What makes an epic ride? Today, I had many of the things occur which would make it an epic ride. I rode about 150 miles total, climbed over 14,000ft, rode in 90+ temps most the day with very high humidity, got stung by some sort of critter two times, got caught in three thunderstorms in the afternoon at various times, and did I mention the climbing? O, yeah, I guess I did.
Today was a brutal ride. I actually cheated and cut it about 40 miles short by taking a Metro North train back to the city. I was that beat. The climbing coupled with the heat really did a number on me. I went through nearly 8 liters of water.
I was a zombie on the train. My lungs were aggravated from hammering the last 10 miles so I would not miss the train and be stuck waiting another hour for the next one. I considered making a public announcement to the car I was in. I seriously thought about standing up and asking, begging, offering to buy anyone's sweet, sugary drink and any food that was NOT a protein bar or the liquid diet crap I had been sustaining myself on for the past 10 hours. There was a woman drinking Welch's grape juice a few rows down. I eyed it enviously.
The ride started out great in the morning. I quickly met up with a threesome that were hammering and doing the drafting rotation. I squeezed my way in and rode with them all the way to Bear Mountain. It turns out they were all ex-professional racers from Europe. They were all in their early to late 40s. They thought I was crazy. I thought they were crazy. They took me on some roads I had never seen before and it should be noted they were gluttons for punishment like me. They seemed to squeeze every foot of elevation gain out of the roads they could find. With them, I tacked on an extra 6 miles to bear mountain and also a few thousand feet of extra climbing. FUN!
After the 4.5 mile Bear Mtn. climb we parted ways and I headed off north to my parents house. A brutal ~50 miles consisting of nearly all climbing. The heat started to drive in to my head. Do weird things. Telling me to stop riding. Take it easy, bro, why don't you just stay at your parents house and have some nice cold ones and some good food. Finish the ride tomorrow. No! I made it to their place, to their surprise, and basically did a pit stop. Wolfed down a burger, drank all their orange juice, and high tailed it outta there with the goal of making it to a train station to get back to NYC.
And that puts us back up to the previous paragraphs. An epic ride.