“The greatest amount of wasted time is the time not getting started.” – Dawson Trotman
The Lead Up to the Ride
On Saturday afternoon we stopped by Strictly Bicycles to pick up some winter gloves for my wife Melanie so that she could participate in Sunday’s Gruppo Sportivo GFNY 2014 ride and of course while we were there she invited Nelson’s wife Joanna to join our ride on Sunday. (I believe you all know Nelson and Joanna, the owners of Strictly Bicycles, but in the event you do not – a picture is worth a thousand words – celebrating the BIG 4-0 last Saturday!)
“No way am I allowing my wife to ride tomorrow, it’s gonna be 25 degrees, and Vito shouldn’t let you go either”.
If there was even the slightest, smallest, tiny-est shred of doubt as to Melanie’s participation in Sunday’s ride, Nelson completely removed it with his “Vito shouldn’t let you go either” comment. More about this later.
My wife’s gloves were important – BUT WE WERE ALSO THERE TO PICK UP MY NEW GRAN FONDO NY DEROSA PROTOS! Before we talk about our new bikes I would like to say thank you to all the people at Pinarello for having provided us with an incredible sponsorship over the past two years. For a cyclist of my level to have been presented with an opportunity to be sponsored to ride a Pinarello Dogma is pretty amazing and one for which I will be eternally grateful. Pinarello is an iconic brand, family owned and operated, as is DeRosa. DeRosa has been building bikes for more than 60 years, and Ugo DeRosa, the founder and family patriarch actually hand-built bike frames for Eddy Merckx. It is an honor to be riding one of only 18 specially designed and built (in Italy) GFNY frames in preparation for GFNY 2014 – built with Campagnolo components and wheels, San Marco saddle and Elite bottle cages!
It was incredibly cold – -4C – when the 39 of us left Strictly Bicycles. Our A and B groups leave first, led by Wade, Hayden and Omar, and our C Group, led by Heidi, Jared and me, immediately thereafter. I always take the front on the way out and sweep on the way back – little did I know that Melanie dropped her chain as soon as we left the bike shop, but Jared was right there with her and stayed with her the whole way out to State Line (we always regroup at State Line) about 4 minutes behind. One of the great surprises of the day was the re-emergence of Don Alberto Hasson, who drove all the way from Brooklyn to ride with us! Anyone participating in GFNY 2014 needs to get to know Don Alberto – he is a great guy and no matter the length of the ride somehow manages, at any point in the ride, to have food for at least 6 people in his jersey pockets!! (Thought i would help you – Don Alberto is the handsome young man on the end – the photo is a couple of years old, he is even better looking now!)
Nelson’s “I told you so”
You can imagine how cold it was descending State Line and when we all collected in Piermont Melanie was clearly freezing – so I made sure she was well situated in the coffee shop and chased on the find our C Group on the way back from Nyack and hopped on with them. Right where Valentine Avenue hits Piermont Road I saw Steven (Heidi’s better half) so pulled over for a second so we could ride back together. Steven is a really great guy to ride with – even tempered and really skillful – and am therefore grateful for our rides together because I always learn something. We picked up three more riders on the way back and we also caught the A and B Groups (we caught them passing us, as always!). We kept a steady pace for the last 5 miles, unfortunately I didn’t have much of a chance to talk with our group at the finish, just left my bike in the shop, jumped in the car to pick up Melanie in Piermont, then came back to get my bike. Of course I had to park right in front of the shop so that Nelson could have his final “I told you so” while Melanie ducked under the seat!
Our Gruppo Sportivo training rides provide our GFNY participants the opportunity to ride the actual GFNY course throughout the winter and early spring. While everyone is hibernating we become better cyclists and better people because of all the relationships and friendships we develop during the rides. These are social rides and allow us to talk to each other while we are out on the road; we share our stories and then when during our event we get to encourage each other during the ride. Please join us – as my wife told Nelson when he tried to talk her out of riding Sunday “it is going to be winter for most of the time between now and GFNY so I need to get started”; she made it to Piermont and if it weren’t for the frozen toes would have been fine.
Please join us next Sunday…and just so you know how much cycling means to me:
(There was some comment prior to our wedding last year – something like “why don’t you marry your bike”….that story at a later time….
Enjoy your week – see you Sunday for Gruppo Sportivo Training Ride #2!