wine by the color

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Usually, when I am awake at 4:30 a.m., it's because I've yet to go to bed the prior evening. When I'm up at that hour, I'm usually in a diner, enjoying French toast or grilled cheese. I am not loading my bike into my car in 40-degree weather, heading off to ride 45 miles.

But that's where I was Sunday on an unexpectedly chilly morning. I met two friends at the office at 5:30, which should have been plenty of time for us to catch a Staten Island Ferry and be in Battery Park early enough to not be way back in the assembled crowd of 30,000 riders. That plan would have worked nicely had the Goethals Bridge not been closed for construction. That necessitated traveling all the way down to the Outerbridge Crossing, then all the way back up to the Staten Island Ferry terminal. We still made it to lower Manhattan before the starting time of 8 a.m., but it was enough to put us many, many blocks short of the starting line.

That, however, was the only real hassle of the day. Yes, it took a while to get moving at the start. There was also the traditional wait to get into Central Park, and one at the Pulaski Bridge. But that's all I can really bitch about where Bike NY 2006 is concerned. Very good times overall.

The weather turned warmer by the time we hit the FDR and I was able to remove two of the three layers I was wearing. By noon it was a warm, sunny day. Our trio had no flat tires and no spills, which can't be said for many others. Lots of blood on the streets. And while I missed having Freakgirl's snark by my side, Shannon and I had a great time and used the seven hours to break down our respective life plans (or lack thereof).

As the ride went on, I really wondered if I'd be able to make it over the Verrazano without stopping. When you hit the Belt Parkway, the wind comes off the water and just smacks you in the face and by the time you get to the bridge, 40 or so miles into it, you're just exhausted. Fortunately, there was no waiting to get on the bridge, which was key. Once you get there, you just want to do it, not sit around and think about having to do it.

But once again, to my amazement, I was able to make it over. The ride up the Verrazano seems to be roughly 14 miles, and flying back down is about 459 feet. But it is a glorious 459 feet, and I can admit to thrusting my arms in the air, like I was Lance Armstrong and had just won the Tour de France. Then it was on to Fort Wadsworth, where we enjoyed the festival for about 12 minutes before deciding we'd rather get home and take naps. Before leaving, however, we learned our most important lesson of the day: Don't ever park at the top of a huge hill. I had already told my legs they were done for the day, and they were none too happy about having to summon the energy for the extra effort.

So I can cross Bike NY for 2006 off the to-do list. The Spring Lake Five is 17 days away...


  • At 5/09/2006 3:04 PM, Blogger freakgirl said…

    Congrats! Sounds like a great day.

    What song did you sing while you were traversing the Verrazano?

  • At 5/10/2006 4:29 AM, Blogger Marjon said…

    And now I have to get my bike out of the shed and start my training for BikeNY2007. It sounds fun and terrible hard!

  • At 5/10/2006 11:15 AM, Blogger jersey girl said…

    For most of the day, the song in my head was REM's "Man on the Moon," as that was the last one we heard in the car that morning. When we hit the Verrazano, the song was a continual chorus of "please let me get over this %&$#@ bridge," set to the tune of my labored breathing.

    Marjon, it's really not hard. It's just that beast of a bridge. But other than that, much fun!


Post a Comment

<< Home