Tue 7 Apr 2009
Our rainy ride out to Bear Mountain started yesterday at noon on 1st and 1st – our usual meeting place. We were all ready for the rain, sort of ready anywayâ€¦
We made it all the way to the NJ/NY Bridge, just a few minutes away from Nyack, where Andy had mechanical breakdown #2 – a flat tire. We had allll day to get up to that mountain, so we were in no rush. We took some photos of Andy replacing his tire and headed to The Runcible Spoon (the cafÃ© in nyack geared mainly towards cyclists) where I hoped to show all the roadies how badass we are with our many pounds of gear…then I remembered that most other bikers wouldnâ€™t CHOOSE to go out on a day of 90% rain showers all-day-long.
We were the only ones thereâ€¦and the staff was awesome. They shut the door and put a heater next to our table so we could warm up and try to dry some of our now-soaked clothes. We stayed there for about 2 hours and then got back on the road.
We went over the many steep hills toward bear mountain and at the top of the steepest (so far), Andy and Ken waited (again) for me to arrive and then explained that Andyâ€™s crank arm was loose â€“ mechanical problem #3 â€“ and he needed to go back and find a bike shop. Ken and I decided to move on and meet him up the road a ways at the Stop & Shop where weâ€™d get food to cook for dinner.
Poor Andy road right by the bike shop and all the way back to Nyack to find that he didnâ€™t need to go back so far. Ken and I reached the Stop & Shop and sat on the bench outside watching the road, making sure Andy didnâ€™t pass by.
I learned many things on this 2-day Bear Mountain ride..
The first (you might know this already) â€“ Iâ€™m definitely not as strong as ken and Andy. The second â€“ they are really awesome, supportive, patient and in it for a good adventure.
When we got to the Stop & Shop, Ken was barely winded and I was beatâ€¦ needed to eat something and couldnâ€™t quite see straight. Ken asked the other person on the bench how far Bear Mountain was and she said something like bearwha? So THEN this megahandsome lumberjacktype guy walks up and saysâ€¦you guys trying to get to Bear Mountain? Iâ€™m just sitting there munching on a cliff bar, trying to sit up straight and Ken talks to him, getting directions. Iâ€™m staring, drooling probably, but not really listening. Ken later tells me that he was trying to act indifferent so the guy would talk directly to me, which he was, but I was too tired to really respond other than smile, I think. Anyway, he said that he works up at the mountain and then Iâ€™m pretty sure whispered something under his breath like â€“ damn, girl â€“ hotttttttt. But I couldnâ€™t quite hear.
Anyway. Andy shows up, ken and I run in the store and get dinner/breakfast/instant coffee and we hop back on our bikes to get to the campsite before dark. I donâ€™t know how far up it is to the campsite but something like 5-10 miles from the Stop & Shop. Lots of hills and then one really big hill that seems to go on forever… This is where me being much less strong than Ken and Andy comes in â€“ it took me forever. ..but it smelled and looked so good up there that as tired as I was, I was in such good spirits and so happy to be there. Finally I made it to the camp grounds sign, met up with the guys that were waiting for me and went in to find a place to set up the tent. The grounds were closed for the season, but the handsomelumberjackdude said that we should go anyway and no one would bother usâ€¦so we did. It was right on a lake, cold but gorgeous. We found a fairly flat, rock free spot in the woods and set up camp.
Getting out of wet spandex was AWESOME! Andy cooked dinner and it was amazing â€“ maybe wouldnâ€™t have tasted as good if I was home cooking it and not so tired, but really â€“ so good. Couscous with green peppers, onions and chicken bouillon! With dried fruit as an appetizer. Perfect.
There was lots of tossing and turning and I donâ€™t think any of us slept very well and Andy and I both froze, but still a success I think. However, waking up at 6 am to get Andy to work on time with wet clothes, high winds and really cold air suuuucks. Awesome in many ways, but more things I learned: donâ€™t bother trying to dry clothes over night when its cold and wet outside â€“ put your dry warm clothes in the tent so you donâ€™t have to go out and get them in the morning! OHâ€¦ and pee before I put my bib tights on. Cus taking off all my top layers when its that cold out is no fun.
We packed up our stuff, got back on the road â€“ miles of downhill â€“ and had some morning coffee at the cafÃ© in Nyack. The instant coffee that we bought was disgusting.
Andy took off shortly after and ken and I sat a bit longer as we had no place to be. Even so, we made it back to the city in just a couple hours â€“ amazing how much faster it is to get home than it is to get out there.
Iâ€™m not very good at the blog entry thing, might all just be rambling. Theyâ€™ll get shorter and sweeter.