Monday, February 22, 2010

Monte's "death camp ride"

I started riding to High Point in the mid 90's. I was living in Greenwood Lake, N.Y. and with the beautiful Warwick valley just on the other side of the mountain, how could I resist? Of course back then I was a summertime roadie, didn't even know what a mountain bike was and didn't care. Hockey was my main sport and everything I did in the summer was to make the winter leagues and tournaments more enjoyable. I remember this ride being tough, and out of all the old loops I used to know this one survived in the memory banks. I would revisit this training loop at least once a year, often bringing "guests" along for the ride. This winter I bought a house near Wawayanda and started exploring some old road loops again, only this time on a singlespeed mountain bike. Why ride a mountain bike on the road? Because its effing cold and up these parts the roads are salted and sanded so heavily that skinny tires would have trouble. Plus I don't need to go as far. Let me explain. Last fall I did a 100 mile road ride (by myself) and covered that distance in 4hr 47m. I needed to do just about every loop in the northern N.J. area and not even accomplish a 5hr ride, The same ride on the SS would have taken close to 7hrs. That's if I could have averaged 15mph. Not a easy feat. This Saturdays ride was 5hrs on a 35x18 at 13mph av included the famous High Point hill climb and to add insult to injury the 5 mile climb up Brady Mountain (at times 17%) comes at the end of the ride. According to Jim from Pawling Cycle (he has a I phone) we climbed close to 6000ft.
So what should you take from this? I'll tell you. A bike is a bike, and in the winter as long as your pedaling your body doesn't know the difference. As a matter of fact most mountain bikers need to learn to ride more constant so you would think road miles would be good.
But then again, I'm just a dopey Singlespeeder...

Jim cresting the climb on Brady Mtn.
Some turned back early and hide their heads in shame

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