I remember looking at the weather app on my iPhone and seeing that it was going to be 59 degrees. I immediately looked at my calendar and saw that I was free for the morning. It was a perfect moment to get on the bike and push some pedals.

I spent an hour cleaning my bike and lubing my chain in preparation for the next day’s ride. When done, my bike was clean and beautiful

A Nice Clean Ride

When I woke up on Saturday, I prepared for my ride:

  1. Checked weather: Cloudy 52 degrees
  2. Got dressed: Adidas wickable tights, blue wickable long sleeve undershirt, bright highlighter yellow cycling jersey, helmet, and cycling shoes
  3. Pumped tires to 120 PSI
  4. Got some water with Nuun (hydration tablets)
  5. Apple Watch. I use this more than my cycling computer nowadays (except for really long rides)

Once I headed out the door, I noticed the streets were wet. I knew that as soon as I start pedaling, the bike was going to be filled with gunk and dirt. Such is the bike life!

I decided to ride from Maspeth to Central Park and back. This meant that I would take Grand St in Queens all the way to the Williamsburg Bridge. From there, I would loop around Battery Park and take the Hudson River bike path to 52nd Street. From there, I would head East towards 8th Avenue, then make my way to Central Park.

The streets were still wet so I didn’t want to ride too fast. I kept a consistent pace and slowed down on the down hills. The last thing I wanted to do was hit the ground and wreck my body and/or my bike. Safety is always first!

After going around the park once, I made my way East towards the Queensboro bridge. During the climb I started to feel the wind picking up making it difficult to ride. There are a few openings in the bike lane at the bridge that exist in case of emergencies (at least that’s what I believe). When I passed them, the wind would smack me on the side and would shift my bike to one side. It was crazy! I even saw people walking their bikes due to the wind.

I eventually made it past the bridge and headed home via the Queens Boulevard bike lane. Once at home, I ended my cycling workout on the Apple Watch and saw that I had cycled 28 miles. 2 miles short of what I expected. I was OK with that!

When I got off the bike, I saw how filthy it was. I decided to rinse it down with water from my water bottle and washed off the grime. I dried it with an old tshirt and went inside my apartment.

After taking off my cycling shoes and cycling jersey, I noticed a line of dirt and grime all over the back of my jersey. I immediately placed it in water mixed with Tide to hopefully remove the dirt and prevent stains. I took a shower and then made a fine cup of pour over coffee.

Though this was the first “true ride” of the year (I had a “leisure ride” on Jan 2), I noticed how sluggish I felt on the bike. This is the result of taking a month’s break from cycling. Hopefully, I get at least a ride or two a week during the winter. I don’t expect many 60 degree weather days, but I can make a better effort to ride in the cold. It’s not impossible, just a bit uncomfortable.