Monday, May 30, 2011


By John McKee

I wanted on this 2011 Memorial Weekend to pay tribute to those that have served in our military from the 55/60+ bike racing family. That would be any of our racers or their fathers, uncles, sons, daughters, brothers, grandfathers, etc. I realize that there are many ways to serve your country but on this weekend without getting political which I can do I wanted to pay homage to those that have put on a uniform for our country. A few of you responded and we have pics of military personnel in uniform from 1861 to the present. We could have had a lot more but....

Flag raising ceremony for Memorial Day Weekend at Jim Swigart's San Diego community

Fred Nicolet- Army Grad- 1971


Fred Nicolet- last day in the Army - 2/74

Carlos Soto - United States Air Force- 1973

Pvt. Leo Monty Pettus- Army 1973

Bruce Steele- National Guard- 1974

Ernie Hoffer- Vung Tau, Vietnam- 1969 and 1970

Leo Longo- 1971- Leo served in the Navy from 1971 to 1977

"Senior Airman Christopher R. Davidson. He's won too many awards to mention, but I will include Space Systems Airman of the Year. His grandpa would be SO proud. Almost as proud as me, and the rest of his family." Quote from Don Davidson about his son, Christopher.

"My dad, Don Davidson, is at the far left of the front row. These guys were all from his high school - San Bernardino High School class of 1942." Quote from Don Davidson about his dad.

"My dad tapping out Morse code on board the LST-23 somewhere in the South Pacific." Quote from Don Davidson

Jack D McKee(father of myself-John D McKee)- South Pacific circa 1943- either Guadalcanal or Bougainville

Jack McKee- South Pacific- Jack also served in Korea(50-51) where he won a Bronze Star and served in Vietnam in 1968

Jack McKee- posing with machine gun but there were times he was at the gun and it was the real thing- his company fought off an aggressive Japanese counter attack one night. My dad never forgot the courage the Japanese showed as hundreds were killed.

Arnold Milford Sanders-John McKee's uncle(mother's brother)- Navy 1944 to 46- served on the Earle B. Hall

Benjamin Franklin Dean(on right)- Great great grandfather of John McKee- In uniform of the Northern Army during the Civil War- Enlisted 1861- Company A- 5th Kansas Cavalry

Monday, May 23, 2011


By John McKee

The rankings include races through May 15th but not Death Valley. That race always seems to take a while to get in the results. The USA Cycling rankings were only viewed for those categories where there are Socal riders in the top 3. Michael "The Godfather" Birditt and myself were at the top of Socal Cup but Bob Wright is right on my heals in 60+. Kal Szkalak is 2nd in 55+ but will not race for a while after his crash at Ontario. Gary Shuey is 3rd in 55+ followed by Alex Collins and Dale Luedtke. In 60+ David Lang is 3rd followed by Monty Pettus and Glenn Baldwin.
Mike Birditt(left) and John McKee(right) lead Socal Cup through midseason. Ranked 2nd in USA Cycling in the criterium- photo courtesy of Jodie Borer
Rankings for USA Cycling are tilted toward races that have a higher ranking like Barrio Logan which hurt Monty Pettus.  Steve Bernede leads national rankings for Stage races in 55-59 with some good results in the Stage category(including a race in Arkansas) and is 2nd in road. Gary Shuey is 4th in stage but is hurt by not getting a result from the Arizona Valley of the Sun Race. They missed him in the last crit and he left right after the race. Kenny Fuller is lurking in a number of national categories but has few races in his 2011 portfolio. This is Kenny's 50th year of racing and has 750 + victories not just races in his long career. Wow!
Kenny Fuller at Redlands 2011 followed by Mike Birditt, Kal Szkalak & John McKee- Kenny has 750+ victories

SoCal Cup Standings For 2011
Masters 55+
Place Name License # Team Name SoCal Points
1 Michael Birditt 47255 Swami's Cycling Club 216
2 Kalman Szkalak 54522 UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 180
3 Gary Shuey 44197 Swami's Cycling Club 124
4 Alex Collins 46255 UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 101
5 Dale Luedtke 47262 Swami's Cycling Club 99
6 Robert Willcox 69952 UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 87
7 Steve Hensler 15874 Team Redlands 83
8 Michael Mueller 46688 UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 83
9 Kenny Fuller 46765 Cycles Veloce 79
10 Kim Bleth 49191 Swami's Cycling Club 66
11 Fred Hoblit 16360 Santa Clarita Velo 63
12 Malcolm Hill 156650 Breakaway-UBS Elite Masters 50
13 Ricky Shorts 52251 Velo Allegro 48
14 Richard Barron 2734 Southern California Velo 47
15 Mark Helvie 15760 Sun Coast Velo 46
16 Mark Huffman 59572 Sun Coast Velo 46
17 Wayne Stetina 34063 Breakaway-UBS Elite Masters 35
18 Rick Swanson 34753 Swami's Cycling Club 34
19 Robert Downs 9947 Planet Bike 34
20 Thomas Reilly 155459 Santa Clarita Velo 31
21 Jim Parkhurst 162650 Team Simple Green/Bike Religion 29
22 Steve Bernede 126351 Team Werks 28
23 Bill Pinckard 291027 Barry Lasko DDS Race Team 27
24 John Huber 206734 Velo Avanti Cycling Team 26
25 Keith Ketterer 48434 Breakaway-UBS Elite Masters 25
26 David Benner 274212 Wolf Pack Cycling 24
27 Dirk Cowley 7974 Velosport Racing 23
28 Steve Diamond 178495 Swami's Cycling Club 23
29 Witold Czulak 276778 Breakaway-UBS Elite Masters 23
30 Michael Gourley 13802 Santa Clarita Velo 21
31 Mike Gourley 13802 Santa Clarita Velo 21
32 Warren Wicks 202108 Swami's Cycling Club 20
33 Waye Hermes 18
34 John Wagenaar 61193 UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 17
35 Nour Tillo 35603 16
36 Steven Borer 245777 ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 16
37 Reed Moore 61353 UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 15
38 James Morehouse 283640 FFKR Architects/ 15
39 Gordon Carr 56557 South Bay Wheelmen 14
40 brian carrico 174212 PAA/REMAX 12
41 Rino Barbagiovanni 49110 Santa Clarita Velo 12
42 John Sinz 66553 Canyon Velo 10
43 Mark Ainslie 1254 Ranchos Cycling Club 10
44 Kirk Freeman 12354 Santa Clarita Velo 10
45 Albert Shorts 230085 Velo Allegro 10
46 Don Denegal 93812 10
47 Charles Townsend 46011 Bianchi/Grand Performance 10
48 Cyril Hunte 52086 9
49 Rodney Malloy 107559 9
50 Ronald Carlson 288193 METALMTN Cycling

SoCal Cup Standings For 2011
Masters 60+
Place Name License # Team Name SoCal Points
1 John McKee 180386 Paramount Racing 144
2 Bob Wright 39024 Santa Clarita Velo 141
3 David Lang 107852 DARE 123
4 Leo Pettus 219074 Paramount Racing 101
5 Glenn Baldwin 45047 SLO Nexus-Gym One 92
6 Phillip Richards 238828 Citrus Valley Velo 89
7 Bruce Steele 236498 South Bay Wheelmen 77
8 Mike Marotta 72880 Action Sports/Simply Fit 76
9 Leo Longo 189814 South Bay Wheelmen 75
10 John Rubcic 48760 UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 72
11 Kenny Fuller 46765 Cycles Veloce 67
12 James Morehouse 283640 FFKR Architects/ 49
13 Fred Nicolet 26089 ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 46
14 Harold Schneider 315702 Team Simple Green/Bike Religion 44
15 Robert Paganini 45763 Pasadena Athletic Assoc (PAA) 42
16 Donald Kimper 195498 ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 34
17 Richard Stahlberg 50911 Ironfly 33
18 Michael Fleming 129293 South Bay Wheelmen 33
19 George Chester 196820 LIVESTRONG Army KC / Midwest Cancer Care 28
20 mark wisnosky 243425 ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 25
21 Jean Villiot 59805 CA Pools/DeWalt 23
22 Fred Haim 269972 Herbalife LaGrange 22
23 Keith Peters 27851 Herbalife LaGrange 22
24 Raphael Gomez 3793 Rage Cycling 20
25 William Tippets 125634 20
26 John Edwards 46547 UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 19
27 William Langstaff 49334 Cycles Veloce 18
28 James Swigart 228631 ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 16
29 Michael Crystal 8283 METALMTN Cycling 16
30 Herb Johnson 55245 San Diego Cyclo Vets 14
31 Mario Seri 61278 Herbalife LaGrange 13
32 Mick Iwadare 301363 South Bay Wheelmen 10
33 Randy Drusen 287291 Judgement Velo/ TBOV 10
34 Hylton Murphy 72995 UC Cyclery/JW Flooring 10
35 Joseph Wells 48252 Paramount Racing 9
36 Norman Kibble 45539 Team RPM 9
37 Douglas Knox 45552 Santa Ynez Valley Racing Team 8
38 Dale Harless 57571 Cycle U 8
39 P Brian McNeece 223941 Imperial Valley Velo Club 7
40 Richard Rodriguez 50498 Pacific Sunset Velo/Pac Sun Velo 7

Mens Master (55-59) Criterium Rankings (2011)

There are 201 results.
Rank Points Results
1169  12 Charles Jerabek  46930   
2168   12 Michael Birditt  47255   
3138  20 Kalman Szkalak  54522   
491   6 Roman Paczka  181880   
585   2 Steve Bernede  126351   
671   5 Pete Loftis  244641   
768   6 Robert Tyler  108046   
865   6 Rick Swanson  34753   
962   3 Jim Brock  4911   
1060   7 Julius Aulisio  187514   
1159   8 Steve Diamond  178495   
1256  14 Alex Collins  46255   
1354   2 Bruce Tanner  62854   
1453   8 J Kevin Carmichael  246511   
1552   5 Malcolm Hill  156650   
1650   9 Dale Luedtke  47262   
1749   8 Steven Borer  245777 

Mens Master (60-99) Criterium Rankings (2011)

There are 162 results.
Rank Points Results
1145   11 Clifford Jackson  257185   
2122   10 John McKee  180386   
3118   8 Charles Griffiths  257813   
498   6 Patrick Gellineau  45371   
589   9 David Lang  107852   
680   3 RIchard Pearson  221142   
779   3 Joseph Becchetti  265633   
877   8 Bob Wright  39024   
973   3 Charles Hetrick  62551   
1072   7 Fred Nicolet  26089   
1164   8 Leo Pettus  219074   
1261   4 Kenny Fuller  46765   
1360   5 Norman Kibble  45539   
1459   3 Gary Ziegler  16511   
1552   6 George Broughton  58824   
1647   7 Larry Hansen  278978   
1745  10 Robert Paganini  45763   
1842   2 Jim McDonald  23392   
1940   3 Douglas Knox  45552   
1940   6 Phillip Richards  238828   
1940   7 Donald Kimper  195498   

Mens Master (55-59) Stage Race Rankings (2011)

There are 42 results.
Rank Points Results
195   2 Steve Bernede  126351   
260   1 Bruce Tanner  62854   
355   1 Scott Sifferman  210464   
432   2 Gary Shuey  44197   
530   1 Wayne Stetina  34063   
628   1 Patrick Flautt  70836   
628   1 David Zimbelman  183037   
628   1 Malcolm Hill  156650   
927   5 Dirk Cowley  7974   
1026   1 Keith Ketterer  48434   
1124   2 George Heagerty  72892   
1220   1 Steve Hensler  15874   
1220   2 Thomas Bain  45045   
1220   3 Bill Pinckard  291027   
1519   1 Dan Griesse  169235   
1618   1 Kalman Szkalak  54522   
1716   3 Victor Miera  280155   
1815   2 Jerald Hunsaker  142960   
1815   2 Michael Birditt  47255   

Mens Master (55-59) Road Race Rankings (2011)

There are 220 results.
Rank Points Results
1137   9 Charles Jerabek  46930   
286   5 Steve Bernede  126351   
377   5 Julius Aulisio  187514   
470   8 Pete Loftis  244641   
569   11 Thomas Bain  45045   
664   4 Dow (Skip) Rogers  80874   
760   2 Charles Carnila  45169   
859   2 Scott Sifferman  210464   
956   3 Bruce Tanner  62854   
956   4 Timothy Leonard  106471   
1155   1 Jay Gaunt  40113   
1253   2 John Newton  148316   
1349   8 Frank Kurzawa  66479   
1445   2 Guy Damiano  50760   
1445   4 Gary Shuey  44197   
1644   6 Kalman Szkalak  54522   
1742   3 Malcolm Hill  156650 

Monday, May 16, 2011


By John McKee

Weather has really plagued the Socal bike racing circuit this year and has been especially tough on 55/60+ racers because we race so early in the morning and it is cold besides being wet. The weather report didn't look that bad for Ontario for their Mid Season Criterium on their somewhat boring 4 corner course BUT the day of was something different. The date is May 15th, 2011 and the weather is suppose to be nice or maybe mild but NOT cold, windy, wet and rainy and that's what it was. It wasn't raining at home when I left about 5:40 am but got some sprinkles on the way to the course. When I got there it started to rain a little more and that feeling of dread of having to once again race in the rain was coming over me. My pre race morning did have some nice surprises. Richard Rodiguez handed me a 60 inch by 70 inch crocheted blanket. His wife Yvonne made it for me because I write this blog. Thank you so much, Yvonne. I had that going for me and then Steve Borer comes up to me with a folder. It had 2 very nice 8 X 10 photos of myself racing at Barrio Logan the prior week. Thank you Steve and Jodie Borer. Personally the day was starting out pretty good but the weather was depressing. Walking to registration I stopped and chatted a bit with Kal Szkalak and he was down on the weather. He said if it was raining at the start of the race that he wouldn't do it.
Looks lovely in Ontario on Sunday, right. Not! Photo courtesy of Hilary Crowley's I Phone
After I got back to my car with my number in hand the rain started to lighten up and then it stopped. Wow. Hallelujah! Monty came over and we started to warm up. The roads were still going to be wet though no matter what. We all lined up around 7:45am. 10 mins beyond our scheduled start time. No big deal. The cat 4 women had a massive turnout in the race before ours. Very impressive. Sanda Timbal who races with us quite often finished 2nd. Nice job, Sanda!
We had from my count 32 racers. 20 55s and 12 60s. The 60 cat is not doing well this year. There was another event on the calendar which was the Death Valley Stage Race. Most racers that would do that wouldn't be doing a short criterium but there are a few guys that do both types of races. Gary Shuey(Gary won the 55+ cat), Kim Bleth and Glenn Baldwin come to mind. They brag in the race flyer for DVSR that there are "no bogus FLAT miles". That is a direct quote and here we were in Ontario and were going to race on nearly pancake flat roads. As flat as it may be on this day the race at Ontario wasn't going to be easy and everyone wasn't going to finish it. You can read about the Death Valley race at Jim Morehouse's(Jim won the 60+ cat) blog:
The race was off at Ontario and almost immediately it started to rain lightly. Enough to keep the roads wet. The first break attempt was by Steve Borer, Rino B. and Pat Huber. After a couple of laps out there Steve and Rino felt Pat didn't have his heart in the break and sat up near the start finish line. Rino is with Santa Clarita Velo and per Captain Bligh's instructions when one attack is caught counter, counter, or counter. Just playing with Fred a little. Fred Hoblit is the team maestro, captain, playing coach or team race director, or whatever you wish to call him. Mike Gourley of SCV went off then and Kal reacted right away. Mike "The Godfather" Birditt saw the danger of 2 very strong riders getting away so he jumped on their train. Everyone else reacted as well. The got a bit of a gap but going into turn 2 they didn't seem to be picking up much territory. They were just getting started. Turn 2 was deceptively treacherous. There was a little dip right after the corner and with the wet conditions Mike Gourley who was starting to wind it up washed out his front wheel. He was down in an instant. Kal was right behind him and he went down. Mike Birditt was next in line and had no chance and went over the bars and landed on one of the guys down. Everyone else saw the crash and slowed and started toward the outside of the road but the 3 of them were sliding from left to right or inside to outside. We slowed more and aimed further out to get by. Monty Pettus thought he would cut inside the sliding riders and hit the same spot that Mike Gourley did with too much angle and slide out. Mike Gourley got up pretty quick. Mike Birditt and Monty Pettus also got up quickly. Kal didn't get up quickly.
Once the racers that were still rolling got by someone hit it really hard. It was fast. Coming back around toward turn 2 Mike Birditt was waving his arms in an attempt to get everyone to slow down and go by the crash site neutral. Everyone did. Kal was on his shins bent over with his head near the ground and obviously in pain. The next time around Mike did the same thing and Kal was in exactly the same position. Mike told me later that Kal was really hurting and it was his ribs. Kal wanted to get up and move to the side of the road. Mike and a few others helped Kal up. They got him to the side of the road where he sat down on the curb. He was still in a lot of pain but didn't want the paramedics called. He wanted to drive away himself which wasn't a great idea but that is what he did. As of the time of this blog story, I haven't heard anything on Kal's condition. Here is wishing Kal the best on what surely will be a fairly long recovery. Kal is one tough dude and races more than anyone. His number just came up. Mike Gourley had some scratches on his face and hip while Mike Birditt and Monty came out with very minor injuries. A number of riders were gapped off at the crash site because it was strung out getting by and the pace was so fast coming by there or maybe the site of the crash took the will to race out of a few of the guys.
Just seeing all this put a pall over the race but we did continue to race. Some of the favorites were out in both 55 and 60+. The rain lightened up and we kept going around and around. The wind did pick up and it was in the racers face after turn 4 and made that stretch from turn 4 and by the start/finish line very difficult. Everyone was looking for cover in this area. A few brave soles were attacking in this area and made the racing hard. It was a hard day all the way around.
Most of the rest of the race it was attack and chase but nothing major happened until after the prime sprint for the Ontario series points. Dale Luedtke and David Lang pulled those home. After that all hell broke loose. Fred "Captain Bligh" Hoblit and Rick Swanson got away. Decent gap. John Roest put in the chase all by himself. He was out in the lead for several laps and got everyone so close that there tenure as race leaders was effectively over. Don't know who finally closed them out but when they were back in the fold the Santa Clarita Velo playbook was followed. Aye, aye Captain. Tom Riley jumped off and was followed by Brian Carrico of PAA I guess. His kit is way old.
They got going pretty good and eventhough Rick Swanson was quite tired from his last venture he started to try and close the gap to them by himself. He was eventually joined by Pat Huber. The 2 of them worked hard and finally caught Tom and Brian. Four off the front with 2 to go. Steve Cahill tried to come across solo but got caught in no man's land. Dale Luedtke put in a hard effort to try and catch Steve and came toward the start/finish line with one to go and since I was on Dale's wheel, he wanted me to pull through but I didn't. I figured that if I pulled hard into the wind and got Steve who is a 55+ racer I would be in oxygen debt and there would only be one lap to go and my rivals, Bob Wright, David Lang and Mike Fleming would get a free ride up. I choose to hang back and I know Dale wasn't happy with me but that is what I did. After turn one Steve Diamond of Swami's came forward and offered to lead Dale around but Dale choose wisely I believe to hang back a little more. I got on Steve's wheel and was 2nd wheel going down the back stretch.
Back up front where the win for the 55+ cat was unfolding Tom Riley put in a hard surge going into the last corner and got a small gap and made it stick to the line. Nice job, Tom. 1st place, 55+! Rick Swanson was 2nd, Brian Carrico was 3rd and Pat Huber was 4th.
1st place in 60+ was still out there and I was hoping that Steve Diamond had a lot of stuff left because I know what happens when a lead out man dies. The 2nd man has to take over or gets passed like he is standing still. After Steve took us around turn 3 I asked him to ramp it up but whatever speed was called into Steve's engine room, it wasn't there. At turn 4 Fred Hoblit came by with my rival Bob Wright in tow like I was standing still. Dale Luedtke and Craig Jones did as well. I got going as best I could and was aiming at Bob and gained some ground but he was effectively too far ahead. Bob Wright was 1st in 60+. I was 2nd. David Lang was 3rd, Mike Fleming 4th, Don Kimper 5th and Pags 6th. Side note- Pags comes driving in 5 minutes before the race is suppose to start and luckily we started 10 minutes late. Now that was what I call cutting it close. He made it.
6 out of the 12 60+ starters finished means it was tough out there.
Dale Luedtke won the field sprint for 5th place catching Steve Cahill before the line. Fred Hoblit also passed Steve for 6th while Mr. Cahill got 7th place. I only have one photo now but may have more later and will insert them. There will be a vid available as early as Tuesday. Complete results are below as best the officials could do them. The camera wasn't working that well. It was a bad day for racing although we have raced at many venues this year with wet and or rainy conditions and had no accidents but not at Ontario. Again I wish Kal a speedy recovery. If someone hears anything about Kal, let me know and I will spread the word. You tube vid added thanks to Mike McKinney. That's all for now! Train hard and race safe!

Mid Season Criterium  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 60+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 39024 Bob Wright Santa Clarita Velo 14
2 180386 John McKee Paramount Racing 11
3 107852 David Lang DARE 10
4 129293 Michael Fleming South Bay Wheelmen 9
5 195498 Donald Kimper ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 8
6 45763 Robert Paganini Pasadena Athletic Assoc (PAA) 7

Mid Season Criterium  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 55+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 155459 Thomas Reilly Santa Clarita Velo 14
2 34753 Rick Swanson Swami's Cycling Club 11
3 174212 brian carrico PAA/REMAX 10
4 206734 John Huber Velo Avanti Cycling Team 9
5 47262 Dale Luedtke Swami's Cycling Club 8
6 16360 Fred Hoblit Santa Clarita Velo 7
7 204724 Steve Cahill Celo Pacific 6
8 18156 Craig Jones Velo Avanti Cycling Team 5
9 one day   4
10 49110 Rino Barbagiovanni Santa Clarita Velo 3
11  Unknown 2
12 277180 John Roest Rock N' Road Cyclery 1
13  unknown 0
14 9271 Pete Dern Herbalife LaGrange 0
15 52086 cyril hunte

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


By John McKee

Swami's Gary Shuey & Mike Birditt "The Godfather" of crit racing
It's Mother's Day May 8th, 2011 and time for the CBR #6 May Day Criterium in Domiguez Hills, Cal. The race I am writing about is the 55/60+ race scheduled to start at 7:45 am. Since all of us are over 55 years of age, not many of us have mothers or mother in laws alive any more but most of our wives are mothers so we all have to take care of business there. Most wives are understanding enough to let the boys play in the morning as long as attention is paid the rest of the day. Mothers take care of things 364 days a year so this one day won't hurt us  men to pay tribute to all their mothers in their family. I say Happy Mother's Day to my mother(Alta Faye Wright McKee)long since passed and to all your mothers whether alive or not and to your wives that are mothers. How about Mother in Laws while I'm at it. Lol. OK. Race day is play day and 35 guys came to partake. It was Sunday and the day before was the veteran race Barrio Logan Grand Prix brought to us by SDBC. I am sure it was a long day for all those guys and gals so they can have a pass for not coming on this Sunday. Some racers just do SCNCA races and some just do CBR. Only one license is required then but the die hard racers carry 2 cards and do both. One can do CBR races without their license but it costs more.
Paramount's dynamic 60+ criterium duo of McKee & Pettus
CBR had worn the Paramount criterium course to near death in Dom. Hills so they came up with another course across Wilmington Ave. Similar type industrial park course but slightly harder from my first experience. Not bad. I like it. I actually still like the old worn out course.
35 hardy 55/60+ racers started on time. The pack was neutral the first lap because 3 cat 5 racers were littered across the course after a crash on the last lap. We rode by carefully and they all looked ok and were getting up with their bikes and walking off. I always breathe a sigh of relief when I see crashed riders get up and feel a sinking feeling in my stomach when they can't get up. All good this time. Next time by the start/finish line Dale Luedtke takes it out. Not ramming speed or even attack speed but maybe hard tempo speed. After a 1/2 lap I decided to ramp it up a bit. After having won the day before, I was somewhat indifferent as to a result and was just looking to do some good racing and let the finish fall where it may. I went by Dale and tried to incite him to go with me but maybe I was going too fast for Dale. Yea, right. That's a good one. I was out there solo but kept the pressure on and knew someone or the whole pack would catch me soon and after less than a half lap Gary Shuey brought everyone with him. I say thanks there. Gary, Kim Bleth, Dale Luedtke were added to the Swami's lineup which had Steve Diamond, Mike Birditt and Rick Swanson on the 55+ podium on Sat. at BLGP. Rick couldn't make it at the CBR Mother's Day race but everyone else was there. Very strong team!
There was a lot of shadow boxing and some prime killing going one early but a definite break formed with the major teams involved about 1/3 the way through the race. Santa Clarita's Fred Hoblit, Velo Allegro's Alex Gonzales, UCC's Alex Collins and Swami's Kim Bleth. The driving force for Swami's was to protect Dale Luedtke's BAR point lead over Fred Hoblit, Ricky Shorts and Pat Huber. The foursome stayed away for several lap but Mike "The Godfather" was at or near the front closely monitoring the situation. After several laps away Doug Knox tried to get across the gap which hovered between 100 and 200 meters. Doug had a tough time but made it. After 5 or so laps away I measured the distance away and on a section of the course where you get a little sling shot I jumped hard to try and get across when the break group was at around 100 meters. I was just having fun. When I joined the group Fred Hoblit said that the group wasn't working well together and was quite negative about the whole thing. While I was there Alex Collins made a hard move but nothing was smooth and Kim was there more as an observer than a break participate. Bottom line this wasn't going to work. It didn't get the blessing of the "Godfather". I was with the break for a little less than 2 laps and was starting to get my sea legs and do some work when the pack closed it out. Que Sera sera!
The race didn't seem like it was going anywhere but a bunch sprint when Gary Shuey quietly rolled off the front with 7 laps to go. No one paid any attention to him. Once he got out there he went ALL IN! What does it have to lose. If caught, his team still has the 2 fastest sprinters. Gary kept going and no one reacted and everyone went into that reserve your energy for the sprint mode.
In 60+ action I saw Rich Stahlberg and Bob Wright continually at the front. Monty Pettus as he usually does was cooling his heels comfortably tucked away in the pack. Max draft and max energy conservation. Monty came forward in the last 10 laps and was working for good position like Rich and Bob were. Rich and Bob were close in BAR competition. Phil Walters was also close but didn't show.
Within the last 2 laps Gary was out of sight and definitely out of mind of anyone. Swami's could now ramp it up and bring Dale up for the bunch sprint. Swami's is now the 100 pound gorilla like other teams in the past. Gary easily came across the line in 1st place in 55+. Nice job, Gary.
In the peleton Mike Birditt went to the front to ramp it up big time with Dale Luedtke on his wheel on the last lap. Each corner Mike ramped it up faster. Everyone was single file with 2 corners to go. Between the next to last and the last corner is a tough little hill. It doesn't look like much but at ramming speed it was hard. I got passed by Ricky Shorts and Don Denegal of Velo Allegro on the hill. Once near the last corner I got a second wind. Mike took Dale to the corner and no one was going to pass Dale now.
Dale was the 1st sprinter across the line followed by-Fred Hoblit, Kal Szkalak, Monty Pettus(1st in 60+), and Ricky Shorts took the last money spot and 5th in 55+.
Bob Wright was ahead of me when we turned the corner and I closed some ground on him but came up at least 1/2 a bike length short. Bob got 2nd and I got 3rd in 60+. Everyone else streamed in. Pretty good race though lopsided with the fire power that Swami's brought to this race. They have a lot of strong cards. I have a podium pic for 60+ but don't have one for 55+(sorry about that). Results down to 12 are below for each category. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!
60+ podium- McKee(3rd), Pettus(1st), & Wright(2nd)
55+ results from 6 to 12
6- Denegal
7- Huber
8- Hunte
9- Collins

60+ results from 4 to 11
4- Stahlberg
5- Carvin
6- Pags
7- Seri
8- Fleming
9- Edwards