Monday, February 16, 2009


By John McKee

Sunday Feb. 15th, 2009 saw the Roger Milikan Memorial Criterium with the 55/60+ racers starting at 8 am. I counted over 40 at the line but the final results showed 15 60+ racers and the same amount of 55+ racers. Not sure that that many would have dropped out but as the racers know there was a major problem with the video so maybe some didn't get in the results. Since the nuts and bolts of the race were done and done well by Richard Pollack(Richard's story is at the bottom) , I will just muse about the race and racers. The full results are below from the website.
We saw what was going to happen the entire year with 2 teams loaded with talent battling it out. UCC and CVV. They were always sending riders off the front but to my surprise none of the efforts worked. I can't think that the UCC riders had their hearts in the breaks and were trying to control CVV by just being there but not putting in much effort. One move had 5 riders with Richard Pollack being one of them. They were only 130 meters or so away so I made a move at the bottom of the course to get across the gap. You could get a little sling shot off the pack and it was slightly downhill at the bottom of the course. This time and every other time the remaining members of the twin poseys saw a chase as a free pass to chase too since it was lead by another team like Paramount. The only thing I see is that the riders ahead were 55+ while I am racing 60 +. Unless UCC was trying to protect "Rocket Boy" I see the chase as chasing down their own riders. I wasn't in the 55+ race. I got across the gap only to see the rest of peleton barreling down as I joined what looked like a very disorganized mini group. Other good chases were started by the Shorts brothers, Joe Mastro and several others.
It all worked out in the end for UCC with the sprint power they have in 55 and 60 but the most important thing about the race is that no one went down. The category 5 race had riders going down like bowling pins on the last lap. Everyone has a lot of experience in our group so lets keep it safe. There is a fine line between aggressive racing and unsafe practices. I don't like the practice of "closing the door" that I read about in Richard's piece. Didn't see it so I can't say too much about it but lets ride to the line. Enough said.
The title of my piece is about one man and he has been with Paramount through thick and thin since 1984. Howard Miller loves to race in crits and road races and rides and trains a lot. The Thursday before the race Howard was headed home and it's about 6 pm and it was pretty dark and Howard still had his sun glasses on. Howard made a pretty sharp right turn and hit some loose gravel. Howard went down and the next thing he knew he was lying in a bed at a hospital. He had hit his head and face on the pavement and took a lot of skin off. Howard stays in the hospital until Sat. and is released to go home. He shows up the next day at RMMC with bad scrapes all over his face. I doubt that when Howard was released from the hospital that Howard's doctor recommended that Howard race his bicycle the next day let alone do anything but rest. Howard is one tough dude. You might have other descriptions for him being out there but this guy in committed to racing. Howard finished in the lead pack and was 8th in 55+. He seemed like the same easy going guy after the race describing his prior few days.
We all know now that JR won the 60+ and Monty Pettus was second. Monty joined Paramount in 1963. Now that's what I call team loyalty. Monty was hurting early in the race but hung in and he knows how to play the game on the final lap and has a great finish. Monty can often still beat all comers in the Intergiro sprint on Saturdays in Orange County just prior to the famous Foodpark ride. The outstanding effort that I saw in 60+ was put in by Loren Stephens. I had been on a bad wheel near the end of the last lap and had to try to make it to the finish on my own before the last corner and after I turned the corner Loren came by me going like a house on fire. He almost caught the main group and Monty. Good for 3rd place. Great individual effort there. I finished 4th with Don Kimper finishing a respectable 5th. Paul Springer was 6th and Mike Fleming was 7th.
I understand Richard's frustration with the lack of results but lets play this carefully. If there are too many complaints then officials might discourage separate results in one pack and that would kill 60+ racing. We have a good thing going and lets keep it going. Last year saw a record 60 riders at RMMC so we were down 15 to 20 but our group was respectable compared to the other fields. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!

Roger Millikan Memorial (Rank 1.0)
Masters 60+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 48760 John Rubcic UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 14
2 219074 Leo Pettus Paramount Racing 11
3 234791 Loren Stephens EDGE Racing 10
4 180386 John McKee Paramount Racing 9
5 195498 Donald Kimper ACQUA AL 2/San Diego Bicycle Club 8
6 33679 Paul Springer Citrus Valley Velo 7
7 129293 Michael Fleming Coates /On Deck Foundation 6
8 275832 Benjamin Maciel Citrus Valley Velo 5
9 238828 Phillip Richards Citrus Valley Velo 4
10 58954 Victor Rodgers Team Gran Fondo/Bianchi 3
11 186261 Edward Solomon Canyon Velo 2
12 89468 Robert Humphrey PAA / RE/MAX 1
13 266647 Allen Kizuka Velo Allegro 0
14 61278 Mario Seri Kahala LaGrange 0
15 45342 Domenick Forte PAA / RE/MAX 0

Roger Millikan Memorial (Rank 1.0)
Masters 55+
Place License Name
Team SoCal Points
1 47262 Dale Luedtke
UC Cyclery/JW Floors 14
2 54522 Kalman Szkalak
UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 11
3 219983 Richard Pollock
Citrus Valley Velo 10
4 230085 Albert Shorts
Velo Allegro 9
5 52251 Ricky Shorts
Velo Allegro 8
6 48278 Donald Davidson
Citrus Valley Velo 7
7 30596 Wayne Rosenkrantz
EDGE Racing 6
8 49424 Howard Miller
Paramount Racing 5
9 243425 mark wisnosky
ACQUA AL 2/San Diego Bicycle Club 4
10 3793 Raphael Gomez
Cycles Veloce 3
11 46184 Foresta Von Kurt
San Diego Bicycle Club 2
12 195618 Stephen Horine
UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 1
13 245777 Steven Borer
Citrus Valley Velo 0
14 126668 Joey Valdivia
UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 0
15 58847 Paul Rodriguez
UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 0

This story below was written by and published with the permission of Richard Pollack

Roger Millikan-Brea, Ca-2-15-2009

We were spared the rain today, but with an 8:00 start, it was still pretty cold. Lots of arm/leg warmers and full fingered gloves. It appeared to be a pretty good turn out. The best yet this year. I would guess about 35 riders. The 50+ race later probably had more, but the 45+ seemed to have less. I could be wrong, but that was the quick read.

Our team of Citrus Valley Velo got our smart looking new kits just prior to race time and we had 7 riders in full display. Several riders made their first showing of the year. Monty Pettis, Al and Ricky Shorts, Leo Longo, Paul Rodriquez and Howard Miller fresh off a training ride face plant. The story was: Gravel in a corner, woke up in the hospital. Missing tooth, broken nose and some serious face rash! Not a happy sight! Get well soon for the love of God!

Sign-up was a cluster as were the posting and bickering over results. Apparently in our 55/60 race, the camera pooped out mid-sprint. On to the race!

The course was dry and clean until we started, then there was water running down the gutter in the first downhill corner and after 2 laps, it got pretty heavy in the even faster turn 2. Nobody fell or slid out even at racing speeds because everybody was aware of the risk and generally speaking, used their heads. Then the sprinklers came on in the inside of the final turn. There were several break attempts, most notably by Kal, Paul R., Phil R. and Don D. All were chased down or neutralized. I think after the Imperial and Mothballs races, which were won via breaks, all breaks will most likely be watched very closely. I commented to John Mckee after the race today, that the “Group” seems very content to do no work and seem weak and unmotivated…..until there is a break. Then you see the dead come back to life. I bridged up to Kal on one attempt and thought we were gone, but we were soon joined by everyone. Same thing even earlier with Dale and Kal and towards the end for Paul R and an unknown companion. When push comes to shove as it did today, the escapees WILL be tracked down.

An interesting side note and a quote from the ever personable Mike Fleming, “ The hill coming into the final corner seems like it will be a big deal for the couple laps and then it just turns into a non-hill, non-factor.” As I told my teammates pre-race, the final sprint starts just prior to the corner leading into the hill. If you’re not there by then, you better be able to chase down and pass Dale Luedtke, who is the new Butch Stinton of the 55/60+ Category.

With about 4 laps to go, Paul Rodriquez and another rider had a fair but closable gap. The pace slowly picked up with Paul Springer taking a good long pull at the front that close a fair amount of distance. On the bell lap, Paul and break-mate were caught through the “S-turn” and the speed really picked up. I was not in a good position, but Don D., hoping to give me a lead out, actually wedged into and backout of the line, creating a nice pocket for me to fill. I was sitting pretty in 4th through the corner and up the hill, but through the last turn, Dale hit the gas and opened a gap. Rubcic accelerated with me on his wheel. At this point Kal sat halfway up and went from the middle of the road to the left gutter closing the door to the point where I had to stop pedaling. Dale was the big winner! He would go on to win the 50+ as well. Kal was second, Rubcic was first 60+ and I was 3rd, followed by Team Shorts, Al and Rickey, Don Davidson rounded out the top 6 for the 55’s and in a great return, Monty Pettis was 2nd 60+.

With the finish line camera out to lunch, the results took forever and there was still a lot of bewilderment! In the heat of battle in a sprint, you go as hard and as fast as you can go with your head down. We need a functioning camera or lots of people have NO idea where they have finished. Last Sunday at Red Trolley, the same thing happened. I did the 45+ and only 6 positions were ever declared final. You get kinda used to the camera functioning.

Bonus editorial:

First of all, I realize that 99% of the people that put on or work at these races are volunteers. I believe that everyone appreciates their sacrifices, labor, effort and at the least, having cool races to compete in. Everyone wants to race, not many people want to help out at races.

That said, the people that actually race are paying customers who besides paying an entry fee, have to get up at ungodly hours, drive long distances(and buy gas by the tanker load), stand in lines, get use to Porta Potties becoming their second home and be treated like children by some officials. My point is, we make sacrifices too. And this is our hobby, not a profession. We can quit anytime and never be missed.

So here’s a question to ponder. Now I’ve only been riding and racing again since 2004, so I could almost qualify as a fresh pair of eyes. Does the USCF or So-Cal USCF or Cycling USA or Ralph (who does it pretty darn well), have a basic race promoting/organizing program/format? Such as, if your club is planning on putting on a race, you go to a guidebook that says you need 6 people at sign-up, 3 people doing results, 4 working a concession stand, 12 setting up the course, etc, etc. What things should be on the sign-up table, how many pens, safety pins, cones, brooms, pylons or whatever. Basically a “Putting on a bike race outline”. There seems to be such a wide spectrum of race organization that ranges from superb like a well oiled machine to a debacle at the other end.

Add to that, “Categories offered” variations, time for posting results at the race AND sending them in to be posted on the Internet SCNCA site. It’s sort of like going to an NFL game at the local stadium and you don’t get to know the score till next week. That is, unless you’re huddled around with a group of other diehards who refuse to leave until they know the results/score.

It just seems that if a group of really sharp people that know the So-Cal race scene/business put their heads together, there could be some really great ideas hatched. Once again, I’m not complaining, but it sure seems that after all these years, there should be a better way of helping the average club put on their once a year race. The USCF takes in a load of bread from a growing membership each year and other than a youth development/National team program, they should have plenty of good day to day ideas that would improve the weekly race experience for everyone. Ok, I’ll shut up now.


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