Sunday, April 25, 2010

Century Training - Week 6; Day 6

Day: 6
Ride: Pace
Route: Combination of hills, flats and city traffic
Scheduled Mileage: 53
Actual Mileage: 54.86
Average Speed: 12.7 mph
Max Speed: 26.7 mph
*Includes city street speed average

Average BPM: 143
Max BPM: 174
Calories: 1889

Central Park at nine o'clock in the morning was full of wonderful sounds. A beautiful wailing violin when I passed the East Drive entrance to The Mall on each lap. The cheer from Little League baseball games in the North Meadows. The brief chime of pedicab bells. The clip clop of horseshoes, followed by the rickety scrape of carriages on the pavement. The hum of light, breathy conversations between joggers and other cyclists.

After three laps, I exited the park on West 59th Street and pedaled north on the Hudson River. I reached the 25-mile mark under the George Washington Bridge so I took a break next to the little red lighthouse that inspired this children's book. There are two short hills near the George Washington Bridge that deserve mention because the sharp incline will kick your ass and shoot your heartrate up to the 170s within seconds. After eating a Clif Bar energy bar, I continued north for another mile, attacking those hills, before turning around and heading toward Battery Park and the South Street Seaport at the bottom of Manhattan. The diversity of my first half-century might best and most easily be depicted by the following photos.
Central Park in the morning

Riverside Park on the Upper West Side

West Harlem
 
Along the Amtrak lines to Penn Station

Looking south on the Hudson River under the GW Bridge

Along the Hudson River in Inwood

Little League baseball in the shadow of the West Side Highway


Cruising up Third Avenue in Gramercy Flatiron

Hit a street fair at East 23rd Street and cut over to First Avenue

Central Park in the afternoon
 
It's still incredible to me that all the above photos were taken with twelve miles of each other.

For the sake of pace, target heart rate and maximum calorie burn, I could have finished my first half-century in a lot less time if I hadn't gone all Dora The Explorer on mi bicicleta in Downtown Manhattan. But I found a second wind while heading north on First Avenue, keeping speed with the traffic and weaving in and out of lanes when necessary. I meant to pause along 34th and 42nd Streets and take photos looking west toward the Empire State and Chrysler buildings, but the next time I peeked at the street signs passing overhead, I was suddenly at East 70th Street.

Though the Upper East Side is generally more posh than other neighborhoods, I'm always surprised when the streets aren't paved in gold - considering how the cast members of reality TV shows like The Real Housewives of New York City and High Society make their tiny world, which virtually exists within less than a 20-block radius, seem larger than life. I often wonder if these masters of the universe ever realize how small their world really is and how little it truly impacts the deeper, diverse and more culturally rich nature of New York City, dwindling though it may be at the hands of inflated real estate value and of the trite and contrived. Do the people in those worlds ever form genuine relationships or are all of the "friendships" simply networking opportunities with agendas? But I digress.

I was shocked at how good I felt when I re-entered Central Park at West 90th Street along the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. I tackled the Harlem Hill for a fourth time just to feel like I was rounding out my 53 miles with a real workout - since I had broken pace for so many photo opportunities throughout the morning. Exiting the park at Columbus Circle, I cruised down Broadway through Times Square, made a right and I was home.

1 comment:

Helen Steussy said...

Amazing that you went 54 miles and took all those great photos!