Friday, December 25, 2009

Polar Pancakes

This Jan. 1st, once again I will have the Polar Pancakes ride.
I hope the weather isn't as bitterly cold as last year. I had held off scheduling this because I thought I would spend time with my wife and daughters but they opted for Momma-daughter time; my wife forbade attempting to coax the kids into a nice winter bike ride so I'll go out with the NYCC.

Last year's Polar Pancakes ride was fun for the group but I ended up having to go home sick after brunch (and ended up in the hospital saturday night). Hopefully this year will go better.

Meanwhile, the ride for this Friday looks like it will have reasonably good weather. Not clear but not raining -- and not as cold as it is sometimes with a high near 40 F.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

3rd annual Teaneck Lunch Ride

This Friday, Dec. 25th, Jim Zisfein and I are leading our 3rd annual Xmas day lunch ride to the Persian Grill in Teaneck. It's a great route with the fun downhill of East Clinton Ave / CR 70 into Tenafly and on the way back avoids as much of the Bergen ridge as possible on the return to the George Washington Bridge.

One has one's choices coming back to the GWB. Coming up through Englewood is hard; the hardest way is a direct approach up Fort Lee Road -- not only for the climb but the traffic. Since this isn't a training ride, just to get out and have fun with friends, we'll take it the easiest way we can. With only 17 miles to lunch and 13 back to our start point at W72nd St and Riverside, it's quite feasible -- but to make sure we have time on Friday to get to and eat lunch and return well before sundown, I am starting out at 9:30 AM instead of my more usual 10:30 AM.

The Persian Grill is a cozy place with reasonable prices and tasty food. If the weather is really nice, we may have a large crowd and need to punt to Dougie's BBQ which has more seating capacity. Still, the Persian Grill can seat about 40-ish people: I took the group on my spring training ride to "West Englewood" there for lunch last March and we were quite a few people.

Some of my pals from the Wheels of Love may turn up. Depends on weather. Riding in the rain is something we're quite familiar with but sleet is a bit trickier; certainly the combination of freezing temperatures and precipitation gives one pause. At least I'll have dressed for the weather on this ride. No booties, though -- go straight for the Answer Kashmir winter cycling boots. I do need waterproof gloves. My SCUBA gloves aren't all that warm -- if you think 7 mm of neoprene is enough insulation in freezing temperatures you're wrong; now, if I had dry-suit gloves that might work but I only have wet suit. If it doesn't actually rain (the forecast at this time is 60% chance of precipitation) the Pearl Izumi AmFib gloves with glove liners should suffice even in single digit temperatures.

My Canondale carbon LE bib tights will suffice I am sure; last year I had the somewhat lighter Pearl Izumi insulated bib tights. Definitely the Pearl Izumi Winter Slice jersey; probably will need the extra layer of the long sleeve jersey and of course my GoreTex cycling jacket. The Psolar balaclava is of course a must; this year, rain or shine in cold weather I'm going to wear my new Illuminite helmet cover to keep some of the warmth in my head. One of the reasons extremities get cold is that blood gets pulled from them to keep the core, and especially the head, warm.
You still need some insulation -- those metal brake levers get COLD -- but its not quite as critical.