Thursday, February 28, 2013


By John McKee

Feburary 23, 2013 the date for the 1st of 3 Rosena Ranch Circuit Race events. Majestic Cycling got going in 2012 with 2 events on a pretty darn hard 3.74 mile loop with 2 180 turns and sloop as high as 3.7%. The race course is off Glen Helen Pkwy from the I 15 Freeway. Pretty far up there. There is quite a number of new housing developments in the area. The promoter was able to close off this loop on a Saturday which is good for him and racers because Sundays are locked up on the SCNCA calendar. Especially after CBR came aboard. 2012 saw an entry fee of $35 but it was reduced for 2013 to $30. The promoter was to pay BOTH the 55s and 60s $200. No 50% rule as we have seen from some sources. Good fair payout and a challenging course. Something that favors the lighter riders but the strong men can also perform here. The course is not forgiving though. A little out of shape. Maybe a little heavy. Can't draft near as easy here. You get yourself in oxygen debt at the wrong place here and you could fine yourself off the back. 29 55s and 22 60s showed up for a very good turnout of 49. For a venue this far out of the way for many riders this is good.
When I got to the course the wind was blowing pretty good and it felt cold. Colder than I thought it was going to be. I was thankful that the 55/60+ race didn't start until 9:30 am. Cat 5s and juniors went before us. It did warm up a bit and the wind did seem to calm down a little. Locals say it usually blows pretty good most every day in the afternoon. One other thing about this long circuit race is there can be more than one group racing at the same time. Good for the promoter and the racers. Tougher on the officials but they are good. They can do it. The cat 3/4 women were to start 5 minutes after us and we never had to pass them in the time we raced the circuit 6 times. We would gain about 1,000 ft. over the course of the race.

Black dog(Hoffy) White dog(Malcolm) Black dog "He doesn't want to win. Trust me!"

49 55/60+ racers were off close to the start time of 9:30 am. We were to do 6 laps or 22 minutes.No crazy sprint off the line thing. The 1st lap was pretty much under control. Rokform of course would try to dominate the race with almost their full lineup. With some probing on the 1st lap there was a small 50 meter gap that opened up after the 2nd turnaround. Foresaking my pre race strategy of staying with myself and not doing anything extreme, I shot across the gap. Everyone chased me and we were all together again. Last year I did something similar on the 3rd lap and went into oxygen debt and struggled the rest of the race. Lol. I did counsel myself about this indiscretion.
The pace up the end of the 1st lap with the biggest part of the climbing went well. It wasn't that fast. The Rokform team was looking to get multiple riders in the break or to at least match Breakaway from Cancer numbers. If just one BFC rider was in the break then one Rokform but if both of BFC riders were in the break then Rokform wanted at least 2 or they wouldn't work in the pack and would chase behind. There was some mixing and matching on the 2nd lap. The pace in the pack going up the hill at the end of the lap was the slowest it was going to be in this race and most likely slower than any lap last year. At the 1st turnaround on the 3rd lap the last pieces of the break group were being put into place. 9 riders. 7 55s and 2 60s. The 55s were Rokform's Mark Hoffenberg, Bob Pelkofer, and Jeff Moreton, BFC's Malcolm Hill and Witold Czulak(Witold is just getting back into racing. He had a major injury from a crash that kept him off his bike for 2 years), UC Cyclery's Bob Wilcox, and Radsport's Bruce Hartley. The 60s included UC Cyclery's Kal Szkalak and  Cal Pools Kirk Freeman.
The 55s pushed the pace which got to 30 seconds and pretty much held there for most of the race. Bill Ralph of Rokform was in the pack to monitor things but all the major 55+ teams were in the break so no great surge was likely and that proved to be the case. No one was going to get away in the break group without a very strong rider chasing on him. The bell lap came and the 2 60s were nicely tucked in the break group getting a ride. Bruce Hartley had decided to disappear as well on the last few laps. Something different for him. The pace in the pack stayed moderate which was to my advantage. I had no confidence on this course.
The last lap came and Bob Pelkofer went off the front of the break group. This is what Bob is good at. Witold Czulak went to the front to chase and chase he did. He brought Bob back.
The pack picked it up after the 1st turnaround and there was a small 20 meter gap that opened up. I wasn't on the right side of this one and immediately closed it down. This area was flat so no problem for me. The pace in the pack was hearty but comfortable enough for most everyone.
The break group was racing for the complete podium and all the pay spots in 55+. 2 of the podium spots and 2 of the 4 pay spots in 60+ were going to either Kal or Kirk. The break group turned the last turnaround together. Witold went to the front to pace and then Jeff Moreton took over. Mark was sitting in waiting for the right moment to spring for the line. Malcolm certainly was keeping an eye on Mark. No one jumped early like happened last year. 300 meters and someone couldn't wait any longer. Time for Mark Hoffenberg to put it into sprint mode. Sprinting is one of the things Mark does well but is there anything he can't do in cycling. Malcolm gave it everything he had but Mark was 1st to the line. Malcolm Hill was 2nd. Bruce Hartley used that reserve power that he had been storing up the last few laps to make it on the podium with an excellent 3rd place finish. Bruce was followed in by Bob Pelkofer, Bob Wilcox, Jeff Moreton and Witold Czulak.
The peleton also waited fairly late to start the finish sprint. It would be longer than it looks because it is uphill until to get very close to the line. Not sure who lead it out but when everyone went. I went. I was in decent position but wasn't near Mark Huffman who is the person I should have been marking. Mark is very good form right now and just aged up. 4 guys finished a tad ahead of everyone else. Steve Hensler, Mark Huffman and Wayne "The Vet" Rosenkrantz, and Bill Ralph and then Steve Borer, Gary Shuey(nice to see Gary back racing with us as a 60+ rider now) , myself and Don Davidson.
It was a good race and event. Thanks to the promoter for a good purse for us BOTH and a reduced entry fee. The start time was also excellent considering how far it is too travel to the venue.
On Sunday the weather was completely different at Ontario. The weather channel said the wind was 34 mph with gusts to 52 mph. I think it wasn't quite that bad but a number of us decided not to race. I rode one practice lap and decided I wasn't comfortable with the conditions. Dale, Birdy, Kal and a number of others also chose to sit it out. Most riders did race it and there were no crashes which was great. Glad to hear. Mark Hoffenberg won the 55+ cateogory(what a surprise) and "Big" John Roest won the 60+ category. Results are below! That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!

55+ Podium at Rosena Ranch- Hill 2, Hoffenberg 1, Hartley 3 with the Hooter gals.

Rosena Ranch 1  (Rank 1.5)
Masters 55+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 45461 Mark Hoffenberg Rokform/Rock N' Road 21
2 156650 Malcolm Hill Breakaway from Cancer Masters 17
3 45431 Bruce Hartley Radsport Cycling Team 15
4 47652 Bob Pellkofer Rokform/Rock N' Road 13
5 69952 Robert Willcox UC Cyclery/JW Floors 12
6 25023 Jeffrey Moreton Rokform/Rock N' Road 10
7 276778 Witold Czulak Breakaway from Cancer Masters 9
8 15874 Steve Hensler UC Cyclery/JW Floors 7
9 125834 William Ralph Rokform/Rock N' Road 6
10 61353 Reed Moore UC Cyclery/JW Floors 4
11 36299 Daniel Valentin Citrus Valley Velo 3
12 16837 Brad House Big Orange Cycling 2
13 247382 Richard Gentili Citrus Valley Velo 0
14 120335 Dan DeMuth Team Redlands 0
15 203308 Daniel Yeager Swami's Cycling Club 0
16 104199 Mark Parra Team Redlands 0
17 162650 Jim Parkhurst Team Simple Green/Bike Religion 0
18 45582 Cleaveran Law Lightning Velo 0
19 94345 Gary Jones Citrus Valley Velo 0
20 148853 Dale Raymond Southern California Velo 0
21 188585 David Van Waldick Celo Pacific 0
22 167453 Bob Estupinan Citrus Valley Velo 0
23 49191 Kim Bleth Rokform/Rock N' Road 0
24 279093 Moshe Ovadya 0
25 222764 Thomas Buescher South Bay Wheelmen 0

Rosena Ranch 1  (Rank 1.5)
Masters 60+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 54522 Kalman Szkalak UC Cyclery/JW Floors 21
2 12354 Kirk Freeman CA Pools / Primal 17
3 59572 Mark Huffman UC Cyclery/JW Floors 15
4 30596 Wayne Rosenkrantz Pinnaclife Racing Team 13
5 44197 Gary Shuey Swami's Cycling Club 12
6 245777 Steven Borer UC Cyclery/JW Floors 10
7 180386 John McKee Paramount Racing 9
8 48278 Donald Davidson Citrus Valley Velo 7
9 59805 Jean Villiot CA Pools/Primal 6
10 189814 Leo Longo Peninsula Cycle Club 4
11 228631 James Swigart ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 3
12 269972 Fred Haim Michelob Ultra - La Grange +21 2
13 64127 Richard Lilleberg South Bay Wheelmen 0
14 366450 Joseph Deem Citrus Valley Velo 0
15 236498 Bruce Steele South Bay Wheelmen 0
16 277180 John Roest Dons Bikes 0
17 50765 Richard Roberson UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
18 301372 Tom Herman South Bay Wheelmen 0
19 203244 Cary Alpert ironfly 0
20 3793 Raphael Gomez 0
21 Steve Mera 0
Ontario 2  (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 36299 Daniel Valentin Citrus Valley Velo 10
4 64439 Nelson Alaan Lightning Velo 9
5 52086 Cyril Hunte 8
6 125834 William Ralph Rokform/Rock N' Road 7
7 34753 Rick Swanson Southern California Velo 6
8 15625 Demi Hechanova Southern California Velo 5
9 23303 Michael McConnell UC Cyclery/JW Floors 4
10 167453 Bob Estupinan Citrus Valley Velo 3
11 148853 Dale Raymond Southern California Velo 2
12 95649 Ken Burns Southern California Velo 1
13 202041 Mark Planellas Southern California Velo 0
14 51400 Mark Rich Southern California Velo 0
15 396304 Noel Leos 0
16 94345 Gary Jones Citrus Valley Velo 0
Ontario 2  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 60+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 277180 John Roest Dons Bikes 14
2 30596 Wayne Rosenkrantz Pinnaclife Racing Team 11
3 366450 Joseph Deem Citrus Valley Velo 10
4 9271 Pete Dern Montrose Bike Shop- CW Builders 9
5 243425 mark wisnosky ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 8
6 254258 Hugh Lothrop 7
7 7677 Jim Cooke CA Pools / Primal 6
8 129293 Michael Fleming South Bay Wheelmen 5
9 45763 Robert Paganini PAA/REMAX 4

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


By John McKee

I had to keep telling myself to stay positive. Stay positive when writing my new story about CBR # 2. There was a controversy about payout with guess who. They broke the mold when they made Mr. Chris Lotts. I still love him for some reason. Chris comes over to me before the 55/60+ race with a big smile and pats me on the back. Says something bland that didn't make a lot of sense but that is Chris. The energy level this guy maintains on race day is amazing. If you could harness it to a electric power grid, you could light up the city of Los Angeles for days.
The positive element of my story is going to be about my friend and fellow racer. Robert Paganini turned 77 on Saturday March 16th. Robert has obviously lived a long life and has many more great years to come. Robert was born in France and lived in Paris during the Nazi occupation. Robert started racing at a fairly early age and was racing at a fairly high level in the early 50s. Robert raced with and against Jacque Anquetil in 1952. I have some great pictures of Robert racing in France from the early 50s to 1966. Happy Birthday to Robert and many more to come and many more victories and podiums at the State and National level. Robert has over 20 SCNCA masters championships and 3 USA masters championships.

Robert Paganini in France in the early 50s. Robert use to ride to and from most of his races.

Exhausted after a race on cobblestones?

Robert never liked anything on his arms and legs
Robert racing in France in 1966. A little heavier here. Robert is 2nd in line.
Racing in France in 1966. Robert is 2nd on the far side.

Victory for Robert Paganini at an early age.

Recent picture of Robert racing in Socal. Robert looks so uncomfortable and ill fit to his bike but he makes it work.
February 17th, 2013 and time for CBR #2. We could have been in Imperial and or Brawley to race for vegetables but sadly those races weren't on the calendar in 2013. To compare my contact with the promoter there and Chris. LOL. And I mean a big LOL. Stay positive. Stay positive. 40 racers or "cupcakes/swinging dicks" as Chris likes to say signed up to do the 2nd CBR race in Carson. The Carson course is across Wilmington Ave. from the old Paramount course. Similar profile but maybe a little harder with the power climb slightly steeper and the course a little shorter. We are sandwiched again between the cat 5 races and start at 7:30 am. I understand the 2nd 5 race will be replaced by a 30+ 4/5 category. A common and popular race in CBR. Brad Decker loves this race and being 45 lbs. lighter this year, Brad might do well.
Rokform/Velosport was fully loaded for 55+ race. A stellar line up of "top notch" racers as Ted Knight would say in "Caddyshack". Swami's was without Dale Luedtke and Pinneclife was without Jay Wolkoff. . No Breakaway from Cancer racers. A lopsided field. Mike "wrong side" McConnell was going to be there for UC Cyclery and is proving to be a strong presence in the peleton. He just has to figure out which side the number goes on. Mike needs a little more "seasoning" as they say in baseball.
Rokform/Velosport doing a pre race meeting that might have gone like this "Let's make Mike Birditt's legs scream" or "Does anybody have a hammer so we can 'Tonya Harding' Chris". Photo courtesy of Alex Naddor.

Mike McConnell leading the pack early on. Mike is followed by a new cat 2 rider from Minnesota. The number goes on the right side, Mike! Photo courtesy of Alex Naddor.
I started to hurt early on as the event got going. I think this just meant I was racing again. Lol. I told myself that I didn't want to do another race even though I paid for it. I did anyway. Fighting those negative thoughts is all part of the racing process. The mental side. Rokform was killing it early. Making the race as hard as they could make it and they can make it pretty darn hard.
Mark Hoffenberg killing it at the front. "Wrong side" is chasing with Bruce Hartley bringing the field on. Photo courtesy of Alex Naddor.
It's Bob Pelkofer's turn to shoot off the front for Rokform. Photo courtesy of Alex Naddor.
The race seemed to go by pretty quickly. I was glad there were no cones on the far side of the finish area. This is where I clipped 2 cones and went flying. They set up the officials area further out into the street leaving the far side to ride on which is the way I think it should have been set up all along.
Minor primes were sprinkled in the mix. $20 is always a popular incentive to pick up the pace.We had a "new guy" out there in the name of Gerald Finken from Minnesota. Gerald is a cat 2 rider and did a lot of chasing on Rokform. Bruce Hartley was chasing up a storm as well along with Mike McConnell. Mike Birditt threw down the gauntlet nailing back those Rokform Jack in the Boxes several times. Pelky and Hoffy were doing most of the efforts with Henry Scheff and Jeff Moreton also contributing some leg power. Some pretty tough stuff for everyone to digest.
The "Man of a Thousand Lakes" pulling everyone back to Pelky. Photo courtesy of Alex Naddor.
No group formed that lasted any length of time until the 4 most aggressive riders got together in one foursome. Hoffy, Birdy, Hartley and "Mr. Lakes". I thought this was it. Birdy and Hoffy in one group with 2 other riders that I didn't know at the time. Bruce and Mike thought this was the brass ring. The ticket to finish away from the group but did Hoffy want to sprint straight up with Mike. Mark wasn't pulling as hard as he can from intell I got and was always looking around seeing what was up. Was Mark looking for a teammate to come across the gap. Maybe so. Back in the pack "Wrong side" took a big pull. Mike is pretty strong. Then Kal jumped hard on the outside at turn 3. He wasn't trying to chase down the group. He was trying to get too the group. Chase bells went off in the pack. Everyone was out of the saddle going up the hill chasing the man with the muscles. Kal's effort got everyone so close that a few guys got across the gap but it was doomed.
4 break stars looking to take it home but did Rokform like the grouping?Photo courtesy of Alex Naddor.

You can only see Bruce Hartley's helmet checking out the progress. You can see "Wrong side" pulling the pack. Photo courtesy of Alex Naddor.

Henry Scheff and  Deogracias Asuncion add themselves to the group just before its curtails. Exit right! Photo courtesy of Alex Naddor.

 The race was most assuredly going to come down to a bunch sprint. It was less than 5 to go now. Who was Rokform going to set up for? Mark or Nick? Mark has a winning streak going but Danny is sprinting well lately. Rokform was also thinking of placing 2 on the podium. Taking 2 of the 3 pay spots in the mini purse of $125. Chris is saying a full field is 150 from the flyer which says 75/75. It's actually is a violation of Rule 1H5 USA CYCLING 2013 rulebook. The maximum field size that allows cat 5 racers is 75. Chris 50% rule should come into play with 38 swinging dicks though not all our racers always have dicks to swing. Last year we were getting $250 for the 55s and $100 for the 60s going 5 deep. There were 2 cat 5s in the race. You guys might want to upgrade because Chris could change the field to cats 1-4 and that rule wouldn't apply.
OK. Final lap and the big guy from Minnesota is leading the pack around. Mark, Nick and Birdy are lurking nearby. After turn 3 Mark Hoffenberg hits it. Nicolette and Birditt were following close. I don't know who was on Mike but they dropped the ball. Nelson Alaan had done his own separate solo launch. Nelson likes to launch coming out of turn 3 taking a hard fast turn and flying up the hill.
Sprint picture #1- Does anyone get lower than Mike Birditt....NO! Photo courtesy of Alex Naddor.

Sprint picture #2- pretty close right now. Photo courtesy of Alex Naddor.
Sprint picture #3- in 60+ action- I am following Kal with Marotta closing toward the line. Jones is blocked out by "Lakes". Photo courtesy of Alex Naddor.

Sprint picture #4- Nelson Alaan and Cyril Hunte are shown to the right of "Lakes". Photo courtesy of Alex Naddor.

Sprint picture #5- Hoffy 1, Birdy 2, Nick 3 in 55+.  Chris Lotts is near the officials area.
Coming to the last corner Mark Hoffenberg is 1st, Nicolette 2nd and Birditt 3rd. Now the stories vary a bit coming home. The "Swami's" version has Nick easing off a bit to create a small gap. Once around the corner Mike takes his own path to the finish line. Nick comes off Mark wheel but isn't in his favorite sprint gear which is 53 x 11. Pretty big gear but Danny is really strong. Birditt gets by Dan but not Mark. Mark is in really GOOD form. The podium placers were followed in by Alaan, Shorts, Finken and Hunte in 55+.
In 60+ action Craig Jones was the 1st rider to the last corner but hit a bit of a 55+ log jam and put on his brakes whether it was needed or not. Szkalak zoomed in for 1st, Marotta showing a good sprint crossed in 2nd and I crossed in 3rd. Jones was 4th followed in by Miller, Wisnosky, Dern, and Fleming.
Robert Paganini stayed with the pack and finished with the pack after coming off a skiing accident that injured his knee. I say Robert is doing great.
In other races Kal was 7th in 50+ and Jones was 19th. In 45+ Hoffy was 9th. There were just 3 65s that finished with myself 1, Fleming 2 and Pags 3. Robert of course was the oldest racer anywhere around.
The average speed was around 25 mph in 55/60+ and 26.3 in 50+. Good hard safe 55/60+ race.We are not going to win with Chris on the payout issue and if he wants us to race for points only then go ahead and try it and see what happens. The 60s race for NO purse and pay the same entry fee anyway. Fat chance some 60 other than Kal have a chance against the very strong 55s that are racing with the 60s. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!
CBR 2  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 55+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 45461 Mark Hoffenberg Rokform/Rock N' Road 14
2 47255 Michael Birditt SKLZ-Swami's Cycling Team 11
3 26090 Daniel Nicolette Rokform/Rock N' Road 10
4 64439 Nelson Alaan Lightning Velo 9
5 52251 Ricky Shorts Bahati Foundation p/b Major Motion Cycli 8
6 49239 Gerald Finken St Paul Bicycle Racing Club 7
7 52086 Cyril Hunte 6
8 50532 Deogracias Asuncion South Bay Wheelmen 5
9 47652 Bob Pellkofer Rokform/Rock N' Road 4
10 174212 Brian Carrico PAA/REMAX 3
11 54084 Lothar Cramer 2
12 107559 Rodney Malloy Bahati Foundation-CA 1
13 23303 Michael McConnell UC Cyclery/JW Floors 0
14 25023 Jeffrey Moreton Rokform/Rock N' Road 0
15 178640 Reginald Jones Lightning Velo 0
16 72467 Marlon Cortez South Bay Wheelmen 0
17 393555 Larry Castillo Velo Allegro 0
18 177283 Eugene Poyorena Swami's Cycling Club 0
19 46996 Peter Allen Rokform/Rock N' Road 0
20 93812 Donald Denegal Velo Allegro 0
21 106988 Guido Quezada Velo Allegro 0
22 45552 Douglas Knox TIME - Velo Pasadena Team 0
23 314194 Steve Hernandez Lightning Velo 0
CBR 2  (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 180386 John McKee Paramount Racing 10
4 18156 Craig Jones Velo Avanti Cycling Team 9
5 49424 Howard Miller OCW/Paramount Racing 8
6 243425 mark wisnosky ACQUA AL 2/SDBC 7
7 9271 Pete Dern Montrose Bike Shop- CW Builders 6
8 129293 Michael Fleming South Bay Wheelmen 5
9 301372 Tom Herman South Bay Wheelmen 4
10 257503 Philip Walters Encino Velo Cycling Club 3
11 45763 Robert Paganini PAA/REMAX 2

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


By John McKee

Being in a hospital bed is about the last place any of us want to be but the week prior the ever popular Roger Millikan Memorial Criterium one of our racing brothers found himself in one. Our friend raced on Sunday and found himself in a hospital bed on Tuesday without any knowledge of what was wrong other than a lot of pain. Frightening of course but this story has a happy ending. A regular 1950s romantic comedy. They always had a happy ending though our friend certainly wasn't happy on Tuesday. More of this later. Lol. Maybe some of you will actually finish my story.

Roger Millikan
The Roger Millikan Memorial Criterium scheduled for Feb. 10, 2013 was in for some changes this year for a couple of reasons. Velo Avanti use to take the lead in producing the race with Ed Keck doing a LOT of the leg work. They and he decided to throw in the towel. They left the job up to Canyon Velo. Alex Collins was a major player in starting this club many years ago. Alex brought in UC Cyclery on the permit with tie ins to money for purses and primes. Of course they were forsaking the Paramount race they USE to get on the permit and provide money. Lol. Alex got his employer Morgan Gold to provide $1,500 toward the 55/60+ race. $1,000 for the 55s and $500 for the 60s. What I would like to see in the future is someone like Morgan Gold put money in a pot for a race series. Maybe 5 to 10 races within the SCNCA calendar that counted toward the points winners and leaders. Brad House use to do something like this. It was good for the racers and good for the promoters that got the special boost of being selected for this race series.
OK, back to RMMC. The course was changed about 8 or 9 years ago to the easterly course. Very popular. A little more dicey. More of a power climb on leg 3. Fun course as long as you stayed upright. The 55/60+ guys had a great safety record there. In 2011 there was the lapping of the rider at turn 3 on the last lap that was a major fiasco(no one went down) but other than that the 55/60s did well there. The problem in 2013 was a indoor gun range and gun shop on Berry St. Now Berry was on the race route but the street was NOT completely closed down to traffic in either direction BUT the shop owner as I understand it complained to the city of Brea and they encouraged the race promoter to move the race over to where the race was for years as the St. Valentines Day Massacre. The old course has a church near by that gets their panties in a twist if you park near their place so racers were encouraged to park on the old new course. If you know what I mean. Right. Lol.
Sign ups for 2013 weren't restricted to 75  though they should have been. The maximum field you can have with cat 5s allowed is 75. Not 100 and definitely not 150 like at CBR. I didn't get a final count this year. The 2 prior years and nearly so 3 years ago was a sellout. This was the highest payout ever or a tie actually with the Paramount race. As you all should know the Paramount race is 55 and 60+ friendly. I wonder why that is. I guess some of you were afraid your dog would get into some trouble while you were gone and stayed away from Roger Millikan. See pics below.
Bad boys 1 and 2

Bad boy # 3

Bad boy #4 - He doesn't look like he has any shame
Oh yes. Bike racing. I do that. Canyon Velo put the 55/60+ racers in a prime spot at 9:35 am. The elite women plus the juniors and cat 5s went before us as they should. Smallest fields 1st. Promoters hand book 101 though the women can complain VERY loud so the squeaky wheel usually gets better treatment.
The 55/60+ racers were called to the line from the holding area. I got cut off by a rambunctious racer in a unnamed kit. Ricky Shorts said "Wow. The race hasn't even started".
Just so no one forgets what the race title is about, Roger Millikan was a long time rider and racer and member of Velo Avanti though he was a member of Paramount many years ago. I think I mentioned this before that he use to date Monty Pettus's wife before they married. While Monty was racing in Pacific Grove Roger was racing Diane though Monty won out in the end
Leo (Monty) Pettus 5th in line here at the 1975 Pacific Grove Buterfly Criterium
when he started concentrating on the important stuff. Roger passed away several years ago after a bout with cancer. This race is given Roger's name and raced in his honor.
At the line we were told we had 40 minutes to race and we were off with the 1st lap neutral. The not so usual suspects went flying around like Bob Mosier(Bob unfortunately crashed later and broke his collarbone after driving down from Mailbu with his 11 year old daughter. Wish you the best, Bob), Brad House, John Roest and Bob Pelkofer(designed flyer for Rokform). The pace was brisk once the race was on but not near as hard as at Red Trolley. Maybe its the course. RT is definitely harder.
There was a crash at Roger Millikan. It was behind me so I didn't see it. I heard from 4 to 10 riders were in it. Bob Mosier took the worst injuries though Rick Carerra found out later that he has a fracture in his shoulder besides all the road rash. There were some close calls for some riders that avoided going down. Mike Birditt had to squeeze between a downed rider and the curb and got by him but bulldozed another rider and hurt his shoulder. He couldn't believe that he hit someone that hard and didn't go down on the ground. Track skills. Brad House ran over someone's rear wheel and went airborne. Came down on the tip of his saddle that went funky. Brad fought that the rest of the race. Some of the downed riders got back into the race and some just threw in the towel. This happened right near the start finish line. No one knows what caused it. I heard it behind me and knew right away what happened. That sound is unmistakable.
There were a great number of primes. Some for $20 and some for a water bottle full of something. I never understood what Ralph was saying. Racers will sprint for anything though. Doesn't matter.
Mike Bird cooling his jets after killing another prime- $50 GC from UC Cyclery- Photo courtesy of Maki Yamazaki
Once the pretenders got caught  the main players were thinking of bringing out the their big guns. Like Ron Burgundy's in the movie "Anchorman". He thought his arms were big. HA! The pace of the race was pretty high though it didn't feel hard except for some hard chases. The pressure really got put on. I went deep several times to stay in good position. Once I felt I couldn't keep it up, the pace slowed. I guess everyone else or most everyone else was hurting. KK could eat a plate of spaghetti on his bike while we were racing. He did 28 mph for an hour record at the track.
The primes came and went and we were all together. Mark Hoffenberg was playing a waiting game and reacting to moves rather than starting them except for one break attempt early with Jay Wolkoff. They were going good but a hungry field brought them back. I guess I can reveal now Mark is the person that was in the hospital bed. Undetected kidney stones that were giving him major pain. He was feeling better Sunday morning and decided to race with us.
Mark isn't looking too happy after having to go to the hospital not knowing the pain he was having was from kidney stones. This was Tues. 2/5/13. He was released later in the day.

Mark is killing it here late in the race after coming out of the hospital bed 5 days before. Photo courtesy of TruCycling
There were a number of people chasing down the breaks and one of them was to my surprise Cyril "Parachute" Hunte. Cyril was on fire. I told him before the race that this course was good for him as compared to Red Trolley and that was true. Cyril was on fire!
Cyril Hunte leading a chase midway through the race- Photo courtesy of Maki Yamazaki

Bob Pelkofer made a solo move hoping someone would join him like at Red Trolley the last 2 years. The Red Trolley course must fit Bob well. He loves it there. Bob move didn't work but not for the lack of trying.
Pelky giving it a go late in the race. He was chased down by unknown assailants- photo courtesy of Maki Yamazaki

 Later in the race Keith Ketterer made his move on the outside near the start finish line. Mark Hoffenberg was ever attentive and jumped after him with Steve Hensler on his wheel. They soon connected with KK to make it a threesome. This was the right combination of teams needed to cause major blocking in the peleton or at least to not be chased. 1/3 the riders were on these teams. Breakaway from Cancer, Rokform, and UC Cyclery. One lap after the 3 were together UCC rider Mike McConnell slipped away right near Ralph's famous announcing shack. Mike got some looks but no one chased. Mike was able to link up with the 3 other breaking riders.

There they go- Ketterer, Hoffenberg and Hensler- Photo courtesy of Maki Yamazaki

Mike McConnell adds himself to the group-that is Mike 2nd in line- Photo courtesy of Maki Yamazaki
The front is loaded with blocking team members- Photo courtesy of Maki Yamazaki
The pack was in a quandry now. Who is left to chase. Swami's threw Gene Poyorena out there to chase and kept the pace up for a short time but made no headway to the 4 riders ahead. This point in the race is difficult. If you chase earlier you can recover and get yourself set up for the sprint finish. If you chase late, you may not have time to recover for the sprint. Riders like Cyril, Birdy and Ricky that might chase earlier were not going to chase now. Rokform had now a double duty. Block for Mark ahead and set up the sprint finish for Danny Nicolette. There has to be a fine line there since Mark and the 3 other riders weren't that far ahead.
The foursome that were breaking became two. A foursome is considered a near perfect combination  in golf groupings but I guess the foursome didn't work out ahead of the pack. Steve Hensler and Mike McConnell(I keep wanting to write Mitch but that is that stiff Republican from Kentucky) dropped off of Mark and KK. KK actually attacked them between turn one and turn two and Mark and KK were away. Steve and Mike then hovered in between the two leaders and the pack. Kind of in no man's land. Not far enough away to actually have a chance of finishing away but not so close that someone closes them out.
KK and Hoffy killing it- Photo courtesy of Maki Yamazaki

Gene Poyorena pulls off in his attempted chase-Rokform setting up for a sprint finish- Photo courtesy of Maki Yamazaki
The 5 lap card came up and was announced by Ralph Elliot with his usual set up rig right there. His yellow and red board for results. You always know where to look for results. The speed wasn't fast but decent. Our average speed was going to be pretty high for this race. Kim Bleth and Jeff Moreton went out early for Rokform to set pace and try and keep Danny from being overwhelmed by a slow pace. Bill Ralph and especially Bob Pelkofer were going to handle their sprinter late in the race.
With 2 laps to go an independent guy with a black and white kit  that said Velo was at the front followed by Rokform. The distance to Mark and KK was constant and they were not going to be caught but the other 2 guys were going to sweep up by the sprint train. One lap to go and the 1st 4 riders in the pack were Rokform  followed by Cyril, Kal, myself and then Dale. Mike Birditt was moving up looking for a spot to move in. The pace was steady at turn one and turn two but going up the slight rise on the back stretch saw a dramatic increase in the speed. Rokform was kicking it up. Caught me a little by surprise and I gapped on Kal. Mike Birditt filled the space.
The lead 2 guys were much closer together than at Mothballs where KK got the jump on Hoffy and almost stayed away from him. Here Mark was watching him closely and was thinking he could out sprint him if they were in a two up sprint. KK pulled on the last lap knowing they had to stay strong or they would get swept up. Mark thought KK might attack going up the hill on the backstretch but he didn't. KK must have known then he was riding for 2nd. Mark and KK go back years and were teammates at one point in the past. Coming off the hospital bed to tame the best of the 55+ racers in the biggest purse of the season so far. Mark wasn't even feeling that good on Friday and didn't get on his bike until Saturday when he made the decision to race on Sunday as long as he was feeling OK in the morning. Mark was hoping to win this race and dedicate the win to his son Max, who passed away in October of 2012. Although Mark didn't discuss this with anyone-even to his teammates prior to the race, it was something that he simply committed to himself. Mark explained this in more detail to me in an email: "The memories of Max yelling for me on the sideline of this particular course are well ingrained in my mind. When I heard that they had moved this race back to the old course this year, it started getting emotional for me. I was pretty disappointed after landing in the hospital on Tuesday night. Obviously there was the unbelievable pain caused by the kidney stones but as the week progressed the realization that I wasn't going to race was emotional painful. Fortunately it all worked out. Maybe Max was just testing my fortitude."
Mark Hoffenberg with his son Max

In the pack the Rokform train was working pretty good on the last lap until turn 3 came and then Cyril Hunte jumped everyone on the right curb side. Now this made for a dicey situation. Going fast next to the right curb and having to make a right turn to sprint for home wasn't going to easy especially with another group taking a "smarter" line for the last corner. Cyril was jamming it early kind of like I use to see Dale Luedtke do. I saw Dale do it years ago at Dana Point in the 50+ crit champ. Lead at the last corner and rolled it to the line. Cyril had these thoughts in his mind. He was sprinting for glory! The only thing was it was for 3rd place which still isn't bad.
KK buried himself on the last lap so he and Mark could stay away. Photo courtesy of Ken Hill-Light &Shadows Photography

Cyril leading the field into the last corner. Can he hold on? Photo courtesy of Ken Hill- Light & Shadow Photography

Birdy is staying tight to Nick with Kal right on Birdy- Photo courtesy of Ken Hill- Light & Shadows Photography
 Cyril was followed by Nicolette(he saw Cyril jam and got right on him), Birditt, Szkalak, Luedtke/Shorts and myself though I see there was a bit of a gap there. Don't know what I was thinking. Coming up the middle were Jay Wolkoff, Paul Rodiguez, Lee Romans and Kirk Freeman was setting up in the front of the other pack looking to take a sharper line past the corner which he did with some admiral skill.
Mike Birditt and Danny Nicolette came off Cyril and Mike took the bunch sprint for 3rd place. Danny 4th, Cyril 5th, Kal followed in for 1st in 60+, Luedtke for 6th in 55, Shorts for 7th in 55, Wolkoff 8th, Rodiguez 2nd for 60, Lee Romans for 9th, Kirk Freeman 3rd in 60+, Alex Collins 10th, myself 4th in 60, C. Jones 5th in 60, Huffman 6th in 60, Tim and Ira of Simple Green 11 and 12 in 55, Miller 7th in 60, Wagenaar 8th in 60, Roest 9th in 60, Mallory 13th in 55, Lilleberg 10th in 60. I wanted to write the placings out further than I usually do because of a camera malfunction. The complete finish list was worked out by the racers and officials. Guys, you had to not only let the official know who you finished behind or next to but you had to wait and see what was posted and make sure you were on it. Sorry to guys like Howard Miller that finished  7th in 60+ and Lee Romans that finished 9th in 55+. Both Paramount members. If you want a placing you have to hound the officials until you see your name. I can't tell them where everyone finished. I don't know.
The average speed that I had was 26 mph which was fast but I started my Garmin at the finish of the 1st neutral lap. That was faster than the 50+ race.
Strong finishes in other races were:
9- Mike McConnell
10-Lee Romans
17-Dan Swietlik
24-Rick Swanson
26-Brad House
28-John McKee
36-John Roest
26-Doug Knox-nice going Doug
Kal and Mitch were also in this race
The crash was the downside of the race and the camera problem. Other than that it was a good fast race. There is a mismatch of squads right now. Rokform in 55 and UC Cyclery in 60. Mark and Kal are killing it right now. Lets post a bull's eye on them and knock them down a peg or two. Just kidding guys! Thanks again to Alex Collins and Morgan Gold for the big money list. The last 3 photos were courtesy of Ken Hill. His website for some excellent action photos is This was a great event. Nice job everyone!  That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!

Offical finish lists(not accurate but this is what it is-sorry guys)

Roger Millikan Crit  (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 47255 Michael Birditt SKLZ-Swami's Cycling Team 10
4 26090 Daniel Nicolette Rokform/Rock N' Road 9
5 52086 Cyril Hunte 8
6 47262 Dale Luedtke Swami's Cycling Club 7
7 52251 Ricky Shorts Bahati Foundation p/b Major Motion Cycli 6
8 38811 Jay Wolkoff Radsport Cycling Team 5
9 46255 Alex Collins UC Cyclery/JW Floors 4
10 404 Guido Quezada 3
11 255052 Ira Schaffer Team Simple Green/Bike Religion 2
12 258639 Timothy Meza Team Simple Green/Bike Religion 1
13 16837 Brad House Big Orange Cycling 0

Roger Millikan Crit  (Rank 1.0)
Masters 60+
Place License Name Team SoCal Points
1 54522 Kalman Szkalak UC Cyclery/JW Floors 14
2 58847 Paul Rodriguez UC Cyclery/JW Floors 11
3 95 Kirk Freeman 10
4 180386 John McKee Paramount Racing 9
5 18156 Craig Jones Velo Avanti Cycling Team 8
6 59572 Mark Huffman UC Cyclery/JW Floors 7
7 64127 Richard Lilleberg South Bay Wheelmen 6
8 245777 Steven Borer UC Cyclery/JW Floors 5
9 195498 Donald Kimper UC Cyclery/JW Floors 4
10 46648 Peter Banko Cycle U / Apex Racing 3
11 Rick Roberson 2
12 Ed Soloman 1
13 126351 Steve Bernede Team Werks 0
14 Lee Carpenter 0
15 50406 Michael Edwards Michelob Ultra - La Grange +21 0