Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ride... fail.

Failed attempt at the summit of Bear Mountain. Ice/snow on Perkins Drive.

This morning I decided to tackle my first long ride of the season. In my opinion, one of the best "self-supported" centuries one could do in the NYC area is a ride from Central Park to the summit of Bear Mountain. It's a rolling century with approximately 7000 feet of climbing, the bulk of it at Bear Mountain which is a 1300 foot climb over 4.5 miles (400m over 7.2km, for you metric speaking folk).

What I thought was going to be a great day turned into a rather difficult ride.

First, when I started out this morning, it was all of 28 degrees outside my apartment. My water bottle started to freeze about 30 minutes into the ride. From there on, things just started to go wrong. What went wrong?
  • Well, I got to Bear Mountain (frozen water bottles and all) and started the ascent up Perkins Drive. About 1/2 of a mile from the top, the road was still covered in snow and ice. Foiled. Summit attempt fail.
  • On the way down, the wind really chilled me. And I made the mistake of not spinning my legs. Predictably, they started to tighten up in the 35 degree temperatures and by the time I hit the first minor climb, my leg cramped up something fierce. Left quad fail.
  • I misjudged the wide variation in temperatures that I'd encounter during the ride (28 to 51F) and ended up bonking because I wasn't hydrating as well as I should have been. Cardiovascular system and gluconeogenesis fail.
  • I was supposed to get home for a 3pm social "engagement." Because of the succession of failures, that didn't happen. Timing fail.
  • And finally, when I rolled my bike into my apartment, I realized that my front brake had been contacting the rim. I have no idea how long this was going on for. Brake fail. Cyclist being in tune with his machine fail.
Well, at least the scenery was nice. I'm going to grab a beer and crash in front of my TV.

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