This was the big 100 miles challenge. A well organized, multi-level ride called Escape NY on Saturday September 16 starting in Manhattan to Harriman’s Park and back through the back roads of Rockland and Bergen counties in New York and New Jersey. This was a long dreamed about challenge that was going to test Jim and I readiness for the Wheels of Love ride. Well, the dream almost turned into a nightmare when disasters and misgivings seemed happen and prevent us from riding. Up early, I was delayed at home by my dog acting out and requiring fast intervention. Yeah, no further comments on that. Then, even though it was just 6 am on a Saturday, the grand central was bumper to bumper due to some pretty horrific accident near Laguardia Airport. Finally able to move on that is when I realized I that in my haste to leave on time, I forgot my sport bag with all the necessary cycling elements: bike shoes, gloves, and helmet. Needless to say we hightailed back to my house and now scrambled to find an alternate route to the ride start on the upper west side. Well various attempts failed to yield a good way and we arrived too late to join the group doing the 100 miles route. Still hopeful we might be able to complete it, on our own, in time before they close the route, we set out to get our registration bands. We did what we could to at least make the start of the 65 miles route. Unfortunately, due to some complications we missed that start time too. Don’t ask.
I must admit that all of us at one point or another thought of calling it a day and go home, but verbally we encouraged each other and it was the undeterred enthusiasm of Boris who believe we could catch up to the group that lead us to finally get ready to take the road. Our troubles were not yet completely over as we made a few untimely wrong turns. Shortly after crossing the GWB to New Jersey, we lost Jeff at some intersection. As it turned out, he followed a group of cyclists, not part of our ride. We ended up separated in spite of frantic efforts on the phone to guide him to where we could reconnect down the road. Finally, after the first rest stop at the 25 miles marker, we backtracked and found him 5 miles down the road. Together again the 4 of us, we put our best foot forward, determined to not let anything prevent us from having a good time and enjoying what was really a very well designed and extremely pleasant ride, graced by great weather and really dynamic organization. Our troubles and misgiving finally behind us, we completed 75 of the 100 miles route, returning in time to enjoy the food and the welcome party. Smiles on faces and proud we had truly Escaped and conquered all adversities thrown our way. Tired for sure but satisfied with the overall performance in what finally turned out to be our longest training ride so far