Weekend Roll: "I laid down on the bench and blacked out"
As we teased in this week's TWTW when spring weather suddenly arrived for a too brief 24-hour stretch this past weekend our minds immediately turned to riding distances much longer than reasonable with our current fitness (exacerbated by the fact that most of the team was due for a rest week). To put it simply: 70 degree weather and blue skies overruled any truly rational thought as we crafted a long day heading up to Harriman State Park to recon the upcoming Bear Mountain Classic course. With a route that included 7,000 odd feet of climbing and a group split evenly between climbers and sprinters we quickly got in a routine that involved myself, Clay and Seb riding in the autobus up the climbs where all sorts of nonsense was prone to happen as the ride went on (thanks for the bottles Tim):
Given we were stretching the bounds of our fitness, the fatigue really started to kick in somewhere around the midway point, especially for the Brooklyn crew that had an extra long day in store. Thankfully the weather remained in our favor as we cleared our biggest climb of the day at Gate Hill Road and hit Bear Mountain in absolutely spectacular conditions. Though the weather wasn't quite nice enough to convince the autobus to tackle the Tiorati climb - instead we choose to circle around the Bear Mountain course and meet our more vertical inclined brethern at Tiorati Beach.
The story got more interesting once we left Harriman - when the wheels started coming off the bus. We squeezed in a long stop at the Orchards to purchase deli supplies for a sandwich making / powdered doughnut consuming session but that wasn't quite enough for our entire squad as on the way home one of our number officially reached their outer limit and had to pull over on 9W, giving the memorable title that graces this weekend roll. Thankfully it turns out the buses that run along 9W serve as an extremely efficient (and affordable) bail out option when you absolutely cannot turn the pedals any further. As he further described it: "When i got on the bus I just laid down, helmet and sunglasses still on. After like 20 minutes of napping I realized a lady across the aisle from me was staring at me, clearly wondering if i was dead. So I took my glasses off and smiled at her and I feel like I looked like a crazy person." So if you wind up on one of those 9W buses with a bonked out and possibly dead cyclist, do not fear. Meanwhile the rest of our crew continued south where the Brooklyn crew would finish off with 120 odd miles and my jersey wound up looking like this:
We may have ended the day just a little bit fried but in the end there were zero regrets as we squeezed in what is hopefully the first of many long days in the saddle with the squad.