Race Report :: 2006 Pilarcitos Bay Area Super Prestige Race 2
Race: Pilarcitos Bay Area Super Prestige :: Race 2
Category: M35+ A
Teammates: Ron G
This location gets better and better. The course that is. The abused park, acres of desolate parking lot, garbage, a-holes that break into people’s cars, etc etc etc sure make this another ying and yang course. Ignoring the bad, let’s focus on the good.
We (SyCip) held a CX clinic at the race site on Saturday. Tom and crew had already setup most of the course and we were able to pre-ride during the clinic. This year’s version used a lot of the same area of the park as last time. But a wee bit shorter. We ran a test lap and clocked just over a 5 minute lap. That’s about 3 minutes shorter than average. With that knowledge they added another set of barriers to slow us down. Gee, thanks! :’)
Sunday morning and three of us have loaded up the van. Three guys with 3 bikes, 3 bags, trainers, and about 4-5 wheels a piece. Full van! Hop in ready to go, turn the key, click click click… Ah, poop…
Pull another car around, grab the jumpers, hook ’em up, try again, click, click, click… Ah, poop…
Ok, let it rev for a bit, build up the charge, and we try again.
Click, click, click… Ah, poop…
Transportation change! Unload all the bikes, the bags, the trainers, the mound of wheels… Load up two cars with all the bikes, the bags, the trainers, the mound of wheels… got all the wheels? Yes. Ok, off to the races! Whew.
Luckily no traffic, short drive to venue, and fast drivers. We pull into the bling bling parking spot just next to the start-finish. It’s an hour before Jon and Dave’s race, two before mine. I’ve got time to get the helmet camera setup so I can film their race. Of course I goof around a little too much and I hardly get a warm-up before it’s time to go. Head over and line up behind the Master 45+ A crew. The serious faces start at the front and then fade as you move backwards. Well, there’s always a few stuck in the back. Maybe I should film backwards next time so we can see the faces.
Tom’s done with the race announcements and the whistle blows! Off we go sprinting down the road and off left to the dirt. Traffic and slinky action begins almost immediately. I’m getting blocked farther and farther back. Darn. The course opens a bit and I try to pass here and there. Not being warmed up enough doesn’t help.
The first lap speed is always fast and the effort has me breathing hard right away. I look ahead and the leaders are gaining lots of ground. The field is being strung out fast. Not much you can do with some of the choke points on the course. Getting a front position is so key in cyclocross.
Back and forth, back and forth, and then up and over to the back parking area. The speed picks up and everyone tries to grab a wheel to follow. Down the road we fly and then through the gate and towards the start-finish. Wow that was a fast lap! Oh, that’s right, the first is a short lap.
Sharp left this time coming off the start-finish pavement. Then double-back for a fairly smooth fast grass section. Veer back right and then hit one of the several up-over-down-180-up-over-down hills of the course. Zig then zag and onto the sidewalk, sprint up to speed, and then connect back up with the dirt where the start of the course originally dropped in.
I pull over, catch my breath, and wait a moment for the next category chasing just behind. And without much of a chance to rest they are already on me. I crank back up to speed and start filming this group. Not any easier following these guys. I track them through the lap and up to the start-finish. Wash-Rinse-Repeat. But then it’s getting close to my start time so I veer off and head over to the car.
Change gear and get ready for my race. Wow I feel so much lighter without the camera. Hmm, maybe I will feel faster? Ha, probably not.
I line up with the rest of the 35+ crew near the start-finish. The 45 race finishes up and we pile into the line. More serious faces. Then the whistle blows and we are off!
Not much more to write home about. I rode a consistent but slow pace through the race. Had a blast on the course. Especially in all the technical sections. Watched Ron falter then come back and put a minute on me. Rode back and forth with Stephen K whom I hadn’t seen in a long time. His last lap pull on the road to the start-finish brought back memories of our crit days.
Finished with a smile from having too much fun on the course.
Still need to work on high sustained efforts.
Technical feels great.
Starting to feel like I can race again.