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

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