Sunday, May 1, 2011


By John McKee

San Luis Rey Road Race is on the SCNCA calendar at April 30th, 2011. Celo Pacific produces the race and always does a good job though bare boned this year with not even a water, coffee, or anything to purchase at Sullivan Middle School in Bonsall, Cal. High prices as well at $39 pre reg and $50 same day. As most of you know the "old" course is out and the "new" course is in which is easier and not as much fun. The "old" course would take you out to Hwy 395 with its steep power climb and 50+ mph decent over the 2 inch freeway expansion joint. The "new" course is an out and back course starting down the hill around and back toward the freeway and a turnaround and home again with the last few miles uphill at different percentages with the steepest parts at maybe 6 to 7 %. Much of the last climb is 2 to 5 %. There was a good showing of racers with 30 55+ racers, 16 60+ and 19 Super Masters(65+ and up to 80+ in 5 year increment).
Mike Mueller- 55+ winner- rode across the line solo
Different waves were to go off at 7:30 am, 7:35, 7:40(55s and 60s) and 7:45(Super Masters). The "young guys" were off in a flash and I mean the 55s and 60s. Lol. I raced 65+ this year. The Supers started 5 minutes later and once started I went near the front. Didn't want to mix with the older riders as many are terrible bike handlers. No offense intented. I got stuck in the "Brea tar pit" at the Cyclo Vets Criterium on the last lap and it was scary. Climbing specialist Herb Johnson of the Cyclo Vets went to the front at the beginning of the Super Masters race and paced but once down a ways disappeared. I went to the front and did some pacing and once on the flats riding toward the freeway myself, Fritz Tomasello, Jim Roebuck and Jim Fitzgerald did all the pacing with myself and Fritz doing most of the work. I would rather do that than ride at a crawl. Once Pags came up toward the front and was 2nd wheel and Jim Roebuck pulled off, I shouted to Pags to go and pace for a while but he wouldn't do it so Pags definitely has to be branded as the #1 "Wheel Sucker". Going toward the freeway I saw Mike Mueller and Kim Bleth off the front of the 55/60+ race and were at least 400 meters ahead. What a start for them.
Kenny Fuller- 60+ winner-Kenny also won solo but ahead of the 55+ winner- Don't know how he doe it
Glenn Baldwin- 2nd place finisher to the "Super Star" in 60+
The Super Masters made the right turn for home and uphill so Herb Johnson went to the front to shred the field. Just a few words about Herb. Herb Johnson is a climbing specialist. He does 10,000 ft of climbing 5 days a week in training. He did taper into this race though. He will enter the San Dimas Stage Race and just do the uphill time trial even though he has to pay full boat price of $80. His time this year was 16:54. That's good! Only 18 seconds short of Gary Shuey and 38 short of Mike Mueller and faster than Robert Wilcox and Mark Huffman. So if you think moving up to the Super Masters will be a piece of cake...well forget it! Herb kept the pressure up in the big ring. As strong as Herb is he looked so awkward climbing. Throwing his bike from side to side and wandering about when he looks around. I know he is fast going uphill but he sures looks inefficient. I first saw Herb in 2002 at San Dimas when the time trial was all the way to the top of Glendora Mountain Road. I was doing the best I could and some guy came by me breathing so hard I thought he was going to explode. I thought he was going to drop dead before he made it to the top but he did and what a great time. Howard Miller told me later in explanation "Oh well that's Herb Johnson". That was all he had to say then.
Herb had done his job at the turnaround and only Fritz Tomasello, Gary Devoss and myself were still with him. I know I surprised Fritz and Gary to still be there but I surprised myself. Lol.  I paced a lot coming down and once we turned on the rolling part of the course Gary and Herb took turns attacking Fritz and I. I covered most of the attacks but Fritz covered Gary often and I always covered Herb. Didn't these guys know I do every crit in Socal and have to keep up with very fast 55s. This was a piece of cake but that was ok.
Gary Devoss-3rd, Fritz-winner and Herb Johnson 2nd in 65+(Sorry about quality of photo but taken with Gary's cell)
Fritz Tomasello- winner of 65+ category
70+ racers Jacobo Melcer- 2nd and winner Dan Wulbert
The person that got in trouble was Herb one time when Gary counter attacked. Fritz saw this and pulled through but Herb finally got back on. I should have countered then but didn't. The 2 Cyclo Vets stopped the attacking before we made the right turn for home and the last uphill climb. Herb was pacing going into the sharp right turn and tried to take it fast to keep the mo going into the uphill section but almost went into the cones. Fritz followed his wheel and immediately for thinking "Why did I follow Herb around a corner". I cut inside about 15 feet and looked over at them in amazement but Herb did miss the cones and a fall. Now Herb went to the front with Fritz on his wheel followed by myself and Gary. The first part of the climb is easy so no pace here is going to do any good but Herb was trying. As the hill kicked up a bit it got harder. I popped about half way to 60% up the climb. Gary was on my wheel and he was through as well though I don't know how much longer he would have been able to stick if he had been on Fritz's wheel but from my observation he was cooked as well. It was between Herb and Fritz for 65+ but the other Super Masters categories were behind us and to be determined. Fritz was in some difficulty but he is a superb climber in his own right and only weighs 137 lbs. He told himself to just hang on during the hard parts and the road would pretty much level out near the finish. It did and he was still there. Once near 200 meters to go Fritz locked and loaded into the big ring but a bigger cog in his cassette so he could spin it up faster and easier. He jumped Herb and it was no contest. Fritz 1st and Herb 2nd. Herb would have preferred a much harder and longer race but the older cats don't have them. Gary and I were coming for home and he reminded me that he helped me last year with 9th place at the champ road race in Bake so I relented. Gary 3rd and myself 4th. Butch Richardson came later for 5th place in 65+. Great to see Butch back out on the road again after all he went through. Great job, Butch. I call that the "Ride of the Day"!
In the 55+ race Mike Mueller dropped Kim Bleth on the last lap and 60+ winner Kenny Fuller went by him to finish ahead of everyone. Mike was next across the line for 1st in 55+. Mike Birditt outsprinted everyone for 2nd in 55+. Kal Szkalak was 3rd in 55+.
In 60+ action Glenn Baldwin was 2nd in a great ride. Ultra rider Bill Tippitts finished 3rd in his first race as a 60+ racer. In 70+ action Dan Wulbert bested everyone for 1st place with Jacobo Melcer finished 2nd. Jim Roebuck was 3rd. In 75+ the world's #1 wheel sucker was 1st. Nice job, Pags.
Link Lindquist- 80+ winner
In 80+ Link Lindquist was 1st out of 2 riders. I think the other guy may still be riding..... No he just finished. Just kidding. I am sure we all would like to be able to ride our bikes when we are over 80 years of age. There are too many categories to cut and paste into my blog so you will have to the SCNCA website for full results. I have inserted a photo of how all the Super Masters finished as a group since it was the SCNCA championship for all of them. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!


  1. Hi John,
    This is a fantastic blog. You really do a great job in describing the various events. Keep up the good work.How can we get more cyclist involved in RR racing? I started racing at age79, so age is not the issue. LINK

  2. Thanks, Link. I have been trying to promote racing with the senior crowd. The turnouts evolve in waves depending on a lot of factors. It's harder to get the 40th or 50th person out vs the 20th or 30th. So many people place such importance on results that they lose sight of the many benefits of just being part of the peleton-motivation to ride more and stay fit, eat healthier, etc. but....