Central Park in the Rain

Century Road Club Association Club Race June 2, 2012

June 2nd brought another edition of the CRCA Accelerade Club Series in Central Park, as well as the second Central Park race in the CRCA Women's 3/4 Development Series presented by Bike Doctor NYC.  Unfortunately overnight showers also presented riders with wet roads as they ventured into a Central Park still shrouded in darkness ahead of the race's 5:45AM start time.  

Race Report from Matthew Vandivort

As my 4AM alarm sounded (one of the many benefits of being on the CRCA board is the need to get to the park particularly early on race day) I ventured a peek out the window to see if the predicted overnight rain shows had in fact occurred. Unfortunately the forecast was indeed accurate and I was greeted by a misty pre-dawn morning in New York City.

By the time the 5:45AM start rolled around the sky had lightened modestly but the rising sun remained buried behind overcast skies. With the sound of the starting bell I was welcomed to the race by the immediate spray of water from the contrails of the of the rider ahead of me - not a happy sensation at 5:45AM.

The initial pace was quick but my no means fast as riders were seemingly weighed down by the conditions - the pace around the Lasker Pool was particularly cautious in the wet conditions. For the first two laps I bounced around the front of the race, jumping with a few moves that seemed promising and putting in a few efforts, though at this early stage in the race the field inevitably came back together.

On lap three or four, following a long effort on the front on the East Side, I hit the downhill at Lasker at what felt like a conservative pace but quickly discovered it wasn't cautious enough when my back wheel started sliding out - leaving me wishing for fewer PSI and wider tires.

I managed to stay upright but for me that was the sign to pull the pin and I abandoned as the field came back around the 96th St finish: DNF.  

Not a great morning on the bike, but I'm looking forward to the CRCA FBF Classic, Kid's Race and Big Wheels Championship tomorrow, which should take place under much better weather conditions.

Matthew Vandivort is a New York City based cyclist and sometimes photographer who was also a founding member of To Be Determined. You can follow him online at @photorhetoric or http://photo-rhetoric.com/