Are we there yet?
It has only been two months into 2017 and I find myself bored of all the waiting for the new season, so I grew this beard in the process. While a big part of me wishes last season never ended, this off-season has given me time to look back, reminisce, and imagine what to look forward to this year.
2016 was an action-packed year filled with training, races, sweat, laughs, projects, fun rides, lessons, friends, and of course…lycra. It’s difficult to grasp how I managed to do it all while maintaining a full-time job and a personal life. It certainly took a lot of sacrifice and time management, but I suppose when you love something - you will always find time for it.
6 Days of Kissena and the Twilight Series was a big introduction to tracking racing at the velodrome for my Drop Crank Society teammates and I. I’ve expressed in previous posts about the big learning curve, especially at the start of the season. Many lessons were learned. But by sticking with it, we always came out a stronger and smarter rider after each race. That is probably true for everyone. I’m grateful for the support of my teammates, family, sponsors, fellow competitors at the track, and the NYC cycling community. You all rock!
Now in my sophomore year of track racing, I anticipate to perform more confidently and effectively. For this off-season, I’ve committed myself to a specific training regime with a proper balance of time on the bike, weight training, and rest. The sacrifices and necessary time management hasn’t changed, but I’m smarter about it than last year. Thanks to our mild New York winter, I’ve been managing to even clock in a fair amount of outdoor miles each week. It’s great, but just don’t die on us Mother Earth.
I will be stronger this season. However, I’m not the only one putting in the work. The competition will be stronger, too (as I’ve been noticing).
My early experiences at the track resulted in creating my first Spoke and Word video, which featured Jesse Shotland. It’s no secret this interview series is my favorite part of operating BYC simply because it allows me to display the human side of cycling. Moreover, I’m granted the opportunity to meet people, learn their story, and retell it in a creative way. Jesse was the ideal subject for my first video. He was absolute class, a great sport, and patient during the whole process. I’m very proud of the final product and looking forward to creating more.
Filming for the next S&W already started last summer. There were hopes to put it out at the end of Fall, but unfortunately its release had to be post-poned. As much as I wanted to publish the video, I felt I didn’t have all the footage I needed and it became harder to get it with the change of season(s). Since I’m a person more concerned about quality than quantity, I did not want to disappoint the subject. Filming will resume in the spring and you will see it at the end of this year.
Continuing down the row of firsts, I participated in Red Hook Crit No.9 which was a load of fun even despite not qualifying for any of the races. Let’s be serious - one should always look to do one’s best, but getting into the Last Chance race would’ve been a massive achievement for me. I left the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal at the end of the night with a full understanding of the charm and passion RHC brings out in people. It is an amazing atmosphere and a great spectator sport. I highly recommend it to anyone to go watch on April 29th, even if you don’t know anything about cycling.
With the changes in RHC registration, I hope Drop Crank Society will be represented at Brooklyn No.10. With the experience of online registration from last year’s race, if you can successfully register for RHC Brooklyn then you are already a winner.
Fixed-gear crits, in my opinion, are more stimulating than going around in circles. I filled my calendar with local crits, such as Ward’s Island Crit and the Black Friday Crit. These crits are very entertaining because held in our own background and hosted by people within the community. The turnout is usually good and passion runs high.
Sometimes with all the training and competitive nature of these races, you tend to lose sight of the fun bikes bring. Riding takes on a new meaning once you take it more seriously. So when I heard The Warriors Race was back for 4th of July weekend, I did not hesitate to send out a call for a team. It didn’t take too long put one together and what a motley crew it was! The Boyle Avenue Bombers rode through the Bronx, Manhattan, and Brooklyn checking off a wild list of challenges until the break dawn. We were such a diverse group, yet we complimented each other so well. It had been a long time since I laughed that much and the event easily became one of the highlights of my year. Hands down. A Coney Island sunrise after 9 hours of riding ain’t too shabby of a reward either. If and when the next one comes around, I highly recommend you not to miss it.
Alongside what looks to be a promising year of races and fun rides is another opportunity for BYC to expand and explore with more news stories, interviews, and videos. Simply put - I'm not going anywhere too soon. It may get silent at times, but quality over quantity - remember?
I'll be out there... racing, creating, or just having a beer. Keep calm it's just another year.