I Can’t Ride 55

Not yesterday, at least, but the season has just begun.

It could not have been a lovelier day for the Tour de Staten Island. Monty and I left home at 6:15 am and rode to the ferry, where we found a few other Bromptoneers who had arranged (via Strava and Facebook) to meet.

Everything I needed fit into the Carradice bag, so I left the Mini O at home – one less thing to wrangle, I figured.

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We rallied the Brompton troops at the start. That’s John and Newton on the left; on the right, Peter of NYCeWheels and David. Not shown is Peter’s pal Abel, and I’m kicking myself for not taking a pic of the (non-Brompton) bike they were riding: a long orange affair, with a seat on which Abel faced backward, leaving Peter to pedal while he played DJ with a large and gratifyingly loud speaker.

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It was fun, and motivating, to bop along to Michael Jackson, Steppenwolf (!) and other musical legends while we rode.

By the time we reached the first rest area, I was rethinking my plan to do the 55-mile route. It was a good call: 35 miles were quite challenging enough, thank you. There were lots of hills – mostly the deceptively gentle ones that seem to go on forever – and the roads were in serious disrepair. Twice I had to dismount and walk a block or two. I need to work on improving leg strength or I’ll never make it up and over the Verrazano Bridge at next month’s Five Boro.

The ride’s highlights, for me, were Fresh Kills Park, a carless 5-mile stretch, and the FDR Boardwalk, a wide paved path that runs along the water.  I took hardly any photos, but did stop for this shot on the beach.

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And this view of Manhattan.

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Near the end, while I was catching my breath at a stoplight, an acquaintance who’d watched me walk up a hill said, “Your bike could have handled that!” Any power deficiency was in the rider, not the bike, I told him. Sigh.

It was a good start to the season. And a wakeup call that I need to work harder between these long rides in order to get the most out of them.

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About Unfolded NYC

I live in Manhattan with a husband, two cats and a Brompton M6L named Monty. Contact me: unfoldednyc at gmail dot com (you know what to do)
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2 Responses to I Can’t Ride 55

  1. pinked says:

    Oh no! I’m worried because I’ve been traveling so much for work I haven’t even done my 5-mile-each-way commute! I don’t know how I will survive the 5 Boro. Which wave were you assigned to? I got the first wave and I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing given my lack of preparation!

  2. Unfolded NYC says:

    I had no trouble with last year’s Five Boro. It’s mostly flat, except for the climb up the Verrazano. You’ll do fine!

    I’m assigned to Start 2.

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