Sunday, June 08, 2008

Philly Race Day

For starters, here's the Jersey I "won" for climbing the Wall on Friday. Neat, no?

Annie and I left the house just after 7 AM and met the hundred or so other riders in today's Philly Family Fun Ride. That is the ride around the Pro race course. The 14 mile loop started at 22nd and The Parkway, up Kelly Drive into Manayunk, up the infamous Wall (again,) and then through the back of Manayunk back to Kelly Drive, up into Fairmont Park a bit in the Lemon Hill area and finally back to the Drive and onto the Parkway. Of course, the highlight was the Wall. It was my second attempt in three days and Annie's first ever. She made it about half-way up, stopped and walked another quarter of the way to where I stopped. We walked a bit together and then re-mounted and managed to finish the climb. For me, pretty much the same results on Friday and I didn't feel the climb was made any easier by being on the big bike. In fact, I actually think the Brompton was a tad easier. But I made it in almost the identical mix of walking and riding. It was a great ride and we had a lot of fun. Denine met up with us near the end of the ride and we spent some time together. I met her at various points along the course throughout the day as we both watched the race and participated in some of the other goings on surrounding it. Met lots of other folks I'm coming to know in the cycling community as well. Definitely a day for the Philly cycling community to turn out in force. Here are Annie and Denine after the ride.

After we rode and hung around a bit, Annie took off for home. Lots to do. I stuck around and moved from one vantage to another, catching both the men's and the women's races various times. It was exciting and I took a load of photos, only a few of which are posted here. If I can figure out how to post a separate album of these photos I will do so.

At one point, as I was leaving the festivities at Lemon Hill, I found myself in just the right spot to watch the peloton coming down the hill. At the bottom there is a pretty hard right turn and I captured a rider going down. I couldn't identify him, but it was a miracle that there was not a pile up. The road was wide enough for everyone to swing around him. He was not hurt, but blew a tire and called his team car for a replacement wheel and was on his way

I left before it was over also. Jewish holidays begin tonight and I had things to do to prepare. But was home to catch the exciting end of the race on TV and to watch Matti Breschel win it for team CSC.

A couple of days off the blog now for the holidays. It was a great cycling weekend. Next Sunday is the Freedom Valley ride, so another good one coming up.

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