Any ol' hoo, I flipped my weekend by getting my work done on Saturday & riding on Sunday. Our first order of business was to try out the bike paths we recently discovered going through Latourette Park. First we rode to the far end of it on the street, out past Costco on the corner of Richmond Avenue & Forest Hill Road. We rode it all the way to Rockland Ave., then doubled back to the fork to follow it down to St. Andrews Church in Richmondtown. It's interesting in that it goes from fairly thick woods (for Staten Island) to golf course & back again, & we saw a duck & what Paul said was a beaver (I only heard it, but it scared the shit out of me) right off the bat. But hands down, its overwhelming characteristic is that it's made of very fine gravel over dirt. Compared with a paved road, it's like the difference between running on sand vs. grass. It was probably worse for Paul since his tires are much thinner & less grippy than mine. We had to pedal DOWNHILL. It was EXHAUSTING. But it was pretty early on, and between the gravel & the hills we were really feeling proud of ourselves, and ready to conquer more of the Island.
We chose not to ride down the foot of Snake Hill (duh - I'm afraid to DRIVE there), but walked our bikes through Historic Richmondtown to Clarke Ave. From there, we rode to North Railroad, where Paul checked to GPS to get his bearings & never noticed that right at his feet was a dead cat curled up in a box. I'm really glad he didn't have to see it. It seemed like it was in a comfortable position when it died, at least.
So we rode the railroad pretty much the whole way, stopped at Lee's so I could use the bathroom, & pressed on to Old Town Road. Somewhere around there we were riding up a hill that Paul didn't have the necessary momentum to get over (I had raced past him to build it up). He said, "Give me 5 minutes?" though of course it didn't take that long: he coasted back down to the base & rode back up while I hummed "Gonna Fly Now" in my head.
About two blocks from there, we had to stop. I mean both of us. My legs were on fire. We sat by a tree on West Fingerboard Road near Tacoma Street. Then we took that to Steuben, to Hylan Blvd., to Edgewater, and rode along the water.
Windy! Chilly! And my legs were still EXHAUSTED! I got up the incline at the end of Front Street & wanted to pat myself on the back, but instead yelled "Fuck!" as I realized I still had to get over the Hannah St. Bridge.
We made it as far as the Esplanade across the Terrace from St. Peter's Girls, and then we had to take another break. We sat there for 10 - 15 minutes before we finally rode home.
Now for the goocher. Paul estimates the total length of our ride: 23 miles. TWENTY-THREE. That makes it the shortest ride we've taken in weeks; we usually do at least 26. I guess the gravel & hills just fucked us. But since the 5-Borough is 46 miles... I'm slightly concerned.
Speaking of, we got our info packets w/ vests & helmet stickers in the mail today. Gotta get my training on, I guess.