Known for riding off the front of group rides only to be caught in the first mile, CJ got back on a road bike and realized he must win the Donut Derby at least once in his life. Regularly pledging he's "not a climber," he can be found as a regular attendee of Trexlertown's Thursday Night Training Criterium or sitting on the couch watching Paris-Roubaix reruns. CJ has been a constant rider of the Hell of Hunterdon in New Jersey and races the Tour of the Battenkill before going into seasonal hiding on cross-country ski trails.

Events: Rapha Rising – Beyond

Events: Rapha Rising – Beyond

Climbed: 17,04 feet / 1,943 feet surplus

 

(2017) Post July 23 is the cycling vacuum both on the professional level and the personal. The 23rd is the final day of the Tour de France. It’s the Rapha Women’s 100, a challenge to women to ride 100 kilometers for the day. It’s also the last day to settle up with any remaining Rapha Rising balance, a challenge to climb 4,600 meters for the duration of the Tour, the same amount the pros ride on the queen stage. But the vacuum extends beyond that.

 

While we all wait in anticipation of the Vuelta after a quick look at the cycling schedules around the area show waning road races. Advertisements for the fall classics are starting to show up in email inboxes. And that often-sighted hashtag of ‘cross is coming’ begins to flood our social media feed. Where did the road season go?

Luckily I managed to eek out my vertical progress for Rapha Rising. I happily plugged  my information to get a roundel sometime next month. Regardless of what other people think, I am happy to have completed the challenge to climb. It’s not a part of cycling I look forward to, but without this challenge I would have opted for easier rides.

 

I secured my status as a Rapha Rising finisher on day sixteen. It was the day after Mike and my queen stage saw us gouge the balance of climbing. I thought I was going to ride horribly considering my physical meltdown the day prior. After an ugly opening set of miles, I met up with a few compatriots from Doylestown Bike Works and headed into New Jersey for a spell. As the ride progressed I felt my form come around and despite breaking from the group to avoid a steeper climb home, I felt inspired going up a long grind from the Delaware River that would up being my fastest pass. Funny how the day after the body called it quits, I managed to pass the 4,600-meter amount feeling fresh.

  The final ride during the twenty-three day Rapha Rising time period put us well over the top for climbing.

The final ride during the twenty-three day Rapha Rising time period put us well over the top for climbing.

Two more rides allowed me to add more than 1,600 feet of climbing to my total. I can guarantee my name will never grace the leaderboard of climbing. My name will not feature a progress bar reading 2,000% or whatever those overachievers do. Good for them for, though should I ask if they left their Garmin on during takeoff? Of course had I completed the famous Emmaus 2-5-10 Ride, I would have completed my climbing in one day.

 

It’s only one month into summer proper and people are already talking of fall. Soon the arm warmers will be dug out. I’ll get calls to either try a cross race or cover one. I’ll start looking up Hunter Boots in men’s. Kermesse Sport Oktoberfest fliers have been slid into their spot on bike shop walls. Even pumpkin beers have been spotted on Instagram jiggling through the brewery bottling lines. It’s all the summer cycling vacuum. Soon going up will be transposed with going far one last time this year.

Events: Cycledrome Criterium

Events: Cycledrome Criterium

Being There: Ninth Annual Mike Walter 100 Lap Madison

Being There: Ninth Annual Mike Walter 100 Lap Madison