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
When I woke up on Saturday, I prepared for my ride:
- Checked weather: Cloudy 52 degrees
- Got dressed: Adidas wickable tights, blue wickable long sleeve undershirt, bright highlighter yellow cycling jersey, helmet, and cycling shoes
- Pumped tires to 120 PSI
- Got some water with Nuun (hydration tablets)
- 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.