Prospect Park State of Mind
Can you believe all the things that there are to do here, in this city, the largest city in the US. How big? Over 8,000,000. The next largest city? LA: 3,500,000.
So, it follows that several biking events are on offer in the summer. For example, a month ago Bike Snob read from his book at Rapha Bike Shop. And recently, David Herlihy read from his new book The Lost Cyclist at Bicycle Habitat.
You can go on an organized ride seven days a week. You can find a well-organized century tour every Saturday and Sunday in September and October.
During the summer there are races at Central Park (Manhattan) and races in Prospect Park (Brooklyn). Luckily, I could not race in any of these late summer races because the fields were full (whew!). Also, I don’t have a license. And I generally don’t know the system here yet. But, I learned that if you really want to, you can talk your way into the Cat. 5 field. So, as usual, I just didn’t want to race.
On August 14th, I wrote the following and have been remiss in publishing it.
Here it is:
I showed up at 7 am to check out and ride around Prospect Park. I sorta knew that there was a race this morning, but it started at 6:30. Registration was at 5:30! Ouch. Anyway, it was a beautiful morning and I got on the wide bike lane (almost four full lanes wide!) and started soft pedalling. Then the Pro-1-2-3 group passed me. Ker-pow! That was cool. Full field at 90 riders.
I stopped by the start/finish to get the skinny. First, I was amazed at the large crowd and all the different teams and bikes. I saw sweet rigs: Ciocc, Van Dessel, BMC. And I saw a Scattante with Cosmic Carbones! Well, I learned that if I had my head screwed on right, I could have raced today. I would have needed to re-up my license online and then wait in line until 6:15, at which time the stand-by riders would get a chance.
The best kits were, by far, the Mexico New York City Cycling team. A close second was the Major Taylor kits. Also saw Kissena, G.S. Mengioni and Ride Brooklyn kits. Very cool scene.
I saw the finish of the 4 race. I don’t know any names but this freight train of a guy from Major Taylor led out two of team mates and I think they went 1, 2, 3. Very sharp riding.
One of the race organizers, Anthony VanDunk, told me to race tomorrow. But after 6 laps, I was weezy. Anthony runs the website: http://newyorkbikeracing.com.
Maybe I’ll head out to Floyd Bennett Field near Coney Island for the evening race. Just as I was about to leave, Anthony looked at my Goosetown Racing kit and said “it looks as if you might need to join a New York team. Give a call when you do.”
Did he say “might want to” or “might need to”? At any rate I will take in the positive sense.
I will end this post here. The problem with this place is that there is simply too much to report, too much to look at, too much to do and experience. It can be stultifying to try to write about even little slivers of New York. So, in order to start up the blogging engine again, I will submit brief reports, instead of my usual, longwinded palaverings.
Scraps (in BK)