Spring Classics

The Pro Tour has its Spring Classics in Belgium, France, Italy and the Netherlands. In the Rochester Bicycling Club (RBC), we have some of our own.

Last Sunday was #194—Tour of Ellison Park. It’s a nice little 14-miler with climbs out of the park eastbound on Blossom Rd and back westbound on Browncroft Blvd. About 40 riders showed up for that and, although I started near the back, I finished near the front, primarily due to climbing.

It’s the first ride of the season and was followed by a swap meet, pot luck dinner, club meeting and awards. I came home stuffed. And I sold some stuff that didn’t fit to people that it would. Win-win.

Today was #301—Spin Around the Bay, which circumnavigates Irondequoit Bay. [map] This ride can be done only from November through March, which is when the bridge at the mouth of the bay is swung shut to enable road traffic to cross. Two weeks from now, you’ll need your water wings.

Spin Around the Bay has a couple of required climbs, and a few more “extra credit” climbs. I started at the back of the pack of about 15, and passed everyone on the first “extra credit” climb, the 15% grade out of Glen Edith. I’m apparently in much better shape that I credit myself for.

Otto, the RBC’s Ride Chair, made me “King of the Mountains” for that. Although I joked about seeing spots (in racing, the KoM is awarded the polka dot jersey) my heart rate peaked at only 167. After the descent and climb on Empire Blvd, Otto, Pete (the Ride Leader) and I were the only ones who did the other extra credit climbs on the west side of the bay.

Now, take all of that with a large grain of salt, because Paul, the genuine racer in our ride today, pushed his daughter up the climb on Empire. That’s not only awesome legs, and an awesome right arm, but awesome bike-handling as well.

Next Sunday, I’ll be the Ride Leader on #178—Ellison Park to Mendon Ponds Park. It’s sort of a Choose Your Own Adventure ride with a choice of three turnaround points for 15, 19 or 21 miles.

We start at 1:30 at the parking lot in Ellison Park on North Landing Rd between Browncroft and Blossom. The ride heads out Clover St and cuts over on Tobey, then continues out on Mendon Center Rd. The turnoffs are through Mendon Ponds Park at Canfield or Pond Roads, or stick with Mendon Center Road around the end of the park to Clover St and return.

In all, it’s a nice little ride on some of the most bicycle-friendly roads around, in a scenic part of the county.

Looking at the calendar, I think I can make the first two Sunday afternoon rides next month as well. Onno is leading the one on the fifth. Family stuff may conflict with the one on Easter Sunday.

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