Monday, April 20, 2009

Meet the Gunks

Yesterday I went to Poughkeepsie with my friends Jim Zisfein and Irv Schachter. We had a great ride through New Paltz and up the Shawangunks to Mohonk and to Minnewaska State Park.
This was a scouting trip for my May 3rd 5BBC/NYCC ride.
The climb up to the Mohonk Golf lodge was long and steep. There were other climbs as well.
Looking at the elevation profile, I can't imagine what it thinks is 1500 feet of elevation and a 30+ % grade at the roughly 12 mile mark; that's in the town of New Paltz. Our really serious climbing started where Mountain Rest Road crosses Butterville and Canaan Roads. I did some calculations from the GPS data for the climb up Mountain Rest Road from that point, an elevation of 317 feet and at 13.66 miles into our ride.

At the first bend in the road, its an elevation gain of 152 feet and we'd traveled .38 miles so that's a 7.58% grade.

From there to Spies Road, it's an elevation gain of 268 feet and .74 miles further. That makes it "only"a 6.86% grade.

The whole leg from 1st bend to 2nd bend is 435 feet elevation gain over 1.07 miles: a 7.70% grade.

After that is a deceptive recovery leg to the 3rd bend in the road: 103 feet of elevation gain over .38 miles for a "mere" 5.13% grade.

From the start to the stop at the golf lodge is an elevation gain of 811 feet over 2.12 miles for an overall grade of 7.25%.

Huff. Puff. Repeat.

Jim Zisfein, myself and Irv Schacter at the Minnewaska overlook

View from the Minnewaska scenic overlook

Catching up

I have had a busy couple of months. A few fun bike rides in there and some scouting and planning.

First off, I have become quite fond of my new Carbondale Max carbon-fiber reinforced bib tights and the silk long underwear from Campmor.

Next, on Feb. 22nd Dennis Griffin led and I rode sweep on a ride through Queens. Very nice, even if it was raining and cold, now I have a solid basis for routes from the Queensborough Bridge to Kew Gardens. From Kew Gardens I can get to wherever I need to go and I'm going to use this as the 1st leg of my June 7th B-15 BBQ ride #1 to Dix Hills.

March 1st was my training ride to Riverdale with Jesse Brown. We had two riders with us due to an uncertain weather forecast but we only had a few snowflakes and plenty of winter sunshine. One was our friend Jim Zisfein and the other was a new NYCC member whose name I don't recall. We had lunch at Skyview kosher Deli in Riverdale. You can check out our route as recorded on my GPS on Motion-Based. We had fun, even with the gratitious hills I added to the route, and those who stayed home missed out on a nice late winter ride.

March 8th was my training ride to Teaneck/West Englewood with my buddy Jim Zisfein riding sweep. Wonderful spring day and we had quite a turnout including my friends Moshe R. and Shimon S. -- in all I think about 16 riders from 5BBC and NYCC. One fellow showed up at the start with no helmet so we sent him off to a local bike shop to get one. He caught up to us in NJ and shortly thereafter got a flat in his front tire. Jim tried to help him even though he hadn't actually signed the signup sheet (we wouldn't allow someone with no helmet to sign in) but he had no spare tube and no tire tools (and no cell phone). Another rider tried to help with his tubes but they blew out because they were the wrong size. Jim phoned me to tell me what was going on and I sent the fellow's riding buddy back to help him. In the end, the poor guy got his front flat fixed but then they found that the rear had a flat. At that point they were out of tubes, called a cab and sent him home in it while his buddy pedaled back to join us at lunch at The Persian Grill. Here's my GPS track at motion-based.