Wandering Until (Mostly) Lost
For most racers the season is built around structure. A training regime constructed of intervals and watts and suffering predicated upon the greater goal of building form. Of getting fast. On those days when it all comes together – the legs turning over, the speed coming easily – it is a terrific reward for all of the structure.
But for me, as a rider, my most memorable days are not the big mid-season races, but the stress free days after the season has concluded. The days when peak form is fading fast but still lingers, permitting that extra bit of a kick on an otherwise slow, adventure focused ride.
With a rare empty late October weekend on the calendar we loaded up our car with bikes, camping gear and dog in pursuit of one such slow ride. Our destination was Bear Mountain / Harriman State Park. Much like our misadventures in the California backcountry earlier in the year (when we feared being stranded on the bike and out of contact with civilization) our journey began with minimal sense of duration or direction. Though thanks to plenty of time at Harriman for the CRCA Bear Mountain Spring Classic we were confident we wouldn’t wind up too lost.
However as you mind expect a few miles into our ride we started turning down every side road, gravel path or dirt trail we could find. Many of them were more appropriate for a CX bike than our road bikes and a fair share led to dead-ends or eventually became impassible. Thankfully we were never more than marginally lost and despite the u-turns and a side trip up a sketchy fire tower (worth it for the incredible views) we still managed to cover about 25 miles on roads, paths and trails. Of course it’s worth mentioning that it it took us well over three hours to do so. While our pace may have been slow, with an excess of #foliagebro it still made for one of our best rides ever – and all less than an hour from New York City.
Route: Somewhere around here