Sunday, June 10, 2007

Long Saturday Ride (June 9,2007)

I rode 52 miles on the Langster on Saturday. I know the distance because I was riding with someone who had a computer. It has been a long time since I have gone on a ride with another rider. It was a great change of pace. However, since I had never rode with this person before I concerned that I was not going to meet expectations. Was the pace to slow or the course not challenging enough?

Of course since I had made plans and had to be on a schedule the moon and the stars conspired against me. We were out of coffee filters so I had to run to the store and get more. I had decided to wash my riding clothes but they were still damp so I had to use my backups. By the time the coffee was made I was already late so I left the house without a single sip of coffee. My stomach was not yet accepting food so I left the house without my normal caffeine load and an empty stomach (luckily I had kind of pigged out the night before).

The course we followed was the combination of two of the rides I have taken over the past week. The first part of the ride stayed in Holmdel. We originally had a false start since I had forgot to check the air in my tires and we returned to fix the situation. We started out the ride with a first climb up Holland Road. This is the first time I have gone this way (usually take a parallel road that has less traffic on it). This hill has two climbs. The first climb looks like it would be the easiest but is actuall the hardest since you cannot pick up any momentum before the climb begins. By the time I got to the top I was feeling the resistance. After reaching the top the the road sort of makes like a roller coaster and it is possible to get a good head of steam in preparation for the next longer segment of the climb.

As much as I enjoy climbing it is always nice to get to the top and get a nice downhill spin. I am not as good on the down hills since I have the fear factor working against me. Since bikes are regulated to the side of the road which is usually in poor condition it is pretty scary to be flying down a steep hill trying to avoid the pot holes. If there are not cars coming I try and get in the middle of the road. This worked out really well on one downhill later in the ride.

Other than a couple of rolling hills the next couple of miles were relatively flat. The back gates to Lucent were closed so we had to go around. The first 10 miles or so were spent in Holmdel township. Now that we had warmed up we were ready to take on some challenges. So we made our way over to the top of Navesink River Road. As I mentioned in a previous posting, start Navesink River Road at Rt 35 is probably much easier than starting it at the Oceanic Bridge. However, with that said it still has some challenging climbs and is very narrow in certain places.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Navesink River Road it is a 5 or 6 mile road in Middletown, NJ that is lined with multi-million dollar homes that either back up to or overlook the Navesink River. This area looks nothing like how many people picture New Jersey. The view is truly spectacular.

The ride down Navesink River was fun. However, I made use of my helmet (I am now wearing a helmet when I ride) when I did not see a tree limb until it was hitting me in the head. Actually, I never saw the limb since I was in the middle of one of the hard climbs. I just felt it smack my helmet. I am not sure how I missed it but it was on one of the narrow parts of the road. I will have to pay better attention on my next ride.

For the rest of the ride we went over the Oceanic Bridge and then up Front Street through Rumson, Fair Haven and Red Bank. We took Broad St. to RT 520 and then jumped on Seven Bridges into Oceanport and then we made our way to Long Branch.

By the way, I think one of the final scenes in tonight's Sopranos episode is going to take place in Long Branch. The first time I went to the Peddler to look for a bike in the early Spring they were filming in the neighborhood next to the Peddler. When I was making a u-turn I was behind a truck with filled with these stands that I think are called grips. I see them all the time when I walk past movie shoots in NY. The road next to the Peddler was closed and when I pulled into the parking lot I could see all of the equipment setup in the neighborhood. I eventually put two and two together. I confirmed it by doing a google search. I am looking forward to tonight's final episode. I read a spoiler not too long ago and so far it has been right.

Through Long Branch we rode along RT 36 until we came to the south end of the boardwalk and then we rode up along the ocean. We had a steady head wind which made the flat ride a little more challenging. The die hard beach goers were starting to show up for the day. The water look very inviting but I suspect it is still cold. The only person in the water was a young girl with her boogie board. She looked like she was having fun. It really was not a great beach day but these were definitely the die hards.

Now we were on the final push. We rode up Rt 36 through Monmouth Beach and Sea Bright (the location of the Tony Soprano summer home that he ended up backing out of) and then back through Rumson, Fair Haven, Red Bank and then setup for the final climbs back to the our start/finish area.

All in all it was a great ride. I am hoping to get another ride in today but I do not think it will be as long.

I do not have any pictures since I decided not to bring my camera at the last minute.


Anonymous said...

sounds like a good ride. Its good to be in shape and be able to do these rides. toesnap

brettok said...

That's a decent distance on one gear! I didn't get out on the Langster on the weekend, had a big night out on Sat. But I have changed my crank to a Shimano 105 with an FSA 44 tooth ring.... looks hot. Bigger gear better on flats and downhills (fixed), but a bit more painful going up.

Flametop59 said...

When I was looking at bikes I had originally decided on the Cannondale Capo but it had 48 crank which I figured would be a little too big for the climbs. The Langster just seemed to be right out of the box. However, I could use a bigger gear on the down hills.

I still have my eye on the Langster Comp. The Peddler has a 54 which would fit me. I just do not want to ruin the looks by putting a front brake on. I checked it out on Saturday and it is drilled for a break. In any case I am going to wait for the summer.

Time for the final episode of the Sopranos!!