Friday, March 6, 2009

Bonelli Race Reports

Bonelli Park was a big success.. that is for the race organizer Over 700 riders showed up, double last year.It was a fast course completely different for other years. Perfect warm temp with snow capted mountain in the distance.

For team Chicken, there was a VICTORY for big Rob in the 45 beginner! I was about 10th in the Sport. Matt Perry was 2nd in the expert. Others racing were Bill Cutler, Rob Ramirez, Bob Whilcher, Rod Garrett, Kim Lyons, Mike

Abbott. Lets here some reports :))
More soon,

Now Dave is just toying with me. I ALMOST got second in the Cat1 30-34 race but was beat out by a few seconds. But I did get on the podium and had some good racing.

This was the first day in recent memory that I rode without arm and leg warmers. The heat was kind of a shock to my system. Didn't get a chance to pre-ride the course but the word from some of the other chickens was "easy" .. I'm not sure what they were comparing it to. It wasn't technical at all but had a few sketchy fast, loose corners. And the climbing was killer.. there were 2 miles of exposed fireroad climbs to start the lap, then a series of really steep little punchy climbs intermixed with some singletrack and short sections of pavement. A really fun course!

Before the race, I realized I had forgotten to bring any food with me

- Ramirez and Cuttler saved the day by donating some Gu packets. Bob W and I started out pretty conservatively and tried to just work our way up through the race. But Bob got a flat half-way through lap 2 and had some issues with his CO2 which set him back 10 minutes. Without that mishap, I'm convinced we would have 2 chickens on the podium! I kept motoring and was able to put a lot of time on those steep short climbs in the middle of the course. Everyone else was shifting down into their granny gear but you just had to keep it in the middle ring, crank up it for 30 sec, quickly recover, repeat. At the end of lap three I had no idea where I was compared to everyone else in my age group and I burnt my last match chasing down a group of three riders in the last 1/2 mile. Turns out one of those guys was the eventual 2nd place but my brain was not functioning properly and I convinced myself that he wasn't in my age group so I didn't need to out-sprint him. The way the finish was set up really discouraged a sprint finish; a 180 degree paved turn about 50 feet before the finish line with a narrow roped-off shoot leading into it so there was basically no way to do it safely. At least thats my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Next stop Keyesville.. hope to see everyone there!


I'm calling this race the "Bonelli Park Hair Club For Men's race".

Billy C. and I drove down together and we are hairy. Not as hairy as DanO, but gaining fast...

Also, there were some hairy climbs and some fast hairy descents on this course. The descents were so fast they made the hair on the back of your back stand up. Then we met up with Mike Abbott and he has hairy legs and rides the hairy Super D in addition to the XC. Plus, to cap it off, some guy commented to us on the pre-ride about our hairy legs!

Oh yea, and the was beautiful weather with warm temps and clear air. Billy and I got to race some platinum dudes (Aaron Transky and John Reveles) which made it fun. Right out of the gate there is a big hill. I started out on the front row with my furry friend Billy for this race but ended up at the back of the pack by the time we reached the top of the first hill. From there it was racing through traffic which made it fun. Dave Lettieri started in the group behind us but by the second lap he was right behind me. Not sure where I finished, but it was well worth the trip down there. The race organizers really put in a big effort to make this a good event. They had shwag bags, free T-shirts, vendor demo areas, free In-N-Out, a motorcycle show, and good race organization.

Thank you,

Rob Ramirez

I met Dave at 6:15 and off we we went. First I would like to say that Dave could double as a stock car driver if he ever decides to hang up his cleats. He saved the day with his lightning quick reflexes to avoid your typical idioit driver. No warmups were necessary as my heart rate was 195 after that. 550 people signed up and it was about 85 degrees at the start time. We pre road the course to kill of the time we had to wait till start time as we made it down to San Dimas in about 7 minutes.. I asked Dave how to race MTBs and his sage advice was "don't crash."Start times were staggered at 1 minute intervals. At my start time I just went as hard as I up the first hill and was just hoping that I would be in the mix after that. At the top I was all by my self (bonus !!!!) so I thanked God and just tried to keep catching the riders who started in front of me. .it was all over I had won my Cat 3 old guy catagory. It was and awesome trip and CR was well represented. Riding in the dirt is alot of fun and I cant wait for the next one. Thanks Dave and all CR.z

Big Rob

sounds like a great vegas trip, as for the mountain chickens i think we had 8 riders all did well, i think we had 3 podium finishers we will get their stories as they report, it was nice to meet and see what a great job kim lyons did with her race(hope you got that first aid) beer. matt pulled off a 3rd what a great effort, and big rob first place in his first race!. good job in the largest class for rob ramerez and bill cutler. not sure how the others did, let us know. as for my races i finished 6th in xc and 5 th super d, my legs were gone by the time the super d went off, it was still a great event, the new us cup program seems to be a great draw for larger classes.

mike abbott

We had a great day of racing at Bonelli indeed. It turns out that Dave "The Clock" Lettieri got on the podium after all - 5th according to the results posted a little while ago. Congrats to Dave and everyone else who went down. Matt P is a feekin' stud and won that race in my book (yes the 50-foot finish was pretty lame) and I know he will pick one off as the season goes on. Big Rob got the sweet taste of success with his win and believe it or not, the Clock even let him pick up his award ("go, go go", I heard him say to Rob). No kidding, Ramirez finished within a minute of Dave and then went directly to the car to change after the race - Dave had already mounted his bike and was changed, ready to leave. Wow! Others who raced and were not mentioned were Rod Garratt and Mike Abbott who fared well in their respective categories. Also, Ramirez got an awesome time in the top 10 - hey you beat Reveles after all but missed Transki (recently downgraded from Expert...har-umph!) by 20 seconds. Speaking of the "other guys", they had some good results as well but as you might imagine did not have as much fun as we did. I know this because due to the heat, Rob and myself were proud to keep our jerseys unzipped, proudly flaunting our Sasquachlike rugs in the blazing San Dimas heat while the other guys...well, let's just say I don't think the sponsors allow them to unzip their jerseys, no matter how hot it gets. Anyway, Dano, we thought of you and know you would have appreciated this. Anyway, I had an OK race finishing in typical Cuttler style for a MTB race; that is at the bottom third of the group. The first lap felt great and then, again, in typical Cuttler fashion, proceeded die and go backwards on the second lap. I must say that I am looking forward to the flatter lands this weekend. The highlight of my trip was of course off the trail. If you guys think Benko goes out of his way to make sure his teammates are well taken care of and have a good time, well you guys need to hang out with Ramirez. After our race, we bummed around a little while and then the hunger started to creep in. Rob kept going on about how he didn't eat after the last race and really didn't need to eat after a race. Of course, I was telling Rob how I needed to eat within 10 minutes of finishing a race or else I get headaches and can be a real prick. After Rob decided it was time for us to go, he agreed to take me to In and Out. "Phew", I thought, "I can hang in another 10 minutes or so, I know there is an In 'n Out somewhere close by". Well, we proceeded to In N Out alright but this was not any 'ol In N Out. No, I was to be taken on a detour to a special In N Out...the In N Out that he and Carol had their first date at. No kidding. "How sweet, now get me something to eat dammit!" I thought to myself gritting a fake smile for my fellow marmut-like friend (after all, he did drive...even though I paid for the parking). It gets better...unfortunately we did not go directly to In N Out. Rob actually took the time to give me a tour of Arcadia where he grew up while I sat patiently starving to death. Yes, I got to see the street Rob lived on, Rob's High School (where he and Carol met), the 7-11 that had Rob's favorite Slurpy(tm) flavor, and of course Rob and Carol's first apartment. Now you can't do that in Vegas my friends! Anyway, about an hour after my race, the hair on Rob's leg was starting to look mighty tasty when fortunately we pulled into In N Out. It was indeed a romantic spot. Needless to say, thinking about Rob and Carol and that first date made me feel extremely closer to Rob and I became slightly jealous of Carol. It was a weird feeling and I'm pretty sure in my weakened hungry state Rob and I had "a moment". It was at that point that I officially decided to leave Gabe for Rob. Call it a double-double if you will but racing a mountain bike in the extreme heat and then being deprived of calories for too long will do that to you. Good times...good times...

Bill Cuttler
What a blast! This was my big comeback to mtb racing after 3 years of loafing around. I planned to win but came up a bit short with a 2nd place finish. The good news is that the girl who beat me is trying to get pregnant and doesn't plan on racing much of the season. Yeah, good for Kim, good for Chicken Ranch! I am excited about racing with an actual team this year and look forward to meeting more of you.

Perhaps a little more team time at the next race? Coolers full of beer or something? I'll hook it up.



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