Monday, May 19, 2008


So yesterday I rode the Montauk Century - a hundred mile ride from Babylon, NY to the end of Long Island. It's a totally high-tech, more-than-all-day affair. I left my house at 3 a.m. and hopped the subway to Penn station, put my bike on a truck and took the Long Island Railroad to Babylon with a zillion other underslept, bleary-eyed, excited bikers. Then I picked up my bike in Babylon, rode the whole way to the end of Long Island, took a shower in a totally magical shower truck, put my bike back on a truck, got back on the train, picked up my bike again at Penn Station, and got home again at 11 p.m. Long day, no?

I'm really bad at writing about bike rides, especially the day after when I still feel kind of stupid with endorphins. Stupid in a good way -- slowed down and a little bit sore and a wee bit sunburned - I slathered my shoulders when I changed into my sleeveless jersey, but I missed a spot on each side, so today I've got ouchy pink wings on my back - d'oh! The ride was pretty great. I averaged 13 miles an hour, rest stops included. The south shore of Long Island is mercifully flat, except for some little rolly hills at the end - hardly any changing gears, just go, go, go... A few times I got picked up by some speedy groups zooming along at 22 miles an hour, and a couple other times I got stuck in a slow clump of team-in-training folks hamming it up for their camera truck, so it all evened out. It was sunny most of the time, but got cold and clammy at the end. My spirits were pretty good throughout - I talked to lots of people and yelled wheee! a few times and sang a couple songs, but I was still totally glad to reach the finish without bonking and just in time to not get rained on.

Nature highlights - A white heron flew over me on the outskirts of one of the cute towns in the Hamptons with its neck all squiggly. I'm such a new yorker now that I had to google "white s-neck bird" to figure out what it was I'd seen. Nature low-lights - cases and cases of bottled water, and not even a pretense of recycling! Boo! Spigots are good for the earth, or at least way less bad than giving three thousand bicyclists nine thousand plastic bottles! (Yes, I know trucking my bike the entire length of Long Island kind of negates the whole one-less-car mentality, but still.) Nature low-light number two: Gu packets galore. Just put them pack in your pocket, dorks! Grrr!


Dan said...

yay you!

Gina said...

Whoo Hoo! Way to go!
:-) Gina

Emily said...

That sounds like a great day!! I'm sure the views were really nice the whole time-- and glad you had good weather. Its better to have it cold at the end when you are all motivated to finish than in the middle or something.
If the bird was extremely white and not grayish it was probably an egret, which is a kind of heron. They are really lovely and sort of smaller than the other herons. I am not much of a birder except for the large water birds... of which I am a tremendous fan. I could watch an egret wander around in a marsh all day.
Super jealous!!