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Heckscher State Park 90 mile Gangster Ride Part 1
By Mel Corbett
Posted 2019-07-30T15:28:00Z

Notes From The Front.., (A Major Taylor Iron Riders periodic blog on cycling matters)

It was a Gangster Ride…..Part One

As I write this piece, I want to state that these are my thoughts. They do not reflect the views of the other riders that took part in the ride today. There were over 35 riders that participated in the Heckscher State Park ride, views may vary.

The title of this piece came from Linyu better known as Ms. CIS racer, Iron Rider and Taiwanese Hill Climber who has just yesterday completed an 83 Mile CIS training ride. Apparently, she was exposed to something today that had her state that this was a gangster ride.

But let’s begin this story on Saturday where I saw ride leader Rowne Brannigan, AKA the Pirate, in Prospect Park. He asked me whether I was coming on the ride, and I complained that I didn’t have the miles. Rowne shouted me down saying that the pace would be 19-20 mph and I needed it if I was to attempt to ride to Princeton next week. I said to myself, “Hmmmm”?

Fast Forward 7:20 am this morning, I arrived to see a semi star-studded field of riders. No weak spots. I realized that I had brought a peashooter to a gun fight.

Was there even a friendly face in the crowd? Then I looked closer and saw RobertBijou and Linyu. Thank God!

Rowne assembled the peloton at 7:30 and we take off. The ride twists and turns though Brooklyn streets until we hit the Conduit. Right on clue the pace exploded. My intentions were to ride the small chain ring out and the big chain ring back, but I was having a hard time keeping contact with the group hit speeds that topped 25 mph. We were chasing the big dogs that took off up the road. I was saying to myself that my training rides have been for distances of 25-30 miles averaging 19-20 mph and this ride will be over 90 miles at these breakneck speeds. I need the big chain ring.

I found myself sitting in the back of the pack being yoyoed as Robert, Bijouand Linyu were sitting right in flying down the road. Christopherl had put Linyu on his wheel and you couldn’t tell that she had done an 83 mile ride the day before. Was I the only person that wasn’t fit in the pack? Thank God again for the red lights that gave me 30 seconds to recover. About 20 miles in I knew that I would have to rely on all my veteran savvy to survive this ride.

As the miles added up, to my surprise, I was still sitting in. The pace had calmed down to about 22-23 mph hour and I moved up into the front group floating the big chain ring to recover.

We left Prospect Park with about 25 riders, however as we traveled down Sunrise Highway we picked up additional talented riders, like Adam, Hefflin, Bruce and Tony. They all added more firepower to the group.

By the time we got to Heckscher State Park, we had ridden 49 miles at those speeds without stopping. I was comatose. Bijou was having her husband meet her to drive her home. She offered me a seat. I was planning on taking it, when Chris and Linyu Wen said that we would form a B group and take it easy going back.

Judging by Linyu’s description of the ride, all I could think of was Biggie Smalls “Kick in the door waving the 44” I passed on the sag back…mistake. I was now in the middle of a gangster ride trying to make it home.

To be continued…