Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mengoni Grand Prix

It's always a trip racing in Manhattan and yesterdays' Mengoni Grand Prix was no different.  I come down from Boston and Jon Lowenstein is a Rhodie guy so getting to Central Park in NYC for a 6:00am launch requires a concerted effort.  We go down together once or twice a year just for yucks and a change of pace so we have the routine totally dialed but this year I didn't bother to register (don't ask) and went down chancing I'd get in.  I was 104th guy listed so I figured I'd get in.  Worst case if I didn't, I'd  just spin the park so either way I wasn't worried.

As it turned out I got in so I'm glad I didn't bother to even sweat it.  And besides, while the race is great, the aesthetics of The Empire City at 4:30am are extraordinary and leave me w/ impressions I appreciate and enjoy.  At this early hour the entire city is a massive cavernous whisper.  It's still really dark out and there aren't any people walking around anywhere or cars on the roads or any sounds at all to speak of.  As serendipity would have it, this makes for a unique time to see and really take in the City's design vignette, it's incredible scale of handsome yet colossal brick and mortar towers, contemporary & traditional that are enhanced with structural ornament or inlaid with grand art.   No distractions. Very amazing.

It's a weird and beautiful scene in a surreal sense and as Jon and I rolled toward the race registration along 5th aveneue then passing the Gutenhiemr the only sound you could hear was the rhythmic 'wugah-wugah' of the Corima MCC wheels on my bike.  I almost felt like I was stealthing about in the bedroom of a sleeping Giant because even though you can't see any sign of active human life you can feel a massive beating heart.   The place has a pulse.  It's palpable and it might even be fair to say NYC has a pulse like no other place in the world.  I like NYC a lot but I also have mixed feeling about it.   I think it can be good but not good for everyone, not all the time, because NYC can make you or really break you and you get that distinct feeling there.  To put it another way, when the sleeping Giant wakes, you can be either kissed or you can be eaten.  It all depends on who you are and what you want.  Not for nothing, I just can't help but wonder about such things when I'm there.   

5:00 am registration
The race itself was as fun, or as fun as a 28.6 mph average circuit race can be.  The Mengoni GP is always edgy racing, it's really kinetic but not terribly physical but always fast....and that's why we like racing it, for the speed.  During the race today some guy told Jon the average speed for the first 25 miles was 30.2 mph.  I don't know about 30.2 average(?) but is was stupid fast.

The trip home after the race is always cake.  Jon can get us out of the city and into Connecticut in under 15 minutes.  And this all happens before 10am while you're still basking in the adrenalin haze of racing, sipping down ice cold chocolate milk, waxing life poetic with a friend.   Life doesn't get any better.     Peace and roll strong.

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