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The 5th edition of the Taconic 150 is on the schedule, 150 kilometers of dirt and road riding in Dutchess and Columbia counties. Map and details coming soon.
For inquiries please contact email@example.com
coffee, events, Road Biking, shop rides, Taconic 150
NYC Velo’s latest Bike of the Week (BOTW) catapulted itself into the limelight after a strong showing at last week’s Crazy Train *Race* in Philly.
The BOTW is a Planet X cyclocross bike from Independent Fabrication, in steel. This Indy Fab was built for its owner in 2002, along with the steel fork, of (mostly) Reynolds 853 air-hardened tubes. Underneath its current cloak of sand/salt/mud/train sweat, this Made-in-Somerville, Mass cross frame wears an eclectic mix of SRAM Force shifters & derailleurs, Shimano Ultegra 6600 Single-ring cranks, Mavic R-SYS wheels (the replacement version) with Maxxis 700 x 33mm mud knobbies, Paul cantilever brakes, and Chris King headset and bottom bracket.
As has been written, the Crazy Train course was a mix of riding surfaces (sounds like cross, no?), including muddy singletrack, snowy singletrack, icy bike paths (that seemed like riding on cornmeal), railroad ties, piles of cinderblocks, and both improved and unimproved roads. This Planet X (Tim Johnson rode a similar bike to win the USA’s first podium spot ever at a CX World Championship event in 1999) has seen a lot in it’s 10 years on the Mid-Atlantic-New England CX racing circuit, but the adventure along the tracks in Philly last week was the one to beat.
Bike of the Week, crazy train, cx, Cyclocross, events, independent fabrication, NAHBS, philadelphia, Racing, shop rides
For the third week of September, NYC Velo (under the “NYC Velo Tours” banner) led a group of intrepid cyclists on a tour of the Southern French Alps. The priorities of the trip were as follows: ride, eat, drink, sleep. Setting that list to repeat 6 times yielded a week full of climbing (total elevation gain of 72,631 feet), descending, sun, scenery, and warm French hospitality. Along the way, we thoroughly tested our legs and our gear (see the recent BOTW feature), including the Search and State S1-J Riding Jacket, a variety of Grimpeur Bros Coffees, Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration (USADA-legal we’re told), and Endura compression gear, reviews to follow.
The trip is best seen in photos, which are broken up into 3 News posts (Days 1&2, Days 3&4, and Days 5&6), with little more than captions to accompany the images. If you’d like to learn more about this trip, or any of the upcoming adventures, stop by the shop or drop us an email at: Andrew@nycvelo.com.Alps, bike tour, coffee, events, french alps, Grimpeur Bros Coffee, independent fabrication, NAHBS, Road Biking, Search and State, shop rides, skratch labs, Tour de France, Trips
The 4th Taconic 150 ride covers a brand new route through Dutchess (NY), Columbia (NY), and Berkshire (MA) counties. As with past editions of the T150, riders should expect some dirt and/or gravel roads, challenging (if short) climbs, and amazing upstate fall scenery. Coffee and snacks will be provided at the start @ the Wassaic, NY Metro North Station. Riders are encouraged to use Metro North from Grand Central Station in Manhattan for a hassle-free ride to and from the ride start. Check out the route via MapMyRide below, including an elevation profile. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
The Metro North train schedule from Grand Central Station to Wassic on Saturdays can be found using the link below (The first train leaves at 7:48am, arriving in Wassaic at 10:11am):
http://www.mta.info/mnr/html/planning/schedules/pdf/HAR_SS%20%20APR%201%202012.pdfevents, Road Biking, shop rides, Taconic 150
For the second year in a row, I (Tom, NYC Velo Team) had the honor of riding for four days with a dozen French cyclists in a sort of tour that makes me could be more common in the United States.
Of course La France has its infrastructural advantages for cyclists: towns that are closer together, affordable and well run owner-operator restaurants and hotels in those towns, fierce regional pride in locally grown food and wine, and impeccably maintained, low-traffic’d roads (Hey, the 60%+ of GDP coming from the government has to go somewhere), and a density of mountainous terrain high enough to put together a different point-to-point or circuit route every 4-6 years.
However, it’s not just a question of infrastructure — it turns out that the French attitude towards cycling and life in general makes a big difference. At the risk of sounding cheesy, the French may also have a different understanding of companionship and why they ride. Accommodations along the route are always nice but rarely prestigious, and rooms are often shared by 3-4 people. In fact, everything for 16 hours a day is shared by 3-4 people: cans of Coke and Figalou (the tastier French version of Fig Newtons) on the road, lunch tables, waits for the train, beers after a quick shower, walks after dinner, and of course plenty of time on the bike.
This makes the whole trip — including round-trip train fare from Paris and 3 meals-per-day — lighten the wallet the same as one “luxury” dinner in New York City.
The ride, always 4 days long and surrounding the 14th of July (or Bastille Day, as it’s known to Americans) started about 15 years ago, among friends who all worked for L’Oreal. While the base of the group is the same and many of the same guys show up every year, over the years new participants have been added.
One of the newest additions (besides me) is Kurt Dienel who readers may remember as our host in the Hauts Alpes in September 2010. He asked me join the 2011 edition of the tour after having been himself invited by Gilles, one of his co-workers at l’Oreal.
You may also remember Yves — our host in the Bas Alpes in November 2011. While a longtime member of the team, he was absent this year due to an unavoidable conflict with a family vacation. However, his brother Yann and his father Jean were able to make it. Jean now drives one of the two support vehicles along with Robert, the father of Steph, the chef / patron of the group who flawlessly organizes the trip each year. Both Robert and Jean no longer cycle at this level and have taken their retirement, and may be the two most kind-spirited people in the world … or just reasonably typical French dad’s who get a kick out of hanging out with their sons for 4 days in the mountains. The rest of the group included two Francois’, two Hervé’s, another Yann, another Tom, Christian aka Kiki, Maxime, and Arnaud.
The 2012 edition — the route is different each year and focuses on a particularly mountainous region of the country — was entitled ‘Traversée du Massif Central’ and was another extraordinarily organized, incredibly fun time.
At just over 300 miles in length and 32,000 feet of elevation gain (see Strava rides Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4), it’s an impressive effort for a bunch of guys who generally ride only once a week. There is no questioning their love for the bike, while at the same time, many put in a maximum of 3,000 miles a year and still maintain a level of fitness that lets them crank out a trip impossible for casual cyclists. I’m betting that their secret is a combination of commitment to overall fitness and a sporting lifestyle (while cycling is important to them, most, if not everyone else swims, skis, kitesurfs, windsurfs, runs, etc.) as well as a regularity of training that I have a hard time achieving, especially during the wintertime.
To be honest, on first view, I was initially a bit skeptical about the route. You don’t hear many people in France talk about the Massif Central, which happen to be some of the oldest mountains in France, if not all of Europe: they were created 500 million (!) years ago. The principle reason that Massif is oft-ignored is that the area is sparsely populated and one of the poorer regions of the country. Beyond the volcanos, the winters are cold, agriculture is much harder here than elsewhere, and the climbs here are shorter (and often steeper) than the longer, slower rising climbs in the more popular Alpine region. Somewhat to the contrary, these shorter climbs often contain longer sections of steepness (we saw 10% average gradient for greater than 5k on more than one occasion.)
Throughout the day, the bunch naturally divides into smaller groups, which are sometimes based on pace, but more often based on who you want to talk to or ride next to. In fact, on the subject of pace, there is a certain appreciation of the guys who are in better shape during a particular year, and increasing the pace is never frowned upon unless it would explode the full group at a time when everyone was riding together. Here, competition is a far second to ‘passer des bons moments ensemble‘ and creating great memories. In other words, having a good time. Even if that good time means pushing the tempo sufficiently to put everyone that you’re currently riding with, including yourself, in the hurt bucket on a 3-5 mile climb with an average gradient of 10%. This may sound crazy to some readers, but the goal isn’t necessarily to make it to the top of the climb first, it’s to suffer, together.
However, suffering does not come without it’s immediate rewards: as usual, ‘on a bien bouffé’ (we ate well). Lunchtime is usually a two hour affair with entrée (appetizer) plat (main course), dessert, and coffee, and no day is complete without a 3-4 course dinner, that would make anyone who ever thought, just for a second, of becoming a vegetarian, cringe. This year, local delicacies included pink trout, beef and sausage from the Salers (the sausage is made with Salers veal so it’s extra lean), St. Nectaire and Cantal cheese, and the incomparable inimitable, ubiquitous Aligot: a richer than rich combination of potatoes, cheese, and more butter than I previously thought possible for a cyclist to consume at lunch (or dinner, for that matter) and get back on a bike.
As a peace offering and a thank you for my inclusion on this year’s roster, I presented each rider with a NYC special edition cycling cap aka casquette. The picture below is everyone on the crew sporting their new lids before we rolled out on le quatorze juillet. It turned out that the gift was more practical than imagined as the temperature hovered between 40-60 degrees every day and also included a not-insignificant amount of precipitation. All that rain is a distant memory now — my primary recollections being great moments, outstanding food, and of course, suffering with my friends.
beer, events, Road Biking, shop rides, Tour de France, Trips
You may have heard the buzz and/or read the posts recently regarding the official launch of the LEVI’S Commuter Line of Cycling Jeans and Jackets. Well, the day has finally arrived and what better way to celebrate than a ride from NYC VELO to Affinity (in Brooklyn), free beer, a DJ, a bar with outdoor seating and a bunch friends?!
The fun goes down on Saturday, July 16th at the shop from 7-8. The party will then head over the bridge and we’ll ride to Affinity Cycles and hang there from 8:30-10PM. The after-party will go down at Lady Jay’s in Brooklyn from 10PM-2AM
Please join us, Levi’s and Affinity to celebrate Levi’s new riding threads, AND check out the Levi’s gear (In stock @NYCVelo starting July 16).
apparel, events, levi's
We will kick the evening off with Mr. Parlee with a meet and greet from 7:00-8:00 p.m. followed by a Q&A session from 8:00-9:00 with (you guessed it) Mr. Parlee.
In April we became proud Parlee dealers! For more information about these highly crafting road machines and the man behind them, see our April news postevents
The Westchester Mountain Biking Association (WMBA), Westchester County NY’s mountain biking organization and advocacy group, is holding its Annual Fat Tire Festival from 10am – 4pm on Sunday, June 12, 2011 at Blue Mountain Reservation in Peekskill, New York.
The event is FREE – all you need is a signed waiver and a wristband which you can get at the information tent at festival field. Parking fee is waived for the festival!
The Fat Tire Festival is an all-day event with lots of music, food and fun activities for the whole family. The annual festival is a great opportunity to spend a day outdoors and experience the world-renowned mountain bike trails at Blue Mountain Reservation, which was named the country’s “Best Hometown Trail” by Bike magazine in February 2009.
See more details and a schedule of events at their website : http://www.wmba.org
events, Mountain biking
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