It was 2011 and I was standing at the top of Meeting House Road, a camera in one hand, my stomach giddy with anticipation as the racers screamed down the dirt descent and hammered over the stiff climb.
“Are you racing, too?” A woman about my age asked, turning toward me. “You look like someone who races.” I wasn’t sure how to answer this. No, I wasn’t racing. Yes, I regularly rode with racers, but I wasn’t one…yet. I was a pro at bottle hand-ups, but that’s as close as I’d come to participating in a road race. But after watching my husband compete in Battenkill in 2011 and riding the route the following fall, I made a promise to myself that I’d be back and not as the water girl. Continue reading
After watching local crits and obsessively tuning in to all the grand tours, I finally got to experience my first pro race today. We headed down to Philadelphia early this morning for the famed TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling Championship and promptly sought out the Manayunk Wall, a sustained climb that hits 17 percent at one point. We were fortunate enough to have passes to Fuji’s VIP tent (unlimited beer, grilled meat and free schwag!) where we waited for the brutal ascent to start claiming its victims.
The men’s field was strong, but what I really enjoyed watching was the women. The group remained pretty much intact on the first run. But after four more circuits, things got ugly, with riders shed off the back. I loved watching the racers’ boundless determination as they struggled through the pain. In the end, Ina Teutenberg (Team Specialized-Lululemon) and Alexander Serebryakov (Team Type 1 Sanofi) took the win. Continue reading
After endless anticipation and jumping makeshift barriers in the front yard, I finally entered my first cyclocross race last weekend in Saratoga.
The neighbors are probably wondering why we have PVC piping in our front yard. Some rock the pink flamingos or bathtub Mary’s, but around here, it’s cyclocross season, and we needed some cheap practice barriers. Continue reading
The Tour of the Battenkill has always been on my bucket list. While I haven’t summoned up the courage to race it yet, my husband Rob did. The weather was awesome, 65 degrees and sunny for much of the afternoon. I think this caught many by surprise, as my husband crossed the finish line low on electrolytes and scorched with sunburn.
Photos are mainly of the Cat 5 men and Pro/1/2 women’s fields. Overall, there were 2,700 riders representing 40 states and 15 countries. We snapped them as we raced between feed zones and savored the incredible countryside surrounding Cambridge, NY.
Additional photo credits: Jim McCormack