I did it! I biked 100 miles this last Sunday! Whoooo Hooooo! I thought you might like to see some photos I took along the way. It was a great way to see the city. Over 5,000 riders participated and we rode through 4 boroughs.
I had a bit of a rough start. I'm one of those people that really needs about eight or more hours of sleep to be a happy camper and I couldn't fall asleep the night before the ride. It must have been my nerves. I think I only got about 4 hours of sleep! Yikes! This probably explains why I almost started crying while trying to put my front tire back on after taking it off to fit the bike in the car. I thought I lost one of the springs, but it was just snuggled inside of its matching spring. Oh, the drama!
We started at 6:30am at the north end of Central Park and rode down the west side of Manhattan, cut through the Village and rode downtown to cross the Brooklyn bridge. This is where I took a Joan's GF Great Bakes bagel break. Yum!
The first rest stop was at Prospect Park. Everyone else ate Krispy Kremes, but I didn't care because I packed along my own treats! I had made a bunch of Elana's Cinnamon Apple Muffins from her new cookbook to bring along and they were deelicious! They tasted like apple pie. So there, Krispy Kreme!
I was SO excited to pass by the sea lions on the way to the, uh, powder room.
This is on a boardwalk in Bay Ridge? I'm still smiling at this point and looking oh-so-fashionable. I'm pointing at the Statue of Liberty in the background.
We were heading in this direction.
I think this is looking behind us on the Belt Parkway.
My friend noticed that the Gu Brew was gluten-free!
I still didn't have any due to my corn allergy.
Most of the rest stops had plenty of bananas, oranges, plums and potato chips! I just skipped over the pita bread and hummus. Again, I had my own snacks: Joan's bagels, rice crackers, guacamole, Lara Bars, Elana's muffins, turkey, yellow pepper strips and cucumber chips.
Here is the view from riding over this bridge to Riis Park. I don't know the name of the bridge.
At one point we rounded a corner and were pleasantly surprised by this view!
It was so fun to see all of these giant kites! I felt like a little kid. The scene was complete with groovy music. The song Incense and Peppermints was playing.
The view looking back.
Sorry, I went a little crazy taking photos of the kites!
My friend Norb checking out the kites. Gives you a little perspective.
OK, I'll stop with the kite pics!
Oh, and I want you to know that nearing mile 50 we passed my house by about 3 blocks! Yeah, I thought about it. I was starting to hurt and wondering how I would make it another 50 miles.
At one point we ended up at the Kissena Park Velodrome (above). I was like, "What the heck is a velodrome?" Now I know.
This was around mile 60. It felt sooooo good to lie flat on your back! Your shoulders and neck get really sore from hunching over for so long. I chose to eat my snack lying down to maximize the time spent in this position.
This was where Norb, my friend's husband that rides this every year and insisted on riding with me even though I didn't want to drag him down, discovered that my tire was only about half full! I wouldn't have even checked it. NO WONDER I felt like I was riding a mountain bike!
Another view of the rest stop at some beautiful park in Queens. Too bad I don't know how to find it again!
Queens seemed to go on FOREVER! We went through a park called Alley Pond (?) that was really nice and had little bike trails through the woods. Eventually we ended up with this nice water view. We were nearing 70 miles and Norb noticed my tire was low in air again. He changed the tube for me. Sure enough there was a hole. So, I really couldn't have done this without him! THANK YOU, NORB!
[cue Wide World Of Sports music] This was the rest stop near the end of the 75 mile route. Would I make it another 25?!
Here's a view of the rest stop as we were about to leave. Again, I had NO IDEA where I was other than in Queens somewhere. At this point all of my energy was going towards pedaling and not thinking about anything else but the finish line.
When we got to the Throgs Neck Bridge (?) to cross over into the Bronx I looked up and there were about 20 million steps to carry your bike up. No problem, right? Uh, I got off of my bike and my knees felt like they were rusted! Seriously, I could barely withstand the pain of walking up or down the steps. Again, Norb came to the rescue. "Gimme the bike!",and he carried both of our bikes up the steps. Is that cheating?
So, we were up in the Bronx and the sun was starting to go down. (see above) Our odometers were both reading around 95 miles. The map showed that we needed to go all the way up to Van Cortlandt Park.
"Uh, how does that add up to just 100 miles?", I nervously asked Norb.
"Oh, these are always 8-12 miles over 100."
I almost started to cry.
"OK, I have an idea. Would it be wrong if we headed back to Central Park now and just made sure we still hit 100 miles exactly? I committed myself to ride 100 miles, not 100+ miles. This is evidently not like the marathon with the same mileage every year. Can you imagine if at the marathon they added a few more miles to the route?"
Norb said, "I think that is the voice of reason."
When we arrived at Central Park just a few points of a mile short of 100 miles it was around 7pm. There wasn't even a finish line to cross, they had taken it away! I didn't really care. I had finished! It took me about 13 hours, but I finished!!! I couldn't even think to take a photo until we got in the car. Here's the dashboard clock.
So, there you go. It was fun, and I saw interesting parts of the city I had never seen before, but I'm not so sure I'll do it again.
I'm not sure if I raised any money from this yet, so if you would like to make a contribution to the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University you still can, but with a twist. My friend David Marc Fischer of Gluten-Free NYC died shortly after I had announced this fundraiser. For now I'd actually rather you donate in his behalf instead of in regards to this ride. This way his dear mum will get a note about your kindness. If you did already donate, THANK YOU!
Here are the directions:
Donate to the Columbia University Celiac Disease Center online in David’s honor. Use the "Select a School or Division" drop down box, and select Celiac Disease Center. You will be able to specify on the next page that the gift is in memory of David Marc Fischer, and a note will be sent to the family.