Those Who did and Those who Didn’t: WOL gang first joint ride to Bear Mountain

Now you see we didn’t to start somewhere and finding a time to ride together was our first challenge.   We all agreed that  heading for the top of Bear Mountain was a worthwhile goal at this time.  So we picked a day:  Thursday July 27 and a time convenient to all.. 1 PM..  The start was quite exciting as we agreed to park and begin the ride in Palisade Park at  Englewood Cliffs Boat Basin.  Here we are  a fine bunch, for sure..  The weather was grey but the temperature pleasant and so soon we were pedaling away, enjoying the various rises and fall of the road.  We agreed to follow the 9W route, a decision that was practical but really not pleasant.  The traffic and the state of the road is rather annoying and as a rule Jim and I like better that way we use when we went in the past.

Oh well we managed to keep our smiles….  HUMMMM! until it started to drizzle and we (JIM and I ) turned weather sissy.   Eventually we decided to return to the grand chagrin of our  WOL comrades who undeterred by such light problem decided to keep on riding.    Jim and I turned around at the 29 miles marker and returned at our page, realizing in the process that we might have had hard time had we keep on with the others all the way to the top

The three of them kept their enthusiasm and smile and the pride of achieving the goal..  The drizzle never turn into rain which is a good thing for them and they managed to return right before sundown.  So  they ,  Jeff, Ilana and Steve are the hero who did it and Jim and I are the one who tried but did not…  Time will come for us, I am not worried about it.

 

When the wheel is turning but I stay in place: The joys of gym spinning

Preparation for a ride like WOL does not take weather into consideration. It is well known that rain or snow barely slow the determination of a dedicated cyclist..  Spinning indoor was invented to compensate for the uncertainties of outside climate.    “WE ARE NUTS” it is also well known and so while outside the rain was pouring like monsoon in Mumbai ,  inside I pedaled like mad in the mist of a dozen other “gym rats” . Music blaring over the speakers while the instructor did her best to drawn the sound with inspired directions.. a real circus

Old timers meet WOL virgins for preparation ride

Meet the Virgins: Jim, Ilana and I

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And then one of the wise “old timer” Steve.

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Now we had a few more “old timers ” to guide us today on a very fine, leisurely, preparatory ride that gave us opportunities to ride with experienced and welcoming people  who have participated in many previous  Wheels of Love events.  They know what it will take  and share their knowledge and wisdom freely.   All told , we had a pleasant Sunday ride.

Tougher than sharp climbs or bumpy roads : The roller coster of heavy emotions

 

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It sneaks on you, just when you don’t expect it.. Right when you feel spent at the edge of a very strong effort on the bike.. It may start below the heart as I pedal. somewhere deep inside the soul, a word , a tune, a flashing image of Michele so alive and full of hope and the emotions rock my being and within seconds I tremble.  The road no longer a solid ground below my wheels,  floating on sweat mixed with tears.. I yearn for her presence, almost crawling to a stand still. It has happened a few times already but the other day, as it happened once more, I raised my tear filled eyes to the sun,  and there majestic in the heaven, a magnificent spotted hawk was circling above me.  Yes! Right there, in the blue skies on top of the LIE service road and I was filled with the joy of a different presence.

Courage… What some do everyday with a smile.

WOL 2016 Swift & Bold syou see that smiling girl?  she is one that did the ride I plan to do… I heard her story. I got inspired and I thought to share it here for people to get inspired too.  See a terrible accident took her legs but not her desire to move and run.   The machine she rides makes up for what she misses but it is her courage and positive spirit that power the wheels her arms move forward.  I will be proud to wear the same jersey that is on her shoulders.  The support and encouragement you all give me fuel treatment of so many similar kids.

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105 days before Wheels of Love: Team Goyim on display today

We were there on time and awed by the size of the group, Jim and I decided to just go ahead on our own..  De facto  turning a lazy Sunday ride into a  Team Goyim training run..   ( we can smile at this point)  It just takes that, he and I pedaling together. Nothing more is needed, since the team is really just us.  Of course we professed wanting to just ride “cool and steady” but the first fast group that passed us, incited our reaction and we picked up the speed.  Before we knew, we were cruising at a fast pace, reaching back home at the same time as the Triangle sprinters.  Today’s mission accomplished.  We praised ourselves for being able to keep up with most group and made a note that soon our preparation will have to include longer outings.  I think we are ready for it.

Wet roads makes for soft riding. 105 days to the Wheels of Love

Bastille day is gone… We all had a good time at our house with an American style barbecue but french apple tart, curtesy of  Alexa. (not the Alexa from the amazon dot, but the real flesh and blood one). Early the night rain left the roads too wet to ride and wisely we decided to delay the start.  All groups gone ahead, it was up to Doug, Jim and I to soft pedal on a short ride..  Of course we picked it up when the fast men came blowing by on the way back.   (We held our own for a while and even attempted to keep up till the end).   Over the pond, the Tour de France travelled roads we skirted a few years back.  The memory of that trip and our adventures would make a number of very interesting posts, I am sure.  Let see if we can dig up a picture from that day in 2013Albi2013

The eve before they stormed “la bastille”

July 13th.. Fête des lampions.   On the bike today it was a run for the shade.   Turn left or right, no matter, as long as there were trees to go under we made the turns.  Sometimes I wonder the value of going  out in this weather. I better not ask around unless I want to hear ” You are nuts” for going.   Well in any case,  Gabriel and I, we did it.  Two abuelitos sin sombreros.  Elsewhere, the Tour de France racers, braved the Pyrenees mist and the 20% slopes.   Your contenders upsetting the “old guard”  It was fun to watch, but I can’t help thinking that just last year in Bagnères de Bigorre.   Michele and I watch the Tour together.. That thought bring a huge pinch to my heart.2016-07-10 11.47.13