Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bike race

Every year the the city hosts the Philadelphia International Championship cycling race. I love watching this race every year. It's amazing how fast these guys (and gals) ride, but even more impressive to me is the fact that the men do 10 laps of a 14.4-mile loop. The loop has 17 hills, including the infamous Manayunk Wall which has a 17% incline! And they do it 10 times!!!!! The women also ride up the wall, but they don't do as many miles as the men.

I normally get to see the race from my apartment which is situated right at the finish line. If I walk down to boathouse row, I see them ride up Lemon Hill which is another steep climb. Here's a picture from a few years ago.

This year, I only saw the men and the women pass by on their first lap. I met up w/ the team for our group cycling practice at the Spring Mill SEPTA stop and rode w/ them to Manayunk. It was a short ride, but really tough b/c of the hills. I wasn't used to them. Anyway, we stopped right at the corner of Levering Street where the riders make the sharp turn off Main Street and begin the arduous trek up the wall. Here are 2 pictures I took on my cell phone as the men were coming around the bend.

And as they passed me on the street . . .

What amazes me is how quickly they ride by you. This pack of bikes (no stragglers, I might add) zipped passed us in about 30 seconds! Not only that, but Sunday was clear skies, 98 degrees and a good 80-90% humidity. It felt like 104! And these guys are about to do 10, 14.4 laps and 17 hills!!!! Amazing!

The reason I didn't get to watch more of the race (well I saw some from my window as I was getting ready) was b/c I had to rush home and catch the train to NYC to see August: Osage County w/ my mom. Aside from the fact that it was an extremely long play (3:20 w/ 2 intermissions), it was excellent! It's been a long time since I've been to a show that I've left and raved about it. It's nominated for 7 Tony's, including best play, and I have no doubt that it will win in that category. If you are ever in NYC, I highly recommend it!

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