Wednesday, June 3, 2015


By John McKee

It's Memorial Weekend and time to reflect in many ways but definitely time to honor those that served in military service in our long history though short by European standards. My father was one and I think about him often though he has been gone for a number of years. Many of you served and members of your family did as well. Just like mind which goes back to Revolutionary War service. Salute to all those men and women that served in many ways and not just on the front line.
Jack D. McKee in S. Pacific during WW II.
Mother's side. Alta Wright McKee.
I last wrote about Barrio Logan and am leaping forward to Memorial Weekend. I had to take a pass on writing about the popular Dana Point GP and Torrance Criterium. I was on Grandparent duty. Traveled to Denver to see my youngest daugther and 4 yr. old grandson and this spring have been following my 18 yr. old grandson play baseball at El Modena High for his final year. I took and processed thousands of photos to share and it was all time consuming.Photos later in the story.
At DPGP it was Teske-55+ and Luedtke-60+. At Torrance it was Preechtl-55+ and Gates-60+.
Barry Wolfe GP was on Sunday May 24th, 2015. The 55/60+ race was scheduled for 8:35 am with one purse of $250 going to the overall top placers. The 60+ category got Socal Cup points. The race time allotted was a surprising 50 minutes. The extra 10 mins really makes a difference in difficulty and makes more room for action and there was action to be had at Westlake Village.
Just before the start of the Barry Wolfe GP.
  The race started out on time and starting smoking right from the start. Thurlow Rodgers and most of his Amgen teammates were there and this meant the race was going to be hard and fast. It was from the gun. I felt good in the mix and was surprised at my form. After 3 or 4 laps a 2 man break started with Malcolm Hill of Amgen and Anthony Regueros of Bahati-WTR. They were soon joined by Dan Swietlik.
Malcolm Hill and Anthony Regueros starting their break.

Dan Swietlek joining Malcolm and Anthony.
The 3 of them were out there for about 8 laps but were closely watched. The threesome got about 150 meters on the peleton but others had plans of their own. David Prechtl with Danny Nicolette on his wheel flew forward in chase. They shot by Lothar Cramer who was in no man's land. Thurlow Rodgers also took off with Dale Luedtke in tow. The 7 guys got together and I thought the party was over but for some reason, they got caught.
And then there were?
Yes, with all that firepower they got caught. That means there was still some strong riders left that chased hard. 2/3 of the race was done and we were all together. This whole thing seemed to take the starch out of the star riders. I thought Thurlow would try something again but no. The laps came and went and there was no serious effort to form a break. The speed wasn't as high as the beginning of the race either. Strong but not really fast.
All together late in the race.

The lap cards came up and dropped off. One by one. Everyone was all together with one lap to go. Some of the 55s went out to keep the pace up but all died. The pace on the back side got going over 30 mph easily. It bunched a little going into the last turn. Anthony was pushing it. Malcolm tried to jump it and be the 1st one to the last corner but it was a long ways home and into the wind. Mike Birditt was coming back from back problems. He hadn't raced since LA Circuit. He was biding his time on the last lap on the wheel of Ricky Shorts. After the last corner he turned on the jets and it appeared that he still had it. "It" being blazing speed and hit 35.1 mph into the wind. He passed Ricky and about 6 other riders including Malcolm. Dale Luedtke made his own charge from a different direction and it turned into a Hi Tech 1/2 finish. Not just in 60+ but overall. Thurlow Rodgers was 3rd across the line and the 1st 55+ racer. Nelson Alaan was 2nd and Cyril Hunte 3rd in 55+. Ricky Shorts was 3rd and Tom Gates 4th in 60+. The last lap avg. speed was 29.6 mph. Overall the speed was in the upper 25s for an overall avg. Good race and the extra minutes were great. Great venue, race time, and course. Fun had by all!
60s kicked butt at the finish taking 1/2 overall.

Further back in the finish.

55+ podium.

60+ podium.

Mike Bird taking the bean for the team. Must have been rough.

Thurlow in the middle of this.
Results from Barry Wolfe.
The Monday after the Barry Wolfe GP was another CBR race at the Dom Hills course raced counter clockwise. This is actually a little harder because the uphill section between turn 3 and 4 is a little
steeper. It is fun to turn things around like this so this was fun. There was a good turnout and Chris Lotts put the 55/60+ race at 8:35 am which was a near perfect time. 2 races after this was the 60 minute 50+ race. Great training race or at least that's what most of us make of it. The name of the event was The Memorial Day PUBLIC SAFETY Criterium. There were 42 starters. 25 55s and 17 60s. The race started and was more consistently fast then the surgey BWGP.

Hi Emily!
You can see Brad "Breakaway" Decker just in front of myself.

The "Man" working it at the CBR race. The prior day at Barry Wolfe he went OFF THE FRONT near the end of the race!
The pack churned and churned and I thought it was going to a pack sprint. No Amgen riders but Malcolm Hill so the man to watch was definitely Dave Prechtl. Dave is very strong and likes to move in breaks but his finish is getting better now that he is doing track training in the early morning. I mean very early.
We are all together and the lap cards come up. 5 to go and surely there would be a bunch sprint but NO! David Prechtl didn't want that. David and 5 other guys got it going. Rather quietly but none the less they were out there. They got a pretty good gap. Lothar "Chaser" Cramer went to the whip to try and bring them back before the 1 lap to go card came up. You have a new nickname now Lothar! You earned it!
After the 1 lap card came up some 55s tried to chase hard but it was too late. Hi Tech had Fred Hoblit  in the break and this freaked out Bob Wright who was suppose to lead out Birdy. I gave up Dale's wheel to Bob at turn one thinking...ok they will have a train going and I can get on the end of it but I must say that Bob pissed away Dale's wheel and Mike got buried. I kind of did too but found Ricky Shorts's wheel. After turn 3 the pack really picked it up but the 6 breakers had too much of a lead. The pack sprint got everyone pretty close at the end but the 6 guys who were all 55 finished away. Dave Prechtl won. Marc "The South Bay Flash"Spivey was 2nd and Malcolm Hill 3rd. Brad "Breakaway" Decker was 4th and Fred Hoblit 5th. Mike Birditt made an amazing finish considering his injury. He was way back after turn 3 and dropped off of Bob's wheel and took off on the inside near the curb. Not to close though. There was a truck whose back end was sticking out in the street. The bottom of it was about 3 feet off the ground. If someone got pushed into to it could have taken their head off.
Mike was coming up the inside and Jay Wolkoff was coming up the right side. Jay was the 1st 55 to finish from the pack and Mike was the 1st 60. This meant that Mike won the 60+ race. Dale was 2nd and Ricky Shorts was 3rd. I lost Ricky's wheel before the last turn but finished a bike length behind for 4th.
David Prechtl winning the CBR 55/60+ race.

Birdy came from way back to take the 60+ race.

It was a fun race and the weekend was a treat for all the 55 and 60+ racers that did it. Thanks to the Barry Wolfe people and Chris Lotts for having us in their race.
I have got some "bonus" coverage here. Since I finished so late, the Ladera Ranch race is under our belt now. Rick Carrera broke the stranglehold that Luedtke and Birditt had on the 60+ field. He did it in a break with 3 other 55+ racers. I understand the numbering system was mixed and you couldn't tell a 55 from a 60 which is a no/no in our races. In any event Rick won and Lothar "Chaser" Cramer won in 55+. I guess you didn't have to call him a chaser in this race. Just call him a winner!
Rick Carrera and Lothar Cramer winning the 60+ and 55+ categories.
Field sprint.
55+ podium- Palmer 2, Cramer 1, & Carlson 3.

60+ podium- Birditt 2, Carrera 1 & Gates 3.
Super bonus section w pictures of my grandsons.

Season stats for Brett Conine- .725 ERA(MaxPrep) .538(Game Changer), .692 WHIP, 91 Ks in 78 Innings, Opp. BA @ .177, 6 Walks. Own BA @ .343 & OPS @ .892. Best all around pitching stats in CIF Div. 1.

Brett ready to let loose w another pitch in 2015 for El Modena HS. His senior yr. went so fast!

Jonathan Woolley at our house late last yr.

Myself, Alicia and Jonathan on our last trip to Colo.

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