Here is Rhonda Geiszler's race report from last weekend:
Warrior Society puts on a challenging race in the Santa Ana Mountains. There are two courses to choose from, Counting Coup or Vision Quest. I registered to race the shorter distance, Counting Coup that is 42 miles with 8,300 of climbing. It is a 5:30 am mass start so I was up EARLY. Of course, it started to sprinkle and I was worried that once I got up in the mountains it would be cold. I donned my Gore-Tex gear again; I sure am getting my monies worth. The race starts off with a climb up Black Star. Well, Black Star was just plowed the day before the race and with the rain it was a mess!!! Riders struggle to ride up, due to the thick, clay-like mud. The second time my wheels stopped turning, I decided to wait for my GF Denise, to see how she was doing; I basically had it in my mind I was going to turn back. Several minutes passed and I saw Denise, spinning up the hill, so I followed. My wheels stopped again, I found a big stick that was quite handy getting the mud off my tires and cassette, so I held on to it. Several riders turned back and riders were trudging up the climb. I thought to myself, if I can just get up this climb I will be good to go. Climb done and I was good to go. At the bottom of Motor Way were the first aid station and the 20-mile mark. I saw Mike, Denise’s husband, who quickly cleaned off my bike and offered me a PB&J sandwich, which I declined. I asked what is my place and he replied “2nd”. I could tell by the tone of his voice Heidi had a big lead on me; found out later it was 15 minutes. Off I went for the long climb to the top, this is the hardest and longest climb in the race. I believe this is when the race really beings. I felt good and kept my pace in check. I came to the next aid station and a guy said, “Heidi is only a few minutes ahead of you, go get her”. I was very excited and off I went. I stood and climbed and I was passing racers and we all know that feeling when you pass racers, it like cocaine, it gives you a rush. Well, guess whom I found? Heidi, and I went after her. There was a small descent and I passed her gracefully and the course started again and I never looked back. I thought she might catch me once we headed into the single track back down the mountain. Heidi has raced this race, well, too many times that I lost count and she always wins overall. Once I got out of the single track and was on the service road I knew I had won, but I kept riding really hard. Crossed the finish line first woman overall. Some of the comments on social media reported this was the hardest year since the start of the race. The trails were wet, muddy, rocky, loose, or over-grown. I was pretty excited to beat Heidi!!!! It was an awesome day for me racing in the Santa Ana Mountains. Checking the results, I was 12th overall, out of 130ish riders that finished and there were 40 riders who DNF’d. More than half the women quit.
Here is Kal's race report:
This is a race report from the Victorville stage race this past weekend. My apologies in advance to any of those with literary sensibilities that are offended by the following:
It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Victorville, which is otherwise notorious for high temps and strong winds, was not altogether unpleasant. The temperatures were quite pleasant and the wind was yet to be a factor in the TT. The course was a 10K loop with a short out and back with a turnaround at the bottom of a 1-mile hill. I'm still rather fidgety on my newly acquired TT rig but I somehow managed to win by a fraction of a second over a good climber. Undoubtedly, I made time on him on the downhill. After chatting with Reed who came in fourth, I was made aware that smallish gearing hampered his downhill speed. No such problem for me. Moreover, the climber dude was much lighter than I. On Saturday the RR was scheduled much later, at 12:20, which changed things greatly. The wind had now become the major factor in the race. Because the course traveled through every direction, the wind was to be experienced in every direction. Which, as it turns out, was all bad. 20 to 40 mph at different parts of the course and some of the worst of it was on the climb. I spent a good deal of time in the gutter out of which was a 1-2 inch lip and large rocks and glass. The field was mixed and small, 55's and 60's but a number of quality riders to make the pace hard. Easily 20 attacks each 10K lap left many, including myself, scrambling for wheels to stay out of the fierce side-winds. At the end, the field was blown apart. I managed to stay with the first group, which included the other 60+ guys in the top three and a half dozen 55’s, which included their top three. Reed had succumbed to too many efforts and gaps, including helping me stay well positioned early on, which cost him a heavy price. Nevertheless he stayed ahead of the remaining 60's for fourth. I was a meager third. I suffered much and was on the way to getting quite ill. As Sunday morning came I was precipitously worse and despite the fact that I was tied for first in the overall I decided that discretion would be best for any longer ambitions so I left my number with Reed and began the uncomfortable trek homeward. On the other hand Reed, albeit healthy, suffered a flat tire on the warm-up lap and couldn't make it back to the start in time and he also missed the last stage. The worst of times. We still managed 3rd and fourth overall which at least paid some expenses. As for my current condition, I don't expect to survive through the weekend so I'll say Adios, and may God be with you all. In case I do survive, anybody got a medium jersey they can spare? I'm afraid I've been caught short. I will pay of course. Gladly pay on Tuesday for a jersey today?
Last Saturday I competed again in the Cat 3 Omnium at the Carson track. The day before the race I had a little mishap on my MTB. While crossing a creek on a PQ canyon trail, my front wheel was stopped by an underwater rock and I flew over the handlebar. The landing was pretty soft, and I was lucky to walk away with just a couple a scratches and superficial bruises. Saturday morning, a few hours before the race I stopped by UCC to pick up my brand new kits. The LARGE long sleeve speed-suit fits me like a glove. I am so glad I don't have to squeeze my body inside the MEDIUM team speed-suit given to me by Terry 😉!
Anyway, back to the races. First one was the Scratch, the track cousin of the Crit. First one to cross the finish line wins. I finished fifth, due to bad positioning on the last lap that caused me to be 'boxed in'. One Omnium point.
Second race was the Miss 'n out. The last rider to cross the finish line on each lap with the rear edge of the rear wheel gets eliminated. I outlasted all 19 riders, therefore winning the MnO, which gave me 7 Omnium points.
The last race was the Points race. 40 laps, with points scored every 10 laps by the first 5 riders. Double points awarded on the last sprint. My strategy was simple: get easy points the first 3 sprints by having other riders pull me through the finish line, and then go all out on the last sprint. My execution was exactly how I had planned. I scored enough points to place 2nd in the points race, and the additional 5 Omnium points gained gave me a total of 13 which was good enough for FIRST place overall in the Omnium. I'm particularly pleased by my result given the depth of the competition, which included Chris Tregillis, who had just come back from the Velodrome in Aguascalientes, Mexico, where he established the second fastest time in his age group (50/54) of the hour record. I missed racing with Terry, who was out with a (hopefully) minor injury. Next race will be around the middle of May.
Kal and I entered the Victorville Omnium this last weekend. Kal won Friday's TT by less than a second, despite coming down with flu like symptoms. I was fourth. In the wonderfully windy road race on Saturday, Kal was third and I was fourth again. Kal was so ill on Sunday, he went home without racing the crit, even though he was in first place, overall. I flatted on the warm-up lap and never started! Kal slipped to third in the omnium and I held onto fourth.
Steve Boyd sent in this photo of Ken Winston and Randy Liechty in their new kits and new medals. Well done!
Last Saturday I competed on the Cat 3 Omnium at the LA Velodrome again. There were three races: a Tempo, a Points, and Win 'n Out. I was able to go solo for 4 laps on the Tempo race, which secured me a second place. I also placed second in the Points race, by getting double points on the last of 4 sprints. Unfortunately I did not score any Omnium points on the last race. Despite the help from Terry, I came in empty handed because I was beaten to the line for first place. I had nothing left in me for the succeeding sprints. Despite the bad result on the last race I was able to secure yet another 3rd overall Omnium place. Next Saturday there will be another Omnium.
Thanks to all who attended the Bike 4 Mike Charity ride on March 19. A good time was had by all, and for a good cause.