Five things people don’t tell you about bike racing
So, race day #2 of the weekend dawned, well, early. And not so bright, seeing as my alarm woke me rather rudely at 4AM. On a Sunday. Of course, natural reaction was to roll-over and stick my head under the pillow, but that didn’t work, so then I decided it can’t be an imaginary alarm but a real one. Yep. Next step: open eyes. It seems to be the same open or closed – dark. Hmm… either I’ve lost my vision overnight, or, yegads, it’s still dark outside. Which leads us neatly to bike racing thing #1. It’s called “be glad you didn’t go out last night, because that 4AM alarm call is one hell of a rude awakening”.
Well, that about sums things up. But let’s rewind for a few hours. Because this day starts at 2:43 AM, when I roll over thinking “have I missed my alarm call? Did I sleep through it”?
“Nope. You have another two hours and two minutes to go before that goes off and you need to drag yourself out of bed. So go back to sleep”, said left-brain. At this point, right-brain had a fundamental disagreement, curtailing any chances of sleep. But, oh well, it’s race day, race #1 of the season for me, my first CRCA club race, a 5-lap affair of Central Park, and my first foray into the real world of bike racing. It’s going to be fun.
The nerves subsided as I approached the start line. For three weeks leading up to my first ever race I battled nerves and fear and now, all of a sudden, they were gone. Wow! I arrived there about six minutes prior to the start of the race; that put me way in the back of sixty-ish riders so my focus became “how do I get to the front of this pack safely and without wasting too much energy?”
Lesson 1: Arrive at the start line early to avoid this mess.
“Hey, are you racing Grant’s Tomb Crit?”, Jared asked.
“No. Crit’s aren’t really my thing. Can’t do the punchy sprint thing”
“Oh, yeah. You should marshal it. It’s pretty long, but there’s lots of racing to watch”
“I should. Might do a double session – get two-thirds of my marshaling duty done in one go. And it’ll be in March, so hopefully we’ll have a bit of spring weather”
2016 was the inaugural year for GFNY Racing, so we had to piece a few things together in the winter months leading up to the CRCA season. This meant that we didn’t really have the proper team jerseys and we had to stitch CRCA patches onto the GFNY jerseys to meet CRCA sub-team requirements. But two things worked in our favor for 2017:
We had time to plan ahead
GFNY formed its own apparel company giving it more flexibility in production
February 18th. Apparently the first day of spring, but Team GFNY-Racing chose to spend the day inside the Gavia Cycling Studio for the inaugural 2017 Team FTP test. Weather outside – a balmy 64 degrees. Inside started relatively cool, but by minute 10 the combined power had turned the room into a 90 degree sauna, with the temperature headed only one way.
Getting into racing was new for many of us on the team. Most of us just rode for fun, and only recently started getting the itch to be more competitive on the bike. Season 1 was all about getting to know each other, and learn to ride together and trust each other. Here’s a look back, in pictures. Continue reading →
It’s crazy how time flies; it feels like just yesterday we were getting our feet wet with racing and figuring out what we want to do and where we want to go as a team. Well, season two is here! We’ve had some successes in season one, and we’re looking to have even more this year. Here’s a quick look at what we’re doing to #beready. Continue reading →