Saturday, June 07, 2008
CSC Manayunk Hill Climb Time Trial
It was quite an experience! I arrived at the starting line about an hour early and registered for the race. Had to purchase my one day racing license from USA Cycling and then register for the race. I had no idea that it was going to be a time trial. I thought there would just be a bunch start and everyone rode together. Instead each person went off individually. They held your seat while they counted down and you had your feet on the pedals and then..off. I was number 72, the number proudly affixed to the back of my jersey. There were 16 folding bikes among the hundred plus riders. I came in number 14 out of 14 in the men's category. The two women beat me also. But I made it up the wall. If I had actually found it the day before when I was looking for it, I probably wouldn't have even shown up. It is an incredible climb. I made it about 3/4 of the way up and felt like throwing up. I had to stop and walk about 10 feet to get my breath back, but then I got on my bike and made it the rest of the way up. I felt quite good, like I had accomplished something. I was dog tired by the time I rode the seven miles home after the race.
But it was really exciting. One of the photos below shows the arrival of the Mavic car, the neutral race mechanics who are always at the pro races. There was a lot of excitement and curiosity at this first ever sanctioned folding bike classification at a USA Cycling event. The other photos show the start gate, the folders lined up ahead of me, some of the folder guys milling about before the race.
Rob English, riding a titanium Bike Friday finished in first among the folders with a time of 1:35:22 (my time was 5:35:99) which was only about 9 seconds behind the race winner on a regular bike. Pretty impressive. Nice guy, too.
This afternoon Annie and I walked over to Walnut Street to watch the folding/unfolding contest. It was a gas. And I was given my Jersey!(picture tomorrow.)Also met Alvin Gilens, a professional photographer who was taking pictures at the race and got one of me going up the wall.
Tomorrow its PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP FAMILY FUN RIDE. We'll ride the course before the pros do, including the wall again. This time on the Fuji! Then we'll watch the race.