So I am back from my big trip to California, ostensibly for the Redlands Classic, although that didnít necessarily end up as the highlight of the trip. Before I get to the story of the race(s), I have to tell the story of my awesome teammates and how when my new parts arrived on Friday, they built my bike for me knowing that I had to hit the road (jack) on Saturday
morning. Big Pink was finally completed around 11pm on Friday, so I went down to Allan Butlerís house to pick it up. All I can say is thanks a bazillion to AB, Marc Yap, and Jesse ďThe BodyĒ Westergard for getting this puppy built. The bike is awesome. I had the same frame last year, so it was real easy to set it up.
Saturday morning we hit the trail for California. We being the wife, Kelly, and the baby, Haley and of course, me. Haley is the road trip master by the way. I know sheís only 8 months old, but seriously as long as we feed her she is pretty happy. I think she gets that from me. Hopefully thatís the only thing she got from me. Got in in time Saturday night to
take the new ride out for a spin. Giant bikes rock. I love this thing.
Sunday we had an Easter breakfast with my in-laws which was good, clean fun, and then it was time for me to beat it back to the Inland Empire for the Ontario Criterium. Before I get into that, whatís up with calling it the Inland Empire? I have a few questions for the emperor if anyone knows how to find himÖ Like whatís up with the smog?
OntaRIO Speedwagon Crit.: 90 Minutes, 7 corners, 150 contenders and pretenders, 1 grand prize list. (Yeah, I stole the OntaRIO Speedwagon title from the Labor Power team. Sue me. Oh wait, thereís lawyers on that teamÖ Hey, I was only kidding. Please donít sue me. Seriously.)
So, I pretty much showed up for this humdinger with the intention of getting some speedwork in before Redlands. I hadnít raced all year, so I figured it might be a good idea. I didnít know what to expect out of myself, and was pleasantly surprised. I didnít get to be the big winner or anything. In fact, Iíve probably done 15 Ontario Crits and never won one. Been second,
been third a bunch of times, but never reached the holy grail of So Cal Critdom (critdumb??). Anyway, my legs felt pretty darn good for not having raced since September and for having driven 700 miles the day before.
Made one break which I felt certain would be THE move. It was me, J. Bausch, that tall skinny kid from McGuire, Remi McManus (no relation to Ed McMahon) from Subway, and a couple strong guys from So Cal whose names I canít remember. I suck at names. Anyway, like I said, it should have been THE move. The only team who wasnít there was Monex. Some guys in the break wanted to
sit on or come through four miles an hour slower than everyone else though so after about 5 laps, we got caught. Oh yeah, and some other guys thought it would be cool to sprint for primes instead of driving the break so that didnít help either.
Near the end, eriksaunders.com got away and was putting on a pretty good show. Unfortunately for him, he got caught in the last turn. I sat up with a lap to go as everyone was banging bars and I guess I was just a little too nervy to throw my hat in that ring.
Monday I got to ride with my man Ken Toman. Ken and I have a special way of riding where we are gone all day and donít get very far. I think it has something to do with stopping for lunch, coffee, to smell the flowers, to talk to random strangers. Anyway, it was nice to cruise the Pacific Coast Highway again.
Tuesday night there was a sweet NetZero Pro Cycling reunion at El Dorado. For those who donít know, El Do is the best training race on Earth. Chris Lotts and his wife Vera put a huge amount of time and energy into this and it shows. Anyway, the winner of this series wins a trip for two to Costa Rica and my ex-NetZero teammate Jamie Paolinetti is in the
running. A couple points here: I won the series a couple years back and got like $150 - Chris- whereís my trip to Costa Rica?? Second - JP looks pretty damn good for a ďretiredĒ guy. Speaking of retired, a couple people said to me they thought I was retired. No, when I am retired I will be playing shuffleboard and wearing black socks with shorts. JP can say he is retiredÖ I cannot. Oh yeah,
so back to the story.
JP, J. Bausch, and I busted out the NZ gear again. We were definitely a little off our game (especially me), but it was a good time, and nice to catch up with a whole bunch of people and to get beat up by masters. Thanks for not letting me get cocky, gang.
Anyway, tune in next time, when I may just get into what actually went down at Redlands.
First warm weather ride of the season in Utah - Ryan and Haley. Photo (c) Ryan Barrett.
Click for larger image.