Monday, June 25, 2007

Centuries, Nude Beaches and other musings

Sunday's ride was a variation of a long ride I took a couple of weeks ago. This time I did it by myself. I know the ride was a least 52 miles and I added to it a little bit. I was trying to go even further but I decided that I was about at my upper limit. I stopped at The Peddler and they were very busy. Kyle the original salesperson I spoke with when I went in to look at bikes was help two older gentlemen test ride a JAMIS. One of the customers asked me if I had ever done a century. I told him I would like to do one but it might be hard with a single gear. I think I can could make it but I might not be able to ride for a day or two afterwards.

One of the popular rides here in New Jersey is to go from Sandy Hook to Cape May which according to is 106.4 miles. It might be a little longer by bike since the Yahoo used the Garden State Parkway which does not allow bikes (not that you would want to ride a bike on it). This would be a really nice ride. Since the ride would follow the coast it would be pretty flat which would make it ideal for the Langster. Once I got there I would need to either get a ride back or find a hotel and hang out by the pool for a day or so before making the return ride.

On Sunday I was originally planning on riding through Sandy Hook. There is a really nice bike path that goes the whole length of the park. I think is 12 miles all the way around but I am not sure of the distance. I never got over to the park but I am off today and I might try to get over there. However, the weather does not look too promising. It was nice in the morning but clouds are rolling in and Weatherbug predicts a 50 % chance of showers.

When I first came to New Jersey I lived in Atlantic Highlands which is about 2 miles from the entrance of Sandy Hook. When I told my new coworkers where I had found an apartment they all started to tell me about the nude beach. Since I was new to both the job and the area I figured I as just being hazed so I did not really believe them. I started going down to Sandy Hook after work to run and I used to park at Lot H since this was part of a nice loop (I do not like out and back runs or rides). In the beginning I would get back in my car and go home but one day I decided to check out the beach and sure enough I found the nude (clothing optional actually) beach. Since this was early evening during the week it was not crowded but it was definitely clothing optional.

I am completely amazed that something like this exists in a public park. I think there had been some push back about it at one time but eventually the park accepted it. There are both lifeguards, snack shed and restrooms on the beach. I have been there once on the weekend and there is a large crowd there but I have never taken part since it is definitely not for me. In the past I have had coworkers who were regulars there.

There is a group that has taken on themselves to kind of set policy and make sure that the beach does not get closed down. They have setup rules which seem to be reasonable enough. They are called Friends of Gunnison Beach .

Since today is an unexpected day off I am hoping to be able to get a ride in. I had car problems on Friday evening. While I am not happy about the situation it could have been much worse. My car started in the parking lot in Princeton and I was able to make it all the way back to my house. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of tempting fate and going over to Rita's for an Italian Ice. The car started in the garage and I was able to get to Rita's. However, returning did not work out so well. I guess I had used the last start and I had to call AAA to get a tow. Since I had to pick up my daughter at 10:30 PM I was a little paniced. To make things worse the tow truck driver pulled my front bumper loose which just added to my frustration. I had an appointment with the dealer today anyways since the car has not been running well since the last time I was in a couple of weeks ago.

On a positive note, I did get home in time on Friday to get a 1 hour plus ride in. While I was sitting at the corner of Crawfords Corner Road and Holmdel Road (which is the base of a decent climb) waiting for traffic to clear a gentleman on a Colango passed me on Holmdel Road. By the time traffic cleared he was half way up the hill. However, I noticed that I was gaining ground so I got up out of the saddle and pushed up the hill. I was determined to catch him at the top. I think he knew I was behind him so he picked up the speed and I was not able to get him by the time I reach the top of the climb. However, I was able to catch up with him on the down hill. It is these little personal triumphs that make riding so much fun. I like seeing if I can catch riders who are a head of me.

I still have my eye on the weather. I may just risk it. When I was a kid I had a road bike with a Brooks Saddle (I am trying to remember brand but it was a Reynolds 531 frame that was made in France) and I got caught in a storm. I was riding down to Casenovia, NY when I got to the top of a hill and notice a storm coming. I turned around to try and out run it but I had no such luck. It was a down pour and since there was not shelter in site I had to ride it out. The saddle got so wet it lost its shape and was never the same again. Now that I am older I do not like riding in the rain.


brettok said...

Man, you're really racking up the miles on the Langster! The weather here hasn't been great, got 50km in on Sat, day off today, but the mountain bike is calling.

Flametop59 said...

I have been getting a lot of good rides in now that the weather is much nicer. I took today off from riding though. Hopefully I can get out of bed early enough to get a 60 minute ride in. It is getting too hot to ride after work right now.

I only hit me last week when I was reading your blog that it is Winter in New Zealand.