As some of my regular readers may remember, a few months back I was planning on attending the Photo Collection Expo at the Rapha Cycle Club where Ellen Noble and Jeremy Powers were leading an event. Well, for one reason or another, I completely mixed up the dates and showed up at the club at the right time… a week later *facepalm*. Happens to the best of us!
When I saw a Wednesday club ride with Jeremy Powers on my Rapha app, I knew I had to attend. I’ve been meaning to join Rapha rides for some time now, but in all honesty, I can’t hold over 15+ mph average on 50+ mile rides. Nothing wrong with that, just need to keep “building the base” and working on my ride nutrition. Today’s ride was listed as <15mph and a social cruise, perfect!
Thus, I took a half-day from work and made my way over to Rapha! On the way there, I took Prince Street from Bowery and quickly regretted it considering it was being entirely torn up for repaving. I’m talking large, moon-like craters. In fact, I could see the old cobblestone foundation, which was kind of neat in retrospect.
Anyway, I got to RCC and saw a friendly Nuun Nutrition brand ambassador setting up for the event at 6:30 pm. They had two brand new flavors of Nuun tabs!
Ultimately we had 6 awesome people join the club ride. The plan was to head up the West Side Greenway past the GWB and the relatively new bike path around the “Marina.” Jeremy was wearing his classic Rapha cross gear and another random cyclist actually ended up joining our group to talk to him.
We stopped at the end of the “Marina” path to regroup, take pictures, and refuel with some snacks. On the way back, I had the chance to ride side-by-side with Jeremy for essentially the entire way back downtown. I have to say, this was really the highlight of the ride. He’s extremely personable and I had a chance to ask him a bunch of cycling questions – everything from disc brake pad issues to pre-ride nutrition.
For instance, I could not figure out why my hydraulic disc brakes were squealing, long after the break-in period. Turns out, as Jeremy pointed out, I’ve been using ceramic pads. He actually recommended that I use organic brake pads and explained why those would be better. I had always heard that organic pads wear extremely quickly, but in reality, they may last 9 months instead of 11 months for ceramic ones, who knew!
My regular readers also know that I’ve had trouble in the past eating the right foods to sustain my efforts on long rides – especially on my very first time riding to Bear Mountain last year. I figured I had to ask Jeremy about what works for him – it was really inspiring to hear about how his nutrition has evolved from his early racing years to now. His story was very reminiscent of how I used to eat back in college when I rowed competitively. Back then, after my 2nd workout of the day, I’d crush a king sized kit-kat bar, a banana, and call it. Total novice mistake on my part.
Overall, as I think many of us can relate to, it’s tough to disconnect from life’s stressors, especially when a lot is going on. That said, I truly felt 100% “in the moment.” Rolling smoothly with the RCC squad, talking to Jeremy as if we were old friends, just flying down the West Side, everything felt zen.
I will definitely be looking to join more RCC rides and I look forward to seeing Jeremy and Ellen at Randall’s Island for cyclocross practice in the Fall! Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to head back to the club for the Nuun Nutrition presentation – had to get back to Queens!