially for Sunday's annual Bike-Boat-Bike group ride.

On Saturday, a good spin with the Brands group was in order in preparation for the longer ride on Sunday. Went out at 6:00 AM for an hour on my own before meeting the group at the Brands lot. A good turn out of riders, including Jamie, Mike, Bob, Harvey, Todd, and Ariel. We kept and easy pace up Round Swamp Rd. then the LIE service road to Dix Hills. Scott and Ariel picked up the pace on an uphill, I grabbed Ariel's wheel and then the two of us hammered to the turn-around. We soft-pedalled to St. Matthews church, then waited a minute or two to regroup with the others. Stayed mostly together back to Round Swamp Rd. Mike and I decided to loop through West Hills, then headed back to Brands. A very enjoyable ride, and a good workout. Total of 60 miles, for me.

Sunday morning, out early for the 1 hour drive to Mattituck for the Bike-Boat-Bike ride. Met Harvey, Todd, and Bob from the Brands ride at registration. They were doing the 65-mile route in prep for the Tour de Cure century later in the month. I met up with the East End group, 100 mile route on the agenda. We had a dozen or so riders and made for a fast group. Great weather, fast pacelines, Pyzahl taking some long pulls (thanks!). Just a really fast, challenging ride! Various riders broke off at points if they were riding straight home or had other plans. Five of us ending up back at the Mattituck lot with 103 miles, 20.8 MPH average moving speed. Only one flat for the whole group. Great fun riding with this group!

As usual, Pyzahl documented the ride with some great photos. Here is a link to the photo album.

Here are a couple of photos from Pyzahl's album: