Day 4, Well it was bound to happen right?

The day started out well, I mean how couldn’t it, we were big pimpin’ at The W the last 1.5 days.  Our original plan was to leave at 1:00Am, but due to some unforeseen circumstances we ended up leaving at 3AM.  Headed out of Atlanta was ok, mostly flat, a few hills but nothing like what we saw the first three days.  I was making good time, my odometer showed about 19mph, but Bill said it was 17mph, lets not squabble about a couple mph, lol.  All I knew was I started riding and a short time later I was ready to switch, miles were going by rapidly!

We switched somewhere the hell in Georgia, lol.  Bill gets on the road and a short while later, tragedy strikes (cue the music…), not to be too dramatic, an elderly woman sped into our line, she missed Bill and then by the time she corrected her path she ended up hitting the right rear quarter panel of our Dodge Caravan.  NO ONE WAS HURT!  It was a little scary to say the least because this could have turned out a lot worse than it did.  We called the police to do an accident report, the woman admitted it was her fault, as it was no one was even arguing otherwise.

OK, so after the police report is taken.  We call Enterprise Rent a Car to have them tow the vehicle.  It is now 6:00AM, a their tow truck will not b here until 9:00AM–WTF Enterprise?  At this point we are still contemplating riding, but more than likely not.  It’s one of those things, we started the workout, switched and then we sat around for several hours, afterward who wants to get back on the bike and go.  But still hadn’t made the decision.  We spoke to the police officer and he said he trumps Enterprise and can have a tow truck there in 15 minutes–only issue is for them to be paid (the non-authorized town company towing Enterprise’s car).  The tow truck shows up, it is agreed that I will ride with the tow truck and Maddie and Bill will go to Enterprise to pick up a new car.

I jump into the tow truck and the driver is nice enough, his name is Marty and we are just talking and goofing around.  Honestly laughing at the situation and, I notice that I lose cell service, no big deal it goes in and out as we are in the ‘sticks’ in Georgia.  We get to his shop and I get out and hang out in the shop.  Now I am still wearing my kit at this pint, his wife (I can’t recall her name, but was a lovely woman), and I gentleman named Quentin was working on restoring a 1957 Chevy.  We’re talking, they offered me a sausage sandwich, which I wasn’t in a mood for.  Honestly I just wanted to get going again.

I see Marty bring the keys in from the car and he drops them in a way which there was an attitude on the desk.  I don’t quite know how to explain it, but it wasn’t just putting them on the desk.  It’s at this point I felt  little uncomfortable, nothing was wrong, they were all being extremely nice to me and I had no inkling there was a problem.  It was the old ‘you can take the boy out of The Bronx, but you can’ t take The Bronx out of the boy.’  I was gabbing away with his wife about all kinds of crap (secretly in the back of my mind I figure if I am their friend they won’t kill me–I think), as I said she was very nice and easy on the eyes too.  I learned their entire life story, why is it that I bring this out of people?  I still had no cell service (THANK YOU T-MOBILE!)  Then MArty introduces me to  gentlemen that is the police chief in the neighboring town, my mind was a little bit more at ease.  Looking back at it I’m an idiot, these were very nice people but because of my NY paranoia, I turned it into much more than it should have been–LOL!  I ask to use the phone to call Bill, they obliged–come to find out they had to go to a couple of different Enterprise Rent a Car to find a minvan.  Even after all of that they still didn’t find a minivan–we ended up with a Hyundai Santa Fe.

It is now 12:00PM, and it’s sweltering hot and humid, we decide to just go to the hotel and call it a day.  After everything that has transpired, no one was really in the mood to go back on the road anyway.  Enjoyed a day at the pool and relaxing again, stayed at Courtyard by Marriott.

I’m very nervous….

AR4R

 

“A Ride For Reclamation” US Vets Cycling 1,000 To Tampa For Charity!!

Through private sponsorship, A Ride For Reclamation (AR4R) is organizing a 1,000 mile cycling campaign consisting of US military veterans and outstanding volunteers. The cyclist are starting their journey at the historic Mount Vernon, VA. They are excited to continue cycling through VA, NC, GA, and FL along the way! The final destination will be in Tampa, FL on July 11th. The journey will raise money to help TeamRWB, whose mission “is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.” Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S), which provides resources for survivors of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. USFirst.org “Our mission is to show students of every age that science, technology, and problem-solving are not only fun and rewarding, but are proven paths to successful careers and a bright future for us all.” Boys and Girls Clubs of America “Our mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

The campaign has established a donation website athttp://www.gofundme.com/ar4r2015. Director and founder Bill Murray states, “At a click of one button, we are giving people the ability to make donations to four phenomenal organizations and help change the world for the better for generations to come. It’s exciting to get the wheels moving and make a difference with every generous donation and mile we ride.”

The Team will be available for interviews/media to share their story, vision, and cause. Please contact AR4R Public Relations and Marketing Director, Alisha Feagin (alliear4r@gmail.com) to arrange media and/or further information on how you can support such an inspiring campaign.

https://www.facebook.com/events/760222094096560/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Ride-For-Reclamation/1688948968001415

Twitter: @AR4R2015

AR4R Egghead Challenge!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZ9vtDWkpiM&noredirect=1

So, as I sit here in The Courtyard by Marriott in Vienna, Va–I head off on another adventure.  We’re riding from Washington, DC to Tampa, FL–what the hell am I thinking!

I know I haven’t trained enough and this trip in my humble opinion was put together haphazardly!  This all started a couple weeks ago at The Air Force Classic, after the race we went for brunch, little did I know what this brunch would lead to.  As we sat there watching the race (Criterium around Crystal City), we had fun, re-fueled and made new friends.  Unbeknownst to me Bill was speaking with Marjorie about his plan to raise funds and ride to Tamp from Washington, DC–specifically depart from The Air Force Memorial.  She quickly said that I would do it, she was halfway right.  I ‘complain’ an ‘blame’ her for getting me into this but in all actuality nobody makes me do anything I don’t want to do, but it makes for a better story to say I was backed into it…LOL.

He explained his plan, I said ‘maybe’ outwardly to him, but in my head I was thinking ‘he’s fucking nuts!’  Seeing as the turn around time was supposed to be 6 days, originally we were supposed to leave on June 26, but cooler minds prevailed and we are leaving today.  Now, we are riding at night which I am not crazy about, but I am here to pedal!

Here’s our route, pretty aggressive the first few days.  The first day is in honor of Independence Day–get it 177.6, lol.  We plan on leapfrogging that day and on the 3rd day, the other days we’ll both be on the road for all the miles.

A Ride For Reclamation Route Details:

Mckenney VA, via route 1 177.6  3-4 July

Washington, DC to Mckenney, VA

Mckenney, VA to Raleigh via US Route 1 – 114 July 4-5

Mckenney, Va to Raleigh, NC

Raleigh, NC to Columbia, SC – 220 miles July 5-6

Raleigh, NC to Columbia, SC

Drive to Atlanta – Rest in Atlanta 6-7 July

Atlanta to Robins AFB GA via US 19, US 3 and Maynard Mill Rd. 109 miles July 7-8

Atlanta, GA to Robins AFB

Robins AFB to Valdosta GA – 138 miles July 8-9

Robins AFB to Valdosta, GA

Valdosta, GA to Crystal River FL via US 98 – 159 miles 9-10

Valdosta, Ga to Crystal River, Fl

Crystal River FL to Tampa FL Macdill AFB via US 98 / US 19 – 106 miles 10-11 July

Crystal River, Fl to MacDill AFB, Tampa Bay

17.4 miles around tampa!

I m both scared and excited at the same time, does that make any sense?  I guess that’s normal, but what’s normal now a day?  Well, I will be blogging about our adventure so stay tuned.

New York City Half Marathon Race Report

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So I ran the NYRR Half Marathon on Sunday!  Hurray for me, this was my first really long ORGANIZED/TIMED run(other than a Spartan), everything else was just practice.  The days leading up tot he race I had such anxiety, up at 2AM, 3AM, and just nervous in general.  But I committed to it, so I have to do it right?  NO turning back, etc.

As I got up at 3AM on race morning, I set my alarm for 4AM, but I was up around 2AM, and just lay there thinking about what was ahead, I managed to lay there but I did want to get up.  I finally got out of bed around 3:45AM, ate, took a long hot shower and off I went.

October was the last race I did–The Men’s Health Urbanathlon!  Funny they both started out the same way–FRIGGIN COLD!  This morning it had to be below freezing, I decided to wear Skins under my Team RWB shirt.  I figured it would warm up a bit during the race so I didn’t want to have a ton of clothes on which I would want to get rid of during the race.  Well, I came up snake eyes on that because it never warmed up, I was never actually cold, the perpetual motion kept me warm most of the time.

OF course I would meet Diane and her friend Debra, Diane seems to know EVERYONE.  I can’t even count the number of people I have met thru Diane and still are friends with and yet I only see Diane maybe once or twice a year.  As soon as we met I suggested we just huddle–it was so damn cold, that was probably the best 2 minutes prior to the race, it would have gotten weird if we continued to stand there hugging much longer.

We were in wave three, so we started around 8:20AM, I believe.  Started around 66th St or so I wasn’t sure, but as we went out, had a great mix of songs and I found the first few songs really got me going, I actually had to temper my pace as I know this was a 1/2 marathon, I didn’t want to blow up early.  The crowds cheering were great, all the funny signs and all the great NYers, they’re the best.  Look no matter what they say about us New Yorkers, in the end we show up for the show and give it our all, spectator and competitor alike.

CROWDCROWD2CROED3

Now I hadn’t run in about 2 weeks, as most of my friends know–I HATE RUNNING, but running is one of those symbolically ‘thumb my nose’ at the sport things for me, I have to do it even though I hate it!  I shouldn’t say I hate it, but since I’m not good at it–I hate it; on the flip side I have to practice to be good at it right?  OK, NOTE TO SELF PRACTICE MORE!

So I ran all the way up thru Harlem, when we made the turn at the circle, I kept going then we hit Harlem Hill, like the old days with the bike I slowed down to a crawl, so much so I decided to walk up the hill; it seemed like I was walking as fast as some people were running.  Karamjeet had told me about a technique of running a mile and walking a mile, I didn’t quite do that, but as with Spartan races, I did slow it down when the terrain went uphill…

There were more and more people on the course, mind you we hadn’t even left the park yet, we were now going down west drive toward the exit to run down 7th Avenue.  So many people, and so many spectators, it really gave me a little lift under ‘my wings.’  We were probably about an hour into the race and in the back of my mind I was thinking man the pros have already finished and are having a beer!

TS3TS2GL 6THMUTAI&MO

PRO CHICK,JPG

When we finally exited the park, we were running dow 6th Ave?  The streets were filled with people, I wanted to walk a little but I couldn’t it was as if the people gave me energy to keep going.  It really was an awesome feelingASHOK 6TH

and I couldn’t stop.  We rounded the corner at Times Square towards the West Side Highway and there seemed to be more people all cheering us on!  I continued to run towards the West Side Highway, I was nervous because it was still cold and now we’d be running along the water with a headwind–WTF!  I kept going, I won’t lie, I did walk a little probably about 1/2 mile in total just to catch my breath I knew I wanted to be running to the finish line.  As I pass the Freedom Tower, I couldn’t help but get choked up as I couldn’t believe I’m almost at the end of this thing and I’M STILL ALIVE AND FEELING GOOD.  2 years ago I was watching it on TV and wishing I could do it and here I am DOING IT!

ASHOK FT2 ASHOK FT ASHOK FIN2 D FIN

ASHOK FT4

I crossed the line at 2:35:13, I didn’t break any land speed records but I FINISH!  So now that my Half PR (Personal Record), next time I will break the two hour mark.  If I go by that pace then I should be doing a full marathon in just over 5-6 hours, hmmmmGL 6TH FINISH FINISH BLANKET DOWNTOWN D&D FIN D FIN3

See you at a marathon coming soon….

Holiday Blues…

I recently moved into an apartment in Hoboken by myself!  LOL, it’s been a long time since I have lived by myself.  I would even dare say I have NEVER lived by myself.  I lived with my mother, then went away to school, had roommates, moved to Seattle, had a roommate, moved back to the east coast, had a roommate, got married, had a wife/roommate LOL.  Moved back to NJ with roommates, there has always been someone there now I am seemingly alone and I absolutely HATE IT!

I hate this time of year, it is no wonder that the suicide rate is higher this time of year, being that everyone is with their family and when you don’t have any family it makes it that much tougher.  The next month will be brutal as everyone prepares for the holidays and the new year I will be dreading it–the holidays that is.  I look forward to the new year, a new chance for whatever right?

I stay late at my office because I hate going home to the empty apartment, I absolutely just hate being there, did I mention how much I hate being in my apartment?  As I am writing this post I am sitting in my office, because I dread having to go back to that apartment!  That’s right as you are sitting at home, I am sitting in my office typing away this ‘holiday manifesto!’  Silly right?  When I am in my apartment I think of all kinds of sinister things, none of which end with me being ALIVE and happy.  Is this strange or is it normal?  What can I say I guess I am a ‘people person’ to some extent. 

Please don’t call me to ask me if I am ok (I’m sure I won’t do anything I will regret); I have plenty of friends and being with them I greatly enjoy, it’s when I leave their company is when the ‘demons’ start to swirl around in my head.  SO as you enjoy the holidays remember there are people out there that the holidays just aren’t that ‘hunky dorey’ for.

Happy Turkey Day!

Pas de cadeaux!

Lemond is doing a new re-launch of his Lemond Bikes after separating with Trek. They’ve been doing a social media BLITZ, watching and reading this brings back so many memories. After Major Taylor,I would say Greg Lemond is the reason why cycling became so popular in the 19080′, this is long before Lance who also did a lot for the sport.

I so remember this tour, the team held him back and kept telling him Hinault was right behind, in fact when he was the leader on the road. Really pisses me off even now!

http://greglemondfans.wordpress.com/2013/10/12/la-vie-pas-claire/

Where did the time go…check out The Goldbergs, to see how cruel the 1980’s were…

I love the fall, the weather is changing, it’s just cooler, things are winding down it’s a generally quiet time of the year.  The other thing I am psyched about is the new TV shows, I know pretty lame, but one show in particular The Goldbergs, brings back so many memories, what were we thinking back then!

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If you haven’t watched it, check it out, I can totally empathize with a lot of of the situations on the show.  I won’t bore you with details about each episode, but they are cute.  There have only been TWO episodes, if you haven’t seen the show get on it!

Anyway, I remember going to E-Z Skate in the 80’s, we used to go on Tuesday night I believe it was ‘Gentleman’s Night;’  lol, like we were any type of gentleman.  We would go obviously becuase it was free, and I think we were looking to meet girls at the time (not that we did).  Skating around in that stupid circle, I remember being able to skate very well, but I could never skate backwards, it always looked like fun.  I was able to go around without falling, I guess that’s a victory.  Those of us who are from the Bronx will also remember there was also another skating rink Stars, which was the nicer rink, a lot bigger.  Even school trips were to skating rinks, I can’t recall why, but I do remember them being sanctioned by the Board of Education!

Let’s talk about the clothes, when I was in Junior High School, colored Lee Jeans were all the rage.  I remember having sundry pairs of jeans, of course I wanted to fit in with the cool kids.  I had a paper route from Junior High School all the way thru senior year in high school, I always had money in my pocket.  I had to if I wanted to buy Z Cavariccis, and Lee Jeans, Le Tigre polo shirts, man the fashions were tough.  Back then I believe I had a couple pairs of sneakers and one winter coat as opposed to the 25 pairs of sneakers I have and the 15 winter coats I have now!  Maybe this is all a backlash from those thrifty days…

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Things were so much easier back then, my job was to go to school, come home and do my homework and go out and play.  My mother would be home by 5PM, and cook I would eat and then go to sleep and then do it all again the other day.  I do miss those days, life was so much simpler.  As opposed to now when everything is so complicated, I think even little kids’ lives are a lot more complicated.  There’s so much technology and many other distractions.  How did life become so complicated?

Friday nights in high school consisted of picking up all my friends in my 1978 Toyota Corona, and going up to Central Av in Yonkers.  We’d end up at Nathan’s to play some video games and then Movieland to catch a movie, then go home.  I was up on Central Avenue last week, Nathan’s is still there, the video games are more expensive and high tech now, and Movieland is no longer there, just the crappy little theater next to what used to be Fuddruckers which is now a Pizzeria Uno.  Mom is no longer home waiting to yell at me as I roll into the house at 1 or 2 in the morning, she has passed away, we’re all grown up and have families and other complications of our own, and I sit here wishing to be back in those simpler times.

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