Friday, June 1, 2012


By John McKee

It's time again for another CBR criterium. CBR # 5 was being held on May 28th, Memorial Day for 2012. A day to remember the sacrifices of Americans that were called to duty. Last year I got some old photos of some of you, your fathers and or your sons in my story. Don Kimper got his pic to me too late so I will include his picture plus a picture of my father and 1 picture of Dale's father in law who passed away the day of this race.
Don Kimper in the US Navy- Served during the Vietnam War
Jack McKee somewhere in the South Pacific during WW II- Jack also served in Korea and Vietnam
Joseph Perry(Dale's father in law)- US Marine Corp. - served in Korea and 2 tours in Vietnam

 The 55/60+ race was scheduled for 8:15 am. The turnout was lackluster especially in 60+. 20 55s and 11 60s were there to race. Santa Clarita Velo and Velo Allegro had good turnouts but Al Shorts was in his civies and that would hurt later. Sho Air had their powerful duo of Hoffenberg/Nicolette. Swami's was down to one rider, Dale Luedtke.
55/60+ racers line up at CBR # 5 at the Dom Hills Paramount course
The Paramount 60+ trio was there along with Mike Fleming and Tom Herman of SBW in 60+ action. The venue was the Dom Hills Paramount course raced clockwise. The traditional direction. The course is tried and true, wide and safe as a race course can be.
The racers were off true to the start time as possible. A lap or two and then Sho Air showed its strips. Attack a weakened pack. No Chris Black, Mike Birditt, Al Shorts, Rick Swanson, KK, etc.
Cleave Law with Mark "The Driver" Hoffenberg in his driving position

Mark Hoffenberg putting the pressure on. Starting the 2nd break
The first attack started with Mark Hoffenberg and Cleave Law. They made a go of it for several laps but this was doomed from the start but from it Mark jumped again when caught. Mark jumped with Pat Huber, De Asuncion, Kal Szkalak and Dan Nicolette riding the caboose spot. The group was joined by Don Denegal of Velo Allegro. The pack went to sleep. 55+ racers were at the front snoozing. The six pack got a decent gap for a few laps but was reeled in mainly by Dale Luedtke. I believe Ricky Shorts did some work.
Dale Luedtke reeling in the 2nd break group
After all was together it was a very short siesta time before Sho Air went again. The next break was quite amazing. Mark "The Driver" Hoffenberg had his role to play in the break and Dan "Star Wars Shield" Nicolette had his. Visiting and working with the Sho Air duo were Fred Hoblit, Dale Luedtke, Nelson Alaan, Bruce Hartley and Kal Szkalak. Even Monty Pettus and myself made it across the gap but my brain was on standby and didn't realize that Dan was throwing up his Star Wars Shield at the same time as Dale was coming off. I asked Monty later "What happened?" The answer was "It looked like the break was breaking up but no... "The Driver" kept it going and Dan would hook back on. All Monty and I had to do was go around Dan. I probably would have been dropped anyway but kick myself for not thinking straighter. Dale, Fred and Nelson were shed. They were encouraged to "participate" in the break work. Dan would pull off line, drop off, etc. to throw things off. Mark would just drive.
Hoffy driving with Dan sitting back- Looks like a surge to make everyone hurt

 The last man to be shed was Nelson Alaan. I think that was a priority for Sho Air. Nelson is a great sprinter. Nelson was plenty tired from coming across the gap and it was out the back before long. The break ended up with Mark, Dan, Kal and Bruce. Everyone else was chasing. The after burners were turned on in the break and the group was soon out of sight with 5 laps to go. There wasn't enough firepower to bring the breakers back.
The end was near. The last lap in the break group saw Mark jump off the front. Kal didn't want to chase and have the other 2 towed along. They waited. Bruce decided to jump on his own. Kal still held back. Mark Hoffenberg came across the line for the win in 55+. Bruce hung tough and finished 2nd. Dan came around Kal at the end for 3rd. Dan was not far from getting Bruce.
In the main pack Eugene Poyarena went on a flyer with 2 laps to go and the pace was quite slow so he was still away with one lap to go. Rod Mallory jumped off the front and I also jumped to get on his wheel. I didn't think the pack would just sit there but they did. Rod and I went for it and traded pulls but were caught after turn 4. Rod pulled harder than I was able to. Eugene stayed away for 5th in 55+. Nelson Alaan won the pack sprint followed by Dale Luedtke and De Asuncion. Monty Pettus won the 60+ race with a good finish followed by Howard Miller and Mike Fleming, Louie Rivera, Don Kimper and Mario Seri. Good hard race but some of the teams lack the firepower to match Sho Air right now. Full results are at my 55/60+ Bike Racing Facebook page. All bicycle racing photos courtesy of Maki Yamazaki.  That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!