Photos by Dan Sharp
When in New York, do what they do. Look around, and if you see people streaming in to a restaurant, or lined up outside a coffee shop you can bet that is the place to go. Does not matter if you have not heard of it, follow their lead. Such is the case with the Ace Hotel and its adjoining dining room, The Breslin. All day and well into the night this cracked and well worn building is packed with people. People lounging, people eating, and people just watching other people. And its companion, the Breslin, would turn out to be the perfect spot for a little gathering.
Dinner last night with the Rapha Condor Sharp racers took place over a few bottles of great wine. Grochau Cellars is a small batch Oregon based winery, they provided the wine. From there we utilized the boundless talents of Illustrator Chris McNally to create some special labels. The cyclists depicted were in tribute to the RCS team’s first adventure to the US. His illustrations are stunning and a surprise for the team members to see themselves represented and then paired with a great bottle of wine.
The food itself was another story. Beef and gorgonzola tarts to start which moved right into a nice escarole salad directly before the main course of flavorful chicken, or a tasty lamb burger. Not one person left looking hungry. And more than a few looked as though they sampled the wine.
Culinary samplings aside the company was the best part. Rapha customers were paired with the best that the UK has to offer in the way of Professional Cyclists (British National Champion Kristian House is a good place to start). Mr. BikeSnob himself was there, as well as Author-Cyclist Bill Strickland. Conversation at our end of the table ranged from the Cancellara versus Boonen matchup at the Classics this year, to the film The Big Lebowski. And from there back to cycling where there was chatter of another British cyclist – David Millar. Which must have provoked something, Strickland followed up with an amazing conversation with Millar titled For the Sake of Racing.
All in all it was apparent as to what really brought this group of people together. A genuine appreciation for the sport of Professional Cycling, and the desire to see it grow and blossom. It will be exciting to watch the Rapha Condor Sharp squad as their race weekend unfolds and they take on The Tour of the Battenkill on Sunday.