Friday, June 1, 2012

A Nice Jersey Ride

New York City has a robust community of cyclists and a number of cycling clubs and groups. One of the most open and accessible ones I’ve seen is New York Cycle Club. Every spring, this group does a free course for beginners called C-Sig. Though it probably would have been invaluable, I didn’t participate in this because tri bikes are not allowed, and I wanted most of my riding to be on my new (not so new anymore) triathlon bike.

However, my good friend Geri and her boyfriend Dan did! And thanks to their efforts and patience, I was able to go for a ride with them this weekend across the George Washington Bridge (of which I have a minor phobia) and into New Jersey for a challenging ride.

We met on the bike path in Riverside Park near 72nd Street and headed up toward the bridge from there. Once we got to the bridge, I was confronted with the dreaded entrance ramp. To my surprise, it wasn't nearly as difficult to navigate as I remember. Once I made it past that, I just had the bridge to cross and that is exhilarating. I highly recommend it if you've never done it.

The exit is straightforward and we took a left, riding further south into New Jersey. I realized that I'd actually done parts of this route before during an MS Bike event back in 2010 and remembered it surprisingly well. The most difficult part was the hills, which was really valuable since the hills in Central Park aren't that bad. If I can find a map of the route, I'll post it.

By the time we arrived back into the city, we'd done a little over 30 miles, which meant I still had 4 loops of Central Park to do before I was done. I said bye to Geri and Dan and headed over to the park, where those four loops were much more difficult than they should have been. Still, though, I was really proud to get such a great ride in. There really is something great about riding with people. I don't think I would have enjoyed it nearly as much if I hadn't been riding with Geri and Dan. Thanks, guys!

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