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.|
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.|
|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.|
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.|
|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.|
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)|
|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|
|8||50532||Deogracias Asuncion||South Bay Wheelmen||5|
|9||47652||Bob Pellkofer||Rokform/Rock N' Road||4|
|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)|
|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|