The first outdoor ride of Spring

Yesterday, I achieved a seasonal milestone – the first outdoor ride of 2013! Yes, that’s right, I actually propelled myself forward on a bicycle that was not firmly caught in the jaws of an indoor trainer.

I had a few friends running the NYC Half Marathon and I decided to head into the city to cheer them on. I figured I’d get some riding in, so I loaded the hybrid in the car and arrived in Manhattan around 7:30 AM. I almost bailed on the whole idea when I got out of the car to find it was 30° F out (and felt like 20° F with the crazy wind kicking down the Hudson River). Luckily I found a pair of warm gloves I had stuck in my trunk and I set off on my mission. With my jeans, winter coat, and hybrid I looked about as far from a bike racer as you can get. Next time I’m going to have to get a pair of these just to complete the look:

Warm, cozy dorkiness

Warm, cozy dorkiness

All in all, it was a fun ride. Aside from the cold, it was a great day to be out on the bike — I racked up about 15 miles (mostly on the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway, a multi-use path that runs around the perimeter of the island) and got to test out my new Garmin Edge 810 in actual riding conditions. I stopped to cheer my friends about halfway along the half marathon’s route and then cycled downtown to meet them by the finish line at the South Street Seaport. We had some lunch and then they jumped in a well-deserved cab home while I rode back to where I had left my car uptown. The only real low point of the trip was the massive headwind I had to fight on my ride uptown – it was brutal and there were a few sections where I felt like I was standing still — although I’m sure my lunch of two pints of beer and a cheeseburger hurt my speed as much as the headwind did!

If the weather had been a touch warmer I might’ve stayed out for an hour or two more, but I had some stuff to take care of at home and promised myself I’d be back for a real ride as soon as possible. I love riding on the Greenway, although the runners and pedestrians tend to piss me off. Especially since there are lengthy sections where the path splits into a pedestrian-only path and a cyclist/rollerblader path. You never see someone on wheels riding the pedestrian-only section, but those walkers and joggers have no problem coming over and congesting the shit out of the “fast lane”.

The forecast is for snow tonight. Spring cannot arrive fast enough.