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... a day in the NITE (longish)(3 posts)

... a day in the NITE (longish)Akirasho
Jul 28, 2002 10:02 AM
... well, the 2002 NITE ride has been relegated to the ages...

Went to Indy yesterday to participate in the Navigate Indy This Evening ride... a 20 mile caravan (we were repeatedly reminded that it was not a race) through the streets of downtown Indianapolis at 11:00:00 PM (that's 23:00:00 to you military types).

This year's ride format was changed a bit... Firstly, the Velodrome was not open to the public until after the event (film at eleven). Secondly, the leadout was along a different route (film at eleven).

And now, the film at eleven. I'm not a member of CIBA and the following is not meant as a criticism of the events... merely my observations.

This year's pentultimate raison d'etre ride was preceeded by USCF Junior National championships... and it was great to see such strong youth, both male and female, participating and competiting in trackbike racing! You soccer moms and pops can move to the back of the theater... these trackkid's parents have to do some serious travel to allow their kids to compete at venues such as this! All of the races were exciting with only one crash (film at eleven thirty) where a racer was removed by ambulance (probably just precautionary).

Got to see a wide variety of track bikes too (funny, but there were tons of old Cannondale track bikes (Cannondale is making track bikes again in 2003 after about a seven year absence)). Even saw an Anchor (Japanese) a Corima and a Cervelo P2T among many others (virtually everyone had killer wheelsets)!

Congratz to all the participants!!!

More film at eleven thirty...

Well, as I mentioned above, the format changed this year... I assume that because of the logistics of moving equipment (both riders and officials and such) into the velo infield, there was no time for an open velo (film at six). After the championships, it was time to ready your rig for the NITE ride. After making a list and checking it twice, all lights were functional and I headed towards the traditional tete a course... but as I waited there... I noticed a sea of red tail lights pointed the other way... hmmmmmmm.

After the traditional playing of the National Anthem and the fireworks... I patiently waited for the police motor escort to take station... what's this??? the pack seems to be moving away from me... hmmmmm. My riding bud and I assume the position... chase position that is... we're at the BACK of this huge mass of cyclists!!!

We cut around the far end of a parking area... swoop through three ranger patrol cars and... right through the fireworks staging area (I swear, we had no idea)... we found a gap in a barricade... and proceeded to merge with the masses.

To the bridge now...

At this point, I lost contact with my ride partner, but our goals were the same... we knew from past experience that the motor pace would be relatively slow to start... so a bridge to the head of the pack was in order... and slowly and surely we both threaded the needle (which at speed in the dark is a bit of a rush). It wasn't easy... it required great skill (I'd estimate that I passed approximately 300 riders) and a bit of risk... but I bridged before we reached the downtown area.

The motor pace had been kept low and I encountered about 30 riders there...

Film at six

This is where a problem developed. Again, I'm not being critical, merely making an observation. At the speeds we were travelling, bunching occured. There were riders with various skill levels all jockying for position at the front... and even though we were forced (by the motor pace... under instructions from his superiors) to a mandatory stop just out of Lafayette Square... more bunching occured... when we started off again... lots of jockying... and inevitably... a bit further down the road... the crashes began.

My best wishes to those who went down
30th Houston Moonlight Bicycle RambleTig
Jul 28, 2002 4:40 PM
The 2002 Ramble will be held Sunday, October 20 at 2 am. This ride sounds like the NITE ride. I think I'll gladle skip it again! The photo below is from last year. Would you want to ride at 2 am with this group? ;-)

I remember the '90 (or was it '91?) Jr Track Nationals and meeting George Hincapie after he and his national team mates crushed the competition. He was a standout even at 17 years old.
Nite rides are a great way to get people interested in cycling.Kristin
Jul 29, 2002 5:02 AM
Sometimes these "fun" cycling events bring more people into the fold. People who might--after a fun, all-night ride--put down the Whopper and begin pursuing fitness on a bike. My friend Amy is hooked now. With several friends who either cylce or run, she thinks to herself, "I should ride my bike more often." The following day she spies a flyer for the Chicago L.A.T.E. Ride. Its 25 mile ride through the city at midnight.

"Hmmm," she thinks, "Kristin rode 50 miles last week. I bet I could complete twenty-five."

With goal in sight, she begins to train--and she enjoys her time preparing. I called her up on the day before the event to see how she felt. She was nervous, but had worked up to 12 miles while training. I knew she could complete the event--albeit tired. When I returned to town, I followed up to see how things went. She was excited to have accomplished her goal and said that she wanted to get in another long ride soon. Excellent! She's more fit than I am to start with. Plus, she's a tiny thing. What do you bet she'll be kicking my butt on the hills next summer!