Archive | September, 2013

Townhall Cross 2013

30 Sep

I woke up a bit before 6:30 to catch a ride up to Townhall . The lady was out crushing Freds at the MS150 ride/race so I was running solo today. I got my stuff together and pedaled down to south philly to meet up with Shaina and Jack & Willem from Bicycle Therapy.

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We got there a bit before the Cmen so I was able to get my lungs warmed up for all the heckling that was about to go down.  As usual it was fun to watch friends race the 4/5 race and get to cheer/heckle.

Mens C 4/5 Photos:

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Ruh-roh

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Next up were the women.

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#MikoMiko going all typerwriter on that thing!

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Shaina was crushing souls and sitting on the wheel of Robin in 1st when she dropped a chain on the insude under her catcher and couldn’t get it back running for a while.

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Women’s 3/4 podium

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Ellis getting ready as usual

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After another race it was the 3/4 B men.  It was a bit weird watching this race as I was battling it out with a bunch of those guys last year.  I wasn’t able to give this race quite the attention I wanted to by cheering people on, since I was next up to race.  I didn’t realize there is a good time difference between the end of their race and start of ours but either way maybe ill bring a trainer next to heckle from.

Mens 3/4 B Race pictures:

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Mens Elite 1/2/3 Race:

After riding a hot lap around the course after the B race I went to the start grid to line up.  I was at the back but there were only 3 or 4 rows.  Either way I didn’t want to be too too in the mix at the start as this was my first A race and I had no idea what to expect.  Plus 60 minutes is A LOT longer than 45 minutes when you are deep in the red.

My game plan was to A) not die and B) take in the race dynamics a bit and make moves eventually with the end goal of not blowing up mid way through.  I tried to keep the HR a bit lower than I would usually and follow wheels.  The start was more hectic than I was anticipating and I moved up a few spots off the whistle.  Right after the straight away it goes into 7 or 8  switchbacks that lended itself nicely to everyone chopping every wheel imaginable.  On top of that I wasn’t expecting some seriously slopping riding this early on from a few people but oh well.   The front group was already quite a bit ahead of me before the start of St. Luke’s Staircase and the gaps were starting to form.

I was sitting in a group of 4 with a Hudson furniture guy, Garrett Olsen, and Hal from Lone Wolf Cycling.  Unlike the B race where one can either be very good technically or just have good legs, in the A-race you need both.  Everyone lining up has good legs and most people are somewhat good at cornering.  I know I cant outclass a Cat1 roadie out there so my only move was to stay efficient in the corners and not waste energy.  On lap 3 or so Hal got to the front of the group and formed a bit of a gap.  I made a move in the technical section and got back to his wheel.  Coming into of of the zig-zags up the hill he slipped up and I ran into him a bit as he was regaining himself.  I surged hard and tried to form the gap that I knew I needed to fend the rest of them off.  For the next 2 laps I was creating more and more of a gap on them.

At some point at the start/finish I looked over to see 4 to go… Oh shit seriously?!? Ive been doing this for 30minutes and I have 4 more to go? The slog past the finish line wasn’t as bad as last year but it was still brutal.  The cheering helped but I was in no mans land with Jack and Willem pretty far out of my reach.  The trouble was you could see competitors infront/behind in the switchbacks which made them seem close, but in actuality they wern’t.

With about 2 to go I kept the legs churning but was just trying to keep my position and not do anything stupid.  Nothing really wild happened.  No mechanicals.  No falling. No wild sprint at the end BUT I had one of my more memorable races ever.  Something about doing 8 laps made me feel like I knew what was coming next and could rail the down hill turns that much faster each lap.  I ended up 9th/21 and was pretty happy with how everything shook out.  1st elite race in the books and hopefully many more to come.  I think the highlight of the heckling from the SSCW pit was Dave Pryor yelling at me to blog something with my GoPro… it made me chuckle everytime even when I was in the red!

Strava Jawn: http://www.strava.com/activities/85967766

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After that it was the SS event.  I was cooked and just watched it all take place.

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We ate and drank way too much afterwards.  It was another solid day.

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Charm City Cross 2013 – Video

25 Sep

Still dont have a computer at home to actually edit any of the GoPro video… I havnt watched it yet but im sure the beginning/end are semi-engaging.

 

Charm City Cross 2013

24 Sep

Friday:

I rode my race rig down to work Friday morning and got picked up along the way down south to the lovely city of Baltimore. After slews of traffic we eventually made it to our Holiday in by the Inner Harbor. We ate, had a couple beers, and stayed up way to late doing nothing productive.

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Day 1 (Saturday)

We got a great parking spot on day one right by the finish.

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Mens C

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Andrew taking the win!

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Masters 45+

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Womens 3/4 photos

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After race = Wine Time

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Women 3/4 Results

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Mens B  2/3/4 race.

I lined up 1st row due to a couple people not showing up for Saturdays race who are in head of me points wise in the MAC series. I like lining up in the front row, like most people do. I cant say I have too much skill when it comes to cross but id like to think I have a good start. Charm city’s start this year was fast as usual on pavement until a slight right into the grass.

This years course was much different than last years. It was the same idea but there was a lot more tight turns and nib-jibs that kept it from being a total roadie course in the dry like it felt last year. The course itself is always fun with tall barriers, large run-up steps, a weird planter box 180 turn around a tree, and 2 ridable sand pits.

Things got a little stressful about 5 minutes before we lined up I was warming-up doing starts and broke my chain. I had to run over and borrow a buddies bike then proceed to do a quick ‘fit’. Big thanks to Blake for hustling HARD to the SRAM guy who got him a quick link and got my bike back to me on the start line! Seriously made my day what it was as his bike felt more than foreign to me.

After Nittany CX you kind of know how you’re going to fit in place wise. I felt less pressure because of this and knew I cant hang with the top 5-fast guys and was looking for a top10. I went off hard and slotted 2nd to not use too much energy pulling everyone around. I was able to hang with the lead pack for the first lap but they slowly pulled away after that. Nothing too wild happened through the race. I dropped my chain being a dum-dum running up the steps and lost a bit of time trying to crank it around while running, then failing… then jumping on it on the downhill and trying to get it on while pedaling. Around lap 2 or 3 a couple fast guys from the back, Sean O’Donnell and Greg Capelle blew by me and I was good with that as they were already on my list of people I wasn’t beating 🙂 I was able to make my first pass of the season and got in front of the guy who lead from the hole shot. It felt good. Ended up 9th/115 and was happy with the performance. Avg heart rate was a little on the low side of 197bmp but I hadn’t seen a max of 210bmp in a while! That was nice to see.

STRAVA JAWN: http://www.strava.com/activities/84351308

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Mens B 2/3/4 results

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Getting ready to watch the Mens Elite Race

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There were some heavy hitters out at Charm City CX this past weekend including Page

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At some point it started to rain pretty hard…

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After the race we drove straight over to Johny Rads for the second year in a row for some legit pizza and beer.  That place is definitely a good time.

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Next up was the hotel party

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6 people + 6 bikes was easier than expected.  im glad it wasnt too muddy on day1

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I also learned why Ellis has a ‘No’ tv symbol stitched into his messenger bag… i think hes an addict. After watching one of the crappy Fast in the Furious movies we all passed out.

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Day 2 (Sunday):

We loaded up and packed everything back into the car.

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We got there early-o-clock for the start of the Mens C race,

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Hans leading it out

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Andrew with a 2nd win in a row  and a cat up to the 3s.

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Blake came in 3rd after starting 80 some back.  super impressive!!

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Mens C Cat 4/5 Podium

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Shadow was the winning dog for the weekend as well!

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Womens 3/4 Race Pictures

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Cat 4/5 Mens Results:

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Cat 3/4 Womens Results:

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Cat 2/3/4 Mens Race

Sunday I got pushed back to the 2nd row and had to remember what it was like waiting for someone else to move before I could. Cooper was in front of me and I had to route around him at the start to move up. John Dove led the pack for almost a full lap and I was on the tail end of the group for that time. Eventually a few of them blew-up and fell off the brutal front group pace. I could tell my legs were fatigued from the day before and I couldn’t get my heart rate up at all and averaged a heart rate of 189bmp almost 10bmp less than the day before… I let a few people past me early on that I knew would get up to the front, but with 3 more to go a group of 3 went past me and I wasn’t in a good place.

Later that lap or in the next lap I was able to reel them back in. With 1 to go I was on the back of the pack conserving energy. I was sitting in 3rd of the 4 man group with Cooper & Wilis from King Kog and another guy in a red/white kit who seemed to like to fall a lot. I could tell our group was slowing a bit as racers from behind were closing in. After the steps/whoops there was 2 up hills and I tried to make my move on the 2nd and got shut-down, so I went for it again on the fast sweeping left downhill and mad it by Wilis and sat on Coopers wheel on the downhill past the 2nd pit. I was thinking of going for it around the planter box but didn’t want to tweak my ankle like last year in the rooty inside section. I sat and waited trying to hold his wheel as long as I could. Coming into the weird off camber muddy turn (2 turns before the sand) I tried ot make a move and couldn’t. Coming into the straight away before the 1st sand pit I went for it hard and was able to nudge him out of the good like through the sand. This saved me a slew of energy and I was able to make the pass and hold it through the next sand pit. I pushed with everything I had through the next straight and tried to keep it safe through the next few corners. As I got on the road I threw in a quick sprint and looked back and realized I didn’t have to sprint-sprint it out. Came in 12th/ 117 and even though I wasn’t all that fast, I felt like I accomplished way more today than the day before. It was really fun towards the end battling it out with the King Kog dudes!

STRAVA JAWN: http://www.strava.com/activities/84351306

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Cat 2/3/4 Mens B Results

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Afterwards the lady was able to get an autographed copy of Bill’s new book

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AreYouKittenMe>>>!?!!!

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Then it was time to watch the Elite races again.  Look at that bike lean…!

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After the race we realized someone had a bit too much wine… luckily she could sleep it off on the way back to Philly.

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It was good to be back home after a long weekend of racing bikes and

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Video (day 2 Mens B 2/3/4 Full):

Cross Camp 2013

16 Sep

2 years ago I went down to cross camp to gear up for my first ever cyclocross race (Last year pictures / separate video). The guys down there taught me all I needed to know about cornering, barriers, and heckling to get me though my first Nittany Cross experience. Now 2 years later and Im still looking forward to riding cross bikes, hanging out, and the occasional heckling.

This year things were a bit hectic but they still made it happen. A slew of us cruised down from philly Friday after work and got down there just in time to set up camp and drink a few brewskies.

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The next morning we got to business with some barrier warm-ups and some cornering practice.  The course this year was changed slightly but was a solid 1.1mi grass/dirt/pine needle loop.  After a solid day of riding we got to eating/drinking/trying to get hurt.  Luckily they had a slew of ‘garage’ bikes that were essentially bike shop bikes that were too crappy to actually fix.  We proceeded to have way too much fun ramping the jawn/wheelieing into each other (not cool Ryan), and general tomfoolery.  I think I bent 2-3 wheels trying to 180 these steel beasts… Eventually we have a WAY too long LeMans start race with a half a lap on the course.  I was crushing souls and go to the bike pile first, got my ‘A’ bike and went for broke.  Unfortunately all the 180s did their damage and while blasting down the hill I heard a long BANG and my tire had blew a sidewall from rubbing on the frame.  It went down hill from there and I lost the lead and the championship jersey!

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We made dinner on the fire and hung out drinking into the night.  At some point a pile of glow sticks were brought out and were hung up around a small section of the course for night time riding.  The rules were simple, no lights allowed and don’t die.  There was way too much fun happening riding around in the pitch dark going way too fast with a couple beer hand-ups mixed in.  I havnt looked at my GoPro but I hoped it turned out to some degree even though I doubt it did.

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Luckily Ben already threw together a little GoPro action.  I havnt watched it yet but I assume its amazing.

 

 

I also got to try out my new camping hammock that I got as a birthday presents from the parents.  It was amazing!  I think Im hooked on sleeping in a hammock!  Now I just need to figure out a way to string it up in our apartment…

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Nittany Cross 2013 Day1 & 2

10 Sep

Day 1/Saturday

Strava Jawn (Day 1): http://www.strava.com/activities/81240119

1st race of the 2013 cyclocross season. We left Philly at 7:30am and got up to T-Town early for the lady to pre-ride before the Cat 4/5 field went off at 9am. Course was dry and fast like last year. It was going to hurt.

Started off watching the Cmen. Within the first 100m of the cat 4/5 race there was a big crash and I saw a buddy walking his bike with a rear flat. I looked at his candy pedals and shoved my bike towards him in a #non-legal bike change and he took back off minutes behind the tail end of the race.

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Next up was the Masters +45 and +55 race where there was another crash.  Nothing worse than watching start crashes, especially in gravel.  Jeff somehow cracked his carbon frame during the Masters +45 race too?!

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The lady geared up for the cat 3/4 womens race which had 50+ women pre-reg’d for both days!  It was really cool to see how many women are racing cyclocross these days.  This is her first season of actually preparing for cross.  Last year she was marathon training and doing random cross races between 20milers and such.  Anyways she crushed it and got 12th out of 50 finishers!

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During the womens race I tried to eat a bit but was pre occupied and before I knew it I was warming up for the Mens B race.  Rolling to the starting line my stomach was growling from lack of food.  I didn’t think much of it though.  I got a first row call-up from last years MAC results and lined up to the right side.  I tried to keep the nerves down by talking a bit with the rest guys at the front.  As the light turned green I took off and got the hole shot.  My goal was to stay out of the start crash that is always in the back of my head.  I stayed out front a bit too long and lead the field out going into the barriers.

At some point a few people passed me, I jumped on wheels, then proceeded to blow up all over the place.  I forgot about all the pain that cyclocross is.  I wasn’t ready for it mentally or physically, then I bonked and went backwards through the field.  No real story though…  I didn’t fall, no mechanicals, just a lack of confidence cornering, a couple cramps and no gusto.  This might have been the worst Ive felt during a race ever.  I ended up 16th out of 101.

We stuck around and watched the elite race and I tired to eat some food but I was totally out of it.  After a quick drive to Vegan Treats I snapped back too it a bit and got home around 8/8:30pm and got a sweet bath in.

Mens B 2/3/4 Results

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Women’s 3/4 Results

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Oh yah, my gross toenail that’s been dead since CTC a few years back cracked hard and the super glue had ran dry… duct tape does the job.

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Day 2/Sunday

Strava Jawn (Day 2): http://www.strava.com/activities/81240116

We went back up and left Philly at 7:30am again.  We gave Andrew a lift and talked about non-sense on the ride up.  We took a stroll around the course and realized it was even faster than yesterday, plus it had the super fun kicker to log hop that takes away some from the all out roadies.

I did a good amount of heckling during the mens C race watching people trip/fall/get trampled on the runup/log.  It was a blast.

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Masters 45+ Race

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Eventually it was the the womens cat3/4 race and the ladies first go at a double header weekend.  I think she was still excited off her 12th the day before and got to it for a second day.  The laides out front put in a serious gap pretty quickly but it was a good race to watch.  She rolled in 17th/47 and grabbed some more top 20 goodness.

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My game plan was to actually eat breakfast and lunch today and take a Nuun tablet to ward off the calf cramps.  I stuff my face until about 11:15 and decided to play it a bit smarter today.  I was luckily enough to have another front row call-up again for Sundays Mens 2/3/4 race.  Game plan was to get out of danger fast but not take the lead.  I slotted in 2nd out of the gate and followed that wheel for the first 1/5 lap.  Coming into the quick-up to log-over I was sitting 3rd wheel… perfect.  I gave a little room to the guy in front so I could hop it but while doing so someone blast up my right side going up and forces me off my bike… bleh.  Guess I should have gone harder or expected that but I wasn’t so excited.

Im now going into the back wooded/rooty section sitting 4th wheel.  I wasn’t look to try to hold wheels I couldn’t hang with but rather working on keeping speed up while cornering to conserve energy. I was trading pulls with Cooper from King Kog for a bit and eventually couldn’t hang on.  Eventually another person or two came around and I let them by.  With about 2 to go I was feeling good and had my hear rate pegged on 200bmp.  I picked it up a bit with the intent to keep my ground.  With 1 to go I saw 2 people not too far in front of me and trying to get at it.  Riding the log definitely helped and I was able to get close.  Caleb was right in front of me and I knew it would be tough to make up much ground.  I was able to get up to his wheel but wasn’t able to outsprint him at the line.  Came in 10th/94 finishers.  I was happy with how the race went and it got my head back in the cross game.  Next up another double header down at Charm City.

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Thoms was using his new fancy phone for this ‘strobe’ shot

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Mens B 2/3/4 Day 2 results

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Mens Elite Day 2

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Labor Day Weekend 2013

6 Sep

Late as usual…

I tried to make use of my long weekend and took Friday off. After a fun trip to the philly DMV we cruised out to the burbs for some shopping. I cruised out to REI to pick up a Hennesy camping hammock the to a buddy’s to pick up some things for another friend. All in all 50some miles before the day was done.

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After a semi late night we cruisec up to NYC to stuff out faces with artisanal food. First stop was the Champs for brunch. We had a long day of eating so we tried not to overdo it here.

 

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Next up was Dun-Well doughnuts which was as artisanal as it gets.

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Shortly after snack 1 we made it to snack 2 for coconut ice cream at Van Leeuwen

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We then headed over to the Cult Bike Show to take in some handmade bikes. We talked to a few builders about this and that. It was a pretty good small show

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We hopped back on the bikes to Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg to get some lunch. So much artisanal whoo-haah. It was borderline comical. After a burger/salad/fries/ice cream, we headed to meet up with a buddy for some coffee.

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We rode over to the Blue Bottle Coffee…  I don’t drink coffee but went for an iced jawn. This wasn’t a good idea as the caffeine made me feel wonky.

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We rode down to the new pump track that they put in…!  Remember that time philly was suppose to have a pump track in Fairmount… Brooklyn always is multiple steps ahead. It was the after party of the Cult Bike Show as well. We watched a bunch of little kids and some older guys pump around the dirt track. It looked like a good time.

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We headed out and stopped by a bike/beer/coffee shop then to dinner at V-Spot which was a bit lacking. We tried to burn some calories after eating too much by doing a lap in Prospect Park. It was tranquil.

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After riding around a bit we made one last stop at Foodswings then grabbed some to-go bagels at bagel smith and hit the road.

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Then next day we rode out to the burbs to get our swim on and enjoy Labor Day

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We also catch the enders at Made in America.  Who knew NIN was a headlining band still!??

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We finished up the weekend with a little cross action and a BBQ.  Nittany Cross s this weekend… lets hope for the best.

 

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