Becoming a GFNY Three timer

COVERING THE MIDDLE EAST, THE AMERICAS, Asia, and Europe, across all seasons and most time zones, it has been said that the sun never sets on GFNY. With the race calendar constantly evolving, there are always new opportunities to challenge your cycling self, as well as delighting your travel self. The GFNY race calendar started to expand not long after the first GFNY was raced from the George Washington Bridge in New York City, in 2011. Adding locations in Italy and Cozumel started to provide a movable cycling festival that would provide a familiar and consistent race environment, along with authentic travel experiences, in some of the most exciting places around the globe.
When GFNY Jerusalem was added in 2017, GFNY was on every continent except Australia and Antarctica (don’t count either of those out yet). During this exciting time of expansion, GFNY began to formally recognize the accomplishments of the riders who continued to travel to exciting GFNY locations and finishing multiple GFNY races in one year. In the fall of 2017, the three-timer medal was born: 3×2018. A legitimate accomplishment that celebrated not only the rider’s capability in completing three challenging races, but also their sense of adventure, and ability to
reach outside their comfort zone to travel to new places, race, make new friends and have new experiences that they may not have considered.
The three-timer medal became a coveted prize almost immediately, with riders rushing to finish their newly expanded racing seasons in new places. The paradigm of “the racing season” had been blown-up by the three-timer medal, and the ever-expanding GFNY race calendar. For those of us in the Northern and Western Hemisphere, it meant that October and November were no longer those quick Saturday rides with a coffee stop as we wound it down for the winter. It was now a question of “where are you next?”, as the last quarter of the year offered Panama,
Cozumel, and Chile. If you had done two GFNYs heading into the Summer, the three-timer medal became a very achievable feat, as well as a reason to keep training, and keep riding. Here in New York, a group of us adapted the mantra of “to heck with base miles – let’s keep racing!”

LOGISTICS: Making it work – the when and how of getting to the destinations and balancing it with your personal scheduling requirements. Maybe stacking 2 GFNYs into
a single trip (Double-Double anyone?)
SEASONALITY: It just makes good sense to follow the good weather and race there, to enjoy perfect late-summer conditions in Portugal, or a #PoolGFNY experience in the Philippines.
DESTINATION: Think about those places that you have always wanted to see, and those authentic experiences that you have always dreamed about.
PERSONAL CHALLENGE: Motivation based on something like qualifying for the front corral at GFNY World Championship NYC, or the challenge of the strade bianche (white roads) of Tuscany, or the fabled climbs of Colombia, Monterrey, and Santa Fe.
CLIMB EVERY MOUNTAIN, OR NOT: Perhaps you are a climber, or want to be. Well, as Eddy once said – “Don’tbuy upgrades, ride up grades!” But for riders seeking speed, GFNY offers plenty of flat(-ish) and fast options as well.
DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Create a back-to-back pairing ofGFNY races, and then add one more to make your threetimer status.

Your GFNY 3-Timer plan should be as unique as you are. You can start your plan by thinking about what motivates you. Your motivation and plan are as unique and personal as you are. But, just for kicks, let’s explore some ideas that might get you thinking. Imagine that these are the ideas presented to you by your travel agent. They will have great appeal, and may be based on some basic logic like you see in the table above, but in evaluating all of it, you want it to be personal. But at least you’ve got some ideas to start with.

LOGISTICS

OPTION 1 – LOGICAL
  • GFNY Championship NYC
  • GFNY Santa Fe
  • GFNY Cozumel
OPTION 2 – EXOTIC
  • GFNY Bali
  • GFNY Championship NYC
  • GFNY Brasil or GFNY Portugal
OPTION 3 – FULL SEASON
  • GFNY Republica Dominicana
  • GFNY Championship NYC
  • GFNY Panama, Argentina, Ecuador, Cozumel, or Chile

 

Let’s be honest. It will take some doing to get the time off work, make the arrangements and make sure that you have someone to feed the cat each time you take off on a GFNY adventure. A logistics approach is a good way to solve for where you can be and when you can be there: How long/short are the flights? Can I make the trip fit into my work and life schedule? Will I want to make GFNY part of a multi-stop sightseeing trip around the region, or a short weekend trip just for the race, or a long, relaxing, sporty stay at the GFNY venue? Should I do many GFNYs close to each other, or spread them out over the course of the whole year?
Let’s just assume for a minute, that you are a North American. Some logistics options would include centering around the GFNY Championship NYC, that iconic third Sunday in May. But you may want to ride into form prior to that, so let’s explore what it would be like to use the big race as your pivot. WOW – that’s a lot of choices. In Option 1, we are working very logically and practically. If you are a North American, you are starting your quest in NYC, using your GFNY Championship NYC fitness to dive into Santa Fe a month later, then taking a much-needed break from the November chill in Cozumel. In Option 2, you are seeing the world. Starting at GFNY Bali or GFNY Colombia, you are taking the curse out of the North American winter, while having an amazing experience in another corner of the world. You are ready and motivated for the third Sunday in May, and after an early summer of training, it’s either Costa Rica, Brasil or Portugal – could be a three continent season. For Option 3, start off with a #poolGFNY at GFNY Republica Dominicana, then onto the GWB for the big one, and finish your very well thought out season by escaping the cold once again in Latin America with Panama, Argentina, Ecuador, Cozumel, or Chile.

SEASONALITY

OPTION 1 – LOGICAL
  • GFNY Dominican Republic
  • GFNY Costa Rica
  • GFNY Cozaumel
OPTION 2 – EXOTIC
  • GFNY Bali
  • GFNY Portugal
  • GFNY Panama or Cozumel
OPTION 3 – FULL SEASON
  • GFNY Uruguay
  • GFNY Costa Rica
  • GFNY Philippines

 

While you are taking on the challenge of chasing that elusive front group, why not also chase the sun? With many #poolGFNY options available to you, create a racing itinerary that is a crowd pleaser with your sun worshiping family and friends, combining your love of cycling, with destinations that will ensure you won’t be traveling alone. (Editor’s note – some of these may not include GFNY Championship NYC – but if you are in North America, it’s kind of an assumed must-do.)
Check it, sun worshipers! Option 1 – start strong in the Dominican Republic, and start to build your fitness for the season. Continue your pool motif in Costa Rica in July, and round it out in Cozumel – a perfect three-timer itinerary for those who love the heat and love to go full-gas on the flats. Option 2 – start out in the hot climate of Bali, with your longest flight first up. Race in NYC if you can, then use your summer fitness to see the beautiful beaches of Cascais, while ratcheting up your climbing skills in Portugal in September. Finish close to home with an escape to Panama. Option 3 – experience Punta del Este, one of Latin America’s top destinations, then as the summer officially ends, take the long trip to the Philippines for a tranquil cycling vacation and round out your season in early South American summer at GFNY Chile.

DESTINATION

THE AMERICAS
  • GFNY Colombia
  • GFNY Monterrey
  • GFNY Argentina
  • GFNY Chile
  • GFNY Brasil
  • GFNY Santa Fe
  • GFNY Ecuador
EUROPE & MIDDLE EAST
  • GFNY Italia
  • GFNY Portugal
  • GFNY Jerusalem
ASIA
  • GFNY Bali
  • GFNY Indonesia
  •  GFNY Philippines

 

Places to go, things to see, people to meet. Putting the “why” in why we travel, the destination is often as important and as fulfilling as the journey. Because of the experiences you will have, the cultures you will encounter and the people you will meet, racing your bike will take on so much more meaning. There is no shortage of destinations on the calendar. Let’s change up the themes a little bit. Pair any of these with GNFY Championship NYC and you have a winning combination. With so many interesting things to see and do, these destination options have dates that are close together, or seasonal, and allow you to mix and match for true adventure travel that would take you to all corners of the Earth. History, philosophy, culture, cuisine; escape and try something new. (Editor’s note: Don’t miss out on racing and seeing Colombia. Colombia is well on its way to becoming one of the major epicenters of cycling, and thus at the top of the destinations list for every GFNY rider).

DOUBLE-DOUBLES

DOUBLE-DOUBLES                                                   PAIR WITH
GFNY Ecuador + GFNY Panama – GFNY World Championship NYC, GFNY Italia, GFNY Costa Rica
GFNY Argentina + GFNY Cozumel – GFNY World Championship NYC, GFNY Uruguay, GFNY Chile
GFNY Monterrey + GFNY Uruguay – GFNY World Championship NYC, GFNY Ecuador, GFNY Argentina
GFNY Uruguay + GFNY Colombia – GFNY World Championship NYC, GFNY Brasil, GFNY Santa Fe
GFNY Colombia + GFNY Republica Dominicana – GFNY World Championship NYC, GFNY Panama, GFNY Santa Fe
GFNY Colombia + GFNY Italia – GFNY World Championship NYC, GFNY Jerusalem, GFNY Brasil

We are not sure how this name came about or if it is even mathematically correct, but the concept of the Double-Double is to hit back-to-back GFNY Sundays in a single-hop sort of way. Think of it, in as little as nine days, you can complete 66% of your three-timer requirements. There are several Double-Double options on the calendar, all in amazing destinations in Latin America.
These Double-Double options keep it pretty tight. Balance that out with another part of your season, and you can achieve three-timer status without breaking too much of a sweat. We also know where you can find a few great Double-Double stories online from 2018, along with tips and tricks for bike travel and packing.

PERSONAL CHALLENGE AND CLIMBING

FLAT(-ISH) OUT
  • GFNY Republica Dominicana
  • GFNY Cozumel
  • GFNY Philippines
  • GFNY Panama
QUALIFYING + CLIMBING
  • GFNY Bali
  • GFNY Uruguay
  • GFNY Jerusalem
  • GFNY Ecuador
  • GFNY Argentina
  • GFNY Monterrey
  • GFNY Portugal
  • GFNY Costa Rica
YOU’RE KILLING ME, MAN!
  • GFNY Brasil
  • GFNY Colombia
  • GFNY Santa Fe
  • GFNY Chile
  • GFNY Bali
  • GFNY Indonesia
  • GFNY Italia
  • GFNY NYC

 

Endurance athletes are insufferable in their quests to constantly top themselves and their peers. (Editor’s note: Takes one to know one). With that in mind, there are no shortage of opportunities to use the wide variety of race types and terrain to qualify for the front corral at GFNY World Championship NYC, or to find that mountain and climb it. Try these ideas on for size to see how they might fit with your fitness and cycling goals. Work this grid both horizontally, and vertically (no pun intended).
Working this side-to-side and up and down, all of the races are qualifiers for the front corral of GFNY World Championship NYC and have a variety of terrain. If you are best suited to doing a flat course to qualify, the #poolGFNYs in the Flat(-ish) Out group might be a great option, and give you a few tries to get it right. Throw in some climbing in the Qualifying + Climbing group – if you are not quite a mountain goat, but don’t mind hitting the hills to reach for your personal goals. Finally, if you’re the kind of rider that can climb all day and won’t back away from long and steady
or many short but steep climbs, the You’re Killing Me, Man! column is all about you. Wrap all of these around the sheer evil genius that is the GFNY World Championship NYC course, and you should be able to lift a bus with your legs by the end of the year!

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

From my own experience, I can tell you that there isn’t a more rewarding feeling than crossing the finish line that third time and knowing that you did it! When that medal is hung about your neck, you will feel a pride that comes with not only the physical challenges of the race, but the amazing adventures that you had in the process. I was thrilled to pull off a Double-Double in 2018. And with the knowledge that Cozumel was around the corner, I had the 3×2018 medal in my sights. Finishing my tenth GFNY in Italy this year, I already have my three-timer (hopefully four-timer) plan worked out for this year. Here is mine.
So, where are YOU next?

3x 2018

  • GFNY Deutschland
  • GFNY Portugal
  • GFNY Cozumel

3x 2019

  • GFNY Italia (earned my 10x medal!)
  • GFNY World Championship NYC
  • GFNY Santa Fe
  • GFNY Argentina

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