I rode the Golden Apple on Sunday with eight of my buddies from the Long Island and Massapequa Park bicycle clubs.
We did the 75-mile loop. Actually, we managed to log 78.5 miles when we missed a couple of turns – despite the plethora of pavement markings and helpful volunteers.
The weather was perfect, the scenery was terrific and there were enough hills to remind me that I’ve been riding on Long Island for too long.
And I got to experience the infamous rumble strips along Route 100 that riders from the host Westchester Cycle Club have been ranting about. Geez, what a bad idea.
The mileage definitely was a stretch for me since I usually top out about 50-55 miles. I was running out of gas as we rolled into the 61-mile rest stop – located appropriately enough next to a cemetery.
I scarfed up a few gels that I brought, forced down a nasty tasting sports drink named Heed, and the rest of the ride was a blast. Especially the downhills, which there were plenty of during the final stretch. I wound up averaging 13.5, which is respectable in my book.
I don’t do many of the major riding events because I find them too crowded and often filled with riders who don’t know or follow common etiquette, such as calling out when they pass, stop, etc. On Sunday my informal observation was that the riders from the WCC were the most courteous I came across.
As I recalled from riding The Apple about five years ago, the day was well run and well stocked by the WCC. The Labor Day weekend timing seems to have worked out in their favor. Visit westchestercycleclub.org/goldenapple.php to check out photos of the event.