Putnam Pain ride Saturday

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Anonymous's picture

"A23 80 mi 7:30 AM
Putnam Pain
Leaders: John Zenkus and Hank Schiffman

Putnam County is a hilly place, and this is a hilly ride. But if you want to take it at an A-18 pace and conquer fewer than 8,000 vertical feet, you can join me on a modified route.

John and Hank have given us two other choices: a 50 mile route and a 66 miler. (Those include 38/53 miles of John's killer route, plus 12 miles on Route 301, with its five-mile screaming downhill finale.)

Be prepared for grades of up to 13%. I am aiming to do the 66 mile route, and my average speed will not exceed 15.5 mph.

Both of the ""wimp"" rides end in Cold Spring, where if the mood and timing is right, cold beer awaits.

See you Saturday, Oct. 2, 7:30 AM, at the Grand Central Terminal information booth. Buy a one-way ticket to Cortland.


Anonymous's picture
Paddy Atherstone (not verified)
Which ride to do?

Fairly newbie advice please!

What do people recommend I do? The only NYCC ride I have done is an A18 last week with Robert Gray which I had no problems on (and loved the hills, even though it was a fairly flat ride) and I would like something faster this weekend but don't want to cause problems for the A23 ride if it is too much for me at this point. Will these shorter rides follow the main route for the first 38/53 miles so that I could start on the A23 and if need be, wait for the following ride to catch up? Or should I just start the A18?

If it helps, my usual ride is Prospect Park at about 21.5 average for 30 miles +, and I timed myself for 4 laps in Central Park as suggested and did that in 1hr08.

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
Intense climbs

"The hill's the thing here, and endurance a virtue. By mile 38, you'll have finished seven steep climbs totalling about 4,000 vertical feet--and that doesn't count the ""rollers"" of under 300 feet not mentioned on the cue sheet.

Sometimes, people new to this group start out really fast, but burn out after 20-40 miles. That doesn't happen to me because I'm not fast to begin with, and by taking it easy I have lots of energy left at the end of the day (usually).

If you're really in top form, you'll hang with the fast guys all day. Otherwise, you'll fall back with someone else, or get to enjoy riding on your own. Or you can fall back with me. Bring tools and a map so you can be comfortable riding alone. And lots of pocket food.

I ride at a steady 18 pace in the interest of survival, safety, and enjoyment. Pacebusters are invited to ride ahead at their own speed; I will applaud from behind.

Anonymous's picture
Paddy Atherstone (not verified)
Sounds like a plan!

Thanks for the advice. See you Saturday!

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)
More Adive

Carol has made some good points, I would like to add the following:

1) The ride starts at Cortland and ends in Cold Spring. There are no sit-down stops. We have a brief stop scheduled at a farm around mile 33, then another in Putnam Valley around mile 55, so bring extra fuel.

2) While I actually tried to avoid hardpack, it not easy to construct a route in and around Putnam Valley without including some hardpack, of which there are several sections, and some of the descents will be tricky. Be very, very careful. Even Mr. Upright, with his renowned handling skills, should be cautious. I generally ride Conitental Force-Attack 23/22c tires but switched to 26c for this ride.

3) We make one at grade crossing of the Taconic Parkway on Pudding Street, more caution.

4) Some of the hills are very, very steep. You will not be comfortable with less than a 39X27. I switched to a 39X28. There are 12 major climbs, the average climb being 1.2 miles long, 435 vertical feet gained, 7% grade. The steepest climb gains over 400 vertical feet in 0.6 miles, an average grade of over 14%. Another climb has a short section near 20%.

5) Its a very interesting, very rustic route, a true adventure. Its OK to take the climbs at your own pace as there will be much regrouping. I am seeing the Moveon.org concert in Philadelphia tomorrow evening and probably won't get back to NYC until about 3AM. This may make for a more moderate pace.

Anonymous's picture
Sonny Bindra (not verified)
I'm In

After my post-prandial ass whopping last week, vengence is mine. I'm in.

Paddy, my only suggestion is completely disregard the number after the letter on this type of ride. It really should be A(we'll go as fast as we can all day just short of puking the entire ride).

Meatloaf with mashed

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)

I hereby confer upon all 11 hearty souls who started today's ride the coveted Golden Cojones award.

We had one who fell ill and returned home after a strong start, three who completed the 50-mile route (I'm hoping you all made it back to the train without problem), and seven finishing with 64 miles.

For 64 miles and some 6,400 vertical feet, my average speed was a mere 12.2 mph. There were no flats, and most of the downhills had me gripping my brakes in terror. But what a beautiful route for fall. And the weather held until after we caught the 4:00 train at Cold Spring.

It was harder than I expected. Never in my life would I contemplate climbing anything like Long Hill Road (13% average). Sure, it was only .4 miles long--but it was followed by another 1,100 feet of climbing over six or so miles. And it was, of course, right after lunch.

Thanks John and Hank, and tous les convives, for an adventurous day I will long remember--even after the pain goes away.

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