Grant's Tomb Criterium & Bethel Spring Series
For New York City based cyclists the CRCA Grant's Tomb Criterium has long marked the start of the cycling race calendar. Sure a Spring Series or CRCA Club race may technically precede it on the calendar, but there is something special about a race like Grant's that takes place on the closed streets of New York City. For the 2014 edition of the CRCA Grant's Tomb Crit we were blessed with incredible weather and following some fast paced racing we walked away with a likewise incredible result. One of the team's newest riders, Josh Rovner, wrote about the start of his 2014 season and one very special opening weekend of racing.
No Chain Days At Grant's Tomb and Bethel by Josh Rovner
It is said that you learn something new every day. This weekend - the opening weekend of the 2014 race season - was full of many such lessons.
Friday was cold. So cold, in fact, that Mogwai the dog and I stayed in to cook food... lots of food. I learned that I do, in fact, want to eat until I sleep. This is a crucial part of my strategy.
Saturday was an early morning - but that meant we also got to hang out and talk a bit of shop before lining up. And seriously, how lucky am I? I got to line up with these fellas for the first race of the season: Scudney, Dan C, Fackler, & Friedo. I learned once again that I actually have the coolest teammates out there.
With these new lessons, the race that followed reaffirmed a lesson that I learned long ago: I do enjoy a good ol' fashion sprint to the line - in this instance an ol fashion sprint to the line with a 1-2 result for myself and my teammates.
Following a successful day of racing on Saturday at the CRCA Grant's Tomb Crit, on Sunday Friedo, Scudney and I headed out to Bethel, CT for the Bethel Spring Series. We had a fairly unambitious field. It was windy, cold, and most preferred to be safely tucked away in the peloton. However Friedo and Scudney decided this WAS in fact a bike race.
Friedo cranked it up to 11. Then Scudney attacked, staying away for the better part of the race, until they got pulled back in. Finally, a group of four went off the front without any of us... this certainly wouldn't work. I bridged up to the four who were working together nicely... ...thought I might fit right in.
The break stayed away through the finish, where I would learn my final lesson of the weekend, and perhaps the most surprising lesson of all: I learned here that no, you do NOT need a chain to win a bike race. Even after dropping my chain about 10 meters back, you really just need to coast, to sit back, and smile. After all, positivity is pro.