Thursday, May 08, 2008

Ready to Bake in Bako

Once again the Kern Wheelmen, Action Sports, and Sam Ames have stepped up big time to promote the SoCal district RR Championships this weekend in Col. Thomas Baker's field, AKA, Bakersfield. Masters on Saturday, Categories on Sunday. They did a great job in 2007 and I'm sure this year's edition will be excellent also. I'm really looking forward to it, if for no other reason, just to get out from under this May Gray we're experiencing here in SB. For the last week or so, the typical day has been overcast with temps in the low 60's. Blah!

Bakersfield takes a lot of heat, both figuratively and literally. Some elitist snobs here on the American Riviera think of Bako as the arm-pit of California, and would never consider it a recreational destination. It was recently ranked as the third-worst US city for air pollution, which does make you wonder about the wisdom of doing long bike races there.

Further, although they probably don't do ranking studies on this kind of thing, I bet Bako would also top the list for the most abundant population of the plant Tribulus Terrestris, or as it's more commonly known, Puncture Vine. This innocent looking shrub is the prolific producer of every cyclist's worst annoyance, the goat-head thorn. They thrive in dry, hot conditions, or in other words, Bakersfield. Perhaps it's time to investigate these SLIME-like tube sealants I've been hearing about.

But as with everything, you take the bad with the good.

"What good?", you ask. I'll tell ya... it gets friggin hot in Bakersfield. I like it hot. I grew up as a Central Valley Rat (in Stockton) and our summers would routinely see a week or two straight of 100+ degree days. You just get used to it. But when it comes to bike racing in the heat, my reasoning is a lot more selfish. Smaller riders, such as yours truly, have a larger ratio of surface area to body mass, which means their ability to cool is greater. I need all the advantages I can get and this is a biggie. Thinking back over the years, I've done a lot of championship races in Bako in the heat and they've all worked out nicely. But maybe not so lucky this year, because...

...waah, waah, waaaah... Teammate Cookie and I don't have a feeder for the 93-mile p/1/2 race on Sunday! We will beg, grovel, and plead with people in the morning, but if we strike out, then there's no way we'll have a chance at finishing. Not in the Bakersfield heat. Even if it does happen to be my birthday. Hey, if anyone out there in the blogosphere is going to be there and wants to do us a solid, well, I will use my birthday wish to grant you a boat-load of good karma! That's a good offer!!


anony-miss said...

Need an official feeder on your team? I'm available :p

Marco Fanelli said...

Miss Anony-
If you are who I think you are, then of course you can have that job. But I heard you would not be going to this race, and I'm not sure I want the burden on my conscience of talking you into it. Of course, I will point out that your boys would probably appreciate it also ...even two laps in 85-degree Bako will be difficult on just two bottles! I'm also sure we could compensate you with something more tangible than karma!

anony-miss said...

My guy had second thoughts about going without me, for that reason. I told him that I'll go, he just has to carry me from the bed to the car, so I can still sleep in. (And he has to do our pancake ride with me on Saturday for brunch.)