Category Archives: Gruppo Sportivo GFNY

T – 21 ARE?! YOU?!! READY?!!!

Three weeks to go!  The excitements is growing, the weather is becoming more cycling friendly and we are seeing more and more cyclists on the road; GFNY is right around the corner.

We begin to notice signs in Bergen and Rockland counties letting us know that a race is coming May 15th.

Have you prepared your race weekend checklist?  Plan to join us for Bike Expo on Friday and Saturday, May 13th and 14th.  I know you have to pick up your number and jersey and I know there are so many things to do but if you can spend some time at the Expo, get to know the other riders and racers and visitors – every US state and over 70 countries – get to know some of our sponsors first hand (cycling is one of the few sports, similar to NASCAR, where fan/participant.professional/sponsor interaction is not only prevalent but actually encourages!  Share your passion by bringing your family and friends with you and let them see what has inspired you to train throughout all these months.

Are you ready for the race?  Do you know the course well?  If you have an opportunity please listen to this GFNY podcast:


Yes that’s me with the number 3 – famous for being passed by the most riders in the history of GFNY – approximately 4,000 per year!  But no matter, please take some time to listen to the podcast, it will help you understand the course and if you have any questions please ask me on Facebook or via email:

Three weeks remain – continue training but don’t overdo it!  Start planning your race day nutrition NOW, and if you haven’t decided what your on bike calorie intake is going to consist of please DO NOT eat or drink anything new on race day, or even during race week.  Test now, practice now, start visualizing the race now.

Tomorrow is our GS-GFNY ride to Bear; please pay attention to the route as you ride, make a mental note of the time and distance between the start and the schedule aid station in W Haverstraw and then again the time to the bottom and the top of Bear.  Tomorrow is NOT  a day for Strava PR’s – it is a day to learn something about your progress to date that you can then assess to plan for race day.  If you need some help, my email is above for you to use.

I am really proud to have been able to ride with our GS – GFNY C Group this training season; so many people make it a point to let us know how well the group rides – and I am especially proud of the progress our GAVUA Cycling athletes have made – watch for their stories beginning the week of May 16th!

Thanks for reading – see you tomorrow!




The Bar may not be high….

….but its my Bar!

I have been wanting to write this particular blog for a while now; the final push came from Seth Godin’s Blog this morning: “Numbers (and the magic of measuring the right thing).”  You can read it HERE – his posts are always valuable and inspiring!

After GFNY2015 I wanted to continue cycling as consistently as possible  – mostly so that I wouldn’t lose my mind – and I also wanted to see if there was an opportunity to include people who come from the “south”, as in “south of the GWB” – involved in our group rides.  I came up with the name GAVIA Cycling Group Rides and with Don Francesco’s help/guidance/prodding/inspiration, some contributed design work from Ramon and support from the developers of The Modern and Port Imperial began the rides from Fort Lee to Weehawken (picked up anyone who wanted to join), headed back to Fort Lee (stopping at The Modern to pick up anyone who would join), then met our group and began our ride.  There were days when Ektor, Duro, Avi, Frank, Rob, Skyler, Susanna would join the ride  from the start and we would pick up a couple of people in Weehawken (Ektor, Chris, Andrea, Covi) and a couple of cyclists from The Modern (Chris, Brenda), and there were other times when the group consisted of me at the start, middle and end.  I just kept riding those extra 25km every Saturday through October and of course improved my fitness.
I rode without a computer; I simply created routes on Ride with GPS, kept track of my progress on Strava (because, as I understand it, if it isn’t on Strava you really didn’t ride) and my cycling improved.
I wasn’t half as good as most of the people I rode with; in fact, I got dropped about 1/3 of the way through one of our longer rides I was leading; the group was stronger and faster than me and they did as they were supposed to, ride their ride.  I caught the scoundrels at The Pie Lady, only to be dropped again on the way home – but no matter, I rode.

The Numbers
If you take a look at my Strava numbers you will see that I am not at the top of any leaderboards, I don’t have any KOM’s, my average speeds approximate average at best and if it weren’t for my green jersey and my role on GS-GFNY no one would know me as a cyclist.  The important thing to me is that I improve over time – perhaps not day to day or even week to week but from beginning to now I am a better cyclist.  I am stronger, faster, more confident, and I for the first time I feel like I have become a good ride leader by proactively planning rides and encouraging participation.

My GFNY Results (and some laughs for you)
First Year – 2011 (BIG DNF)  I signed up and didn’t have a clue.  I did Little Tor twice because I followed the Medio Fondo riders down the first time  only to find out that the Gran Fondo route had us going over the top.  I missed the cutoff time at the turn toward Bear and headed toward the finish.  I didn’t really have any idea where I was, so waited at the rest stop in W Nyack.  When a couple of friends told me they were about to start going up Bear and that would meet me within the hour I of course waited there – it is possible they knew less about the course than I did!
Second Year – 2012 (Finished outside the time, after 5PM)  I had a little bit more clue than the first year, but not much.  In support of the theory that “it is better to be lucky than good looking, smart or financially wealthy” I was chosen to be a member of GS-GFNY that year, helped lead the group rides and rode the race with Number 3.  I set the course record that year, having been passed by approximately 5,000 participants during the race!  I met up with Don Alberto, Atam, we picked up Kevin at the ice cream store in W. Nyack and rode to Weehawken together.  The two funniest conversations while at the ice cream store  were me calling Melanie to tell her that I would see her at the finish line within the hour and Kevin telling his son on the phone not to worry because he was riding with the guy who had the Number 3; to say that Don Alberto was convulsed in laughter would be an understatement!
Third Year – 2013 (It was a little bit wet – I finished around 7PM).  I left my house wearing bibs and my cycling jersey; I didn’t want to wear too much clothing as the weather prognosticators said there was a slight chance of showers.  Who knew!  Truth be told I had a really enjoyable day and the only time I was really cold was descending Bear.  I met a friend at the top of Bear (having beaten the sweep vehcile by approximately 30 seconds – I actually believe they sloed to let me pass near the top of Perkins) and we came down together but I could see that she was really suffering from the cold and I was happy that she chose to call her brother for a ride right before BBB (Baby Bear Backwards).  When I got to the Mottt Farm intersection I thought about heading straight and then in a burst of ___________ (not quite sure what to say here) made the right and committed to do the second half.  Needless to say I rode the entire back half of the course on my own, although….as I got to the stadium in Pomona i saw what looked like a thousand cyclists waiting in the parking lot and I thought “I can’t believe it, I caught all these people”….then found out that they were all waiting for the buses to take them to the finish line.  A couple of people left with me but they soon got onto the van and there I was, Andy Hampsten on the Gavia, riding to the finish to see my wife and mother in law.
Fourth Year – 2014 (I rode with a pro for a while and almost had a heart attack!)  I met Davide who is one of the organizers of an Italian Gran Fondo named La Fausto Coppi and for some reason unbeknownst to me I agreed to ride with him for a little while.  While he was not a pro in the real sense of the word I do believe he should have let me know that he had some top ten finishes in several serious cycling endurance events in Italy and SOuth Africa; after much pleading on my part he finally agreed at the bottom of Bear to go on his own (although he was kind enough to wait for me at the top – he probably took a good nap) and then went on to finish as he should.  The most joyful part of the ride for me was during my descent of Bear (not sure that what I do is descending but I was going downhill at a slightly faster pace than I go uphill so I refer to it as descending); my wife was headed up Bear and was going to finish the Bear 50 way ahead of schedule – no words can describe how I felt at that moment!  I went on to finish in record time (for me) – 9:24:47 – no this isn’t years – weeks months!
Fifth Year – 2015 (Life was a little disrupted – GFNY and a couple of good friends kept me sane)  We lost a lot of group rides due to weather but my friends Ektor, Don Francesco, Ricky and from time to time several other cyclists became known as the Polar Bear Club of 9W.  We rode throughout the winter, even in single digits, and several times got caught in snow – not flurries – snow!  I felt really good throughout the ride, was able to ride through the park with Melanie and John and met up with several other friends out on the course.  Overall I really enjoyed the ride, convinced a couple of cyclists to continue when they considered stopping, making effective use of the difference between km and miles!  I rode back the last 40km of the course with Ness, a triathlete who had never done a cycling event with this much climbing.  I finished in 9:38:10 – and of course my time up Bear was about 2 minutes longer than my wife – what a difference a year makes!

What is in store for this year?  I have been really lucky – I have been able to train with some really inspiring cyclists throughout the fall and winter into the spring and, based on my Strava numbers, the metrics that we use at GAVIA and my general feeling of well-being, if I am able to maintain my fitness for the next four weeks and I have a good day on May 15th I am going to significantly improve my finish time.  I hope to give it my best and let’s see what happens!

I look forward to seeing everyone at Bike Expo on May 13th and 14th and during the race on May 15th ; I for sure am excited about all of our GAVIA athletes who have really worked hard and dedicated themselves to their training since January and am really looking for ward to seeing their results!

If you would like to know more about the GFNY course, especially if it is the first time you are riding it, please listen to GFNY podcast 22, where Uli and me talk about the makeup of the entire course from beginning to end as well as a strategy you might follow to get through some of the tougher sections of the course!

My email address is; feel free to contact me with any questions you might have about GFNY!

Thanks for reading!


Our Campagnolo GFNY training season

T-67 = the number of days remaining to Campagnolo GFNY2016!  Are you ready?  Are you getting ready?  There are plenty of opportunities for you to get ready!

GFNY Sunday Group Rides
This is the link to the GFNY Group Rides information.  This lets you know what to look for each week – where Jared posts the rides so that you can sign up for the Sunday group ride.  I love these rides as much as I love the actual event.  While I have been passed by more than 20,000 cyclists over the past five years during the actual GFNY events – the memories of hearing “on your left” remain with me long after the event is over – nothing compares to the relationships that have come from our group rides.  I encourage you to participate in our rides.  It is an opportunity to ride the course prior to event day, an opportunity to meet riders who ride at the same approximate level as you, and a wonderful opportunity to meet some really great people!

The top photo is outside the Pie Lady of Nyack.  Bottom left: Gavia Cycling Girl Power also at the Pie lady.  Bottom right: our GFNY C Group always stops at State Line to regroup.

Gavia Cycling
I helped create Gavia Cycling almost immediately after GFNY2015.  It gave me an opportunity to continue training with an athletic purpose (along with other important purposes like finding great coffee, pie and muffin places with friends) throughout the summer and fall.  On the weekends I would leave my apartment in Fort Lee at 7:30AM, head down to Weehawken to meet up with anyone interested in riding, head back north to The Modern, then go on our rides.  Our groups varied in size from one (me) to sometimes as many as 20.  We had a great time riding together, we found some great pie and coffee and we improved our cycling skills and got much stronger!
At the end of 2015 we had an opportunity to open a small indoor cycling studio in Englewood Cliffs.  We mimic the joy and passion inherent in our outdoor group rides indoors and continue to build our Gavia cycling community.  We offer classes, coaching and training for cyclists of all levels; I love focusing my attention on new to moderate experience cyclists while Frank (Don Francesco) and Susanna (La Strega) focus on the intermediate to advanced cyclists.

Click on each photo for the captions:

We are finalizing our GFNY specific training camps; look for our announcement this Friday!

Beautiful roads, indoor studio, inspiring cyclists – time to #beready for GFNY2016!

ARE?!  YOU?!!  READY?!!!

Gavia Cycling Studio Opening

We are really excited to be opening our indoor cycling studio located at 1 Sylvan Avenue in Englewood Cliffs NJ, right on the border of Fort Lee; it is the road we all affectionately know as 9W.

We will be at the studio this Saturday from 8AM until 3PM and Sunday from 3PM to 6PM if you would like to stop by to talk with us, get some information and sign up for some classes.  We are offering two free classes at 9AM and 12 Noon.
The special offer is this:  sign up this weekend and get 10% off the 25 ride and three month unlimited packages.  Show us your GFNY 2016 registration and take another 5% off those same packages.

If you would like to participate in one of the classes please follow this link:

Ride with Us

If by chance you can’t make it over to the studio but would like to take advantage of this weekend’s offer please email me: and we will work it out for you.

We offer a full schedule of indoor rides beginning Monday January 4th at 5:30AM; our rides include:

  • RPM classes (an interval based training program over mixed terrain coached to powerful and inspiring music).  I have been teaching indoor cycling using the RPM Program principles since January, 2006 and have seen the results that can be achieved simply by participating in class three times per week; it is a great program for every level of cyclist
  • Power and heart rate based training.  I received my power training certification from Saris in January, 2008 and believe that providing athletes with information about the underlying science and principles of training, in almost in all cases, helps them achieve greater results with a much bigger sense of satisfaction
  • Campagnolo Gran Fondo NY course specific training.  Want to be a pro for a day on May 15, 2016?  Join us at Gavia Cycling and train like a pro every day!  We will ride and train on the exact segments of the GFNY course, including the full course at the end of April, so that when you race it it will be completely familiar to you!

We offer a cycling coaching program for beginner and intermediate cyclists that allows us to combine indoor training with outdoor rides.  My own story should be called “The Unlikely Cyclist”.  I began teaching indoor cycling in 2003, became certified to teach RPM in January, 2006 and wanted to become a better teacher so thought it would be a good idea to ride outdoors.  I bought a very used road bike (that’s how I met my good friend Nelson of Strictly Bicycles infamy) and found something that I really love.  I created a small cycling group at the health club I was involved in; the first time we road to Piermont we thought we won the Tour de France!  I trained more, studied more, got my power training certification from Saris, a couple more indoor certifications, my level 3 USAC Coaching license (I am re-certifying for that as we speak) and then along came Gran Fondo NY and being really lucky ended up on the Gruppo Sportivo and have been leading C Group training rides for the event since December, 2011.  My youngest student was 8 and my oldest (because I like to suffer) was my mother in law who was 70+; and then everyone in between. I have been coaching and teaching cyclists how to ride  for approximately ten years and am incredibly happy and grateful for the opportunity to coach and teach on an almost full time basis at Gavia Cycling!

Group Rides
For me group riding is the essence, the heart, the soul of cycling!  The friendships, the feeling of community, the encouragement and inspiration we provide each other, that’s cycling!  Our goal is to replicate the feeling of the outdoor group ride indoors so that we can all ride together throughout the year.  The great thing about riding together indoors?  A, B, C, D, and E Groups ride together at their own levels and still enjoy each other’s company.  (We also get to see if the stories certain people tell about their speeds and power are really true!  You know those guys: “yeah I held 450W up state line at 27 mph”; yep, those guys).

In addition to me, we are honored to have Michael Lyach be part of our coaching program; if you don’t know Michael please look him up and you will find names like Andy Hampsten, Greg LeMond, and Chris Carmichael when they were juniors.  Susanna Panzini (you all know her as La Strega) is joining our team as an indoor cycling coach and will be completing her RPM certification as well as her USAC Level 3 Coaching Certification at the end of January.  We have two more team members whose identities must remain secret until mid-January.

(Photo credit for the photo of me and Michael – Ektor Silva)


Our studio is equipped with 24 Elite Real Turbo Muin B+ FEC trainers.  I know, quite a mouthful, but they work really well and are completely silent; all you hear is what you hear outdoors, your own bike (and of course our inspiring music)!  Our software captures all of your ride data, shows it on three television screens while you ride, can automatically be shared with Strava, Training Peaks, Ride with GPS and several other social and training software products and your ride results will be maintained in your account and emailed to you after each class.  Our studio is filled with natural light and who knows, from time to time we may serve coffee and pie!  We have six DeRosa bikes built with Campagnolo groupsets on order and expect those no later than mid-January.  For those that do not want to bring their bike back and forth we offer free, secure storage for anyone on the monthly coaching/monthly unlimited class program.  We have also provided velogrip straps for rear wheel storage while you ride.

We are very grateful to several sponsors who graciously provided support to Gavia Cycling in the way of free equipment, reduced pricing for equipment and/or mechanical service, technical advice and generally helping us make Gavia a reality.  Those people/companies are:
Cristiano DeRosa and DeRosa Bikes
Ektor Silva
Elite Cycling and Mike K at ProNet Cycling
John Cohen/NY Racing
Lidia, Max and Uli at Gran Fondo NY
LG Electronics/LG Mobile/Don Francesco
Nelson and Joanna and El Gato de Leon at Strictly Bicycles
Shiva Maharaj/Gruppo Stelvio
VIP Fitness

I believe we have a lot to offer and hope that you consider becoming part of our Gavia Cycling Community.

Our web address is and our email is

We wish everyone a safe, healthy, happy and prosperous 2016 and look forward to serving you.

Vito Valentini


Time for a Group Ride

Tomorrow is the day; the day when you see the Eventbrite post on FaceBook that says “Campagnolo Gran Fondo NY Group Ride registration is now open”.  We see that and we know its training season!

This is what our group rides looks like:

And this is what you are going to #beready for:

Our group rides were created specifically for you so that you can get comfortable with the race you are going to tackle in May, 2016.  You have almost six months, there is no doubt that by beginning your training NOW you will absolutely give yourself not only the best possible opportunity to finish the race but to actually finish strong!  If you have an opportunity please listen to the podcast I did with Uli where we discuss the race course:

Podcast 22

I am really lucky; not only am I the oldest member of Gruppo Sportivo, by far (with Jared a close second at half my age), but I have been with the team since inception, and have been able to see the way so many of our participants have grown as people and cyclists and leaders.  Did you know that Omar rode right next to me in our C Group during my first year as a member of GS-GFNY?  Ramon rode with me the following year.  Look what happens when you dedicate yourself to something as these two men did over the past several years.

Please don’t wait until April, think you can eat better and ride more for six weeks and participate in GFNY in your best possible condition.  Don’t wait until the metaphorical tomorrow:

One minute and twenty seconds

The relationships we develop during our Group Rides last throughout the year, some of them began during the first or second GFNY and have continued to this day.  Please don’t let this opportunity pass you by, please join us for a Group Ride!

Remember, Jared opens the registration every Thursday morning and the rides are on Sunday.  if you are interested and have some time, I lead our Gavia Cycling Group Rides every Saturday; I leave Strictly Bicycles at 7:30AM heading south to the Port Imperial Ferry to pick up riders from Hoboken, Weehawken, Jersey City, North Bergen, WNY and the head back north to The Modern then right away to Strictly Bicycles to pick up more of our group and then head north.  Everyone is welcome and just like our GFNY Group Rides there is no charge.  Please visit our FB page or group Gavia Cycling for a look at the routes.

I, along with all of my Gruppo Sportivo teammates – Frank, Jared, Omar and Ramon – are looking forward to seeing you this Sunday!  Have I said it yet?

Please join us for a Group Ride!

If you have any questions or believe I can help you in any way, with Gran Fondo or cycling in general, please feel free to email me at or message me on FB.

Our Bear Mountain Experience

I was stronger on this Bear ride than any other and managed PR’s going up Bear, Perkins and several of the segments on Strava – my ride is HERE.

A Thank You
This blog is basically a big thank you to all the members of our cycling community – every single person who says “Hi Vito” as we see each other on the road, all the people who participated in our Gavia Cycling Group Rides throughout this summer and fall, the team at Strictly Bicycles who tolerate my bicycle mechanical ignorance and my unwillingness to let them say anything other than Campagnolo when describing components, Uli and Lidia for creating Gran Fondo NY and pretty much saving my life in the process, all of our Gran Fondo NY participants and last, but most importantly my wife Melanie who encourages me ride my bike and participate in anything to do with cycling.

As I write this I realize I sound like the guy who just won the Giro D’Italia; truthfully that is what I feel like – and that’t the point.  Each one of us has an opportunity to do our best and feel good about our achievements; we get in trouble when we begin to compare ourselves to others.  It took me 40 minutes to climb Bear yesterday, my friend Juan Carlos does it in less than 20 and I saw the results for GFNY Cozumel yesterday where Uli rode 160 km in less than 4 hours.  Those results are not attainable for most of us, but to know that someone you talk to a couple of times a week is doing something like that through sheer dedication, hard work, discipline means that we can do the same and improve as well.  You all have a good example right in front of you on our group rides – Omar Tejada .  Omar wasn’t a member of Gruppo Sportivo during our first year as a team.  I was one of the C Group leaders and being the widest person Heidi would let me stay at the front on the way on most of our rides; Omar would ride next to me at the front.  He wasn’t the Superman he is now, his cycling skills were ok but not great, and we walked up the climb just past Rockland Lake at least once together.  He fell in love with cycling and GFNY and when he became part of the Gruppo Sportivo he dedicated himself to proper training, nutrition and consistency – look at him now, talk about a role model for cycling!  Most of us can’t be Uli, some of us can be Omar, all of us can be a little more focused on our health and well-being, pick a goal and GO FOR IT!


We can certainly use the achievements of others to believe we can reach greater heights but in the end we need to simply be happy with our own self-improvement – looking at life in an optimistic way – looking for what’s good no matter the current condition – and surrounding ourselves with people who inspire us, some unknowingly, is one of the greatest advantages we have in life.

Look (or lookout) For These People – AKA “The Inspirers”

Our Bear Ride
We planned to merge two groups on the ride; a couple of our Gavia Cycling members were not certain about riding the entire round trip so we made arrangements to have them drive to Nyack, we planned to meet there and head out to Bear; Ken was flying in from LA and wanted to ride, we thought it better to wait at Strictly Bicycles so he could do the round trip with us.  La forza del destino, as always, worked in our favor; Jared showed up unexpectedly so we had an opportunity to lead the group together through Piermont into Nyack and when we got to Nyack we found out that the last of the three people who were going to meet us by car couldn’t make it – off we went!  Jared pulled off at Rockland Lake and Thomas turned around in W Haverstraw, leaving 6 of us (Aleksandra, Avi, Hector (no, not Ektor), Ken, Kevin and me to continue on, against the wind as Bob Seger would say!
It was a little colder up North but we kept a steady pace, got to the bottom of Bear, stopped at the circle to take a couple of photos, and headed up.  My goal was to maintain a strong and steady pace and, having done the GFNY Podcast with Uli a couple of weeks ago I thought I would listen to my own advice (if you would like to listen to us discuss the entire GFNY course and things for you to consider, especially if you have ridden GFNY less than 6 times, please click HERE for Episode 22) where I talk about saving a gear – meaning try not to use your easiest gear not matter what, unless you really, really, really need it!  I did that all the way up, using my 39 x 25 on Perkins for maybe 100 meters total.
Listening to yourself is not always the easiest thing to do; my previous blogpost is titled “Burn the Ships” where I talk about not giving yourself an opportunity to make it easy on yourself – a couple of weeks ago the bearings went on my Campagnolo Euris wheels so I went back to my Campagnolo Bullets and kept the 11/25 cassette that had been installed on those wheels.  This was a major feat for me; I was prompted to switch to a 29 when, in 2014, a small group of us went to Little Tor and as soon as a made the right turn I said “not today boys”, got off my bike and walked up.

But then again, the riding and Melanie’s great eating habits have helped me tremendously over the past several years:

The descent off Bear was pretty cold and it was a little slow going until we got to the Cove Deli; one of our riders looked like it might be a long day for him and another had cramped on Bear, so I thought I would call and see if someone wanted to come and get us but there was no way to fit 5 people and 5 bikes into one vehicle (Aleksandra got caught between the first three and me and Hector so when the first three stopped at the deli she didn’t see them and kept going) and honestly, it wasn’t that bad, I was trying to be lazy, giving myself the “I came to ride Bear I don’t need to ride all the way home” but, as I said before, la forza del destino prevails, we ate something and headed home.  The ride home was the perfect way to end the day, it warmed up as we got closer to Fort Lee and we got to see some amazing sunsets; mostly we had that feeling of having accomplished something really special!


Indoor Cycing Studio in Englewood Cliffs
Some other good news – we are opening an indoor cycling studio on 9W in Englewood Cliffs – and would love to send a FREE PASS to anyone registered for GFNY 2016.  Please email with FREE PASS in the subject line and we will get that out to you next week; we expect the studio to open mid-December and will offer indoor group cycling classes and GFNY speficic training courses on the latest Elite indoor trainers!Gavia Cycling Studio

Please join us for a group ride!

As always, if I can help you in any way, please feel free to email me at:

Enjoy your Thanksgiving Weekend with your friends and family!




Burn the Ships!

There is a story about Cortes landing in the New World in 1519 with 600 men and the goal of conquering the Aztecs.  As soon as his men landed ashore he gave the order to destroy the ships, removing the opportunity of turning back in the event things did not go as planned.  Rumor has it that I am old enough to know this firsthand – it is only a rumor!


Uli was kind enough to invite me to record a GFNY podcast with him this past Wednesday during which we discussed many aspects of GFNY with a specific focus on preparing for and participating in Gran Fondo NY if one is relatively new to the sport of cycling and/or Gran Fondo NY.  If you have some time and would like to learn about GFNY and laugh a little bit please listen to the podcast: YOUR GFNY

If you have a few minutes please take a look at the two short race videos from GFNY 2015 and start getting excited about participating in the cycling experience of a lifetime!

Uli perspective from the lead car               Official GFNY 2015 race video

Haven’t signed up yet – it happens – here is a link:     BE A PRO FOR A DAY!

Our Official GFNY training rides begin the first weekend of December, and our entire Gruppo Sportivo is dedicated to one thing and one thing only – your success!

What does all of this have to do with burning ships you ask?

During our podcast Uli and I discuss each segment of the GFNY course, and one of the things we talk about is the use of your gears and especially to save some of the gears in the back for later in the race.  Many of us have a tendency to use the easiest possible gears but that doesn’t help us get stronger or go faster.  When you listen to the podcast (and I hope you do so I get invited back to do another one, as I was in my glory talking about cycling and GFNY!) you will hear me say more than once “save two gears in the back”.


I brought my DeRosa over to Strictly Bicycles for a check up this past week; it was making a couple of sounds that I couldn’t attribute to my old age or labored breathing  and “la forza del destino” being what it is found out from Gato that the bearings and hubs in my Campagnolo Eurus wheels need to be replaced.  As a team our Gruppo Sportivo is really lucky to have Campagnolo as a sponsor; they also provide us with a set of Campagnolo Bullet wheels so it was easy for me to take them out of the bag and mount them onto the bike.  The difference of course is that I have making life too easy for myself by using an 12-29 cassette on the Eurus wheels and my Bullets have an 11-25; in the interests of practicing what you preach and burning the metaphorical ships I opted to leave the 11-25, forcing myself to leave OFF the last two gears for our Gavia Cycling group ride going forward, beginning yesterday (more information on our GFNY specific training programs being announced November 1).

franklee20151 2732_GUH_02409

(Our two newest Gruppo Sportivo Team members – Frank “Don Franceso” Lee and Ramon “My Identical Cousin” Thompson

It is always interesting to see what you are capable of when you have no choice!  I led the ride for most of the way out, was able to stay within a few seconds of everyone on most of the climbs, I pulled the Gruppeto home and felt great at the finish with a couple of PR’s to boot.  The real test will come doing repeats on Alpine, Closter Dock and E Clinton – but retreating is no longer a choice and I am hoping that the added challenge will help me get stronger for May 15, 2016!

Challenge yourself – participate in an event that is designed to be simultaneously supportive and challenging – join us on May 15, 2016 and at the end of the race feel like a Pro for the rest of your life!

If you have any questions please feel free to email on or visit our FB group Gavia Cycling..

See you on the road!



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