I did an article about a month ago about the Gran Fondo New York (GFNY). This is a followup article with general questions about traveling with a bike to New York, riding in New York and the course.
[303Cycling] How many riders are going to be traveling with their bike? I will be. Do you have any tips for traveling with a bike in NYC?
[GFNY] Most of the peloton will be traveling with their bikes. 1/3 is from the tri-state area, 1/3 rest of US, 1/3 from abroad. Key to bike happiness in NYC is choosing a hotel that allows bikes in the room. All our partner hotels do (www.granfondony.com/travel) but that's not common at all. You don't want to have your beloved machine in some storage room to which just about anyone has access. Riding in the city itself is a blast but you definitely need to have your senses sharpened. If you want to get a few easy training miles in, Central Park might just about be the best place in the world. The six mile loop is closed to cars from 5.30am-8am, 12.30pm-3pm and after 7pm.
[303Cycling] Once I've put my bike back together, I would like a mechanic to give it a once over before the 100+ mile ride. Will there be mechanics available at the expo?
[GFNY] We won't have mechanics at the expo because we believe that mechanics do their work best when they are in their shop. We're working with a bunch of local bike shops that are ready for GFNY (http://granfondony.com/bike-shops/). Nothing is far in Manhattan.
[303Cycling] Everyone, at least in Colorado, thinks NY is flat but there is 7,000 ft of climbing on the course. Can you describe the terrain: rolling hills, long climbs..?
[GFNY] Some even claimed after last year's race that they had 9,000ft on their altimeter. If you are from Colorado, then GFNY's longest climb of 4.5 miles up to Bear Mountain is nothing to write home about. But GFNY is known for its relentless hills. There are a lot of short, steep hills that really test the riders over the long haul. The course is a true spring classic. And don't think Bear Mountain is the half way point. Be warned in particular of Colle Andrea Pinarello. It's 2 miles long and you think about five times that you've made it, only to find out that it keeps going. If you'd like to hurt someone, this is the place. But it can bite you back badly.
[303Cycling] We're a month out from the race. Where should the middle of the pack be in their training?
[GFNY] The longest training ride should be done this weekend. Our Gruppo Sportivo group ride will probably be 200 riders strong this Sunday when we head out to Bear Mountain. After that, it's all about freshening up the legs and staying sharp.