Sunday, August 16, 2009

2009 Ladera Ranch Grand Prix Crit

Ladera Ranch Grand Prix Crit, Aug 16, 2009: Ladera Ranch is in southern Orange County, north-east on Crown Valley, in the residential area in the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. There were about 30 55+ and 60+ starters. Weather was cool in the morning. Didn’t feel cold at all after the start. Amazing how that works! The course was a 4 sided 0.7 mile loop with about 40’ of climbing per lap. A couple of the corners had somewhat narrow exits, but otherwise the course was quite safe. No crashes, at least not in this race.

It wasn’t too hard for me to stay with the group. There were a few who dropped off the back however. I think there were about 23 finishers. I stayed fairly far toward the back until the last few laps. I found if I stayed on the wheel of an experienced rider around the corners, I felt much more confident. On turn #1 about mid-way through the race, I failed to check who was around me as I entered the turn. As I exited and drifted a bit wide, I heard “Dan” … “Dan” and felt someone leaning into me. It turned out to be Loren Stephens, and I was crowding him to the outside. Luckily I was able to give him plenty of room, and no damage was done. Lesson: on entering each turn, make sure to check who’s around me, so I can leave plenty of room for the other racers.

As we approached the sprint in the last lap, I moved forward a bit and came across mid-pack, rather than in the rear. As I crossed the finish line, I had another round of exercise-induced asthma, reminded me that I failed to bring my inhaler and use it before the race, same as the prior week. I need to keep it somewhere close so I'll be reminded to use it before these races. In any case, I finished 6th out of about 10 60+ starters. The other Paramount guys did great: Monte took 1st, and John 3rd.

Afterwards I went on a social ride with Bruce and Theresa Steele, up Crown Valley, then up Antonio most of the way to the top. Terrific Day!


  1. Hi Dan! It sounds like a good race and a good day. I decided not to do it because I've been pointing myself towards the Skull Valley race for a full year (it's next weekend!), and didn't want to take a chance of crashing or anything else that might compromise my chances there. It sounds like you did well. I know how it is with cornering. When I rode road races in Northern California, the descents were often fast and technical. I would follow experienced riders down the hills because they knew the courses. It's a good strategy.

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  3. Yeah, Paramount! The blog's shaping up nicely, Dan. Although I am not a cyclist, I know a lot about it. The cornering is crucial. Good for you!