Monday, September 29, 2008

Twin Lights Ride : 28.09.2008

Nice view, isn't it?

Now if only it was like that on the morning of the Twin Lights Bike Ride.

Of course, the weather forecast was not encouraging, but I set off early anyway.

The big decision was whether to opt for the 75 mile - or 50 mile ride given the rain, slippery roads, etc.

I decided to leave the decision until the last minute at the point where the routes divided about 20 miles into the ride.

I parked the car at one of the ferry terminals near the start. There were already hundreds there. Spent a few minutes decided what to wear. It wasn't cold, but there was an imminent threat of rain.

I rolled down to the start where there was a few minutes wait to register and get your arm-band, cue-sheet and map.

The ride set off pleasantly enough. There was a huge (friendly) police presence which continued throughout the route at junctions and other hazards.

However, within 20 minutes of the start the heavens opened and the heavy rain lasted for about an hour or so, on and off. Most cyclists battled on, however, only taking shelter at the worst moments.

The ride had to stop at the bridge over the Navesink where someone had fallen on the steel grating which is a common bridge surface here. Apparently they'd broken their hand. The large number of police and EMS suggested something much worse.

Eventually we were allowed to walk across, a tricky business in cycling shoes, I can tell you. Fortunately that was by far the worst incident I came across.

But still, it did mean we could spend a few minutes watching the dolphins ... you can read more about that here and here.

The organisers had set up several rest stops. These were all staffed by friendly volunteers, many of whom had provided their own home cooked cookies and flapjacks ... very nice.

However, by the time I arrived at the division of the 50 mile and 70 mile route all was not well. My legs felt curiously heavy. It wasn't going to be my day ... So I turned right and went off along the 50 mile route.

The previous ride I had covered nearly 40 miles and honestly felt I could do it again. So I was fairly confident about the 75 miles route. But here I was at 20 miles with uncooperative legs. Oh well.

The journey back was broken by the occasional shower, and also my front changer deciding to loosen up which caused a five minute maintenance stop. Plenty of riders enquired as to my welfare, which was nice.

Of course, within minutes of arriving back at the car the first streaks of blue sky appeared although even they didn't last long.

All in all, a much more difficult ride than the 5 Boro Tour, but I'm sure if we could have seen the countryside through the drizzle it would have been much prettier.

Will I do it again? Yes. And definitely at least 75 miles.
Images here.
*added 06.10.2008