Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Wharf Rat

A great way to spend April Fools... racing through the streets of New Haven CT. Last year's race consisted of playing April Fools up to its finest.... multiple manifests. We'd get three of four stops done on the manifest and then they'd give us another one. This went on for about four or five manifests. Needless to say it was a long race.

This year was a short six stop manifest all in and around the coast on the outskirts of New Haven.
Weather was cloudy and somewhat cold. They said it was supposed to rain but the rain held off until after the race. Naturally, it was a bit windy along the coast. I teamed up with Matt from GhostShip and we came up with our plan-of-attack. Seemed pretty simple: Can do most of the stops in a good order with one of them being pretty far out of the way (on the other side of the New Haven Harbor).

Here's a cool shot from before the race (no handed skid-stop). I forget who the rider is.

As soon as the race began we too off southeast for the southernmost stop on the New Haven side of the New Haven Harbor. Oops. Matt and I quickly realized we took a wrong turn and was on the bridge over the harbor. Quick change of plans and we hit the stop on the bridge and then went off for the stop in no-man's land (southern tip of East Haven). Huge headwind making my 49x15 and Matt's 49x16 gear ratios not too conducive.

Next stop. North on Townsend Ave and across the Ferry Street bridge to get the two checkpoints in Fair Haven. Got all the way up to the Ferry St. Bridge only to realize it was closed for rebuilding. Shit! The next two checkpoints were right over that bridge! Hmm. If I paid more attention to the New Haven streets I would have realized that bridge is out (its been out for easily a year). Back down south to the route 1 bridge and then back up north. Finally hit those two stops and then cruised down Orange street... Right past the finish line, train station and into West Haven to hit the two final checkpoints. These were the two checkpoints we wanted to hit first.

The final checkpoint was waaay south and the wind was insane coming in off the harbor. We made it and I demanded we get inland and take some side streets to stay out of the wind. Matt knew his way around so I followed him. A few close calls at intersections and we made it back into downtown New Haven for the finish line. The finish was a mad dash up this inclined grassy knoll. We both shouldered the bikes and ran ala 'cyclocross-style to the finish. Matt out of breath and my left knee bothering me. We both finished somewhere between 10th and 20th.

All in all it was a good time. Went over to Bar (yeah, that's the name of the bar) for a little afterparty.

More details can be found at the GhostShip blog.

Here are some more pictures. And here are even more pictures.

Who is this freak?


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