Since they were supposed to remove the Passaic River Rowing Association docks this Sunday, I figured I’d get one last row in today as it was a beautiful 60-degree fall day in New Jersey. Unfortunately when I got there, the docks were already out! Bummer.
So I went for an awesome 10-mile land paddle instead using my Kahuna Big Stick. Many of you have asked what land paddling is, so I’ve attached some “belt-cam” video taken with my Windows Phone that shows a first-person perspective on the technique and speed involved. As always, it’s a great core, lat, glute, and balance workout that left me dripping, but also amazing fun.
Thanks to row2k.com for a link to this article in the Sonoma County Press-Democrat about rowing in Petaluma, California. I rowed there for about 10 years, did the original website for North Bay Rowing Club, and can testify that it really is an ideal, and often overlooked, place to row. The first thing you need for a rowing club is good water, and Petaluma has the best and longest rowable water of anywhere I’ve ever rowed, on par with the Connecticut River at Dartmouth. I love that Greg Sabourin, who founded the North Bay Rowing Club, is now trying to develop an all-around small craft center for rowing, kayaking, and stand-up paddling. When I visited last month, I not only got to row, but also to SUP, on the Petaluma River. Great water, almost no boat traffic, and an ideal climate make it a great location for pretty much any kind of athletic training, especially for rowers who like to cross over into cycling. Plus, as mentioned in the article, it is one of the few places where you can do a 26.2 rowing marathon with only one stake turn, and flat enough water to do it in a racing single. I’ve done that race in the days before it became the “Petaluma River Marathon” on Labor Day weekend, when it used to just be an unofficial mass scrimmage for all kinds of human-powered watercraft, and it is a blast. Let me tell you, after a bad winter on the east coast, an earthquake last week, and now a hurricane which has shut down Passaic River rowing most likely for 2 weeks, I am missing being in “Eden!” At this point I’d settle for just the quake risk, because at least out west they are prepared for it! If you are ever visiting the Bay Area, take a run up to Petaluma, rent a kayak or SUP board from Clavey, or meet the friendly folks at North Bay Rowing Club for a spin on the river. If you need a contact there, ping me on the blog and I’ll hook you up!
North Bay Rowing Club Docks, about to launch in a Hudson 4X.
Turning a 4X at the Red Buoy (10 miles round trip)
Stand-up paddler on a Tahoe SUP flatwater board north of the turning basin bridge
Surftech bamboo SUP before I launched in the turning basin
My old friend Greg Sabourin, mentioned in the article linked above.
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,stand up paddle
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,new jersey flooding
Irene is “past” although actually we are getting stronger wind gusts on the tail end than we got during the storm (50+ mph).
The Passaic River is forecast to reach record flood levels, but that usually takes 2-3 days to happen. Judging from these pics we won’t be getting on the water anytime soon.
Passaic River Rowing Association docks, North Arlington, NJ:
PRRA boat bays post-flood mess (that’s my boat second from the top on left):
Nereid Boat Club upriver in Rutherford, NJ – they are on a narrow bend and get bad flooding when the tide is high. To give perspective, this is taken from across the street and up the hill from the boathouse – the normal course of the river is BEHIND the boathouse!
Everybody stay safe!
Well, the time has come to change my rowing club affiliation to Passaic River Rowing Association. I rowed with a buddy at PRRA last fall when I won Masters Nationals in the double sculls, and I feel that the club will align better with my competitive goals while allowing me more flexibility to integrate Crossfit into my training. It is also where the Don Bosco and Ridgewood crews row out of, and has just received a grant to start construction on a boathouse. Don Bosco is the high school team that started doing winter training at Crossfit Ignite this year.
It’s been a great run at Nereid, but sometimes change creates an opportunity for excellence, and I’d like to take it to the next level a couple of miles downstream!
Tomorrow is the 2010 Head of the Passaic regatta, sponsored by Nereid Boat Club and Passaic River Rowing Association.
The racing starts at 8:30 AM with over 500 competitors registered, which is the largest turnout ever.
I’ll be wearing my Crossfit Ignite shirt, rowing in the Mens Masters 8 in preparation for the Head of the Charles next week, and then the Mens Open Double later in the morning.
If you want to check out the fall racing format (5K, one boat after another, for time), come down to Rutherford, NJ Sunday – weather looks fine with a high of 68 degrees.
You can view the start from Nereid at 350 Riverside Ave, Rutherford, NJ, or the finish from PRRA at Riverside County Park in North Arlington, NJ.
Here’s our Mens Open Quad from last year:
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,head of the charles
OK, at the risk of possibly embarrassing transparency in the internet age, live split timing is available at http://bit.ly/bdGz0g
The race is at 5:12 PM eastern time, I am in Lane 1, listed as “Passaic/COMPOSITE”
I am in a boat with a buddy of mine from Seattle, Jim Benz, who now rows at Passaic River Rowing Association downriver from Nereid – we threw it together this week and it seemed to click well. This one is no pressure, nothing to lose, unknown competition, so it should be fun!
Our fellow boathouse, the Passaic River Rowing Association, will be hosting a 2000-meter Concept2 ergometer race this Saturday, March 6, 2010. This is a great opportunity for New York / New Jersey Crossfitters to test their mettle against some competitive rowers. There is a novice category, and this tends to be a pretty relaxed atmosphere.
Registration is open if anyone is interested: http://prra.org/ergclassic/