Citi Bikes!

Well, it didn’t take much, but Matt and I are officially drinking the controversial Citi Bike kool-aid. This weekend we took the bikes out for a spin and ended up signing up for annual memberships.

On Saturday, after running down to Cold Process Coffee and getting injected with caffeine, we didn’t really feel like running home. Instead, we decided to test out the city’s new bike share program. After dipping our credit card and agreeing to follow the traffic laws, we were given codes to unlock our bikes.

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The bikes are definitely A LOT clunkier and slower than a regular road bike but it didn’t bother me much. They are perfect for commuting and I am confident that they will be able to stand up NYC’s weather and grime.

 

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We jumped on the bikes and road home on the path that runs along the Hudson. In about 15 minutes we were home. We had some difficulty locking our bikes into the station at 59th and West End, but luckily there was another station around the corner that accepted our bikes just fine.

Since we purchased a 24-hour membership, we had access to the bikes again on Sunday. This time we rode the bikes from 59th and Amsterdam down to brunch at 44st and 9th. While we could walk this distance, it is nearly a mile and the bikes got us there in approximately 7 minutes. After a delicious brunch at Marseille, we grabbed two more bikes from the rack and rode up to Columbus Circle. The first station we went to (57th and Broadway) was full, so we ended up riding two blocks down to 55th and Broadway – no big deal.

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The bikes definitely make commuting around the city a bit more enjoyable and the recently added bike lanes make it pretty easy. I love biking, so I knew this program was probably going to be something that I enjoyed. However, the thing that I liked the most was taking control of my commute. While I do think NYC’s subway system is amazing, you are never quite sure how long you will have to wait for a train or when there might be delays. And with the traffic in the city – taxis are a shot in the dark. However, if you are up for it, Citibikes allow you as the commuter to take control. You can decide which route to take and, for the most part, you are able to zip through areas with heavy traffic (of course, following the traffic laws!). That being said – like most things in NYC, it all depends on whether or not tourists try to take part.  Right now it is mostly enthusiastic New Yorkers participating in the program. When the newbies start hitting the streets,things might get worse. But hopefully, the fact that they have bike share programs in other cities around the world bodes well.

So while I know not everyone agrees, I say “Long Live City Bikes!”

 

I Like to Ride My Bicycle

The second full day we were in Telluride, Matt and I decided to go cross-country mountain biking.While I’ve been road biking for a while now, I’d never even been on a mountain bike before, let alone ride down a ski mountain. Needless to say, I was a little nervous.

After a ride up the gondola, we made our way to the first track – Jurassic. It was a single track trail (meaning it is only wide enough for one bike) that ran through a section of woods with a lot of switch backs. I was surprised to find of much the bike would skid when I would brake. However, I wasn’t quite brave enough to let myself go that fast. After a few miles of downhill, we reached the valley floor and took the river tail back into town. I survived the first run.

Unfortunately, the second trail didn’t go quite as well. After another trip up in the gondola, we made our way over the Village Trail. This one was a little longer and had a lot of switchbacks. Unfortunately, on a few of these 180 degree turns, the bike slipped out from under me and somehow ended up on top of my legs. The end result was a lot of bruises – not very attractive.

After our second ride, I needed a break. We decided to stop for lunch and some liquid courage.

Soon enough we were back up the gondola and on to our final trail, Prospect Trail. This was the longest and hardest of the three we tackled. A couple of miles into the bike, we heard a familiar noise… thunder. Unfortunately, Matt and I were finding ourselves in a situation where we were trying to outrun (well, outride) another storm.

Thankfully we made it down in one piece

Just a little muddy!

IronMatt

Please excuse my recent absence from the blogging world. Last week was a big one in the Englehauer household.

On Saturday, my husband, along with 24 other Robin Hood athletes competed in the US Ironman Championships held in New York City.

They don’t call it an “Ironman” for nothing—the race included a 2.4-mile swim in the Hudson (that suffered from a sewage leak just days before the race), a 112-mile bike along the Palisades and then a refreshing 26.2-mile run that finishes in Riverside Park. Our athletes posted times ranging from 9 hours and 59 minutes to 15 hours and 48 minutes. All of the athletes were well ahead of the midnight cut off and all crossed the finish line with big smiles across their faces. Matt was no exception.

Matt posted a blistering swim split, 43 minutes, clearly channeling his days as a Bernal’s Gator. He then followed that up with a solid bike, averaging just over 18 mph for the 112 mile ride.

The marathon was definitely the most difficult part of the race – temperatures reached the high 90s, the first 14 miles of the course has an incredible amount of hills and just for fun at mile 17, there were stairs on the George Washington Bridge that you had to run up and down. And to make things even more difficult, Matt’s training consisted of short tempo runs and a 10 mile run in the Hamptons one weekend.

Matt overcame all of this to finish his marathon in 4:40 for a total time of 11:52 (well under his 13 hour goal!)

I was happy to cheer him on the whole way but there was nothing like watching him cross the finish line.

 

So while I am so proud of Matt and all he accomplished on Saturday – let’s not overlook all of the sacrifices I had to make to get him there.

1. For the past 3-4 months, Matt has used the Ironman as an excuse to get out of household duties. “I’m too tired from training to clean up the apartment…. I need to go work out, I don’t have time to cook…. I – I – I” While there is no “I” in team, it isn’t an accident that Iroman starts with the letter I.

2. To cheer on Matt on Saturday, my alarm went off at 3:00am. That’s early people!

3. We had custom-made Robin Hood cowbells for the race.

They were a big hit but I got a  blister from all the ringing. Looks like racing 140.6 isn’t the only thing that can lead to injury (this photo also brings up the fact that I didn’t have time to get a manicure this week with all of the running around I was dong for Matt).

 

So in the end, while I think everyone should be impressed with Matt I would like to ask for a little recognition myself. After all, I am an Ironmate!

I’m a Mooseman!

This past weekend, Matt and I continued our suburban tour — only this time we headed north.

On Friday, we loaded up the car with wetsuits, bikes and running shoes and drove up to the great state of New Hampshire for the Mooseman Half Ironman Triathlon.

We spent Friday night with my parents before heading up to Wellington State Park to check in and attending the athlete meeting. The entire day on Friday, it was pouring rain. Not really ideal conditions for a triathlon. Between the rain and the  insanely fit people all around me, I got ridiculously nervous. But thankfully my fan club of two, Matt and our friend Ryan (who were both racing as well) convinced me that everything was going to be ok and I wasn’t going to come in last. After a long, soggy day and a pasta dinner, we turned in for the night.

Now, I don’t really want to relive all 70.3 miles so here are some highlights.

1. Getting my wetsuit (thanks Jamie) on with only a minor amount of wiggling, pulling and yanking

2. The temperature was right around 60 degrees – sounds cold but it made the 62 degree temperature of the water seem much much warmer.

3. The pouring rain we experienced Friday slowed to a very light drizzle.

4. During the bike, the hills were so steep that my speed dropped down to 2 mph and I almost fell off my bike (but I didn’t!)

5. My feet were numb  from being cold and wet on the bike for 3 hours. During the first two miles of the run I felt like I was running on stumps. But I kept running.

6. The run was painful, but since it was an out and back run that we did twice, I got to see both Matt and Ryan a few times. It is surprising how far a fist pump can get you :)

7. I ran through the finish line with a smile on my face!

While the race wasn’t always pretty and my time wasn’t earth shattering, I was happy with it. Just getting out there and doing it was enough for me. However, for Matt and Ryan, this race is just the beginning… they are both competing in the Ironman US National Championships being held in NYC in August. I’m not going to lie, the thought of doing a race twice that length makes me throw up in my mouth a little. 70.3 is enough for me!

**See a recap of the race by this year’s winner, Alex Mcdonald. Congratulations on your big win!

PMC – a final recap

We all made it across the finish line in Provincetown yesterday. The only problem we faced was my dead cell phone battery which prevented my regular blog posting. I had tried to send a final post yesterday just neorealism 12:30 when my mom and Terry crossed the finish line but I was faced with technical difficulties.

The weekend was a huge success with lots of smiles and a big sense of accomplishment. Together the 5 of us raised over 20,000 dollars and received support from over two hundred people.

I feel extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to complete the pmc 3 times. I certainly hope that I can continue to participate in the weekend for years to come.

Thank you to everyone who donated to my ride. A special thanks to my grandparents who supported all 3 of us and followed the ride the entire 191 miles through my blog! You can now sleep easy knowing we are save and sound!

Today I helped cure cancer. What did you do?

After 4 hours of riding abby, Matt and I made it to provincetown. Today was hard. I was too tired to blog at the rest stop. I needed every spare moment to rest, eat popsicles, and fluffernutters.

My mom is still out of the road (don’t worry, we didn’t leave here that was the plan). Abby and I are going eat some food and meet her as she crosses the finishline. I am so proud of her and feel lucky to have had the opportunity to have to done this ride 3 times.

Thank you to everyone who donated to my ride. I couldn’t have done it without you.

Day 1 completed

We finished day one a few hours ago. While my body handled the ride ok, my phone couldn’t handle the over flow of blogs and it is now dead. Hopefully I can figure something out before tomorrow.

Thank you for the well wishes! Please keep them coming. They help when your muscles start to ache.

Until tomorrow.