A necessary follow up to last Wednesday's post might be about the ramifications of running a reasonably quick 5K with next to no preparation.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
One more photo gallery popped up today, this one from NYCross's most regular photog, Lindsay. Lindsay attended the race on Sunday both to capture the event and to support her own romantic accomplice, who finished very well in both the 3/4 and single speed races.
In the interests of not embarrassing the innocent, I'll leave this racer's name out.
Check out the gallery here. Below Lindsay's favorite shots you will find a link to an even larger gallery.
I'm still waiting for one more gallery before sending out one final email to participants.
John and I both felt that this year's race was an improvement over last year's course, but we also know that it wasn't perfect.
Because we want 2011 to be even better (and because I'm underemployed and had nothing to do today), we've decided to solicit your input with a brief survey. Please fill it out here if you raced or spectated on Sunday. Thanks in advance, we greatly appreciate it.
Now, because it's already Wednesday and I've yet to write a real post this week, I think it's high time I said something about the first 5K I've run since 2004.
Way back in August, when I was starting to get a little sick of riding my bike and going to races where I knew a result wasn't likely, I decided that I was going to do some running this fall, to spend my time doing something other than riding my bike for a little bit. I set the goal of running a 20-minute 5K by Thanksgiving.
20 minutes isn't the loftiest goal for a 5k, but I also hate running.
There have been some obstacles. First of all, as much as I didn't feel much like riding, I had to keep the pedals turning to stay sharp for the MS Bike Tour, and then I really wanted to win the Lake D Hill Climb, also necessitating that I spend time on the bike.
Then there's the whole issue I have with running in general. It's not that much fun and it hurt.
So, I ran a grand total of four times before Saturday's Great Pumpkin Challenge, mainly on the trails in Skidmore's Northwoods, which is the only place I really like running for their quiet.
Initially, I was supposed to run the 5K with my Romantic Accomplice, who has been running 5Ks since April, but a bum knee forced her to abandon at the last minute.
I'll need to get a little quicker if I ever want to win a 5K, but even with minimal training I was able to post a time of 21:30. I was the 49th finisher out of 897 participants. Not too shabby, I think, and with a month before Thanksgiving, I think I still have a chance of meeting my goal.
Running the race was a funny experience. Unlike a bike race where it doesn't really matter when you cross the start line, I put myself at a bit of a disadvantage by starting behind a couple hundred people. The timer started when the start gun went off, and I expected to take off as a bike race would have, but instead found that the people in front of me hadn't yet begun to move.
I spent the first half mile trying to get through traffic to the point where I felt like I could run comfortable. You'd be surprised at how well peloton skills served me here.
Eventually, I found myself running in a group of people going about the same pace as me. My split for the first mile was about 6:40. Excitedly thinking that I could put in a fast time by keeping that pace going, I probably pushed myself a little too hard too soon.
At one point, I got yelled at by another runner for cutting across the apex of a turn, rather than staying on the paved portion of the course.
"You just have to live with yourself," she said after calling me a cheater as I passed her.
Well, I think I'll be able to sleep OK. Of course, if it had been a bike race, everyone would have cut through the turn. They do things a little differently in the running world.
Anyway, I eventually finished the race. I say the clock say 21:15 when I rounded the last turn, and tried to pick up the pace, but it took me a long time to get to the line. I'm now looking for a Turkey Trot and my brother and I can run while we're in DC for Thanksgiving. Send suggestions!
Since the race my legs in general, and my knees specifically, have been killing me and I haven't run. I have a feeling that a new pair of running shoes are in my future.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
More feedback came in today on Spa:Cx. It seems likely that we'll be welcomed back to the race course in 2011, which is obviously great news, as the venue seemed to be well-liked, even by those who found the sand challenging (almost everyone). Next year we will endeavor to make the course about a minute longer -- and I think I know how ... but you'll have to wait until next year to find out how.
Beyond that, I don't have all that much more to say about it all, except to once again thank everyone who came to race and make our event successful. Some photos have started to role in from a wide range of sources. There are scores and scores posted on facebook, and if you friend me (if you're not already), you'll see links to many albums on my profile.
In addition, two professional photogs were on hand Sunday, and the first has uploaded more than 500 photos. That gallery can be found here. Here are two other galleries on flickr: one and two.
No matter how you slice it, cyclocross is a pretty photogenic sport.
We've also got a helmet camera video of the elite men's race, courtesy of UVM rider Chris Hamlin. Check it out here.
Now that the race is over, I had to spend some time this evening doing some income-generating writing, so I'm keeping this short, but expect to be fully back into the blogging swing tomorrow.
Incidentally, I'm still sore from running a 5K on Saturday morning. Good think it's the off season -- I took yet another rest day today, despite temperatures in the 70s. Yay October!
Monday, October 25, 2010
We are still very much in recovery mode, here at GBBM.
Results from the 2010 Spa Cx are posted here. There's a ton of photos floating around on facebook, and galleries from our two professional photogs will be live soon. I'll have links as soon as they are ready.
We had some good feedback on the course today, please keep it coming so we can continue to expand the race in coming years!
In other news, the 'cross race now being behind us, I finally managed to conquer the pile of dishes today -- but the effort left me so exhausted I had to take a nap from which I just woke up, dazed and confused. I'm going back to sleep.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
A rolled tire ended his chance to win
But, he won our hearts by riding the sand dune run-up nearly every lap
300 email threads
2 hours of rain
3 miles of caution tape
24 bottles of Cycles Gladiator Wine
1 Champion System Arch
7,000 watts of generator capacity
4 hours of course set up
1 hour of course tear down
6 cans of line paint
1 Dino Bounce
12 awesome volunteers
2 really tired race promoters
Saratoga Spa Cyclocross happened. And, as expected, it was awesome.
I will write a lot more about it tomorrow night, but since waking up on Friday morning I've slept about 7 hours, while standing on my feet for the majority of the remaining hours.
Somehow, in the midst of all this race promotional madness, I managed to run a 5K in 21:30 -- in only my fifth run of this year.
Needless to say, I'm a little tired. Check back soon for a full report and more photos (and links to lots more photos) on what is quickly becoming New York's premier cyclocross event.
Thanks to everyone who raced, helped out, watched, or read about the race online!
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Saratoga Spa Cross is now just four days away. Are you excited? I know I am. At this moment, we're up to 89 riders pre-registered, on track to well-exceed last year's turnout, which means just one thing: Saratoga Spa 'Cross is the place to be on Sunday.
Register here. Seriously, register now!
For anyone wavering, I'd like to remind you that you can race 'cross on a mountain bike, as long as it doesn't have bar ends. No need to buy a new bike, just come out and race your heart out!
For me, the weekend's excitement is about much more then the second-coming of Saratoga Spa 'Cross. It's also about promoting a fun event for the entire Saratoga Cycling community.
And, apparently, it's also about running my first 5K since 2004. Yup, after a long season of bike racing, I've switched gears a little bit and have been running a couple times a week. Not to the extent of the serious runner also known as R.A., but it's a start. Every athlete needs to have a goal, so I'll be racing Saturday's Great Pumpkin Challenge, to benefit Saratoga Bridges. Co-promoter John is also running, but he's more accustomed to this kind of thing. I may be able to occasionally drop him on a bike, but I'm pretty sure I'll be struggling to keep up while running.
The last time I ran a 5K was in the fall of 2004. I went into it without any prep and came out of it all but unable to walk for three weeks. I'm hoping for a better result this time around. I'm told that my engine should function nearly as well for running as it does for cycling, once I get it tuned up for bipedal locomotion at speeds greater then a stroll.
This, should be interesting. It behooves me to remain able to walk, as we will be running tape for Spa:Cx immediately following the 5K....
Wish me luck.
Monday, October 18, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saratoga Spa Cyclocross sets the stage for racing action and family fun at
Saratoga Race Course
250 athletes, 350 spectators expected for second-annual event
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Beginning at 9:15 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 24, cyclocross racers from New York, New England, and beyond will converge on the NYRA Lowlands, on the grounds of the historic Saratoga Race Course for the second-annual Saratoga Spa ‘Cross.
Cyclocross is a style of bicycle racing that evolved in northern Europe, as a way to keep bicycle racers competing through the fall and into winter by moving them off of roads and onto muddy paths and open fields.
Racing places demands on both a competitor’s fitness and dexterity. Cyclists using specialized bicycles with road-style handlebars, but wider, knobbed tires will complete multiple laps on a mile-long course that will force them to navigate obstacles, jump over barriers, and to dismount and run up hill while carrying their bike. With a course marked by yellow tape, fans will have their choice of vantage points – exciting fast stretches on open terrain or on the run-up, where racers will look for a cheer (or jeer) to get them over the top of the climb.
True to the best European tradition, Spa:Cx will be a complete spectator experience, with food available on site from Pies on Wheels (mobile wood fired pizza), Subway and Saratoga Coffee Traders. An industry expo will feature displays from Serotta Competition Bicycles, Embrocation Cycling Journal, Luna Chix, Gore Bike Wear, Sigma Sports (cycling computers and lights), Happy Chain (locally-made lubrication for bicycle chains), and HandleBra (locally-made leather handlebar wrap).
This event was first held in 2009 in Saratoga Spa State Park.
“We’re really excited about the new venue,” said promoter John Onderdonk. “The lowlands provide challenging terrain for the racers, while a spectator standing in the expo area eating lunch will be able to see most of the action from one spot. Thanks to the Race Course for hosting our event – this proves that the race course contributes much more then one month of competition to our community.”
One of the day’s highlight will be a “Run What You Brung” event at 12:10 p.m., in which any member of the public can compete in a one-lap race, for free, using any bike, to get a taste of cyclocross. There is no prize for first person to cross the finish line in the Run What You Brung, but the Saratoga YMCA has donated two, three month memberships, which will be awarded to whichever two competitors “need it the most.”
A free kid’s race will take place at noon, open to children younger then 10 on a cyclocross-style course. A kid’s practice course will be set up in the expo area for children to ride throughout the day. A bouncy-bounce will also entertain kids while parents take in the racing action (and lunch).
Athletes will compete throughout the day in categories broken out by age or ability. Races for children 10-14, and beginner’s categories for adults begin at 9:15 a.m., to be followed by races for master’s athletes competing in 35+, 45+, and 55+ categories at 10 a.m. Intermediate men will follow at 11 a.m. Elite women will race at 12:30 p.m., elite men close out the day at 1:30 p.m. Registration is available on Sunday, or pre-register to avoid a $5 late fee at www.bikereg.com, search for “Saratoga.”
“After a successful debut in 2009, sponsors clearly saw the value in this kind of event and have come in droves to support our second year,” said promoter Andrew Bernstein. “We couldn’t have planned a successful event without their generous support and we are looking forward to a great day on Sunday!”
Sponsors include Blue Sky Bicycles, Bonacio Construction, Sigma Sports, Mavic, Anthem Cycles, Serotta Competition Cycles, Chomper Body, Swix, Gore Bike Wear, Champion System, Cycles Gladiator Wine, Saratoga Hot Yoga and Stone Industries.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Over at spacx.blogspot.com, John's got a pretty hilarious discussion of various barriers that might prevent you from winning Saratoga Spa Cross, which is now less then a week away, and excitement is building daily! I'd head over there and check out John's post. Then, I'd head over to bikereg.com and register.
If you think these daily reminders to register for Spa:Cx are going to cease, you're sadly wrong.
This being the off season, I made full use of my weekend to engage in off-season activities, like riding bikes with college kids, picking apples with the Romantic Accomplice, and eating apple crisp.
All in all, this was a really nice, relaxing weekend.
I did, however, participate in one forward-looking activity that will hopefully give me some training goals for 2011. (After all, the season opener is only four months away!!) That was fitness testing with Joey Adams on Saturday, after Blue Sky Bicycles closed for the day.
Joey, a Burlington-based guru of performance testing (and banner-bearer for CycleOps), visits Blue Sky Bicycles a few times a year and offers testing for our customers who want to further refine their training. As a perk, he offers to test one employee during the visit. After missing a few earlier opportunities, Saturday was my turn.
The experience wasn't as bad as I've heard it can be (I only wound up really pushing myself for a couple of minutes, and I do that all the time anyway. I don't like to be boastful, so I won't post the figures here, but the data is interesting, and will hopefully help me to refine my training program for next year.
The fitness testing was comprised of an analysis of my resting metabolic rate (the number of calories your body needs to lie around all day), and an analysis of VO2 Max, the size and capacity of your lungs, and peak power.
The one number I will share is my RMR. For me to wake up in the morning and get out of bed, my body apparently want me to eat 2,300 calories. Walk to the bathroom and go to work and I'm looking for 3,000. On top of that, Add in 100 calories for every hour exercised and you wind up with a lot of calories. No wonder I'm always hungry.
The RMR test consisted of sitting around reading Paved Magazine, while wearing a fighter pilot-style mask. I was facing a screen displaying my heart rate, and I had a fun time trying to relax and eek my resting heart rate ever lower. I think the final tally on my resting heart rate was 57. After a while, Joey took the mask off, apparently having analyzed my body's caloric needs by measuring my breathing. Cool.
The rest of the testing was conducted by riding my bike on a stationary trainer that modulated power, while wearing said mask.
While I personally don't feel that having this kind of data is essential for training for any kind of event, it certainly doesn't hurt to have it, and I'm grateful to have had the chance to get some numbers on myself. The numbers generated can be useful to any athlete who is at all interested in training with some kind of metric -- be it a power meter or heart rate monitor. If you don't like numbers, I wouldn't bother.
But I suppose that goes without saying.
I had hoped to have Joey take some photos during the test, but we got so involved in our geeked-out discussion that I forgot to ask him. So it goes.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
In need of something different in this, the beginning of the off season, I talked Jamie into taking me mountain biking today.
Riding his old (and for sale) Giant Trance (he also let me try the Blur LT on which he's currently shredding), I followed as he led the was over the the SMBA trails off of Daniel's Road.
It's been a long time since I pedaled fat tires, and I'd never had the pleasure of riding a dual-suspension bike like the Trance. Suffice it to say, the experience was a lot more enjoyable then the last time I went mountain biking, sometime in 2006, aboard my old Trek 820. Tricked out though it may have been with a Judy XC fork, that bike was a heavy POS with hardly anything for travel.
I was happy to be rid of that bike last summer, though it did cut into my off road riding options.
Riding trails is a different kind of challenge then I'm used to, and while I had plenty of power to make the bike go, it's a whole other skill to learn how to weight and unweight the right wheel at the right time to get the bike over or around obstacles. Half the challenge for me, used to riding fully-rigid road bikes, was remembering to let the bike do the work in some situations. There were lots of obstacles that forced me off today, and I certainly hope I get the chance to try to clear them next time.
Also, I think I remember reading in a mountain bike magazine sometime many years ago that you're not supposed to stand on your bike, but this proved to be totally false, standing, as on a road bike, is very helpful in certain situations.
After riding for about two hours, I made it back to Jamie's unharmed and having had a pretty good time in the woods. I don't think I embarrassed myself too badly and Jamie was understanding about having to wait for my slow ass at the top of every climb, and after each technical section.
More importantly, it was really nice to spend the two hours in the woods, listening to the wind in the trees and chipmunks storing up for winter, rather then on the road, listening to commuters blowing their horns at me.
Although I don't have the space or money for another bike at the moment, I certainly hope to able to include a mountain bike in my fleet at some point in the future. If not only for the tranquility of it, but for the challenge as well.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Despite the glory of media interviews, hobnobbing with the big timers and conceiving new and exciting ways to torture participants, promoting a bike race is not all fun and games. In fact, promoting a race takes a lot of elbow grease, and a LOT of favors.
Take, for instance, the above photo. My partner in crime, John is in the act of deploying a contractor bag, in which we were going to collect some empty vodka bottles, beer cans and muffler parts, which had kindly been left at the venue by some other users.
Chris, standing nearby, is a somewhat legendary figure around the capital region cycling scene, and generously donated his time and landscaping tools to our venue. Always one to advocate more challenging courses, Chris had only praise for sandpit: "Make those ****i*s work!"
Yes, Chris, I think we will.
In addition to cleaning up refuse, we made full use of Chris's backpack blowers to clean off the paved section of the course, and blew leaves off other sections. We widened the course in a few spots where it cuts through trees (no single track on this 'cross course!), and trimmed the brush at the top of the run up.
On the heels of yesterday's efforts to flag and stripe the course, we should be in good shape to set up the course on Oct. 22, and it's not one to be missed.
After a couple hours work, things were looking good. While Chris and I finished moving sand from the road to the air, John and a few of the boys from Tinney's rolled around the course.
The verdict, from Cody, is that this course is "going to be a pain in the ass on a single speed."
Better tune up your derailleurs, I guess.
We're still tweaking things, since we certainly don't want to make the singlespeed crew work too hard, but I dunno... hard doesn't mean less fun!
Besides, we've been getting lots of great prizes lined up, and I don't want to give away anything too easily. So far (and keep in mind, prizes are rolling in the door everyday), you could win stuff from these sponsors:
Blue Sky Bicycles (a wide assortment)
Sigma Sports (cycling computers)
YMCA of Saratoga (3-month memberships)
Mavic (Cosmic Elite wheels)
Swix (jackets, hats)
Gore Bike Wear (jackets, Ride-on cables)
Hot Yoga of Saratoga (gift certificate)
Stay tuned for more items...
And, go register!
Monday, October 11, 2010
Nick, left, finished second after winning the spring edition
Note, I'm saving my energy behind Steve. Those other suckers are suckers.
First of all, photos from yesterday's Lake Desolation Hill Climb are posted here. Thanks to Lindsay for the great shots! I've posted a few of my favorites here, even though it's off-topic.
More importantly, John and I spent a few hours out at the Spa:CX venue this afternoon, and after tweaking the course we designed with Jeremy Powers and Alec Donohue back in September, I can safely say that this is going to be one helluva fun cyclocross race course!
Register here. Seriously, go register right now!
My fastest time to date, 17:25
The record is about 16:40, set by Davis Phinney
The course will feature sections for both power riders and finesse drivers, and makes great use of our long, but not-so-steep hillside. Depending on weather conditions (and roto-tilling), two-thirds of the run up could be rideable, but there is a headwall that no one is riding. Anyone who does ride the entire run-up can drink on me!
We've also got a two-stage sand pit that will pose a challenge to most, but through which the skilled drivers will be able to ride. Other features of note include a lip that will scare roadies masquerading as 'crossers, a shame spiral, a nice meander through some trees and enough trips up our bowl-shaped hill to make you curse my name on each lap.
Just in case things change for us, our course will be fully UCI-compliant -- we broke out the survey wheel just to be sure. I wouldn't want anyone complaining about single track on our 'cross course, like they did last year.
It was an odd day, temperature wise
Note Steve wearing full leg warmers, and me wearing nothing
Wearing work pants, John and I did laps in about eight minutes today, and anticipate adding some length to put the lycra-clad lap time in about that same range. Due to the nature of our venue, at the nation's oldest thoroughbred race track, the look of parts of our course is changing daily as piles of soil and feed are moved around, so the final design won't be known until the day prior to the race, which all just adds to the unique fun that is Saratoga Spa 'Cross!
I meant to take some photos today, but we got so wrapped up in yellow striping paint that I forgot. We'll be back at the venue tomorrow evening to clear some brush, so check back Wednesday morning for photos.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
I rode the most of the MS Century with butterfly wings on
I left the wings home today, but still flew up the mountain!
After a season with only scant results, it may surprise readers to learn that I finally won a bike race earlier today. My Dad, upon hearing the news, asked if I was racing people in wheel chairs. Thanks Dad, real nice.
With today's victory, I secured my third-straight Lake Desolation Fall Hill Climb Challenge. I'm really happy to have taken this title, and even happier to have done so in my fastest-ever time on the hill, 17:25. I'm still not close to Davis Phinney's record time of 16:36, but it's something to aspire to! I left the fast wheels home today (didn't want to risk flatting a tubular on the way to the race), maybe I should have used them after all ...
It was chilly, but really nice out this morning at Lake D, and about 35 folks turned out for the semi-annual race. Congrats to everyone who raced!
Including myself, four racers posted times under 18 minutes, indicating a fast day on the hill. The winning time in the spring edition (posted by Nick, today's second-place finisher) was nearly a minute slower then my time today. Typically, June times are much faster -- goes to show that everyone came out to race today! Especially me. I got the pace going off the line, and the boys from the Adirondack Velo Club and Tinney's kept it going at the base. The pace forced a quick selection, and the race was down to a select group on the steeper slopes, with riders dropping off one-by-one.
Nick was still hanging tough as we climbed past the quarry, but he was unable to match my acceleration over the last roller, and he rolled through about 10 or 15 seconds behind me. Further back, Embrocation Cycling Journal team member (and occasional GBBM commenter) Franny rolled through for third, pipping Matt M., a Saratogian, at the line.
In fact my finish was so fast that a photographer on hand (stay tuned to this photoblog) was not prepared to take a photo, so we had to re-enact the finish for photographic purposes.
The race was missing a few mainstays, including former champs John (shoe shopping with his wife in the Berkshires, or some shit) and Jamie (now focusing on a run at the U.S. Open.) Still, even without these two, it was a good race, and I'm proud as hell to have earned my third title. That it wasn't raining, like last year, made it event better.
It was great to chat with folks afterward over pulled pork as well, and the number of people who told me they were coming to Spa:Cross was truly awesome. Register here!
Back to the hill climb, for anyone who doesn't know, Lake D is a 4.5-mile climb in the Town of Greenfield. The two annual hill climb challenges are informal, unsanctioned races with nothing on the line except bragging rights and pulled pork. Of course, everyone gets pulled pork, not just the winner. The events are organized by Aaron Miller, local cycling legend and owner of Tinney's Tip Top Tavern.
After the race and pulled pork, Franny and I rode a bit more in Corinth before installing ourselves at Uncommon Grounds for a bit. Then he called it a day and I tortured myself in a headwind for another two hours while riding to the battlefield. In all, I spent 8 hours in spandex today. I wasn't pedaling the whole time, but, as they say, chamois time is training time, so I feel like I put in a solid day of training today!
Congrats again to everyone who raced today, looking forward to seeing you next fall!
Now, if only I could figure out how to climb that fast in May, June, July and August...
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
I'm gazing out the window of my Allentown hotel room at Dorney Park. Why? Maybe I'll tell you someday. Or, maybe not.
I left Saratoga this afternoon under an angry sky, and drove four hours in a driving rain that eventually dissolved into a cloudy, but dry, sky. I rolled into the hotel shortly before 10, dumped by bag on the bed that I won't be sleeping in tonight, and headed out to find something for dinner.
My choices were TGIFriday's, Friendly's, Wendy's, or some non-chain place whose name I promptly forgot. Obviously, I chose the one non-chain option, which served me a delicious burger. Once fed, I returned to the hotel and did something I never get the chance to do: turned on the TV.
I've now wasted two hours in front of the idiot box, and at the risk of wasting any more time, I'm going to turn it off and shut my eyes. Meetings start at 9 tomorrow. About what, maybe I'll tell you someday.
Of course, no visit to Allentown would be complete without checking out the velodrome, which I plan to do tomorrow. They've got a Thursday crit down here, and since my bike is in the trunk, I might even jump in one more race. But, we'll see.
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
Every fall, when the days start to get short, and riding means layering up with Lycra over every inch of skin, I start to fantasize about other sports, especially running.
Back in high school, I was not a terrible runner, but I hated that running made my body ache in ways that I body should never ache. So, I gave up running and turned to two wheeled athleticism instead. But, running does have its advantages. Namely, 30 minutes is a totally reasonable workout. Run for an hour and you're really killing it. None of this 4- and 5-hour BS.
Plus, maybe it's just me, but running at night feels safer then riding at night.
So, every fall, when dusk falls quicker and quicker as we accelerate toward the holidays, I lace up some running shoes and try to pretend that I'm a runner. Last night, after getting home from a successful trip to Brooklyn, it was already dark, and it was threatening rain. Clearly a ride in those condition was out of the question -- there were a lot of rainy rides this summer and now that my season is pretty much done it takes a lot to get me out riding in the rain.
So, instead, I called up the R.A., who is an accomplished runner and who was getting ready for her own run. We met up and took off in the general direction of Spa State Park.
The funny thing about being a cyclist out for a run is that I felt like my lungs and heart could have kept going for every -- but my legs were not amused, as they never are during these fool-hardy forays into the world of running.
By the time we swung onto Broadway to head to the Avenue of the Pines it was starting to rain. Shortly thereafter it started to rain in earnest. R.A. seemed like she was good to keep going, but with my Patagucci top sticking to my arms and my Asics short-shorts sticking to my thighs (and my thighs turning fire engine-red from exposure to the cold rain, it was time for me to head back.
My lack of enthusiasm, unfortunately, killed things for R.A., and she returned to town with me.
All told, I ran about 30, maybe 35 minutes (I'll need to invest in a watch if this foolishness is going to continue), and didn't feel as sore as I might have. So that was good. I hope to be increasing my running as the days continue to get shorter, hopefully my body will respond positively. And, hopefully, my bike won't get too jealous.
Sunday, October 03, 2010
As the team has for the past several years, Champion System riders were among the first to finish the longer route at today's MS NYC Century. At the finish line, team president Ray Alba had the chance to tell the crowd that riding the event fast is the team's way of seeking a cure for MS -- fast.
I finished the ride with Ray and Scott, with a few other friends close behind. It was windy but otherwise a perfect day to be on the bike. No word yet on the total raised, but the turnout was remarkable, and I saw bikes with MS number plates on them all over the city during the rest of the day.
The ride had a new route this year (a fact that I might have been privy to, had I read any of the information the National MS Society has send me over the past month), which meant that we missed out on what is, in my opinion, the best part of the event -- riding on the FDR Drive and West Side Highway. Participants in the shorter, 3o-mile event do get to ride on the highways.
Apparently this change was made in order to open the Lincoln Tunnel to traffic earlier in the day then has previously been done during the MS ride. I say boo to you cars.
Another side effect of the change is that what was a century is now an 80-ish mile ride, so that was kinda lame too. I mean, if it's a century, call it a century!
But, that's neither here nor there. As always, MS was a great ride with a great crew for an important cause. I look forward to riding again next year.
Hopefully I'll have a follow-up post later in the week featuring a photo from today and a story to go with, so stay tuned!
Saturday, October 02, 2010
First off, a big shout-out to Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com's Jeremy Powers, who, after visiting Saratoga to help design New York's premier cyclocross racecourse, won the Great Brewers Gran Prix of Cyclocross of Gloucester. (Register for Spa:Cx here!) Jeremy is on some kinda of tear, it was a thrill to watch him win last week's first round of the US Gran Prix of Cyclocross in Madison.
And in matters of slightly lesser importance, tomorrow morning will be my 10th (or so) participation in the MS NYC Bike tour. You can still pledge to support my ride here. I last rode the 100-mile fundraiser in 2008, in the rain. Fortunately, tomorrow's forecast is much better, and I'm looking forward to ripping around Manhattan and Alpine with my team mates, all for a good cause.
Thanks to a few generous sponsors, I've raised $255 for MS. I have to offer a special shout out to an anonymous $100 sponsor, and a $75 donation from Dante, who rode two MS tours with me in 2006 and 2007. Dante's pledge came with an edict to finish on the podium. While tomorrow's event is certainly not a race, I wouldn't want to disappoint my second-largest donor!
And with that, good night.
(register for Spa Cross)