- Saturday, May 8, 2021
- 8AB98.4100% ChallengeRobert Panzera
Background on the 100% Challenge.
Rob, the ride leader, is riding this as part of his fundraising effort for The Padres Pedal The Cause 100% Challenge. It's a virtual event taking place on May 8. You don't have to sign up for the fundraiser to do this ride, but if you want to sign up and raise some funds, or if you just want to donate, here's the link: Sign In. Basically, I'm looking for company on this brutal route as I raise funds for chairty.
About The Ride
This route will sharpen sharp knives and blunt dull knives further. So come with your wits about you and be ready for a tough challenge and a day filled with adventure. It's listed as a B ride, but honestly, this route is so tough (including some dirt/gravel roads in Putnam) that we may end up closer to 13mph at the finish.
Memorial Park in Nyack is listed as the start, but I'll try to get that changed to Boxer Donut in Nyack. Need to fuel up before we hit the road!
We'll start by heading up ye olde usual route through Rockland County via the Hudson River coast through Stony Point, and then cruise up the brand spanking new bike path that connects Jones Point and Iona Island. What a beauty this piece of cycling infrastructure is, avoiding the high speed traffic that climbs over Dunderburg on the way to Bear Mountain.
Then over the Bear Mountain bridge into Putnam County and the gravel extravaganza begins. The dirt/gravel sections are shown as yellow route lines on the RWGPS file. Personally, I'll be riding my rim brake bike (aluminum rims) and 700x25 tires. Others might prefer 700x28s and disc brakes. If you are unsure of what equipment to use, I suggest you check out the dirt/gravel sections prior to coming to this ride.
After tackling the Putnam dirt/gravel and almost tickling the bottom of Dutchess County, we are heading south into Westchester County where the hits just keep on coming. The route through Westchester is mainly on quiet backroads that go up and down and up and down and up and down. You'll find no mercy or road rhythm here, but you will enjoy some stunning scenery while you ask yourself, "Why am I doing this to myself?" and cursing under your breath, "Rob is just plain evil." A side treat: the New Croton Dam. The Dam may be busy with pedestrians and tourists, but it's worth the views. After that, we'll cruise by the Quaker Bridge, which is one of the oldest (possibly the oldest) metal Pratt truss style bridges in daily use in Westchester County, built in 1894. You'll soon be on the downward slide as you reach Sleepy Hollow Rd. Once up and over and out of the trees, it's through Tarrytown on onto the Blue Highway of Salvation a.k.a. the Shared Use Path on the Mario Cuomo Bridge.
Back to Nyack to tell tall tales and lies from the road. If COVID allows, we shall have beer ... somewhere! To the victors, belong the beverages, huzzah!
Regrouping is listed as "Occasional" and will be ad-hoc, but we'll make sure no one misses turns, unless they try really hard to miss turns. I know some of you like to be sneaky no matter how vigilant we are. Also, although I have not marked out rest stops on the route as of writing this snappy description, I plan on adding a few set rest stops to the online route--likely stops at gas stations, convenience stores, and possibly a cafe (if COVID allows) and we can all agree to keep it under 30 minutes.
We are riding to enjoy this route, have some laughs, suffer and build esprit de corps, but also we have to be vigilant about dilly-dallying and work to get it done. At ~14 mph, we'll be out there for about 7+ hours, so pack plenty of food in your pockets and eat while we roll or when we regroup. We'll keep stops short and snappy to keep the rubber on our tires hot. The ride motto will be "Oh man, this hurts, but hey, I'm on my bike all day, so there's that."
Will I see you at the start? I hope so. Should you start training now for the ride? Yes, yes, please do. In fact, the earlier you read this description, the better the chance you have of timely training to survive the route.
Onward to victory!
- Saturday, June 19, 2021
- 5AB200Summer Solstice: Ride To The Rip (And Back)Robert Panzera
We Are Going MEGA For The (Almost) Summer Solstice
Let's ride from Nyack to the Rip Van Winkle Bridge connecting Hudson and Catskill, NY, and then back. 200 miles of fun in the sun. If you are reading this ride description, start training now for this double century!
This is slated for a 5am start, so we can maximize riding in the daylight. For the ride date of 6/19/2021:
Twilight = 4:49:29 am
Sunrise = 5:23:08 am
Sunset = 8:31:26 pm
Twilight = 9:05:05 pm
Total daylight hours = 15:08:18
I know, I know, it's very early, but hey man, the early bike rider gets the cake.
We'll pedal up the west side of the Hudson avoiding Route 9W as much as possible once we leave Rockland County, but sticking close to the river. Rolling through west shore towns of Cornwall, Newburgh, Marlboro, Milton, Kingston, Saugerties, and Catskill. Then over the Rip Van Winkle Bridge and down the east shore avoiding Route 9 as much as possible. Rolling through the towns of Germantown, Tivoli, Bard College, Rhinebeck, Poughkeepsie, Wappingers Falls, Beacon, Cold Spring, Peekskill, Crotonville, Ossining, and Tarrytown. Then back over the Hudson on the Shared Use Path. Shouldn't be crowded because it will be late in the day. Wow! What an adventure, huh?!
Some history of The Rip Van Winkle Bridge, a cantilever bridge spanning the Hudson River between Hudson and Catskill, NY. The structure carries NY 23 across the river, connecting US 9W and NY 385 on the west side with NY 9G on the east side. The bridge is named after the 1819 short story of the same name by Washington Irving, which mentions Hudson and Catskill. The bridge was built by the newly created New York State Bridge Authority, opening on July 2, 1935, at a cost of $2.4 million ($44,760,000 with inflation). A multi-year repainting project was completed in 2009 which removed all lead-based paint.
Pace & Regroups
This ride is listed as B pace, but we'll ere on the lower end of 14mph, because it's 200 miles. Yowsa! Regroups are listed as "Occasional", but we'll ride as a pack on flat and rolling terrain to maximize drafting and chances of surviving the distance, slowing to regroup over larger hills. I have not yet but will add rest stops to the online route (convenience stores, gas stations) and likely a lunch stop (cafe). The lunch stop will be short and sweet, under 30 min, so the rubber on our tires doesn't go cold. Come prepared to ride with abbreviated stops, so we don't get trapped riding in the dark on the tail end.
200 miles are equal to 11001000 miles in binary. All those ones and zeros can't be that bad, no?
200 miles are equal to C8 miles in hexadecimal. Surely, you can handle C8 miles! I mean, who couldn't?
While you need to come to this ride correct, we will surely have an esprit de corps to help us all through the fun times, the crazy times, and the bad times. We will all go through lots of physical, mental, and emotional cycles, but we'll do this together. A rising tide lifts all boats, or rolling rubber propels all bikes, or something like that. Think of this ride as the good old days from your childhood, when you'd leave your house in the morning to hang out with the local kids and then spend the entire day outside getting into adventures until the sun went down. On the flip side, if your childhood was bad (sorry to hear about that), don't think about that and just focus on how good you have it now being a member of the best bike club in the known universe, the Rockland Bicycling Club.
Only Want To Ride Halfway? We Have A Solution!
Maybe you only want to ride one way and have a loved (and/or captured) relative pick you up in Catskill, NY (the halfway point) for lunch? That's an option too, if you want to personally arrange it. My suggestion is to trick a loved one with this line, "Hey, the summer solstice is coming up. Let's do something together and celebrate! Do you want to take a ride in the country on June 19?" If they say yes, then you say, "Ok. I'll ride my bike and you drive to meet me in Catskill, and it will be so lovely, then we'll have such a fantastic lunch together, then drive home together in bliss." This is fool proof conversation, so stick to the script.
Anyone Want To Volunteer To Drive SAG Support?
The best way to ensure Plan A goes well is to have a Plan B. While a SAG vehicle will not be necessary, it never hurts. Anyone want to volunteer spending the whole day stalking the pack in their vehicle? I'd cover your gas, snacks, lunch/dinner, plus give you the following to carry: tools, tubes and tires, pump, energy bars and gels, water, and other snacks. It'll be a long day of slow driving, but hey, you'll be out in the country enjoying the Hudson Valley fresh air and you'll be the most important member of the team! Contact me direct at Sign In if you want to drive SAG.
Onward to victory!