OK, in every respect but one that was an absolutely lovely ride. Weather much more humane this week than last - it's only just up to low 80s, and humidity not terrible, definitely some breeze. I rode out through Haverstraw (definitely desensitized to the terrain there - I still don't like it, but I felt much less physically anxious than last week) and then all the way almost to Bear Mountain - turned around at the bait shop just past the Cove Deli, and stopped at the deli for Gatorade before heading back towards Nyack. Added on a bit extra, somehow missed riding past the Runcible Spoon (I still haven't figured out why I sometimes do pass it and sometimes don't, it is the hazard of having a poor sense of direction!), stopped at a deli in Piermont instead for more water and Gatorade.
I was determined to make a stab at crossing the bridge home, so I rode past the observatory (where shuttle bus drops me off - I've been getting bus home from there too, but it would be more time-effective if I could ride all the way home instead). Rode down the Alpine Hill and along River Road - forgot QUITE how hilly it is, in both directions. Came up the wrong path out of the park (in retrospect I should have paid attention to the big sign with a picture of a bicycle and a red slash through it, but I was worried about whether there would be another exit!) and found myself not, as I'd imagined, just south of the bridge and with a direct route to the bike path, but instead in a very trafficky bit of 9W. Kept my cool very well, really, riding in traffic - I am definitely acclimating. Then the bridge was looming and I couldn't at all figure out how to find the path - got off my bike so that I could investigate.
Had a longish walk to path entrance, but there it was, I got on my bike and all was well until I came to the first bollard. The path is very narrow and it takes three sharp turns to get round - I lost my nerve, got off my bike and then just could not quite persuade myself to get back on it, though honestly it is much quicker on a bike than walking (death grip on bicycle!) - it is a long bridge! Felt very anxious but considerably on the right side of actual panic. Very relieved to get off on the other side, though I was too frazzled to ride properly all the way home - the route takes you through a very congested bit in front of the hospital, too many vehicles with conflicting priorities, so I walked some more before getting to a quiet enough bit of Riverside Drive that I really could ride the rest of the way home.
I was shooting for 5hr and almost made it - it was about 4.75hr when I got off my bike in Fort Lee. Added a little extra time en route home, but didn't want to keep turning Garmin off and on (convinced that of all reasons to have an accident, "I was turning on my Garmin" must be about the worst one!). So the numbers are a little odd, it was stop and go at the end without turning off watch obviously, I rode some bits that didn't get logged, and there were a lot of hills in the main ride.
I am sorry I am not a faster rider, but really I am riding well and I am pretty optimistic that I can make race cutoffs in Wisconsin!
Re: bridge - it was informative, I clearly do need to continue with the shuttle-bus workaround in both directions. I am left more just with a sense of amazement that so many people can tolerate that path! (Quick internet trawl gives me this video by a more fearless rider than I am - the place where I got off comes at 1:38, really it is very stressful! Though less crowded on a weekday than it is there....)
4:53, 62.05 (13mph), avg HR 130, max HR 156