Sunday, May 6, 2007

5 Boro bike tour, or 15 mph is a myth

Today was the the 5 Boro Bike tour. I had a great time. As I rather suspected, they kept a rather brisk pace. I managed to do pretty good myself much of the way though as usual I don't go up hill too fast -- better than I was though.

I managed to keep up about 18 mph for much of the tour, with some bursts to 20 and on the shore parkway I had an exceptionally smooth run of about 25 mph for a while. Of course, the lead riders were 5+ mph faster than whatever I did.

We had a mandatory stop at Astoria for a half hour (it was supposed to be until 10:05AM but we actually left about 9:55 AM).

The ride down the FDR drive was a lot of fun. When we went through the long underpass everyone went "wooo", it echoed and reverberated as we zoomed through.

My bike is a "hybrid", ATB ("mountain bike") frame but only front shock absorbers. Its heavier than most road bikes even though I have reasonable road wheels on it. There were quite a few places, though, where the road surface was pitted or almost as bad, patched, that made for quite a bit of vibrations...which I didn't feel at all as I coasted downhill standing on my pedals crouched forward as much as I can -- the classic mountain bike 'jump' position. With a light touch on the handlebars to keep control and my knees flexed and loose I took great glee in zipping down at 20-27 mph past many people on road bikes who had to slow or damage their bikes. Of course, once we came to the next hill some of those people passed me as my speed dropped to 12 mph.

The Veranzano bridge was the most difficult climb. Not the steepest, it was definitely the longest. No matter how hard I pushed and switched gears down to where I had just enough resistance I just couldn't get above 9 mph on the way up. While I think my speed up the Queensboro approach ramp was 7, that was a much shorter run.

After a brief stop at the festival I pedaled over to the Staten Island Ferry hoping that if I made the 12 pm boat I could just about make it up to the parade. I made the boat but we didn't sail until 12:20 PM so I couldn't make the parade. My wife Golda did make it there in plenty of time from home; she saw Shira and Shira saw her so they both were happy.

I hope the Brightroom folks got some pics of me, I certainly passed them several times. If they did, I'll post them here.

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