THANKS

As they say, “no good deed goes unpunished”…I know those of you who donated are very happy for that piece of wisdom.
I want to truly thank everyone who donated.  With your help I was able to reach my goal (and as you know failure is NOT an option, so lucky for you I was successful).
I must make a very special thank you to Double W for contributing more than half of the funds towards my goal, so Thank You, Thank You.
Now the bar has been set and I will raise my sights for next year’s ride… I will expect (demand!) you to raise your efforts as well.
Lastly, a quick thank you for all the good weather thoughts, they worked and it was the only sunny break in the weather New York had in over a week.

Now down to the nitty gritty lest you think I did not do my part.  I started surrounded by a mass of bikers speeding down the steep dark decent through the Lincoln Tunnel, spilling out into NJ traffic.  While I’m not a fan of riding with traffic it was light and the views were beautiful.  My nerves now settled, after the tunnel start, I was enjoying the ride even navigating some complex turns and muddled merges.  All was going very well until this hair pin turn left me with no speed at the bottom of a very steep hill. Thankfully it was short and I was rapidly descending the first hill only to be meet by another hugely steep hill… I knew it was bad as cyclists started dropping out and walking. Unfortunately it was much longer than the first.  Enviously I looked at those climbing with ease refusing to join the group to my right walking up the hill.  I made it to the top and hoped the course got all of the hard stuff out of the way first.
At only about a third of the way in I didn’t know if I could climb another hill like that.  To my chagrin upon entering the Palisades State Park my hopes were crushed as I started to ascend the steepest longest hill of my short 7 month biking adventure…3.2 miles of climbing over 500 feet.  I never thought it would end, the road was now sectioned into 3 parts, the huge line of cyclists walking there bike off to the right, the racers to the left who were flying up it like they has jet engines on their bikes and the middle a mix everyone else.  I never thought this thing was going to end. SLOWLY I climbed stuck in a pool of heavy breathing; I knew I just had to keep going.  Success…I made it to the top.  After a short break I continued and enjoyed the day warming up and the beautiful views.  Then as if to remind me why I’m riding I was faced with another hill.  It was not as grueling as the previous but still harder than any hill I biked before that day.
The end was in sight I entered the GW Bridge knowing Manhattan was on the other side.  The view was stunning but overshadowed by the tight passing of cyclists.  This narrow passage was not closed off to cyclist trying to get from Manhattan to Jersey. In an attempt to make room for the oncoming cycling traffic I edged my bike too far to the right, I then over-corrected to the left, landing on the oncoming cyclists bike.  My first mini-crash, good thing I was barely moving.  A few scrapes and bruises but more rattled than hurt. Exiting into Manhattan to complete the ride I cycled 70 blocks through the traffic laden west side (I now have proof that cycling in the streets of the city is just NOT FUN).
Once I entered the West Side Highway bike path my smile returned in spades and I finish the ride greeted by those afflicted with MS handing out medals to those of us crossing the finish line.  Words can not express hoe great it felt.   I can’t wait for next year!