My Fixed Gear Race Weekend in NYC
I’ve just got back from a long weekend in NYC and man, jet lag is the worst! Seeing as the city is absolutely crazily expensive I decided to go for just three days, figuring that along with keeping costs to a minimum I’d manage to skip jet lag by dint of only being there for a short time. The problem is, switching time zones, pegging it around the city in an attempt to drink in as much of Manhattan possible, racing pretty much all day on Saturday and then driving four hours back from Heathrow in the middle of the night is a tall order.
I’m now completely shattered but unfortunately I can’t sleep due to the time difference and the insomnia I sometimes suffer from. Last night I took a sleeping pill which didn’t work, so I took another that also didn’t work, so despite laying in bed for ten hours, I only managed to clock up 4 hours 26 minutes sleep and now I feel like a sick zombie. Bleurgh. Yesterday I managed to put together a video of my time in New York including my Red Hook Crit race day. The race was definitely one of the toughest I’ve done, in part due to the change of format but also because of the ever increasing standard of the participants. Obviously stalwarts such as Ash Duban are always going to be pushing the pace up but this year we also had more full time professionals and national champions in the mix. Luckily for me there were no Olympians in the women’s race this time. Dave wasn’t so lucky 0 the men’s field included Olympic champion Callum Skinner alongside the usual pro/am starters.
Photo: Jess Morgan
The new format makes endurance and an ability to recover quickly a priority. Whereas before, riders had to set their fastest single lap in order to qualify and determine their place on the starting grid, this year we have a twenty minute race to kick things off. The top 16 from the qualifying heats then progress to the Super Pole competition which is a solo flying lap of the course, so pretty much a Time Trial. Your result in the Super Pole determines your start position in the final 40 minute circuit race. I qualified for the Super Pole and posted a time that meant starting in position 12 for the main event. I’m not even sure where the rest of the 70 women start or how they figure that out.
Photo: Jess Morgan
I’m not scared of admitting, my legs were hurting from the qualifications and the Super Pole when I lined up for the main race, so clearly I have some work to do this summer. But having said that, I was riding in the lead group for the entire race until a crash split the pack right in front of me. Who knows where I would have finished if that hadn’t happened but I’m just happy that I walked away in once piece. If you like the video or have any questions about racing please leave comments below. I’d love to hear from you!