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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There's a ride across the Tappan Zee bridge on September 28th to benefit research for MS. I've signed up for it and I'm hoping to do the 60 mile route (which goes up to the Bear Mountain Bridge). I'm brand new to cycling, so I'm wondering what the terrain is like.

Has anyone done this ride before? Any pointers on training? Thanks.
 

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According to the web site, there is a series of training rides in August. I suggest you contact the ride leader and ask him.
 

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Tappan Zee ride

I have done it a few times. it's a nice route that I would describe as moderately hilly. I'd guess there is 3500 feet of climbing on the metric century. The climb before the Bear Mtn bridge is a good one that's probably almost a mile long, though not too steep. Otherwise a fair amount of up and down, but nothing sustained. It's a well run ride that's worth doing. It's cool to ride across the bridge, though with all the congestion it's hard to look up or down the Hudson too much to enjoy the views.
 

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How new are you to cycling? I did that event the first 3 years they had it-- not sure how to describe the ride, but it's got more than a few hills and, depending on how much you've been riding, over 60 miles it could add up. If you take your time you should be fine--

just don't plan on getting a t-shirt in the size you requested-- they give them out at the end- the people doing the shorter ride get back first and get whatever they ask for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Brand spanking new. I've done one long ride (long to me -- 35ish miles), and I'm starting to ride an hour a day now, and plan on increasing that time as the ride gets closer.

How long should it take to finish the ride? I certainly don't want to be in the middle of nowhere by myself.
 

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TwoTonesTony said:
Brand spanking new. I've done one long ride (long to me -- 35ish miles), and I'm starting to ride an hour a day now, and plan on increasing that time as the ride gets closer.

How long should it take to finish the ride? I certainly don't want to be in the middle of nowhere by myself.

In that case, I wouldnt describe it as moderately hilly. You're going to have some descent climbing. Someone else mentioned 3500 vertical feet-- unfortunately, I didnt have an altimeter when I was riding in that area, but I'd have to think its going to be more than that. There's a lot of up and down throughout the route and I think the climb up the cliff after you cross the Bear Mtn Bridge is worse than the one before it.
If you've done a 35 mile ride, you can probably get thru it, but cant put a guesstimate on time unless we know your avg speeds and what type of terrain you normally ride.
If you're going to do it, you may want to start riding some hills and working your way up to longer miles-- where do you usually ride anyway?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I live in Somerville (just north of boston), so that's where I've been riding -- not many hills. A friend of mine has been riding a lot and knows some "hilly" rides though, so I'm planning on going out with her a few times.

What's a respectable average speed?
 

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TwoTonesTony said:
I live in Somerville (just north of boston), so that's where I've been riding -- not many hills. A friend of mine has been riding a lot and knows some "hilly" rides though, so I'm planning on going out with her a few times.

What's a respectable average speed?

I honestly couldnt tell you at this point. When I first started riding, I didnt have a computer on the bike, it wasnt until 2 months after I started, and that was the end of my summer vacation (teacher), so riding everyday brought my fitness up quite a bit.

Another thing to consider is when I ride w/ others, my avg speed tends to be faster, whether its from drafting or picking it up a notch because there are others around, but you have to be careful not to go out too hard and then bonk.
 

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TwoTonesTony said:
thanks for the info mdeth! Are you riding this year? it's for a good cause!
No. They really, really, really, really pissed me off the last time I rode it (which I think was 2002). I was in the first group across the bridge and the ride marshalls wouldnt let anyone go in front of them-- problem was, they were riding at about 15mph and caused everyone to bunch up on the TZ-- it got really sketchy and it was dangerous. Then when we got off the thruway, we kept arguing w/ the ride marshalls who told us we should have started later. A few of us actually were able to get around them and took off. (I had somewhere to be later in the day)
The rest of the ride was fine, but when I got in at the end- they had no t-shirts in my size because they gave them all out to the people who did the 20 mile ride and got done earlier. So, I raised more money, rode longer and didnt get the t-shirt in Medium-- they only had XL left at that point (which surprised me given the number of porkers on that ride).
The final straw was when I went to one of the organizers (w/ a few others) to tell them about what happened, their attitude was more or less if you dont like it dont do the ride. I guess they get enough donations. There are plenty of things I do for good causes where its actually appreciated, so no, I wont do it anymore-- at this point a 60 mile ride isnt even worth it for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just wanted to update, I had a great time on this ride. My mom and my girlfriend volunteered with the food, and I rode and marshaled the 20 mi ride. It was fun, and really exciting to ride over the Tappan Zee bridge! It has a beautiful view that you can't really appreciate when you're in a car going 70mph.

I encourage anyone to do the ride, and to raise some money and awareness for Multiple Sclerosis.
 
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