Saturday, August 15, 2009

Thinking Big

New York City is a great place for bike racing. In the middle of the season it's pretty easy to race three or four times a week - Tuesday's Floyd Bennet Series, Wednesday at the Kissena Velodrome, Thursday up in Rockleigh, NJ, and Saturday or Sunday in Prospect Park or Central Park.

However, when we race bikes in New York City, our tires run over the same pavement over and over again. Floyd, the Parks, Grant's Tomb in the spring, Harlem in the summer. Do the guys who've been doing this for years and years get bored?

That's why it was particularly cool that Kissena's race director Charlie Issendorf managed to throw two races (1/2/3 and 3/4) on Governor's Island this summer, in seperate events. The course was a fun 1.4mile crit with two hard corners and a big sweeping bend around the southern side of the island that left people fighting for shelter from the strong winds blowing in from the harbor.

It made me think (and perhaps daydream) about other places to throw races in New York City. Of course there was StatenCX last year, down in Staten Island. I wonder if the Parks Department could be smooth-talked into allowing a whole NYC Cyclocross series - Wolf's Pond Park, Kissena Park, Alley Pond Park, Van Cortlandt, Randall's Island (how could you not?)...

What about a crit in downtown Manhattan? What about a major road race that starts on the West Side Highway or the FDR, goes over the George Washington Bridge, and sends racers on a course up the Palisades before returning to the city?

In fact, why stop there? Why not a Pro/Am stage race on the East Coast? Some mountain stages up around Lake Placed, then heading into Vermont and New Hampshire, obviously a hilltop finish on Mount Washington, some long flat stages down through Massachusettes, a time trial or two through Connecticut, and finishing with a boisterous crit in New York City.

Maybe I'm thinking a little bit too big, or too fast. Or maybe I'm a vissionary. Charlie, can you start work organizing that stage race?

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