Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Brooklyn Bridge to Coney Island Memorial ride

The best thing about memorial day is that its a public holiday in the US and it marks the start of the summer. For 2012 me and some mates took a quick jaunt down to Coney Island to take in the cycle lanes that go past the Verrazano Bridge (read Staten Island bridge) in the blazing summer sun.

Its an easy route, through Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Red Hook before we get onto the cycle lanes which takes us down into Coney. Check the google route here: http://goo.gl/maps/xcNP

Only a few hours but the sun was strong so I now sport some touchy sunburn on my nose, arms and knees! Need to watch for that when I am on the TransAm.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tour de Brooklyn in 10 days

This will be my first time on the Tour de Brooklyn. This looks like a calm and relaxing way to see the borough of Kings. I can't imagine that it will be strenuous but it will be an interesting 21.5 miles. Bring it on! And at on $10 for non Transport Alternative members - a bargain.

Sign up now, it starts at 9.30am on Sunday June 3rd.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Trek 520 in my hands baby!

Whoop, just picked up my Trek 520 touring bike. A swift lap of Prospect Park for a test ride and then back to pay on plastic. Done and done. (With a quick picture opportunity in Gowanus)

So far it wasn't much of a ride, but in the 5 miles so far it feels responsive, solid and fast. Extremely happy and a concrete step towards the transam next year.


Back in NYC after a quick weekend visit to my brother in Fort Collins, Colorado. Such a beautiful state and I can't wait to return next year on the Trans Am.

I didn't get to ride this time but I was impressed by the cycling culture in all three towns I visited. Denver and Boulder both have established bike & ride schemes and cycle culture is really part and parcel of Fort Collins daily life.

Most impressive however was the New Belgium Brewery. Free tours and craft beer tasting mixed with history of their founders first beer-Fat Tire, conceived whilst on a European bike tour in Belgium on an early mountain bike!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

New York City Bike to Work Day

Hey ladies and gentlemen - a heads up - its National Cycle to Work day tomorrow. If you are heading into Manhattan there will be fantastic 'Transportation Alternative' volunteers handing out free snacks on the bridges!

This is a good way to re-kick start my cycling to work habit. Its a good 9 mile warm up from Downtown Brooklyn to Midtown but I've been rather lazy of late. 

Check out the transport alternatives link for bike to work day here and also if you want to meet other commuters at Gorilla Coffee in Park Slope check out this link with more details.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

You want to do what...?

The TransAmerica bicycle trail is a 4,241.5 mile route through the heart of America. For me it will start in historic York Town, Virgina and end months later in Astoria, Oregon. I am promised from the adventure cycling association that I will ride through "ocean coastline, lush forests, high desert, mountain passes, snow-capped peaks, sweeping vistas, expansive plains, fertile farmlands, rolling hills, and wide rivers". An adventure of the truest sense. A reimagining of exploring the frontier, albeit on two wheels rather than a horse. For someone locked at his desk for the next 12 months saving money and day dreaming, an adventure to savour.

This is my blog site. I have just come back from my favorite bike shop in New York city after placing my deposit on a sleek Trek 520 touring bike. Pam at Bicycle Habitat in Park Slope swiftly helped me reserve a 57cm frame, to be built and purchased in full next week. As I have now made my $1,349 commitment I thought it would be good fun to chart my training progress and trip via this blog.

I am a novice cyclist at best, mainly riding around New York on an imported Chris Boardman SC single speed road bike. My single longest ride last year was the 140 mile ride to Montauk from Penn Station which was punishing on the SC. I have not riden such a distance close before or since so I know the next 12 months of training will be crucial. I am approaching 30 this year and am not overly fit or athletic. This ride will test my endurance, courage and will power to breaking point. Just what I need to break 8 years of office (read software development) routine.

So, here we are, the very first step in a long journey. Next week promises a new bike and the start of some serious training!