Sunday, August 30, 2009

West Point Loop


The start of a 60 mile scenic road ride....


through Harriamn State Park....


and it's beautiful lakes.


One of the many views of the Hudson River.


climbed to the top of Perkins lookout ....


so that Henry could pose for this blog picture.


Rode north of West Point ....


with spectacular views around each curve...


on a road closed to motor vehicles.

After two days of rain, the sun came out just north of New Jersey, and what a day we had. Willy, Marianne, Henry, Frank, Art and I rode about 60 miles on some of the most scenic roads in the area. It is hard to believe that these roads exist so close to NYC and do not get used. Perhaps they are too hilly for the average bike enthusiast, but if you don't mind some hills, it doesn't get much better that this.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Queen for a day in the Kingdom



Super hot and and humid weekend .... time to get out of town. Destination: Kingdom Trails, Vt. One birthday, a few days riding, with a few good friends and a thousand laughs. See gallery for "Kingdom Trails" video: http://gallery.me.com/ellenandart#100123
































video

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Windham Kenda Cup East


arriving in the catskills just as the sun comes out


how can you help but dig any place with pink mud


trip to psychedelic suds


a study in rotational wait


life imitating art, imitating life


girls in search of beauty


icing the legs for the big day


Super-D: August 15, 5:30 p.m. …..
Who would have ever guessed that a 50 year old women would be riding the chairlifts with 5 other girls to lay in the grass and gaze up at the clouds waiting for the word “go”. Once prompted by this word, we would jump up, somersault and run to our bikes for a downhill race. Thanks to Tom Spiegel for this crazy idea of a start that got me pictured in cycling news in full form of a forward roll. Both jumping up and rolling did momentarily make me a tad dizzy. I may recall an article in AARP about standing up too fast, and although I don’t really like to think that I am 50, it just may be true.

Once on the bike, I felt at home and found myself pedaling like crazy down the meadow road. I instantly passed 2 girls, but could still hear someone right behind me. She flew by me on a steep downhill section of road and took off. Once in the single track, I managed to bridge back up to her and noticed she was off pushing an uphill. Then she faltered over an uphill root, and before she could push up and swing her leg back over the bike, I was by and never looked back. I passed another girl walking out the bottom with an unlucky flat tire. When I got to the bottom, I found out that Alex had won the pro field and Laura the 19-39. To sum it up: It was 12 minutes of all out adrenaline, grinning inside and out, childish fun, for all ages. If you have not tried a Super-D and you enjoy riding downhill XC, you must give it a try.



Cross Country: August 15, 8:00 a.m. .....
Both the XC and the Super-D courses were really fun and well maintained. Similar to last year, they had many rock cribs and well constructed bridges with chicken wire that allowed racers to cross wet areas with ease. The climbs were broken up and the last two climbs from last years course were taken out, making for a shorter lap. The climbing was still plenty challenging and the downhill always went way too fast.

On race day, some of the rocks were wet and somewhat slippery, but most of the course was perfect. We started at 8:00 a.m. in a cool fog. I wasn’t feeling a fast start in me, so I succumbed to a steady diesel pace for lap one. We rode from open ski slope into dark woods, which was difficult to adjust our vision. I made a note of obstacles and made sure to trust my memory during the brief blind moments for the remainder of the race.

As we rode up the mountain, the sun began to peek through and particles of some sort created a sparkling effect. It was like candy for my eyes. Suffering some with my start, the sparkles were a welcomed distraction. By the top of our climb we were each greeted by name by the very loud announcer, Bruce, as we rode out of the clouds into bright sunshine. Knowing I needed to focus on my race, I could not resist but to glance out across the mountains. I'm glad I did because it was a magical sight as the mountains tops rose out of a bed of clouds. From there on, I found my stride, and each lap got better than the one before. I finished strong with a little left in the tank.

In all, it was a great weekend of racing and as always, it was inspiring to see the top pros race.


oh willy loves sweets!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Rain, Fungus and ....







I have been through some rainy times, but this summer is going on record in my mind as the rainiest of them all. With all that rain, comes verdant forests and mushrooms galore: cute little shaped fungus, odd fungus, ruffled orange fungus, and the tiny red ones that line the trails by hundreds.