The road alone not lonely

This day it was a decision easy made:  The group went right and I went left heading home alone but  my head full of familiar images and with songs ringing in my ears.  The feared rain never materialized and I was able to pick the roads I preferred.  I choose the shady ones rather than the usual return routes. I was curious to see if I might come across familiar groups heading out as I was rolling back to my starting point.  The final mileage hovered near the 50 miles marks, at moderate speed.  An exercise in steady riding.

Short but ….. hard.

Sometimes it is not how far you go but how long it take to get there that matter.  Today’s ride was only 31 short miles but for the sake of being back on time for the important “closing” and before the predicted “thunderstorms” broke open the heavens.   We were three to “Time Trial our way home” and we did it as well as we could..  The pain in my legs are there as a reminder that intensity is always a good variable in a challenging work out

Recovery for some, calvary for others

For sure perception of pain is not the same for every one.  Take today:  We went on the so called recovery ride.  A simple thing that turned out to be relaxing for the big guys and a challenging 54 miles for me.  The speed was OK, but I felt some of the fatigue so I know my body was working hard.  Our friend Gabriel went along with the whole group and for him, at time, it felt like it was too fast.  The forecast for the coming week is filled with warning of rain showers, so we may not be riding. At least our legs know they were supposed to recover.  I hope they did

Stolen Gold on friendly ride

The Gold Cost ride is 99.7 miles long.  It showcases the rich and famous neighborhoods of the North Shore of Nassau County, Long Island. It is a somewhat hilly ride and over the years we have done it before. It covers many of the roads we often use in training and we are all very familiar with the short cuts possibilities along the way.

So Today, after the hard ride of yesterday, it was only fitting we should cheat on the course.  Artie had time constrains. The heat made long ride not so attractive and rather to do the short “wall and back” with the Triangle Group,  a bunch of us :  (jeff sans Jim.. John and I , Artie and Doug.) decide to steal part of the marked road for the GC ride in order to complete a shady course of about 30 miles at conversation pace. Although we did pick up the speed at this end for a little bit of fun, we managed to enjoy a friendly ride.

Today marks 110 days to go before Wheels of Love

 

To each day its own goal

You would think that by now we know how to proceed.  Well … Riding bikes seems the easy part.  writing about it in a manner that show how much we must accomplish is quite as challenging as pacing oneself up a long hill.

Officially we have 112 days to get ready for the ride.  The plan is to gradually increase the effort, the mileage and get that tush accustomed to spend long hours in the saddle.  The way it sounds might confuse you to think the whole preparation thing is a bore.  Far from it.. Each miles we do, we try to make it fun.  We join other group and match their speed and endurance.. Jimmy and I often train separately and then enjoy challenging each other, measuring how we have progressed.

These days, nobody needs to train in isolation..  bike computers, training logs, cellphone apps, everything available contributes to make the participant feels connected.  I use Strava to keep track of my progress and share the date with other who understand the effort and are generous in providing feedback and motivation.

ANDRE’S WORLD OF WHEELS

ventouxrevisitedWelcome to my world:  stories and thoughts from the roads side

 

 

Michele was supposed to be the one that wrote.  Even  as I child, she giggled and got a kick just reading my writings.  She left a lot of her own  beautiful writings behind and we treasure them, but in some ways she edged me on, past my reluctance, to start writing and here, I am.

In her honor I will do this ride I always dreamed to cycle but never could.   It is an organized yearly event in Israel.  They call it a “challenge” and that suited me perfectly.  Besides the athletic demands, the ride called ” wheels of Love” is also a fund raiser for a special cause:  Support for ALYN children Hospital in Jerusalem.

The journey has begun:  When Michele passed away, I was already quite out of shape.  The demands in the years preceding her death robbed me of the courage and determination to keep riding or stay in good physical shape.  By January of 2017 when I brought her ashes to my parents grave in France, I barely could bend to tie my shoelaces. My heart felt broken even as I forced myself to make the best of that trip back home.  Jimmy who escorted me to Bagnères de Bigorre  bagneresdebigorreforfacebookde Bigorre, my home town, witnessed how I struggled to just keep up with him when we went skiing with my nephew Jean Pierre.

All along that trip, a voice was ringing in my soul.  It had Michele’s spirit within it and the message whispered to me as I stood at her bedside when her life was rapidly coming to its end:  “Dad you must live the life I won’t have a chance to enjoy”  These words became the mantra that fuel my new resolve: I would get in shape. I would do something that honor her spirit.   I must credit Jimmy was keeping the dream of someday participating in the Wheels of Love ride.  His insistence was the catalyst that firmed up the whole project.  With the enthusiastic support of Sue, my wife and our diminished family, i was soon on the way to get ready for the October 29 start of the ride.

First thing, I had to curb my appetite but not my spirits.   43 lbs to lose.  Thanks South Beach diet plan. That goal is achieved.  All through winter,  New York Sports Club in gave me the perfect setting for tuning my body as it got slimmer and soon i was pedaling gingerly on my bike.

By the end of March with the help of a few faithful cycle buddies like Jeff, John, jim and others, I got strong enough to be back training with the Little Neck triangle gang and the multi-clubs cycling group.  Past the getting in shape level, I am not in the real training phase:  The count down to the event is chiming on my training log.   To keep up the spirit, I stay focussed on steadily fundraising and if you have not heard me asking for assistance, don’t worry.  You will. In fact those of you who have not yet done so,  you can go now and visit my fundraising page on ALYN website.. Here is a simple link to do so:

http://www.wolusa.org/site/TR/Events/General?px=1052760&pg=personal&fr_id=1090

This is  a bit strange for me to be writing like this, but I have stories to tell and here might be the place to do it..  So indeed Welcome to my World of Wheels

Andre