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Fun "Detour!"

Sunday, May 08, 2011

We had a great turnout for our bike club's roadside clean up yesterday! Sadly, we found stuff that demonstrated such APPALLING disregard for all the beauty that nature can bring us: a pc monitor sitting in a puddle down the bank from the shoulder and a lazy boy recliner which had been rolled down the bank of somebody's pick up truck no doubt. I carefully picked up the larger pieces of a heavy glass liquor bottle that had been smashed on a roadside post with pieces all over the riding path of a route which I frequently take. I scruffed the smaller pieces off the shoulder into the grass well out of the path of bicycle tires.

Afterward we all hopped on our bikes for a well-worn route up 79 to Whitney Point. Enjoyed some conversation with another member along the way who clocked us at 17 mph. Nope still no gizmo on my bike to measure such things. But each time I have a member check my speed I find I typically run between 14-18 mph depending on road conditions and elevations. This places me at a middle-of-the-road sorta speed with approximately 1/2 of the riders slower than me and the other 1/2 faster and I'm pretty content with that. Not looking to be a speed freak as I think it would take away too much enjoyment of being out on my bike! Last year coming down Bear Spring Mountain into Downsville we reached around 50 mph coming down a PERFECT road for such a thrilling descent...straight, smooth, no curves or turns...just a swooping, whooping joy!

Whitney Point offers many different interesting routes to take and the 15-20 of us splintered up into various directions. As I had some things to do in the afternoon I opted to simply return back to Chenango Forks with a few others. Soon I felt as though I'd cheated myself from getting out into some new territory. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed doing that!

Fortunately one of the other members thought of a "detour" on the way back which proved to be delightful! Up Cloverdale Road we went! Nice, quiet, tucked away into the back woods with banks of trees fuzzy with early green sprouting from their branches sprawling before us. I could imagine this view transforming in the fall with the leaves changing color! I'll most definitely be back for THAT! :-)

After a while we rode up to the Black Bear Winery, a place I'd always meant to visit, but never have:

www.blackbearwinery.com/index.htm

The owners had been puttering around outside and were JUST getting ready to open up shop (noon time). So in we popped to have a look-see! The fellow showed us around sharing that he specializes in making wine from everything EXCEPT grapes...cool twist! Turns out they have an open mike every Friday when folks stop by with their guitars and have fun singing bluegrass and other types of music. I told him my guitar has been gathering too much dust lately and I might just stop back for some fun! Not that I play bluegrass (prefer jazz) but I think I might be able to join in or, who knows kick out a solo tune or two? :-)

He showed us the various vats, tanks and bottles where his current projects were coming along nicely. Very fastidious, neat and tidy facilities! Even if I DON'T drink wine except for rare occasions, for the ambiance and fun...? I'll be back!

I felt SO much better for having taken "the road less traveled" and was ready for the day ahead! Isn't it funny how just a slight tweak, just off the beaten path can open one's eyes too some wonderful things...? Today's was a shorter ride of 22 miles, bringing this year's totals up to 219 miles.

Continuing to celebrate the spirit of Bicycle Month I'll share some notes from our local bike club members on our local television channel:

Go-Green: Save Money and the Environment by Riding a Bike
www.wicz.com/news2005/viewarticle.as
p?prd=1&a=18183


And a neat BBC series all about bicycles...the first part:

Ride of My Life - The Story of the Bicycle
youtu.be/cj4iu8w5Dys

Links subsequent installments are on the right side of that web page.

Everyone make it a special and wonderful Mother's Day!

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VALERIEMAHA 5/12/2011 4:26PM

    I'm so jealous!!!

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CBERGMAN4 5/9/2011 7:12AM

    Alright, here's the deal... :) You sing and help create the ambiance, and I will drink the wine!!! :) The winery is not far from Windsor, and why I hve never gone there!!! I will have to check it out!

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WATERMELLEN 5/8/2011 8:30PM

    I had participated in one of those road side clean ups a couple years ago -- filled many many bags, spent a whole day in pouring rain -- and then my DS told me what the likely content of the many bottles (broken and otherwise) I had helped pick up along the side of the road. It involves truckers and a need to keep to a schedule and lack of desire/time to make bathroom pit stops and . . . uh huh.

I had used heavy duty gloves, washed up thoroughly too: but, was sick for about two weeks afterwards . . . !!

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CANBDONE 5/8/2011 5:03PM

    Your zest for life motivates me to keep going in the right direction!

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LOTUSBURGER 5/8/2011 12:08PM

    What a fun day!


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L*I*T*A* 5/8/2011 9:38AM

    great your day turned out so well..........
blessings and hugs...........lita

emoticonhappy trails...

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REVJVH 5/8/2011 9:36AM

    Sounds like a marvelous day! I wish I had a group to bike with or a biking buddy around here.

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GROEDER 5/8/2011 9:31AM

    Sounds like you had a great day!!!
Thanks for the links you shared.

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TERRYMEMPHIS 5/8/2011 9:03AM

    Excellent Don. Made me wish I was there. I'm having the Spark people blues lately. I know I should be on more but it seems like work lately. Your up more than me on miles though. I'll figure it out and be back to you. Terry

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MEGA_MILES 5/8/2011 8:52AM

    I love exploring new areas. That is one of the reasons I got a bike. You can cover more miles in the same time compared to on foot. Yesterday afternoon I discovered I can travel the lenght of Quabbin resevoir without ever sharing the road with a car (~27 miles). I'm very excited.

Ride on.

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FRECKS96 5/8/2011 8:41AM

    Wonderful day! Black Bear is fun, I've been there a few times and have friends that visit quite regularly. I'm looking forward to hearing about your upcoming jam sessions.

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TOOTHFUL99 5/8/2011 8:29AM

    What a great day on a bike! My favorite rides are the one's that aren't planned...they just happen!

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Another First!

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Had a TERRIFIC day yesterday mixing it up with work, cycling and jogging. Biked to my day job, then over to my office to see a client privately and then up to our local park with a great trail along the Chenango River: Otsiningo Park. Off the bike, changed into shorts & T-shirt and then off for a 5K jog! Biked home for a total of 20 miles for the day, bringing this cycling season's totals up to 197 miles.

So what's the "first"...? Got a call from home, needed a prescription picked up. Well there really wasn't a convenient place to lock up my bike so...what the heck: Use the Drive Thru! Felt kinda weird yet kinda proud taking my place in line just like any other vehicle! The clerk didn't blink, we took care of business easy peasy! Love treating my bike just like any other vehicle! :-)

Oh and HEY EVERYONE: May is National BIKE MONTH! Woo hoo!

Here's a link for ya:

www.care2.com/greenliving/may-is-nat
ional-bike-month.html


Get out there and ride yourselves a BIKE this weekend!

Heading out with the bike club today to do some roadside clean up. We have "Adopted" a stretch of road which happens to be near my house. I always thought that would be a cool thing to do for our local SparkPeople team...have a sign posted indicating a certain road was taken care of by SparkPeople.com...get folks wondering "what's SparkPeople.com?"

Afterward, heading out to Whitney Point for a 20 mile ride. No biggie, but always enjoyable up that way...! Just hope the rain holds off till we get back!

Looks like EXCELLENT sunny skies and upper 60s for our Mother's Day...make it special everyone!

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KESTREL500 5/8/2011 12:56AM

    The bike club I belong to cleaned its two mile stretch of road last week. It was actually fun! But I was a little disturbed by the things we found on the side of the road.

Happy bike month!

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WATERMELLEN 5/7/2011 9:27PM

    Love your joy and energy!! Had to work today myself, but with any luck tomorrow will involve . . . golf!!

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TOOTHFUL99 5/7/2011 8:16PM

    Sounds like a new kind of triathlon. Work, Bike, Jog. lol

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BOBBYD31 5/7/2011 7:01PM

    awesome idea with the road crew and nice work out today

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CANBDONE 5/7/2011 3:54PM

    Keep those wheels movin'!

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L*I*T*A* 5/7/2011 2:03PM

    way to go......Happy riding!!!

emoticon

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JANLEH 5/7/2011 12:44PM

    What a great day and such a neat idea about the road clean up!

We have monsoon like rain forecasted for the whole weekend. It looks like my bike dreams are going to be on the stationary kind. Darn it! Oh well, maybe next weekend. It's all good!

emoticon

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RAINBOWCHOC 5/7/2011 9:24AM

    hee hee, nothing to stop you!
best wishes, Sandra

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TECAVINESS 5/7/2011 9:20AM

    Glad you enjoyed the day and your ride.

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MEGA_MILES 5/7/2011 8:42AM

    Enjoy the day Don. Happy riding.

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MRDPOLING 5/7/2011 8:39AM

    Didn't know it was National Bike Month.

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LADYGWEN25 5/7/2011 8:36AM

    Enjoy your ride today! The Triclub has a "transitions" meeting and then we're riding afterwards.. IDK if we're going to stick to River Rd or do some Route 12.

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FRECKS96 5/7/2011 8:21AM

    Enjoy your ride and your day!

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FERRETLOVER1 5/7/2011 8:09AM

    I love it - riding your bike thru the drive-thru. Why not? A bike is definitely a vehicle!! Good for you, Don - smart man!!

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777GRACE 5/7/2011 7:59AM

    Awe, that sounds like fun, I would like to get a bike!!!

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MOMAAGAINX2 5/7/2011 7:53AM

    Wow biking thru the drive thru-who'd of thought. Your biking is an inspiration.

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BILL60 5/7/2011 7:51AM

    Way to go, friend. So, let's do RAGBRAI!!!!

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Pedal Power: Another $10.44 in the Jar!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Although it was a nippy start at 40 degrees, I warmed up nicely about half-way to work on my bike today. Waved a hello-good-morning-isn't-it-great-to-be-al
ive-on-a-bike to TEAMEAGIS as she was heading northbound to my southbound.

I was curious to see if there was an update to the total cost of running a car. Had ball-parked it at 50 cents a mile based on New York State's old reimbursement rate of 30 cents a mile if one uses one's own car. Lo & behold I'm not too far off: 58 cents! That's probably about right given I drive a middle-of-the-road Ford Taurus:

www.smartplanet.com/blog/transportat
ion/the-cost-of-driving-a-car-rises-by
-34-percent-in-just-a-year/309


So at that rate I save $10.44 each time I commute to work on my bike. Not that I'm disciplined enough to ACTUALLY put that in a jar...lol! But I like to think of that benefit as well, of course, the OTHER benefits...physical health, emotional health, reducing carbon-footprint and dependence on oil, foreign or otherwise...!

Thx everybody for your support regarding yesterday's blog!

I, too, am a fan of sticking with what you love, but DANG all you runners get me thinking I'm missing out on something BIG! Lol!

We'll see if I can work in another 5K on my way home tonight...brought my shorts & T-shirt as we're heading for the 60's later today...woo hoo!

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FERRETLOVER1 5/7/2011 7:45AM

    The physical and mental benefits of riding your bike far outweigh any monetary benefits...but just think how much money you would have if you really could put that amount away regularly!!

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DAD2GETFIT 5/6/2011 9:38PM

    emoticon

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REYVE01 5/6/2011 8:38PM

    You may not put that money in a piggy bank...but it counts. That is how I felt when I quit smoking. I'm training for a 5K ... I hope I'll end up liking it, atleast uintil I can afford buying a bike.... I want to help the enviroment too..

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LMLOPEZ 5/6/2011 4:08PM

    Trust me-you're not missing out!!
And thanks for helping the environment, not to mention our taxpayer money for when you're "old" by preventing heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other expensive chronic illnesses that may place you in a long term care facility. LOL!!!
Enjoy your bike ride!! :) Glad you warmed up on the way. I hear that spring may actually start soon-here in Chicago we go from snow to 90's with no in between. :)

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LOTUSBURGER 5/6/2011 3:59PM

    Really makes you think how much we can save.
Good Job

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DINGALLSTOO 5/6/2011 2:32PM

    wow! you could do a great cruise at the end of the year with all that $$

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L*I*T*A* 5/6/2011 12:47PM

    way to go!!!
good reminder to us all to re think our use of the car!!!
thanks for sharing.......
blessings and hugs............lita

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SKINNYPOWELL1 5/6/2011 10:49AM

    Great job on saving on the petrol and WOW, what a great benefit for your body. I would love to "bike it" to work. YOU ROCK DUDE !!!!!

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MOMMACASSEY 5/6/2011 9:12AM

    Aww, man! I wish I worked closer--it'd give me even more reason to dust off my bike and commute that way instead of taking my car.

I'm with you--bike riding is much more fun than running anywhere. Kids ride bikes, you know? Because it's FUN. You don't see kids running around in circles for the sheer joy of it.

Spinning in circles, sure....

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FRECKS96 5/6/2011 9:09AM

    That an amazing amount of savings for as much as you bike commute. Congrats on everything you do for yourself AND the environment! Enjoy your run if you do get out there today. It looks to be a stunning afternoon. I'll likely get a walk in myself.

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JLITT62 5/6/2011 9:08AM

    Told you it was good for the environment - I wasn't even thinking about your pocketbook!

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Why I'm Doubting I'll Ever Be A "Runner"

Thursday, May 05, 2011

I don't dislike running, but I don't really LIKE it either. Today while outside on this gloriously sunny day jogging a 5K at Otsiningo Park, the thought occurred to me: "Wouldn't this day be even BETTER YET if I was out on my BIKE?!?"

That's the bottom line: If a nice day comes along the odds of me enjoying that day by getting out and running are WAY LONG against the odds of me getting out on my BIKE! If I'm ever to learn to enjoy running I need to DO IT and do it a LOT!

Just don't think that's ever going to happen. Cycling is always going to trump it.

I always say "never say never," but those odds on me really getting into a running groove are pretty slim. Gotta say though, I AM looking forward to joining my fellow local SparkTeam members of the Binghamton Area Losers in the Binghamton Bridge Run on May 15th!

www.facebook.com/pages/Greater-Bingh
amton-Bridge-Run/136598159726149


I was TERRIBLY jealous of TEAMAEGIS this morning when I saw her cycling to work as I made the tough, regrettable decision that 37 degrees was just too darned cold to do the same myself. This has been such a FINE day with BOATLOADS of sunshine & blue sky to lure me to the bike. I'm hoping for a repeat performance tomorrow with a warmer morning of 45 degrees so I can make up for lost time and get out TOMORROW!

Here is a link to some more pics from the 5 Boro Ride (they want me to cough up some $$ for prints...lol):

www2.brightroom.com/browser.aspx?eid
=78009&bib=60170&pwd=


Not sure it'll work for folks other than me, but you can give it a whirl.

And hey, a thought I should have tacked onto my 5 Boro blog: I hope everyone out there has hopes and dreams that you are working toward making a reality! That is the most wonderful reward for transforming ourselves and living a SPARKED LIFE! Give yourself room to breathe, LIVE and DREAM and then?

Make it HAPPEN!

I'll wrap up with a great pumped up song from the Who which moved me right along on my 5K today: Can You See the Real Me?

youtu.be/o9Or4QGI80Y

Looks like we may actually have several days of no rain ahead...woo hoo!

Have a SPARKIN' GREAT Weekend!!

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOLFKITTY 5/8/2011 3:43AM

    It's awesome to have something (cycling) that you enjoy so much!! :D
Jocelyn

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NIKANN7493 5/7/2011 5:56AM

    Thank you for trying out the "running" thing, you never know if you will like it or not until you try it! Looking forward to seeing you at the Bingo 5K next week! You will be great!

I used to LOVE riding my bike, I haven't riden in about a year now. Gotta get the tire fixed so I can get out and ride more often. And add a better seat... LOL

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LADYGWEN25 5/6/2011 11:32PM

    great job on your 5K run Don! looking forward to running with you and our fellow sparkers and the Bingo 5k!

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MISS_VIV 5/6/2011 3:14PM

    When I see your pictures 'on the road'.. and look again at your BEFORE. It is absolutely friggin' amazing that it is the same person. I'll bet you have people you work with that say that every day. PRETTY AMAZING.

CONGRATULATIONS

YOU ARE A TRUE INSPIRATION.



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KINSBAILE 5/6/2011 1:52PM

    You gotta do what's right for you!

Cycling is not my thing and running is, cycling is your thing and running is not!

Happy Cycling! emoticon

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OLDERDANDRT 5/6/2011 11:13AM

    Hey, guy! It's ok if you are not a runner, you know! You're a fabulous bike rider!!! It's fun for you and you know you get fantastic workouts with doing it, so, if you really feel like running, go run! If not, hey.......just get on your bike and ride!!! How do you feel about plain, old walking? Still an option! Do your thing and have a great time in the process. Life is too short not to, right? Have a great day! emoticon emoticon

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IMIN2GENES 5/6/2011 9:03AM

    Who cares if you're ever a runner? You are on HECK of a cycler! Keep up the great work my friend! You're an inspiration!
Chris
emoticon

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CATTIANN 5/6/2011 6:48AM

    I agree with everyone..do what you love. I love to walk and most days I feel like I could walk for miles and miles and miles.

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BAM-MA 5/6/2011 6:40AM

    Ditto to all those that commented before me. If you don't prefer to run... Then DON"T (except for the Bridge Run :-) )

If there has been one thing that I have seen as a common thread throughout the Sparkpeople community, is that we are only successful when we find something that we LOVE and stick with it. Otherwise it is WORK.

You have been VERY successful without running! Why make yourself WORK?

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JLITT62 5/6/2011 5:27AM

    Our day yesterday was gray, windy & chilly. And drizzly. Today looks to be much nicer!

Do what you love! No one says you have to be a runner. Altho I don't often enjoy it during - I like how I feel afterwards.

Cycling is great exercise, it's good for the environmemt & it's easy on the joints. Sounds pretty good to me (except for the fact that bikes kind of scare me).

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MINNA72 5/6/2011 2:38AM

    Don, you should do what you LOVE! I love running, so my idea of fun is a 10 mile run on Sundays, but I am finding a love for riding as well, and now Saturdays are reserved for that. Best of both worlds! :)

Great pics!

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LMLOPEZ 5/5/2011 11:49PM

    Hey, if you are running and wishing the entire time that you would be on your bike, you are in the wrong outfit!!! loL!!! I say life is too short to do things you don't love if you don't need to-get on your wheels and GO!!!
emoticon
Have a great ride tomorrow!

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BOBBYD31 5/5/2011 11:25PM

    you don't have to run a lot to enjoy it. just go out for maybe a once a week jog and use the bike the rest of time, you may never like it but it will become ok. do intervals with the bike and running jog a mile ride a mile do that 2 or 3 time a great work out. who knows may lead to duo or a tri or a cyclocross.



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TOPAHI 5/5/2011 11:15PM

    Don,

I'm right there with you... that is exactly how I feel!
Somehow running seems more like work, but Cycling is fun.

Thanks,

Tom
<
BR>

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 5/5/2011 11:06PM

    That's how I feel about whitewater kayaking. The only thing that is going to make me more of a cyclist this season is my shoulder injury...

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FRECKS96 5/5/2011 10:12PM

    Great pics Don! It's all about doing what you love. I can't imagine 5 miles on a bike, but I can't wait to run it tomorrow morning. Enjoy your ride int work!

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We ROCKED This City!

Monday, May 02, 2011

A little music for my blog...a twist of a word in the song title to suit my needs...! :-)

youtu.be/nsdj9NRzqC4

Had a TERRIFIC time 'round the Big Apple over the weekend! Stayed in Staten Island and to prepare for the big ride on Sunday we rode the ferry over to Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan on Saturday. The weather couldn't have been more PERFECT!



I couldn't believe the ferry ride has been a FREEBIE since 1987! It was such fun to get out on the water and while I've been to mid-town Manhattan a few times there isn't ANYTHING like cruisin' into south Manhattan on the ferry to see New York City sprawled out in all its splendor! Although I was looking forward to the bike ride on Sunday, taking it all in on Saturday on the ferry ride and walking about southern Manhattan REALLY PSYCHED me up for the ride!



The SIZE of those ferries is incredible! They must hold HUNDREDS of people on each of their three levels! I tried to get a pic to show the size of the ferry but none really could do it justice. We rode outside so that we could enjoy the view both coming and going from Manhattan. Here's an inside shot to give you an idea of the seating capacity:



And another thing we discovered: from experience we already knew parking in Manhattan, even while staying at a hotel, runs $40-50 a day. Price of parking at the St. George terminal of the Staten Island ferry? $5.50 for the day! So if one is heading to Manhattan for some serious shopping and you're coming in from out of town? Seems to me it would make sense to park there and ferry over to Manhattan! The ferry ride is around 30 mins.

Some more pics:





Some folks had donned some really creative Lady Liberty costumes and were hamming it up with folks who took pics with them.





All right! On to Ride Day!

I began to get a sense of the ENORMITY of this feat, pulling 32,000 cyclists together at the same time when I arrived at the ferry again the next morning around 6:30. I had already been up since 5 getting a little breakfast and catching up with the shuttle service to take me from the hotel to the ferry. I REALLY would have preferred just riding to the ferry myself as it was only 8 miles away. But one thing I discovered by having driven this route the day before was that the road was filled with potholes, very narrow, with frequent buses that sped along in ways that belied little mercy to others on the road. Too risky for someone totally new to the route as I was.

So here I am stuck in a line with who-knows-HOW many others!



And I'm thinking: These are only the cyclists coming via the Staten Island Ferry! We've got folks already IN Manhattan and POURING into Manhattan from EVERYWHERE!

Although I realized I was going to have to be patient during the course of the day, I later found out I had to REALLY CRANK up the dial on my Patience-O-Meter...! There were moments of irritability on my part, but I quelled them by reminding myself of the phenomenal feat of organizing an event of this size!

One of the greatest challenges of the ride were the slow and crowded sections of the ride. How could I be sure not to zig when I should zag and avoid running into anyone? Soon I learned the best way, when it got slow, was to simply keep one foot on the pedal and push off the ground with the other until the press of bodies lightened up enough and the movement picked up sufficient pace to begin to pedal again. Miraculously, clumsy old me had not a single problem colliding with anyone.

The ferry ride back over to Manhattan that morning was cccccOLD!! With a bike, one has to go down into the hold of the ferry where there is simply a hole on one end of the boat and one on the other end. We had wall to iron wall bodies & bikes with the gust of the ride billowing up through. No lights other than what the openings offered. I had a 30 min. glimmer of what it must have been like for our forefathers crammed into vessels riding over the oceans under what were horrible conditions. But I struck up conversation with some, did stretches, jumped up & down and kept moving to avoid chilling TOO much.

Rode a little way up into Manhattan when everything ground to a halt. The press of bodies and bikes just totally jammed the streets of Manhattan as far as the eye could see. This was most definitely the Day of the Bike!





Finally around 8:30 the ride kicked off!

Here we are approaching the official starting line:



As we crossed we could hear the announcer calling out all the countries that were represented in today's ride. Amazing places such as Japan! Australia!



Once we got underway there was a bit of stop & go getting through Manhattan. Not because of car traffic, as roads were shut down for the event, but again that amazing press of bodies and bikes! Central Park was a little tricky too as the path was somewhat narrow for all the cyclists involved and we had to share the road with our buddies the Runners! :-)

I wasn't able to get pictures of many stretches mostly because 1) I didn't dare stop and cause a multi-bike pile up! 2) I was too busy staying out of collisions with others and 3) I was having too much of a BLAST whizzing down highways and expressways which were shut down just for us bikes!

I couldn't believe we had the FDR expressway all to ourselves! After the stop & go nervousness of Manhattan I was ready to cut loose and ripped right along...woo hoo! Throughout the more open and speedy sections of the ride I hooked up with others who were looking to challenge themselves with some speed and followed the paths that they wove in & out of the slower cyclists. While in general, just like with cars the far right was open for the faster riders, sometimes groups would block the way and it got tricky to wind my way through. But that was sorta fun too. Loved it when I found some young serious cyclists, mostly men, but sometimes there were some wicked fast gals too!, I would tail them and take advantage of the trail they would blaze. And sometimes *I* did the blazin' for others too! :-)

The day's cycling wasn't too challenging from an elevation perspective. I could tell as I never had to shift my left gears below the third and highest gear. I would just adjust on the right to suit my needs. Even going up the bridges like the Queensboro or the Verrazano Narrows I managed to get up them at the bottom of my third gear. Now HEADWIND? There was some WICKED headwind on the Brooklyn-Queens expressway heading toward the Verrazano Narrows bridge...but I liked the challenge of PUSHING myself to see what kind of speed I could maintain despite the wind.

Here's some pics on the Queensboro bridge...shut down just for us cyclists like everything else that day! I never failed to appreciate having all this pavement under our wheels throughout the day! AMAZING!





It was cool riding up through Brooklyn seeing folks of all sorts out and cheering us on. A girl held her hand out to slap cyclists hands as we went by. A traditional Hasidic Jewish fellow with the tall stovepipe hat and long beard was clapping and cheering, another was taking pictures of us.

There was some pretty cool jazz going down at one of the rest stops:



And BANANAS! Holy MOLY there were enough bananas being given away and chowed down on it's a wonder everybody didn't start scratching at their armpits and start dragging their knuckles on the ground! :-)





One of the most frustrating portions of the ride was along the Brooklyn - Queens expressway when EVERYTHING ground to a halt. Nobody was going NOWHERE! Wall-to-wall bodies and bikes lining the expressway. I didn't clock it, but it felt like an awfully long time. The only thing I could figure was that perhaps they were in the process of closing down and clearing out the Verrazano Narrows Bridge before we could proceed. I tried to be as patient as I could and waited it out.

Expressway Traffic Jam:



Approaching Verrazano Narrows:





View from the top of Verrazano Narrows:





It was too dark to take pics of the riders as we were in the bottom / covered portion of the bridge.

Another bottle-neck occurred at the end of the ride as I was to meet DW at the ferry parking. ALL riders had to wait in line for the ferry, whether or not one needed to RIDE the ferry didn't matter. I just sighed and caught up with some conversation with some other cyclists. One from Maine, another from NJ who had a really cool looking Specialized, a model I didn't recognize the "Tarmac"...but it looked every bit the road bike on par with the Roubaix. A gal approached me and said "I like your bike!" Turned out she had the spitting image of my Specialized Tricross! She was from Boston.

Do I feel the ride was worthwhile? You bet! Will I return to do it again? Doubtful. Once you've done it, you've done it. On to bigger and better things! Would I recommend this ride to others? Depends on how much patience one has as this ride really puts one's patience to the test! I was able to appreciate the feat of pulling together SO many cyclists from 'round the globe that I could muster the patience...and I usually struggle with waiting in lines...! The close quarters cycling is a bit nerve-wracking also...but hey even *I* could manage without a mishap...so I'm betting most folks can.

One oversight: forgot the sunscreen! I'm toasted and glowing all over...yeouch!

Hoping everyone is off to a SPARKIN' week and that you can all cook up some wonderful schemes & dreams for yourselves to share with us here!

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRDPOLING 5/5/2011 2:56PM

    Having never been, does Manhattan make you feel small like I've heard?

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CBERGMAN4 5/5/2011 8:57AM

    That is awesome!!! My claustrophobia was starting to peak look ing at your pics, but they are wonderful!!! :) You did it!!!

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LADYGWEN25 5/5/2011 8:09AM

    WOW WOW WOW! is all i gotta say.. I will admidt to NOT reading all your blog totally because i had to just JUMP to the end here to comment..WOWZA!!! i want to do something like that!!!! Once i get my biking skills up to some hill levels.. I've been looking for bike rides like that to "conquer" to add to my running list on my sparkpage... running ones are easy to figure out what to do.. but bike rides..I'm finding are hard to find...Great work on a ride like that! :)

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NIKANN7493 5/5/2011 7:58AM

    What an amazing experience! Sounds like you had alot of fun! Last time visited NYC was in 1999, got to see the Statue of Liberty, Battery Park, WTC, went to a Sea Port Mall (forget the name) and took a Ferry to Liberty Park. Thank you for sharing your experience with us!

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DMGABBETT 5/3/2011 12:43PM

    Wow, Don - that was quite the experience...XLNT blog and report too!

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MEGA_MILES 5/3/2011 11:24AM

    Looks like a memorable experience, not one I'd like to have, but memorable none the less. Have I ever mentioned I hate crowds. I can't imagine those crowds on bikes. On the other hand I have learned to never say never. I have done more things in the past 10 months that I thought I'd never do. So maybe one day I'll try the 5 Boro tour. For now, I'll stick to the backwoods of central MA.

Thanks for the blog Don. Even if I never do it, I at least know about it. emoticon

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BAM-MA 5/3/2011 8:41AM

    What a GREAT EXPERIENCE! Kudos to our patience! Thanks SO MUCH for the pics. You do such a great job of filling us in! You really bring us along for the ride. Thank !

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JLITT62 5/3/2011 5:42AM

    What a picture perfect day for your ride - glad you shared it with us. Good job on no spills with that huge crowd!

We rode the ferry for our first time last May - cause DH can't get up early & didn't have the patience to wait in line for the Ellis island ferry (also never been there - yet).

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L*I*T*A* 5/2/2011 10:40PM

    emoticon emoticon

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FRECKS96 5/2/2011 10:34PM

    Wow! What an amazing experience. So glad you were able to enjoy most of it and really see the positive. Thanks for a wonderful story!

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WATERMELLEN 5/2/2011 9:31PM

    Great blog with great pics -- you make it possible to imagine being there!! And: you get the prize for patience, that's for sure!! Sounds like a real adventure but like you say: once might be enough!!

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CRAVINGLIFE 5/2/2011 9:16PM

    It's just cool to say you did it! Glad you made it through without any incidents. Thanks for the recap and pictures.

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OUTDOORGIRL69 5/2/2011 8:47PM

    Don.....

Thank you for your blog. It almost made me feel like I was riding right their with you. The pictures were great also.

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DAVEINSEOUL 5/2/2011 8:14PM

    This seems to almost be a bucket list item.

Don't know if I have the patience to ride with 32,000 cyclists however.

Great blog! Loved the pics!

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MISS_VIV 5/2/2011 8:11PM

    Excellent blog, super photog and OUT OF THIS WORLD PATIENCE.

You are a winner in the patience department.

Rock on.

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DAD2GETFIT 5/2/2011 7:40PM

    It sounds like a great time. You got at sky some really nice pictures too! That sky was really BLUE!

emoticon

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ACTIVE_AT_60 5/2/2011 7:34PM

    Wish I was there riding with you :-)

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IMIN2GENES 5/2/2011 7:23PM

    Thanks for sharing your awesome pics! It looks like you had fantastic time.

Way to go!
Chris
emoticon

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TRAVELGRRL 5/2/2011 7:09PM

    YOU ROCK~! What a great experience!!! Thanks for sharing your AWESOME PHOTOS!

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ZELLAZM 5/2/2011 6:59PM

    Fantastic report, Don! Almost felt like I was there myself. I continue to be amazed at your growing list of accomplishments!

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ELISOS 5/2/2011 6:57PM

    emoticon

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OLDERDANDRT 5/2/2011 6:54PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DAISYBELL6 5/2/2011 6:49PM

    What a really neat experience!

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VEEJAY3 5/2/2011 6:45PM

    I'm trying to imagine empty pavement ANYwhere in NYC. Amazing.

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REYVE01 5/2/2011 6:45PM

    Great Picture Blog... I bet the locals hated all the traffic.... Looks so fun. A healthy lifestyle looks like a lot of fun. emoticon

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STARLIGHT615 5/2/2011 6:39PM

    WOW looks like an amazing time you had.. Love the pictures!

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