So just like that, the 2017 race season is over. Starting out as a lowly Cat-5 on a very cold April day in Central Park, to a warm and sticky autumnal October in Prospect Park, via Vermont, Jersey, and, of course, our signature race starting at the GWB. And what a fun season it was. So, some potted highlights for your reading pleasure. Continue reading
“Winter is coming”. Well, that’s what they’re saying on Game of Thrones, but in the world of Bike Racing, we try not to think of such things until we really have to. Late July and August have been blessed with a pretty busy race calendar, and a great chance to learn some new things. While the first half of the season was mostly about hanging on for dear life, these later races have given us the opportunity to learn some of the dark arts of bike racing. So, without further ado, here’s a few tips we’ve picked up!
It was a dark and stormy night… Or, at least, I’m told it was, because I went to bed at 9:30, and slept pretty darned soundly till my alarm rudely woke me up at 3:45AM on Sunday morning. But all for a good cause, because Sunday was race day! And this week’s race was the snappily named CRCA Hincapie Grand Prix in Honor of Fred Mengoni. After a week of searing temperatures in the high 90s, with humidity to match, the overnight storm was quite welcome, as Sunday dawned a little cooler. Well, I say “dawned”, but really it was still dark when my alarm clock went off, and would be for another two hours. Still, off to Central Park I trotted at a lovely 4:15 in the morning, Now, unlike those winter rides, there’s generally no need to check the weather five times before heading out in the summer, but I did anyway. Habit, more than anything. And my selection of weather apps all told me the same thing: “no rain”. Excellent.
Here’s a story to explain why you should always be “Training Up” – or, put another way, training with riders that are well beyond your current abilities.
This week a few guys on the team agreed to meet up one morning in Central Park for laps to include 4-minute efforts. We basically broke this down into 2x efforts per lap, so it was roughly 4-mins of hard effort, and 5-mins of light spinning to recover. Both efforts were to include the most uphill portions of Central Park: the East effort from Horseshit Alley to the Met Finish (a little past Cat’s Paw) and the west effort from the bottom of Harlem Hill to the end of Three Sisters (effectively the Central Park Alps segment on Strava.)
In the annals of bad ideas, bike racing to the average person is probably reasonably high up the list. Bike racing at 6am on a saturday morning is slightly higher up that list, especially when you could be safely tucked up in bed. And then there’s bike racing at 6am on a Saturday morning whilst throwing in a suicidal attack or three. But then no one would ever describe us as “average”. No. “Insane”, “stupid”, “foolish” all spring to mind, but not normal. So, we figured that the day would be a good day to live up to these monikers.
There comes a point in every race where you have two choices: apply more power, or head swiftly backwards and wave the peloton goodbye. Two weeks ago in Killington, I got to wave them goodbye not once, but twice. That’s stage racing for you! Today was my first race back, and unlike Killington with its endless hills, it was a flat, five-lap affair round Prospect Park. I was keen to see the gains I’d made in the run-up to GFNY and Killington, and this would be the first comparable race where I’d get to find out.
By: Jared Skolnick
This photo sort of sums up the weekend for me:
It was the Killington Stage Race (KSR,) I finished (like the sign says,) and there was always someone in front of me (and rarely anyone behind me.) But I’m getting ahead of myself…
by: Gavin Chow
“Oh… that hill. You know that’s not a hill, don’t you?”
Killington, Vermont, Memorial Day weekend, 2017: the GFNY Racing Team gathered at the charming Butternut Inn and Pancake House for our first foray into stage racing. Three days, 110 miles of racing over what the organizers described as “challenging” terrain. The seven-strong team was split between the Men’s 4/5 Open category and the Men’s 4/5 Masters category. Juan “I’ve bought my standard” Sanchez, Ramon “Oh wait, I’ve been here before” Thompson, and Justin “what do you mean by ‘ride outdoors’?” Bangs represented the team in the Open category.
Words: Gavin Chow The Campagnolo GFNY Championship race is always a special day for the Racing Team. It’s our title sponsor race, it’s the one that has brought us together as a team, and we have the incredibly special honor of being one of the few teams that get to line up at the front, amongst some serious local and international competition. And, best of all, this year we got to be completely Pro, not just for the day, but the entire weekend! That started at 8:00, on Saturday, a full 23 hours before the start! So here’s a recap of an incredible four pro moments from an amazing weekend. Oh, and my race report too. Continue reading
Fixed gear, no brakes! Our very own Thomas races his first Redhook Crit: