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Wednesday, June 11, 2008
 Hincapie wins State 2 of Dauphiné Libéré 
It's great to see George win a Dauphiné Libéré stage. He seems to be in great form and is looking forward to the Tour de France and possible stage wins there as well. For more George news check out his website. On Sunday Levi Leipheimer won the prologue. Too bad their victories are being ignored in the U.S. press.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008
 Bike Florida 2008 
The Bike Florida 2008 trip report is finally finished. While I took notes on a laptop during the trip, it took a while to select the right photos, reduce their size (using ImageMagick software), and add captions. While we had a good tour, the logistics were not as well planned as in previous years. The ride was a one-way route on the west side of Florida, from Clearwater to Fanning Springs.

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Monday, June 09, 2008
 Philadelphia bike weekend 
We've been visiting Philadelphia on the first weekend in June for several years. The city is taken over by bike events during the weekend, culminating with the Philadelphia International Championship races on Sunday, formerly the US Pro race. The weekend starts with the Manayunk Walk Climb on Friday evening.

This year we took our recumbents and rode to Manayunk Friday afternoon. We rode a short stretch on the Schuylkill River Trail, then rode to the top of the hill climb on a parallel street that was at least as steep as the infamous “Wall”. We stayed to watch the folder class of riders on their Bike Fridays, Bromptons, Swifts, Moultons, Dahons and others. We stayed in Manayunk for a good outdoor dinner at Belle Trattoria, watching the many cyclists in town for the weekend.
Along the Schuylkill River TrailSpent folder class wall climbersDinner in Manayunk
Philadelphia Bike Club rideNew section of river trail near Rittenhouse SquareDinner at Jack's across from the old Eastern State Penitentiary

We never seem to learn. Every club ride we've ever tried has been at a faster than advertised pace, usually faster than we like. We chose the C+ Saturday ride of the Bicycle Club of Philadelphia with an advertised average speed of 13-14 mph and a distance of 30-40 miles.

We met at the Italian fountain outside the Philadelphia Art Museum. There were about 10 of us led by Raphael. It was a lovely, on-road route through the Philadelphia suburbs. The pace seemed a little faster than advertised but regardless, we weren't prepared. We didn't stop until the halfway point at about 26 miles and 2+ hours. We're accustomed to a more relaxed pace and stops about every 10 miles. There was no time for photos or any lingering and we barely had a chance to talk other than at our lunch break at Whole Foods in North Wales. It didn't help that the temperature reached the high 90's.

Raphael did his best to keep us together but we were glad to finally leave the group and meander through Manayunk looking for a sorbet snack. We stopped briefly at Zesty's, an excellent Italian ice shop in Manayunk. Later we had another good meal at Jack's Firehouse.

On Sunday morning there is a ride along the race route, the Family Fun Ride. Each year the ride becomes less of a fun ride and more of a race. We brought up the rear, passing a few walkers up the Manayunk Wall, then back to the start. We stayed for the Men's and Women's race start, then returned to our room for a shower and to check out.

To get a feel for what the race is like we took a couple of video clips. The first shows the lead group of motorcycle police clearing the way for the racers. In the background you can see a breakaway with the pack in hot pursuit.

The second clip shows the riders passing a little too close to where I was filming in the stands near the finish. As the first riders approached my natural reaction was to step backwards.

Here are some photos of the race from Velonews.

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