Friday, February 22, 2008

2005 Long Island Accidental Road Century

It’s Memorial Day weekend, and once again I found myself venturing off to the seaside to spend the weekend with my family in the sun. The plan was to do 70 mile tandem road ride with my husband, Art on Sunday. This ride would include: a 5:30 a.m. wake up, a 15 mile time trial to catch an early ferry to Shelter Island, a 25 mile circuit on Shelter Island with the Bike Hampton Club, and then a loop around Peconic Bay.

I was a little cranky with the early start time, but had totally forgotten about that by mile three. I think we easily averaged over 19mph because we were standing at the south ferry dock early, and had a chance to enjoy the peaceful moments of the early morning, including watching the sun emerge out of the fog and begin to sparkle on the water. Before long, the brightly colored jerseys appeared on the incoming ferry, and we were joined with our group.

We quickly became very popular in the group after taking a few strong pulls. Those tandems can haul! Afterwards, we were convinced to join the group for breakfast at the bike shop, and although we didn’t know at the time, we were really going to need that breakfast. We continued on with the longer leg of the loop which would take us all around Peconic Bay. Shortly in to it, Art noticed our mileage was already at 70, and asked if we were almost home. Ooops, silly me had forgotten to figure in the 25-mile loop on Shelter into the planned mileage. So now we were looking at riding close to 100 miles.

Well, it was a beautiful day, and pretty flat. Amazingly, it was easier than I would have thought. Although I was getting sick of having to ask permission to stop pedaling so I could readjust my bottom and stretch during those long 97 miles, I’m glad I got to share it with someone special to me.

Riding a tandem is great way for two riders of different levels to share in the same ride. The two riders levels sort of meet in between. Besides being pretty cool, it's a good test of trust, communication, patience and one's ability to adapt.

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