The weekend just past I attempted the 620 kilometer (385 mile) bike race from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia, which was to serve as a dress rehearsal for the Trans Am. I say attempted as 460 kilometers in my rear derailleur pretty much exploded thus ending my race prematurely. A week later I still have disappointment coursing through my veins but I am now able to focus clearly on some valuable lessons learnt from the experience.
Mid October has become a rather exciting time of the year for me these days. Early Autumn riding with the pleasant temperatures and beautiful fall scenery is only part of it. A big part of the excitement comes with the announcement of the following years Tour de France route which includes the announcement of the Etape du Tour Route. And with that comes the reawakening of our ever growing Etape du Tour Whatsapp group with the constant buzzing of plans for next year. The route was announced yesterday. Here are my initial thoughts.
The 2016 Etape du Tour from Megeve to Morzine in the French Alps was my 4th Etape du Tour. In 2013 there were 4 of us, this year there were 11, including 6 first timers. A motley crew of Aussies, Irish, Scottish, French, American, Dutch and English. It was weird being the “seasoned” Etape veteran, one of the go to guys for info and tips. Weird as I still very much consider myself a novice cyclist and weird because, yes I may well have participated in 3 previous Etape du Tour’s but I actually hadn’t set an official time yet! A bloody disgrace if you ask me. How would this year go?
This was my second attempt at the Gran Fondo New York having first completed the 100 mile (160km) race in 2014. It was my 6th Sportive yet the first one where I had actually gone into the event with a competitive mindset. I was after a decent time rather than being satisfied with just finishing. My goal time was rather ambitious……….but the question is, was it realistic?!
The 2016 Gran Fondo New York is just under a week away. It will be the second time I have done the race, having first completed the course in 2014. That year was just about finishing the race but this year having done a shedload more training I actually want to have a crack and set a decent time. But before I nail my colors to the mast I thought I’d have a closer look at the course to see what a realistic time is. By my current standards anyway.
The Bicycling Open is not really a Gran Fondo or Sportive per se but moreso a “recreational ride” as the organisers call it that provides amateurs of varying abilities the opportunity to ride the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic course before the pros.
The 2013 Etape du Tour is my favourite Gran Fondo to date. There were four of us that did it and as we had never attempted such an event before it really felt like a great adventure at the time that we would all conquer together. They say you never forget your first….