Sunday, November 4, 2007

A Nice Fall Ride

We had a Hurricane pass by on Saturday so it was not a good riding day. I saw a rider out on Laurel Ave in the afternoon and I thought about putting my riding clothes on and getting a short one in. I decided against it and went to the gym instead.

However, the great things about Hurricanes is that they usually leave some awesome weather in their wake. Today was a great day. I was looking at my Weather Bug to see what the temperature was going to be. As the the temps rose from the low to high 40s I decided it was time to get out on the road. I decided that if I left at 9 AM I would have plenty of time to build a good coffee base before heading out.

I bought some Polartec glove liners last on Monday so I knew my hands would stay warm. I also picked up a Under Armour Helmet Liner as well.

When I left the house the sun was shining and it was an A day. It got a little cold in the shade but once I got into the sun I could feel a sweat building up. I was actually thinking that I would not have minded if it was a little bit coulder.

I started out with my usual Holmdel - Marlboro - Colts Neck ride. When I get to Laird road I have decision to make. I can turn left and head back home (25 mile ride) or I can turn right and head out on to my 45 and 53 mile loop. I am actually bored with the ride up to Laird Road but there are some good climbs that I can really work.

Once I get out on to Rt 537 the route is relatively flat. The biggest climbs are the Garden State Parkway overpasses. As I was heading into Little Silver I decided that I would take Rt 520 into Sea Bright to see what the waves were like after the storm.

The photo above was taken from the Sea Bright bridge. This is really the only point that I can see the water. Once I go over the bridge and turn left on Rt 36 the view of the Atlantic is blocked by the massive sea wall that the US Corp of Engineers built to hold back the Ocean.

RT 36 heads north along the Jersey coast. I decide to enter Sandy Hook National Park for a little bit since I want to get a better look at the water. The surf fishers were out in force. I took a little self portrait. Not exactly the most flattering picture.

I got back on RT 36 and began the climb up Mt Mitchell overlook through Highlands, NJ. I have been doing this climb a lot and it is not as challenging as I expected. It is longer than the Holland Road climb but I do not think it is as hard. I think it is because I enjoy the drop down Ocean Blvd into Atlantic Highlands so much that I do not mind the climb.

I usually ride through Atlantic Highlands and up into Locust but I remember that the last time I road the bottom part of Navesink Road it was kind of rough since it was being prepared for resurfacing. Since the clouds were starting to roll in I decided to head back through Leonardo and Middletown.

I was returning back home on the lower part of Holland Road. Another rider on a Giant TCR with team decals came up behind me and kind of startled me. The rider apologized. I explained that I was just finishing up and I had zoned out for a brief moment. We talked for a few minutes. I was thinking of riding with him for a few more miles but I had a feeling that I was needed at home so I made a right on Laurel Ave road the last two miles home (the feeling was correct since my daughter wanted to go into Red Bank with one of her friends).

I did two sprints around the lake to make it an even 45 miles. I am think I might try to get a Century in before Winter sets in. I am thinking of riding my 50 mile loop twice. I would have to get up early on a Sunday to do it.

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