Welcome to my very first blog and very first post! I am going to give you some background on myself as well as discuss what I hope to accomplish with this blog and my cycling in general.
As noted in the blog description, I had always loved biking when I was younger. My brother, Adam and two of our friends would bike to our town center everyday and every summer in our middle school and early high school years (until we could legally drive). I can still taste the Vanilla Coke's and slices of pizza we always got for lunch. Summer seemed to smell different in those days... Anyway, with biking everyday we all got really good at biking with no hands. I could even ride down the nearby culdesac, make the 180 degree turn around, and back with no hands. One thing that never seemed to get easier was this one hill on the way to town where we always took a rest at the top.
It has been since then that I haven't ridden a bike with any consistency. I am 25 years old and work for a construction firm as a project engineer. I moved into New York City 2 years ago and had always thought of riding a bike to work mostly to save money as the subway fees continue to rise. But I always thought 22 miles (to Queens and back) was too far in one day. What did I know!
Now I am only 3 miles from my office so I took my dad's hybrid Specialized Globe to the city for commuting in August. I was immediately reminded of those old biking days and fell back in love. So I decided to start biking! I took the hybrid for my first non-commute ride on August 11th for 16.82 miles around the Central Park loop averaging 11 mph. Needless to say I was hooked.
I continued to bike and increase my mileage each time I went out. I made a goal to bike a century in October. This was not in a race, but just something I wanted to see if I could do on my own. I set the date for Friday, October 16th and told family a friends which helped me stay committed. Also, before the century ride, I knew I wanted to do a major trip.... I was thinking a cross country trip on the TransAmerica bike trail. Again telling the world about it, I am committed. I also knew that the hybrid bike wouldn't cut it for centuries and tours. So before the century and through a lot of research I purchased a Surly Long Haul Trucker (in black) from my boys at NYC Velo. This is not a road bike, but a touring bike meant to handle heavy loads over long periods of time. Now I was even more excited to use my new toy!
The day of the century came and I completed it! I had trouble eating breakfast which definitely hindered my performance on the front half. Also my front derailleur got a little twisted at mile 26 which kept me stuck in the middle chain ring. If there was any one to be stuck in, at least it was the middle. I biked from my apartment in Manhattan to my parents home in CT... and back. It was a total of 100.27 miles and 8:03:21 hours ride time at a speed of 12.4 mph. I didn't plan this ride out, I just followed google maps which basically followed the ECG (East Coast Greenway).
Having this new accomplishment finished I am no longer intimidated by any ride. I look forward to my next century and after winter to my first tour (weekend trip to... somewhere). Also when the winter turns I will find a bike club to expand my knowledge and increase my skills.
Hopes for the Blog
Every day I ride I think about sharing my experiences with anyone who will listen.Well what better way than a blog! My hope is for most of my post to be funny and entertaining and even educational.
Mostly, I created this blog so I could document my cross-country tour. But maybe you will learn as I write this, I am very impatient. It is probably the tech age I grew up in and being able to have access and answers to everything right away that I just hate waiting. So instead of waiting, I'm writing.
I am big on researching anything before doing or purchasing that thing. Whether it was making the big purchase for a new bike or buying a new water bottle, I always want to make sure I am making a smart decision. The internet can be a blessing and a curse, for me at least, because it allows me to look up any question as opposed to going into a bike shop and probably learning something as well as getting my answer. Having said that, I will share my research, reviews, thoughts, questions, answers etc. here and maybe help a few people out with similar questions as I work my way from a novice to a veteran biker (cyclist? do we prefer a name? I'll figure that out too).
I hope everyone enjoys this blog as I know I am going to enjoy writing it.
Get on your bikes and ride!