The fourth of March marked the kick off of the New York bicycle racing series. We met up with Eli Curt Fuld for his story.
You look pretty cold, Eli.
Yeah, it was freezing out there today – I really made sure to layer up well.
Is that your support team over there taking your picture?
Yeah, that’s Yehudah, my pit crew. He comes to the races to offer moral support and hone his photography skills.
This was your first road race. What did you think of the sport?
I’m in so much pain right now but I had an incredible time. I’m happy I came and I learned a great deal. To quote Jack Mott, “Bike racing is fun as [anything] but it’s also painful as [anything].
You came in about 5 minutes behind the peloton. Were you part of that crash?
I wish I could pin it on a crash! (Laughs) No, but seriously, I just don’t have the fitness these guys do. I thought, oh, cat 5, these guys are all noobs like me. I was way off on that though! Just 2 miles in, they dropped me on the first climb. It was the strangest thing. I was right there in the thick of it, and then just like that, I was off the back and they were gaining ground.
So you rode the last 15.5 miles alone?
No, a few other cyclists were dropped too, so they just tucked in behind me and let me pull for 12 miles or so. It was really tough work.
You didn’t rotate out?
I think that their knowledge of the sport was even more elementary than mine…I tried waving them up, but they either didn’t know what that meant or they didn’t care. At mile 15 though, we swallowed up a cat 4 cyclist. Luckily for me, he took a few turns up front.
How long did the 3 loops take you to finish?
The 18 miles took me 53:35. I averaged 20.3 mph and I just like to think of it as a good ITT effort – that’s basically what it was.
What do you plan on doing differently next time?
For one thing I’m going to get me a new saddle! I think that a strong race strategy is to train so I don’t get dropped.
I have to ask – what’s up with those wheels?
(Laughs) These are my race wheels! They’re from Planet X – 82 in the front, 101 in the rear. I’m definitely not fast enough for them, but they sound awesome and look sweet!
And your next race?
Right here on the 11th.
Any parting words?
Yes – DON’T get dropped with a bunch of noobs. You’ll end up doing all the work!