Monday, July 31, 2006

The 14th Annual TriState Cohen Classic in Review

The 14th Annual TriState Cohen Classic The Novel
July 29, 2006

20 riders set out from the Port Plaza in Newburyport, Mass. My buddies from the Cape, Ellen and Mike, came up to ride. There were some new faces too. Meg brought her friend and photographer, Ken. Ethan brought his posse. And Bruce brought a new rider, Janine. Weather reports were for a very hot day. We all hoped that staying along the coast would keep us cool. Away we rode, of course not all together. The group quickly separated into smaller groups. Many of us regrouped at the Salisbury Beach turn, then continued north into New Hampshire and a quick stop at Hampton Beach. The lead pack was ready to roll by the time I arrived. I was able to snap a few quick pics.

Again, we got on our bikes and pedaled north along the coastline. The crowds were few and traffic at a minimum so early in the morning. The air was dry and the temp cool. The ocean extremely calm and a very low tide. Many surfers sat anxiously on the sea wall waiting for waves to arrive. Next stop Wallis Sands. So far so good. 22 miles behind us and more ahead. We continued on our scenic journey northward. The ocean scenery breathtaking. It really was a beautiful day. I enjoyed riding with new Cyclopath "Cape Cod Mike" who had yet to ride over 40 miles.

As we approached the Portsmouth bridge at mile 30 we regrouped and headed down the street to our breakfast stop--The Friendly Toast. Along the side of the road were fans waving and cheering and taking pics! It was Tam and her two sons Andrew and Will. (They arrived much earlier and did not have a good experience at the restaurant. Andrew renamed the restaurant "The Meany Toast"). Thankfully, we were all able to be seated quickly. Drew, the wonderful event organizer that she is, called ahead and gave fair notice. We sat at three different tables. The place was fun, with lots of funky decor. We sat on seats from an old bowling alley with a kidney shaped formica table reminiscent of one I grew up with. The food was VERY GOOD. Most of the help tattooed. The restaurant was recommended by a local bike shop and also a friend I know that lives in Portsmouth.

Back on the bikes and heading north. Over the bridge, but as usual, we had to wait for the bridge to go up and back down again. Another photo op for us. Meanwhile, the lead group had not stopped for breakfast. And Little David headed back. Across the bridge we went into Kittery, Maine. It was now officially a TriState ride. WooHoo! Just another 5 miles to Captain Simeone's Country Store in Kittery Point, Maine. That was my turning back point. Most others continued north. Some wanting to complete a 75 mile ride. Others opting to get up to the lighthouse making it 90 miles. I was content with a 70 mile ride. And as it turned out I was glad I did. Melissa Paley and David Batchelder were launching their boat at the dock. So I got to say hi and chat a bit. A nice coincidence, and great timing. Melissa said David went riding in the morning and said he saw the Cyclopaths but did not recognize anyone. Melissa asked, "How did you know it was them?" Answer: "They were riding all over the place and chatting." : ) There were lots of riders along the coast. I received lots of PMC cheers from other riders and a few cars passing by.

Sheldon, Michael Kelleher, Cape Cod Mike and I headed back (south). It was heating up now. Not a cloud in the sky. And the traffic, both cars and pedestrians, had grown tremendously. It was a real beach day. Over the bridges and through the heat we went. Eventually most of us caught up to each other. We regrouped at Wallis Sands. The hose never felt so good. And they sold cold water. We even got the parking attendant to take a group pic. By now, the beach was full and the parking lot almost full to capacity. If I wasn't pedaling back I would have LOVED to have taken a swim in the ocean. Water temp was posted at 66 degrees.

Back we went heading south. Yes, the headwinds were strong as usual. The lead group-Lisa, Drew, Ellen, Kathy and Michael Kelleher formed a pace line and off they went. Shelly, Cape Cod Mike and I rode sweep. The riding was a challenge due to the heat and the constant traffic of cars and pedestrians. Soon Jack Gould appeared. Apparently he somehow got lost along the way?! Another stop for a cold drink and more pedaling over the Hampton Beach Bridge and back into Massachusetts.

Soon the lighthouse group pedaled by. Bruce with his "battle wounds". He had taken a spill and was treated by EMTs up in Maine. All bandaged and bruised he continued to ride. Reports are that Ed had a flat tire. Steve-Bob lost his pump. And Drew had a near collision with a pedestrian. Thankfully, everyone made it back safely.

I was feeling fine until the last 5 miles. I got a stitch in my side that I could not get rid of. My legs felt fine. I could not take a deep breath. So, I rode at an extra slow pace. Cape Cod Mike and Sheldon were right there by my side. Thanks guys!

We made it back to the Port Plaza, before nightfall! Then headed over to Not Your Average Joes in Newburyport for a late lunch with Drew and Lisa. I was still not feeling 100%. I got better as time passed. I ended up with a bad cold, so it must have been brewing in my system. I plan to be better by Saturday!!!!

And that ends the saga of the 14th Annual TriState Cohen Classic. A piece of history: The 1st TriState Cohen Classic took place in July of 1993. There were 4 riders: myself, Barry Carver, Dwayne Marshall, and Jon Peck.

Thank you to all that participated. It has been decided that next year we will begin earlier. Pics will be posted soon! -- Donna


Gearguy said...

Great ride, Beautiful day and Wonderful Company. Thank you Cyclopaths . Have an awesome PMC! Go Cyclopaths!

Anonymous said...

Earlier? EARLIER?!!

Thanks to Ethan and his freinds, my pal Janine, and Lynda for flying wingman on the way back after my "flight" in York Beach.

I just got back from the Chiropractor and with only a couple of small adjustments and some elctronic muscle stimulation, I am told I am good to go for the PMC.

The cuts are healing nicely as well. I will not be 100% as I am still pretty sore from all the muscle pulls, but I am going to try and get both days done as planned.

The bike should be ready to go by tomorrow night, and the new helmet is on the way.

I am looking forward to seeing everyone Saturday in Wellesley. The weather forecast so far looks just about perfect.



Anonymous said...

Glad you are OK! And will be able to ride in the PMC.



The North Shore Cyclopaths Blogspot said...

Aside from the brutal 90+ heat, Bruce's nasty (and apparently acrobatic) fall, Donna's muscle cramps, Ed's flat tire, Drew's near collision, Jack getting lost and riding solo, the beach traffic at Wallis Sands, Hampton, etc... it sounds like a great ride. (Wait! What am I saying??!)

Sorry I missed it Donna... but have to admit I was a little happy I had an excuse not to ride. That heat was just horrendous.

The boys and I loved seeing all of you come in!!