To Be Determined Journal

To Be Determined is a journal of cycling, adventure and photography, curated by a NYC-based cycling team known as TBD Racing or Team TBD. From criteriums to cyclocross to product reviews and travel diaries, it is all part of the TBD Journal.

Bear Mountain Classic Recon

Previous Bear Mountain Journal Entries: Donuts and Oktoberfest, Bear Mountain Classic 2014 Recon

I don’t often (read: never) recon a course as logistically it’s tough and it normally means missing another race. However having never ridden the course and with the New York State Road Race Championships coming to our local circuit of Bear Mountain I couldn’t pass up on the chance, especially considering last year I had a mechanical leaving my house so never made it. Oh and I had to see THAT 180 degree bend everyone is talking about…

Me, my two friends Ivan and Tim from the NYC racing community and my friend Tom from the UK, who was in town on vacation, took the Metro North up to Garrison early Thursday morning. I had a route in mind around Putnam County that yields 1000+ ft per 10 miles so we’d get plenty of climbing in our legs, then we’d hop over the bridge and recon the Bear course, finally hop back over and finish in the Peekskill brewery to undo all of our hard work. But drunken naps on the train are always worth it… Especially after we were unexpectedly snowed on for 20 minutes in the middle of our ride..... in late April.... while wearing summer kit.....

After riding past the familiar Perkins drive to intersect the course at the Tiorati/Seven lakes junction we hit Seven Lakes drive. This part of the course was nice and flat but very exposed so it could make it tough chasing back on if you get distanced on Tiorati, especially if there’s any head wind. Seven Lakes drive is as the name suggests surrounded by lakes (seven would you believe) and makes for some breathtaking views. The race will no doubt only supply me with views of sweaty rear ends getting further and further away so it was nice to soak up the scenery.

A left hander onto Welch puts you into what would be the final climb before the post crest slight downhill finish. On the laps preceding the finish lap the descent continues past the finish line into a flat out decent ending with a complete 180 corner. With any luck I’ll miss the tree’s when I run wide and pull a nice skid on the grass for bonus cool points (still working on USAC to recognize these.). But in all seriousness this corner is tricky, the white lines splitting up the lanes give you a false impression of where to position yourself on the road, I found if I ignored these the corner made a bit more sense. Trying to figure all this out approaching at +40mph was an eye opener. With several attempts it became less hard, but certainly not easy! Finally after this corner it’s just the Tiorati climb left to suffer up. If anything once I get dropped I’ll have some wonderful views to look at, so it won’t be all doom and gloom.

Photo Rhetoric - Bear Recon-1000 Photo Rhetoric - Bear Recon-1001 Photo Rhetoric - Bear Recon-1002 Photo Rhetoric - Bear Recon-1003 Photo Rhetoric - Bear Recon-1004 Photo Rhetoric - Bear Recon-1005 Photo Rhetoric - Bear Recon-1006 Photo Rhetoric - Bear Recon-1007 Photo Rhetoric - Bear Recon-1008 Photo Rhetoric - Bear Recon-1009 Photo Rhetoric - Bear Recon-1010 Photo Rhetoric - Bear Recon-1011 Photo Rhetoric - Bear Recon-1012 Photo Rhetoric - Bear Recon-1013 Photo Rhetoric - Bear Recon-1014 Photo Rhetoric - Bear Recon-1015 Photo Rhetoric - Bear Recon-1016