Friday, February 27, 2015


By John McKee

It's time for Ontario again. It felt like I had never missed but 2014 was a black hole for 60+ racers at Ontario. "Kicked Out!" as James Cagney says in the very funny but poignant movie "Mr. Roberts". Now there are very different reasons of course. In the movie the crew among other things threw books, women and men out a plate glass window at a party for the movers and shakers of this particular island. The crew had been told in jest that this particular house was a brothel BUT of course it wasn't and being quite drunk they just got a bit upset. They had been at sea for a long time before this liberty. Now at Ontario the 60s were a victim of lagging entries and politics in the local SCNCA. We were out in 2014 but back in 2015! Who knew.
One of my favorite movies. Jack Lemmon is so funny in it. "I'm looking for marbles all day long!" Classic line. Do you have any idea what he wants to do with the marbles. If you don't, you can't consider yourself a classic film buff.
 Before we get into the nuts and bolts of Ontario and there won't be as many of those as we usually have. Let's give a shout out to those that did Rosena Ranch on Saturday Feb. 21, 2015. A really good race and course and after a short rest spit because of promoter problems the race is back for 2015. Bradley Jones won the 55+ category with James Wimberley taking 2nd and Mark Hoffenberg rounding out the podium. In 60+ action the mountain climbing ace Gary Shuey won with Howard Miller 2nd and Richard Barron taking 3rd. Special shout out goes to Angela Wimberly who got 6th in 60+ beating 3 men. Good ones too! Nice job Angela!
Rosena Ranch 60+ podium-Longo, Miller, Shuey & Barron
60+ racing seems to have caught fire again. At least at venues that seem a little easier than most though Roger Millikan wasn't that easy. 31 60s entered RM and 29 entered Ontario. I am very glad we had such a good turnout at Ontario. Not only are we back in the event but have a solo race and a purse. $150 but the amount doesn't matter that much. A SEPARATE race AND a PURSE. Awesome! Special thanks are deserved for Ray and Irma Moreno, the promoters of the Ontario series. As you all know it is a family run affair and doesn't seem like anyone misses. I see the same faces every time and I have been there 40 to 50 times over the last 15 years.
The 1st Ontario unfortunately had some hard rain and spoiled the turnout though most of us pre registered and I don't think any of us minded "losing" our entry fee if that is the right term to the promoters. Not many braved the wet weather to race. The point is 60s have respect at Ontario!
The time slot is early and can be cold this time of year but the weather has been warm this winter and quite dry. There was a possibility of rain for Ontario # 2 but the early races at the venue went off bone dry. All good for racers but bad for the state of California. OK. Its time to race! 60s solo and then 55s solo though that field will have lots of 60s doing it as a 2nd race. The 60+ race was scheduled for 7:30 am on Feb. 22, 2015 and slated for 30 minutes though we ended up getting 32. The 55+ race was scheduled for 8:40 am and slated for 40 minutes.
The 60s got the pre race instructions and were off. Ricky Shorts won the prior rain ladened event and was out to keep his lead in the Ontario race series. They have a cumulative thing going there and a podium after the last race with "inexpensive" medals for podium placers but a very nice series jersey to the winner.
The action in the race was....well.....not a lot to say I'm afraid. Those that were in the race know what I mean. There were a few primes for things like chain lube(no more White Lightning though), a series
t shirt, and series points. There is only one in race sprint for points besides the finish. Ricky Shorts jumped early on that sprint lap and no one contested it that I could see. That wouldn't be the case for the bell lap and the finish.(I apologize for no race photos but things just didn't work out. I thought I was going to have access to at least some 55+ race photos but Scratch that! Photos came through. 55+ action photos courtesy of Ken Hill of Light & Shadows Photography. Ken's photos came be found at www.
The 5 lap to go card came up pretty quick. There was an ebb and flow in the race that you don't see as much in younger races. The pace can be going pretty good and you seem like you are in pretty good position and then the accelerator gets eased off and almost instantly you are not in good position at all. I knew the pace was slow when I saw faces near the front that I not only don't see up there at all but some of those faces are often off the back in harder races.

Luedtke, Swanson, Birditt & Poyorena. If that looks like Roger Millikan, it's because it is. No rule against using a photo twice. I make up the rules as I go. Rick put some dinero into the Hi Tech team so I don't mind giving them some play. Lol!
I thought that Jet Lagged Velo, Hi Tech/Ridley Masters would have a plan to speed things up in the last laps to make it harder because there finishers would be at an advantage at a faster speed.  Hi Tech only had 2 worker bees in this race though. One of the worker bees was Bob Wright. Bob came onto the 60+ scene 4 years ago and raced about everything in sight. Did well but disappeared from the race scene and glad to have him back.
Bob shot off the front with another unidentified flying 60 racer and Mike Birditt and Dale Luedtke could do nothing but watch. Gene Poyorena the other worker bee on the squad would have to wait to lay down the wood for the club. One lap to go and Bob and the other racer were still away. Bob was now doing all the work. They weren't far away so it was definite that they would be caught but when.
Can't really say who was driving the race on that last lap. Bob got caught about half way into the last lap. I like to set up on the outside of the pack. A little longer out there you have a freer hand vs being bogged down inside. Tom Gates was also on the outside.
With 3 corners to go it was still all bunched up. No Doug Knox to shoot off and be a rabbit for everyone. Just before 2 corners to go Tom "In N Out" Gates took off. Tom has a long sprint and was pretty far back. He decided to make up some ground in a hurry. I got on Tom but not locked on like I should have. I still passed up about 10 riders. By the last corner the cream were pretty much up front. Ricky "Straight as a string on a plumb bob" Shorts decided he didn't like the right side. It was cozier on the left side where Dale Ludetke's wheel was. The only short coming here was Mike Birditt was already there. Don't know exactly how this played out but they did bump and I don't think either was happy with their result. We all got out of the saddle and started the sprint for home with 200 meters to go. Like the last time Monty Pettus and I did our sprint drills on SART he flew by me.
Once Dale gets going in his sprint, especially at Ontario with the sling shot last corner he is tough to beat. Same result this Sunday. Dale Luedtke wins! Tom Gates rolled across for 2nd. Both Monty and Mike let up at the end but Mike let up more and Mr. Pettus got 3rd place with Mr. Birditt taking 4th. Wayne "The Vet" Rosenkrantz tucked himself in the front group nicely and finished 5th. Ricky quit earlier than anyone and finished 6th. I almost got him at the end like at Roger Millikan but he got the last paying spot. No one went down and we all finished with a low average speed of 24 mph. Considering the week before on a harder course we did 26 we deserve the title given by myself.
Dale Luedtke has great form right now. Just won another race!
The 55+ race felt like the 50+ race of old and that's because a lot of the guys that use to drive the 50+ race just turned 55 in 2015. Guys like Thurlow Rodgers, David Prechtl, Gary Wall, Robert Swigart and others. The pace started out decent but not blistering. After 10 to 15 minutes I hear there is a break up the road. I saw Thurlow and am thinking he missed the boat. NO! LOL! There was a core of 55+ guys that got away and a few strongmen like David Prechtl came across a gap to join in the fun. I believe Thurlow was the last to go which means he had the furthest to go but was it hard. Too hard for a mere mortal human but I guess not for Mr. Rodgers. As long as Mr. Rodgers is in the neighborhood. Get it. Ha! Sometimes I have to laugh at my own jokes.
Before the start of the 55+ race. This joker on the left in the black with the red hat is blocking out yours truly. Nice going Ace! Photo courtesy of Ken Hill of Light & Shadows Photography.

Break of 8 at this point. 3 more to come. Photo courtesy of Ken Hill of Light & Shadows Photography.

Thurlow Rodgers. Is this course his neighborhood or is every race course he does his neighborhood. I think the later. Photo courtesy of Ken Hill of Light & Shadows Photography.

Ray "Pink Boy" Dicius won the 1st race in 55+ at Ont. The break was gone by now and all was lost for this day for Ray. Photo courtesy of Ken Hill of Light & Shadows Photography.

Sprint finish. James Edwards taking it over David Prechtl. Thurlow finishes ahead of Danny Nicolette though you wouldn't figure that from this picture. Photo courtesy of Ken Hill of Light & Shadows Photography.

I have no idea how the pack of 11 played out. I had no inside source like I usually do. I have to develop more sources. 11 guys finished ahead of the pack and James Edwards of UC Cyclery won(they have a few good riders left). David Prechtl was 2nd and Thurlow Rodgers was 3rd. Strava showed a sprint speed for Thurlow of well over 40 mph closing down the stretch. Strava does say that any distance that takes less than 30 secs can be inaccurate. The fastest guys were doing less than 20 seconds so that speed may not be totally accurate. Mr. Rodgers was followed in by Nicolette, Hoblit, and Hartley.
The field sprint was won by Gibby Hatton. What a surprise. Right? Gibby was followed in by Shorts, Birditt and Luedtke. Heard those names earlier. Didn't we. The average speed for the pack was around 25.3 mph. No spills here either though I had a close call. All good though. We got some good racing in and onward and upward. Results shown below. That's all for now folks! Train hard and race safe!
Results for 60+

Partial results for 55+. Took a long time to get results. I had rely on someone else for pic.

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