This was not the first time I've ridden the Westfield 600K, but it was the first time I've completed an event of this distance since my August 2010 accident. I love riding in the Catskill Mountains and I can't think of a nicer way to complete my super "re-randonneur" season. Other than a few sprinkles at the start, the weather was outstanding; warm, but not too hot with little humidity and virtually no wind.
In Woodstock, Brian and Doug organized the most gracious checkpoint I've ever encountered. They made sandwiches, filled water bottles and was generally made riders feel like royalty.
Right after Woodstock, our work really began with the climb through Devil's Tombstone. The Catskill Mountains sure look a bit different up close.
After the Catskills, we enjoyed a sweet descent down the backside of Windham Mountain into a rolling section that inched towards Albany through the Helderbergs.
The least scenic section of the route involves the stretch through Schnectedy, but I was able to find a small slice of beauty anyway. If you can forget that GE dumped millions of tons of PCBs into the Hudson over the years, it's easier to see the beauty.
I woke up on Sunday with a sour stomach, but upon arriving in Bennington, VT, I craved an egg sandwich. Sadly, the only place I could find this protein-rich delicacy was at McDonald's. It was delicious and the coffee hit the spot too, and helped fuel me up the monster hill just east of town.
While I was generally well-hydrated throughout the event, at some points, I wondered about halucinations. Take this milk bottle for instance. Doesn't it make YOU thirsty?
So in all, it was a great weekend. I learned that 600 kilometers is still within my reach. While this was not my worst time on an event of this distance, it was certainly not my best. I returned to Westfield with strength, confidence and the hope that with more training and conditioning, I will be able to ride greater distances and at higher speeds.