I decided to take a decent longish ride today as the late July NYC weather was perfect (low humidity, sunny with poofy clouds, high in the low 80s) & Maggie had the kids. Today, July 30th, really was about the best day weather-wise in NYC during July.
My planned route was as follows:
Go across the Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn; then go up the west side bike/jogging path; cross the Hudson River via the George Washington Bridge; and finally cruise the famous 9W route to Nyack or Piermont. The return route was to be basically the same except I’d ride part of the way south through Manhattan on Riverside Drive.
Now here’s the funny thing, today for the first time I wore my new “Dopers Suck" Twin Six jersey (it’s not a new jersey I know as it’s been around awhile). It arrived last night with a couple of others and it seemed like the jersey to wear as I’ve really become disillusioned with the hypocrisy of Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) in sports (MLB, NFL, Track & Field, etc.) in general, and particularly in professional cycling (more to come on this soon). Cheating is cheating full stop. That said, I understand friends who say they should just go ahead allow athletes use them although in my my opinion it’s kinda an ethically grey area.
Anyway so I was off just before noon. Not mile one into my ride I get asked about my "Dopers Suck" jersey while waiting at the stop light at Smith and Atlantic Avenue. A nice guy on a hybrid pulls up and asked, "Hey, so you think all the pro riders are dopers?" I kinda chuckled and said, "Well a lot of them are, particularly the good ones since the 90s. It’s a dirty sport but it’s no different than the NFL or MLB. I mean a 300 lb. guy who can run a 100 in 10.4 is just not natural.” We laughed, the light turned green, and off I went.
The ride was great although I was worried about my legs as I was riding north on 9W. They didn’t seem to have “get up and go” power so I ate a Clif Shot mocha and a Clif Shot Bloks and got on with it (I forgot I rode hard Thursday morning in Prospect Park with the “grupetto" peloton). I rode out to the Piermont Marsh that is really a jetty that goes midway into the Hudson River. Then I had a quick lunch at Bunburry’s Coffee Shop in Piermont. Apparently Lance Armstrong stopped there once and really liked the scones. The “Dopers Suck” jersey got funny looks from other cyclists at the coffee shop, especially the guy wearing an Astana jersey. Whatever.
I started back and hit the 9W hills. Decided not to kill it as the Thai chicken wrap from Bunburry’s was kinda bubbling in my belly. Went slow on the steeper inclines but when I hit the flats in between I took off and hit good cruising speeds (+20 mph).
The rest of the ride was great but uneventful except for the spectacular weather.
In Chinatown on Grand a tourist yelled out, “Yeah Dopers Suck!” I couldn’t turn around or stop as it was crazy crowded touristy Chinatown and I just wanted to get home. When I was home washing my bike on the stoop, a random dude walking by stopped and said earnestly, “Excuse me, Dopers Suck. What are you referring to?” “Performance Enhancing Drugs - in sports, you know,” I responded. He gave me a nod and walked on. Maybe he was thinking about other drugs and their abuse which is bad of course. Or maybe he thought I was a random Park Slope douche wearing a stupid jersey. Whatever. It still was weird. That was the 3rd or 4th reaction that I got from wearing the jersey.
Still it was a great ride - my second favorite long ride of Summer 2010. My favorite was riding to the end of the road on Padre Island, Texas, with my bro-in-law Pablo. Nothing beats jumping in the ocean when you are hot.
Here are the computer ride details: 4 hours, 16 minutes of riding, 169 max heart beats/minute, 143 avg heart beats/minute, 3070 calories burned (I still have a gut :P), 63.3 miles, 14.9 avg speed (includes lots of slow city riding), 34.8 max speed.
Off to the showers!