My First Century (this Century)…

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2014-mapThough I rode a Century (100 miles) ride 40 years ago I’m proud to say that in this recent return to bicycling, I just completed my first Century ride participating in Transportation Alternatives 25th NYC Century Bike Tour which offered the choice of 35/55/75/100 mile courses weaving through all the New York City boroughs except Staten Island.

I had the event in the back of mind ever since family friend George Sweeting told me about it a few weeks ago.  I wanted to do it then but was juggling both confidence and potentially work schedule conflict.  In the end all came together and along with the encouragement of fellow Crankees Dan Vogel and Bob Cohen I registered for the ride choosing to go for the 100 course.

On the eve of the ride Dan who was supposed to be my ride buddy unfortunately had to cancel and in the end George and I wound up riding together.  This would turn in to a blessing as George knew the route from previous years allowing me to shadow him.  My wife Ann who is also training for our JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes in November, decided to sign up for the Century event which I was very pleased about.  With her distance still growing she decided on the 55 mile course which followed the 100 mile route without much of Queens and the Bronx.

The tour allowed two start/finish points, Central Park in Manhattan and Prospect Park in Brooklyn which I chose the latter.  George and I met up and rode up together getting there a few minutes before the 6:30 am start off.  The energy was a buzz with two wheelers everywhere at Park Circle.  The draw for the tour was at least 5,000 by when I picked up my bib the day before.

IMG_1481George and I found our cue sheets, found open spaces in the mass gathering to begin and positioned ourselves.  For some reason I expected a starter gun signal to begin but I think was merely an organizer yelling to go.

We were off with the pack with moderate space between and the trust we all had move space, daunting as it is but on some level the physics of it work.  We pulled out of the park and started round the roundabout at the corner exiting on to Coney Island Avenue and beginning back street angling towards the 67th street Brooklyn greenway along the water and heading for Bay Ridge with a course going to Coney Island and the first rest stop in Marine Park.IMG_1484

Well stocked for energy reprieve was the fare at the first rest stop.  Fruits, pitas, humus and multiple spicket water refill and of course plenty of porta potties for the need as well.

IMG_1482After a few minutes break and replenishment George and I were back on course heading towards Queens and the Rockaways.  This course was a great balance for me some familiar but much new.  For my 20 years in New York much taken for granted in a blur or underground journey the cycling experience of the last several months has brought me renewed appreciation for much of it.  I had never been to the Rockaways before the first ride out with the 5BBC in late June.

Coming out of Marine Park following the yellowish spray painted ‘C and directional arrows’, visual breadcrumbs indicating the Century route on the streets we found our way to the Flatbush Avenue bike path headed for the Rockaways.  We rounded right towards the water with the Floyd Bennett Aviation Fieldhouse on the left just before the Gil Hodges bridge, a path I’ve traveled three times previously this summer.  The path rose up and across the bridge, a little over 4,000 feet, descending on to Rockaway Point Blvd, rounding Heinzelman Rd, through a short grassy thicket lined path and on to Rockaway Beach Blvd.

George and I rode through the Rockaways with 25 miles in to the Century as we headed to mainland Queens via the Cross Bay Bridge.  For me the next several miles were some of the most interesting of the 100 taking me through a mix of neighborhoods and woods via paths/roads like the Forest Park Greenway and later Kew Gardens Road none of which I’d ever been.

To be continued/updated soon….

Still shaky but moving, pedalin’…

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Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 8.43.00 PMI’m still shaky riding since last Saturday’s crossing with a car.  I guess it’s to be expected just discouraging but hoping little by little to get back my confidence. I have been riding daily anywhere from 4.5 to 16 miles since the accident, feeling that if I miss a day I lose more mental.  Today I made a work schedule change for a work mate so I was unable to ride my base loop this morning.  In its place I got out this evening as soon as I could but it was dusk, ironically similar to the time last Saturday so I was really edgy this evening.  I rode 4.5 miles in and around the park but felt on edge about the bicyclists/runners ahead/behind/left – feel like a real skits.  It just feels like fear of getting hit or hitting.

Not a very positive post this is but feel like writing some feelings.  The whole experience and vibe all week has felt like a magnification of how vulnerable the experience is which we all deal with.  It’s not like a sudden realization but I will say with confidence down it feels more prevalent to me.

Reality and soberness I should be totally glad my encounter was minor, that I didn’t get hurt or worse and in vanity and wheels were pretty much unscathed.  I know most of this is in my head but it’s clear it’s taken a toll and is taking some time to build up again.  I’m sure in coming days/weeks if I stay at it this will pass other than being more on guard.

To continue to push if I don’t have to work on Sunday (Sept 7) I’m planning to do the Transportation Alternatives 25th NYC Century Bike Tour with fellow Crankee Dan Vogel and a family friend.  The advocacy event slogan is a Ride of Passage which feels like it might be really good for me right now.

The image top of the post is where I hit the side of a car that turned in front of me last Saturday evening.  I rode by on Monday on a confidence ride in to Manhattan.  Still a blur as to exactly how or what, not from standpoint of whose fault as that does not matter really.  In a sense it was both parties to me.  Perhaps I was tired from the ride over to New Jersey that day and just couldn’t react fast enough.  Anyhow not to wallow and continue to be thankful just having head games and trying to get my ‘game’ back.  All in time.

On the positive in terms of the bigger picture, purpose of what I’m doing, the blog, I got a few more donations today for my JDRF fund-raising and am now up to $3,895 which actually is a 100 dollars more than I thought when I started writing this evening so another donation came in, wooooot! as they say and there in should be my cause for confidence and regained focus!  Thanks to those who are reading and following.

Jim

A return and someone turned…

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IMG_1434Of late I’ve been doing relatively short distances in my immediate area.  With that in mind this weekend I wanted to get in one long ride.  I decided to do a return ride to the Hudson River Drive (ergo River Road) from just below Fort Lee, NJ, to Alpine in the Palisades.

I mapped out in my head to ride from home in Brooklyn over to Manhattan, take the West Side greenway, exit at 125th street, make a brief stop at the familiar Crankee meeting point Riverside Church, proceed up Riverside to 165th street, Fort Washington to 177th, over the GWB and down to the River Road access and take the road to Alpine and back.

Due to some work distractions I didn’t get away till early afternoon but made good time through downtown Brooklyn, over the Manhattan Bridge, through edge of Chinatown, across Manhattan and on to the West Side greenway at W. Houston Street.

Though it was peak time on the West Side greenway with walkers, runners, bicyclists, families, tourists on ride share, I finally arrived at Riverside Church at 122nd street in about an hour twenty.  I hung out for a few minutes to gather my energy and take this ‘selfie’ for my fellow Crankees.IMG_1428

Mounting my bike again I headed up the quiet Riverside Drive and made a good clip along the two overpass sections and soon turned on to 165th street heading up the hill to Fort Washington Avenue through Columbia Presbyterian towards 177th street.  I’m pleased to report For Washington by the way is now newly paved after being ripped up for the last several trips.IMG_1431

I was up and over the GWB a few minutes later.  The day at this point was cool and overcast.  Though not a sunny view, the look south from the GWB was still beautiful and vast.IMG_1433

I was through the chain link fence welcoming cyclists, runners, walkers and the like to suburban Fort Lee, NJ.  I made the familiar left turn to ride the sidewalk down to the River Road entrance.

But to my brief dismay the gate was up and road appeared off the docket for today’s journey.  I hung out a bit wondering what was up as according to the signs it didn’t close till Dusk and it was just about 3pm.

Just ahead of getting to the gate I had noticed a fellow going around the gate and carrying his bike over the neighboring stone fence.  While waiting and wondering if I should do the same along came another cyclist ready to exit the road.  I asked him what was up and said they have just closed the gate early to keep the cars out.  Humm… okay good enough for me so I picked up my bike and over the stones and cycling I went.

Ever since the first introduction to this 8 mile stretch back in June I’ve been a big fan. The road offers solace and challenge with being serene, reflective and equally abiding with nice downhills and modest to beast uphill.  Riding the route you see occasional sight seer cars but predominately other cyclists, walkers and runners of which today was no different.  I pedaled along enjoying the cool almost fall air at times and rolling landscape.

The last mile of the road is a big climb which always promises a sense of ‘this thing will not beat me’ and I’m proud to say it’s only done that once out of 5 or 6 trips.  Before ascending I stopped to get the energy happening.  Two other cyclists were hanging out at the base point and asked me if I had a Philips screen driver which the infamous Park Tool all-in-one set has.  They needed to make a derailleur adjustment and so I obliged, hung out and chatted.

But it was time to go so I set off.  Today’s ride was first trip of my new bike which among other upgrades for me as a wonderful 18-gear set contrasting my previous eBay bike 12.  Though not without some puffing today’s climb was noticeably easier with the new ratios in my drive.  I once more successfully arrived to the top and the Palisades Park information and rest station.

I decided for today’s trip to make my return on the River Road as opposed to doing our usual continuation/and or return via route 9w.  After a few minutes rest I started my descent down the hill which if one was a flyer this downhill is the cat’s meow.  For me the more cautious it was a kitten’s meow with some occasional braking but still was great and amazed me at how long it actually is and why it’s such a good ‘training’ workout in itself as well as this road.

Doing this route in reverse was equally enjoyable and gave some views that I stopped to make a snap or two.  Nearing the GWB offered this one.IMG_1440

And this one as I was passing under the bridge which it’s amazing how the breadth of this thing hangs in the air.IMG_1441

After passing under the bridge it’s a short distance to the exit at the entrance gate I began a little over an hour earlier.  It was now nearing 6 and time to be heading back to Brooklyn.

I headed up the modest hill from the entrance and turned to go through the chain link fence and on to the GWB walkway/bike path.  Going and coming on today’s trip the bridge was lightly traveled as far as walker/runner/cyclists.  I suppose it was the overcast sky.

Once over it was down the bridge bike ramp and on to Cabrini Blvd, right on 177th and left on to Haven to Fort Washington again and down 165th to Riverside Drive.

I followed Riverside all the way down to 72nd street and got on the Hudson River Park greenway which though still had some occupation was less at this hour so I made good time.

I was debating along the way about my return, Manhattan Bridge or Brooklyn and decided the later hour and dusk coming the latter would be easier/quicker so I turned off on Warren and over to Broadway and City Hall.  Made a brief sidewalk ride to Chambers and then on to the bridge up ramp.

Though the path over was still fair amount of people traffic making my rather loud announce of ‘biker, biker’ necessary mid-way I came up behind a father and two off-spring that it made sense to stay behind as he had a loud whistle!  From that point our caravan made good time charting a clear ride over.


At this point in today’s chronicle I could say on arriving in Brooklyn it was home free and a satisfying day.  However turning on to Jay Street in downtown Brooklyn brought an unfortunate change and meeting with a car.

I was crossing the intersect of Jay and Johnson streets.  A car coming from the other side suddenly began a quick turn in my path.  I reacted suddenly swerving and reaching for my brake levers.  I don’t recall either of us thankfully going very fast, just recall as I got hold of the brakes my front wheel met his door and I went down.

The car now on Johnson stopped as I was getting up, and a man hollered was I okay which it seemed I was though hyper and stunned.  I didn’t feel any pain just shaken and wondering how my bike had faired.  As I got up on the sidewalk the young man and his lady friend came over offering concern and timely there were two police officers who had come on the scene just after my crash.  All asking if I was okay which I was talking and moving so seemed I was.  The police officers kindly said let’s make sure your bike is okay.  I had flipped by this point fear wheel/tire issues.  My front brake needed a budge back to center and handle bars needed a torque as well back to center.

With me and bike seemingly okay car folks and police left and I gathered my wits and started my ride home. Though shaken, I kept telling myself I was lucky and thankful neither of us was going fast.  It was a troubling end of an otherwise nice ride, a reminder of how aware and constant vigil I as any cyclist have to be.  I have witnessed 3 crashes of other cyclists in the last month and now I’m 4.  Not to be naive or pompous, I honestly didn’t feel I was careless in any way.  Yes I was coming in at 50 plus miles for the day, tired and needing nourishment but I was alert and watchful but… it’s never enough, never.  My lesson, be ye thankful as I was today.


A note, in addition to my training for the November 2014 JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes cycling event in Tucson, AZ, I am fund-raising for the cause.  You may donate here and help further research in type one diabetes, helping to make type one type None.  Thanks.

 

Cobblestones of Red Hook…

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Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 6.39.21 PMOn Sunday I continued my Brooklyn/lower Manhattan exploration that I did day before.  I decided to bike over below the Brooklyn Bridge, find the greenway and follow it to Red Hook, the reborn still somewhat funky, up and coming waterfront area of Brooklyn.

I left the house early afternoon, rode down Ninth, turned on Sixth Avenue through the Slope to Union. Took a left on Union and rode down to Third Avenue. Made a right and rode along shadowy tree-lined Bergen to Court street.  I made a left on Court to Warren and turned right riding to its end at Hicks street.

IMG_1377A right turn on Hicks and I followed the street all the way through Brooklyn Heights just before its end as the Brooklyn Queens Express (BQE) passes overhead.  I hopped on the sidewalk going under the BQE and entered the bike lane on Old Fulton Street taking it to the beginning of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Greenway.IMG_1376

Entering this point of the ‘greenway’ was much akin to being on the bridge at peak hour, lots of folks and despite noted separation on the path of bikes left pedestrians right it was pedestrians everywhere :-) but then again its tourism and as the saying goes, good for ‘bidness’…

I followed the packed gravel path along the waterfront which felt more like a stroll down the thorough way of a carnival than a bike path.IMG_1378

I was soon through the commercial sector and began to come in to the warehouse interspersed commercial beginnings of Redhook, now famous for Fairway, barbecue and seemingly one of the borough’s next ‘things’.

I rode through a couple of deserted streets with minimal appearance of occupation yet street art on one was robust and amazing.IMG_1380

From here I went down what appeared to be a dead-end cul-de-sac but hosted a small barbecue eatery housed in a railroad car and circled with picnic tables for customers.  Just beyond that was Steve’s Key Lime Pie which sounded yummy and towards New Orleans than the sparse nook it was in.  To the right was a lawn and a pier showcasing a nice view of the harbor, Staten Island and back towards Manhattan.

From here it was home which was a zigzag short hop to 9th street which led home.  A few more snaps in close….IMG_1384

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And I did mention cobblestone streets didn’t I…IMG_1392

 

 

 

 

 


You may support me supporting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International on Nov. 22nd as I ride in the 2014 JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes in Tucson, AZ, by clicking here.

The Tucson cycling event is one of 7 national JDRF ride events bringing together cyclists with a common goal of raising money and awareness to further the research in type one diabetes so one day soon ‘type one will be type none’.

How I found a Piano on the Beach…

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This weekend I did two exploration rides – first to Williamsburg and lower Manhattan chronicled here and a little later, Redhook.

On Saturday’s ride I had limited time.  I took a look at the Brooklyn waterfront between home and Williamsburg via NYC Bike Maps, targeting a route going from the park (Grand Army Plaza direction) over to Vanderbilt and on to Williamsburg.Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 9.54.17 PM

From home I rode up to the park and over to Grand Army Plaza, crossed over on the greenway to Vanderbilt Avenue and rode it all the way down to its end just beyond the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, turning right on Flushing Avenue.

Following Flushing led me to Williamsburg relatively quickly.  As I mentioned in the last post, venturing out by bike has led a whole new discovery particularly with Brooklyn on how easily connected the neighborhoods are.  Better put how easily it is to get from one to the other.  For years like many New Yorker’s on the average day I’m underground via subway going from my Park Slope neighborhood to work in lower Manhattan and the in between has been a blur of point A to B.  Bicycling is now teaching me much about the space in between.

I cycled along Flushing with an agenda of getting to the Williamsburg Bridge and bike path but I had left some of the directions up to chance, looking for the occasional bridge and bike path signs.

I came to Marcy Avenue and turned left.  Within a block or two I saw a sign for the bridge indicating a right turn and very shortly it was within view.  I came to a block where there were several bus line stops and asked a driver where the bike path entrance was.  He motioned ‘head straight under the over pass and just around the corner’.

I followed his guide and about a block and pass through a small park, got on the bridge bike path.IMG_1358

The path over was shared between walker and cyclists but not crowded and plenty of room for both creatures.

On the Manhattan side of the bridge I came in to the Lower East Side and just above Chinatown, with the bike exit concluding on to Delancey Street.IMG_1360

My path at this point was to cycle my way down to the Manhattan Bridge to take my return back over to Brooklyn and home.

Crossing over Delancey and I saw a sign for the East River Park greenway and headed that way.  I took the pedestrian overpass over the FDR Drive.  I rode a short distance down a gravel section by the East River Park to the beginning of the greenway beginning now underneath the FDR Drive.  I quickly discovered this was the conduit for getting to all the bridges connecting to the east side.IMG_1362

I followed the greenway down to just under the Brooklyn Bridge and hung out there for a few minutes of picture-taking at this new vantage point.  I’ve been in NY for 20 plus years and now seeing all this by bike has led me on a whole rediscovery.

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And it was here that I found a piano on the beach.IMG_1367

 

 

 

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Heading home over the Manhattan Bridge, street market below.


Support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International and type 1 diabetes research through my participation in the 2014 JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes in Tucson AZ. Donate.

 

We are riding…

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Dan

on a railroad, singing someone else’s songs now sing along, forever riding on a railroad…. but I digress.  Paraphrasing James Taylor the title led me to the lyrical memory.  But it was the weekend and though nothing official was on the radar in Crankee land, new blood Crankees’ Dan Vogel and myself planned an adventure.

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Jim

Actually a few weeks ago when a ride date was unknown Dan tossed out a trek through Riverdale, Bronx and Westchester which stayed with me.

IMG_1343I rode over from Brooklyn via the Manhattan Bridge which has been on my list to work out the routing to/from the Manhattan west side.  I came off the bridge which by the way for me has one of the best on/off bike path ramps of all in the area I’ve now traveled.  It has separate sides for pedestrians and cyclists.  On the Brooklyn side the access ramp is at the intersection of Jay and Sands streets, with a wide graffiti lined curve which leads you up to the bridge.

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Exiting off the Manhattan side of the bridge I got on Chrystie street, followed up to Broome and over to Varik, zigzagged couple of blocks to Hudson then to W Houston then straight intersect to the west side greenway.

I cycled up the west side and met Dan at the Boat Basin.IMG_0375
From there we rode the greenway up and beyond the George Washington Bridge to the greenway exit and a shoulder path along Broadway.  Followed by brief construction disembark/stairs and then on to residential Riverdale.

Our destination were the Old Putnam and South County trails, the first an original rails-to-trails which ran through Van Cortlandt Park.IMG_1325

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photo: dan vogel

 

 

The Old Putnam Trail was a mix of dirt, brief mud hole near our start and then back to fairly even packed dirt with occasional rivets or washouts but a cool woods trail furrowing through overhung trees interconnected leaving the experience akin to through a tunnel. It was a lot of fun though initially I’m thinking I just dropped 2k on my new bike to take it through this but soon forgotten and enjoyed the moment with Dan reminding it’s why the ‘Roubaix’ is dubbed the Roubaix.

IMG_1326The trail was 1.5 miles followed by the South County Trailway greenway which in itself runs 40+ miles up to Brewster.  Due to time we only scratched the surface riding 2 miles of it before turning back at Yonkers Avenue but it’s a new route definitely calling for a longer return another day.

While we were resting for a bit before our return, a woman looking for folks on bikes came up to us and promoted the Yonkers Bicycle Club Tour de Yonkers coming up on Sept 21st.  If you are free that weekend do check out.

On our return we rode at a brisk clip until we hit the Old Putnam dirt trail again complete with mud hole which required another dismount.  I know the tried and true are saying come on plough through plough through – er ye men!

At the trail’s end and back on the streets we headed up a moderate hill and cycled through the campus of Manhattan College.  From there we rode in to residential Riverdale and arrived at Dan’s home for a brief rest before I headed home to Brooklyn.

The greenway home was usual mid summer Saturday busy.  You get the pace up then encounter other pedalers, roller/skateboarders, walkers/runners/dogs/cats…  The same hit me this morning on my base loop in Prospect Park.  It’s a ‘shared’ path and needs a constant watch over the shoulder as someone can stop right mid path, presenting the sudden obstacle of dodging them but equally anticipating who might be booking behind you.  In some ways I’ve come to prefer open road traffic but not to be a grudging old cycling dude :)

IMG_1337I decided to do as I came, go back to Brooklyn on the Manhattan Bridge as once you’re there it’s so much more comfortable than the dodging/darting challenges of the Brooklyn Bridge at mid-day.  This morning the coming across I discovered was relatively straight-forward.  For return I turned off at 11th, slight jag to Bank and followed it to 6th Ave, took another jag and right on Bleecker, following it all the way to 2nd Ave.  I turned right and went down to W Houston, left to Bowery, down to Grand, left and over to Allen, right to Canal to the bike path entrance on the Manhattan.IMG_1336

Home free to Brooklyn with a total of 52 miles for the day.IMG_1340


On Sunday I decided I wanted to make another path to/from the Manhattan Bridge to etch it in my mind.  I rode over and cycled around Chrystie to Grand to Allen to Canal to the bridge, got it!

On my return one fellow rider who was ahead of me on the bridge took the Brooklyn side off-ramp either too fast or his knobby tires lost the slope or both.  He was in the curve and laid down hitting the wall.  Another cyclist and myself dismounted and stopped to check on him as it looked bad.  Thankfully he was okay.  He seemed genuinely amazed that we had stopped to check on him which was both sad and touching.  I have witnessed 3 crashes of other cyclists in the last month and each time was not alone in stopping to see if help was needed, it is encouraging that it seems to be an understood among many of us that it could easily happen to anyone and it’s what we do, perhaps it’s the code.

From arriving in Brooklyn I rode over through Brooklyn Heights, turned on Dean, down to 3rd ave and over to Union.  I went up Union to the Park, rode across Grand Army Plaza to the green path and rode down Vanderbilt to Dean, following Dean over to edge of Crown Heights at Franklin Avenue.  From there I rode up to Eastern Parkway and back over to Grand Army, entered the park for a loop and back home with reinforced confidence of trek to Chinatown and back.  Tally for the afternoon was 16.5 miles.


A note to remind that part of the purpose of this blog is to bring awareness that I am riding in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation 2014 Ride to Cure Diabetes cycling event in Tucson, AZ on November 22nd.  Should you like to support me supporting JDRF and type 1 diabetes research furtherance please see my fund-raising page.  Thank you!

Finding our way…

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IMG_0435Bob, my wife Ann and I were the JDRF Crankees assembly Sunday, beginning with Bob’s trip over from Manhattan to join us for a few warm up loops in the park followed by our destination of Coney Island.

Part of the trips adventure began on Saturday when I got new wheels (see video end of post).  After riding a bike of my son’s we got on eBay several years ago for @800 miles this season, I came to the decision I was hooked and wanted to take part of my ‘retirement’ and invest in the ‘now’.  After some back/forth yin yang last few weeks I had ordered a Specialized Roubaix and Saturday was my day to pick up.  Amazing bike and journey has begun.

Though we had a suggested queue sheet we decided to toss caution to the wind and ‘find our way’ aiming for the coastal route along the green way running from 67th Street to the Verrazano Bridge and beyond.

I had made part of this trip before when I went on the 5BBC’s Revolutionary War ride. With that in mind for a start we rode down slope from the park on 2nd street heading for 5th avenue.  Turned left on 5th and headed towards Sunset Park.  We were passing the Old Stone House park area, and heard a familiar voice say ‘hey guys’, was our fellow Crankee Jon Reitzes and his son Marlin headed for the park.

After hello and some confirmation of my instinct and past memories we continued on 5th, past Greenwood Cemetery, past Medley Lanes bowling which always brings back so many memories of taking my kids there for birthday parties and the like.  As the blocks passed we were nearing Bay Ridge coming to the 60’s, then 70’s, 80’s, then 95th street where 5th and 4th avenues unified.

IMG_1302A few more blocks and we were at the entrance to the Shore and Belt Parkways.   We crossed over Shore Road and followed the sidewalk down to the quick descending entrance to the bike green which runs from 67th street to along the East River in to the bay, around the point in Bay Ridge past the Verrazano Bridge, along the ocean front, through several park areas and concluding in Bensonhurst Park.

IMG_1300We followed the bike path all the way to Bensonhurst Park and came out on the Shore Parkway service road if memory and Google serve me.  We rode along the service road to Bay 52nd street and took that over to Cropsey Avenue following it till it turned in to W17th street.  Then on to Surf Avenue and turned left till we came to Nathan’s Famous at Surf and Stillwell Avenues.  We had arrived, lunch!IMG_1305

The trip home began trying to find the quickest access to the bike trail.  We headed down what seemed right a street which escapes me but probably W15th.  After few blocks it seemed a better way was somewhere else as we saw other cyclists parallel in the distance.  Ironically when we stopped a woman hollered from a car which had stopped as well and as if reading our minds, ‘are you looking for the bike path?’  Gift horse…  She replied you have to go back to the no longer in business (or looks like it for that matter) Burger King.

IMG_1301So that we did.  Bob’s instinct was good and the description of the ‘no longer in business’ he found couple blocks back.  We turned right and headed for what turned out to be taking the sidewalk on the service road we had come in on.  Other cyclists were on it so we took their lead and soon were turning on to the beginnings of the bike path in Bensonhurst Park once more.

From there it was home free and great cruising particularly from the Verrazano up to the path end at 67th street.  I felt the speed of my new rig through here :)

IMG_1304Exiting out at 67th and a couple of jogs finding the best route, settled us on to 3rd avenue which took us all the way home, Ann and I to 9th street and Bob to downtown Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Good ride, adventure and good hot dogs!

Jim

Post… a short video of my new bike shortly after getting it.  As opposed to the infamous crotch video posted in my haste earlier this has been revised for general audiences :)

Weather forecast, rainy morning but…

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IMG_1286Last Sunday, Aug 3rd, that didn’t stop an assembly of the JDRF Crankees orchestrated by Coach Cary James with a Brooklyn departure of 6:55am with a destination of New Jersey and 9w and I’m pleased to say my wife Ann and I were present and accounted.

With Cary in lead, fellow Crankee Jon Reitzes, Ann and I rode amongst raindrops along Bergen heading for downtown Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Bridge.  Great thing about crossing the bridge in what was now a steadier wet is we pretty much had it to ourselves other than an occasional hell or high water runner :).  Rubber on the wet boards of the bridge approximately half the distance was bit slippery, maybe more mental but soon we were over and heading for Chambers and the Hudson River bike path which also given the damp early morning was pretty much ours.

Due to a triathlon getting ready near the Boat Basin we turned off the path at 72nd and started going up the west side streets and eventually Riverside Drive hitting a few blocks of torn-up road till we broke free and arrived at Riverside Church where we were joined by Coach Bob Cohen.  After few minutes rest we continued up Riverside Drive to 165th street, turned right then left on to Fort Washington to 177th, then Cabrini and on to the GWB bike/walk up to the bridge.

Though again more mental than reality what seemed daunting early on in the training with the GWB seems routine and familiar now and pleasant actually re the crossing.  There is a lot of desire to anticipate and over-prepare in my personality and often in my biking experience thus far and probably if I cared to admit it in life as well, much of that trait does not pan out to the anticipation or fear if you will or reality.  Hence this experience two wheeling is trying very hard to teach me to let go and as something one of my coaches in the group constantly says to me, ‘take it as it comes…’.

On those thoughts I will say with having lived in New York now 20 years plus, the bicycling experience now is teaching me to value what I’ve either oft taken for granted in this area or even not cared for has led me to take things in a whole different perspective on the bike.  As a co-runner of my wife’s acquaintance said about running, it’s cheaper than therapy and perhaps the bike is as well in its own zen.

Over the bridge and we were round the corner down the short road to the entrance of the Hudson River Road drive, a part of this ride I was excited to introduce Ann to.  I knew the climbs in it would be challenging particularly but the tree-lined very little 4 wheel traffic and the sun here/there long shadows has made this back road cycle to Alpine on the Palisades very enjoyable to me.

This was my wife’s longest and most challenging road to date in this period of training. I had told her that if she came on this ride and at any point it felt too much, it was her call and I’d support her and we would head back. I had thought that probably we would do the shoreline road and from Alpine head back. The last hill on this road is challenging and each time I start the ascent I have my doubts about getting up the bastard and I believe I am either 4 for 5 or 3 for 4 re the trips on this course. I relayed to Ann the last hill was a hard ascent and stop if need be for breather and we’d meet at the top.

For me I was stronger this time it seemed and kept slow steady rotation. Mid way up I came upon a runner zigzagging his way.  We got to talking which turned out to be a nice distraction and we both soon crested.  I joined Bob, Cary and Jon who were patiently waiting and a few more minutes Ann came in to the view as she rose to the top determined pedaling up.  She had made it, excellent, I was very proud of her for having came today, joining in and had done pretty well on this road and I thought okay I made a deal, we can head back.

But after a short break she said she was game to continue to Piermont about 6 or 7 miles or so which was our turnaround destination.  I was excited, pleased, surprised and proud of her.

As I’ve written on this the Crankee most repeated training ride in my time, from Alpine and our start on route 9w, we begin at the landscape top elevation with 3 long descents down to the Piermont turnoff to head in to the town.  The downhills are fun and always a nice respite though the return is paying the piper albeit maybe not as challenging as the River Road couple of rises.

We were soon underway pedaling in to the descent and then down the three glides.  As the day had been wet which forgot to mention by now the rains had stopped and the sky was playing hide and seek with the sun sometimes peeking out.  The Tallman State Park turnoff we normally had done going in to Piermont the coaches thought might be slippery in its short descent so we decided to go a little further down from there and go in to town the way we usually leave.

The glide in to Piermont along the canal like creek which flows through is always kind of dream-like and pleasing.  As we cycled along the residential Piermont avenue passing the creek and circling in to town square crossing over the wider Sparkill Creek.  We pulled up to our traditional resting stop of Bunberry Coffee for replenishment and hanging time.

Which while there another cyclist pulled up and parked his sleek-looking titanium/carbon fiber Seven bike in the rack for on looking by us and speculation about its ‘ride’.  As the owner said on his return to his bike, kind of like riding a ‘Rolls Royce…’IMG_1283

So it was soon back on bikes, heading out Piermont Avenue with a slightly new departure on to 9w this time.  We rode up a slight rise, hairpin and on to a crossover bridge which was new to me though I realized it’s whereabouts as we came up to the connection back to the main road shortly after.

We were soon on to our first climb on to the rise out of the Piermont lower valley and up to the Alpine area of the Palisades.  Cary and Bob had gotten ahead and Ann, Jon and I were in our own ‘peloton’.  We steadily rose up the first, Ann was doing great.  We started up what Jon had earlier dubbed the Big Sky climb which now in hindsight ran together with the last two.  In a sense they all do as the contour is connected until it levels to the top around Alpine and you see a sign which indicates Fort Lee is another 10 miles.

The rest of the ride on to Fort Lee flowed easily with its usual rolling hills and open country coming in to the urban limits.  Traffic which never seems like much on 9w does start to pick up nearer to the town and that said it seemed bit busier on our return.  Soon though we reached East Palisade Avenue left turn and then a right on to Hudson Terrace.

On our group rides we usually stop at Strickly Bicycles to water replenish and rest a bit before those of us heading for Manhattan cross the bridge and those going on to home in New Jersey go their way.  So Ann, Jon and I pulled in and learned Bob and Cary were waiting at the bridge.  Once realized we began to go meet them.  As I was getting my bike out of the rack I reached down to what has become instinctual or possibly back to the alluded anticipation anxiety and felt of my front tire anticipating a comfortable soon to be realized firm tire.  However something else occurred, I pushed down and it went all the way like a weak balloon with subtle resistance.  Gosh what gives or gave!

Well after just about 800 miles of pedaling since early May I had just received my first flat! Humm… So said goodbye to Jon who went on to meet the fellas and though I need the experience of a first self flat fix, I decided not to look fate foolishly in the eye and chose to have it fixed by the staff at Strickly.  We hung out (see happy couple above :) ) and browsed a bit.

I will say I at least took the wheel/tire off and a few minutes later, paid a few dollars and was twisting down the quick release axle with not only new tube but new tire as I was encouraged to trade out.

Tire on, pumped the back a bit more, checked Ann’s, saddled up and we rode on down Hudson Terrace, under the I80 overpass and hung the left to the chain link fence and began our GW crossing over to Manhattan.  I’ll speed along as I’ve made this account of the trek back to our Park Slope neighborhood in Brooklyn now a few times.  From the bridge it was down the back street parallel Fort Washington to near 165th, down to Riverside heading for the bike path initially at 72nd.  We came upon the torn up street repair at @118th and decided to trek back towards the church and find the path sooner back by 125th street.

Got on the path and made good time all the way down the west side reaching Warren street and over to a slight sidewalk jag at City Hall park to get on to Chambers, then on to the Brooklyn Bridge.  As the sun came out so did the tourists and the bridge was a contrasting thicket to the earlier morning sparseness.  We plodded in and out of walkers, picture takers and Citibikers finally reaching the Brooklyn side off ramp to Boreum Place, over across Atlantic to left on Dean.  Then finally to a right on 3rd and over to a left on Union and our now traditional post ride reward lunch spot of Dinosaur barbecue for a beer, Chardonnay, burger, fried green tomato sandwich and few wings before the few remaining blocks to home.

A great first long ride for my wife Ann who I was and am very proud of, special thanks to our lead coach Cary, secondary coach Bob and Crankee mate Jon.

See you along the road… Jim


 

This blogs purpose continues to be to document my wife and mine’s preparation for our cycling participation in the 2014 JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes ride event in Tucson, AZ, on November 22nd.  Please consider supporting one or both of us as we support JDRF through our commitment to this one of seven national bike rides across the country to raise awareness and support so one day ‘type one will be type none’ when a cure for diabetes is found.

Our donation pages are…

James Goodin 2014 Tucson JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes

Ann Jeffrey 2014 Tucson JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes 

Thank you!

 

 

Rockland to Rockaway, 2 Saturdays…

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I’ve gotten a little behind on entries.  I had drafted this account of the ride of Saturday, July 21, but while waiting on bit more content to finish a week went by as well as another neat ride this entry will look back at both.

On the 21st a gathering of some of the Crankees (Dan, Suzanne, me, Coach Bob Cohen, Jeff, Rachel) held court with the longest ride this season, around 70 miles.  I decided to add a few more miles to build up my distance so I rode over to our Upper West Side meeting point from home in Brooklyn a little after 6am, riding the side streets of the lower Slope over to Atlantic Avenue, a couple of turns and on to Boreum Place headed for the Brooklyn Bridge bike ramp leading to a scarcely populated but pleasant crossing over to Manhattan.  I rode across lower Manhattan via Chambers Street and on to the Hudson River Park bike path.  Made good time and was up to the traditional Crankee meeting point of the Riverside Church at 122nd street, awaiting arrival of the others.

Coach Bob charted a course with our now familiar trek starting at the Riverside Church, over the George Washington, down to the Henry Hudson Drive ergo River Road, up to crest at Alpine, out on route 9w headed for Piermont NY, on to Nyack and then new turf, continuing up 9w to the Rockland Lake State Park.  Rockland Lake was the destination and return point but before return we rode an @5 mile loop around the park.

We exited the park turning left on 9w up the long hill we had previously sailed down.  Once up, had a nice descent to our main stop for r&r, at Toga Bikes in Nyack.  From there we cycled back through back streets of Nyack coming to downtown, passing the popular bike and other passerby hang the Runcible Spoon, turning left Main, then right on Piermont Avenue taking the short 4 miles or so back to Piermont passing the Hudson, boating and Tappan Zee Bridge area before turning in to town.

We pedaled along Ferdon Avenue, along the European like canal to me, leaving town, making a left on 340 to Highland Avenue and then on 9w for the first of several climbs ascending up to Alpine.  The return on this route has a certain sense of jubilant and accomplishment on having crested the final climb to this point in the return.  From then on it’s a moderate rolling road in to Fort Lee and taking a final rest, replenish water and bathroom break at Strickly Bicycles before heading across the GW back to Manhattan.

At the more or less finish of the day crossing the GW and back in the Upper West Side we were now three due to others having time commitments and needs.  We decided to celebrate the day as well as cheer Dan on as his JDRF Ride event, the first in the season of the JDRF rides, was the following weekend in Burlington, VT, before going our ways so we found an outdoor cafe allowing close to our wheels, had a round of beers and super nachos, not the healthiest albeit tasty and satisfying after the warmth and distance of the day.
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With that Bob and I said goodbye to Dan and pedaled our way down the west side and on to the Hudson River bike path headed home which for me on reaching home in Brooklyn about an hour plus later totaled 85 miles – a good feeling of hitting that benchmark.


Saturday, July 26th, marked two JDRF events.  One the first of seven national JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes events the Vermont ride in Burlington which from our group Dan Vogel, Jeff Kauflin and Rachel Nayman Kauflin, participated, and two, locally Coach Bob Cohen, my wife Ann Jeffrey, myself, Lauren (forgive loss of last name) and a couple of other Crankees I am remiss of names, joined in with veteran JDRF riders Joe Mure and Angelo Gurino who organized a joint riding event supporting New York Families for Autistic Children and JDRF in Howard Beach, Queens circling through the Rockaways.

For starters congratulations to Dan, Jeff and Rachel and possibly some riders from the Jersey chapter on their participation in the Burlington ride.  I have mainly heard Dan’s account which rang that it was a wonderful inspired and life changing day which brought 260 riders together from all over the country to further the cause through cycling and fund raising supporting JDRF and a statement towards raising awareness for the work of turning type 1 to type None.  Here are some images from Dan’s account of the day https://teamari2014.shutterfly.com/pictures/8 and an inspiring video which was shown in the pre or post ride’s ceremony https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wj41KVxZNHQ.


For my account of the local ride in the Rockaways, ‘the Loop‘, supporting New York Families for Autistic Children and JDRF, Ann and I began by meeting up with Coach Bob at Dean and Vanderbilt Avenue to ride out to the event in Howard Beach.  We followed Dean street in a back street parallel following Eastern Parkway and with a few other street turns, Rochester, Mother Gaston and Liberty leading us to South Conduit which would take us on to the Cross Bay Boulevard and to the NYFAC location at 164-14 Cross Bay, all about 9 miles from home in Park Slope.

IMG_1246We rolled in to NYFAC parking lot @9am where the activity was buzzing and you’d have thought it was a national!  I don’t know the actual count thus far on how many cyclists came out for this but guesstimating 200 plus which was inspiring.  Ann and I were #108 and #118 respectively and when start time came in the second wave of riders.

IMG_1250We parked our bikes along with the growing numbers and walked around to registration/check-in.  There was all kind so activity, police escorts, emergency medical, JDRF volunteers including our own Julia Briggs and Deborah Cox from the NYC chapter and Alecia Wesner from int’l, yellow t-shirted NYFAC volunteers, beginnings of a post ride cookout with charcoal starting to fill the air, our organizers Joe Mure and Angelo Gurino, just a plethora of lovely spirited people.

IMG_1261As 10am grew near we started to line up on Cross Bay with our own Coach Bob Cohen leading off along with Joe and others.  IMG_1255

A red start ribbon stretched in front of them ready to be cut and signal our launch.  Ann and I were in the second wave and there was still a third behind us, this was truly for me jamming and exuberant and a mini-snapshot of what I think Tucson is going to be like though from what I’m told attendance to the national event numbers in the thousands from biking enthusiasts all over attending.  Both daunting and gonna rock!IMG_1263IMG_1265
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It was time, the ribbon was cut, helicopter flew overhead and the first wave was rolling.  Destination a circle around the Rockaways, a chorus laid out by Angelo and Joe.  Shortly after the first group it was our time, signal came and we were rolling, starting out with a gathering of other cyclists around which though I’ve ridden in small groups of riders this was neat as it was a forecast of the future ride in Tucson except the surrounding gathering there from all accounts will be big as life.  This was much smaller scale but still good practice from the spectrum of getting used to starting off with a group of surrounding riders.   As we pedaled along we began to spread out and the journey of a modest 18 miles circling the Rockaways was underway.  Weather was great that day, bit overcast and pleasant, not hot.

Leaving mainland headed for the Rockaways first crossing was the Joseph P. Addabbo Memorial Bridge which Ann and I crossed before when we came out on a ride a few weeks ago with the Five Borough Bicycle Club on actually a reverse of this loop plus to/from Brooklyn as today.  Crossing the bridge led in to an island area between mainland and Rockaways, the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, something I didn’t have a clue was there before I started biking in this area.  Though I’ve lived in New York City for 20 years now seeing it on two self pedaled wheels has been eye-opening and in a sense a whole new experience of sometimes familiar though sometimes very new.

End of the island we came to the Cross Bay Bridge which connected to Rockaway.  We excited off the bridge, did a circular loop under and got on to Beach Channel Drive.  We took a hand full of turns along this route on the Rockaway strip that now I can’t recount the exact though I remember we were directed along the way by an enthusiastic orange t-shirt clad JDRF staffer pointing us in the way and to look for the occasional ‘orange arrow marking’ on the road.

We rode the through the island community in to the Jacob Riis Park heading for the Marine Parkway Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge just before Breezy Point.  When Ann and I were on the above mentioned Five Borough ride crossing this bridge gave me a bit of the willies as the bike lane though ‘safe’ had an immediacy of the water and the span is a little less than the George Washington.  So I approached with a slight bit of dread but in the end it was easy, just kept a look ahead and little with the open bay and it passed and was quite pleasant.

We came off the bridge descent onto a bikepath along Flatbush Avenue passing the Floyd Bennett Field leading to the beginning of the bikepath along the Belt and Shore Parkways.  This stretch was really great and allowed really smooth asphalt sailing, couple of gentle rises and drops, a few drops of rain along the way.

This was really the ride of bridges and took us over several more than we had on the above mentioned trip.  Next was the Mill Basin Bridge a historic ‘draw bridge’ built in the 40’s required a mandatory dismount and walkover by the organizers of the ride.  The bikepath was poor and sections exposed to passing traffic.  But the walk-over was pleasant and soon we were back on the bikepath passing the Jamaica Bay Riding Academy and coming close to suburban Brooklyn Avenue X and Y streets.  We rode past McGuire Fields and were up on another bridge, the Paerdegat Basin Bridge, this one pretty short.

Coming across the Paerdegat we continued on the bikepath headed towards Canarsie Pier and the main rest stop Ann and I took.  We were coming in to the last chunk of the ride nearing the NYFAC headquarter start/finish at this point.  We got a cold water, exchanged little conversation over bike compliments with a couple of other riders we met and were soon back on the Belt bikepath heading for our next water crossing across a narrow end of Jamacia Bay, according to Google as I look at to refresh the journey, Fresh Creek.  This one, two more peninsula and nook water crossings would lead us in to the beginnings of the return in to the Howard Beach neighborhood streets back to the New York Families for Autistic Children office, the start and soon the finish of the ‘Loop’, a ride for hope and the monies raised, for all those living with autism and all those living with type 1 diabetes.  It was and is a jubilant, collaborative, day of inspiration and hope that in time both of these needs affecting so many will come to resolution, a fix, a solution for all those we love.

IMG_1266It was a wonderful ride and soon we rounded the corner in to 164th block and waved in to the parking lot and finish line of NYFAC.  Time for post celebration with those we knew and didn’t know which the day brought together.  Planned by the organization was a wonderful cookout and time to hang.  And after that for those of us connected with the New York City JDRF chapter we decided to rally for a bit at nearby Lenny’s Claim Bar for some time together. IMG_1270


Please consider supporting me support JDRF in the 2014 JDRF Tucson Ride to Cure Diabetes by donating at my fund raising page http://www2.jdrf.org/site/TR/Ride/JDRFNationalRides?px=4654534&pg=personal&fr_id=3432 .  With your help we can further the research work being done in juvenile diabetes so that one day ‘type one will be type None’!

Pump up the tires, gain speed…

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Felt like I had a private cycling lesson yesterday.  The Crankees scheduled a training ride on our familiar trip beginning on the New Jersey waterside Henry Hudson Road about half a mile down from the GW up to the Palisades Interstate Park at Alpine and then getting on 9w to Piermont NY and back via 9w into Fort Lee.  I say private lesson as the turnout was me and JDRF coaches Cary and Jeff, both of who offered me much input and encouragement during the ride on my journey to be a ‘cyclist’.

I had the option of meeting up with Cary in Brooklyn adding about 15 miles each way to the ride which I decided to do to get in my longest ride mileage wise since I began training in early May with the group.  Cary is a fast well experienced rider and I anticipated either falling behind or shooting my energy on the early beginnings but I’ve been doing a lot of daily rides and building so felt it was worth the gamble.

I’ve had a few folks of late tell me my tire pressure even though it’s ‘felt’ right, was low.  And as noted in a previous post a bit of new instruction on my own valve faux pax as well as getting a long overdue floor pump so Friday evening I aired him up to the manufacture recommended 90psi.  I admit what felt right to me previously was misinformed.  The gain here that amazed me was how it affected my pace on Saturday at least on the run from Brooklyn to the GW.

We left Brooklyn a little before 7am and thanks to a minimally occupied Brooklyn Bridge were on the Henry Hudson Bike/Runner/Walker path in no time.  At that point Cary said get close to his bike wheel to ride the wind stream.  I was not able to confidently do this technique consistently but I was able to keep steady speed of @18mph with him for several miles nearly up to the 79th street Boat Basin.  This really surprised me, I’ve been steadily doing daily rides each morning in the park between long rides so some of the consistency was that but in the end I think it was the tires, go figure :)

So we cycled through the Boat Basin and turned off the path at 125th and up to the regular meeting place to pick up any other Crankees coming from other points, at the Riverside Church at 122nd street.  From there it was on up Riverside Drive, over a couple of traffic bridges, through Columbia Presbyterian Medial at 168th to Fort Washington to 177th, then right on Cabrini and left on to the bike ramp to the GW.

Other side of the GW we headed down to the access road to the entrance to the waterside Henry Hudson Drive which I’ve grown rather fond of in this trek.  It’s rolling minimal car road that plays between sun and shade winding along the edge of the Hudson.  There are two hill climbs on it one that’s not so difficult but the final is a killer for me.  It’s not so steep but it seems to go on and on though probably more in the mind.  I’ve been up it three times now first time I made it, last time I stopped for a bit then finished the climb.  This trip I was determined to get up it so the coaches were kind in humoring me and we hung out a bit talking about bikes of course :).  Then it was time to climb and so we did and you know the outcome.

At the hilltop we left the park and got on to 9w at Alpine with about 10 miles to go the waterfall and canal like pass through of Piermont, NY.  The road to the town features three descents that are great glides but what goes down must come up so on the return it presents climb-time but with all these climbs as any cyclist will say, is a great feeling of reaching the top and yes it’s a feeling of conquer.

The cruise in to Piermont is always fun.  You turn off of 9w in to the edge of Tallman Mountain State Park which the town borders between that and the Hudson.  The turn takes you down a sleepy road, a turn and a quick down hill leading you in to a curve and coming to a stop at Ferdon Avenue.  Ferdon turns in to Piermont Ave as you cross what I believe is the stream which flows through town Sparkill Creek which flows in to the Hudson.

We hung out for a bit at the traditional resting/coffee shop/bakery of Bunberry Coffee Shop where the Cinnamon Chip muffin has become a personal favorite.

We were soon back on the Piermont Avenue heading out-of-town and on to 9w towards Fort Lee.  As mentioned the return has three climbs getting back up to Alpine and arriving to that point is a good feeling of accomplishment.  We shared the road back with several groups of cyclists of which 9w is understandably popular.  I will say in anticipation of this trip I was feeling slightly bored like okay I know what to expect, not so much been there done it but I think on the surface I was missing a bit of the point.  That being it remains a good workout road as it offers good descents, good climbs, some traffic as you get close to the Fort Lee and when combined with the Henry Hudson Drive all grooms particularly if you’re coming from new to road cycling as I.

IMG_0686At about 12pm we turned off of 9w on to East Palisades Avenue and then on to Hudson Terrace which leads to the GW bridge entrance.  We have a traditional final rest/goodbye spot at Strictly Bicycles for those not going over to Manhattan which Jeff was not and Cary had started ahead of us so the journey turned solo.

I crossed over the amazing span of the GW, down the narrow bike entrance ramp and on to Cabrini.  I rode down Haven Avenue to Fort Washington and through Columbia Presbyterian, right on 168th and left on to Riverside Drive, all becoming second nature on a level.  I took Riverside down to 79th entered Hudson River Park and followed the walkway down through the underpass and right to a small descent path down to the bike/runner/walker path welcoming you to the Boat Basin.IMG_0689

The rest of the trip home to Brooklyn went well, some skirting of a busier attendance on the Hudson pathway but up in the day to be expected on a gorgeous summer day as this was.

I turned off the path on to Warren Street, over to Broadway, cheated a sidewalk jaunt up to Chambers, right on it and then on to the path entrance on the Brooklyn Bridge which was as the bike path now occupied.  Such a difference from 7am that morning, the town was awake leading me to joyfully holler as I rode across, ‘BIKER… BIKE… BIKE.. BIKER’.  But that’s the joy of the moment and welcome cry to all the tourists :)

Came down the path off the bridge leading to Boerum Place, crossed over Atlantic Avenue and left on Dean.  Then few blocks on right on to 3rd Avenue and to break up the slight uphill in to Park Slope zigzagged let on Union, then on to 5th Avenue for a bit then up to 6th and 7th and finally left up to home.  A great day, thanks to coaches Cary and Jeff and yes the air in my tires helped!


A reminder one of the purposes of my blog is to get the word out that you can support me raising money for JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International) through the ride event I’m training to cycle in on November 22nd, the 2014 JDRF Tucson Ride to Cure Diabetes, one of seven national rides held between late July and end of November to raise money and awareness for the advancement of research to find a cure for type 1 diabetes of which many strides are being made.  I have raised $3,360 so far and am nearing my goal of $5,000.  You can greatly help by donating at the 2014 JDRF Tucson Ride to Cure Diabetes.  Thank you!

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