Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bike Race Number Two - Alpine Hill Climb!

I completed my second bike race yesterday. This was somewhat delayed just because of weather and then me being an idiot, so I was eager to get another race under my belt. Now considering the fact that my longest race last year took over 11 hours, this was a silly event - a hill climb up Alpine Hill in Palisades just across the George Washington Bridge from Manhattan. Convenient yet I only expected the race to take around six minutes. Ha! The last time I raced in a six minute race was probably in college.

This is a snap from the base of the hill that I took on Wednesday, when we practiced climbing it four times. In 95 degree, humid weather. Good times, good times.

It's actually really, really pretty, and the road was paved about a week ago, so that was nice. It used to have a ton of potholes. So I woke up around 5:45 Saturday morning and met a few teammates to ride over. Our warmup was around an hour, just because that's about how long it takes to get to the base. My legs felt somewhat busted but I hoped I would be able to push hard for six minutes.

The best part of everything was that since it was technically a Time Trial, a nice man held me up, clipped in, before I started. That was fun. Once I started I just tried to ride hard. I couldn't get my legs to do what I wanted but I tried to push and definitely picked it up towards the top where it levels out a little. The general profile of the ride is medium, then steep, then medium again. I finished in 6:34 which I was a little disappointed with - I thought I could do a little closer to 6:00. But sometimes your legs just don't agree with plans!

After the race I rode to Nyack and back with my friend Anneliese and this cool guy Nobby, it was really fun and mellow. That was probably the most fun part of the ride aspect of the day. Although I did enjoy the race and I ended up fifth in the Women's 3/4 category which I am happy about.

I have been taking a few cool pictures when I see things I like. New York is amazing in the summer.

Here is a picture from my ride  on Friday, this is the sun setting over the Hudson.

I am such a poor photographer but it was stunning in person. And here is a view from a little nook in the park I found on Saturday after wandering around with a few friends.

I love it. The city is so nice and quiet on summer weekends unless you're in really touristy areas. I had a beautiful ride today with my friend Max. I did bonk towards the end - just didn't bring enough nutrition with me, oops! - but it was an awesome ride with several fun climbs. Then I crashed on the couch for a while before I had to go out. I swear I do not know how I fit everything in on the weekends, but that's a good problem to have!

Next weekend is another Central Park race, a little longer at around 42 miles. Should be fun!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Catch-Up in Pictures...

Once again I am alive! I know, even I have no excuses for my pathetic lack of blogging. But here I am. I figured the best way to catch up on what's been going on is in pictures.

Sooo.... I've been riding!!! I took this shot off my bike, that is my friend Richard. He is becoming quite the bomb cyclist. This is up in Westchester near Armonk. It is beautiful. And really only requires about 45 minutes of annoying city riding to get into a nice, peaceful area with great roads and some  decent hills. Richard is great to  ride with.

The day after I rode with Richard I had a friend in town and we went to a Yankees game. It was my first game in the Yankees' plush, beautiful new ballpark. Wow. It was a perfect day for a ball game. I actually got a little sunburn even.

After that visit, my mom came to town for 10 days. What a cute little thing!!!! She was in a state when she arrived (another entry on that another day) but by the end of her visit she was doing really well. I am proud of her, she is trying to make some changes after years of bad habits, and she is doing a good job.

When she was here she had her first sushi experience, and she loved it!!!

What a cute little thing. I don't think I had ever seen her try something new like this, it was a little bit weird, but not in a bad way!! She had a great time in New York and I really enjoyed having her. Not only is she a fun little person to hang out with, but she was basically my personal assistant. I could really use a permanent assistant. But what can you do, only so much money in the world!

While she was here I raced my bike for the first time. It was so fun. Here I am post-race in my bomb new kit.

It is such a great team of girls and I love how we look bombing around the park in our sweet kit. I haven't raced since then just due to weather - I'm not quite ready to race around in the rain.

Last weekend since I didn't race I went for two really fun rides. Here is one of the highlights of the first ride:

These are from a new joint in Nyack called Gypsy Donut. They were totally homemade and incredible. I spoke to the owner for a while and he was a really cool guy who is clearly passionate about making the best possible donuts in all kinds of unique flavors. The rest of the ride was great too - I started out from the Soldiers and Sailors monument with  my friend Wayne...

We ended up running into his girlfriend and some of her friends when we were almost in Nyack and did the rest of the ride, including the donut adventure, with them. I always enjoy meeting a nice group of strong women to ride with.

Then on Sunday I went for a great ride with my friend Joe. He is one of those people I randomly meet out and about on my bike because I am that obnoxious chick who will ride up to you and say 'Hi!!! I'm Barb!!! Where are you riding today??? Can I come???' I am exaggerating but not much. I met Joe last weekend when my friend Scott was in town and he is so fun to ride with. He has a Brooklyn accent and is a very good cyclist, and he is also really fun to hang out with. So we rode to the apple orchards and back.

Even though I love summer I'm really excited to head back in the fall for apple picking!!! It was a beautiful and really fun ride.

Last night I was in the park not riding for once, and it rained a little, leaving a rainbow over the park. Beautiful.

This weekend should have more of the same - ride, food, fun, friends. I am feeling lucky to live the life I've got right now.