GFNY 2015 - anyone going?
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  1. #1
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    GFNY 2015 - anyone going?

    I just signed up and am excited! Looking forward to spending some time in NYC for a few days as well.
    I opted for the Bear (50 mile) since it is way early in the season for me -and if it goes well will be back the following year for the full ride.
    The start on the GWB looks way cool - and the site and organization seems to be well in place.
    Anyhow - would love to hear form those who rode it and some feedback/tips on the ride as well as the event.

  2. #2
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    I am in. It will be my third time. Last year I really enjoyed it and took advantage of the early discount. Got to start getting in shape though now. Thinking of doing HoH first so it will not be too bad.

  3. #3
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    Right on. Is it really necessary to get to the bridge as early as possible? Given that I am in the Bear - and we line up last I wonder if I wouldn't show up closer to when they are shutting down the gates rather than wait the extra hour up there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FasterStronger View Post
    Right on. Is it really necessary to get to the bridge as early as possible? Given that I am in the Bear - and we line up last I wonder if I wouldn't show up closer to when they are shutting down the gates rather than wait the extra hour up there.
    They supposedly close it off if you are not there on time. I don't know. The wait is a pain. Better with friends but the ride is not a great ride to do as a group ride unless you are all close in ability or do not care about your time.

    My suggestion would be to wear an old sweatshirt and toss it when the ride starts. They really should have clothing donations for this type of thing. They could raise a lot.

  5. #5
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    I rode in 2013 & 2014, while I might sign up for 2015 I'm leaning against. Paying all that money to ride roads I frequent on a regular basis doesn't excite me at this point. The one thing that may change my mind is winter training and two weeks of Cycling camp in April and the thought I could challenge my time last year. The start can be a little congested, especially on Henry Hudson Drive but last year the weather was good and once you get past Piermont and Nyack the road really opens up. After Bear a lot of weak riders fall back and you hardly see other cyclists until the last few miles where somehow riders congregate toward the finish.

    For riders who have not done the Fondo the best part of the ride in my opinion is the ride up Bear and what follows all the way back to River Road

    I do plan on entering the Catskill Gran Fondo. Really enjoyed it last year.

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    I know that the 50 milers are last in line - i am wondering how bad the congestion is heading out and how that affects your time.
    While I know it isn't a competition and the 50 milers are not racing per se - I would still like to give my best effort and have my time reflect that but if there really are 5000 riders - I imagine that the start must be slow for those @ the back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FasterStronger View Post
    I know that the 50 milers are last in line - i am wondering how bad the congestion is heading out and how that affects your time.
    While I know it isn't a competition and the 50 milers are not racing per se - I would still like to give my best effort and have my time reflect that but if there really are 5000 riders - I imagine that the start must be slow for those @ the back.
    The congestion should not limit your speed much once you exit onto 9w. It might even benefit you as the guy in front of you will block the wind and provide a sort of drafting benefit.

  8. #8
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    Re: GFNY 2015 - anyone going?

    Quote Originally Posted by FasterStronger View Post
    I know that the 50 milers are last in line - i am wondering how bad the congestion is heading out and how that affects your time.
    While I know it isn't a competition and the 50 milers are not racing per se - I would still like to give my best effort and have my time reflect that but if there really are 5000 riders - I imagine that the start must be slow for those @ the back.
    It is not a race but it is. Unlike other fondos they even refer to it as a race.

    The initial congestion on the bridge and for this first couple of miles is no fun.

    Take it easy. You have 50 miles to crank it out. Get in a good group and just cruise. Don't draft, too dangerous at this point, a fair amount of novice riders trying too hard. I have only seen crashes here and on the Bear descent.

    Your time in the 50 will largely be about how fast you get up Bear. Once the crowds break down find someone to work with, maybe plan ahead. Let it all out on Bear, you don't have to do thus tough climbs after.

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    Thanks NJ,
    PI was thinking the same thing regarding not pushing it too hard before bear and saving up for the finish on it.
    climbing is definitely my weak point - being 5'7 and I weigh 200 lbs but I have been getting better and training accordingly and wil continue to do so.
    Thanks for all of your input.

    I am deciding between 2 hotels - one in Fort lee which means I could ride to the bridge and one that is about 15 km or so away in which case I would drive over since I am unfamiliar with the roads. I know they mentioned parking in Fort lee - I imagine that fills up quick too...?

  10. #10
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    The race starts fairly early. You will be happier with a hotel that allows you to ride your bike to the start. And as far as Bear Mountain goes, while it is Category 2, it is not especially steep but it is four miles, so it is quite doable. The grade only averages 5% but it is four miles. If you aren't use to climbing you might find Perkins,the last two miles, a bit of a challenge it averages 6% but has some sections that are 9 or 10% , similar to the grade at the end of Henry Hudson Drive, but as you are hitting this at mile 45 and not at the beginning you might find it tough.

  11. #11
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    GFNY 2015 - anyone going?

    Quote Originally Posted by FasterStronger View Post
    Thanks NJ,
    PI was thinking the same thing regarding not pushing it too hard before bear and saving up for the finish on it.
    climbing is definitely my weak point - being 5'7 and I weigh 200 lbs but I have been getting better and training accordingly and wil continue to do so.
    Thanks for all of your input.

    I am deciding between 2 hotels - one in Fort lee which means I could ride to the bridge and one that is about 15 km or so away in which case I would drive over since I am unfamiliar with the roads. I know they mentioned parking in Fort lee - I imagine that fills up quick too...?
    I agree with Trek. Stay closer if you can. Parking is not bad though. Somewhat depends on where they end it. 2013 they had the party in Edgewater. Last year it was under the GWB. I would prefer Edgewater.

    My choice would probably be the Homewood Suites in Edgewater. Most hotels in Fort Lee are on the highway so check where you are. I would not want to ride Route 4.

    As for Bear, work on your endurance climbing. Tough to find climbs that long around here but the grade is easy.

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    My local climb is maybe 6-8 km long and not continuous but steady enough and averages 7% with sections of 10/12 some spots as high as 18 - I ride it often and will do some repeats on it as part of my prep.
    now onto serious stuff - good place to get a slice in either Fort lee or across the bridge?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by FasterStronger View Post
    My local climb is maybe 6-8 km long and not continuous but steady enough and averages 7% with sections of 10/12 some spots as high as 18 - I ride it often and will do some repeats on it as part of my prep.
    now onto serious stuff - good place to get a slice in either Fort lee or across the bridge?
    Not really familiar with dining options. There is a pizza place in Fort Lee near the parking lot, but I have no idea. A friend of mine group up in Fort Lee and refers to it as "Fort Rhee" if that gives you any idea of whether pizza or Italian food is a specialty.

    Across the Bridge is Washington Heights and it looks better than I remember from my days of living in NY, but not exactly where I hang around looking for a slice.

    Best place to grab a pie in the Hudson County Area IMO, would be Grimaldi's in Hoboken. But that is a pie not a slice. Maybe the best pie there is though. Used to be some decent by the slice places in Hoboken as well, but that is a long time ago. You could drive there after. I would not assume, you would want to ride both ways.

    Depending on which way you are heading out after there are good places in other counties as well.

  14. #14
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    Thanks for all the info NJ.
    i will actually be there fri - min and will head into NYC a couple of times to see the sights and check out the bike expo as well - so will hunt around for a good pizza joint there.
    had some pizza a couple of years ago inhoboken gat was pretty good - don't recall the name of the place but it was on the same street as the cake boos bakery shop - we took our daughter there on a little surprise road trip...

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    Quote Originally Posted by FasterStronger View Post
    Thanks for all the info NJ.
    i will actually be there fri - min and will head into NYC a couple of times to see the sights and check out the bike expo as well - so will hunt around for a good pizza joint there.
    had some pizza a couple of years ago inhoboken gat was pretty good - don't recall the name of the place but it was on the same street as the cake boos bakery shop - we took our daughter there on a little surprise road trip...
    Nice. Hoboken is a fun town. We lived there for a couple of years when we first got married. I hated leaving. Grimaldi's is on First and Clinton so definitely not the one you went to. If I had to guess, you went to Benny Tudino's, very popular place in that area.

    I will not offer NY advice as there is soo much stuff out there. Read up on Yelp or something and find what you want. If you are staying for a few, then I would definitely either stay in Manhattan or some place where you could get in fairly quickly. The aforementioned Homewood Suites would likely be good as I think the ferry is relatively close by.

  16. #16
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    Why not book a hotel on the upper west side? You only live once, and a lot more convenient if you want to get around the city the day before. You can even do a motel. There are a lot of cyclists riding up Riverside Drive the morning of, and not all of them are residents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek_5200 View Post
    Why not book a hotel on the upper west side? You only live once, and a lot more convenient if you want to get around the city the day before. You can even do a motel. There are a lot of cyclists riding up Riverside Drive the morning of, and not all of them are residents.
    And he would avoid the bridge crossing in the morning. And could take the ferry back in the afternoon if I am correct. Not sure where the ferry lands but I think near 42nd, with a lot of hotel options in that area from budget to upper upscale.

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    I've never ridden GFNY, but it is run on roads that I ride routinely.

    The route is well chosen, and includes many of my favorite roads in Rockland and N. Bergen. You have to enjoy riding with A LOT of other riders. I got caught up in the ride in Haverstraw last year, and even there (maybe 25 miles into the ride?) there were LARGE bunches of riders - like 50+ riders randomly coming together, a small gap, then another large group, and so on. More squirrels per square meter than I was willing to deal with, I split off as soon as I could. But that is me.

    I can't imagine doing the descents in the park (Henry Hudson Dr.) at the beginning of the ride with all of those riders. Eeek.

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by D&MsDad View Post
    I've never ridden GFNY, but it is run on roads that I ride routinely.

    The route is well chosen, and includes many of my favorite roads in Rockland and N. Bergen. You have to enjoy riding with A LOT of other riders. I got caught up in the ride in Haverstraw last year, and even there (maybe 25 miles into the ride?) there were LARGE bunches of riders - like 50+ riders randomly coming together, a small gap, then another large group, and so on. More squirrels per square meter than I was willing to deal with, I split off as soon as I could. But that is me.

    I can't imagine doing the descents in the park (Henry Hudson Dr.) at the beginning of the ride with all of those riders. Eeek.

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    The route is well chosen, but I think Gran Fondo is missing an opportunity by not changing it up a little from year to year. I would have liked to see them include Little Tor or the section from Lake Welch to Lake Tiorati from time to time. By keeping the route essentially unchanged since year two, they risk making the event stale and driving away riders who have done it in previous years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek_5200 View Post
    The route is well chosen, but I think Gran Fondo is missing an opportunity by not changing it up a little from year to year. I would have liked to see them include Little Tor or the section from Lake Welch to Lake Tiorati from time to time. By keeping the route essentially unchanged since year two, they risk making the event stale and driving away riders who have done it in previous years.
    I love Harriman, and the ride up from Lake Welch drive to Tiorati circle is beautiful, but I don't know if you want to route riders down the full descent on Willow Grove road. I've hit 52 mph on that descent, can you imagine the possible carnage? The descent from Gate Hill road to Call Hollow is enough, IMO.


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  21. #21
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    GFNY 2015 - anyone going?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trek_5200 View Post
    The route is well chosen, but I think Gran Fondo is missing an opportunity by not changing it up a little from year to year. I would have liked to see them include Little Tor or the section from Lake Welch to Lake Tiorati from time to time. By keeping the route essentially unchanged since year two, they risk making the event stale and driving away riders who have done it in previous years.
    Same feeling with GFNJ. I have done that one 3 times and this will be my 3rd GFNY. Plan on skipping NJ to do something different this year. And will likely not do GFNY 16 either. Both are great rides and it is fun to measure progress from year to year but sometimes gets old.

    And there are lots of great rides in both areas.

  22. #22
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    The Crank Addicts will be there.... most of us are doing the full ride.

  23. #23
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    Hi Guys,
    i am travelling from the UK to do the GFNY, Im fairly new to cycling and will be riding alone, so if there is anyone who is also riding alone (and is not too fast) let me know, I will be I town from 13th till 17th so also open or a post or pre ride beer.

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    Michael-UK, you may want to start a new thread for GFNY 2016. GFNY 2015, which is the subject of this thread, is over, as you know.

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