La vie de vélo

Adventures in cycling and life

Poor College Kids 09

Another “warm-up” race here in sunny southern california. This time it was a road race, the Poor College Kids race organized by UCSB cycling.

It was out in Los Olivos so no marathon road trip this day.. just a nice 45 minute drive out to wine country. Joselyne joined me to get in some hilly distance runs on the surrounding country roads while we raced (and for moral support, etc.)

We had a good pack of 7 or 8 chicken ranchers at the starting line of the Category 5A race. Some of the other riders registered later and got pushed into the B race to split up the field unfortunately.

The course was out-and-back on Foxen canyon road. At the start things were super mellow. We cranked it up a notch on the first climb and the descent strung out the pack a bit but no real action. After the turn-around (which half the pack botched by going LEFT around the cones!) things got a little heavier with a few token attacks but mostly they were just wasted efforts. I spent a lot of time out front wondering when things were going to start cooking… without wanting to start the fire myself of course.

The climb back was the breaking point. John C. and about 5 other mountain goats took off while I was giving it 100% to keep them within my sight. At the top they put on 50 yards and I had to bridge the gap by myself (pulling a few others with me). So by the gradual downhill/flat section to the finish, we had about a dozen of us together at the front without anyone leading the charge. We stayed in the front of the chasing pack but it came down to a group sprint in the last 1/4 mile. I took second place by somehow finding an open line on the left. I almost bridged the gap to the lead sprinter but Derek (of team platinum) was definitely the power rider in the group on this day.

So my thoughts on my first road race in oh 13 years…

It was frustrating to me how the strongest rider does not always win. And how it was very difficult to ride at the intensity I wanted to. I just don’t really enjoy riding in a group. Especially when the pack was thick, I was really on edge.

The race was, for the most part, easy pace compared to a mountain bike race. I prefer the steady tempo of a time trial over the punchy, opportunistic tempo changes that you don’t really have control over.

But was it fun?? .. hell yeah. Will I sign up for a road race again even if there is some good mountain bike riding/racing the same day??.. not a chance. 🙂

After the race, Bob, John and I even rode back up 154 to stagecoach road back into santa barbara to get a little extra workout. I had a blast! It was a good early-season workout, I learned a thing or two and had fun.. what more can you ask for (other than 1st place!).

EDIT: The results are now posted online.


February 1, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Matt,

    Don’t sound so glum about a great ride. I had an awesome time just being out there with you, which I must say is always a pleasure. We all learned a lot and next time we’ll be prepared that much better. The strongest doesn’t always win, but look at it this way, we caused the break, and took second in the sprint!


    Comment by John Comunale | February 1, 2009 | Reply

  2. Congratulations, Matt!

    Comment by MUZ | February 1, 2009 | Reply

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