Saturday, April 12, 2008

Well That Made Me Feel Old!

Who invited HealthNet, Time Pro Cycling, SuccessfulLiving, and the rest of those pesky pro racers? I thought the Island View Crit would be a little local bash, but NOooo...

I'll get to the race in a minute.

It's always weird for me to go back into IV. Too many memories--some great, some not-so-great. I lived there (mostly) from 1979 to 1985 and it was certainly a defining time in my life. Did anybody live in more different places on Del Playa than me? 6668, 6662, 6680, 6681, and 6767. Those are addresses btw. At UCSB. Party central. On the ocean. Except for a brief foray one year (1981) I did no bike racing. Not even any riding, other than cruiser bikes. Let's just say the full-on IV lifestyle was incompatible with bike racing, and we'll leave it at that.

Here's the view down Pardall Rd. from about 1980...God I loved IV.

But then I grew up, graduated, got a real job, ...and a life.

Now about all I think of IV is to hope my kids stay the hell away!

But today the UCSB cycling team put on a race in downtown IV, so of course I had to go. How often is there a bike race two miles from home? So I run into Anna, of Adrian-and-Anna, at registration and Adrian is off in the hinterlands for some family event so Anna is solo. She asks me to pin her number on. She must have decided I was the only safe option. Had she asked one of the 50 or so hunky 20-year-old UCSB guys hanging around, well, maybe they would have taken some liberties with number placement. Me though, being old, was a safe bet.

And then she made a crack about her number, which was 420. Natch I didn't have a clue as to the the meaning of 4-20, so she snickered and politely explained it to me. Sigh... And in IV of all places.

But what really makes me feel old was the race. Freakin fast. Basically, a $30 motor-pacing session, with 2-X-68 accelerations (two corners, 68 laps), and we averaged 29.5 mph according to Garmin. Holy #&@!

I would tell you all about it, but since I never saw the front, I'd need to make it up. Actually, I did see the front, but it was a long ways up the road and, being old, my vision's not so good. I tried to move up a few times and got maybe half way, but it took a lot of energy and then I didn't feel like fighting the rest of the way. Gotta hand it to Gary and Cookie though, because they stayed up there a lot.

Coming into the last five laps, a full SuccessfulLiving team got on the front and kept it pegged over 30 mph. On the last lap, big Karl Bordine of the All-Star-Fish-and-Vegetables appeared to have a good seat on the train until a little SuccessfulLiving dude blatantly chopped him. Karl was screaming at him when I passed, and by all reports, he's about the most mellow giant you'll run across so that says something bad happened. But not to Cody. He closed the deal like the pro he is and won the race. I don't know any other places.

You want some great pictures? Check out John R. Goodman's gallery.

Here are a few of us Platinum guys in the P/1/2 race (all credit to John Goodman):

Choo-choo jumped right in after finishing the 35+ race. Ouch.

Cookie stayed up near all the fast guys. I guess that's because he IS a fast guy!

Same with Gary. This was only the second race I've done with him--the first being Mothballs--and he rides great in the field. One has to step back and marvel at Gary's progress. This is only his second year on the road, yet he has great instincts on the bike and is not afraid to throw down. Like Dave Towle says, you have to risk losing in order to win. He's on the verge of upgrading to Cat 1 and will continue on a steep upward trajectory.

Me on the other hand...

Cody is fast. 'nuf said.

Hmmm, what else???

I got a couple pics of locals during the Cat-3 race (they suck compared to JRG's pics, but hey, I'm still learning...)

Mondo was active and went off the front a couple times. Looks like a lot of air ramming down into that carburetor of his!

But unfortunately for Mondo, HeyRon was pulling him back into the fold.

Aaron Long did a lot of work on the front, presumably to keep the field intact so Matt could unleash his sprint.

I had to go home before the end, so I don't know how it finished. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Surely some locals up in the top spots, right?

Missed all of the women's race and returned in time to see the last half of the 35+. A good-size break with Thurlow and Demarchi was rolling but then they dropped everyone else and so Schroeder Iron pulled them back. A couple laps rest and Thurlow was OTF again, this time with Brett Clare (of Schroeder) in tow. The Iron boys patrolled the front and nobody could organize a decent chase. On bell lap, they were out over 20 seconds but still Chris Demarchi blew out of the field with a last-lap effort to close the gap. He got half way across and finished 3rd. Turbo won and Brett 2nd. Methinks the 35+ would have been a better race for me!

But, oh man, tomorrow...

The Garrett Lemire Memorial Grand Prix in Ojai, which in this author's view is the best crit in SoCal.

It's so good that it's invading my sleep. The other night I dreamt I was in the 45+ race and, just like last year, was first through the final corner, but in my dream I was HUGELY over-geared, like maybe a 93-x-8 gear or something. Everyone passed me and I could barely reach the finish line with a cadence of about 2 RPM. Note to self: don't equip bike with 93-tooth chainring.

So after the 45+ race, I'll be taking pics and video of (at least) the 35+ where I was hoping to document an epic rematch between multi-year-Ojai-winner Mark Noble and scrappy warrior Michael Hernandez but I have it on good authority that Mike is staying up north this weekend. Well, it'll still be a war I'm sure.

And then at 2:00, oh help me lordy, this senior citizen will start the Pro/1 NRC race. (That, by the way, is why all those pesky pros were in IV today.) I have no idea how that will go. Cookie and I will be together, so we should be able to help each other. It will be brutal.


mhernandez said...

next year, marco!

steve said...

the only thing that scared me about that post was that you had a picture from 1980.
All I have are fuzzy, drunken memories of that time.