Archive for February, 2007

Racing with the Old Guys

Posted: February 21, 2007 in Bicycle Racing

So here’s my race report. This was my first massed start race since last August’s Manhattan Beach GP. It was also my first 50+ crit. Anyway I was more nervous than usual and when the race started I realized the I was in the small ring and had a bit of trouble clipping in and shifting to the big ring (nerves?). So I ended up at the back of the pack and fortunately the first lap wasn’t too fast. Got settled in and started to try to move up and realized that the back half of the pack was pretty squirrelly. I guess there were a lot of Cat. 5 guys out there. Watched several near crashes. So I was trying to stay on good wheels just to stay safe when we got to 3 to go. Saw someone starting to move up on the left and I jumped on his wheel just as he decided to jump back into the pack. Since I had some momentum I kept going and fortunately, there was someone going on the right. I jumped on his wheel and we caught the 4 guys who were already up the road. Unfortunately, the pack was right on us when we hit the front straight. I got back into the pack and watched the finish since I don’t do criterium field sprints.

Managed to stay warm between races and lined up on for the 40+ 1/2/3 race. This race was much faster and I was content to hang at the back and get a workout. Was feeling good for the first 30 minutes but when 5 to go came up I was just hanging on. After getting 4 to go, I was behind this guy who opened a gap and by the time I got around him I was off on the back straight. Saw 3 to go and decided to drop out. Maybe that was a good thing.

Regarding the motorcycle incident, this is what I heard. The was a crash near the exit of turn 2 with 2 to go. A motorcycle cop stopped at the accident and had his bike sticking out in the lane — apparently to protect the fallen rider. Well with one to go, here comes the pack and a couple of riders ended up creaming the motorcycle. I ended up riding by because I didn’t see my buddy ride by after the finish and I thought he might have been involved. One guy, who apparently hit the motorcycle was face down on the grass and pretty beat up. He was conscious and talking.

So that was my day. 40 miles total at 26 MPH.