Team Santa Cruz 2009 Race Reports
- SCCX Final, 1/9/2010, Christopher Goodson
- CX National Championships, 12/10/2009, Chris Goodson
- Surf City Cyclocross, Harbor High, 12/20/09, 12/20/2009, Christopher Goodson
- 2009 Cyclocross National Championships, 12/11/2009, Winona Hubbard
- CCCX #3 Toro Park, 10/18/2009, Brian Johnston
- BASP #1 McLaren Park, 10/4/2009, Jeff Clark
- BASP#1 McLaren Park, 10/4/2009, Julianna Perry
- deadman #1, 9/25/2009, rita leon
- CCCX #2, 9/28/2009, Winona Hubbard
- Fall Classic, 9/27/2009, Ron Riley
- Tahoe-Sierra 50/100, 9/15/2009, Troy Boone
- CCCX Race #2 @ Fort Ord, 9/27/2009, Karen Kefauver
- CrossVegas Industry Cup, 9/23/2009, Alex Anderson
- SSWC 2009, 9/19/2009, Alex Anderson
- Kenda Cup Unification Race at Bonelli Park, 9/20/2009, Ron Riley
- SoCal Cross - Prestige Series #1 at Bonelli Park, 9/19/2009, Ron Riley
- CCCX Race #1 @ Manzanita Park, 9/20/2009, Karen Kefauver
- final Tuesday MTB, 8/18/2009, rita leon
- Howell Mtn. Challenge, 8/9/09, 8/9/2009, Jen Lucia
- MTB Tijares, 8/4/2009, rita leon
- Kirkwood 9-5--Injury Report....not for the Squeemish, 8/1/2010, Andrew Murray
- National Championship Mountain Bike Race - Granby, CO , 7/18/2009, Ron Riley
- Big Bear Shootout #2 - Southern Cal XC Series Final, 7/12/2009, Ron Riley
- Coolest 24 hours at Boggs Mt., 6/20/2009, Siobhan Saunders
- CCCX Cross Country #9--Fort Ord, 6/14/2009, Andrew Murray
- Big Bear Shootout #1, 5/31/2009, Ronald Riley
- So No Mas 100 MTB race, 5/16/2009, Alex Anderson
- Cool 8 Hour Race, 5/2/2009, Alex Anderson
- Coolest 24 Hour Race aka Muddiest 24 Hour Race Ever, 5/3/2009, Karen Kefauver
- Sea Weasel, 4/15/2009, Erik Thunstrom
- Santa Ynex Valley Classic - Kenda Cup West #5, 4/26/2009, Ron Riley
- Sea Otter Classic - Kenda Cup West #4, 4/19/2009, Ron Riley
- Sea Otter Classic Cross Country Mt. Bike Women Sport 30-39, 4/18/2009, Karen Kefauver
- Kenda Cup West #3 Sagebrush Safari, 4/5/2009, Ron Riley
- Kenda Cup West #2, 3/29/2009, Ron Riley
- SC Crit Cat 5 men, 4/5/2009, Christopher Goodson
- Kenda Cup West #1 - Bonelli Park, 3/1/2009, Ron Riley
- Mountain Bike Challenge#1, 2/8/2009, Erik Thunstrom
- Peak Season - Aptos, 1/25/2010, Siobhan Saunders
- Peak Season - Pinto Lake, 1/24/2009, Siobhan Saunders
SCCX Final, Aptos, CA USA, 1/9/2010
In spite of losing two of five chain ring bolts, dropping my chain, and falling to the back of the pack 1 minute into the race, I managed to get 8th yesterday's C race. It was good enough to get 4th overall in the series. Thanks to all of my team mates on Team Santa Cruz for puting on the Surf City Cyclocross Race Series! I got to officially record the 1, 2, 3 place finishes of Tim Johnson (2009 US National Champion), Andy and Ben Jaques-Maynes during the elite race. Huh huh... cool! (Look me up on Facebook for photos and follow up.)
CX National Championships, Bend, OR USA, 12/10/2009
I had no business racing in the Natz; I lined up in the back, was off the back and fighting to stay with the six guys I passed. Still, I went as hard as I could on that cold, snowy, muddy course. When I saw the leader pass me near the pit, I told the ref I was passing and they pulled me (and the guys behind me) out. I was pretty relieved to get pulled, but also quite humbled. I think they should have qualifying races for Nationals now that they've gotten so big. All in all, it was a good experience - good to get schooled.
Surf City Cyclocross, Harbor High, 12/20/09, Santa Cruz, CA USA, 12/20/2009
Surf City Cyclocross, Harbor High, C race, 9 AM start, 12/20/09
Ashley and I went out for Italian in Los Gatos Saturday night. After stuffing ourselves and polishing off a bottle of red, I said “Tomorrow, I’m gonna get on the podium, darn it!”.
Well – I did – and I got first place!
Sunday morning while riding down to registration, I realized that my rear brakes were worn down to nothing – must have been all the grit and mud at Nationals in Bend. All would have been lost if it weren’t for Mike Evans hooking me up with some brake pads – Thanks Mike!
Swapping brake pads meant that I had only about 1.5 laps of warm up time before the start of the C race. Ashley perfectly pinned my number on my right at my request, which I thought was the correct side, but it wasn’t. For that infraction, Mike threatened to fine me 5,000 Swiss Francs at the end.
I got to the line a bit late and had to line up on the back left. This was to be a 3 lap, 28 minute race for me, so I was ready to go hard from the start.
The start was a bit of a jumble; I tried passing folks on the left but had to tuck in or be scraped off by the fences. The straight sections around the running track gave me the opportunity to hammer ahead of about half the pack before turning onto the loose, mulched, off-camber bank (I heard much grumbling behind me as progress slowed and folks dabbed there).
In the second lap, I was able to work up to third mainly by milking the downhill sections for speed, riding both of the run-ups (everyone hiked the second run up but me), and drafting when I could – Ashley took a nice shot of a guy in a green kit (Matt McNelley from Livermore?), a red kit (Jeremiah Kille from Aptos?) and me fighting it out behind the highschool swimming pool. I remember settling in behind the green kit guy through the flat straight away sections of the running track then, behind the backstop, he sat up and I pulled ahead saying “nice pull, brother” and slowing a bit to let him get on my wheel. He didn’t hang on, though, and once we hit the steep, technical climb next to the disc golf pole-hole, I pulled ahead into first. Out in front, I tried to go hard but felt the doubt of a time trial rider. Crossing the start, finish, I got razzed for my number being on the wrong side but the cheering I got from everyone was great.
Early in the third lap, behind the baseball backstop, I was solidly passed by a junior in blue tights (Tobin Ortenblad). That’s when the racing got serious. I kept up with this guy in the technical sections but, once we hit the flats, his acceleration after each turn opened a 12 second gap. It was a good thing I was trying to keep up with Mr. Blue Tights since Mr. Red Kit nearly caught up and finished only +5 seconds behind me, followed by Naughty Santa only +20 seconds! (Note: in case you didn’t see him, Naughty Santa was a guy dressed in nothing but a red Speedo bottom trimmed with white felt, a Santa hat strapped over his helmet, and a white felt “beard”. Look up Chris Goodson on Facebook for some priceless podium pictures!).
Special thanks to Ashley Pyles, David Gill, Mike Evans, and Angel Middour for their support during this race! And, in a strange way, thanks to the Nationals for showing me how hard you’ve gotta ride if you want to get anywhere in this sport.
2009 Cyclocross National Championships, Bend, OR USA, 12/11/2009
The week started out uber cold but warmed up to a balmy 30's by Thursday for the B Mens race. An noisy crowd and I cheered teammates Jason Cruz and Chris Goodson.
That night was my and Mary Perez's party for the masters women: HUGE success! About 100 - 150 women attended. Lots of laughing and chatting as competitors relaxed and socialized outside of the race venue. Alison Dunlap gave a practical short talk. She turned 40 this year, and after 20 years as a pro racer, all of us old ladies consider her advice GOLD! She generously stayed for quite awhile and signed autographs on Team LUNA Chix posters she had brought.
We had several national champions gracing the room and at one time two Olympians (and also world champions) chatting together (Karen Brems and Alison). Lot's of energy in one room! Our raffle rocked: 63 prizes including two frames. The custom frame builder from Abby Bicycles displayed a bike that had been painted only two hours before - beautiful! My Rock Lobster buddy Jill Fattor won the Blue Competition carbon frame. Wondering what Paul Sadoff thinks about that! We also had a wall of fame with photos and stats of all masters national and worlds champions. http://cxingbarriers09.blogspot.com/
Friday raced. 40's, sunny, no wind. Tip: don't count on warming up on the course before a race. The course was open but was so crowded the speed was kept slow. I got off quickly and ran for Jason's trainer. Housemates Eric and Chris provided professional level support and completely took care of me. I'm a freaked out mess on race days so their tlc was much appreciated. Ron Riley appeared out of nowhere and provided additional assistance at the start. He's a wonderful calming force at such times. Harriet wished me well and I heard her cheer for me during the race.
Summary: I nailed the start but couldn't keep my momentum. And I mean I NAILED it! I dove right through the center. I was ahead of Kathleen Bortolussi for 1/3 of a lap. I was ahead of Janel Lodge for an amazing 3 laps. Within half a lap, all of us slammed into the back of the 40+ cat.
It was a fun loopy course with one stair run up and one icy hill run up. New long shoe spikes helped there. Like every race, I had an internal monologue going on. Today it was: "We're a bunch of idiots. Bikes aren't meant for ice!"
Didn't watch my laps so lost a place RIGHT at the finish line (I and the girl who sprinted past me have the same time). If only I had known it was the last lap I would have sprinted too! If only, if only, if only...If you don't know already, I'm a horrible starter so I bragged about my start all weekend (it was the only thing I could brag about!). I was cautious around those icy turns and crashed only twice mildly. The girls who did better just went for it I heard later. A fast friend crashed 8 times! I went home with 23rd out of 33 racers and I didn't get lapped. A good day of racing.
The visitors bureau, Visit Bend, did a great job on the social end of the weekend: every night there was something going on. Friday night there was a bicycle art walk. Several downtown locations had bicycles and/or bicycle themed art displayed. The reception for pdx cross's photos was especially enjoyable. Their photos are stunning. They've put out a calendar (to benefit breast cancer research) and a book I recommend for your holiday shopping. http://www.pdxcross.com/ There was also a party with a band in a huge warehouse kinda club but it was rather dead.
Saturday cheered Chris's brother Eric Goodson for Masters Men's (40+) race. Oregonians are famous for being bicycle fans so the crowds at this nationals were loud and enthusiastic. There was a constant cowbell cacophony and costumes and a variety of musical instruments amongst other mayhem. The atmosphere was not unlike the scene at worlds and way better than Kansas City last year. That night was a movie premiere (couldn't get in) and then a rocking party in a brewery.
The event for me was fun but tiring. Tired before and after. Had been fighting a cold while forever getting ready to go, as we all do, then the long drives up and back. Old and set in my ways, I didn't sleep well sharing a room (not the fault of my roommate). Got back Sunday night and slept like the dead. It's Tuesday and I'm just recovering. It's that time of cross season when I'm ready for something new. Alison Dunlap says it's important to take a break between seasons and do something different. This winter it's samba dance for me. I have dreams of hard abs and the only thing between me and the world are strategically placed tassels. The drums are beating...
CCCX #3 Toro Park, Salinas, CA USA, 10/18/2009
I raced at Toro Park for the first time and found that it was quite a nice place. I’m looking forward to the next race. At the start I was able to get a pretty good slot in the second row. The start immediately went up a paved road into a increasingly tough hill and then into long flowing singletrack. I was able to be in second place at the top of the hill behind Karl Erhardt who is leading the series. The first turn was a hairpin turn that caught Karl out and I passed on the inside to take the lead. I maintained the lead all the way to the top of the torturous hill. I forgot to use my helmet mirror (can you believe that) to watch Karl come up on me and he nicked me at the very top. I was right on his wheel for the next few laps and we had a pretty safe gap to third place. We were side by side at a few of the barriers but Karl maintained the lead. At this point we came off the long downhill section through a ravine and into a series of four S-turns. We then went into a short rocky single track into a sandy ravine up and over two barriers around an S-turn, remounted and then a quick left, then right onto a small sandy section. I tried to make a pass at that point but Karl went so far wide to the left that I almost hooked a course pole with my bars. I’m not sure if this was defensive tactics or him losing control in the sand. This caused me to lose his wheel for rest of the race. He maintained a 10 second gap for the rest of the race. Fortunately, I had no falls or mechanicals, but I did one of my famous remounts where I miss my seat. I ended up hopping a few yards on my left leg, with my right shin and knee dragging on top of my rear tire. Yes, I have tire tread imprints on my leg. I ended up 2nd in the 45’s and 3rd in the 35’s. I had great support from other SCCCC team members throughout the race. Afterwards, I watched the rest of the races and saw some exciting racing and cheered the rest of the team on.
BASP #1 McLaren Park, San Francisco, Ca USA, 10/4/2009
Observations from a grumpy old fart's perspective:
Conditions: Sunny, cold, windy, dusty. By all accounts, the south end of the course was mountainous and bone jarring - a test of the quality of one's fixodent.
The category C group started the series of with a bang as record turnout of 115, or so, starters rolled off the line and made a hole shot for the steep, wide runup, 200M from the start. The strategy for the back half of the group became one of taking a number and waiting their turn as the lead riders scrambled to the top. The epic turnout was a positive indicator of the ever increasing popularity of 'cross in the Bay Area, but represented a massive cluster of lapped riders to the scoring crew, a task for which they were largely unprepared. This proverbial tire iron in the wheel was a mishap from which the crew never fully recovered, and results were only posted haphazardly throughout the rest of the day as they attempted to recover from the initial onslaught. Chief Judge Tom Simonson commented that this was the first event at which he'd never experienced printer jams, largely because he had nothing to print.
This is not to disparage the scoring crew in any way. Tom Simonson and Chief Ref. Casey Kerrigan have scored more cyclocross events in their lifetime than can be computed in a week on a nitrogen cooled supercomputer, and are very good at it. But if the size of this weekend's C group is a sign of things to come, they may need some new technology, longer courses, or both, to stay ahead of the curve.
As far as the competition was concerned, Don Myrah provided the show to watch today. For those unfamiliar with him, Don is a four time National Cross champion from the early 1990's, as well as one of the first riders in the NorCal district to race mountain bikes professionally (same timeframe). Now in his mid 40's, Don seems to have come out of retirement with a vengeance. He started with the Master 35A group today and kept them mercilessly anaerobic for the duration of the race, crossing the line 45 min. later for first place. He then took a quick break, possibly inhaling some lunch, and started the Elite Men category for the fun of it. To keep things interesting, Don traded lead with the top four or so for the majority of the race, and in the final lap, managed to gain about twenty seconds on Joshua Snead at the line for yet other first place finish. It's the first race of the season an he's now a marked man, but an impressive way to start things off.
Historical Anecdote: Sometime around 1988, a period when the Surf City Cyclocross series was referred to as "jungle cross" (and rightfully so), we hosted a bumpy, pot hole strewn, mud bog of a course just beyond the entrance gate of Last Chance Road on the Big Creek Lumber property north of Davenport. I had just started the Men A race, and as the dust settled, Don was still at the line, counting the seconds on his watch. I peered over his shoulder and told him that wasn't necessary, we'd tell him when to stop. He grinned and said he was giving the group a thirty second head start because he was competing a the Cross Nationals, and would need experience working his way through a group. He then rolled out and passed every rider but one for second place.
Recent anecdote: I took a break from the finish area at BASP today to visit the neutral pit. As I stood next to the pit tent, I noticed an older gentleman in his mid-late seventies with a cane on the other side of the course, watching the race intently with a smile on his face. This was a fast section which dropped in from the southern half of the course into a wide sweeping right-hand turn past the pit and into a flat past the top of the runup. He watched the trajectory of each rider as they powered into the straightaway. Sighting an appropriate gap, he slipped under the tape and made his way in my direction, stopping next to the tent.
He surveyed the area, looking at the wheels and spare bikes, then turned back to the course. Still smiling, he looked up and said, in a thick accent, "These riders are very good!" I replied in the affirmative, and asked him if he used to race. He said, "Yes, I've done many races. I'm from France". I smiled, he paused, then said, "I never won any, but raced many". I asked if he'd raced pro, but something must have been lost in translation. He responded by describing a race in Spain which he'd started in 90 degree weather, and finished in the snow on a mountain pass.
At that point a rider pulled in for a bike change. The man nodded his head and gestured at the rider with his cane. While Daniel, the pit guy, grabbed a bike, I pulled the rider's bike to the side and assessed the damage. Front flat. The man nodded again, muttering "yes, yes", then "I've enjoyed talking with you", and continued on his way. In hindsight, I wish I'd asked more questions.
But I digress. This may be the last BASP event in McLaren Park (or San Francisco city parks, for that matter). According to organizers Tom and Alec Simpson, total usage fees this year are $2500, plus an additional $5 per rider for erosion abatement, levied just last week by the parks department. There's a possibility the abatement fee will be waived for this season, but will very likely be re-assessed in 2010, bringing the total venue costs to over $5500.
BASP#1 McLaren Park, San Francisco, CA USA, 10/4/2009
Only two reasons why I decided to race this venue, despite its distance - my mother lives nearby and my husband promised me that I would like the course. And yes, the visit was great, but I have to confess (and I don't do this often), my husband was right.
Lots of folks showed up to race that day, I think close to 600. And despite showing up on the early side, it was still impossible to find parking so a lot of shuffling had to take place. Anyway... onto the good stuff.
BASP has the rule that you can't ride the course during a race until the leader finishes. Translation: bring your trainer and figure you'll get maybe one time around if you are lucky. This course, which favored the mtn. biker, required more than just one whirl around as it was tricky to map out, so I knew when I got to the line that by the time I was finishing the race I would have finally found my groove. Little did I think to watch the terrain for other reasons...
Anyway, super fun course with grass, steep run-up, sandy switchbacks, and plenty of climbs and fast descents. Still, you could imagine the number of stutter bumps that are created after 400+ riders tear up the trail, trying to navigate through the sand and rocks. Needless to say, a recipe for dropping chains and getting sloppy.
I felt great, though. I was racing B category and liked the increase number of competitors(23 riders vs. the usual 5-6 in master women). I was navigating my way up the line with only two laps to go when I heard it - I had taken the short, rocky dropoff line and pinch flatted. I had no idea what to do (which illustrates how lucky I have been at races in terms of never flatting). Spectators advised me that the pit was just allll the way on the other side of the course and I need only run there. Great. I thought of just dnf-ing, but recalled this was one of the only series that actually supplied support. So off I went. At the pit I was given a new bike to try... pedaled about 20 yards and turned back - wrong pedals and way too big. Then they put on a bogus rear wheel (missing a squewer), and then managed to find me an extra wheel(9 geared on my 10). Still, I set out. With many dropped chains and faulty shifting, I finished the race. I was so exasperated that I managed to race right into the tape. Not my prettiest race but I can honestly tell my daughter that I didn't give up.
deadman #1, cedar crest, nm USA, 9/25/2009
Well this one looked like it would be a no show.. It was about 60degrees and it was raining on the mountain. It does that a lot in the desert its raining 6 miles away and you can see it but not a single drop touches you nor will it.... The race was another Hawk "practice course for cross" it was about 6 miles in, up the mountain not to high but a defenate drop in tempeture. Of course I did not have any warm clothing or even long finger gloves but I knew I'd eventually warm up... I have come to take it for granted being with the best cross race support team that if I forgot something or need to do something to my bike I can rely on the team... gezzz what was I htinking right?!?
There were only 3 cars on the road and no indacation of where the start was. I saw some orange flags and started to follow them.. I was soon greeted but a 10 year old boy on a cross bike, who said follow me and anround the .5 mile course we went. The race was supose to start at 6:45 but about 7:15 there were 5 other people roaming around and we finally agreed to start. It was a loopy course and went through some really cool sweeping action between the trees. There were 3 woman in the pack of 7.. that Jr. girl a and a woman on a mtn. bike and ME. on lap 3 I hit the pine cones hard and had a seat in the crotch experrience but kept going. on Lap 4 I got laped but managed to hang onto the fast guys wheels for a 1/2 lap.. I then chased down a big butt roady guy who had obviously lost steam for the final laps. I able to hang onto him for the rest of the laps until he put the pedal to the dirt and flew up the road to finsh without me riding his big butt.... It was dark by the time we finished.. I love this mid work week pirate race scene it gets me out of the city, on a ride, and into the mountain! I wish you were all here with me.... THUNDER and LIGHTENING ARE IN THE SKY as I write this report.. a monsoon is on its way.... so refreshing...
CCCX #2, Seaside, CA USA, 9/28/2009
My first race of the season went fairly well. After winning the series last year in 45+ cat, I moved to 35+ to race with the younger gals. Only 4 racers (a fifth dnf'd) so not so impressive to get 3rd. What I'm super excited about is: I'm 3.72 minutes faster on this course than last year!!! (Assuming it's essentially the same). Thanks to coach Mark Edwards of Team Bicycle Trip!!! Thanks to the rest of the Bike Trip gang for being so encouraging.
What's next: The winner beat me by 2.09 minutes. So, I have some work to do. Particularly the start. I need to have that explosive speed right out of the gate. Yeaaaa, more hill repeats!! Now if I can only keep Julianna and Jen at home...Winona
Fall Classic, Big Bear, CA USA, 9/27/2009
“Fall Classic” and California MTB Championship Race
Big Bear, CA – September 27, 2009
This year’s Team Big Bear “Fall Classic” MTB race was also the California Mountain Bike Championships.
Six 65+ Cat ones were on the line this clear warm Sunday morn to do battle one final time. A few regulars were missing, but Bob Dahlgren and Fred Schmid who’d placed first and second the previous weekend at the Kenda Cup National Series Finals’ race were there.
The 65 year old ‘youngster’, Bob Dahlgren was off the front as usual with the three 70+ guys (me, Garo and Fred) pacing ourselves up the opening two mile climb. I held third behind Bob and Garo for the early fire road. The first single track section was called ‘Wet Dream’ for good reason. It is a great, slightly downhill, nicely flowing fun trail. I was still third as we came back to more fire road, but I knew Fred – two-time World Masters Mountain Bike Champion – would be close. Sure enough, just before the neutral water hand up, a little past half way, he caught me. (Newman!)
A bit later, I passed Garo, and was back in third. The toughest part of this race is the last climb up trail 2N51Y to the same ridge top fire road we’d started out on almost two hours earlier. The most technical sections came just before the finish and I made both unscathed. I finished the 20 plus miles third in class. My time of 2:06:19 was almost thirteen minutes better than last year over the same course. Bob was first in 1:57:55 and Fred second in 2:05:09.
This was my last MTB race for this year. Thanks for reading.
Happy, Trails, Ron
Tahoe-Sierra 50/100, Soda Springs, CA USA, 9/15/2009
Well it has finally come and now it is gone, I've completed the T-S 50 mile race on my single speed 29er in 6h:28m:25s! I managed to finally bring together lessons learned from previous endurance race efforts and did not cramp, crash, dehydrate, flat, back spasm or pick too high of a gear.
Just before the start, 5 of my fellow Team SC racers met briefly for a chat and a team photo. Jason and I rolled off and hung out at the start for the 50 miler. We chatted about bikes and training with Mark from Rivendell bikes. Soon enough, the organizers were giving us instructions and behind the initial wave of 100 milers we went.
My overall race strategy was to just ride my normal, solitary training pace and attempt to attack on the hills climbs when possible. In order to do so, I made sure that I had loaded up on plenty of electrolytes, especially sodium the day before and all during my race. The start was relatively fast with an initial dusty, downhill boggie paying off for those of us who could downhill at speed while managing tight, slippery turns, spot and dodge baby head boulders while finding the fast line ahead.
Climbing the initial accent, two fellow single speeders steadily paced past me and ahead until they were soon out of sight. I really didn't mind, it was a long race, it was a beautiful day, and the course provided for some magnificent views of the Sierras.
The first aid station was atop the initial major hill climb. After a quick reload of liquid and snacks, I was hurriedly off down a sweet slice of single track. After about a minute, I just had to pull over, acknowledge the view and shoot a couple of photos. Okay, back in the saddle and down, down more windy, rocky, steep trail, then across stream beds and again up, up into the heights to aid #2.
Breathe, say HI to some teammates, refuel, off to chase some down another hill. Out to aid #3 was along an out and back ridge line for more fabulous views and photos. This is when the race began to seem to take its toll on people. If you were headed in, you were now seeing the race leaders barreling down toward you seeming unaffected by the miles, the altitude, and the climbing. No worry, we’re almost half way there.
Aid #3, take in view, refuel, eat, chat, BYE. Chase, descend, stay stable, bandana over nose and mouth to keep out dust, more dust, pass, climb, more climbing, false peak…again, Aid #4 just up and some next turn…I think?
Finally Aid #4, now really drink as much as possible, top off all 3 bottles because heat is becoming a significant factor. Down more electrolytes, don’t forget the salty cashew butter…yum! Thank you kind, lovely nice race volunteer lady …stay focused man, stay focused. Move on, the guys you have been pacing with have now dropped you. Damn them! Its okay, let them get a little lead then reel them back in, crush their sense of achievement and then…hammer!
Caught pace pack, passed them going down hill and am now ahead of them by at least a few minutes, almost had a turkey hen run into my front wheel, yikes. On the march up a hill, a juvenile squirrel keeps taunting me -dodging on and off the trail inches ahead of me - na, na, na, na naaa naaa, remount bike, caught a fellow single speeder, push on and don’t look back. He looked weak, sloppy while walking, hope he is okay. No mercy time, at the top of the next hill, full speed ahead and don’t let him catch me. Riding a 29er down hill seems to give me extra speed and catch a few more people.
Soon I’m out alone, minutes ahead and behind fellow racers in a dry, dismally quiet area wondering if I missed a turn and am still on course, it's eerily quiet. Reading the trail however, I see fresh tire tracks and cleated foot prints. This must be the way, stay steady climb up and out of this hot, dry, dusty void. Walk; catch breath, recharge, and attack up hill. Atop hill, flip fork to full travel, bomb down hill, repeat.
A 32:22 gear ratio might be the only alteration I’d make for a future race. The 32:20 seemed to work fine overall, but I think I would have walked less with a smaller gear. If I opted for the 100, 32:22 for sure.
The last 11 or so miles, I really watched my GPS and was able to hammer. In fact, I blew off the last aid station, getting a screaming mile check from the volunteer as I blew by just to make sure my perceived distance to the finish was correct. This would hopefully insure that Mr. Tired Single Speeder behind me would have no chance of catching up. I've now got no liquid what so ever, mouth is dry, but the finish is closing in, go go go.
It was a brutal climb out from aid #5 all the way to the finish. I kept thinking, “This is ridiculous, there has got to be a downhill to the finish some…where soon...please?” It felt like this was where I made up a lot of ground. I was beginning to notice a good many people who had passed me early on in the race. Most of them were struggling, silent, faded, and doing their best to hang on and maintain momentum to the finish. Just as I was seconds from reeling in Mr. Spry Super Senior in some Marin MTB jersey…my GPS was read that I was at the end? Soon a couple of kids popped up off the boulders, and began to cheer us in. Just as I crested the bend in the road, I could see the crowd of people ahead, someone cheered my name, then my wife and kids. They pointed me to the final turn and into the finish line. Arms up, off the damn bike and now…done, done, done. I finished feeling relatively good but mile-wise, I was way past due and swore I’d never do one of these events ever again, (for now at least).
Eventually I regrouped with a few folks from the start. Mark Abele from Rivendell came in first for his 50-59 Cat. on a rigid, geared cross bike! The folks that I was pacing with finally got a close look at my bike and were amazed that I did the event on a single speed. "Ah, no wonder you kept walking up the steep sections", "Dude, were you like in the military or something?" Ha, I tried to keep it humble and congratulate them on their finishes as well.
Anyway, great event, well organized, plenty of aid stations, perfect weather, awesome course and lots of things for the rest of your family/friends to do while daddy is off having fun.
CCCX Race #2 @ Fort Ord, Fort Ord, CA USA, 9/27/2009
Another blazing hot cross race! Sizzling course, too, with tough run up and a nice set of triple barriers. This was my second cross race, after last week's big debut at CCCX Race 1.
I had the same stellar level of preparation for today's Women's B race: Saturday night - 2 packages of MMs (one was just not enough), 2-hour fashion show (I was watching it, not in it) and then dance, dance, dance til 12 a.m. and sleep by 2 a.m.
Ok, all those dietary and sleep excuses aside, I am just not in race shape and it shows. But I am having fun and paying good money to have a solid workout. Best of all, it's fun to see friends and cheer them on. Miss Mary Perez inspired me cuz she was back out there even after her back was not so great last week.
Shout out to Alex Anderson who watered me and cheered me on -and congrats to his wife Winona who placed 3rd. Jen Lucia put up our tent - thanks, Jen! Overall, super fun, but not quite the same without Mike Evans and David Gill!
CrossVegas Industry Cup, Las Vegas, NV USA, 9/23/2009
Ready to be slaughtered I lined up way in the back. I was one of the last to register so by the rules that's the way it was. Men, Women and Juniors all starting at the same time with 120 racers going off together. Nice thing about starting in the back is that you can only move up.
Somewhere way up front there was the muffled pop of a starting gun (yeah a real gun - there were even UCI commissaires here) and we started to move forward. I worked on passing people but never got past too many. My co-workers did a nice job heckling me and were even positioned well for beer handoffs but the last 10 minutes of the race I was locked into a life-or-death struggle with some junior and didn't want to let him win.
With 1/2 a lap to go I put him behind me for good and could think of quenching my thirst at the finish line. Tough racing on the thick grass but the large field, noisy crowd and fun of racing under the lights in Vegas made it worthwhile. No idea where I finished which is a good thing since it was pretty far to the back.
SSWC 2009, Durango, CO USA, 9/19/2009
This isn't really a race report but an event report from Durango's edition of the Single Speed World Championships. As most everyone knows by now this is only a World Championships in the sense that a bunch of Single Speeders have gathered and decided that it is and we don't need no stinkin' governing body to set rules. There is as much emphasis on costumes, beer, music and art as on the race itself and for the Durango version I think this was the first year of the 3 SSWC's I've attended where the race actually WAS the least important feature of the happening. Because the organizers let almost everyone in, there would be up to 1000 racers on the line on race day. Since there is no staging for pros, no age or gender grouping we would all be clogging up the singletrack at the same time save for the 50-100 really fast people who could launch off the front.
The Durango locals (the D9 crew as they called themselves) who organized SSWC must have realized this early on in their planning and decided it would be an event to showcase the trails, natural beauty and artistic sensibilities of Durango and it's residents. Winona and I got to town on Tuesday evening knowing that there would be several days of group rides and parties leading up to the race. With a couple group rides a day lead by the locals we sampled really fun singletrack accessed right from the center of town. Amazingly the town actually promoted mountain biking and opened up their town to us - imagine that!!
After a few days of riding we could definitely see the appeal to living here. All the events were close to town so no reason not to use a bike. The river path gave us access to the whole town and along the way there is a whitewater slalom course, skatepark and BMX track. The night before the race there was a party in town with a couple of bands, dirtjumpers launching off a large double, strange bikes provided by Fat Tire and an American Idol-style singing competition for the 4 candidates for SSWC 2010. New Zealand and Italy stomped Hungary and Canada and would play a basketball game the next night to decide the destination for the next SSWC.
Saturday morning about 1000 of us lined up in town for the parade out along Main St. and were cheered on by the locals. It was a beautiful day with temps in the mid-70's. By the time we hit the singletrack about 1/2 hour into the race I was in my usual mid-pack position but with such a large group of riders we slowed to a crawl or sometimes stopped completely as 'racers' tried to climb the nearly vertical hike-a-bike section. Once we were on top of the ridge it was still pretty crowded and the rocks, cracks and exposed ledges slowed us down but I found some good sections to get a bit of rhythm going. With the first loop complete I ventured onto the second loop which was much better suited to a SS bike and started to pass a few people. Really nice desert singletrack now and still some cheering fans to keep us going. Along the way I got beer, whiskey and bacon handups and they all made for an easier race. Came across the line in about 3:20 and found at least 500 people celebrating there.
After about an hour on the finish line we headed for home, a shower and a nap before going back out to Ska Brewery for the decider basketball game and party. 2000 people came to celebrate and watch NZ demolish Italy so get ready to get your entry in for NZ in 2010!
Winners of the race were Heather Irmiger and Ross Schnell.
SSWC website is http://sswc09.wordpress.com/ and I've posted pictures at http://picasaweb.google.com/h.alex.anderson/DurangoSSWC2010?feat=directlink# if you want to see more of Durango
Kenda Cup Unification Race at Bonelli Park, San Dimas, CA USA, 9/20/2009
Kenda Cup Unification Race
East meets West NORBA MTB Series Shootout
Bonelli Park – September 20, 2009
This year the USA Cycling National MTB Series was divided into a West and an East series. Each series was best four of six races. The top fifteen from each category would then meet and race to determine a National Series Champion.
This past Sunday, nine 65+ Cat 1 riders (all from the West Series) met to decide their final Kenda Cup ranking over the eight plus mile Bonelli Park course. Our category would do two laps – 16+ miles. We’d raced this same course back in March and I was hoping to improve on my time of 1:40. The Bonelli course has many short to medium distance fire road, middle chain ring, climbs and big ring descents. The few single track sections are all down hill, moderately technical and fast. The big challenge on this day would be the heat. At our 12:38 PM start,it was 95°!
I was sixth at the top of our first climb, but was soon passed by Garo Moradian, and went to seventh, where I remained for the rest of the first lap. My water bottle was empty at the start/finish and I was very happy to get a new full one from Harriet as I started my second and final lap.
I re-passed Garo into sixth as he was having chain problems. My second lap was spent drinking my Gatorade, staying in my most efficient gear, and going as fast as I could without getting heat exhaustion. A few kind spectators pouring water down my back on the climbs really helped.
At the finish, Harriet told me that Terry Dahl who’d been second most of the race had dropped out due to heat exhaustion and cramps. That moved me up to fifth for the race and onto the podium in third place for the series. Ya hoo! Fred Schmid from Waco Texas finished the race in second and won the series. Gary Foster from Anza, CA, finished fourth and was second for the series.
My time for the race was 1:33 – seven minutes faster than my time in March.
Not a bad weekend!
Happy Trails, Ron
SoCal Cross - Prestige Series #1 at Bonelli Park, San Dimas, CA USA, 9/19/2009
So.Cal Cross – Prestige Series #1
September 19, 2009
Bonelli Park, San Dimas, CA
Hey, Cyclocross on Saturday and a National MTB Series Championship on Sunday, both at the same venue --- GREAT IDEA!
The one and a half mile CX course was well laid out and included lots of grass, pavement, dirt, barriers, one real run up that was even a little muddy, and a tough sand section. I was most impressed with the large number of USA Cycling officials who actually were out there working very hard to make everything run smoothly and ‘by the book’.
My Masters 55+ race started at 11:15AM, and the nine of us were off 30 seconds behind the 45+ Class under sunny skies and a very toasty 95°. I seized my chance for glory by being third onto the grass off the pavement sprint. I quickly settled into a more sedate pace as I reminded myself about tomorrow’s XC race. The 45+ leader lapped me about 200 yards from the finish, and I was saved from having to do a fourth lap. I finished seventh without any crashes or mechanicals. These So Cal folks may be a bit late to cyclocross, but they put on a good show, and they’re pretty good. A fellow with So Cal Cross told me they had about 350 entries.
CCCX Race #1 @ Manzanita Park, Prunedale, CA USA, 9/20/2009
This morning I watched the Santa Cruz Sentinel Triathlon, an Olmypic distance race - 1 mile swim around the Santa Cruz Wharf, 26 mile road bike back and forth to Davenport and 6.2-mile run.
Inspired, I figured if they could suffer a three-sport endurance event over several hours, I could do a 40-minute cross race - event tho I have not done one for years and hadn't planned to come to CCCX opener.
So I sprinted home, dug out my cross bike, which was filthy, with flat tires, unused and neglected for months. Packed the gorgeous purple Rock Lobster into the Honda Civic and sped down the Highway. Arrived by 11 45 and was happy races were running late so did not start til 1 p.m.
Took water bottle cage off the bike and noticed brakes not working so well. That's what I get for taking the bike right from storage to a race.
Seriously considered racing C class cuz it's been so long and fitness is mediocre but said what the heck and signed up for B's - not Master Women with the tough competition of hardcore Jen Lucia and Julianna Perry.
So, got out there on fairly flat and fast course with lots of downhill! It felt hard and I felt scared because can't even remember last time I mounted and dismounted cross style. The best part was Mike Evans giving me great coaching tips during my 4 sweaty laps under hot sun: "Stop smiling," "Push harder," "run faster."
I got lots of support from Andrew Murray and Jeff Traugott who offered me water and other team mates I don't know yet. Women racers all started together: Mary Perez, Shelly, Megan Zemny all had me laughing at the start. Janel was so fast I barely saw her.
Was fun to see friends and teammates and know that I can only IMPROVE!
final Tuesday MTB, tejares, nm USA, 8/18/2009
we'll it was the last race for this "Hawk" series.. it will as of this Tuesday become the Bike Coop "deadman cross series"
The course was at the same middle school still pirate style. Since there was a fire up in the Sandia Crest (our local mounatin/Part of the Manzano Range), the fire crews had a camp set up and we could not ride through the regular course. Actually it was about the same time your SC Mounatin fires.... hummmmm.
The course was more cross style than the last and a few people actually showed up on cross bikes! That jr. girl still kicked my but but I was a lot closer to her this time and she was on a cross bike so there could be potential for a real rival even if she is 15 years younger. I did 6 laps out of 7... I wacked my too wide bars on a river tree and flew into a ditch (this is on my Rocky Mtn. Bike) but kept on and caught up with 2 guys one who also crashed by the dirt all over his left side (it's been dryer than dry here! it's Monsoon season and there have been very little rain day however according to the park ranger this is the first year NM is out of a drought) AND I caught that RUDE DUDE who rode my wheel the whole time whole once I caught for the last 4 laps! grrrr and when we made the last turn off the trail to the road on the last lap he put the pedal down and passed me before the finish but gave me a high five! oh well at least he made peace brother... that is 4 mtnbike races under my belt for this season and now CROSS! which starts tomorrow! rock on!
Howell Mtn. Challenge, 8/9/09, Angwin, CA USA, 8/9/2009
Dede and I left early Sat. morning and were at the Luna Vineyard on the Silverado Trail by 10:30 AM wine tasting. We did one more vineyard after that - Plump Jack's and had to draw the line there. We got to the house by 1 PM and lounged in the sun by the pool all day. Had a tri-tip dinner that night with my friends and a new chardonnay from my friends vineyard that has yet to even be released yet - we were in bed by 9PM. It was a great Sat.!
Woke up Sun. at 6:00, totally unrested. We got to the school (Pacific Union College) where the race is staged out of in Angwin @ 8:30, with plenty of time to ride a little, register and not have to rush. I kind of didnt want to be there but remembered how much I loved the Napa Valley Dirt Classic which is out of the same place. So, i figured my attitude would adjust once the race started. This race had a lot of the same stuff, some in the other direction and some of it was new. My attitude never changed.
Within the first 30 minutes of the race, for whatever reason, I saw 5 people walking back. Soon after that I was helping this guy that had gotten an stick impaled in his arm. I wrapped a tube around his arm to stop the bleeding and he walked out. Then I helped another girl that got her chain stuck. THEN there was a jr. kid on the side that had over heated. They had 3 ambulances come up the trail for him (total overkill). The third one got stuck on in the "gulley" part fo the these two hills - pretty gnarly section- steep on both sides iwth large bolders and loose rock and fairly steep. It was a 4 wheel drive ambulance but nonetheless. At that pt. I was done - I figured if I had come around for my 2nd lap I would only see a series of people who came over the steep hill to be surprised by the ambulance and crashed into it and I truely believe that I have met my carnage quota for the year. I couldnt remember any part of the trail where I thought this is fun. I thought it was kind of boring. It was 90+ degrees and I just couldnt think of why I would put myself thru the hell of another lap?
At some pt. Dede had gotten in front of me. When she got to the section where you go left to go back to the finish or do your second lap to the right, she seriously contemplated bailing out but thought - now way! Jen would't bail. So, she continued. I however naturally and with no hesitation went left and back to the car...3.5 hrs. later, after the raffle had happened; after the awards ceremony and 45 minutes after the last rider came thru the finish....here came dede only to find me drinking a beer in the shade and not nearly as beaten as she was. As it turns out, the events people said they had never seen so many people dnf at a race. Deded up getting 1st place because she was so determined and ended up being the only one that finished in her division. :)
We had a great wknd. but next year I will pass on this event.
MTB Tijares, ABQ, NM USA, 8/4/2009
Yep SCCCC has relocated to New Mexico!
The first race since the 24 hrs of Cool.. It was a small and loopy course.. 16 people 4 females and a mix of Jrs. in there. To clear the air the ONE Jr. Girl kicked my butt! I broke a spoke on that clay like rock garden stopped to check it out but kept going.
The course was set up around a Middle School not really legal but the promoter says no one asked him (the race director is named HAWK)to file a permit.. There were 2 "uphill" sections that were pretty much non rideable so some cross action took place each time around. There was some big guy who sucked my wheel the whole time and called out put downs like "oh you'll miss that", or "you'll get stuck there". I think he needs some GGG girl cheering lessons! Basiclly he sucked to race with. We did a total of 5 laps the top guys did 6 or 7 I can't remember pretty much everyone one packed up and left when it was all over...??? racing in NM. We'll see how cross goes? this will help me get in shape for that!
The clouds filled the BLUE sky and the rain was in the distance but that magic rainbow kept if from raining on us....
Kirkwood 9-5--Injury Report....not for the Squeemish, Kirkwood, ca USA, 8/1/2010
Don't read this if you get easily grossed out.
So this was going to be my first endurance level race, having raced all 10 CCCX's, the SeaOtterClassic and completing the 100 mile SCMC Century last week, I felt ready to conquer this new level of challenge. The Kirkwood 9-5 is an 8 hour "do as many laps as you can" format. I mean 8 hours on the bike, what's the big deal? Oh yea, it would be at altitude and it was rumored to be rather technical...OK so maybe this is going to be pretty tough. I got to Kirkwood Friday before, and went out for a preride of the course. It was only 5.1 miles long and when I finished I only had 3.9 miles on my cyclometer, apparently I took a wrong turn pre-riding and bypased a little over a mile of the course. I had brought two bikes in case I had a mechanical, and the pre-ride on the HT 29er made it clear that my Full Suspension with 2.3 Kenda Nevagals was the way to go. Oh yea, back to how technical the course is...really F'ing technical. There were several areas where I had to get off and portage, as well as multiple dabs and outriggering around loose, rutted and sandy corners. There's boulders everywhere and that's were the real story begins. Saturday morning Jen Lucia and I set up a communcal pit area, hit the riders meeting and at 9am the rolling start began. I flatted nicely just 2 miles into the race, got it fixed in a few minutes and was back at it. Oh yea, did I mention that is was scortching hot. As a solo rider I was getting passed by a lot of team riders as well as just faster/fitter solo riders. But even a fast lap time was around 45 minutes over just 5.1 miles. So I get through lap two and take a big rest in the shade of our pit stop canopy, and finally head back out, really dreading the boulders and heat I was going to be riding in. Early into lap 3 I had pretty much decided I was going to abandon after I finished lap 3, just wasn't feeling it and couldn't get a rythim....and that's when it happened. I came into a really nasty narrow stretch with a couple lava boulders that you had to manual over or portage. I did something inbetween. I lost momentum trying to manual over the lower rock and then had to put my left foot down. I unclipped and went to touch down and there was nothing but air under my foot as the steep slope full of rocks and loose gravel was dropping away from me, I started to slowly fall to my left figuring that I might have to roll off my bike but that would be no big deal and I would just unclip on my right, roll off the bike and down hill a bit and then just get back up and ride on. Well that was all going fine until my right foot decided to lodge in the crack of a boulder as I was rolling to my left. The inertia of my clydesdale category weight was heading down this steep hill and my foot was staying put. (Don't read on if your are sqeemish about injuries) In an instant I heard the "snap" of my right Tibia and Fibula breaking like twigs. AS I continued to slide down hill I looked down at my right foot and it was flopping loosly to the left and the fibula was very close to pushing through the skin. The pain was immense. Two riders came quickly to my aid, and helped stabilize my body position as I was on very steep and loose terrain. Roughly a half hour after my crash a Kirkwood Mountain Patrol member was on sceene, and was directing a rescue team to our location. Eventually a rescue team got to me with a rolling stokes litter and the walked me out. They got me to the ambulance roughly 1.5 hours after my crash and promptly administered IV Morphine. After a 45 minute ambulance ride we arrived at Barton Hospital in So Lake Tahoe, a place very familiar with orthopedic trauma. I was in surgery 3 hours later, and released Sunday morning to a 6 hour drive home to Santa Cruz. So I managed to get 3.5 laps in. Jen finished 5 laps total for 2 place in her category...very impressive considering she was probably close to throwing up after witnessing what my ankle looked like when she came up on my crash site about 5 minutes after the crash. I have to do a shout out to Rick and his Patrol team, they did an awesome job of getting me off the mountain and splinting my fracture. They even delivered my car for me to the hospital in So Lake, and followed up with me on the phone at home to see how I was doing. Also, thanks to the level headedness of the two guys with EMT skills that took time out of their race to help me, really great work.
Hopefully I'll be back on the bike in 10 weeks.
National Championship Mountain Bike Race - Granby, CO , Granby, CO USA, 7/18/2009
National MTB XC Championship
Granby CO July 18, 2009
Harriet and I left from Big Bear the day after the Big Bear Shootout #2 race on Sunday, July 12, and drove two days to Granby, Colorado. The Sol Vista Ski resort, just outside of Granby, was a first time host for the XC National Championship. Needless to say, there were lots of people and parking was a bit of a challenge. We were fortunate in that our condo was right there at Sol Vista and only a five minute bike ride to the XC course. Another challenge was the altitude. The bottom of the XC course was at 8200 ft, and the top was 9200 ft. Harriet and I had headaches for the first two days!
The XC course (actually four courses) was a good mix of single track and fire road/double track. Different categories were to use different color-coded courses during the race. Example: the Cat 1 men 19-39 did 2 green loops plus one orange; Cat 1 40-49, two green; Cat 1 50+ one green and one orange. There was also a pink loop for the pros and a yellow loop for some of the Juniors. All loops shared some common trails. Close attention at intersections was required to stay on the correct course – not easy at oxygen deprived race pace.
There were eleven Cat 1, 65+ riders registered for this race, and ten showed up for our 8:20AM start. The sky was clear and temperature was about 65°. The first quarter mile of the XC course was on a dirt service road that went up the side of a ski run. Key word here is “UP” as it was a real granny-gear effort. Each lap started with this climb – (twice for my category and six times for the Pro men.)
At the top of the climb off the start, I was in fifth. A short level section of dirt road gave us a chance to catch a little of the rare O2. Then came our first single track challenge that included some fairly technical, loose rocky uphill sections that I had to dismount on one occasion to make. Another nice fire road section through the aspens gave us a chance to gulp some liquids. Ed Hawkins, 67, from Arkansas, caught up to me here. Just about the time you’d think this isn’t so bad, the course took a sharp left turn up another rocky uphill single track with many switch backs and handlebar/arm smacking fir trees. After what seemed like forever going up this trail, it turned downward but didn’t get any easier. Finally, we came to a double track that would take us to the 9200 ft ridge that marked the top of the course. Ed, who had been on my wheel all this time, went by at this point. The double track ended, and the most treacherous section of the course began. About a quarter mile of newly cut single track led us down some gnarly switchbacks to a very steep drop off that I named the “crash zone”. It was lined with spectators looking for blood. This section – I walked. The remainder of the course took us back to the start/finish line on trails that slalomed down the mountainside across and between ski runs.
I grabbed a fresh bottle from Harriet as I went through the feed zone at the start/finish, shifted to the small chain ring, locked out the suspension and willed myself up that god-awful hill again. All Cat 1’s 50 and above did the “orange loop” on their second lap, and it was not only a mile and a half shorter than the first “green” loop, but it didn’t include the long rocky single track. Darn!! Fred Schmid, (76), from Waco TX got by me on one of the double tracks before we got to the “crash zone”, and I was now seventh. Things were going OK and I was thinking of mounting a chase to catch Fred, when I started to cramp going up a short, steep switchback. I was able to reach the top and unclip in time to change foot position and not have to stop. I was in survival mode that last mile down the mountain, but didn’t get passed by anyone else in my category. I finished my 15.25 mile course seventh in 2:36 – three minutes behind Fred, nine minutes behind Ed, and 45 minutes behind Bruce Bates (66) from Golden, CO, the class winner.
I protested Bruce’s First Place finish based on the fact that he was nineteen minutes ahead of second place and yet hadn’t passed some riders in other classes that he would have needed to pass in order to get that time. I and others believed he had taken the wrong course somewhere along the way. My protest was disallowed. Hopefully, next year there will be course marshals to help keep riders on their proper course.
Harriet and I enjoyed pizza with Fred Schmid and his wife that evening and then left Sunday morning for our two day drive back to Santa Cruz and some much needed oxygen.
Big Bear Shootout #2 - Southern Cal XC Series Final, Big Bear, CA USA, 7/12/2009
Big Bear Shootout #2 – Southern California XC Series Final
Big Bear, CA July 12, 2009
Going into the last race of the Southern Cal XC series, (best six of eight races), I had done five races and was fifth overall in the Cat 1 – 65+ category. With a good race and a little luck, I could end up as high as third. Twelve Cat 1 65+ XC racers had competed in this series that included seven different venues.
On this clear and warm morning in the San Bernardino Mountains southeast of Los Angeles, seven of us were on the line. Missing was Terry Dahl, last year’s State and National Champion in this category – a little luck! Our course was over the same fire roads and single track as Shoot Out #1 at the end of May except it was warmer, dryer, and the middle two thirds of the course was run in the opposite direction. Every race at Big Bear starts over a tough fire road climb. I was third at the top of this initial climb. First and second were wheel to heel and maybe 30 seconds ahead. As we started down road 2N51Y, my old buddy, Buz Brockway went by me and was gone. For the remainder of the race I tried to remember to drink fluids and keep my pace fast enough to stay ahead of the three riders in my class still behind me. I finished fourth in 1:51, twelve minutes behind class winner Gary Foster (68). Buz (69) was second, Garo Mooradian (75) third, and I was fourth.
My effort (and luck) was enough to move me to third overall for the series.
Coolest 24 hours at Boggs Mt., Boggs Mt, , ca USA, 6/20/2009
Super fun event with great atmosphere. I think it would be fun to get a big group to go up next year and do the 8 hour event. I have decided that eight hours is just right, still gives you time to drink beer, sit by the campfire and, oh yeah,.... SLEEP. The trials are not super technical, more like Santa Cruz trails than Moab, with a enough climbing (1400 feet) that you get a good workout and get some speedy sections of single track. Course was 80 percent single track, 80 percent shaded, 80 percent super fun.
I took second in the 40 to 49 class doing 5 laps. The winner did 5 laps also, but finished 20 minutes ahead of me. ... if I had known I was in the running, I probably would not have stopped to walk Turbo between laps 4 and 5.
Mel was doing the 24 hour race. I did pit crew for Mel once my race was over. On her first night lap, all her lights went out on single track in the middle of the lap. She managed to find her way to a fire road, backtrack to the start via a big unwelcome climb, then get my light and start the lap over. I only had my handle bar mount, so with all the tight switchbacks, her second lap was a very frustrating- fall- down lap. While she was out crashing, I managed to barrow another bar light from Tinker's mechanic Pico. When she got back Pico and I “McGiver'd” a headlamp mount for my light out of a half empty spool of electrical tape, some zip ties and a Velcro strap.We were pretty stoked how well it worked, especially since we were doing it at 1am in the morning. This provided a dual bar mount and a quality adjustable head mount. I woke Mel up at 1:30am as agreed and she was off riding while Turdy and I then went off to bed. She's crazy - crazy enough to do 11 laps and finish 2nd in Expert/Pro.
The overall woman's winner was in the 40 to 49 category doing 14 laps. That's good news. It means that at 44, I may not have peaked yet. I could be a contender!
The Men’s 24 hour pro’s are crazy. Tinker and Dez were duking it out only 4 seconds apart around midnight. Tinker won with 23 ten miles laps in 24 hours. Do the math.
Great location. Lots of nice people, free camping, dogs welcome, awesome course, funny easy going promoter. Turbo became the event mascot. The promoter loved him. He got recognition at the pre-race meeting and at the awards ceremony he got called up to the podium and given a round of applause. Let’s make a team showing next year.
CCCX Cross Country #9--Fort Ord, Marina, CA USA, 6/14/2009
Race 9 of the Central Coast CCCX Cross Country Series was held Sunday 6/14/09 at Fort Ord. I raced the beginner category for 45-54 year olds. I’ve got 2nd place pretty wrapped up for the 10 race series even if I didn’t show up for race #9, but I’ve been trailing Mark Knutson, who’s been really strong this year, the whole season and was thinking I might have a shot beating him this week, or at least putting some pressure on him. The course was 5.5 miles long with beginners doing 3 laps. It was a pretty easy course from a climbing perspective, not much steep sustained climbs, but pretty slippery in a lot of corners….powdery sand or gravel on top of hard pack dirt. Lot’s of tight, poison oak lined single track as well. I saw a lot of folks go down in the turns, I didn't crash, but I left the course for some extracurricular Poison Oak excursions on several turns. Overall it was a pretty fast course, and my 29er Hardtail was working well and well suited for the course.
The 45-54’s were started with the 35-44’s so we had a decent sized pack going off at 9:00am. I went out fast and drafted Eric Jepson, who’s one of the faster 35-44 year olds, up the ½ mile pavement section and he and I were first and second to the dirt. Eric gave me a good wind shadow that helped me get well ahead of the pack early on. Then Knutson came up on me after about a mile, and passed me as I came into a corner way to hot and ran off the trail. Knutson and I ran together for most of the first lap and then I passed him when he threw his chain on a short uphill, but he got back in it quickly and then passed me near the end of the first lap. He kept increasing the gap, and after my over zealous start, I just didn’t have the legs or lungs to keep him in sight. Then I was running with Jepson most of the race, swapping leads a couple times, until he crashed right in front of me trying to pass me on the inside of a tough gravelly turn that I went wide on. I think he thought I was giving him a passing spot but I was just trying to find a clean fast line. He came in way to hot and washed his front wheel out on the gravel. His bike went out in front of me and I had to slam the brakes to keep from running over the spokes of his front wheel. He got right back up and then passed me later on the third lap., and kept a short lead on me to the finish. Carl Primavera also in the 35-44 group, came up on me about half way through the last lap and he and I ran pretty hard the last 2.5 miles for the finish. I ended up finishing 2nd for my age bracket. And fourth overall for the two combined age groups.
Big Bear Shootout #1, Big Bear, CA USA, 5/31/2009
Big Bear Shoot Out #1 – Big Bear, CA – May 31, 2009
Eight 65+ Cat 1 XC racers were on the line for this fifth race of the 2009 Southern California State Championship Series. The only new rider was Bob Dahlgren, 65, from Burbank in his first race as a Cat 1. Bob’s outstanding times for earlier Cat 2 races were no secret, though, and we figured he’d be the one to beat. Sunday’s seventeen and a half mile course consisted of two-thirds fire road and one third single track at an elevation between seven and eight thousand feet. Weather: a few scattered clouds, mild temperatures a slight breeze – nice!
As we worked our way up the two mile climb off the start, I was fifth. As expected, Bob Dahlgren was off the front followed by Garo, Gary, Terry and me. My old buddy Buz was right behind me in sixth. By the top of the climb, I’d passed Terry and sat fourth. The first single track section, called Plantation, included a couple of fairly deep water holes. As I launched into the unknown depths, riders yelling to pass made it even more exciting. Back on the fire road, I passed and was passed by riders from other categories, but still held fourth in my class. A particular nasty section of rutted fire road caused a bad crash and the downed rider was being attended to by some of his fellow competitors.
The second single tract section known as Upper Fall Line proved to be a lot less intimidating that in the past because of my five inches of travel on the Cannondale RIZE. A little more, fast down hill fire road to the final single track and the most technical section – Lower Fall Line. I rode all but a few boulder strewn switch backs and then zipped up the jersey for the dash to the finish. As I rolled to a stop among the other smiling endorphin junkies, Harriet yelled to me that I’d finished third in my category!! Seems Bob missed the turn onto Plantation and ended up doing the “long” course with the pros and young Cat 1’s though he still finished seventh in his class. Harriet and I enjoyed the pre-awards tacos (part of the entry) before heading back to our motel. No blood, no mechanicals, and no poison oak!!
Happy trails, Ron
So No Mas 100 MTB race, Lake Sonoma, CA USA, 5/16/2009
The temps for the Lake Sonoma 100km MTB race was forecast to be 95 degrees so it would be all about pacing and nutrition. Probably a hundred racers at the start. The course was one of the best I had been on in an endurance event. Almost all singletrack and scenic. 30 miles and 6000 ft of climbing every lap but unfortunately all roller coaster so no long climbs or descents that allowed you to settle into a groove.
Quite a few aid stations around the course so I could leave the hydration pack at camp. The riders spread out pretty quickly and I was leapfrogging with Jason Cruz and Shige Honjo for the last part of the lap. Coming into the start/finish 4 hours after the start I went through my mental list of what to do before I went out for the next lap but as we got in we found out the organizers had canceled the 2nd lap. They had run out of water at most of the aid stations and were worried after a few riders had to be evacuated with heat stroke. Sort of a bummer since I had paced myself well, but my disappointment quickly diminished with a few pints of Racer 5 and the BBQ that the race organizers put on.
Great course, but the event could have been better organized. If they do it next year, check it out!
Cool 8 Hour Race, Cool, CA USA, 5/2/2009
The weather forecast wasn't promising but we had a whole crew of people going up to Cool. Winona's 2 4-woman teams, Team SC 8 and 24 hour racers and some of my riding buddies from work. Hard to bail when you have others to share your pain with.
It rained hard Friday night but fortunately after we set up camp. We knew we were in for a wet race Saturday. By start time at Noon it was raining off and on and would only rain harder as the day went on. The race course was fun with a fast, flowy section at the beginning and no severe climbs except one after a deep river crossing. Most of us opted to walk the steep climb in order to survive the entire race. As the race went on, puddles grew to ponds and the mud got deeper. I was happy to quit just before 6:30 when I realized it would be tough to get a fifth lap in and my front and rear shifting was barely functional with me having to dump my bike in stream crossings to try to rinse some of the mud off the moving parts. Not too pleansant getting hosed down with the garden hose at the Start/Finish but with no showers I didn't have a choice. Got into some dry clothes and commiserated with Melanie (solo) and the 24-hour team racers in our compound. The Go Go Go Girls were happy as long as they had a change of costume for every lap - I don't know how they raced all through the night.
I ended up placing 6th out of 33 in my division - surprised myself with a good finish but that happens in the muddy races when results are more about persistence than talent.
Pictures here http://picasaweb.google.com/h.alex.anderson/Cool8242009?feat=directlink
Coolest 24 Hour Race aka Muddiest 24 Hour Race Ever, Cool, CA USA, 5/3/2009
Top 10 Things I Swear to Remember for my Next 24-Hour Race - if there is one!.
1. Check the Race Location.. Friday afternoon, I waited in a long line of cars, backed up from the highway, to enter the race venue. Turned out I was waiting in line to attend a high school science fair with dozens of other parents. The race had moved down the road to the Cool Fire Station. Great start!
2. Ask your 24 Hour relay teammates to go into isolation chambers pre-race.. Of my 3 other gal pal teammates, one had poison oak so severe she nearly dropped out, another one had food poisoning and was violently ill pre-race. Both still managed to race. If they had avoided riding or eating pre-race, would have been ideal. :)
3. Believe the weather forecast.. I was in denial that it was going to rain constantly, but prepared for it anyways packing my Honda full of great rain outfits! Yet somehow I still loaded up on sunscreen and dark-shaded sunglasses.
4. Label your stuff!. All of it. It's a pain, but worth it for items you want back, say, a new Light and Motion headlamp. (I have been reunited with this missing item).
5. Invite experienced 24 Hour Support Crew to help you.. I was thrilled that Dan Abernethy and Pat Schott of Idaho agreed to come to the race just to help our Go Go Go Girls. Thanks, guys!
6. Bring your earplugs.. If you are lucky enough to sleep or even rest, you will be in very close quarters with other folks. Plus, some people talk too much about their rides. :)
7. Show team support by going to the start/finish area.. Perfect spot to welcome back racers who have just completed laps and send the new riders out with warm wishes.
8. Don't lose your car keys.. Especially in the pouring rain. Especially if it turns out your keys are not in the car and you need a locksmith. Don't ask me how I know this.
9. Don't use a 24 Hour race as a time to test a new-ish romantic relationship.. Almost as bad as taking your beau to Burning Man. Don't ask me how I know this.
10. Make a list of all the things you want to do better at your next 24 Hour Race.. And remember it.
Oh, wait - you want to know about my race?
As a member of Go Go Go Girls 4-woman relay, with
Jen "Poison Oak" Lucia, Tracy "Food Poisoning" Moyle and Tireless Captain Henri Stern,. I rode just two laps - 12 mile lap with about 1700' feet of climbing (a lot of uphill) Some parts were as steep and muddy as the nasty and notorious Watsonville cyclocross run-up. The 1:30 a.m. to 3 a.m. lap was far more fun that the late afternoon lap! I was spared a 3rd lap because the race was cut short by a few hours due to crazy wet weather and dangerous condidtions.
Our team came in second in our division as far as we could tell. That's great news: we had just two teams in our division and first place went to our sister Go Go Go Girlz Team.
Sea Weasel, Laguna Seca, Ca USA, 4/15/2009
Got to the venue early, but it was already heating up…this was going to be a hot one. Rode up the corkscrew and descended down to the start/finish on the race track. SS’s were already lining up so I guess that was it for warming up.
At the start Erik E’s ( my race favorite) chain grenaded. We got around him and bunched up for the jaunt down the race track. Some squirrely group riding, but all in all a fairly nice start.
All the selections were pretty much made by the time we hit the fire road descent and rode the ridge to the first singletrack section. I was in a group just behind another group with Jordi C. in it. I had Isaias J. and Turbo Tim with me.
We rode together well dropping a few SS’s along the way. At the Skyline climb I took a pull and Tim dropped off. Isaias took the next pull at the top. I felt he was going a bit too hard, so let him go figuring he would pay for it later.
It was hot! I got a feed from the Manacle but had sucked it down by the time I had reached the feed zone figuring I’d get a full bottle there. At the feed zone I kept looking for a full bottle of sport drink but there was none to be had! I had to pull over and grab a quarter full bottle laying on the side of the road instead.
Heading in to the sisters I was pushing the speed pretty hard when I came into a rutted out section. I saw a better line to the outside and crossing the ruts caught my tire and got pitched into the bushes. While I was flying through the air I could hear the horrible sound of air exiting my tire. Lights Out!
I got a 26er tube from Mike K but It wouldn’t hold air, so off I went on foot to meet my friends at the finish.
Santa Ynex Valley Classic - Kenda Cup West #5, Santa Ynez, CA USA, 4/26/2009
Santa Ynez Valley Classic (Kenda Cup West #5) – April 26, 2009
It was a short week between the Sea Otter and Santa Ynez. There were six Cat 1 65+ riders on the start line. Clear skies and mild temperatures were near perfect conditions for our twenty mile, two lap, race.
I was third for much of the first lap, but Gary Foster of Anza, CA, got by me just before the feed zone. Harriet handed me a fresh bottle and told me Gary was twenty seconds ahead. I was riding well and had the three riders ahead of me in sight for most of the race. Terry Dahl won in 1:47, Fred Schmid was second in 1:49.01, Gary third in 1:49.21, and I was fourth in 1:52.
Sea Otter Classic - Kenda Cup West #4, Monterey, CA USA, 4/19/2009
Sea Otter Classic (Kenda Cup West #4) – April 19, 2009
Would you believe that at our 8:30 AM start we were crowding under the pedestrian bridge over the Laguna Seca track, our start line, trying to stay cool?? Temperatures would reach well into the 90’s before the day was over. The Men’s Cat 1 60+ XC race was a race within a race. For the first time, the Sea Otter was part of a National Series – the Kenda Cup West. For that series, there is a 65+ category making it a 60+ race for the Sea Otter and a 65+ race for the Kenda Cup West.
I was third (of five) 65+ men when we got to the first single track. I was able to move into second when Terry Dahl (current 65+ National Champ) dropped his chain. By the time we got to the feed zone, Terry had passed me and I was starting to feel the effects of the heat. I was fighting leg cramps on the long grind up Skyline Road back to the track. I finished eighth of eleven 60+ and third of five 65+ racers in 2:02.
Sea Otter Classic Cross Country Mt. Bike Women Sport 30-39, Monterey, CA USA, 4/18/2009
Sea Otter Classic race on Saturday, April 18, marked my Big Comeback! It's been three years since I competed in an individual mountain bike event! My only racing in 2006, 2007 and 2008 has been in 24 Hour Mt. bike women's relays with the Go Go Go Girls Team, founded by the Esteemed Winona Hubbard!
For my Big Race Comeback at the women's 30-39 group (last year for that group!) I (re) learned 3 Rookie Racer Lessons which I will share with you, my experienced teammates, in case you have also suffered from Race Amnesia.
1. Don't use new equipment on race day!
For my Saturday race, I put on new tires the night before that I had purchased at the Sea Otter expo Kenda tent (great discount!) They weren't very knobby and were fabulous on pavement, but I crashed hard on the first sand pit descent, doing a marvelous endo over the bars that left my body bruised and ego shaken.
2. Do use a hydration pack and not a water bottle for hot, cross country courses. Especially if that is what you are used to!
I thought I could save precious weight by skipping my usual hydro pack and using a water bottle on my frame instead. Plus I knew there would be water they would give me on the course. Net result: I did not drink as much as I needed for a hot day - my water bottle stayed put in its cage (unlike so many others that flew off riders' bikes) but it was hard to get in and out so I did not use it much.
3. Pre-ride the course!
I knew I was not going to be a hardcore competitor and so skipped the pre-ride. I also (mistakenly) thought I had an idea of the course, but turned out it had changed so radically since I had last raced Sea Otter, that I had no clue even where the finish line was! I woulda had more fun if I had an idea of where I was headed.
I will be posting more details and photos of my Sea Otter experience (I was down there all day Thursday and Saturday) on my blog:
Oh and lastly (you can tell my priorities by my almost forgetting this detail - my result: 21 out of 31 in a time of 2:08 (that's 5 times off the bike in one race, including stopping to retrieve my dropped Gu! crashing, running, instead of riding, down 2 other sand pits, etc.)
All 2009 results:
Karen crosses the finish line at Sea Otter Saturday and gets her photo snapped by Winona Hubbard!
Kenda Cup West #3 Sagebrush Safari, Lake Morena County Park, CA USA, 4/5/2009
Kenda Cup West #3 – Sagebrush Safari - April 5, 2009
There were two new faces among the eight starters for the Cat 1 65+ XC race: Peter Wood, 66 from La Jolla and Dave Martin, 70, from Claremont. The course, located in the mountains 50 miles East of San Diego, started with a four mile climb up a paved road to the highest point on the course. It then dropped and climbed a series of OHV trails and roads fifteen miles back to the start/finish line. At the end of the climb up the pavement, I was sixth and looking forward to some dirt trails. I found my “groove” (slow as it may be ) and was enjoying the trail where if you could carry enough speed, you (not me) hardly had to down shift. There were just enough granite boulders, soft spots and passing riders to keep me from having too much fun.
A short, fast fire road section was next and led to another uphill section of Jeep road. This section included a substantial hike-a-bike followed by more fast downhill fire road. A fairly long uphill paved section into the wind was a killer even though I was able to grab a wheel most of the way to our last downhill trail. This last trail flowed so nicely, I was almost sorry when it brought us back to the pavement for our dash back to a short dirt trail that led to the finish. Peter Wood, (5-time World X-Terra age group champ) won the category in 1:44 and I was sixth, twenty-three minutes back at 2:07. No crashes and no mechanicals – a fun race. Check the US Cup website for full results, series standings, and other information.
Kenda Cup West #2, Fontana, CA USA, 3/29/2009
Kenda Cup West #2 – March 29, 2009 – Fontana, CA
There were eight starters in the Cat 1 65+ XC race this bright Southern California Spring morning, and none of us were strangers. The course, although short - only 4.7 miles - was challenging. It included a tough hike-a-bike section and lots of single track with rutted, blown-out switchbacks and short but steep climbs. Our category would do three laps and most of the other Cat 1’s would be doing four. I had no major problems the first lap and got my fresh bottle from Harriet in the feed zone as I started the second lap. Again, the second lap passed without major incident except the younger lapping Cat 1 riders were now starting to ask for passing room where there was little or none! As I got another fresh bottle at the beginning of the last lap, Harriet yelled that fifth place was only 30 seconds ahead. As I approached the hike-a-bike section, I spotted Garo Moradian (5th) and was able to make the pass before having to dismount. I finished 5th in 2:01, eleven minutes back from first place, Jurgen Leiser of Colorado Springs. No crashes and no mechanicals – a good race.
SC Crit Cat 5 men, Santa Cruz, CA USA, 4/5/2009
Jason Cruz is THE MAN - in his own free time, he helped me transform my new Rock Lobster Team Carbon frame and a box of parts into a fantastic new ride just in time for the crit! Jason helped me do the build perfectly, from adjusting the rear derailure to shift great to ensuring that the bar tape was wrapped precisely. I switched saddles at the last minute and, as a result, threw off my seating position a bit, but I was out of the saddle, chasing, for most of the race, so that didn't matter. The bike performed GREAT in it's opening race yesterday, even if it's rider didn't...
Note: The rest of this race report was modified from David Gill's excellent version to reflect that I was pulled with three to go, in spite of my efforts to the contrary :)
Teammates in this race (at least those David was able to identify):
Will Steiger, Jason Cruz, Jeff Totten, Chris Goodson.
The gun goes off and all teammates except Jeff are immediately shelled. Chris wasn't bold enough to push up front and didn't even realize it when he was dropped off the back on the hill. Actually Jeff is dangling at the back in danger of getting snapped off.
Now Jeff and 15 others form a second group and the other three teammates courageously chase off the back.
Oops, riders are being whistled out and I no longer see Jason nor Will. Ouch.
Now four to go and Chris is gamely hanging in there with a couple other stragglers. Chris' girlfriend, Ashley, kept him goingwith lots of well-timed encouragement. (Thanks babe!)
Jeff leads the chase pack, at last some glory!
Yikes, it's hot out here and the grimmace on every rider's face is exquisite.
With three laps to go, Chris gets whistled out along with the San Jose guy he'd traded pulls with. Argh. High-fives between us, all the same.
Two to go and a Bike Trip rider jumps off the front, getting a good gap with two others.
Finish coming up......
Bike trip guy got caught by a sixteen year old rider, who takes the win.
Jeff finishes with the 2nd pack.
Well done chaps!
Kenda Cup West #1 - Bonelli Park, San Dimas, CA USA, 3/1/2009
Kenda Cup West #1 * March 1, 2009 * Bonelli Park, San Dimas, CA
With the offer of free, cooked-on-location, In & Out Burgers to the first 550 entries, a sunny 80 degree day and a sweet race venue, there were over 600 entries for this first race of the new US Cup Mountain Bike race series. The series is divided into six Kenda Cup West races and six Kenda Cup East races. There were seven Cat 1 65+ starters for Sunday’s two lap, 15 mile race held near San Dimas at LA County’s Bonelli Park. The only new face was last year’s California State Sport Champ, Gary Foster from Anza, CA.
At the top of the early fire road climb, I missed the right turn onto the down-hill single track and, in the few moments it took me to get turned around, I lost two places and was in seventh. I could see both of the riders who got by me, and though I felt I was catching them, it didn’t happen. At the beginning of the second lap, I took a fresh bottle from Harriet in the feed zone and was off. I managed to avoid any more course mistakes and finished the race with no crashes or mechanicals in 1:40. Because two riders had DNFs due to their own course errors, I finished in the 5th and last podium spot. Fred Schmid (the oldest racer at 76) from Waco, Texas won in 1:22:55 and the ‘new’ guy, Gary Foster (68) was second in 1:23:17.
After the race, we had time to enjoy those burgers before the awards presentation – yum!
Happy Trails, Ron
Mountain Bike Challenge#1, Granite Bay, Ca USA, 2/8/2009
Team SC Singlespeeders head to Sac town for a 1-2 finish atop podium!
The dynamic singlespeed trio of The Mannacle, Earwig, and Dearwig made a trip to the MTB CHALLENGE #1 race at Granite Bay on Folsom Lake last Sunday and were rewarded with exceptional riding conditions and great racing.
The race started with Mannacle taking charge in the lead group and his teammate Earwig just behind trying to stay in contact. Earwig was soon dropped leaving Mannacle alone in the lead group. Isolated from his teammate Mannacle survived repeated attacks from his local opponents finishing the race in 1st place for the Masters division. Earwig came in at 1m38s back for a 2nd place podium appearance.
Meanwhile in the 3rd wave start of the day Dearwig rode hard taking on a pack of older gearbee kids finishing a strong 12th place out of 21 in the 19 and under sport division.
Peak Season - Aptos, Aptos, CA USA, 1/25/2010
Hello,My Name is Bitch. Once you get a T-shirt with those words on it, you know it is going to be a good day. Jacked up on Prednizone, I went to the race hoping there would not be any post podium drug testing. This is a good drug. Not only had it successfully made my Pinto Lake poison oak disappear, saving me from scratching the skin off my body, it gave me tons of energy. The race went really well for the first 2.5 laps with me passing people on the technical parts and straight aways, and people passing me on the hill climbs. Overall, I think I was passing more than being passed, and each lap I was riding more efficiently. Then my luck ran out and I flatted somewhere after the stair climb by the baseball fields. This is were the prednizone was really helpful. Running and carrying my bike was a lot easier than it should have been. With help from the team pit crew I was back on my way in time to take third place in Master's 35+. (it helps when there are only 3 people.) Fun coarse. Great season. Thanks for the invite to be on the team and its been fun getting to know everyone. PS somebodys black swim trucks are at my house.
Peak Season - Pinto Lake, Watsonville, ca USA, 1/24/2009
Well, they say "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." Unfortunately, they same thing does not seem to apply to Mexico. I returned to Santa Cruz three days before the race, having taken a month off and having done no aerobic exercise during that time, unless you count chasing after the tamale lady cuz she came by while we were asleep on lounge chairs. When there is no surf in Mexico you substitute drinking beer. And what happened in Mexico returned with me to California as a bit of a spare tire. I headed to Pinto Lake anyway, mostly out of peer pressure, and I have to say I had a really good time - if it weren't for all hills. And in my condition, what I was calling hills might not even have registered as hills with you. My favorite part of the race was when Stella passed me and I realized I didn't have to do another lap. By default nobody else in the category) I managed to make the podium to be crowned Master women's 35+ County Champion. Sometimes showing up is half the battle. Love my hat.