Now that the day was done, it was time to retire to our hotel and find somewhere to eat. We should have known from last year that this would have been more difficult than we thought it’d be. Orginal plan: Check into hotel and eat in the Italian restaurant next door. Plan failure: four to five major hotel chains surround this restaurant. So being seated wasn’t going to happen until 8:30pm. Therefore, a mob of hungry cyclist paced lined it to the next restaurant, Ruby Tuesday’s. Thirty minute wait, not to bad. But engines in need of calories, not soon enough. After visiting a third restaurant, the pattern continued. Apparently, restaurants in Syracuse don’t understand that six skinny cyclist can eat well over $100 worth of food. Finally we came upon a nice little restaurant, The Green Onion, which looked more like a home than a place to go eat. It was fine dinning, and indeed the food was fine. This would be another recommendation if your every near the Carrier Circle in Syracuse.
With our bellies full of pasta and all other sorts of delicious calories, it was back to the hotel to wind down and watch the finish of the Tour de California. Oh, did I mention out hotel room was on the second floor. That was a fun time getting several bikes up the elevator. But we can safely say that you cannot fit anymore than three bikes, three riders, and small bags into one elevator.
For me cycling trips are amazing, simple because I get to sleep in. I usually wake up at 3am, so a 6:15am wake up, is simple amazing. Unfortunately food still needed to be found. Seeing I was up a little before everyone else I went to the hotel market. Potato chips, cookies, beer, popcorn, and nothing editable. We would have eaten at the hotel, but their complementary breakfast, just gets many complements. It’s not included and it started to late for us to eat. Off to Dunkin Donuts it is.
Making a short trip to Tully, NY for the Road race, we all pounded our breakfasts. With an hour and a half before our start times for the time trial, it was perfect timing. Unfortunately, due to prepping I lack media that would have been nice for show us warming up for the TT. Mike and I were off first, and decided to go Pro with our warm-up and listen to music. His choice was a little more conservative, may even been some Phil Collins in there, me on the other hand got the Metallica going. Mother nature was not kind to us this year and the wind picked up for the TT. Doing a little research I noticed that my time this year was slower than last year when I was a Cat 5. Stupid wind.
It was only a three-mile course but the wind made it feel a lot tougher. Everyone put up good times, having never done a three mile time trial before, but some racers manages to get in the six minute range, dropping us in the standings. Kyle’s field was sandbagged a little in this event for the winner of the cat 5s TT would have placed 2nd in the cat 4s or 7th in the cat 3s.
Once everyone’s TT was done, there was about a two-hour time gap before the road race. Mainly this time was spent, getting some calories in, cooling down, getting bikes ready, and trying to dry out our kits. With all the wind, that didn’t really take to long.
As the race got underway the wind didn’t change a bit and may have even got a little stronger. I wish I could have seen some of the other field flying down the flat section of the course. The 4s were flying at 36mph at times, and I wasn’t even breathing hard. But this wasn’t the problem; later in the course we’d be going into the wind with hills and open fields. I was slightly dropped on a major climb and almost caught back on, I could just about hock a luggy at the back of the peloton, but the wind said "NO WAY." Pegged at a questionable 175-180 heart rate, they weren’t getting any closer. Enter the lonely ride into the wind. Miserable, heart breaking, soul sucking are just some words to describe the feeling of being caught alone in that wind. In fact it made several riders not even want to take the second lap. If I hadn’t been picked up by a group of other riders, I to was on the brink of pulling out of the race.
The only laughter from this race came right before the start of the race, at least for the 4s. During staging a cat 3 rider we knew came down to the front of the line and asked, “did the cat 3s already leave?” An official said “yeah like 15 minutes ago.” Responded to by a simple and disappointing statement of “oh, I better get going then.”
The day was tough and as soon as I got back to the car I flopped on the ground and pondered why do I do this to myself. But sadness was soon turned into happiness, by an American treat. DONUTS! Shannon had brought us some delicious donuts. Okay so not the healthiest of foods, but I just burned 2,000 calories, I think I deserved one....or two.
To no surprise the beautiful weather, besides the wind, we had for the weekend soon came to an end literally as we got the cars packed. It started raining. All we could ask was how long would it rain for this time? As a tradition after the Tour we went to the Dinosaur BBQ, need I say more? Unfortunately Eric and Phil had to get back and couldn’t join us, but for Mike, Kyle, and I we all ended the weekend with a beer. Well Mike and Kyle did. I couldn’t finish mine; it was a little two dark for me. I know I’m such a sally.
Having to push through the food coma, we made our way back to Potsdam. While Mother Nature again treated us with heavy rain.
Racer (cat) – Crit – TT – RR – GC(#racers)
Kyle (5) – 19th – 8th – 12th – 13th (33)
Eric (5 35+) – 18th – 11th – 23rd – 20th (48)
Phil (5 35+) – 29th – 19th – 27rd – 40th (48)
Mike (4) – 32nd – 19th – dnf – 47th (73)
Jeff (4) – 34th – 21st – 37th – 55th (73)
Until next time!