2014 Seasons in the Sun

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

From the Archives: Mitch at Long Beach

Podium shot from the Long Beach series finale, 1995. 

I don't know who it is that finished third in '95, but second was Squadra Folgore's Jaime Przybyla. First, of course, was Mitch Boggs (Team Xtreme). I'll let the team's fearless leader, Bill Torres tell the story of the finale, "coming into the days events looked very promising for our Xtreme's own Mitch Boggs, the Cat 4 Icon who was lying in 3rd place overall. So the Xtreme's extremist arsenal was called upon duty for its much needed efforts in securing or advancing Mitch at Long Beach. The team's tactics were approved for Capt. Marco Quintero, Nelson Ape, George Lopez, Mike Wagner, Bill T. and the super enforcements of Chris Burgeson and Dave Ward to instigate. We knew that we and Mitch were marked men. So one simple tactic was for Mitch to stay low. The rest were dispersed buy always under disposal. Dave controlled the agonizing pace early on. Marco, Chris and Nelson applied super force in controlling the line and destroying any thoughts of a break. Mike and I played the role of Mitch's wing-men. The pace rolled at 31 m.p.h. The it hit. A six pointer prime in the airwaves! Boom! At turn two Mitch morphs to de-stealth, outside and away he went from the pack which had already gained much speed. Mitch's turbines were on and M2 locked on target as he SCUDed himself to the line and wins the prize! He continues as the avenging field slowly reels him back up. As the closing of the event neared, positions were being jockeyed. The Xtreme Forces had lined up around our man but to an uneventful outcome… or was it? Didn't I say it was an incredible day? The field of racers had been part of this elaborate scheme which had unknowingly conceded this race. Mitch had catapulted his overall from 3rd to the top of the G.C.! On top of the podium, Mitch draped on the White Winners Jersey, topped on the Xtreme cap, raised his arms high in victory, Tour de France style, to this momentous occasion for the entire Xtreme and Co."

Monday, March 30, 2015

Monday Blues: Tuck

Oh man, face forward when you are in that tuck at fifty miles per hour. Makes me nervous just looking at them. Benjamin Rathkamp (212) and Jonathan Christensen, both Cat 2s, scream down the Via Verde hill during the second stage road race, San Dimas Stage Race. Four days of SDSR photos now - you can find this one, and others from the road race in the Flickr album.

Blue: A color, a mood or emotion, a genre of music. Tune in each Monday for another installment of the Blues, with a cycling twist. The blues aspect of this one might be a bit tenuous, but Limitless Cycling kit is the required color.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

2015 San Dimas Stage Race, Stage Three: Fast at the Finish

That's experience. Another perfect flying wedge formation from the Masters 50+/55+ racers.

Now that stages 1 and 2 are completed, I can start on stage 3. To start things off the Flickr album for stage 3 now has photos from all races but the pros - those will hopefully come on line tomorrow. More to come...

Saturday, March 28, 2015

2015 San Dimas Stage Race, Stage Two: Inevitable

Yes indeed there is a reason (a good reason) I am starting this post with a photo of an OTR rider. It was, perhaps, inevitable that while running a little behind schedule I should get a pinch flat while riding over to the day's road race venue. The Co2 cartridge I had with me was on its last legs, just enough to allow me to limp over to Puddingstone Drive with about 10psi in my rear tire. Thankfully, the OTR tent was in sight, and they let me borrow their pump, suspicious as I may have looked. As it turned out one of the team I can count among the few (ten, or so) readers here, and that helped my cause. Anyway, thanks again OTR, and congrats on your Cat 4 win today (Earl Reyes).

James Qua (OTR Racing), not Earl Reyes who I did not seem to capture on film today (or maybe I did and just don't recognize him)

Over the years I have discovered there are a few inevitabilities I can expect to encounter at one point or another during any given race. I point these out now, merely for the benefit of the racers, an opportunity to learn from mistakes and change their evil ways, ways that change a good photo into a below average one. The first of these inevitabilities is the dropped head which, of course, results in a nice view of the top of a helmet, but little else:

the helmet of Benny Parks winning the Masters 50+ race

The more complex a race, the more likely it is that there will be the inevitable delay. Racers hate this because they just want to get on with the torture session, but I like this because it creates an opportunity for some nice candid photo ops:

candid being relative, I guess, since I am sure the ladies of Sas Mazda Macogep and DNA Cycling were aware of a telephoto eye pointing their direction

The blocked view is especially troublesome inevitability for rank amateurs such as myself who have become adequately adept at pointing, shooting and hoping for the best. Help us out by keeping out of the way of the important people:

why yes I did want that photo of the Yellow Jersey wearer climbing Heckler Hill

Racers, does it always have to be about you? I mean really, there is other stuff going on, in case you didn't notice. It seems inevitable that some racer will think he is more important than someone on the sidelines:

the Spy Giant Ride cheerleader and head bell ringer was clearly the more interesting character in this instance, but no, the Yellow Jersey wearer just couldn't share the spotlight this once.

Last of all is the head turn. Look I know you are waaay off the back, but why deprive spectators the opportunity to see that for themselves. The inevitable head turn, a cheap attempt to avoid shame, does no good because I've got your number:

Truth be known, what you just read and what appears to be is not accurate in this case - Michael Johnson (and Patrick Bos behind him), were out front of the Masters 35+ / 40+ field and had turned his head to check the gap. Different reason, same problem.

Some results: 

Cat 5 Men, Stage 2:
1st Spencer Rathkamp (H&S Bicycles), 2nd David Jantz (SDBC), 3rd Nick Cohanneyer (SDBC)
Cat 5 Men GC (after 2 stages):
1st Spencer Rathkamp, 2nd Mark Tripp, 3rd Troy Templin (H&S Bicycles)
Cat 4 Women, Stage 2:
1st Tracy Chandler (Machines for Freedom), 2nd Courtney Wiseman (Incycle Racing p/b Full Circle Cycling), 3rd Kora Colassuonno (SWAT)
Cat 4 Women GC:
1st Natalie Tapias (CRCA / City MD Racing), 2nd Courtney Wiseman, 3rd Patricia Murray (SCBC / Emerald Textiles)
Cat 3 Women, Stage 2:
1st Lauren Mulwitz (Sisterhood of Cycling), 2nd Katie Clouse (Cole Sport), 3rd Kate Wymbs
Cat 3 Women GC:
1st Lauren Mulwitz, 2nd Vanessa Snapp (Incycle Racing p/b Full Circle), 3rd Amy Schultz (Spy Giant Ride p/b GQ-6)
Juniors 15-16, Stage 2:
1st Richard Holec (Nutrend Specialized), 2nd Cole Davis (Limitless Cycling), 3rd Eben Horacek (Fox Development Jr. Cycling Team
Juniors 15-16 GC:
1st Richard Holec, 2nd Cole Davis, 3rd Ruben Saatjian (Echelon Santa Barbara)
Juniors 17-18, Stage 2:
1st Christian Husband (SC Velo / Monster Media), 2nd Kyle Thornton (BYRDS), 3rd Max Freeman (Prestige Imports Porche/Audi)
Juniors 17-18 GC:
1st Christian Husband, 2nd Miles Daly (Team Swift), 3rd Leo Yip (Limitless Cycling)
Masters 50+, Stage 2:
1st Benny Parks (Jessup Auto Plaza), 2nd Chris Hahn (Velo Pasadena), 3rd Blake Reed (ArtsCyclery)
Masters 50+ GC:
1st Jeff Konsmo (Hot Wheels Factory Team), 2nd Robert Pasco (Airgas / Safeway Cycling), 3rd Chris Walker (Velo Pasadena)
Masters 55+, Stage 2:
1st Randall Tinney (Spy Giant Ride p/b GQ-6), 2nd Greg Fenton (Sun Coast Velo / UC Cyclery / JW Flooring), 3rd Kalman Szkalak (Sun Coast Velo)
Masters 55+ GC:
1st Greg Fenton, 2nd Richard Mull (Velo Club LaGrange), 3rd Yehuda Packman Packer (CORE)
Men Cat 4, Stage 2:
1st Earl Reyes (OTR Racing), 2nd Austin Stephens (University of Colorado), 3rd Lucas Rowton (Swami's Cycling)
Cat 4 GC:
1st Austin Stephens, 2nd Lucas Rowton, 3rd James Walker (unattached)
Masters 40+, Stage 2:
1st Charon Smith (Surf City Cyclery), 2nd Mike Easter (Monster Media Racing), 3rd Mark Noble ) Velo Pasadena
Masters 40+ GC:
1st Rudy Napolitano (Velo Pasadena), 2nd Philip Tinstman (Spy Giant Ride), 3rd Mark Noble
Women Pro/1/2/3, Stage 2:
1st Lex Albrecht (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Stratagies), 2nd Brianna Walle (Team Optum), 3rd Leah Kirchmann (Team Optum)
Women Pro/1/2/3 GC:
1st Amber Neben (Visit Dallas Cycling), 2nd Brianna Walle, 3rd Allie Dragoo (Twenty16 p/b Sho-Air)

Spencer Rathkamp (H&S Bicycles), Cat 5 Road Race victory, and new Cat 5 GC leader

The Stage 2 Flickr album, with one hundred eighty-three photos (or something like that) is now finished. It includes all categories from the day, but are less than a third of the total I took.

The photos are not a complete catalog, but are representative of all the others taken during the day, so if you don't see what, or who, you were looking for in the album, let me know with a race number and I will see what I can find. If you see a photo you like, feel free to download it (credit where credit due, of course). You can also contact me via email and I will gladly send a full size jpeg file of the image.

Want more? Go ahead and order your own copy of the CLR Effect racing annual. There are two editions available right now (2013 and 2014), and you can preview them by clicking the 2014 Seasons in the Sun Book Preview button near the top of the right hand column, or under the title banner at the top of the page.

Friday, March 27, 2015

2015 San Dimas Stage Race, Stage One: Refund, Refund...

You remember that scene from everyone's favorite cycling movie, Dave had refunded a local college student for a lemon of a car sold by Mr. Stoller. A quick shift of scene to Mr. S lying in bed, delirious and only able to mutter "refund, refund."

Well, as riders returned back down the mountain from their run up Glendora Mountain Road for the opening stage time trial, I could swear I heard a rider repeating that single word like a mantra, a chant. It was not a rehearsal, different tones, different tempos - Refund, reeeefuuund, REFUND! No, it was a simple steady cadence, same tone, same syllabic emphasis - refund… refund… refund… The word was repeated as if from a deep trance, or state of delirium. My guess is, it came from a lower category racer, maybe someone with a little experience with flat criteriums, someone whose friends convinced him that a real road race would be fun. An experience. Someone who now realizes that even lower GMR can chew like a piece of old jerky, tough and hard to swallow. Well, you are in it now, there is no going back, and there are no refunds given for underestimating the endeavor.


Meet the women of SAS Mazda Macogep p/b Specialized. That is a mouthful of a team name, and I wonder if it is even more so in French. Why French? Well, the team hails from Montreal, Quebec, Canada (with a rider, or two, from Calgary to fill out the squad.) When I arrived at the race I had to park as far down along GMR as you could possibly get. It was so far down I could see the edge of the known world from where I sat. Fortunately there was just enough room for one more car between me and the Edge, and out of that car came a man and woman, both of whom were speaking Francaise, and one of whom may have been D.S. Gerard Penarroya (curses for not doing a more thorough job in finding out, but there is always tomorrow). I thought, "they must not be locals" but had a date with the start house and set off up the hill. Later in the afternoon, once I had my fill of time trial antics and had returned to l'auto I noticed a new easy-up between me and the Edge, under-which were the ladies of Sas Mazda etc. cooling down after their race. Cooling down being the optimal image you should take away from all this - if this SoCal native is unprepared for this 90º March, I am not sure how anyone from Montreal could be. Anyway, it is a testament to the dedication of SDSR staff that the race has grown to a point where it attracts, not just individual riders from across the continent, but entire teams. If you don't already have a favorite to root for on Saturday and Sunday, root for the gals in purple and blue.

You might call it 'coaching by example'. Patrick Caro.

It's Nick Humphrey. Did I ever tell you I knew Nick when, as a Jr. High School kid twenty or more years ago, his dad would drag him out to the Saturday morning rides. It all paid off, Doc.

I was, maybe a half mile up the road from the start house, and Greg Goodwine
was just about to catch the rider who started ahead of him. He was flying.

Not sure of the rider, but the team is Fearless Femme p/b Haute Wheels Racing

Are we having fun yet? The look, right out of the start house, says yes.

Kirsti Lay Giroux (Sas Mazda Macogep p/b Specialized)

Of course the time trial, like stretching, is just a sort of prelude of the good stuff yet to come.
It all continues tomorrow with the stage two road race, in and around Bonelli Park.

Alright then, the Stage One Flickr album contains a selection of 113 photos from the Women's Cat 3 and Cat 4s, Masters 35+ and 40+, Cat 3s, and the Women Pro/1/2s; I'll get more of the categories during tomorrows road race. The photos are not a complete catalog, but are representative of all the others taken during the day, so if you don't see what, or who, you were looking for in the album, let me know with a race number and I will see what I can find. If you see a photo you like, feel free to download it (credit where credit due, of course). You can also contact me via email and I will gladly send a full size jpeg file of the image.

Want more? Go ahead and order your own copy of the CLR Effect racing annual. There are two editions available right now (2013 and 2014), and you can preview them by clicking the 2014 Seasons in the Sun Book Preview button near the top of the right hand column, or under the title banner at the top of the page.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

This Bud's For You, 25 March

Successful escapes are not uncommon at the weekly Bud's Ride, and tonight added another tally mark in that column. Three riders came into view well ahead of the bunch, the first two, both with Incycle / Cannondale, outdistanced the third just in the last couple hundred meters to double up for 1st and 2nd. When the big group came charging into view (was it even thirty seconds later?) they were led home for 4th by the race-faced rider from Surf City.

A lot of chatter about this weekend's San Dimas Stage Race among the gathered spectators, as well as in the group on the ride home. Race hard.

Hello, and Goodbye

Hello traffic, goodbye tranquility. It will be the only outcome, yet the City of Los Angeles Parks Department seems dead set on putting in motion a plan that will lead to just that - increased traffic, and a lot less serenity, in the city's largest public park, Griffith. 

Interestingly, or not, this is not the first time the same agency has sold out to the automobile. I made mention of this at the CLR Effect's predecessor blog, the Claremont Cyclist. I always had a fondness for the park, having lived outside its boundary in Burbank for a number of years, its twisty, quiet, and crumbly roads were long a retreat from more hectic streets. Then, when my son was younger, I took the family back there for a ride, but promised myself that we would never come back - Riverside Drive and other auto-permitted roads were just to unsettling, dominated by speed crazed and bike lane encroaching idiots. That is a promise I have kept, though I have been back myself, never with the family. Each of those times back have included a required ride up and along Mt. Hollywood Drive, and the iconic Trash Truck Hill, both long closed to motor vehicles. Now the park wants to open these and one of the few paved car-free areas will be lost. Lost to cyclists. Lost to runners. Lost to hikers and walkers. Lost to equestrians. 

There have been some rumors that homeowners fed up with tourist traffic destined for the Hollywood sign are behind this mistaken effort (quite frankly, why anyone would wish to see, close up, a bunch of tall letters on a hillside is beyond my comprehension anyway), but shuttling the problem off to another area is hardly the answer. 

Anyway, if you go to CiclaValley, there is an email you can copy, paste, and send to concerned parties and decision makers. Let them know how wrong-headed the idea is. Apparently there is also a ride tomorrow, and you can check out the information at the Facebook event page. The ride will end up at the meeting where the proposed change will be discussed. Lets get to it, time is running out.
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