Rest stops

The unexpected joy of the Montauk Century this year was that, for the first time, they had rest stops. Gone are the days when you show up at the start, they take your bag (to be trucked to the finish), they hand you a map, and you're on your own for 130 miles. I blew past the first rest stop--didn't see it--but was ready, and thankful, for No. 2.

Rest Stop 2

This was at 50-something miles--not even halfway. Around me I heard talk of the "headwind" and I'd noticed feeling a bit of a breeze against us, but I'd also seen no leaves heaving or flags flapping. However, my aim was to take it easy and ride with others in shelter. So I hooked up with two guys.

Jeffrey and Ron

This is Jeffrey and Ron. To really tell this story allow me to go back to the start at Penn Station, which was actually just the corner of 31st Street and 8th Avenue--a spot of open space along the curving backside bulk of Madison Square Garden.

Waiting in line to check in and deposit my bag on the truck, these two hooligans rolled up behind me, full of bonhomie and eager to engage anyone near in conversation. They seemed like brothers for they were decked out in the same jersey, but they are not. Jeffrey has a titanium triathlete's bicycle with small and forth, I checked in, left my bag and pushed off without looking back. However, I encountered them a couple times on the road and we hailed each other. They were part of that pace line I rode, in fact, Ron did a long monster pull that impressed me. He's strong. At Rest Stop No. 2 I was preparing to move on when they rolled in. I decided to wait for them.


But we didn't ride together. We set out and I got on the wheel of the guy in the ONCE jersey (above) and before I knew it Ron and Jeffrey were nowhere in sight. However, I flatted, took my time fixing it, and was it at Rest Stop 3 that we hooked up again? I guess so. That's a great thing about rest stops--they offer this opportunity to hook up with people.