La vie de vélo

Adventures in cycling and life

Fontana national 09

Ow. That hurt. The Fontana race, round #2 of the US Kenda Cup West and the California State Series, is now wrapped up and written in the books.

Bob Wilcher and I got up at the crack of dawn to make the trip down to Fontukey. We were through LA by the time the sun rose .. that just ain’t right. We met up with Gary Douville and Pete Sproul in the parking lot and “warmed up” by attacking the courses first brutal climb (more on that later).

A bunch of new faces crawled out of the woodworks and the competition was pretty heavy in the Cat 1 30-34. Right away the clusterf@#$ck overlap of classes began – jockying for position on the narrow singletrack became a large tactical part of the race.

The first climb was loose and STEEP. It was rideable (I did it in my warmup!) but during the race it was just more economical to run up the last part.

20% grade, 1/5 mile, 200 vertical ft, 100% fun

20% grade, 1/5 mile, 200 vertical ft, 100% fun

Then came a singletrack section, followed by a paved climb, another singletrack grinder climb (totally rideable) then some primarily downhill twisting singletrack. A hard steep left onto the fireroad was really interesting as it was about 6 inches of fluffy sand at a 20% grade with a 90 degree turn and a drainage ditch at the bottom. I managed to put lots of time by hitting this smoothly every lap – but I turned around to see some amusing scenarios unfold behind me! From there the fireroad took you back to a small climb, another small tech descent, more fireroad then the singletrack BMXy trail leading back to the start.

It was a shorter lap than the one I had raced at Fontana earlier in the year, only 4.5 miles. But that climb was brutal and took a lot of mental energy – that 1/4 mile felt 10x as long!

Gary, of course, won the race by several minutes. He took off on the first grinding climb never to be seen again. After the positions settled out, I battled for 5th place with Humberto Castro and Justin Mann for most of the race. It was a lot of fun riding with these guys, we each pushed each other at different times as we all had slightly different strengths. Justin’s words of encouragement definitely saved me from mental collapse at a few points! Justin ended up 5th, Humberto 6th, myself in 7th all separated by about 20 seconds. Bob had a rough time with the technical descents and ate sagebrush a few times, coming in at 17th place.

A fun race but I felt kinda flat. It was a tough training week for me and I felt fatigued a bit. I was able to sustain a good threshold pace but couldn’t turn the dial up that one extra notch when it counted. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger – but only if you recover first!

It was a fun scene, lots of people out, a lot of energy, sponsors and vendors and of course free In and Out Burgers. Very fun .. my only wish was that they could’ve done it on the same day as the Cat 2’s so the whole team could make the trip on the same day.

Coming up next… another brutal week of training then Sagebush Safarri in san diego next weekend.


March 29, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. 20% grade really equals 100% fun? You are crazy!

    Congrats on another awesome race!

    Comment by Sarah | March 30, 2009 | Reply

  2. dude I love that graphic!!!

    great racing with you. I look forward to more of the same!

    Comment by Justin | March 30, 2009 | Reply

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