Sunday, May 3, 2009

Barrio Logan-5-2-2009

By Richard Pollock

I and most others were very disappointed to read the weather reports for the three days leading up to today’s race. Rain all the night before and through this morning….70% chance. Bummer! However, we never saw a drop and on this course, that’s a very good thing. As usual, 55’s and 60’s ran together with an estimated field of 28-30 riders. Rain probably scared a few away and the fact that this isn’t a “Sit in and wait for the sprint” kinda course, probably skimmed off several more. UCC was out in full force with at least 6 riders, all strong and with a legacy of working well together. Citrus Valley Velo had five and is still learning the meaning of teamwork, but improving in leaps and bounds. SDBC had three riders and most everyone else was riding solo.

Leo Longo(CVV), led the first two laps to get the pace going and at the first Prime bell, Rick Swanson(Acme) took off and won it uncontested. The following lap he was caught and after that the Primes set up or were soon followed by a multitude of attacks. Paul Rodriquez stayed away for a couple laps, Tippets tried, Mitch Weinstock gave it a few shots, Warren Wicks chased and as the race wore on the field got smaller. Mid race, a Prime came up for a $25.00 Starbucks Card! Are you kiddin’ me? Nobody but Mule is getting’ that one. I took off on the hill and had it in the bag with Rubcic behind me. However, he ground a pedal in the final corner, removing about half the material from his pedal and then almost went over the bars. I thought I had it made, backed off to just “Roll” through and John was on my six. Another pouncing of the pedals and we were side by side, throwing our bikes at the line. They announced my name and I could just taste a piping hot “Hammerhead” whilst eating a cinnamon roll, baked to perfection! Ah, but we were still racing! I yelled that I owed John a cup-o-java and then Wicks chimed in wanting one too! There was also a Prime for $100 Gift Cert from Aqua 2AL Restaurant (an SDBC sponsor), but I’m not sure who got that or the next Prime of a dozen fresh tortillas.

With 20 minutes to go, riding through turn three, I went through one of those big holes sitting too far forward I guess and my seat went, “Click, click, click”, into a forward steep angle. The same thing happened to me at Redlands a few weeks ago and I had to get a new seat post. The serrations were all shaved off the carbon. About this time, Kal and Dale fly off the front. I waited as did everyone else to see if would stick and it appeared to be working pretty well. Contact with another big hole and my seat was now a little too steep. I’ve been racing for 5 years now and I’ve never taken a mechanical lap. Today I needed one. I came into the pit, got an adjustment and a free lap. However, as I waited for the pack to come around, Dale and Kal came around with about a 10-12 second gap. I was pushed in with the middle of the pack and immediately took off to try and catch the break. Therein lay the problem. All chase attempts ended up being solo efforts, none of which were successful. So it was for the final 5 laps. We would close and then the gap would stretch out, never really very far, but just out of reach.

Two laps to go and Paul Springer (CVV 60+), launches without a single 60+ chaser! Last lap bell and it appears Paul will stay away although he won’t catch Kal and Dale, but would be the 60+ winner. At about turn two of the final lap, the pace goes ballistic and Rubcic is yelling for his 55+ teammates to close the gap to Paul for him.

Prior to the race start, I was explaining to Warren Wicks that you really want to be in position heading into the fast downhill right turn, as after that everybody goes nuts and moving up on the uphill and last two turns is difficult at best. So down the hill we go and Warren is at the front. I’m NOT! There’s about 6-8 riders between us and this puts me way too far back. However, I carried tons of momentum through the corner as everyone went wide and stayed in a line. This allowed much more speed across the short straight leading to the uphill corner. I again carried good speed and overtook everyone including Paul whom the leaders had caught (following Rubcic’s stern instructions), and I lead through the corner at the top of the hill. The downside is, there’s now 18 riders right on my wheel, ready to sprint. With inevitable results. Mitch Weinstock, Rubcic and Paul Rodriquez all come by me before the line. That gave UCC first through fourth places! Kal took the sprint as a gift from Dale I would suspect, but an incredible showing nonetheless. Great job guys.

When the results were posted, the finishing list (Honey, I shrunk the field!), had gotten smaller than the start list. This is a hard course and it was a hard race! I won’t list the complete results, unless John would like to as anybody that can read this can also read the results which are posted on the SCNCA page. But I’d like to mention that Raphael Gomez (Simple Green 55+) had probably his best showing in a spell getting 8th place and Fred Nicolet who finished right behind him commented that that darn sprint train just never left the station until it was too late!

In the 60’s, Rubcic was the King with John Mckee behind followed by Benji “The Mad-dog” Maciel and Paul Springer. Don Kimper, Richard Rodriquez and Mario Seri were 5th, 6th, 7th and the only other 60’s to finish. Hard race!

Tomorrow……..San Luis Rey Roadrace!
Musings from the editor and blogger - John McKee
Nice job by Richard with this years 2009 Barrio Logan race report. Just like to throw a few things in. I want to thank the San Diego Bicycle Club for putting on another great event. SDBC has been around since 1946 and that was a good year. At least for those turning 63 this year like myself. Ralph Elliot did another outstanding job promoting it for and with SDBC and of course did a nice job with the announcing. Each of our categories received $250 and thanks plenty for that even though our turnout was not that great. The other cats I saw seemed smaller and the potential weather had to be a factor.
Richard talks about the possible rain this year during the race and there was none BUT in 2003 there was a lot of rain. Just throwing in a little blast from the past. There was a horrendous rain storm that year and the drainage in this area is what I would describe as terrible at best. Standing water in lots of the corners although with the slope you wouldn't think this would happen but it was really bad. The precursor to UCC had John Rubcic, Hylton Murphy and Bob Barney on it to name just three. Their team had put up a couple of popups on the sidewalk near where turn 1 is. I came up with my wife and umbrella and some of the guys are spinning on trainers and talking away. The one main theme was that everyone had to go to work on Monday and they were all going to play it safe. That made sense to me seeing what the conditions were.
It was the SCNCA Championship that year. When the gun went off Hylton takes off like a rocket.
I mean full bore all out riding as hard as he can. Hylton strings it out and I am thinking what happened to that play it safe stuff. Maybe stringing it out was safer than bunching up. I don't know but I couldn't get myself to go fast enough through these big puddles of water in some of the corners. Nick Forte used his experience to stay on course and had a good race. Over 2/3 the field dropped or were shredded. The other thing I remember so well is John Rubcic and David Bernhardt coming around that last corner on the bell lap so fast. It would have been fast without wet streets but in those conditions it was amazing. John outsprinted David for the win. Kenny Fuller had a flat within 5 laps of the finish and that was it for him.
One thing I learned over the weekend was what Butt Furr is. I was hanging around the trailer where the podiums were going to held and all the prize money and primes were to be given out.
Warren Wicks walks up to the gals working primes and says he won a prime. Great! The gal comes back with this thing inside plastic and it looked furry and was this hideous color of purple.
The tag inside the bag said Butt Furr. Warren was taken back. What?? I thought I won $25. No, you won shorts worth $25. The gal said we have other colors. Would you like another choice. Warren is all smiles and goes along with the program. Yes, he wants another color. I walk away a bit and start talking to some other guys and I see Warren walking away with a new bag of Butt Furr shorts but these had a Leopard skin pattern. Nice choice, Warren. You are going to be a major chick magnet in those.
Nice to see Bob Richardson out there. Bob was in a really bad crash last year at Dana Point. Didn't get a chance to talk to Bob. I saw him on the bottom of the course with a camera. Maybe Bob was taking photos for SDBC.

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