Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Extra (day of nsw riding) on 7/3

The High Council has met and decided:

30 to 40 mile ride on Friday. Extra 30 minutes of sleep. Instead of 7:00 AM meeting at Lakeville and Northern, it will be 7:30 AM, 8 AM at Wheatley.

Sunday: Normal time: 7 AM at Lakeville and Northern, 7:30 at Wheatley.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday 6/28-Riding on the Sunny Side

We were the magnificent 7 today: Jon, Joe, Paul, Isaac, Eddie, Amos and myself.

After a brief discussion, we agreed with Paul's request to take the service road to the Sunny Side extension to north on Round Swamp Road. (We did this route several weeks ago at Bob's urging)

At the top of the Hill past the horse farms we regrouped. There was an organized ride that went left - we went straight which was better that the last time when we went right.

Down to Jericho Turnpike to 108 north, up the hill and a short break in Bayville.

Ride totaled between 54 and 57 miles depending on where you started.

As most of us have not ridden for the past two weeks (rain) today's ride was a real workout.

I guess Ori and Bob are still recuperating from Colorado.

Next Sunday same time and we will do Snake Hill into Huntington.

Some are riding on Friday - I am not. Traffic is just too tough coming out of Port on a weekday.


Final Day: Bagged another 12,000 footer.

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Day 6: Crested Butte to Buena Vista

Day 6: Where to begin? (I suppose from the beginning.)

We were actually all 3 of us ready to roll by 7:00 AM, as planned. We got to enjoy a fast rolling start back down the valley that brought us to Crested Butte. The landscape was just as gorgeous the second time around. Cool early morning air, slight downhill, beautiful mountains on either side of us, a rolling meandering river beside us, slight tailwind, fast smoothly working pacelines. What a way to start the day!

We then turned left into a picture perfect wooded river cayon. It looked and felt as if we were riding through a movie set. You half expected to run into trappers camped out by the river. Even though we were riding upriver, the climbing was very gentle, until we approached the dam.

The short climb that brought us to the top of the dam also delivered us from the cozy confines of the canyon to the suddenly wide open, I-can-see-for-miles-and-miles vistas around the lake that the dam created.

High mountains and uninhabited meadows surrounded the lake on all sides. The next few miles of road ahead are clearly visible below us (yes, downhill). The composition of the landscape around us, the lake, meadows, forests, mountains, clouds and sky look as if painted by a master artist. I wished my life could have ended that instant for I would have died happy.

We still knew the major climb of the day over the Continental Divide was still to come. We were somewhat apprehensive about it, since we'd heard that it consisted of a gain of about 2,500' on compacted dirt over 14 miles of riding. Othe riders we spoke to reassured us that this surface is quite stable and smooth. In the end we found it to be relatively easy to ride uphill. Traction was surprisingly good too (you can even pedal off the saddle) and, since it was still damp, there were no issues at all withblowing dust. You just had to find the smoothest line grind away. The incline was very manageable.

As we started our climb, meadow gave way to forest. Forest eventually gave way to barren rocks, mosses, lichens and leftover snow. As our elevation approached Cottonwood Pass we could see snowy peaks as far as the approaching clouds would allow.

Did I say "approaching clouds?" It was actually a severe storm moving ominously toward us. After I hurriedly took my snapshots I had to shift to escape mode. Fortunately the storm was behind me, while before me awaited some 20 miles of a screamer of a smoothly paved descent.

I quickly pulled on my shell and threw myself down the Atlantic side of the mountain. As a few drops started raining down on us I knew that my safety was going to depend entirely on my speed (though I always descend as fast as possible for the sheer pleasure of it). I shifted into my high gears and quickly supplemented gravity's work with my own leg power. Very soon though my highest gear became useless. I then assumed my well rehearsed downhill aero tuck and let 'er rip, raising my head only occasionally for some air breaking before sharp turns, or to rest my neck.

Every sense and every ounce of awareness is required. Signs, painted markers, subtle clues, unexpected hazards come at you almost too fast to react to. Relax your body and your grip but keep your senses sharp. Trust your equipment. Your bike will find its way but you are in control.

Suddenly the air feels warmer. There is no rain. Could I really be escaping faster than the approaching storm? I must have already descended at least 1,000-1,500 feet. I don't want a noisy, flapping shell around me, ruining the moment and slowing me down. I quickly stop, unshell and resume my escape.

More straightaways and turns bring me closer to safety. Woha! That last stretch felt like quite a drop. I look down. My jaw drops. My computer reads "MAX 58.8." What a rush of guilty pleasure!

As we roll into our target town I look back and see rain swollen clouds still fast approaching. I reach the finish, find the massage tent and settle down. Suddenly the storm hits like a hurricane. Water rains down in sheets as the wind tries to tear the tent from its stakes. All the massage therapists and some of their clients on deck, myself included, run to the perimeter and secure the posts an lines. They obviously know the drill. My mind wonders to the fate of all the riders caught in the storm, including Barry and others that I know that are behind me on the road.

Barry was able to ride through it and made it home OK, but he witnessed a wipeout. Dozens of riders caught in the high mountain and unable to ride through it had to endure hail with very little cover until enough trucks could be dispatche to rescue them.

After the storm passed the sun came out again and the rest of the day felt as if a rainstorm was the least likely event to have occured here today.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Crested Butte's "Four Way"

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Day 5: Relaxing in Crested Butte

Today is scheduled rest day, here in Crested Butte. I'm actually too tired to go out riding. Even though it's "fat tire" week and there are organized group rides going on, I'm going to pass. I need to save my legs for the "real" climbs that are still comong up for the next two days.

Day 4: Montrose To Crested Butte

Today's ride from Montrose to Crested Butte more than made up for yesterday's junk miles. We rode some 95 miles through a variety of gorgeous landscapes. From green valleys, to river canyons, to alpine valleys and lakes.

No major climbs. the pace was fast, thanks to a nice tailwind. Temps were much more conducive to riding.

Crested Butte and its surrounding valley are magnifiscent. Tomorrow is our scheduled rest day, so we'll be hanging around here and relax. I usually like to relax with some mountain biking. I'll see how I feel in the morning.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 3: Colorado National Monument + Junk Miles.

The ridge road in Colorado National Monument was a truly spectacular ride and worth every twisty mile. From Grand Junction we rode up the steep 10 mile climb to the ridge hugging stretch end enjoied the gorgeous views of the valley below, the mountains in the distance, and the nearby red sandstone cliffs and other stone formations. we rode some 20 miles (most of the ridge road) out to the visitors center and back.

At some point I found that I could feel like I was flying, while riding a section of road that wraps around a gorge, by focusing on the cliff wall across the other side.

The return descent was somewhat scary, being steep and technical (quite a few gravel strewn switchbacks). Yet a few riders were much faster than me. I was too afraid of overheating my rims with my breaks and getting a blowout at 40 mph, so I controlled my speed.

Unfortunately, the rest of todays ride was a long, tedious, exhausting 60+ mile slog through barren desert, on a busy state highway, in 90+ degree heat, fighting an unrelenting wicked headwind the entire way, all the while sucking on exceedingly warm Gatorade just to stay hydrated. I'll take multi-mile climbs any time over this kind of riding. My pace during that part of the ride was only 10-15 mph, the high speed being on the "descents."

My legs were still good enough to keep working for hours, but my feet were killing me.

starting tomorrow we should be getting back to the kind of riding I thought I signed up for (lots of mountain road climbing and descending).

Monday, June 22, 2009

Day 2: the view from the top of Grand Mesa, the longest flat top mountain in the world.

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Day 1: Glenwood Springs to Hotchkiss

Great ride today. Rode 81 miles. Highest altitude reached was 8,755' (McClure Pass). The only steep climb were the last 3 miles before the pass. beautiful route. Overnight stay in Delta (farming town). Absolutely no nightlife here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sunday 6/7

Nice weather makes for a nice crowd. The A's and the B's both went to Bayville via the "s" turns and factory pond. The B's did Moore's hill. The A's did Moore's and then Snake. This led to a perfectly timed rendezvous at the Woodbury Deli. Credit for the images goes to Andy.
Switchback, Bumpy, and Campus the long way. I think we need a glossary for our lingo.
Same time next week

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

NSW Northern Nassau Century

The following stats are from Barry's GPS.

Details from the "Not Montauk Century, Century"


Summary Data
Total Time (h:m:s) 7:24:50 4:25 pace
Moving Time (h:m:s) 6:09:23 3:40 pace
Distance (mi ) 100.48
Moving Speed (mph) 16.3 avg. 36.5 max.
Elevation Gain (ft) +8,893 / -8,900
Temperature (°F) 74.1°F avg. 80.6°F high
Wind Speed ( mph) SW 10.4 avg. SW 14.9 max.

Thanks for the data, Barry.