Friday, April 6, 2007

Training for Montauk

Well, I've been riding to work. Weather very tricky -- cold morning, warmer late afternoon. Fortunately, I have room for all my gloves and bicycle clothes in the pannier along with my regular clothes, though the pannier definitely is bulging with all that stuff in it.

I got a Team One Family jersey the other day from Sammy Zack. The day was quite nice and warm so I wore it that evening -- and the temperature at 7PM was cold. I thought I would get warmer after crossing the Brooklyn Bridge but while Chambers St. was a bit better the West Side Greenway was quite cold. Its a nice jersey but its not realiably warm enough to wear it.

Last Sunday, April 1, I joined the 5 Boro Bike Club (5BBC) on one of their Montauk training rides. We met at 9 AM at Columbus Circle and then headed uptown to the George Washington Bridge and over the south path (which closed for construction the next day through June 2; now cyclists and pedestrians have to share the north path with its stairs instead of ramps). I managed to get through the fairly hilly ride through suburban NJ to the Westwood Pancake House. While I was not the slowest up the hill, those who were slower were also at least ten years older. Though they were on road bikes and I'm still riding my "hybrid" Gary Fisher Tiburon ATB frame with road tires (though not slicks) I was still barely 1 mph faster up the big long hill -- and at least 3 mph slower than the rest of the group.

The next day, Monday erev Pesach I managed to get time in the afternoon to ride up the West Side Greenway to the area under the George Washington Bridge down by the river. The "Little Red Light House" section is still under construction, no idea what they're up to but they've been at it since at least last summer. This is a mostly flat run though its got that tricky on-road connector at 135th st going out onto the street and around Fairway to the new bike path built last year outside the sewer plant. Its a very nicely built path and i was pleased to see that it has been maintained, with some walls put up to keep the hill from sliding onto the path and last year's slides cleaned up.

At this time, my odometer is 205.39 miles (effectively, all the miles I've done this season) 10.8 mph average speed (37.3 maximum, achieved on one long steep downhill in NJ on Sunday, bent over as flat as I could get; managed to get most of the way up the next hill coasting n that one) which I rode in a total of 18:56:26 hours (i.e. 18 hours 56 minutes 26 seconds). I mentioned my relatively low average speed to some folks on the ride and they assured me that since most of my miles are commuting in Manhattan I'm doing pretty well. Its true that riding to work across Chambers street I have to stop at least every other block for the traffic light and even if I sprint up to 18 mph mid-block I soon have to come to a complete stop then wait and accelerate back up. I probably make an average 5 mph across Chambers.
Going home at night is better I only stop once usually and then again waiting to cross West Street to the Greenway.

Now that it is shortly after 10 AM and I'm off to ride around Central Park. Weather report says 34 degrees. I'm going to wear my winter jePublishrsey and my long sleeve jersey and of course my insulated bib tights. This afternoon is my LASIK surgery no more riding outside for a week.

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