Friday, May 23, 2008

Freaky Friday

Since most of the things on today's to-do list were outside activities, and we're experiencing a freak late-May rain storm, well, I guess I'll blah-blah a bunch of bike blog babble...

Mt. Hamilton RR
It's become a family tradition to visit Gina's parents on Memorial Day weekend, which allows me to ride this classic event. If you are a roadie in CA, then some year you should find your way to San Jose for this race. You won't regret it. (BTW, there's also a crit on Monday if you like that sort of thing.) I'm just doing the RR and this year's edition will mark the 30th anniversary of the first time I raced Mt. Hamilton (as a junior).

I flip-flopped on which category/class to enter, all the way up until BMC's Scott Nydam showed up on the pre-reg list. He won the Tour of California KOM jersey. Cross off P/1/2...

The 35+ race has bunch of Specialized Masters guys, along with a gaggle of other hill killers, and I was tempted to tag along and gather data for a future report on the upcoming confrontation between Amgen/Giant and the SpecialKids (c. Hernando) at this summer's Masters Nationals. However, seeing as the Specialized guys thoroughly dominated last week's Mt. Hood Classic, I might find it difficult to do my research while hopelessly dropped a couple miles into the race. (The course begins with a 20-mile climb.) So scratch the 35+ too...

That leaves 45+, which will undoubtedly be competitive, but if all goes well I should survive in the front group, and maybe I'll even try snagging the KOM prize. I'm sure scrappy old warriors like Mark Caldwell and Jon Ornstil will be going for it also. And then there's Kurt Bickel, a racer whom I've never met but whose reputation precedes him (see this thread on bikeforums, where he's known as Racer Ex). No doubt he'll be trouble... I can't wait!


The Rest of the Year
Then things are a bit unclear after this weekend. I'd like another shot at the Nevada City Classic but that's a long way to drive, and man-oh-man the bump in that course hurts. Really, for this one, I should have been doing anaerobic hill repeats starting a few weeks ago. But for a fan of bicycle racing, Nevada City is unbeatable. I may go anyway.

Depending what's up with my teammates, I'll probably do a handful of the SoCal crit'ish events over the summer: La Mirada, Manhattan Beach GP (NRC), San Pedro, and definitely SLO. Gonna miss the Dana Point Grand Prix since that's the day of Gina's marathon in San Diego, but hoping to make the Swami's Ride the day before.

The highlight of my summer's racing may be the Elite National RR Championship which is being held in Orange County. I've only done Elite Nationals twice before, and neither time ended particularly well. Couldn't make it out of the qualifying heats the first time. I made it into the real race the next time, and even got into the early break that built up a good lead, but when we got reeled back in, the subsequent attacks were too strong and I got dropped. Maybe this summer I'll finally be able to finish the damn thing!

Also hoping to ride some more MTB events, starting with Elings Park in June, and possibly even give the velodrome a whirl or two. It won't take long to find my level of incompetence!

In the Grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side department... I'm already anticipating the end of summer when I can don some running shoes and start training for the SB Half Marathon, followed by an as-of-yet unknown FULL marathon in the winter. I've been secretly recording other cyclists around town who've also foolishly agreed to run a marathon. No backing out... I've got you on tape!!

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