Sunday, October 13, 2013

The NYC 200K: Sometimes an Ending Feels like a Beginning

I've ridden so little this year, that when I clipped in for the NYC 200K this morning, it was only my third organized brevet of 2013. With a new job and the general family commitments that come with raising teenage children, it's been harder than usual to get into a rhythm of training and brevet riding. For a variety of reasons, today's ride felt more like a beginning than an ending. While others are winding down, I feel like I'm just getting started.

Today was one of those lovely fall days you just don't want to end. Chilly in the morning, but warm in the afternoon as the sun reached our shoulders through the trees whose leaves are starting to thin. It was great to see some familiar faces at the start and Robin L. and I fell into a similar pace as we crossed the George Washington Bridge to New Jersey. Not far off the pace of the lead rider, a guy from Connecticut named Chris (why is everyone form Connecticut named Chris so darn fast?), we settled into a rhythm that allowed us to catch up with each other and make good time simultaneously.

The Bear Mountain area was spectacular with view of the Hudson punctuated with the yellows, oranges and reds of fall. Even the Perkins Drive climb seemed well worth it for the panoramic view of the valley below. The route news of the day was not Perkins Drive, however, but Arden Valley Road which was repaved in black gold since the last time the event was run. This road, which winds through a deep and quiet section of the park, used to have a surface that was so treacherous, it was not only unpleasant, but downright dangerous to ride. That's all a distant memory now, as one can see from the photo above of Robin climbing one of the many hills in the park along Arden Valley Road with confidence.

The lunch stop at the Monroe Bagel Boys could not have come at a better time. I ordered up a delicious chicken salad sandwich (complete with grapes) on a sesame seed bagel which really hit the spot. We ate lunch with Mordecai S. who soon caught up with us and rode the second half the day in our company.

So while this ride was a season-ender for many, I felt as though I was just getting started, having combed the 2014 RUSA calendar one morning last week to plan for the season ahead.

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