This morning Drew and I got up and putzed around for a little bit this morning and then I pumped up our bike tires so that we could hit the road. This was Drew's first bike ride of the year and I was starting him out with a ride to New Jersey. I should mention that it's less than 9 miles from our apartment over the George Washington Bridge and into New Jersey. I mentioned to Drew's sister that we were going on this bike ride and she said that it sounded really far away. It's not.
We rode up the Westside Bike Path to 95th Street and from there rode up Riverside Drive until the turn off for the bridge. Today was a big day for me because the first time I went to New Jersey, someone had warned me that the hill going up 165th Street might be a little steep for my first time. So, today was the first time that I ever rode up that hill. I know it's not that bad (and I realize it now having done it), but it seemed like a big accomplishment just to know that I can do it.
We got onto the bridge and rode into New Jersey. Our plan was not to go too far, but instead to just go to the Palisades Park. You ride down a hill into the Park and then it's pretty much downhill from there to the Marina. Which was great for me because it meant that we'd have to climb back up if we wanted to get home! When we got to the Marina, Drew made a quick pit stop and had one of his bars that he'd brought along as a snack (I snuck a bite or two). Then we headed back up the hills!
I will admit, I am not fast uphill. But I can make it just fine. And I did it all in my middle gear. I like to think that this gives me some leeway for San Francisco. I still have my granny gear as a back-up and I also can stand up if I need to. Drew thinks I should really practice standing up, and he's probably right, but I really like digging deep and pedaling myself uphill while sitting down. Something about standing up makes me feel all wobbly on my bike, which isn't a great feeling. I will practice this before the race, though.
As we were heading home and making our way off the George Washington Bridge, Drew took a little spill on his bike. For those of you who have never ridden here, the ramp up to the bridge is maybe 4 feet wide - just barely enough clearance for two bikes to pass each other. And half-way up the ramp (or down the ramp, as the case may be here), there is a hairpin turn. I was still coming off the actual bridge, so I looked down and thought, "oh, that's weird, did Drew drop something?" because I saw him leaning down on the ramp and pick something up.
Turns out that at the turn, he wasn't going fast enough and because he was basically stopped, he just pretty much fell over. And he did in fact drop something - his Balance Bar had fallen out of his Bento Box. Luckily, since he wasn't really going fast (or at all) he only came away with some scraped up knees:
On our way home, we made a stop at Toga. Drew had a big purchase to make and I needed them to check out my front brake. The brakes were working fine on my bike, but the whole mechanism was a little loose so from time to time one of the brake pads would rub on my wheel. Luckily, that was like a 2 minute fix!
Drew's purchase turned out to be a bit lengthier time-wise. He got cycling shoes!
They're pretty much my same shoes, except for boys and his shoes have a lot more red than mine do. Of course, the new shoes meant that he had to get new pedals as well, so it took the bike shop a while to switch out his pedals. While we were waiting for them to switch the pedals on his bike, he used the pedals on my bike to practice clipping in and out. By the time he got on his bike, he was an old pro at the clipping in and out and was ready to head home!
I think we had gone about two blocks before we were stopped at a stop light and Drew stuck his brand new left shoe into some road tar! Luckily he noticed it right away and it was totally fine, but it was definitely good for a laugh (or maybe two!).
After we got home, he spent the rest of the afternoon saying how much he likes his new shoes, so it seems like it was a good purchase for him! He's got a lofty mileage goal for this year on the bike, so we'll see if these new shoes inspire him to get out and ride a lot. I'm hoping it does. It's really nice to have company!
Distance: ~20.0 miles
Pace: 10.65 MPH
Maximum HR: 169
Average HR: 135
We Survived Cannon Falls Duathlon!
1 day ago