TWTW: How Hot Is Too Hot For Bikes

New York City's seasons are not particularly friendly to cyclists. We spend the early months of the calendar year freezing our assess off training just to have some semblance of fitness for the early season races that are even colder than our training rides thanks to the early morning race starts. And even as the calendar transitions into Spring some of our favorite races like the Bear Mountain Classic in early May seem prone to less than pleasant weather. Thus in the end we squeeze a few weeks of great racing weather into late-May and June before the heat of summer kicks into full effect. That inevitable heat wave arrived this past weekend with temperatures pushing close to 100 degrees on Sunday. It made for some draining riding but there was still plenty of action to be had for NYC cyclists - apparently we have yet to hit temperatures where it is truly too hot for bikes.

The Week That Was (TWTW) 

It is probably no surprise that we kicked off the race week at the Rockleigh Criterium. However we had a smaller than usual crew in attendance for the finale of the first series of racing as severe weather raced through the city and absolutely dumped rain just as the team would normally be headed across the GWB. Daghan spent some time hiding in a bus shelter before finally making it to the race to join Ted, who drove out. As fate would have it by the time the race started the skies had cleared and the tarmac was dry. It turned out to be yet another day for the sprinters as EDA Evolution took home the win to defend their leaders jersey in the final standings (Rockleigh Crit Results).

With racing underway for the week we returned to one of our favorite Friday morning pass-times: slow loops in the now car free Central Park followed by shooting the shit over coffee. With an early morning planned for Saturday's Mengoni Grand Prix it was the best possible way to start the final workday of the week:

Saturday morning brought the CRCA Open Racing calendar in Central Park to a close with the 2018 CRCA Mengoni Grand Prix. Named after long-time NYC cycling patron Fred Mengoni, the Mengoni Grand Prix was once a top tier professional race with national champions and Tour de France participants in attendance alongside NYC cycling legends like George Hincapie and Mike McCarthy. The race stepped down to a more grassroots level in the past decade and sadly Fred passed away earlier this year but the race still brought huge fields of local cyclists for a 5:30AM race start. As for the actual racing - the squad raced aggressively and made the winning break, taking home sixth and the field sprint for eighth. We'll have a more complete race report tomorrow, but in the interim a few pictures from the always excellent Bicycle Racing Pictures follow below (Mengoni Grand Prix Results)

On Sunday there was racing to be had at Floyd Bennett Field as part of the new 'upgrade points' July series. But with temperatures approaching 100 degrees and our bodies still recovering from the early morning at the Mengoni Grand Prix we decide to stick to a team ride to close out the weekend. We dodged the NYC Triathlon on the way out of town and did our best to stay cool but it still worked out to be one of the more draining spins on the bike of the year to date. 

The Week That Was On the TBD Journal

  • CRCA Women's Club Racing is Fire: we kicked things off with an ode to the CRCA Women's Race community as encapsulated in a single Central Park race in late June. Written by CityMD's Lucia D.

  • TWTW: A "Slow" Week for NYC Bike Racing: as usual there was a The Week That Was Component to last week's journal, this time recapping what was a kind of slow week for skinny tire racing in New York City. 

  • Riding with Family: given that relatively slower week of racing we dug into the Archives and republished one of our favorite posts from the Team Health Warrior days.

  • Sunday in the Woods: The Lewis Morris Challenge MTB Race: to end the week we returned to a place we have found ourselves more often as of late - the woods for a bit of mountain bike racing where Daghan Perker finished 5th.

Reading, Links, Random Facts

  • The New York City cycling community is pretty adept at passing around bike bags as required by travel schedules. Though if you're looking to purchase one this guide from Cycling Tips is pretty hand. For our money the Orucase Airport Ninja wins hands down, having saved hundreds of dollars worth of baggage fees over the years: CT Recommends: Best bike travel cases and bags

  • The Froome drama surrounding the Giro admittedly has us a bit sour on professional racing at the moment. But on the bright side Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka definitely leaves a positive impression with their differentiated approach to their Tour de France roster announcement: 2018 Tour de France Team Announcement

  • There has been plenty of national championship titles awarded in recent weeks though one that caught our eye was Jolanda Neff capturing the Swiss Road Race Championship after already holding the Swiss (and World) MTB Champs: @jolandaneff

Parting Shot

As race directors our fear while watching Sagan or MVDP put their bike handling skills to the test in the European peloton is always that those maneuvers encourage young cyclists to (attempt to) replicate that conduct. And Van der Poel's sprint at the Dutch National Road Race Championships is definitely something that we wouldn't want to see in a CRCA Central Park finale. But as a spectator it is pretty wild to watch: