Friday, October 30, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

North Shore Wheelmen in Israel

Isaac (me) has just returned from Israel from a charity ride, JeffB has just left to Israel for a charity ride.

I returned this week from a 5 day bike ride in support of disabled Israeli veterans. Total mileage about 350. The ride's goal was to promote cycling as one of the rehabilitation activities for the disabled vets. As part of the ride we rode with disabled vets some of whom were blind riders on tandems. Some were riders on hand cycles. The picture above is me riding along side the Dead Sea.

What is it like to ride in Israel?
First it is a pleasure that EL AL the Israel airline does not charge you extra to take your bike on the plane.
Our first day took us from a place near Jerusalem to the Mediterranean coast city of Ashkelon. Some hills but mostly a rolling terrain.
Day two was a tough 55 miles followed by a 6 mile climb that had parts with 14% grade.

Day three took us from the coast to the Dead Sea by way of a town called Arad. It was 70 miles to Arad over rolling roads.  From Arad to the Dead Sea it is a 20 mile downhill to the lowest point on earth. My speed topped out at about 43mph. The most fun came when the road leveled out or had a slight rise before the next drop. At these points you hammer as hard as you can to maintain speed for the next downhill. At the end of this ride we had the a dip in the Dead Sea.  As the Dead Sea is extremely salty one tends to float without any effort. But the extreme mineral content also causes extreme burning on any irritated or cut areas of your body. After 90 miles of riding no chamois cream in existence can protect you from the Dead Sea. At least they claim that its waters are good for you.

Day four was a long slog back to sea level and above.  My odometer read 54 miles when we passed the sign that declared sea level. We continued on untill we were not far from Eilat, the southern resort town on the Gulf of Aqaba. Total miles about 85. The highlight of the day was our encounter with Kate from Russia. Kate comes to the Dead Sea twice a year as the sunlight at the lowest point on Earth is good for her skin condition. Since she needs to be in the sun for nine hours a day, she brought her road bike and road bikini to pass time away. Why can't we get women like this to ride with us in New York!?

Day five was the final climb then descent to Eilat. A tough climb at the start and a fast downhill at the end.  My max speed - 49.35 mph!  About 60 miles ending with a nice dip in the Gulf.

This ride was the south of Israel.  JeffB will be doing the north with hopefully cooler weather. A heat wave had kept temps near 100F for most of my five days.

Totals: About 350 miles on the road.  About $5000 raised by me for a good cause. Kudos to Eli, the blind and one armed rider from Israel that road a tandem with us for four of the five days. It was special to to connect with one of the people we were riding for. He also had a cute tatoo.

Total raised by the whole ride - $150,000!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Columbus Day renegade ride.

When I woke up Monday morning my outdoor thermometer read 39 degrees. By the time I got to Ori's house the temps had risen to 46 degrees. Just the right temperature for a NSW renegade ride.

Three hours and 54 miles later a great ride was had. Wheatley, Bayville, Sandy Hill, Syosset, The Bumpy, Campus and home.

Kudos to Ori for providing a strong pull when I needed it.
My next post will be from Israel. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

10/4/09: NSW Are Busy With The MS Ride

Note: This is an edit of my post.

Sunday, October 4, 7:00 AM. Light fog. Colonial building parking log. Where the heck is everybody??? You know early morning fog lifts as soon as the sun comes out. (I was later reminded they they went to do the MS ride. Kudos to them.)

Oh, well. Rather than riding alone once again, I decided to wait for the 8:00 AM triangle group. Around 50 riders rolled by and I joined in. I like large groups, even though it can be sketchy. As a matter of fact, I had a near mishap on the way out. I was right on the wheel of the leader. As we approached a traffic light, it turned red and he suddenly hit his breaks without warning anyone, fishtailed and I came within a fraction of an inch from touching his wheel and going down. Only my reflexes and handling skills saved me. Whatever... I wagged my finger at him. He was the strongest rider in the group.

We rode the LIE's service road all the way to Commack (exit 53) and Smithtown before turning back eastward. In Smithtown we had a very short deli break. By then I had ridden 35 miles at 19.1 average and wasn't even tired.

The return leg was somewhat slower (18.6 overall average by the time I was back home). I stayed close to the front, taking turns with the pulls. Somewhere between Stillwell Lane and Muttontown Road most the group had split off in a different direction. I found myself with a half-dozen South Americans riding back by way of Jericho Turnpike. I didn't like that route, so I left the group and went back on my own. On the last stretch of Wheatly I was joined by 3 riders that I recognized from earlier and I pulled them the rest of my way.

All in all not a bad ride. Perhaps next time I find myself alone on a Saturday or Sunday morning I'll try hanging with the 8:30 group. Those guys are real hammerheads.

World's Fastest Rear Wheel Flat Fixer

World's fastest rear wheel flat fixer.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Yet Another Beautiful Day For Riding In Huntington Harbor

Unemployment has its benefits.

9/26/09 Tour Of The Hamptons

108.46 miles, 18.1 MPH average, thanks to Locomotive Bob pulling the entire way. Nuf said.

P.S. Barry and Arthur had a great ride too.