Monday, September 9, 2013

Welcome to Brookyn

Yesterday was the NYC Century   It is a wonderful event where people get to go on a 15 to 100 mile bike ride through the streets and parks of NYC.
Yea, we ware gonna give these guys some space.

When I met my teammates for our group run I had to ask one of the participants what their route was so we could avoid them.  Since sharing the Brooklyn Bridge bike/path was not going to be so much fun we altered our route.  We decided to run along East River on Brooklyn waterfront till it became the Queens waterfront. Then we crossed the river on the Queenboro  59th St Koch Bridge and took the train back to Brooklyn.  It was a fun run and most people don't go for a bike ride when I have a race.

It reminded me that I did the NYC Century back int he late '90s.  I was in pretty good shape back then as I was preparing to run a 3:58 marathon.  One of the guys I worked with told me about the bike tour. "Mike, you like these outdoorsie things, you should do The Century.  I do it every year."  This guy was not is such great shape but he rode his bike a lot, so I figured that if he could do it, I could do it.

It was fun.  But what I remember the most were the aid stations.  Ya see, I was used to (and kinda expecting)  what the New York Road Runners provided.  Ya know, water, sports drink, maybe a candy  power bar.  No, a hundred miles on a bike takes most people all day and they needed to provide food.  But Transportation Alternative is not an athletic club, they are a political/advocacy organization.

Their food model was a little different.  We started in Central park (at 5am) and stopped at each zoo in NYC to eat.  The first stop was the Bronx Zoo for breakfast, there was a truckload of oranges.  If my memory serves me correctly we had PP&J sandwiches on Randal's Island and I think the Queens Zoo was sponsored by Krispy Kreme.  At about mile 80 we got to the Aquarium in Coney Island.  At that point I was mostly exhausted and covered in NYC road and far behind the lead bikes.  The fluid consisted of a hose hanging from a fence.  OK, we all had water bottle.  But the "food" was hummus.  It was served in out of a 5 gallon bucket into paper bowls by a dude sitting on a 5 gallon bucket.  There was no bread.  There was not spoons or forks.  When I asked if there were any eating tools, the guy on the bucket say "We ran out of that stuff, but we have a case of Charms Blow Pops.

So I sat on the curb, behind the whale tank and pushed hummus into my mouth with a lollipop.  I actually felt sorry for the people who did not have any hummus.  It hit the spot.

Then it's getting dark and I am back in Prospect Park at mile 97. I really did not see the point of riding back into Manhattan to make this a 104.5 mile Century so I do an extra loop and go home and take 2 showers.

The next day I limp into my office and shake my friends hand "I had no idea how much work it is to ride a hundred miles, it is as much work as running a marathon."  He looks up says, "What are you kidding, I can't ride a hundred miles, I always take the 30 mile cut off"  I looked around for the Candid Camera.

1 comment:

  1. Ha ha ha, that's the thing with the Century Ride, you can opt out at various points along the road.


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