Sunday, June 7, 2009

The REAL Elite Riders

We got a big dose of elite cycling today, and the 25th Annual TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championship wasn't bad either. Team Columbia Highroad won the men's race and Floyd Landis successfully tested out
his new hip and his clean living (actually I choose to believe he is an innocent victim of an event that ran off the tracks but I have no useful facts either way). Anyway the REAL elite performers were our kids - Sara, Becca, and Luke - who rode their mountain bikes 15 miles to Manayunk to watch the first few laps of this year's race (that's 30 miles round trip). And if that's not enough, we had to drag them out of bed, early on a Sunday morning, to pull this off (ever trying waking up a 12year old at 5:45am on a Sunday to go biking?)

  • Riding with the kids up the infamous Manayunk Wall before the race. That's a 17 degree grade, very wall-like.
  • Riding with the kids back down the wall, brakes fading, realizing that if your kid relaxes on the brakes they will accelerate from 5mph to about 60mph in like 2 seconds.
  • Men's breakaway. We were situated midway through the 1st lap at the turn into "the wall" and for the first lap were treated to a solo breakaway who had a solid 3 minute lead. Based on TV coverage this evening he subsequently blew up, but he looked damn good streaking thru Manayunk on lap #1.
  • The women spotted the men 10 minutes at the start and then passed them midway through the men's race. Granted they only had to do 50mi vs the men's 150, but 10 minutes? Good lesson for Sara and Becca, and for Luke too.
On the way home there was some talk of trying some "real" road riding (i.e., with a road bike). We'll see. Five years ago I told myself I had bought my last mountain bike, and 3 bikes later I am having difficulty justifying "just one more" but the Marshman Triathlon is this fall and...


"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a bicycle, must be in want of another one."
-- anonymous

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