Thank you everyone for a great turnout at today's Meals On Wheels holiday ride. Thanks for riding, thanks for donating to Meals On Wheels and thanks go out Catalina Coffee for being such a gracious host.
A few if us stopped by for a nice visit with Raymond afterwards. It was gratifying to see him in good shape and in good spirits. He thanked us for coming but in reality it is all of us who thank him for founding such a great cycling club. A day of many thanks indeed.
For those of you didn't hear the announcement at the banquet, you'll be happy to know that Marc Thomas is our 2013 La Granger Of The Year. Thank you Marc for your tireless, selfless efforts helping with the Brentwood Grand Prix, your service on the Board of Directors, heading up Membership, leading Drills for Skills and the Tour of the Neighborhoods rides- just to name a few things. Words cannot describe or do justice to the actions of this very special member of our club. Congratulations Marc!
All week prior to the start of competition, I tried to stay focused on what I needed to do to win each race. I kept my eyes off other potential competitors because I didn't want the competition to start in my head with sizing up the bodies of the other women racers. I have found that you can never really tell the strength or skill of another athlete by how they look on the street. A lot of wasted energy can be used worrying about others. On Thursday when I rolled up to the start of the time trial, the feeling of inadequecy filled my soul. All these women in line looked as strong as I felt, all of them were here to win and good enough to win I thought. These women all came here to compete because they had a chance at winning. My heart sunk even more when the announcer was telling fans the names of who the, " favorites to win," were. A list of names were read, but my name didn't make the list. My travel companion, Alain, must have seen my face fall, and his comment to me was, " don't worry darling, they won't even see you coming now." This lifted my spirit and I knew he was right! The feeling of having to prove myself again, flew through my veins.
The last race of the season. Last races I got a 4th and a 3rd. It was time to do better than that. In the parking lot at the Carlsbad Grand Prix, no rollers or trainers were allowed, so I didn't get a proper warm up. But that didn't end up effecting my racing. As I was in line for registration, I noticed a kid I had never seen before who was racing in the 13-14 category racing for Swamis, so that made me a little nervous going into the race.
After we stage up, the whistle blows. The race is on. David Herrera (the kid who got 2nd at the last Ontario race), Trevor Goodman (a fellow La Granger), Kyle Kirby (a regular face in the pack), and the kid from Swamis, a 5 man break from the rest of the field. The course was a little challenging, but nothing non do-able, I little bit of a hill on the home straight to the finish and about a 3-4% hill on the back straight. As the bell lap came, I noticed that there were meter markers on the side of the road. Being a trackie, it's always good to know where 200m to the finish line is.
Racing: Raegan Lunsford and Keely Brooks in 35+, and Julie Cutts, Belinda Eschenwald, and Angela Wimberly in 45+
Pre-race strategy: Get the wins for Raegan in 35+ and Bee in 45+. Attack, wear out the other teams, and try to get Raegan and Bee in a break with as few competitors as possible. After some hard attacks, Bee and Raegan attacked together. They got brought back, so Angela went. It was a prime lap - maybe the other 45+ ladies thought Angela was going for a prime but more likely they were keying off Julie. Anyway, they didn’t chase right away. Angela kept going thinking that the 45+ competitors would chase. Raegan and Karen Meske of Skyflash attacked to bridge up but got stuck in no-man’s land. Julie attacked with Keely on her wheel but Raegan had burnt too many matches to latch on when they went by. A couple of competitors wound up going with Julie as well: Bonnie Breeze in 45+ (Skyflash) and Vikki Appel in 35+ (South Bay Wheelman). Each team in the break had teammates in the pack, so the pack stopped chasing. The break bridged up to Angela, who jumped on.
April was a terrific month for your club. We had so many great performances by our racing teams. At every level we had winners and podium finishes and it seems it is just getting better as the year progress'.
One particular day really stands out, April 21. On that Sunday we had two events and La Grange really showed up for both. The City of Los Angeles put on a new version of CycLAvia. They closed down the entire length of Venice Blvd. from downtown to Santa Monica. The turnout was the largest ever with an estimated 150,000 + joining the fun. Among this tremendous show of the importance of bicycles were numerous LGer's. From what I am told it was lots of fun and very very crowded.