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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Crush the Commonwealth

On Friday May 8th, 2009 riders in the fourth annual Crush the Commonwealth will set off from the point in downtown Pittsburgh and race unsupported over 380 miles to reach the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia in a DIY test of endurance and will. The cyclist travel nearly 400 miles with no crew and no support vehicles; it's just themselves and a few carefully chosen items.

Each year the race has alternated starts, last year the start was in Philly and Pittsburgh was the destination.

We all know the old adage April showers bring May flowers, but if you pay much attention to the spring time weather in Pennsylvania you know how shitty the first two weeks of May can be; so it's no surprise the race accounts read like a soldiers war time diary. You'd think these guys just spent two weeks in the Ardennes fighting the Germans. This race is hard core:

'that was a fucking hard, awful ride... from there until Somerset was the worst bicycle ride of my entire life. the hills were hard, but the headwind was almost evil in its cruelty' - Nick

'The ride started out wet, cold, and miserable, and despite a few hours of sunshine mixed in there, that is how we all stayed.... I think the trouble started for me Friday night, when I slept in every piece of clothing I had brought, and a sleeping bag liner designed to add 8F to the temperature rating of a preexisting bag w/ ground pad (either of which that I did not bring). For some reason I thought that this would be OK. It wasn't..... Now, I have served in Bosnia, Afghanistan, and saw two tours in Vietnam, and I can honestly say that this night was worse then all of those experiences combined.' - Wesley Buckwalter

My "bring nothing" strategy back-fired hard: my rain shell failed and I ran out of dry clothes. - Ken

'Day 2 was pretty much the worst day on a bike that I have ever experienced.' - Robert

'We got to a dive (ie cover up all lycra before entering) bar outside of Somerset and decided that curly fries would somehow reenergize. They didn't.... I vowed last year not to ride this race ever again, but when this year rolled around it somehow seemed like a good idea once again.' - Wesley Buckwalter

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