Even climbers can win a Bear Jersey

By nature, I am a climber and had largely given up on the idea of winning a bear jersey at the SCNCA District Road Race Champioship in Bakersfield because the course has only relatively short climbs and the sprinters/power climbers tend to win on the last 600 yard power climb. For two years in a row, I was in the lead on that little power climb and finished 4th and 3rd behind the power climber/sprinters in my 60+ age division.

With some key advice from my coach (Ron Peterson), it became clear that I needed to break from the crowd at some point this year.   So about 1/3 of the way up the first climb on the second of two laps with about 17 miles to go, I hit it hard.   I looked back after 10 seconds and saw no one responding so I hit it again and continued to accelerate.  I got several hundred yards on the crowd over the top of the climb.  One guy made a run at me before the turnaround, which was fortunate, because we agreed to work together.  Really worked well as we held about a quarter mile lead until just before the final power climb when 3 or 4 of the sprinter types had closed the gap to 20 seconds or so.  

Pizza and Patch Party for Flight School


Today we had a Patch and Pizza Party for Flight School. As the name suggests, we patched bike tubes while we dined on Beach Pizza. I believe part of my role as Director of the Flight School program is to do more than teach the kids how to race. My job is to hopefully instill a life-long love for for cycling. And part of being a cyclist is knowing how to take care of your equipment. So today I taught the boys (Ivy was busy with a school event) how to repair a flat tube. A simple task that saves lots of money over throwing it out and buying a new one. They were a little sloppy at first but soon got the hang of it. Fortunately or unfortunately, I had plenty of flat tubes that needed to be repaired.

Gold, Gold and enough points for Ivy Koester to become National Champion

Last night Ivy secured her second gold medal in the Junior National Championships being held at the Carson Velodrome and the overall title on points to become the 2014 National Omnium Champion. She did it in a dominent fashion. Starting from the first lap she covered every attack from her main rivals on points but let the other attacks go. She didn't waste an ounce of energy in her 16 lap scratch race. And when it was the bell lap, she laid down a devestating attack that left everyone in her wake. She pedaled like a woman on a mission with no one behind her able to make up any ground. When she crossed the finish line first her smile was from ear to ear as she punched the air with emotion.

Dexter Koester Takes Silver in the Junior National Championship 1K Scratch race

Dexter was following a strong wheel going down the back straight on the last lap of his 4 lap scratch race. That wheel belonged to Alex and he's taking Dexter right to the front of the race. But then in turn 3, Alex overlaps the wheel in front of him and that rider decides to go up track. Their two wheels collide and Alex's front wheel goes wobbly. Right at that momnet a small opening occurs below Dexter on the black line. He instinctually dives down and comes out of turn 4 in second place with some momentum towards first. He can't make up all the ground but does come across in second place and takes home a big ole silver medal. It's the happiest I've ever seen him before after a great race result.

Dexter Koester battles back to take 3rd in State Chamionships on the track

Dexter's weakest event is the 500m TT and that was first up. But Dexter put in a good TT time of 45.56 giving him 4th place overall in the three race omnium. Dexter's main competition was Alex M. and Alexander L. Alex loves the breakaway and uses it effectively all the time when he races. Alexander is more of a sprinter so he likes to wait for the one to go bell to make his move. Knowing this, Dexter's plan was to mark Alex and wait for his breakaway move at around 2-3 to go and if that doesn't go down, then find Alexander and duke it out for the sprint.

In the first 1K scratch race, Alex didn't make his usual move because the pace was too high so it came down to a sprint and Dexter was lined up on Alexander's wheel. When the sprint was started, Dexter was able to hold his wheel but couldn't quite get around him so he finished third behind Alex and Alexander.

Ivy Koester Crashes in the points race and still wins State championship at the track

Ivy likes to make her State Championship wins dramatic. So when she began the third and final race of the omnium, she was sitting in a great spot to take the overall win. She won the 500m TT. And she won the 4k scratch race easily. So all she had to do was finish third or better in the 32 lap points race and she would defend her title as state champion. There were four sprints for points in the race and Ivy was sitting in second place with 1 1/2 laps to go. Cheyenne Comer, who was in second place, had done an effective solo breakaway and was racking up sprint points but Ivy was also earning points sprinting against the field. Cheyenne had 11 points and Ivy had 8.

Then it happened. Ivy had a momentary loss of focus and overlapped a wheel of a girl below her. That girl started to move up track and when she contacted Ivy's front wheel, Ivy lost control of her bike and went down hard on the apron. A sinking feeling arose in my throat. I knew that if she was DNF in the race, that she wouldn't get the points and therefore wouldn't get the jersey she had and was earning on the track.

North American Qualifier for UCI World Road Masters

This past weekend, I won my age group in the North American Qualifier for the UCI World Masters held in Winston-Salem, NC over 74 miles and 3700 vertical (see picture of me and the 3rd place finisher with my UCI qualifier winner half rainbow jersey).  There were about 120 riders from the US, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Belarus, Brazil, and Belgium (you can qualify at any race they sponsor around the world).  The UCI World Masters is now open to all amateur age groups from 19 on and we had a mass start.  The course was rolling but no real climbs for those of us vertically inclined.  The pace was fast from the beginning and there was a tight pack of about 30-35 most of the way.   There were a number of flats (one pot hole ate at least 2-3 riders), mechanical problems and crashes along the way.   Scottie Weiss, a recent pro in the 40+ who won overall last year by 6 mins won again this year but not by so much.    I finished 28 seconds behind him this year with a pack of about 25 or so with an average pace of just under 25 mph.  

Flight School meets their new coach

Today 11 of the Flight School racers got to meet their new coach Josh Horowitz of Broken Bones Garage. It was our kick-off meeting where he got to know them and they got to meet him. We covered a lot of ground in the 2.5 hour meeting including how to train throughout the year, how to eat right plus we introduced our new incentive program. All the riders had a good time and enjoyed dome pastries and bagels that were provided by some of the parents. Speaking of parents we had 10 parents also come which made the Garage pretty packed with people.

Our next step is to get the surveys filled out from Josh so he can find out the details about everyone and then come up with some killer plans to help each racer meet their season goals.