Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Rides of July 2010 - Hot, Hotter, and Hottest!

July 2010 would prove to be one of my most active cycling months ever.  In addition to completing the LOL, I finished three official 200k brevets.  Brief ride descriptions along with photos of the NYC 200k follow.
Paul riding on NYC 200k along the Hudson River

July 3rd- Princeton-Belmar-Princeton 200k Permanent

I've done this ride so many times I've lost count.  Paul, the route owner, joined me on what was to be an LOL prep ride undertaken just a few days before my departure to Lake Ontario.  On a rather warm day (low 90's) we made our way around the flat route at a medium pace finishing in 10hrs 30min.  With the exception of one flat suffered by Paul everything went smoothly.  The additional training was a confidence booster for me. 

July 18th - NYC 200k to Bear Mountain
The view of Manhattan from the bike path on the south side of the GW Bridge

The weekend after the LOL I would undertake this hilly NY affair.  This being one of my favorite rides and my fifth time in as many years taking the start.  I felt almost fully recovered from the 1000k.  Unfortunately, it was to be one of the hottest days of the summer.  I started the ride with my friends Al, Paul and Todd.  The heat took Al as one of its many victims that day about fifty miles in.  He had made it to the top of Bear Mountain grinding his way up Perkins Drive despite leg cramps that were starting to flare up at that point.  A few miles later at the Tirorotti Circle in Harriman Park he would call it day and phone for a ride back to the start.  Paul was the second of the group to have trouble, although he made it all the way to the control at mile 92 before a stomach problem overwhelmed him.  Todd and I rode the final leg together with Todd suffering through some cramps in the final fifteen miles.  We arrived at the finish in Manhattan with a total elapsed time of 11hrs 58minutes.  With all the training I'd done in the heat this summer, and the 1000k under my belt, the ride went smoothly for me.  I can be prone to cramping in similar conditions, but this time it was not a problem.
Rick Carpenter and Laurant Chambard ride through quiet NJ streets just north of the GW bridge

Katie is all smiles early in the ride
One of the seven lakes in Harriman Park, New York
Al recovering in the shade after the climb up Perkins Drive in the heat of the day

July 24th - Noximixon 200k

With Al's DNF at the NYC event he was still in need of an R12 ride for July.  With only one full weekend left we decided to go for it on the Saturday.  With the media broadcasting a hot weather alert we opted for a 6am start.  The day would reach the 100 degree mark as we worked our way around the hilly route through New Jersey and Pennsylvainia.  We took long breaks at the controls and gobbled electrolyte tablets like candy.  Al suffered some cramping near the end, but he didn't let it get the better of him.  We made it back to our starting point at Princeton Junction in 12hrs and 15min.  It would be Al's seventh 200k completion in as many months.  The streak lives on with him needing five more for the coveted award. 

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