If you asked Coach, I don’t think she would agree that me surfing out at Rockaway Beach was on the training program. I did bike after that, so I think she was appeased, especially since she had me queued up for a serious brick on Sunday.
My younger brother Jeff, number 2 out of 6 of the famous Baker Tracy Gang of Brothers, had expressed interest in biking out to Jersey so I invited him along.
We set out at 8:30AM under overcast and cool skies. It was actually perfect. The Sunday morning Manhattan streets were very quiet and we easily made our way up to the epic George Washington Bridge. Once over, I had given him 2 options. Option 1 was to ride 9W straight to State Line while option 2 was to (as I call it) take the low road and blast through Pallisades Park. He chose option 2 as it would be more scenic. It was a good call.
Pallisades Park is a fast ride through a tight windy forest. I liken it to the speeder bike chase scene in Return of the Jedi, minus the lasers. I noticed (as we passed this stealthy looking fellow) that he jumped on my brothers tail and started a draft. Jeff and I were already drafting each other. You know why? Because we are brothers and not total strangers looking for a free ride. No biggie though, I figured we’d pull him along for a few minutes. Then, it got a little out of hand. Not that I mind, but we had a long way to go and I didn’t want us to bonk later. I pretended we needed to stop and look at something and he zipped past. He did, however, say thanks as he departed. That’s cool.
We felt the fury of that last super long hill at the end for sure. Anyone who has ridden the course knows exactly what I’m talking about. Slow, burning, pain.
Out on 9W I asked Jeff what he wanted to do. He seemed fine so instead of doubling back we headed toward State Line.
Next, at State Line we had a conference and yes, we were pushing forward again. This time, as we barreled down State Line Hill we had just committed to the full ride. I love State Line Hill as it’s this long slow descent where things can get a bit hairy. We topped out at 40.3 MPH which made me happy because I had promised Jeff some good speedy attacks.
Once we entered the Piermont and Nyack areas we kind of just enjoyed the scenery. I took him to Runsible Spoon because their muffins are not to b missed. I had their Chocolate Chip Banana one on my mind since the start of the ride. We chilled for a hot second enjoying our snack before heading back.
I had told Jeff that the ride home was fast than the way there with just 2 uphills. He would later yell that I was a liar.
If you think riding down State Line Hill is fun, you should try going up it. They don’t make a gear small enough. This is where all my Colorado friends are shaking their heads going, “Wuss. You have no idea what a hill is.” Indeed! But you, my friends have no idea what pizza is. Or bagels.
Jeff’s chain started popping off as he hit his low gears (note the grease on his face). It looked more like we had been mountain bike riding through some bogs.
We made it back safe and sound. We had traveled 53 miles in 3:15:00 which I think is impressive since he had never done the ride.
We parted ways and I jumped into my running shoes for 30 minutes of pain. Actually, I felt really good running after the bike. I even got yelled at by Coach for running too fast. Who knew?
After a shower I ate like a maniac then met back up with Jeff and his fiance Allison to have some dinner in drinks in remembrance of our father. It was a pretty solid weekend.
Oh, and thanks Kompetitive Edge, my new helmet is here!