Saturday, October 31, 2009

Change of Seasons in the Wind

Catching up on few weekends of riding, since TOSREC.

The Saturday after, did 54 miles solo on the Brands route and through West Hills. Sunny, but windy, the leaves not quite as far along here on Long Island as they were in Connecticut, but still a good ride. We went out of town for the rest of Saturday and Sunday, so only one ride that weekend.

Last weekend, still recovering a bit from being sick earlier in the week, did a pair of 40-milers. Saturday, was wet and windy, so I took the rain bike out for a loop of the Brands route, solo. Didn't get rained on but roads were a bit messy. Sunday, bit of a late start, needed to recover somewhat from Saturday night reunion with friends from Sunrise Park elementary school days. Thirty-two years since we graduated from the sixth grade. Was a lot of fun catching up with everyone and we had a great time at FG Quinn's. Anyway, it was a brisk morning but the sun was shining and I did I nice solo ride up to Sagamore Hill, Teddy Roosevelt's house. Foliage looking great and feeling really good on the bike.

Which brings us to this morning, another wet and windy Saturday morning. Not sure of my schedule this morning, so, by default, went solo. Did the 50-mile Brands loop and West Hills. Hard work fighting the wind alone but got a bit of tailwind on the return. Cleaned up the bike (after many weeks of neglect).

Just getting into the Fall routine. BTW...Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Kris, John, and I cycling past a vineyard, TOSREC 2009. Photo by Pyzahl.

That is, the Tour Of Southern Rural Connecticut! A century ride designed by John Y. from SBRA Early Birds, this year assisted by Pyzahl. Actually ended up with about 112 miles with a few spontaneous route modifications.

Ride info and approximate route can be found here.

Also, Pyzahl's Garmin track and photos from today's ride.

Five of us departed Orient Point this morning on the 7:00 AM ferry to New London, CT. Downright COLD, temp in the low 40F's, but would warm up to mid 50F's during the day. We arrived in CT by 8:30 AM, disembarked with our bikes and worked our way out to the CT countryside.

The scenery on this ride is MAGNIFICENT, especially at this time of year with the foliage starting to change and riding little back roads in the crisp, cool, fall air. Kevin was not feeling too well, and when we stopped for coffee at mile 42, he decided to take a direct route back to the ferry. The remaining four of us continued on the full route.

Cruising through the fall foliage on CT backroads. Photo by Pyzahl.

This ride is deceptively difficult, constantly rolling hills, netting about 5,700 ft. of elevation gain. A few map errors did not dampen the spirit of the ride in any way. Another short stop at mile 80 for water, then time to knock out the last 30 miles. Percy and Kris were riding very strong, sometimes gapping John and I on the longer climbs, but we all finished together, back at the ferry by 4:00 PM. We coasted into town in search of some calories before the 5:00 PM ferry back to Long Island. After boarding, we secured the bikes, grabbed some coffee and had an uneventful voyage back.

Thanks John and Py for putting this ride together. And, to Kris and Kevin, for making this a great ride!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Brands 55th Anniversary Ride Report

Bob, Todd, and I, in early April. Photo by Cecilia Grace Mizin Photography.

Over one hundred riders showed up this morning for the Brands 55th Anniversary ride. Fifty-five miles for 55 years! We met up in the LIRR parking lot across from Brands and picked up our cue sheets. A chilly morning (around 45F) but the promise of nice warm weather as the sun was coming up. After a few words from our leader, Jamie, the big group slowly headed out.

Riders of many levels, so a very easy pace up the usual Brands route, Seamans Neck Rd. and Round Swamp Rd. to the LIE. Started to beak into three groups around the first hill on Old Country Road. Still, a pretty easy pace through West Hills and up to the North Shore, and Lloyd's Neck. Despite the big group, no crashes (that I saw) and just a few isolated flats/mechanicals.

Looping through Caumsett, we headed back south and stopped at Lloyds Neck to meet the Brands van for water and Clif Bars. Then back along a similar route to Brands. Picked up the pace a bit on Round Swamp Rd. Finally back at Brands for a HUGE brunch of fruit, bagels, pastry, sausage, eggs, bacon, hash browns, pancakes, coffee, and tea.

Ended up being 58 miles for me, including a couple of miles to and from home. Was a fun ride, lots of smiles at the end. Scenic route (once North of the LIE). Thanks, Jamie and everyone at Brands for making this possible!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Blazing EB North Route ** Photos Added **

After yesterday's washout, decided to head out East for a (hopefully) fast, hard group ride at the Early Birds. Was NOT disapointed! A group of 12 riders met up in Manorville at the King Kullen. Regulars Percy, John, Robin, and Gerald there, plus good representation from East End Cycling team, Owen, Mike, Craig, Guy, Chris, Chris, and another rider I did not know.

We wanted to avoid flooding on Dune Rd. so we headed off to do the North route. Good, fast paceline to Doctor's Path. At this point the wet roads claimed their first tire casualty. The group stopped and waited for the repair. Off again, but another flat within a mile or so. Moving again on Sound Ave., found myself pulling just before the hill up to the tanks. Made the right turn up the hill, the group surged by me and I sag climbed until I latched onto Owen's wheel. Owen, Mike and I caught back on the the main group and stayed on until IPBSP. Another sharp acceleration up the hill there and Mike and I were gapped again. We chased hard on Sound Ave. but the group up front was too strong to catch, especially with Craig just putting the hurt on everyone. Owen dropped back to give Mike and I a hand and we rolled in to the regroup point a minute behind the front group.

More fast pacelines to Cutchogue for a water stop, then off again for the last 25 miles. Everyone sharing in the work. Finally, on Rt. 51, selection at the first long hill. Was 4th wheel, rider in front of me got gapped and the rest of the group swarmed by on ether side. By the time I could get by it was too late and I could not close the gap.

Eventually rode up to Guy and the two of us worked together up Rt. 51 and Rt. 111. Hopeless chase of a strong six-man group ahead but we came in just a minute or two behind. Total of 55 miles. Haven't done a ride where I've been in the red zone so much for a while!

PS: Here is a link to PyZahl's report.

And some photos, by PyZahl: