Let me start by saying I ended this past season as a B+ rider in great shape and riding faster than I ever had. I also had a bad fall in August you can read about in a previous post.
After a few months of occasional rides I found time for a long ride. In order to maximize my riding time I rode from Nyack to meet up with the Gran Fondo Training Ride starting at Strictly Bikes in Englewood.
I left Nyack at 7:30 Leaving what I thought would be more than enough time to arrive at Strictly Bikes before 9am. Today was a wet, warm and windy day. I dressed appropriately knee warmers and a windbreaker for the wind and wet. I felt good on the ride down 9W, even riding strong over tough hills near the start. Once I crossed the State line the wind picked up. I pushed on arriving at Strictly at 9:04 just before the C group pulled out. I stuffed a power bar in my mouth and headed out with the group.
As soon as we left Strictly I could tell I was in trouble. My legs were achy and I was pushing it to keep up with the group. Once we hit 9W it only got worse. I told the group to push on without and watched them quickly drop me and disappear down the road. This video clip sums it up perfectly.
Guess I can’t get by with the occasional ride and need to spend more time in trainer town.
Thanks for reading.
I had great summer of cycling. I snuck in rides whenever possible.
I left the house at 6am so I could ride before work. I rode Sundays with the Rockland Bicycling Club. I rode 100 miles in 95 degree weather. I even shipped my bike to California to sneak in a few miles while on vacation.
By the end of August I felt super strong. I went for my usual Sunday ride with Rockland Bicycling Club and it was my strongest ride ever. I averaged over 17 mph for the first 20 miles. I pushed the pace up hill at the front of the pace line. All the training I did over the summer was paying off.
When we hit the tough part of the ride climbing River Road in Alpine, I pushed it up the steeps then I saw 4 pedestrians taking up the road and went to go around them. I realized after I went around them I wasn’t on the road anymore. I then went over the handlebars and a rock broke my fall, ripping through my helmet cracking open my head.
My riding buddies saw me fall and called 911 and kept me calm until help arrived. As I lied on the ground with my head bleeding I remembered the important things. Asking if my bike was OK and having someone turn off my bike computer so I wouldn’t lose my ride data and that my road ID had all my contact info. My buddy Ian drew the short straw and got to call my wife and break the news to her. I’m not sure if he’s recovered from the call yet. Some scars don’t heal.
When the ambulance arrived, the paramedics put a collar on my neck placed me on a board and loaded me into the ambulance. They rushed me to the trauma center in Hackensack, NJ. It was the longest 20 minutes ever. I was strapped to a board unable to move staring at the ceiling. Once we arrived at the hospital they rushed me in. Again all I could do was stare at the ceiling as the lights flew by. Once inside they ripped off my clothes and wheeled me around naked. They took an X-Ray checked me for broken bones. Then I was sent for a cat scan of the head. When all was said and done I just had a cut on my head that required 18 stitches to close.
My helmet saved my life. It took the brunt of the impact. If I wasn’t wearing it, my injuries would of been much worse. I plan on keeping it as a reminder of my accident and as a teaching tool to remind people to wear their helmet when cycling.
Thanks for reading
This year I rode with my Brother N Law again. We arrived at the start later than planned and missed our place in the starting corral and were placed in the back with a few thousand other cyclists.
Once in the corral the music started and the announcer started yelling encouraging cycling words Such as keep it in the big ring . Then the music started and people started dancing over their bikes. Once it was time to start they sang the National anthem and sent us on our way.
It started raining just after the start, we put on our rain coats and continued on our way.
This year we were smart and controlled the adrenaline rush, keeping our pace in check. We took full advantage of the other riders sucking any wheel we could find. We skipped the Piermont rest stop and grabbed onto a large group and made good time into Nyack, where a smiling Dave Z was taking pictures.
We climbed fourth avenue made the right onto Broadway when a rider in front of me decided to slow down and turn right towards the side of the road. I braked, but wasn’t able to avoid him. I fell to the ground but not to hard. I got a little road rash below my knee but not to bad. Once I got up and checked the bike I noticed the front wheel was way out of true. We stopped at toga to get it fixed, but a bunch of other riders had the same idea. 40 minutes later we were back on our way. We pushed it a little to make up time, since we were know at the back of the pack. We skipped the Haverstraw rest stop and continued along the river.
We arrived at 7 lakes and started the long climb. It was like an obstacle course passing riders along the way. I think I said on your left more times during that climb than during my whole life. We made good time up Perkins, took a short brake and started the long wet descent. We took it slow going down. While descending Perkins a guy was taking the whole lane, on your left 4 or 5 times and he didn’t move. I finally went around him. As I was passing him I heard him speaking Italian, I guess he doesn’t speak English and the meaning of Left.
We made Once on 9W we picked up the pace, until we made the right onto Mott Farm Road, that was toughest climb of the day. We continued along and arrived at the next long climb. Gate Hill was were I realized all my training helped. Having ridden the climb a bunch of times this year. I knew where to push it and where to take it easy. We made quick work of it and headed towards the next climb, we made the right off Cal Hallow onto Woolf Road. We hammered the short steep climb and slowed down as the climb flattened out. Once at the top we had the next rest stop in sight, since it was only 3 miles away.
We crossed 202 onto Camp Hill. At Pomona Road the police told us the rest stop was near by, but the road was rough. I realized the man directing traffic wasn’t a police office, but was Town Supervisor Christoper St. Lawrence. Quite the surprise. Once we got onto Pomona we realized rough road was an understatement.
Their resurfacing Pomona Road and had removed the top layer of payment, but hadn’t repaved it yet. It was a mile of vibrating. At the rest stop my back started aching, thinking I was getting a cramp I drank extra water.
We took a break at the orchards for more substantial food and my back started to cramp up more. I decided to call it a day and stopped at the house. 20 minutes later I realized it wasn’t a back cramp and went to the ER. Turns out I have 2 kidney stones. I guess the rough road knocked them loose.
Besides a crash and Kidney Stones it was a great day and I’m planning to ride it again next year.