Sandy Hook Bay, along a scenic trail of packed gravel, originally uploaded by Shane Beake
I met four other Cyclepaths today (Dov K., Howard, Roy and Shane) at the usual start. I was a minute late for our early morning start. I didn’t check the temperature, but it was well below freezing. The forecast said it was going to be 28. My fingers stung. I’m not sure my gloves were doing the trick. I tried to keep my weight off my hands, to improve circulation. This meant, of course, less control over the bike, so I tended to hang back from the group.
This winter I have survived the first six weeks of what I call “The Eating Season.” A treacherous stretch from Halloween candy through Super Bowl chips and dip, with Thanksgiving turkey and holiday Peppermint Stick ice cream in between, this can lead to 10 pounds just like that. Indeed, that’s what happened last year. I theorize that part of that gain was just me still feeling cold from the Endless Mountains 1240 in early October. I plan to talk more about these residual effects of long brevets in a future post.
This morning, though, I met the scale at 165 pounds, only two pounds above my weight during the summer. That’s a good thing in many ways, but not for insulation on a cold morning. That 10-pound sweater comes in handy at times. I have really had a hard time on sub-freezing rides this month.
But the sun came out, the temperature crawled above 32, and lizardlike, I began to feel better. We glided along the Henry Hudson trail in the Bayshore section of Monmouth County, past the closed Keansburg Amusement Park and down a particularly beautiful gravel section of the trail along Sandy Hook Bay.
Although the ride ended with a faster pacelining stretch back home, what sticks with me was the fun of just riding through new terrain and sightseeing. That’s what got me interested in riding bikes as a kid. In that respect, at least, the kid is still there.