Thursday, July 30, 2009

Making Preparations

On vacation this week, so been doing lots of riding over the past 5 days:
Saturday, Brands group ride, 63 miles
Monday, solo century with hills, 100 miles
Tuesday, solo ride with rolling hills, 60 miles
Wednesday, solo century flat, 102 miles

Besides just enjoying time on the bike, I wanted to get some big miles under my belt in preparation for a long, two-day, solo bike adventure that I've thought about doing for a long time. Looks like the pieces are going to finally fall into place. I'm going to follow New York State Bike Route 17 from Middletown to Corning, where I'll meet my family to spend a long weekend together. I originally wanted to start the ride from home, in Wantagh but that would have added another day to the ride and I wasn't thrilled about riding through Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan. So, the plan is that I'll be dropped off in Middletown on Thursday evening, ride from Middletown to Deposit on Friday, then Deposit to Corning on Saturday.

Day 1 - Middletown to Deposit, 117 miles, 5800 ft. elevation gain

Day 2 - Deposit to Corning, 110 miles, 5800 ft. elevation gain

It will be my first back-to-back centuries, some new scenery, and a fair bit of climbing to keep things interesting. Spending all day today analyzing the route, packing, and creating some rough cue sheets. Got my motel reservations for Middletown and Deposit. Only remaining question mark is weather for Friday, but that is out of my control. Ride report to follow!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ride to Sagamore Hill with Mike and Bob

Mike posted and e-mail that he was going to to a ride to the North Shore in the morning, 7:00 AM start from Brands. I though this would be a good recovery ride after yesterday so I e-mailed him back that I would meet him at 7. Mike mentioned that Bob and Todd were also interested.

Went out early for 20 miles on my own on the bike path and Cedar Creek loop. Then, met up with Mike, Bob and new rider, Phil, at Brands. Thought we would meet up with Todd enroute. We took an easy pace up to the LIE, where Phil split off to head east. Mike, Bob and I continued north to Stillwell Ave. to meet Todd but he wasn't there. A few phone calls to try an coordinate and we continued north, over some short but STEEP hills, eventually making our way to Sagamore Hill.

Taking a short rest break, I noticed my front tire was soft, so I broke out the tire levers, removed a small piece of glass from my tire and replaced the tube.

Somehow, we never hooked up with Todd, but the three of us, started back south, conquering the hills in reverse direction. I think Mike said we got over 2,500 feet of elevation in less than 50 miles. Total for me was 70 miles. No idea on the ride time, we had lots of stops and starts. It was a great ride in all respects: route, weather, and company of riders!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Putting the Hammer Down on the Brands Ride

Brands ride was a hammerfest again this week! Went out early on my own for 24 "bonus" miles on the Jones Beach bike path and a couple of loops around the Tour de Parc oval at Cedar Creek. Then, any easy ride over to Brands for the weekly group ride.

Another good turnout and some early clouds blew out after about half an hour. The group had three flats within the first 11 miles of the ride. Finally, when we got to the LIE, the pace picked up and the usual attacks started around Dix Hills. Mike W. opened it up and we were about a group of 5 until Ariel just blew things up! That started about 12 miles of constant attacks and counter attacks all up and down the LIE service road. Worked with Mike W. on the westbound leg after we dropped off the back a little bit. It was really hard work for the two of us going into the wind. I caught everyone except Ariel by the time we regrouped back at Round Swamp Rd.

More fast riding and attacks all the way back to Brands. Really fun, challenging ride, averaging about 19.5 MPH, which is fast for this ride. 63 miles total. Humid day, good thing I brought two bottles this time!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Saturday Group Ride, Sunday Solo

Nice weather on Saturday, went out at 6:00 AM for 20 miles on the Jones Beach bike path (2 laps), then met up with the group at Brands. Big group and a few new faces. Amazing how much this ride has grown this year. Met up with Ariel at the LIE service road. Followed the usual script, all together until the sharp climb in Dix Hills, then a group of 4 or 5 of us split away. We kept a high pace and Ariel, as usual, absolutely flying on the climbs. Stopped back at Round Swamp Rd. for a short regrouping then hammered back to Brands. A few riders taking it a bit easier to conserve something for Sunday's hilly Gold Coast ride. Toal of 60 miles for me.

Sunday morning, early solo ride for me. No Gold Coast century, first time missing it in six years. On call for work starting at 9:00 AM. Did a fast solo ride of the Brands route and West Hills. Roads a little wet from overnight thunderstorm that passed though but great weather, otherwise. Great legs today! Did 50 miles and just barely missed a 20 MPH overall average (19.74). Left it all on the road today, rode the LIE like a race.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

July 4th Weekend Rides

Busy day planned for Saturday, so just time to head out early in the morning for 50 miles on the Brands route and West Hills. The group did meet up for an 8:00 AM start but I opted to head out for a solo ride at 5:30 AM, just getting home around 8. Great riding weather and legs felt really good.

Sunday, I wanted to do a longer ride. Again, started early, 6:00 AM this time. I cobbled together a century ride, riding from home to BAE Systems in Greenlawn, the usual start to the HBC Gold Coast rides. The official Gold Coast ride is next weekend, but I knew they had already painted the streets with the cue markings for all the rides. I would have 40+ miles just riding to and from Greenlawn, so once there I did the 55-mile route as marked. Once again, great weather.

It was a hard ride, lots of climbing, though a few of the big climbs from the full 100-mile version were missing. Pretty much non-stop except for two bathroom breaks. My last few solo centuries, I've been able to complete the whole ride on two bottles and two Clif bars, so its been convenient not to have to make any food and water stops. I took the GPS this time, here is a link to the ride. Elevation gain looks a little high and there is one hiccup where the satellite signal was lost. I know for sure I did not hit a high speed of 55 MPH!