Sunday, March 23, 2014

Caught in the rain in Boca

So in our continuing adventures in Florida, we decamped Miami and headed up to Delray Beach, which is about an hour or so north for the Gran Fondo we were entered in.   Saturday Morning we went out for a ride, and since the Gran Fondo runs up and down A1A, we found another route that didn't involve that road.  Instead we meandered around Delray Beach and Boca Raton.  We headed out, and also tried a feature on Kathleen's bike computer that we hadn't used before, which is turn by turn directions.  You map out the ride then upload it to the computer and in theory it tells you where to go.  This turned out to be a bit hit and miss.   Here's Kathleen headed up the bike trail that it sent us up (which was wrong).

Just after this rain began bucketing down, so we took shelter under somebody's front porch until it stopped. Then headed back out to continue our ride.   We swung by a local Costco in search of a plastic bag to stick my camera and phone in, just in case it started raining again.  The nice ladies at the returns desk had a ziplock bag they gave me, and we were back underway.   As I mentioned, the turn by turn turned out to be a little glitchy, luckily Kathleen had also sent the directions to herself at her phone.  Here she is trying to figure out what the hell we are supposed to be doing.

Location pinpointed we continued on the El Rio Trail towards Boca Raton.  It reminded me a lot of the Gwynns Falls, but that trail never looks like this in March.  Nor is it as flat :)

Once in Boca we meandered around some interesting neighborhoods, one side of the street would be fairly normal suburban houses, the other side (that backed to the water) would be enormous mansions.

We ended up in a park, where this dude was hanging out.

I shot that picture while Kathleen consulted the phone again to figure out where we were/supposed to be going.

We headed back up towards Delray Beach after that.  On the way back we passed these ducks in the river, not particularly exciting, except it appeared that one duck was standing on the other ducks back.

It turned out that the lower duck of the pair was in fact a fake, which made it a little less weird.   Then it was back to the house to get cleaned up and head into downtown Delray for some lunch/dinner and the Criterium races that were happening that evening.   First on the agenda was the amateur mens race.   These five guys broke away early.

Then the field chased them, pretty much for the whole race.   The eventually reeled in all but two of them, who went on to get first and second, leaving only third place for the peloton to contest.

Next up was the women's pro race.  The ladies were pretty darn speedy, and kept the field together for the whole race, which ended in a bunch sprint.

We were camped out across from the pits area.   With this type of racing the pits are neutral, SRAM provides that service, so if any of the riders have an issue they can pull in to get help.  The race officials will allow you one lap to get help without penalty (about a 1:20).  Here one of the ladies is getting a new rear wheel to remedy a flat suffered during the race.

It got pretty busy at times, at this point there were three gals in getting service.

Then it was time for the Pro Men's race.  These guys were fast!

I shot a little video with my camera, the three guys go by off the front, then the Peoloton follows them about 20 seconds later.

We watched for a little while longer, then headed back to get some sleep, our start time the next morning for the Gran Fondo was 7:00AM

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