The first weekend of June was a busy one for Team Sixcycle-RK&O as the team was in action on both Saturday and Sunday as part of the CRCA Dave Jordan NYC State Race. The team walked away with several top 10 finishes between the two races, but our biggest accomplishment for the weekend had more to do with giving back to the sport than walking away with a result.
CRCA FBF Classic Race Report by Team Sixcycle-RK&O’s Charlie Bird
There are some days in cycling when your best memories aren’t from your race. Sunday was one of those days.
The day started early (or late if you don’t race bikes). Matthew Vandivort (CRCA Director of Open Racing and CRCA/Sixcycle-RK&O teammate) and I woke up before 4 am for the second day in a row. The prior day Matt had directed the CRCA Dave Jordan Central Park Classic while I, along with the rest of the team, raced – a race that began at 5:45am.
Already short on sleep from that experience, on Sunday we arrived at FBF before 6am and took a quick ride around the course. Within 15 minutes we (with much help) had 2 tents for registration, 2 tables for USAC officials, and a linx finish line camera up and ready for the first races of the day. One of these races was mine.
Like I said before my race was not a highlight of the day so here is a quick rundown. I raced aggressively at times, found a good position, but end up in the wrong line leading into the sprint so 20 miles of work was undone by 500 meters. There is a video of it below, so yeah who wants to read about it.
After finishing, I met up with Josh Sakofsky of CRCA/BH-Comedy Central. He would be coordinating the day’s kid’s races with me. We started the kid’s races at Orchard Beach last year. I think we had around 15 kids show up and race a year earlier.
This year when I got on the megaphone and asked for all the kid’s race participants to gather around, I looked out on at least 30 young racers – the future of the sport.
Josh took over from there. “OK! Everyone put up their hands with the amount of fingers to show your age” he said. It was brilliant and a skill I don’t have. I heard one voice chime in and say “I’m 7 but I’m almost 8”. I would have said the same thing when I was that age. We all know that being 7.5 is far more prestigious than being 7. It was clear to me at that point, I would sit back and coordinate course set up and race timing. Josh had child interaction covered.
We decided to run two different races. The first was a standing sprint race. The competitors lined up and from a dead stop and sprinted about 100 meters, spread four or five abreast across the road. It was great to watch the different groups give it all they had within them.
After the standing sprints we set up a small circuit for the 4-6 year old and 7-9 year old categories. 2 laps for the littlest group and 5 laps for the older group. The racing action was fast and furious – including pedal scraping in the corners – with the finish producing one of my favorite pictures we have ever posted:
With this part of the races done we retired to the shade to devour some snacks and rehydrate with juice boxes. After an appropriate amount of recovery we sent the 10-11 year olds out onto the wind swept race course used for the adult races earlier in the day.
They gave it their all and their parents watched on, cheered, and took pictures. Everyone was greeted at the line with cheers, USAC officials on the microphone, and most importantly a medal.
It was great to see. Pure joy.
No bumping around a turn. No one complaining that the payout was small, or they got 13th but were listed at 15th.
Pure fun. Pure games.
Days like Sunday remind me that all too often during the year we get too wrapped up in upgrade points, series points, wattage, and training schedules that we don’t look back and remember that riding a bike is supposed to be fun. It’s kid’s stuff.
On Monday morning, I felt like calling up a childhood friend and saying “Hey! You wanna go ride bikes?!”