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Sunday, October 23, 2011

PA 200K - 10/22/2011

Yesterday I rode what is likely my final brevet of the year, an Eastern PA 200K, another great event organized by Tom Rosenbauer. Yesterday Tom offer both a 150K and a 200K event, and it was a very good turnout for a Fall afternoon. Although the weather forecast was for sunny skies and temperatures close to 60, we had cloudy and much cooler temperatures all day, making me think of the coming winter ahead. Even though I have ridden a number of events this Fall, trying to work of a few extra pounds put on at the end of the summer, I found myself really struggling towards the end of the day, with the over 10,000 feet of climbing, and some stomach cramps in the final hours. I was helped in those final hours by riding with my friend John Clamp, whom I had not ridden a brevet with since the Spring. John is a very strong rider, but yesterday he took things to new levels by riding a fixed gear bike on this challenging ride, which I had trouble comprehending all day, as John passed me on the hills while I was pounding away in my granny ring. I had so much fun, and really enjoyed riding the series in PA this year, in my second year of doing brevets. I cant imagine a finer RBA than Tom, and we capped yesterday off with a great BBQ, and excellent support by yesterday's volunteers, Len, Shane, and Shane's daughter, Victoria, who all helped us throughout the day. I learned a lot this year, and will be looking forward to the challenges that 2012 will bring.
Preparing to take off on our 200K @ 7:30 outside the Weisel Hostel
Jon & Tim Crossing Belvedere Bridge
Tim at the Top of Fox Gap Climb
Rick, Tim & John at the finish of the ride, ready to take down some BBQ!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sea Gull Century - MD - 10/15/11

Well, this started out initially as a blog about Randonneuring for me, but there are so many additional cool things that we can experience within our great sport. This past weekend, my good friend, Paul Whelan, who took up cycling several years ago, was riding in his first ever Century, the massive Sea Gull Century, and asked me down to his beach house in Ocean City, MD, which my family and I have been invited to many times, but for different reasons, have never been able to make the trip. I was able to take Friday off, and Paul and I were able to get a nice ride in Friday morning, before a round of golf at a beautiful course, and 12 hours of "hydration", but not the type of hydration that is normally recommended for cycling, let alone a challenging event. I was very impressed with the organization of this great event. I am not exactly sure how many riders participated, I believe at least 8000, and I heard as many as 10,000? We had a nice, clear, crisp day to ride, with temperatures in the afternoon in the low 70's, with not a could in the sky. The roads were flat, well marked, and very pretty. That said, there is more to this story, as I cold front had moved through the day before, and for most of the ride, there were 25-25 mile wind gusts. As always with any long cycling events, the wind was directly in our face for the last 40 miles, and for as long as I have been riding, yesterday's winds were definetely some of the most challenging I have ridden in. The best part of the weekend for me was not only a great weekend with a great friend, but being there to celebrate and help him complete his first Century, which he finished strongly, in challenging conditions, some of which we could not control, and some of which we could, but didn't, which is our history.
Paul, at the entrance to Assateague State Park, MD, known for it's wild horses
One of those famous wild horses, "not me"
Paul, and Tim, at the end of a great ride, and great event. "until next year" I think I have one more long cycling event to complete, which will be next weekend's final Eastern PA 200K, which as always will be challenging & full of climbs. Then, into Cyclocross season #2 for me, for more pain & sufferring & getting my "a" kicked. As always, thanks for riding, until next time..."keep onTruckin"

Monday, October 3, 2011

Keating's VT Ride

During the first weekend of October, our good friend Dan Keating invited many of us that ride together out of Brielle Cyclery, in Brielle, N.J., up to his wonderful home in Ludlow, VT. I have been riding with many people in this group for about the past 8 summers, since we have been fortunate enough to have a summer home nearby. Technically, this means that my family are not "Bennies", but certainly for some, that would be up for debate? My wife and I have developed my great friendships with this group of riders, and we had a wonderful weekend in VT. Unfortunately, like much of August & September in the Northeast, what looked to be a nice weather forecast early in the week, turned into a cold, rainy Saturday & Sunday in VT. With some urging from myself, and 1-2 others, we were able to get most everyone out of the nice house & warm fire on Saturday for what turned out to be a nice & challenging 50 mile ride. As usual, although I had my iphone with me, I was too lazy to take it out of my pocket, which I really regret not taking any pictures of some of the devastating scences of destruction that we witnessed in a few places from Irene. I am talking about serious road erosion, or in fact, significant stretches of roads that just disappeared. It is one thing to watch stuff like this on the news, it is another to see it in person, even 5 weeks later. Most importantly, this was a fun weekend, with good friends, sharing good times around a common bond, cycling.
A picture of the gang with our New Jersey's purchased for us by our gracious hosts Dan & Diane, from LBS, Mountain Cycology in Ludlow, VT.