Tuesday, January 29, 2013


By John McKee

The weekend of Jan. 26 and 27th had 2 races scheduled but there was the possibility of rain. Rain really puts a damper on bicycle riding. It goes from fun to not fun. Well the rain didn't come and the Poor College Kids Road Race went off for the 55/60+ racers on Sat. Jan. 26th. I didn't feel I was ready to race with the 55s on a course like this for 3 laps as I had done it in 2011 when the race(Sisquoc) was 2 laps and later in the year. PCKRR changed their course to the old Sisquoc course from what they had done the last few years.
Similar view from a pro picture- Copyright by Alcohobo(pic will be deleted soon)
It was no surprise when I heard that Mark Hoffenberg got away on the 1st lap with Malcolm Hill. KK at some point in the 1st lap had a flat so he was out. Mark and Malcolm shed the other 2 riders that were with them and they came to the finish by themselves with Mark winning the race. I don't have details on the 60+ race but it was no surprise that Kal Szkalak won the race. Kal has won every 60+ race he has entered so far in 2013. The finish lists are below. The 55s had a lot more racers. I think like myself some 60s saw it as hopeless keeping up the pace on this course with a younger driven pack. There were 22 55 finishers and 9 60 finishers. Among the 55s was Brad "Rand Paul/don't take my guns" House. The promoters give no money and some merchandise to 3 guys that placed 1/2/3 overall. The merchandise has been described in the past as "shoddy". "Shoddy" was one of the nicer terms. Lol. The 55/60s were given a premium starting time so that was good. 3rd place in 55+ went to Daniel Swietlik. In 60+ 2nd went to Kirk Freeman and 3rd went to Mark Huffman. Both Kirk and Mark are new 60+ riders this year.
The hotel/motel rates seemed a lot higher this year in the Santa Barbara/Goleta area so my wife and I decided to drive up Sunday morning to do the Mothballs Criterium. The Santa Barbara Echelon club always does a great job producing this race and their promoter Amando Requejo is a super nice guy and has been receptive to getting 55s and 60s a cash purse and decent primes including wine and cash.
My wife and I left our house in Orange County at 4:45 am. Little traffic so we made good time. Coming up the coast from Oxnard the clouds parted and you could see the most beautiful moon you could imagine simmering over the ocean. At first it was just over the ocean but as we drove further north toward Goleta the moon was over our destination beckoning us to come to Mothballs! Come to Mothballs! OK. OK. We were coming anyway!
When we got to the race there were no clouds, rain or cold temperatures. In 2011 there was a gully washer that we raced in. No crashes but up to 6 inches of water at turn one. Every other year it is usually in the 30s when we race. The promoter did us another favor this year and moved us back another spot in the race pecking order. We were 3rd off and raced at 8 am. The men cat 5s were 1st and then the women cat 4s were next which is only fair. The young and inexperienced need the initiation. We have been there and done that SO many times. I don't know why other promoters don't make the newest riders go first.
55/60+ racers tow the line at Mothballs
OK, there was a crash in women cat 4 so we were delayed a bit. We did get to the line not too long after 8. The turnout was frankly disappointing. Some of the road riders from the day before went home and we were left with 11 55s and 9 60s. This is the lowest turnout in maybe 8 years.
Bill Ralph-Do you see any bodyfat?
When we came to the line Malcolm Hill fell over. He got back up but he found out when he was racing that something was rubbing on his bike and driving him crazy. Everyone else stayed upright at the line. KK was there so I had a good idea what was going to happen in the race and I pretty much called it. Mark Hoffenberg had one teammate for his Rokform/Rock N' Road squad. A new rider. At least to us. His name is William Ralph. Bill is a fitness expert and has zero bodyfat and I mean ZERO bodyfat. Look him up in facebook and see(Pic included. Bill lives in Agoura Hills. Bill works in the fitness industry. If you have any questions about cross training, rehab, etc. message him on facebook).
Keith Ketterer would have Malcolm Hill both from Breakaway from Cancer Masters to link with while Mark would have Bill Ralph. Kal has been cleaning up in 60+ so far this year so he would be hard to beat. The remainder of the field was small with any Swami's, Santa Clarita Velo, 4 UCC riders(3 being 60+) and one Simple Green and SBW rider. In other words the competition may not be as strong as it has in the past except for the top.
The race started fast as expected. Mark Hoffenberg would hit it and then KK or Malcolm Hill would attack. This went on for 4 or 5 laps. It was quite hard. A small group would form but wouldn't work well together and everyone else would chase back on. I knew I couldn't keep this up for 40 minutes. Either a group was going to get away or everything would settle down for a while.
This Training Peaks guy should have been saving his strength and let the strongmen initiate the early action
The 4 strongest guys eventually did get away. I should have tried to close the short gap when it was short because Kal was there but I wasn't sure he was. I don't know if I could have made it or if I would have been able to keep up but I soon learned that Kal was aboard the breakaway ship. They were gaining time on every lap. 20 seconds, 25 seconds, etc. We would be lapped. That I knew for sure. The pace of the pack wasn't that high and I wasn't feeling that strong.

Malcolm Hill, Kal Szkalak, Mark Hoffenberg and Keith Ketterer in a breakaway
Probably 25 minutes into the race I saw KK. I thought the rest of the breakaway were in the back cooling their jets but I learned that KK had jumped across to the pack from the breakaway group. That left Hoffy to pull Malcolm and Kal up to the peleton. KK made several jumps and Mark's teammate Bill was all over this as were a few other riders. I just sat in. I wasn't much concerned. KK never got very far away and it might have seemed like "everyone" was teaming up against him.
Peleton without the break group
KK jumping the field before Hoffy gets aboard. Surprising he was chased down. I know I couldn't do it.
Pack all together now. You can see Malcolm between Bill Ralph and myself(blue and yellow)
Pretty soon I saw Mark near the front so unless a group broke away again, there would be a bunch sprint with Mark, Keith and Malcolm fighting it out for 1,2 and 3 in 55+. Kal had 60+ locked up and he was unconcerned about the race action now. He just had to stay upright and he would win.
With one lap to go KK really hit it at turn one. The course is 1k so he figured his best shot would be to do a mini kilo to the line. Could anyone match it? That was the question he threw out. Caught everyone by surprise.
Mark Hoffenberg had Tim Meza of Simple Green ahead of him and ask him to go. Tim did the best he could most of the back stretch. KK was still pulling away slightly but Mark didn't have to be in the wind and was saving energy he could use later. The rest of the pack fell back. Kal was up front and didn't chase so a gap formed.
Nearing the last corner Mark had to go it alone. He dug deep. He figured if he could get within 5 to 10 meters of KK with some distance to the line he could come around him. This is exactly what happened. Mark dug deep and was barely able to get by Keith at the finish linefor the win!
The rest of the pack came to the last corner and Alex Collins jumped hard on the outside. Bill Ralph tried to mark him. Tim Meza was ahead but dying a bit. I hung behind a few riders on the inside including Richard Robertson. He was the only 60+ rider I could see ahead of me. Cyril Hunte had unleased his sprint early. The wind was cross from the right and a slight head wind. It was pretty tough if you weren't behind someone. I hit it at 150 meters not knowing what to expect. I hadn't been feeling that good but got going very well.
Mark Hoffenberg coming home for the sprint- Copy courtesy of Jodie Borer
Alex Collins held off Bill Ralph for 3rd in 55+. Cyril and Tim were dying coming to the line. I was accelerating and almost got them at the line but it didn't matter because they were 55+. Cyril bested Tim Meza. I came across the 1st 60 but for 2nd place. Kal soft pedaled across the line for 1st place being a lap up. John Roest motored across the line for 3rd place in 60+. The honors for the oldest rider goes to Dale Harless. Dale is 70 this year and raced 65-69 last year at nationals. Dale crashes at the "corner" and got a concussion. He asked me if I knew what happened. No. Lol. I was ahead of him and didn't see him go down.
Field sprint at Mothballs 2013 in 55/60+- Photo courtesy of Jodie Borer
It was a bit of a mismatch out there but a fun race none the less. Something different anyway. The weather held out for us. The payout was a FULL $250. The purse was split 50/50 between the 55s and 60s. There was exactly a split in the number of racers even though there was more 55 finishers. Doug Knox raced 55 even though he is 60+. You will have to ask him why. He has a long explanation. I used my $29 at the local farmer's market just a half mile from the race site. Awesome stuff. Bought organic veggies, olive oil, and fresh apple pie. Thanks to Mike Birditt for the tip.
I mention that the payout was the full amount shown on the flyer because that isn't always happening. What I am see happening this year is there is an asterisk on the flyer that says that if half the field size isn't met that the payout is 50%. The higher the field size the tougher it is to get a full payout. For example if Chris Lotts says his race allows 75/75 then the field size is 150. If the 50% rule applied then we would need 75 riders to get the full amount which we didn't meet for the last race in Dom. Hills. Red Trolley has this 50% rule and a 100 field size as does Velo Allegro in there St. Pats Day race in March. I am trying to get an answer from the SCNCA what field size is allowed for us since cat 5s are allowed in our races. I can see that maybe a thing of the past. Looks like some of the 55/60+ riders are seeing burnout and some of the teams that had 55/60+ riders are also having trouble getting their riders out to races. Maybe there are too many races and too much to choose from. There is a video of the finish at Mothballs that my wife took on our iPad(Blogspot is having trouble processing the vid. I will try to put it in the story later. Sorry for now). That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!

Mothballs Criterium  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 55+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 45461 Mark Hoffenberg Rokform/Rock N' Road 14
2 48434 Keith Ketterer Breakaway from Cancer Masters 11
3 156650 Malcolm Hill Breakaway from Cancer Masters 10
4 46255 Alex Collins UC Cyclery/JW Floors 9
5 125834 William Ralph Rokform/Rock N' Road 8
6 52086 Cyril Hunte 7
7 258639 Timothy Meza Team Simple Green/Bike Religion 6
8 88537 David Tonello Peaks Coaching Group Racing Team 5
9 193819 Chuck Thompson Polli Veloce 4
10 131303 Mark Luke Platinum Performance Cycling Team 3
11 45552 Douglas Knox TIME - Velo Pasadena Team 2
Mothballs Criterium  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 60+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 545212 Kalman Szklak 14
2 180386 John McKee Paramount Racing 11
3 277180 John Roest Dons Bikes 10
4 50765 Richard Roberson UC Cyclery/JW Floors 9
5 3793 Raphael Gomez 8
6 64127 Richard Lilleberg South Bay Wheelmen 7
7 57571 Dale Harless Apex Racing Team 6
8 254258 Hugh Lothrop 5
9 245777 Steven Borer UC Cyclery/JW Floors 4
Poor College Kids Road Race  (Rank 2.0)
Masters 55+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 45461 Mark Hoffenberg Rokform/Rock N' Road 28
2 156650 Malcolm Hill 22
3 60602 Daniel Swietlik OTR Racing 20
4 49239 Gerald Finken St Paul Bicycle Racing Club 18
5 69952 Robert Willcox UC Cyclery/JW Floors 16
6 25023 Jeffrey Moreton Rokform/Rock N' Road 14
7 52251 Ricky Shorts Bahati Foundation p/b Major Motion Cycli 12
8 162650 Jim Parkhurst Team Simple Green/Bike Religion 10
9 193819 Chuck Thompson Polli Veloce 8
10 131303 Mark Luke Platinum Performance Cycling Team 6
11 109008 David Smith Santa Clarita Velo 4
12 125834 William Ralph Rokform/Rock N' Road 2
13 16837 Brad House Big Orange Cycling 0
14 258639 Timothy Meza Team Simple Green/Bike Religion 0
15 247382 Richard Gentili Citrus Valley Velo 0
16 21803 John Luke Fast Friday 0
17 378143 David B Stanton Canyon Velo 0
18 341568 Owen Thomas 0
19 287880 Harry Fekkes METALMTN Cycling 0
20 61353 Reed Moore UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
21 1254 Mark Ainslie 0
22 45582 Cleaveran Law Lightning Velo 0
Poor College Kids Road Race  (Rank 2.0)
Masters 60+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 54522 Kalman Szkalak UC Cyclery/JW Floors 28
2 12354 Kirk Freeman CA Pools / Primal 22
3 59572 Mark Huffman UC Cyclery/JW Floors 20
4 126351 Steve Bernede 18
5 48278 Donald Davidson Citrus Valley Velo 16
6 269972 Fred Haim Michelob Ultra - La Grange +21 14
7 245777 Steven Borer UC Cyclery/JW Floors 12
8 45047 Glenn Baldwin SLO Nexus-Gym One 10
9 46799 Josef Lemire Hammer Nutrition 8
10 50765 Richard Roberson UC Cyclery/JW Floors 6
11 59805 Jean Villiot CA Pools/Primal 4

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


By John McKee

It was Sunday Jan. 20th, 2013 and time for the 1st CBR race of 2013. It was Martin Luther King holiday weekend. Monday Jan. 21th is a national holiday honoring the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. Let's give thanks to having lived during the time of a great man. I will have pictures of Dr. King through the race story. We were having fun but MLK stood for making America a better place for everyone! Amen!
MLK giving the "I have a dream speech" at the Washington M.
The 55/60+ race got moved back to a early start time unlike 2012 where we were in prime time. We start at 7:30 am in 2013. Sandwiched by a fleet of 50 strong cat 5 races. Few of the cat 5s had leg warmers and some didn't even know to park face in when they got to the venue. You got to love these guys. Chris Lotts changed things around a bit this year. He "Romneyed" the prize list giving a payout to just the top 3 racers in a combined pot for 55/60+. $250 if some standard of entries are met and I am not sure what that is. No separate purse for 60+ like he did last year. Chris's races cost more. $35 vs the standard $25 UNLESS you are a Loyalty member which cost $49.95. Glad it isn't 50 dollars. The race once you join up becomes $25 and an extra race is the market price of $10 vs $15 without the Loyalty membership.
Chris tried to convince me before the race that he was doing us all a favor(except 3 people that place in the top 3) by moving the money upward and getting us use to not getting a payout. We should all just be racing for fun. Well I am all for that but go "all the way" like they used to say in high school and drop the payout all together and lower the entry fees.
MLK and Robert Kennedy- 2 great Americans assassinated because of hate
45 racers signed up to race the 55/60+ race with 26 55s and 19 60s. 6 of the 60s being over 65. I am adding a new feature this year and we will have a separate finish list for 65s on this blog. We also will spotlight the oldest person doing the race. Since Pags wasn't at this event this honor went to Michael Edwards of LaGrange. Good job, Michael.
I am really starting to feel old when I thought about this being my 13th year in 55+ and above. Once I got racing I didn't feel old again. LOL. Secret youth tonic. Race with younger guys and keep up. Easier said then done. Our race went off without a glitch since no cat 5 racer did anything really stupid and cause a crash in the 1st race of the day.
The nuts and bolts of the race itself are pretty basic. With Rokform/Rock N Road(slightly different name this year...sponsors you know) having the biggest and strongest team this year they will dictate the action in almost all the races. Last year Mark Hoffenberg had Danny Nicolette and Bob Pellkofer to play off. Add this year Kim Bleth and Jeff Moreton who are road racing experts but can ride anything if they wish. This adds up to an amazing team. Then take the loss of riders at Velo Allegro and Santa Clarita Velo. Some of the VA guys are now with the Bahati Foundation squad or maybe its the same squad.
MLK with LBJ
 Swami's added Gene Poyorena but he can only do so much for Mike Birditt and Dale Luedtke. MISMATCH takes on a whole new meaning this year. Most of the UC Cyclery squad has aged up to 60+ and haven't shown up yet. I see they are targeting the Roger Millikan race but we race almost every week.
Don't think Rokform will race every week so that will make for a whole different dynamic like at Ontario. Teams are going to have to form coalitions to try and counter Rokform. SBW has a number of shirts out there but many are 60+.
OK, the rabbit for the day at Rokform was Bob Pellkofer. Bob is very strong and can hold off the entire field unless it is motivated or chased by strong riders like Jay Wolkoff, Bruce Hartley, and or Mike Birditt(Mike is going to have to chase some this year or get out there with Bob but if he does get out there with Bob, Bob will sit up). LOL. Can't win for losing. I think that's how the old saying goes.
Bob was out there for 4 or 5 laps early in our race. Marlon Cortez of SBW tried to get to him and looks like he almost got to his wheel and ran out of gas. At some point Bob was brought back to the peleton. Most of the mid race action was centered around primes. Primes are important in keeping the races going. Racers are known suckers and will sprint for anything. Mark Hoffenberg just sat in or on Mike Birditt's wheel when he was chasing. Dan Nicolette did try a break with another rider mid way through the race but was brought back.
Did LBJ always look bored?
The race went by pretty fast. Good bike handling by the group. The dynamics of the 60s is limited because age naturally makes them weaker than the younger 55s. 5 to 10 years or more  makes a difference but is not totally limiting. The mindset sinks in that they just have to sit in and that makes for some negative racing as is it is called. Without large numbers for both groups, there is no alternative but to race together. Seems like some people don't understand that.
This was Jay Wolkoff's 1st 55/60+ race and I think he was feeling his way through the thing. Jay is very strong and will be a factor in any race he wishes to show what he can do. Jay is joining Bruce Hartley at Radsport who is a known jackrabbit that loves to mix it up in races. Bruce is great to have in our races. Radsport can definitely do some chasing on Rokform this year.
The race soon came down to 5 to go. Time for Rokform(Delta) to play another one if it's cards or the same card again(it won't be long before everyone will have the sentiments of Dean Wormer of Farber College in "Animal House" about the Delta fraternity at the town parade, he said "I hate those guys"... Just kidding fellas). Bob Pellkofer is like the energizer bunny. Send him off and what is everyone going to do about it.
Swami's sent Gene out to chase but to no avail. Mike Marotta of Swami's was racing his 1st race of the year after his bad crash at Natz in Bend on 2012. Mike is back strong and riding well but he choose to stay in the back and take it easy until late in the race. Glad to see Mike back riding well again. Mike was riding 60+ sit in style though. Marlon Cortez of SBW took a very short pull. Cleave Law of Lightning Velo came to the front and took a couple of pulls to help out their sprinter, Nelson "Tail Gunner" Alaan. Bob was still out there. Mike Birditt made the decision to chase himself and send Gene back to take care of Dale Luedtke.
MLK with the lunch counter protesters in 1960- He got arrested
Mike got the pack very close. No one else wanted to finish Bob off. One lap to go and Bob is 30 to 40 meters ahead. Marlon Cortez of SBW took it upon himself to go to the front and put some effort into chasing Bob. Bob didn't have a chance now. He would be swept up. The last few corners were chaotic. Everyone was looking for a good wheel. Mike Birditt was spent. At turn 3 Rokform played another one of it's cards and sent Danny Nicolette off a bit premature to really take it to the line but it was up to everyone else to respond. At turn 4 Danny was the 1st there and there was a bit of the gap. Dale Luedtke had no choice but to go from pretty far out but that is his strong suit anyway. Turning for home there was a bit of a Santa Ana wind to sprint into. Just made everything that much tougher.
Mark Hoffenberg(since Pelky was the rabbit, Mark was playing the greyhound) was lined up behind-Danny, Dale, Don Denegal, and Kal. It was up to Mark to show his sprinting ability and come around 4 people. He wound it up and hit 900 and some watts. Not his best for sure but good enough to win the race with a bike length to spare! Jay Wolkoff came from the outside solo and over took everyone but Mark and Kal Szkalak. Kal was 2nd overall in the race and the 1st 60+ racer across the line. Jay was next for the last pay spot. Dale Luedtke was 4th overall and the 3rd 55+ racers. Dale was the 1st NON paying spot. Don Denegal followed in Dale for 4th in 55+ and then Dan Nicolette, Nelson Alaan, and D. Asuncion.
Mike Marotta was in the group somewhere for 2nd in 60+. I was coming home near Craig Jones and got the edge on him and then Jack Briggs came by me to finish 3rd in 60+. I unwisely let off a bit and Craig came back at me to finish ahead of me by about 2 inches for 4th. I was followed in by Fleming, Miller, Swigart and Mastro in 60+.
MLK in the 1965 Civil Rights march from Selma to Montgomery
It was fun and challenging day but I have to put the whole race in perspective. Since we are celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. this weekend I want to say I admire the mission of the Bahati Foundation a great deal. I think MLK would have looked with pride to their mission which is to help inter city and under privileged youth through cycling clinics, education, and inspirational speaking(Rahsaan Bahati has spoken to 10,000 children in 25 states trying to inspire them to excel in education, music, or sports and teach bike safety). Kudos to the Bahati Foundation!!
 Tuesday morning in the LA Times was a heart warming story of a former Major League baseball player with a similar mission of helping inter city youth but through baseball. Don Buford who is 75 now excelled in baseball and football at Dorsey HS in the 1950s. He was only 150 pounds. He went to LA City College after graduation and played baseball and football.
The next year he walked on to USC and asked the baseball coach Rod Dedeaux if he could try out. Don made the baseball team and was the 1st African American baseball player for USC in 1958. 11 years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Oddly enough 1958 was the 1st year for the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Don Buford also played on the football team at USC at 150 pounds, playing running back and defensive back. Don then played MLB baseball for the Baltimore Orioles and  retired after other jobs in professional baseball. In retirement Don was living in the "Valley" playing golf. Don gave that up to give back. Don now travels to the Urban Youth Academy in Compton 7 days a week to give back to inter youth and help teach baseball at one of MLB's youth development centers. The full story is at http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-dwyre-don-buford-20130122,0,6762844.column.
The common thread here are examples of giving back to the community in keeping with the thoughts of MLK. It puts arguments about payouts and so forth in perspective. If any of you have read this far, congratulations! Thank you for staying aboard. The average speed of the 55/60+ race was 24.6 mph. The speed of the 50+ race was 25.9 mph without Thurlow Rodgers and Richard Meeker in the mix. Special mention goes to Mark Hoffenberg who finished 6th in the 45+ race. Nice going there. Results from the event in near real time were posted on the facebook page of Cycling Illustrated. Complete results for the races are below including a separate result for 65+ racers and a section for 55/60+ racers in the 50+ race. I may do this more often. Great video of our race produced by Mike McKinney at Youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6Bh0qsTXxs
Vid of the 50+ race by Mike.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDcU_Jjjy_c&feature=share&list=UUiqlc_kKSMGNfEbu_BB2clA
That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!

CBR 1  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 55+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 45461 Mark Hoffenberg Rokform/Rock N' Road 14
2 38811 Jay Wolkoff Radsport Cycling Team 11
3 47262 Dale Luedtke Swami's Cycling Club 10
4 93812 Donald Denegal 9
5 26090 Daniel Nicolette Rokform/Rock N' Road 8
6 64439 Nelson Alaan Lightning Velo 7
7 50532 Deogracias Asuncion South Bay Wheelmen 6
8 106988 Guido Quezada Velo Allegro 5
9 23303 Michael McConnell UC Cyclery/JW Floors 4
10 45431 Bruce Hartley Radsport Cycling Team 3
11 255052 Ira Schaffer Team Simple Green/Bike Religion 2
12 107559 Rodney Malloy Bahati Foundation-CA 1
13 178640 Reginald Jones Lightning Velo 0
14 174212 Brian Carrico PAA/REMAX 0
15 47255 Michael Birditt SKLZ-Swami's Cycling Team 0
16 88537 David Tonello Peaks Coaching Group Racing Team 0
17 61353 Reed Moore UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
18 54084 Lothar Cramer 0
19 45582 Cleaveran Law Lightning Velo 0
20 49191 Kim Bleth Rokform/Rock N' Road 0
21 49124 Orlando Hutcherson Bahati Foundation-CA 0
22 72467 Marlon Cortez South Bay Wheelmen 0
23 177283 Eugene Poyorena Swami's Cycling Club 0
24 314194 Steve Hernandez Lightning Velo 0

CBR 1  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 60+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 54522 Kalman Szkalak UC Cyclery/JW Floors 14
2 72880 Mike Marotta Swami's Cycling Club 11
3 4835 Jack Briggs South Bay Wheelmen 10
4 18156 Craig Jones Velo Avanti Cycling Team 9
5 180386 John McKee Paramount Racing 8
6 129293 Michael Fleming South Bay Wheelmen 7
7 49424 Howard Miller OCW/Paramount Racing 6
8 228631 James Swigart ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 5
9 151059 Joseph Mastro Team Simple Green/Bike Religion 4
10 155459 Thomas Reilly Santa Clarita Velo 3
11 64127 Richard Lilleberg South Bay Wheelmen 2
12 243425 mark wisnosky ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 1
13 364856 John Erwin 0
14 257503 Philip Walters Encino Velo Cycling Club 0
15 195498 Donald Kimper UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
16 101582 William Carvin 0
17 9271 Pete Dern Montrose Bike Shop- CW Builders 0
18 12354 Kirk Freeman CA Pools / Primal 0
19 50406 Michael Edwards Michelob Ultra - La Grange +21 0
65+ Racers

1- McKee
2- Fleming
3- Lilleberg
4- Kimper
5- Carvin
6- Edwards

55+ Racers in 50+ race

1- Wolkoff
2- Birditt
3- Luedtke
4- Nicolette
5- McKee- 60+
6- Asuncion
7- Szkalak- 60+
8- Carrico
9- Jones, C.- 60+
14-Miller- 60+
15-Swigart- 60+
many more followed in

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


By John McKee

It gets earlier every year for the start of the new race season. Early in this century the 1st race for 55/60+ racers was the Mothballs Criterium in Goleta which was always the last Sunday in January. Then Chris Lotts threw a criterium in for CBR in front of that and then Ray Moreno threw his 1st Ontario race in front of that. This year the date for the 1st Ontario race was Jan. 13th, 2013.

55/60+ racers lined up at Ontario

 A cold spell hit the Southland and I was expecting some cold temps for this 1st race but it was colder than expected at around 30 degrees at or near the start of our race. This was the coldest I have done a race. I was dressed for it as were almost all the experienced racers. We use to race at 7:35 am but moved back slightly to 8:05 am. The extra time was appreciated because it took longer to get prepared to race with the cold conditions. Things like putting on the number, getting the booties and gloves on, setting up the trainer took longer and the lines for reg were long as well. I just rode my mountain bike in the 30s in the Denver area and Ontario felt colder because of the moisture.
Reggie Jones taking in a rebound for AF vs Maryland
There are always new riders aging up into our group. Last year it was Mark Hoffenberg and a whole host of "top notch"(as Ted Knight would say in "Caddyshack") racers. This year one particular rider was aging up and was boasting that he was going to make short work of the competition. He pre reged but didn't line up. I guess we will have to wait another day to get our clocks cleaned. One rider that did age up and did line up was Reggie Jones. I met Reggie at El Dorado in Long Beach in 2001. We use to do it every Tuesday. Before that and many years before that Reggie played basketball for the Air Force Academy. Reggie is the all time leader in rebounds and blocked shots for the AFA. Reggie was in the class of 1981 and is still remembered as one of the best players to have played there.
This year like 2012 the 60s do not have a separate purse at Ontario but share a combined result for money and a separate result for Socal Points and the Ontario Series Points. I didn't like this then and don't now and let Ray know how I felt. Ray said this wasn't going to change. Even still there were more pre reged and more total registrations in 60+ than 55+. I guess we don't race for the dough but to me it's as much a matter of respect as anything. The money gets paid out to racers through the day and I think the 60s should get a share of the purse based on the percentage of the total that show up. Ray does provide a race venue for juniors and that is good. Juniors are a money loser for the time they take so Ray is sacrificing there. Ray did dump all the women's races except junior women.
The cat 5 men went 1st and then the young juniors. Of course I saw some cat 5 guys without leg or knee warmers. Damn! We were up at 8:05 and there were no crashes in the first 2 races so we were set to start on time. The gun went off and it was time to focus on the race at hand. I think everyone wanted to start the race year off fairly slow but not Lothar "Blue Boy" Cramer. Lothar use to race for Simple Green but Sunday had a plain blue jersey on. "Blue Boy" went off like he had a fire cracker up his butt. Lothar was off almost 2 laps before he went back into the field but his hardcore style of riding wouldn't finish here.
Mike Birditt leading the chase of "Blue Boy" early on.

Reggie Jones out in front after securing his prime. Reggie creamed everyone.
When you start a new year one has no real idea of what kind of form he would have. I think everyone was feeling out themselves more than anything. I had no idea how I would feel and wasn't very confident based on some group rides I had done. Once in the race I felt good and churned near the front like I always did in the past. The overall speed wasn't very high and I expected the field to churn more than it did considering. The primes are always few and far between at Ontario but there was a saddle bag and some kind of food thing that Reggie Jones won.
There are many riders aging up to 60+ this year but only a few chose to come out to Ontario. The top racers that did age up and raced at Ontario included Kal "Muscles" Szkalak, Wayne "The Vet" Rosenkrantz(Wayne is a very renowned veterinarian doctor) , Tom "Breakman" Reilly, and John "The Chaser" Roest.
Wayne "The Vet" Rosenkrantz aged up to 60+ this year
Rick Swanson sporting his new SC Velo kit
Mike "Legs Diamond" Birditt besting Cyril "The Bike Handler" Hunte for the Ontario Points prime by a lot!
The middle of the race nothing happened! I mean nothing!! There were a few surges and jumps but no real attempt at a break. Kal jumped a few times but was always covered. The race came down to 5 laps to go and I thought for sure this would be bunch sprint. I was already looking for Dale's, Kal's or Wayne's wheel for the ride to the finish line. Dale started to move forward.
Lothar "Blue Boy" Cramer went off the front and was joined by Joseph Deen of Citrus Valley Velo with  5 laps to go. It looked like another kamikaze run like at the beginning of the race. They were only 100 meters ahead. Pretty soon Tom "Breakman" Reilly joined them. Tom knows what he doing off the front so alarm bells should have gone off but then the 3 guys were quickly joined by Gene Poyorena of Swami's and Michael McConnell of UC Cyclery and lastly Bruce Hartley of Radsport. A lot of teams were here and with Gene being on Swami's now, Mike and Dale wouldn't chase. Mike figured there weren't any sprinters in the group and Gene had a good chance of winning with his track smart skills.
Joseph Deen and Lothar Cramer start a break with 5 laps to go.
The break group grew to 7(front two riders not shown)From L to R- Briggs, Poyorena, Reilly, Cramer, & Deen

Gene just sat in the break group and let everyone else do the work. He figured if they stayed away he had a good chance of winning for Swami's and if they were caught that Mike or Dale would win the bunch sprint. Great tactics by Swami's. Of course you have to have good riders to do stuff like this.
With one lap to go the break group had 200 meters and no one to chase. Don Davidson would be chasing but he had a man in the break and it was hands off. Many teams were in the break and the critical team in the break was Swami's. It is after the fact thinking that SC Velo should have chased with 3 riders in the race.
6 of the breakers finished together with Gene Poyorena using his track savvy to best everyone for the 55+ win and the overall win. 1st place check! Nice going. Tom Reilly came across 2nd for 2nd overall and 1st in 60+. Tom was followed in by Michael McConnell, Lothar Cramer, Bruce Hartley, Jack Briggs(2nd 60+ finisher) and Joe Deen rolled between the break group and the bunch sprinting for the line which were but 60 meters behind.
In the peleton the last lap was going to be nerve wracking because of the relative slow speed. Pags moved forward at 76 years of age and looked really good. I was surprised that more guys didn't jump forward. I wasn't in that great of position but at turn 5 and 2 turns to go I jumped a lot of riders on the right side. Right about when I went forward the speed really picked up. Mike Birditt wanted to move Dale forward to do the sprint and he wanted to see his teammate ahead fight for the finish line and possible victory. I saw Wayne "The Vet" Rosenkrantz and thought this was a good wheel to follow in.
Keichi McKee( 2000-2012)
The speed stayed up there after the last corner and I felt fairly fresh for this stage of the last lap. I saw Mike peel off to his right part way to the finish line and Dale take it on his own. Nelson Alaan and myself started to move forward and pass a few riders including Wayne. I was spinning in a 53 x 12 and should have clicked up to a 11 and got out of the saddle but even if I did I wouldn't have passed Kal. I finished just behind Nelson and just ahead of Wayne with Kal following  Dale "High Speed Cruiser" Luedtke. Once Dale gets up to ramming speed(We know from "Ben Hur" that ramming speed is max) he can hold it for a long time and there aren't many riders that can come around him. For the overall pace being fairly slow the sprint speed was pretty high. I hit 36.6 mph which is my best or near so in this race. Have done faster in 50+ but there was a faster leadout.
The overall speed was 23.8 mph which was the slowest we have done there that I know of. The 50+ speed was 25.6 mph with only a slight increase in wattage.
No one went down and we got through the cold. Only one person didn't finish of the 35 starters. Complete results are below. As this writing the 60s aren't being given credit at SCNCA for the finish. I am working on trying to get us results. We don't get any money. At least we should get a result and Socal points. The 55+ results have a void in placings 11 and 12. 13th should move up to 11, etc. There is a good vid of the race on YouTube produced by Mike McKinney. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NM6OVzddA-U   Hope the link works. Monty Pettus took the pictures of the race with my camera. Monty is awaiting surgery for a torn Rotator Cuff. Wishing Monty a speedy recovery. That is all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!

PS- I am dedicating this race and this season to my dog Keichi McKee who my wife and I lost to brain cancer late last year. We miss him so much.

Ontario 1  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 55+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 177283 Eugene Poyorena Swami's Cycling Club 14
2 23303 Michael McConnell UC Cyclery/JW Floors 11
3 54084 Lothar Cramer 10
4 45431 Bruce Hartley Radsport Cycling Team 9
5 366450 Joseph Deem Citrus Valley Velo 8
6 47262 Dale Luedtke Swami's Cycling Club 7
7 64439 Nelson Alaan Lightning Velo 6
8 125834 William Ralph Rokform/Rock N' Road 5
9 34753 Rick Swanson Southern California Velo 4
10 15625 Demi Hechanova SC Velo 3
13 255052 Ira Schaffer Team Simple Green/Bike Religion 0
14 47255 Michael Birditt SKLZ-Swami's Cycling Team 0
15 52086 Cyril Hunte 0
16 178640 Reginald Jones Lightning Velo 0
17 258639 Timothy Meza Team Simple Green/Bike Religion 0
18 104199 Mark Parma 0
19 167453 bob estupinan Citrus Valley Velo 0
Masters 60+

1 Reilly
2 Briggs
3 Kal Szkalak
4 McKee
5 Rosenkrantz
6 Fleming
7 Kimper
8 Dern
9 Roest
10 Swigart
11 Edwards
12 Pags
13 Lilleberg
14 Hoffer
15 Mosier
16 Lothrop
17 Davidson

OVERALL FINISH LIST- All riders numbered 105 and below are 60+.