Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Road Ride Report

Art, Willy and I did a road ride on Easter Sunday. The plan was to head west, right over Skyline Dr, around behind Ringwood and up 106 into Harriman, straight across and back down to Bergen County, an estimated moderate 55 miles.

I really can’t complain about the warm weather we’ve had this winter, but being that it was technically now spring, it felt like a disappointingly total winter ride out there once again. I must be getting weak minded, not to mention that I felt like crap right from the start. This was the third day in a row of my legs being flat. I tried to suck it up and not ruin the ride for the boys, but it became a suffer-fest.

This was my first time climbing Skyline in 08, and it felt ok in a painful way. I tried to take it slow so that I would not get too sweaty, but it was long enough to soak me through. It was also a bit windy coming down the other side and I had to tell myself to relax to keep the bike stable. I don’t know if any other small riders get tossed around in the wind, but I find it feels worse if I tense up.

On Long Meadow road I spotted a red fox along the road. I stopped maybe twenty feet from him, and he just stared at me. We actually made eye contact and that seemed ok with him. It was really cool, and I’m glad I got myself out riding and saw him. Oddly, I have seen more wildlife on this road than when mountain biking in the woods.

From there we headed up 106 into the park, and I was reacquainted with an old friend of a climb. That long, twisty, low-grade climb is one of my favorites. This may have just been a perception, but I thought I started to feel stronger, or maybe Art and Willy were starting to get tired. At one point I thought I had completely shed my funk, then it was obvious that all 3 of us were bonking bad and not thinking straight. We were out of food, and split the last of the water three ways and stuck together until the next open store where we bought some food. It was only 8 miles short of home, but we needed food and water badly.

I never knew the 7/11 in Monsey was such a hopping spot on Easter. Cars were lined up to get parking spots. I was so spent, that I wanted lay down on the sidewalk, but Art thought I would get run over by the uppity drivers. There were all these kids in yamacas staring at us and saying “Look, bikers!” It was cute, but made me wonder if they were ever allowed to ride bikes, if seeing us was so special. It reminded me of the story of the city kid being amazed with the farm animals and the farm boy being amazed with seeing a taxicab.

We ate up quickly and got home with 55 miles that felt like 80. Only a tad over 4000' vertical gain and yet exhausting, and just another day on the bike. I was happy to see a fox and put a sparkle in a kids eye .

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