Thursday in NYC: Hot Weather and Fast Racing
Weekday racing in New York City may not have the bells and whistles of the Driveway Series in Austin but the Big Apple more than makes up for it with the sheer quantity of racing available: Tuesdays at Floyd Bennett Field, Wednesdays on the track at Kissena, and Thursdays at Rockleigh (or back at FBF). Among those options Thursdays at Rockleigh remains a favorite for the TBD crew (at least for those of us not residing in Brooklyn in close proximity to FBF). While Rockleigh requires an early exit from the office the series differentiates itself with a very pleasant cruise down 9W to the Bergen County Healthcare Center and the parking lot roads that comprise this grassroots criterium. For last night, my first Rockleigh of the year, the temperatures were finally reaching 'summer levels' as we headed north from Manhattan under blue skies.
There was also a strong wind blowing, creating a heavy headwind along the finishing straight. This combined with the warm temperatures to make for a hard evening of racing. The action started early with a sizable group rolling off the front but with plenty of firepower in the peloton they were eventually brought back halfway through the race. From there much of the remaining race was spent single file as small groups of riders attempted to chip off the front only to be brought back by a motivated field and that challenging headwind. Ted was particularly aggressive trying to get off the front but ultimately the race setup for a field sprint finish. I moved up as the laps started counting down and was sitting near the front with 2 to go when my front tire started spraying tubeless sealant everywhere. I held position and closely monitored the pressure, hoping the puncture would seal up but was we approached the final two corners of the race sealant was still flying and so I pulled off and rolled across the line DFL.
With a hard evening of racing complete all that was left to do was race the setting sun home to Manhattan, nursing my front tire home at 50psi. Thankfully it held long enough for me to get home where, after 70ish miles of riding and racing, I immediately headed to the pub across the street for a well deserved burger and beer. All in all not a bad way to spend a Thursday evening in New York City.