October 4, 2010
After the coldest summer in forty years in the Bay Area, we finally enjoyed a brief warm spell. Unfortunately it coincided with a weekend of UCI races in Southern California. I spent the week prior to Krosstober-Fest watching the Dubai-like temperatures of the greater Los Angeles area creep slowly downwards, hoping all the while they would miraculously plummet. I’m not a big fan of racing in hot temperatures — living near the coast in a fog zone doesn’t exactly prepare a person for temperatures much over 65°F. Once the forecasted weather dropped below 95°F, I knew I was headed to the heat in search of UCI points.
I drove down to the race with Danish National Champion, Joachim Parbo, but without my number one fan and biggest supporter, Tim. Our host housing was a beautiful abode in Pasadena overlooking the Rose Bowl. We got to ride the famous loop around the Rose Bowl and enjoy a warm evening on the patio.
Saturday’s race was hot and dirty. I started OK, and on the second lap I was sitting in third place behind Devon Haskell when I botched the mud pit and had a tangle with the course tape. I lost a few spots while detangling and wasn’t able to make them back up. On the second half of the third lap I noticed my bottle cage coming loose (yes, I was racing with a bottle and a bottle cage), and to avoid a catastrophic disaster I switched bikes and lost more time to the ladies in front of me. Between the heat and legs that didn’t want to pedal, I finished in fifth place. My travel partner, Joachim, had a much better day: he ignored the heat and a lingering head cold and won his first UCI race!
Sunday started off cooler, breezier, and the course had no mud pit. I made a point not to repeat Saturday’s mistakes and slotted into fourth position entering the dirt. I did my best to stay on the wheels of Devon and Teal Steston-Lee, but lost some time when Teal slid out on a corner. Sarah Maile and I went back and forth for a bit before I turned myself inside out and rode solo for the last three laps. It was hard work being alone on the long pavement sections and I pedaled hard enough to feel a little bit sick. In the end it was worth it to hold on to third place.
I’d like to thank Fritz for providing a great host house, Dorothy Wong for putting together great UCI races and courses, and Joachim Parbo for driving most of the way home while listening to Kylie Minogue.
Next week it’s off to Cincinnati for the UCI 3 Cyclocross Festival.