To Nyack: 23.97 miles
Max Speed: 35.4 MPH (Avg: 14.9 MPH)
Max Temp: 92* (Avg: 86*)
From Nyack: 24.14
Max Speed: 36.5 MPH (Avg: 15.5 MPH)
Max Temp: 100* (Avg: 94*)
Total time for round trip and Muffin Break: 3 hours 45 minutes, roughly.
I did the ride up to Nyack today. I rode with Sammy Zack, Niv ___ and Sam Solomon. Niv and Sam are both from Israel (even though Sam spends time in NYC and Niv now lives in the states as well) and Sammy’s on the team with me. After reading Sammy’s email imploring us to (fine, inquiring as to whether or not we would like to) ride to Nyack with him this morning, at 8:30, and hearing numerous bikers tell me to go on this legendary half century ride, I quickly responded that I was in. 8 o’clock this morning, I was on my way.
The ride there was very nice. Sam rode alongside me, with Niv and Sammy somewhere behind us. We rode (illegally) in a classic 2×2 formation, with Sam feeding me training tips the entire way. Turns out that sitting back, directly above your saddles, and increasing cadence while climbing actually helps immensely. Much more than I thought it would. I had fresh legs the entire ride there, powering through the hills, and keeping an average speed of 15 +- MPH. But I was conserving some power for the ride back. i’ve never attempted a ride of this magnitude before in my life and had no clue what to expect.
As we reach our destination, a small, hole-in-the-wall type café amongst a long line of others, something about the quaint village struck me as, not odd, but more homely and welcoming. In front of many of the cafés and small shops we cruised by, there were bike racks. Bike racks filled to the brim with bicycles, while other cyclists circled, looking for a spot in a rack to park their bikes. As we found an empty rack outside a (nonkosher) café, I admired the bikes around us. There were fast-looking bikes, slow-looking bikes, road bikes, triathlon bikes and some bikes which I couldn’t even put my finger on. Bikes with shimano components, SRAM components, Campagnolo components and bikes with electric – cool! – shifters.
Unfortunately, the hole-in-the-wall café didn’t accept debit/credit cards for any purchases under $10, but fortunately, Niv, the native from our Jewish homeland happily offered to help out a brother. Thanks Niv. The Clif bar was delicious and hit me in just the right spot.
Before turning around, we refilled out water bottles at a camp-like gatorade container which was filled with water. I think the shoppe put it out, but who knows. We biked on further, climbed a hill or two, then turned around and came back. The ride back was torturous for me. As I previously stated, never before in my entire life have I biked that distance. The ride was hilly – grueling and hilly. But the Lord, blessed be He, helped me through, even while the area directly beneath my reproductive tract was seemingly perched just within licking reach of a fire unlike one I have ever experienced. I mean it was bad. Real bad.
At one point, after I had lost Niv and Sam (Sammy was a little behind us at this point), and could make them out somewhere around 200 feet away from me, the road up ahead had an outlet from a highway parallel to us. I believe it was the Garden State Parkway which fed into 9W at this point. Just was I was approaching this T in the road, the light turned red, and cars started to pour in from the left side, the only side they could have come from. Imagine a T, a capital ‘T’, and rotate it 90* to the right, and that’s what the road looked like. If I had a green light, I could have continued onward, or made a left turn onto the Parkway.
In any event, as I pushed onward through the red light, out of nowhere, a 5-0 cut across the 4-lane highway, with a projectile aimed directly at me and my all of a sudden too flimsy and slow bicycle. I felt powerless as he barreled towards me. Then I heard his voice over the loudspeaker. “YOU HAVE JUST RAN A RED LIGHT. YOU MUST STOP AT RED LIGHTS!” I slammed on the brakes and was just about scared out of my shorts as I swerved along the biking shoulder. Apparently, the pig was waiting for a biker like me to speed through that light at 30 MPH, just so he could get a little power trip by displaying his dominant legal position in the encounter. Blech.
Luckily, he let me off with just a warning, and I continued, again, into the blazing sun. The rest of the ride was rather quite, until some ignoramus sped by a group of 8 of us (in the illegal 4×2 formation) and began honking like a wild man because we were taking up the right lane in the 4 lane highway. As he passed us, the lead rider raised his middle finger in pride and spat out some less-than-courteous remarks at the blue Jeep Grand Cherokee with the Villanova sticker in the back window. Nasty, obnoxious comments were exchanged between the two, and then the Jeep-owner drove away. And all was quiet on the Western front of NYC.