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

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