Saturday, May 30, 2015

Quick Century Before The Airport

Route: Home to Smithtown via 495 service road
Mileage: 100 miles

We wanted to get a ride in this weekend but Jen had to fly to Atlanta Saturday afternoon, so we got up bright and early to hit the road by 5am!  Jen found a cute breakfast place, Maureen's Kitchen, out in Smithtown 50 miles away.  We left 15 minutes late, and every minute counted to get Jen to the airport in time.  But man, it was a beautiful ride out there.  Something magical about riding so early in the morning.  However, Jen didn't factor in the early morning dew point and it made her knee ache from the get go.  As the barometer shifted, she started to feel better.  But a good lesson to learn before the bike trip.

We got to the restaurant and sat down pretty quickly.  Naturally, we ordered milkshakes, but as per usual, we weren't terribly hungry otherwise.  When we got to check, they said cash only!  What!?  We found ourselves 50 miles from home with no cash in a suburban area (no ATM at the bodega next door).  Luckily, Jen saw a CVS across the street on the way in--cash back baby! She ran over to buy a Snickers and get $40 cash back.  We settled our bill and back on the bike we went.  We were cutting it close timewise, but pushed a little extra hard and made it back with just enough time for a quick shower, calling an Uber, and out the door she went.  It was great to get 100 miles in despite her going out of town.  And the centuries are getting's a fun game of improving our time and pushing ourselves harder.  And it's so great to get to do it together.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day Ride/Parade

Route: Home to Great Neck via our favorite Greenway route
Mileage: 30 miles

Since we did 100 miles yesterday, we were a little sluggish today.  It felt good to get out again, but we both were not at the top of our game.  Keegan had to be back by the afternoon, so we decided to try and go back up to our quaint little area in Great Neck.  Jen was craving smoothies, so we hoped it would be open, but it was Memorial Day so we were skeptical.  Jen joked that maybe they'd get stuck because of a parade--but instead they found themselves part of one!  Clearly Great Neck was a patriotic little town and everywhere was closed, so we turned around and headed back.  We ended up stopping at a Korean place that had delicious bulgogi and fresh smoothies after all!  It was definitely harder than the day before, but have to keep training!  We got this!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

First Tandem Century Ride!

Route: Home to Kings Park via Greenway
Mileage: 100 miles baby!

Our goal for our ride to Florida is to be able to ride 100 miles per day.  We may not need to if we don't take a day off, but it's good to overtrain.  So we said, let's give it a whirl!  We found a cluster of restaurants in Kings Park so headed that direction.  We took a different route this time, our usual Greenway up past Bayside but instead of taking Northern Blvd Google Maps presented another option, a service road off to the side of 495.  We decided to try it and it was great!  Barely any traffic, the occasional light--really it was like our own separate bike path.  And it was relatively flat too!  Pretty amazing.

We ended up at a restaurant called Relish.  Guess what we got? Milkshakes!  Otherwise, we weren't really hungry even after 50 miles.  Weird.  We also made good time, did 50 miles in 3 hours.  We then headed back but took a different route on surface streets which was not as much fun.  It's really hard to start and stop the tandem, Keegan has to work extra hard to do so. Next time, we will stick with the service road.  As we got back close to home, we had to go through Flushing Meadow Park and it was Memorial Day weekend so it was crazy busy and hard to navigate our giant bike through the pedestrians.  But it felt really good to have our first tandem under our belt!  We both felt good and were ready for food when we got home!  Great first century!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sunday Brunch at RiverFish

Route: Home to Manorhaven & Sands Point Preserve via Greenway
Mileage: 45 miles

It has become our tradition to just Yelp a good restaurant in an area the approximate distance we wish to ride, and then just go there.  It is actually really fun and a great way to explore.  We've started to figure out a good route to Long Island, know the Greenway and the turns to take to get there, and even our preferred route despite what the Google Maps lady tries to tell us. We bike through all sorts of neighborhoods--suburbia--that we never new existed in our "backyard".

We ended up picking a restaurant that is apparently part of a docking area up in Manorhaven called RiverFish.  They were having a bustling Sunday brunch going on there with live music, we always come in looking sweaty and disheveled but we make it work.  We sat outside and had a nice lunch and because they forgot part of our order--FREE GELATO!  Yum.

We then rode over to Sands Point Preserve since it seemed to be a highlight of the area, but when they wanted $8 entrance fee even by bicycle, we said nah and headed home.  We are starting to get this tandem thing down, and try to make time at least once a weekend for it.  Jen had just returned from Georgia the night before and had to work on Monday, but hopefully soon we will get in more rides on the weekends.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Jaunt up to Great Neck

Route: Home to Great Neck via the Greenway
Mileage: 30 miles

We were exhausted after a long night the night before but wanted to go for at least a short ride.  We looked up a good restaurant about 15 miles out and originally found an Indian restaurant on Northern Blvd, but it's such a busy road.  A road branched off in the distance so we decided to try that, and with the help of Yelp we found a great place, Burger Village, which had a large selection of milkshakes and organic free range meats!  We had a lovely time and
found a lovely new Greenway for miles leading out into Long Island.  This tandem is going to take us on so many journeys! We are also quite the sight, giant blue bicycle blasting out music through our bluetooth speaker we have secured in one of the water bottle holders.  Now our directions and tunes play loud and clear!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Steve's Birthday Tour

Route: Circumnavigated the Hudson River, up West Side bike path, across George Washington Bridge, down through NJ and PATH train back to NYC.
Mileage: 30 miles

Today we set out for a birthday ride for Mr. Steve "the tux" Mazzucchi!  We started off by meeting at his apartment in Chelsea where Fabs again demonstrated his German-ness by being oh so punctual and the first to arrive.  We then waiting on Guiseppe and Pete to arrive.  Pete brought up the rear but had a great excuse (this time!)--he made fresh warm gooey brownies, which have become a bike tour tradition.  With goodies in tow, we set out on our ride.

We were quite the bike gang, Steve in his yellow tux on a single speed that might as well have not had brakes, Pete with his bag full of fresh brownie, Guiseppe in spandex on his mountain bike, us on our tandem and Fabs holding down the pedestrian look.  It was great fun.  My stomach hurt so badly from laughing at Pete giving his mental play-by-play of Steve's scary descent down the hills of NJ.  We had hoped to take the ferry bake from NJ to downtown manhattan but apparently the ferry doesn't run on the weekends, so we took the PATH train.  It was a super fun day, even if it wasn't too hard a workout--we clearly could out pedal the others ;)

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Picking Up Our New Tandem!

Route: Pompton Plains, NJ to Downtown Manhattan and back home
Mileage: 40 miles

Well they couldn't help themselves.  They had too much fun on their borrowed tandem last weekend that they had to buy their own! Jen went on craigslist midweek and found someone selling a beautiful custom handmade tandem bike in NJ.  She contacted the seller, Percy, and they agreed she and Keegan could pick it up over the weekend.  It was actually quite simple to get there.  They took a bus out of Port Authority that went almost to Percy's house.  It couldn't have been easier.  They switched out the pedals and hopped on to give it a test spin.  The components were amazing and it rode much smoother (and no ghost shifting!) compared to George's prized vintage tandem, but it didn't have a rear disc brake, so was harder to stop.  Keegan didn't think it would be too much of a problem, so we bought it!  Percy was a big cyclist himself, so before we left he showed us his massive collection of bikes from road bikes to mountain bikes to another tandem he rides with his wife.

We adjusted the seats and off we went!  It wasn't before long that Jen realized that the seat she was sitting on was super uncomfortable.  It because almost unbearable.  She had on padded shorts, but still, the seat was a convex in shape and she could barely take it.  When they stopped for lunch, Keegan chivalrously offered to switch, and he did.  Although he, too, quickly learned of its discomfort and when we got home we immediately swapped out that seat!!

But lunch was lovely, we stopped at a cute diner on the way back.  As per usual, we got milkshakes among other things.  We didn't dally too long as we were on our way to meet friends at the NYC Bike Expo.  So we saddled back up and rode through some fun bike paths in NJ to get home.  Jen puts Google Maps on her phone and let's the nice lady tell them turn by turn directions.  It makes it so easy to navigate, much easier than turn sheets.

We met Steve, Pete, Courtney, Fabian and Guiseppe at the Bike Expo.  We poked around but no major purchases.  We bought a bunch of tubes, but that was about it.  The rest of the crowd went out afterwards but we headed home, on our new blue baby!  :)