La vie de vélo

Adventures in cycling and life

San Luis weekend of independence, packing, crashes and road racing

4th of July. What better way to celebrate our independence than to torture ourselves in the hot summer sun out in beautiful San Luis Obispo.


My first Cat 4 race and “the gang” was back together with Bob, John and I all finally upgraded to the 4s. This was no bunch sprint road race (thank god) as the 1 mile, 5-6% grade climb on each lap proved to be an effective selection point. We did 7 laps of the 7 mile circuit. It was probably the toughest road race I have done to date – the pace was consistently high and the wheel suckers had no chance with the quick but decisive climb looming over every lap.

I hung with the lead climbers on every lap but the 6th where John and I let a small gap form before the descent. It was the decisive break of the race as I tried in vain to bridge it on the long descent. I was in no mans land between two groups and stupidly worked alone for 2 miles before I let up and joined the group behind me. I was just about done but saved enough to avoid blowing up on the final climb. Our small chase group made some decent progress but ultimately could not catch the leaders. We sprinted for 7th place, about a half minute behind the lead group. I got 8th overall – not bad for my first Cat 4 race and a whole 2 points towards my Cat 3 upgrade!

It was definitely a hard, hard effort. On par with the longer XC MTB races I’ve done. There were very few easy portions of the race and the Cat 4 competition, while not intimidatingly superior to my current fitness level, is super strong and *deep* with talent – there were 20 guys who could’ve won and everyone pushed me.

I look forward to doing a lot more road racing in the future but unfortunately SoCal appears to be enamored with crits and grand prixs. Count me out.. i’ll take a long, torturous, hilly road race any day of the week. Riding in circles is paradoxically boring AND dangerous.. check out this video of the crash in the SLO crit this sunday:

So if you couldn’t guess – no i didn’t go to the crit chamionships on sunday. I was home packing for my upcoming move. Same for Friday. After 4 years in the same house, I am shocked and appalled at the sheer volume of crap I have accumulated. Packing and cleaning … what a way to spend the weekend. At least I got to race and hang out last night with some friends and watch the fireworks.


July 6, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. that crash is exactly why i have never done a crit… and don’t plan to any time soon. good job in the road race. sounds fun.

    Comment by jameson | July 6, 2009 | Reply

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