i suppose there’s a lot to be said this morning, but i’m finding words weighted heavy.
The weekend was beautiful … warm lazy Spring peacockin’ her feathers for any taking time to notice. Me and the woman made our way up to MenloPark on Saturday to do a bit of goofing off at the VeloGirl’s GrandPrix. It was a good time, but there were waaaay too many falls out on the course. And i think we had our PA mic a bit high in volume as the sound kind of ricochet’d around the corpo-cash-in-a-box distribution buildings that hovered around the start/finish area.
The course at Menlo will need to be revisited for next year. On paper, it’s not bad at all … but, the reality of bike racing is that it’s a delicate teeter-totter balancing act between making a course safe enough, but also dangerous enough.
As many remarked yesterday, if a race doesn’t have a few “technical” elements to it … folks tend to lose concentration of being safe first, fast second. That’s why i heartily approve of the renovated LandPark crit course up in Sacto. I remember a few years back when half the SierraNevada team went down on a straightaway as guys in our pack forgot that you don’t get safety for free, you’ve got to actually work for it.
But when the courses have some nice turns or safe chicanes to put a little bit of fear and RESPECT for the course into riders .. well, i have to tell you ~ the crash rates fall significantly. (pun ‘erific mondays!) So, hopefully next year will see some changes to the Menlo course so that we can have a “safer” course by making it a …. little less safe.
there were some great efforts out there all day. My personal favorites of the MenloGP were ~
Seeing Cathy Morgan of the RoaringMeeces bridge back to the pack with a couple of heroic TT efforts.
Going NUTZ when SaraClatterB went on a beast of an attack and then NEVER gave up after she got trapped behind a crash, chasing strong all day long. that’s fun-meter pegged to 11, mon amie.
Relishing the vainglorious 700m launchpad of a sprint from Janelle Kellman … and then watching her realize a bit too late that she prolly only has a 500m sprintright now … awesome.
Cheering myself hoarse for VOS hardman Ernesto Gallardo go back-to-back in his races with the 45’s AND 35 1/2/3’s … and folks, he’s 60 years-young.
And of course, watching a cat3 men’s race THAT HAD NO CRASHES IN IT!!!
Visit the Tower District
The Howard crew was in effect and just rode superbly at Tower. Curtis put in a stormer of a solo-effort to punch away from some very strong riders in the pack. Notably, Lars Mommner from CalGiant Strawberry was very, very active in trying to pull back Curtis. But, Lars is more of a dirt scoundrel, where I’ve seen him put in some kick-ass efforts. It’s good to see him banking some road miles to improve his riding all-around. Good work young man.
The big excitement came on the final lap of the Junior event ~ Curtis’ lead was secure and it was up to the pack to fight it out for the scraps. Katrina Howard (and yes, we can’t stop mentioning that she is not even a teenager yet!!!) put in a KILLER attack and jumped away from the pack like a woman possessed. The acceleration young Kat put in was extremely impressive … and, she was able to dig deep and ride well over a kilometer at full-gas to hit the line 2nd overall, and winning her age group.
Just wonderful to watch.
Unfortunately, i had some heavy legs on Sunday and after being a hooligan heckler for most the morning (and getting in a nice 12 minute warmup), the 35+ crit wasn’t much excitement for the crowds as all i could muster was riding around for a bit and trying not to crash myself.
The SierraPacific mafia were in effect full-force and they played their cards pretty well, placing 3 of their strongest in the break of 5 (Easterling the class, Joel the drumbeater, and pretty-boy Bosch) with me and RogerBennett of MorganSpinely tacked on as token competition.
There was a decent amount of hecklery flowing from the crowds as they urged me and Bennett to get our heads out of butts and bring back the Boschinator who we’d let jump out to a manageable few seconds off the front. But, heavy legs and the heavier anchors of Joel and Easterling behind us kind of took the oompf out of our stroke and we never really closed it to Bosch.
I didn’t mind … too much. But, the spring is starting to wind down now, and with daylight savings here … it’s time to start really shifting this season into gear.
But let’s remind ourselves ~
we have to work very, very hard to protect each other. Let’s go about doing that.
safe courses, safe riding, and the only suffering is what we ask of ourselves on the bike.
– the desire for speed and thrill and adventure … and we protect our own.
we can do it.
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