Sunday, April 13, 2008

Quick Notes from Ojai

Tired from a long day, taxes still aren't done, and I'm a single Dad this week. Consequently, this will just be a quickie to hit the highlights. Probably some deeper reflection later, along with a few pics and vids. Unfortunately it was so dang hot today (in the 90's) that I had minimal enthusiasm for photography and videography.

But first something kind of serious. We got word today that our bud and all-around great guy Michael Krauchi crashed hard on the group ride yesterday. 10 broken ribs, punctured and deflated lung, separated shoulder, and road rash. He was taken to the Ojai hospital where he'll be kept in the ICU for a few more days. A scary reminder that what we do is dangerous. Send your positive thoughts his direction.

But before visiting Michael in the hospital, there were some bike races. Let's not forget that the race in Ojai is a tribute to racer Garrett Lemire who died tragically in the Tour de Tucson a few years back. Like I said, dangerous.

Let me summarize the races for you. The Amgen/Giant team put on a clinic in both the 35+ and the 45+, and Rich Meeker served notice that he is back! Both races were won in solid breaks that gained a lot of time.

1st: Rich Meeker, Amgen/Giant
2nd: Thurlow Rogers, Amgen/Giant
3rd: Keith Ketterer, Amgen/Giant

1st: Rich Meeker, Amgen/Giant
2nd: Pat Caro, Schroeder Iron
3rd: Craig Nunes, Bishops Peak

Another strong showing by SB's women cat 3 & 4 riders despite the early 7:00 AM start. Actually, they had the best conditions of the day as it turns out!

Some good local results in the cat 3 and cat 4 races. HeyRon won the field sprint for 4th in cat 3's and (I think) Johnny O won the field sprint for 2nd in the 4's. Shouldn't you be upgrading soon John???

The Pro womens race was dominated by a couple Colavita ladies as you can see here...

The 2's race was a sufferfest and the attrition was high. Gary continued his string of great finishes with a 3rd. I'm pretty sure that puts him over the top for his upgrade.

And then there was the NRC Pro/1 event which I decided to do, along with teammate Cookie. 45 laps (~50 miles) in 90 degree heat with a 120-man field including many of the top domestic Pros. It's been over 15 years since I raced with such a strong field and I was certainly curious to see how I could hang. The first hour was extremely fast with lots of breaks forming, and then getting reabsorbed. I stayed in the first third of the field and felt pretty good but the hill was starting to take a toll.

Too bad I didn't lock on to this guy on my left here (Kyle Gritters)...

...because at about the half way point the right mix pinched off in a big move of 20 guys, including Gritters. The good news is that it meant things settled down back in the field. Or what was left of the field least half of it was gone. Cramps took hold in my legs with about 5-to-go so I conceded any thought of trying to finish high in our group. I rolled in at 48th place and Cookie was in the group too. We were a minute and a half behind the winner...

...who turned out to be Gritters

BTW, you can browse the complete set of great Ojai photos from John Goodman here. well as some great shots from Kim & Steve here.

The podium...

...and some more placings from the first page of results:

And here are all the results.

I'm now looking forward to the 71-mile Sea Otter circuit race, because I am not intimidated so much by these guys any more. Ha-Ha


Greg Knowles said...

Good Job over the weekend Marco, racing, raising children, visiting friends in the hospital, and blogging. Well Done!

Get Well Michael, God Bless. We should all say some prayers as well for Joe Howell who is recovering from a nasty accident.


Anonymous said...

Wow, what happened to Krauchi? What a surprise, he's always the safe guy to ride near! If you're reading this Michael, heal up fast! I'm so sorry to hear about the crash!


Anonymous said...

No need to worry about Krauchi because we all know that nothing really keeps that guy from riding away on a hill - not even 4 weeks off the bike.

Also, my thoughts go out to Joe. Get well soon.


Gary said...

Wow, bummer about Michael!! That guy is badas$, I am sure he will heal up fast.

Marco, still 5pts away from rush. Great posts this weekend and great ridin' with the big dawgs.

Anonymous said...

does anyone know how Michael went down? Michael is a great bike handler, so something must of caused the crash. what gives?

Anonymous said...

Freak accident...he was coming up on the inside to pull through and the guy who he thought was pulling off, came back over. At least that is what I heard.

TnA said...

Heal quick Mikey!

I know all too well about the cracked ribs and punctured lung. Having it collapse, though, is pretty dang serious. Dang...that sucks.

Anonymous said...

I finally was released from thr hospital. Thanks for all the well wishes and folks that came by the hospital to see me. That was a real surprise and a real upper. It was a freak accident just as stated by anonymous. I simply misinterpretet Kurt's move, and he didn't anticipate mine. I'm glad we didn't both get hurt.

Also, I wanted to thank the Platinum riders Todd, Bob, and Andy (all i rember), fur their help and quick thinking by flagging down a SUV. The ride to the hospital wtih "Rasta-man" listening to Raggaemusic made the pain tolerable. Thank you Milton.

It will take a few months of rcovery, and i look forward to riding again. ChuChu Brown already wants to race me up OSM first day out.

Michael Krauchi (Croykey)

Richard and Grace Griffin said...

Hey Michael,
Healing gets harder as you get older, so take it easy on the bod. Hope you are riding again by now.