So anyway, I didn't make it to the century mark. At the end of the day, my mileage count stood at 81 miles. It took me so long to hit 50 miles that I didn't make the checkpoint to get on the 100 mile loop extension. The ride around Manhattan was nice and easy, first time I ever saw the Columbia football field in Inwood. Riding into the Holland Tunnel was great, it felt like a wind tunnel and the speeds really picked up. Everyone was hollering and yelling going in, but once we hit the bottom / middle and had to start peddling to exit the tunnel we all went silent, all you could hear was heavy breathing and the chains working their way around the gears. The worst was the last of three or four hills between miles 35 - 50 from the George Washington Bridge to a restaurant called Kiku in Alpine. Not short hills, these hills spanned relatively long distances and were insanely steep with the last hill rising 600 feet over the course of a mile. Not a good thing for a cyclocross bike like mine that doesn't have a small gear in the front for steep climbs. I stupidly had too much pride to get off my bike for the first hill though half the field did so. I ended up cramping while riding the flat portion immediately after it and ended up having to get off the bike for the second hill halfway up. By the last hill I had to pause halfway up to let the lactic acid die down.
The food at the rest stops were great and as I mentioned before, there were free massages at the end of the ride. When I got to the front of the line, four masseur / masseuse opened up. Naturally I was hoping to get called to the beautiful masseuse stationed at the table closest to me. As luck would have it, I got my wish. But during the massage I realized I should have gone with the big black guy, she was too weak to really get the deep tissue stuff going. Whatever, she did enough to prevent a week's worth of aches and pain.
I need to start doing hill climbs, and I need another (smaller) sprocket on my bike. I also need Jake or Mike or whoever cycles to come on this tour with me so we can form our own mini-team and draft with each other. No team photos yet but here are some general photos others took. Photos 1, Photos 2, Photos 3, Solo photo 1, Solo photo 2.
In other news, Manu finished his marathon! Not a bad pace either!
Music: Amanda showed me some videos of this guy, pretty sick juggling with Queen music. Ended up listening to the best hits all day Friday. I have a certain affinity for Under Pressure, and Bicycle Race =D.