Tuesday, August 11, 2009

2009 Comeback from Injury and San Marcos Crit

Comeback: After a month of no riding because my hand was in a cast, I dipped my toe in the water with a recreational July 4 ride with friends. I still had my cast on, but took things easy. I wasn’t able to use my right hand at all for braking, and I shifted the rear derailleur only when absolutely necessary, and then from the inside, not outside, which I couldn’t manage.

The next weekend, on July 11, I did the Grand Tour Double Century staff ride. I finished with Rolland Hoffman, a distance rider with the ADO Gang, a group of distance riders from LA and Orange counties. Rolland and I finished in about 13:20, but slowed a lot over Grimes, Dennison and Casitas pass when the temps got up in the high 90’s. We had a great return to Malibu along the coast with a strong NW wind pushing us along.

The Friday after the GT, I got my cast off; replaced by a Velcro splint to provide some support. On Saturday, July 18, I rode Glendora Mountain Road, up 39 from Encanto Park, to Camp Andrews, up the backside to GMR, along the GRR to Baldy Village, then return GRR to GMR, down GMR, then along the foothills back to Encanto. It got hot on the return, but was otherwise a wonderful ride.

San Marcos Criterium, July 26, 2009: This was a 5 sided loop of about 1 mile with a 4-5% climb along one short leg, and a 2-3% climb on the following leg. At the end of the first long leg there was a right turn that was a bit off camber due to the slope of the concrete at the apex. It was a little chancey, and about the 3rd time around, I came upon a crash. It turned out that one racer went wide at that corner and hit a boundary cone, spinning it around. Then the next racer hit the spinning cone and went down, taking the following racer with him. Luckily by the time I came around the path was clear and the crash was no problem for me.

I stayed with the group for several laps, but there was such a short recovery period before the next climb started that I was done after 5 laps and faded off the back. I continued alone, but was never lapped by the pack. I eventually passed 2 other riders, and wound up finishing 5th out of 11 60+ starters.

After the race, a group of us (Monte, Jim, John, Bruce, Phil and me) did a rec ride to the coast and back. It was nice to chat with these wonderful competitors.


  1. For me, that after race ride was the best thing about that weekend. It was great fun!

  2. Oh, and I think you're conservative in the gradient on that climb. The steep one showed as much as 9% on my Garmin. Not the whole way, but the sprint up part...

  3. Amazing ... I know after I dropped off the back, the steeper part did slow me up big time. But when I was with the group, we rolled right up it, hardly slowing much at all. No wonder it tuckered me!