This past Sunday may have been an ordinary day to some, but it was particularly significant for two reasons: 1) The Final Stage of the Tour de France and 2) The 1st Edition of Le Tour del Diablo.
Diablo NYC and Drop Crank Society laid out a 37 mile race for competitors to test their traffic, speed, and climbing skills from The Pop Bar in Astoria, Queens to the Palisades Interstate Park, NJ and back.
It was NOT an Alleycat! (According to Diablo)
The route was pre-determined and made public via social media and Strava about two weeks prior to the race. The cycling app was made mandatory for all racers in order to record their route, confirm required checkpoints, and clock in their time.
LOTS of NYC based riders (and one out-of-towner) came out in numbers to represent a team of three or simply represent themselves. While winning categories were broken down to road/single-speed and track (fixed-gear) for both male and females, everyone battled the clock in reaching the best time.
This event was especially momentous to me because it marked my first competitive street race since my announcement on a previous blog post.
I opted to go with a fixed-gear bike (more on that in a later post) on this race. Why? Well, I guess I wanted to challenge myself...and a challenge is exactly what I got!
What were my expectations in placing? Pretty high. I had to believe if I wanted to maintain a competitive attitude. Nonetheless, my final placement was a rude awakening and I instantly realized I have a looong way to go. I had a dismal finish, just arriving at the start of the award ceremony.
I’m not one to create excuses. At the end of the day, while competing with a group of much more experienced riders - I wasn’t good enough.
I finished the race and I’m proud of that.
Riding through Palisades Interstate Park and 9W was rewarding as it was difficult. It was tranquil, green, and scenic at times with gorgeous views of the Hudson. A hawk swooping 15-feet in front of me (twice) was pretty awesome, too. Or maybe it was waiting for me to give up and have me for dinner?
Le Tour del Diablo was definitely a learning experience and showed me how much more I need to go in order to even consider myself competitive among some of NYC’s best.
A big thanks to Diablo NYC, Drop Crank Society, and the sponsors for the putting together an amazing race. Hopefully, there will be many more editions to come. Congratulations to all the participants and winners!
Below you’ll find some photos taken by me prior to the race. Sorry, when I finally arrived and finished at the awards ceremony - I only had one thing on my mind. A pint of beer!
Now…ONTO THE NEXT!
For more on the Le Tour del Diablo, be sure to check Diablo NYC's homepage.