Monday, September 7, 2009

Super Fun Bike Ride

Yesterday I knew I wanted to go for a longer bike ride since I haven't spent a whole lot of time on the bike. I figured that the best way to do that would be to head back to New Jersey and try it again. While I was getting ready to go, I told Drew that I would really like it if he would go with me as I thought that he would have a good time and I wasn't going too far and it should still be fun. I knew he was a bit reluctant, but I also knew that once we got going, he'd end up being glad that he came.

We started out riding up the Westside bike path until 95th Street and Drew asked me if I counted those miles in my MPH average, which he didn't think was completely fair since the path itself and Riverside Park were packed with people and we were going really slow. I wasn't too concerned about the speed, I just wanted to go out and sit on my bike for a long time and make sure my rear-end was ready for the triathlon and sitting on a bike for a longer period of time.

I had been planning on trying out River Road (which meant heading south once I was across the bridge) instead of heading north on 9W like I did last time. I didn't know exactly where a good turn around point would be or what the road would be like, but I figured we'd just get there and see how it looked/how we felt. It turned out that right when we got across the bridge, there was another biker there who was also turning left and asked us if we were going to Palisades Park. We said we didn't know where we were going, but we might just follow him if that was okay. He said sure and warned us that it was a pretty steep downhill and we were off.

Oh gosh. Going downhill, I was just thinking that there was no way that I would ever be able to make it back up the hill. I couldn't believe that I had turned left and gone down this hill, it just seemed to go on forever. And then we got to the entrance and it was closed. But there was a way to carry our bikes in over some rocks, so that's what we did. I'm not sure that was the best move because we then ended up going even more downhill all the way to the Hudson River.

This link is the route we ended up taking. It actually turned out to be a really fun bike ride. When we got to the bottom there were lots of families having picnics and there was also a small concession stand. We stopped for a few minutes, walked around the park area, took some pictures, and then enjoyed Coconut FrozFruit bars before heading home.

I'm not exactly sure why I was standing in front of a large plastic bag, why I didn't notice it at the time, and I'm definitely not sure why Drew included it in the picture!

Here we are together in our bike kits. Drew is awfully matchy-matchy with his red and white bike, red and white helmet and red and white Wisconsin bike jersey (Drew also has a red and white bike pump, just in case you were curious). I'd also like to point out that while it totally looks like I'm wearing pigtails, those are actually the straps of my helmet hanging down.

While we were relaxing for a few minutes and enjoying our popsicles, the sky started turning a bit too grey for our liking and it seemed like a good idea to start the trek back up the hills and head back home. The first hill in Palisades Park wasn't fun at all. I was in the lead and I asked Drew what he was doing back there and he just said that he was going to draft off me and make me do all the work. Nice, huh? The whole time up the first hill I was just dreading the second hill back to the bridge.

However, once we started up the second hill after leaving the Park and we got to the top of it, neither of us could believe how quick it was! It felt soooooooo long going down and going up was lickety split! That's not to say that it was super easy, but it wasn't nearly as challenging as I was expecting. The ride home was pretty uneventful and it actually didn't end up raining, so we lucked out there.

Our total ride was 20.97 miles in 2:03:58, which is a 10.15 MPH average. Not great. But I don't really care. I had my rear end in the saddle for two hours, I went almost 21 miles, and I know I can do the actual race course in a shorter time while going faster. Plus, it was just such a nice treat to have a bike companion on a longer ride that none of those stats really make much of a difference. This is supposed to be a fun thing.

Today, I ended up taking the day off from cardio as is my typical Monday routine. Because of the Labor Day holiday, there wasn't any pilates, but with the two workouts on Saturday, I think it all balances out.

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