The 2014 Redlands Bicycle Classic continued to include 55/60+ racers in their great race. Thank you for that. For sure. 2014 is a pivotal year for the 55s and especially the 60s. Those 2 categories need to show numbers to keep going into the future. Turnouts have been good where there has been a 55/60+ combo race and hasn't been bad when both cats had separate races like at Roger Millikan and Chuck Ponitus.
|Here is Tico Pico. The mascot dog for the 2014 RBC. No one will get the movie reference for the name of the dog.|
|You looking for pedals Mike? I have quite a few sets in my garage. Not at the race but plenty in the old garage.|
|The idea Mike is to point your bike straight ahead at the start.|
We all came to the line at 7:55am and the we of course included myself. I felt lucky to be able to race. 30 minutes before I was ready to drive away dejected. We flew off on the officials whistle. I knew the first few laps would be hard for me since I didn't get a warmup. The first few laps were speedy but steady. I started to settle in. I think maybe I can do this. This course will take no prisoners. Like when Peter O' Tootle got caught up in the moment in the movie "Lawrence of Arabia" when his crew of local tribesmen were going to attack a retreating Turkish army. He yelled "No Prisoners". This course is always yelling "No Prisoners". Especially when the pressure gets put on.
|Early action that strings out the peleton.|
|The back of the field early on.|
A number of riders whipped up the pace. Dan DeMuth of Team Redlands was one that looked strong and wasn't afraid to go to the front and power on! Right on! Power to the pedaler! Don Davidson always is up for a good pull. The course takes bike handling skills as well.
Kal Szkalak was looking to get away and took a stint off the front but didn't get very far away. He asked "Birdy" if he wanted to go with him because Kal was racing 55+ rather than 60+. I guess he thought he had a better chance of finishing. We all had the same number series and Kal didn't show up afterward to let the officials know what his intention was. It was a disaster when the results came out.
Nothing was sticking as far as break attempts. The peleton would string out when the pressure was on but when the pressure was taken off the pack bunched up again. A few more top riders to hit it when there were lulls would have made a difference.
|Swami's whipping up the pace. Cyril "Trouble" Hunte mixing in with Swami's.|
I started feeling better in the 2nd half of the race and was looking for the lap cards to come up and soon enough 5 came up. The pace still seesawed but got pretty high with 3 to go. Monty Pettus had to put out 1100 watts to move up into position for the finish. The pace eased a bit with 2 to go.
|You can see the electronic lap counter with 2 to go. Swami's still at the front.|
|Finish! Birdy and Flood win!|
Once the race was over the fun started. There was a different finish program that was used. Not the usual Eric Smith program that spells out the age on the far right. Since there was the same numbering system the official that was in charge of the result sheets was having trouble. Lol. 2 or 3 lists came out and were incorrect. I had to list the finishers correctly verbally and the top finishers were put in the correct categories. Kal wasn't around to let anyone know what category he was racing so he was put in the category that related to his age. This was a bad deal for Monty because that bumped him out of a paying spot in 60+. The results still don't show in USAC 6 days after the event so the different program had to be a major problem. I hope we eventually get credit for the effort there.
|Mr. Gates seems to be enjoying his time with the podium girl. Didn't he know I was taking pictures. Lol.|
|55+ podium- Hunte 2, Gates 1, Fetah 3.|
|Ludtke 2 and Birditt 1.|
|Final finish lists.|