We hosted our “I.F You Please” group ride this past Saturday, and it was RAD! We wanted to take an opportunity to introduce our new friends at Independent Fabrication Bikes to the great riding (and riders) we have around NYC. A few phone calls later, and we had James from Embrocation Cycling Journal and the Rapha Continental guys on board as well. Some of our favorite customers also showed up, and by 9am we rolled out of the shop 40 strong, headed for Piermont. The weather was brisk, but as the pace quickened up the Hudson River Parkway, we soon realized we were in for a perfect day on the bike.
Once safely across the Hudson via the George Washington Bridge (after navigating the cordon that is currently protecting the USS New York – forcing us to dismount and walk for a stretch), we jumped into New Jersey. Some of us chose to ride the more challenging River Road segment, while others stuck to Route 9w. After about 8 miles (and a Cleaver v. Morrison showdown on River Road), the two routes converged and we were back in NY state (through the gorgeous Tallman Mountain Park), descending on Bunbery’s, the popular café in Piermont (and home to Lance’s favorite cinnamon scone).
Unfortunately, every other cyclist in the area had the same idea – the place was absolutely crammed. After a slight delay involving nature breaks, caffeine, losing Sam for about 15 minutes, and cinnamon scones, we turned around and headed south into a substantial headwind (which was odd, since it’s usually painful on the way UP). The ride back was quick nonetheless, and riders who had a chance to stretch their legs earlier now started testing each other on the way back. The tempo was revved and riders began peeling off the back. The group was then strung out along 9W but regrouped at the NJ base of the GWB. There seemed to be an unspoken agreement to go easy on the way back down Riverside Drive, and the conversation flowed as we recounted the ride and enjoyed the weather.
We couldn’t have asked for a better day, or a better turnout. We’re indebted to Independent Fabrication, who not only brought their legs and an enthusiasm to ride, but some sweet bikes as well (which will be on display in the shop). And to the Rapha guys (Rich, Sam, Kansas, and Piers), Christophe Jammet (he of the mad PR skills), James from Embrocation, and everyone who showed up to ride – you all made the day – dare we say – EPIC. Thank you!! We can’t wait to start planning the next one! (Oh, and check out some more pics here on flickr!)