Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Calville Bay Classic Race Reports

Good morning, all!

I just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to our fearless leader for organizing such a spectacular race weekend! Team Chicken Ranch had a great showing this weekend, and more importantly, I think we showed all those other teams how to race hard, support each other, and HAVE FUN!
It's what bike racing is all about. The houseboat lodging was nicer than any hotel, and the courses were challenging and fun. Aside from a few issues (like making the W3/4 race with the 45+, and 35+4/5 men), things were great, and I hope that the team goes to this race again! If you didn't go, you missed out. If you did go, you probably had a great time.

I didn't have a great race weekend, but did manage to culminate it with a decent field sprint for 2nd in the crit :-). I flatted in the RR and rode it for miles so that I could race the crit. It was worth the suffering. Teammie Jane had a spectacular weekend for a 6th in the GC (and 3rd in the crit right behind me...she raced so strong)!

I'm sure you'll get to hear about everyone else's triumphs and tragedies, so I won't spoil it for them. So let the reports commence!
And I will end with one more THANK YOU to Matt for making this mega road trip possible!

I just wish rest days had less of the 'real job' work!


Houseboat, The "Marmot" and venison......
Hello everyone,

What an excellent weekend that was! I think every Chicken who attended the Calville Bay Classic had a blast. We even had some stellar results to back-up all the fun we had! The houseboat situation ended up being even better than expected. The boats were big and comfortable with plenty of room to just lounge around and relax between races. Not having to drive to each stage was such a huge bonus I can't even tell you! All three courses were challenging and really fun to race on. First year organizer Mike Olsen did a great job overall and I think this race is only going to get better over the years, the venue is absolutely top-notch. Please go to vegasbikeracing.com and give Mike your feedback, good and bad so he can improve the event in future years.

Having the houseboats made it much easier for all of us to hang out together and socialize when we weren't racing. I got to know a few of the Ranchers better and made a few keen observations. When we arrived late Thursday night only David Larsen, Dano, and Kimberly Turner were already there. I was kind of concerned for Kimberly having been stuck alone with Larsen and Dano for many hours. I was afraid of what kind of mental state she would be in when I boarded their houseboat. What I found astounded me. Kimberly had turned into somewhat of a female"Hugh Hefner". She had Larsen slaving away in the kitchen cleaning-up from dinner and Dano was sweeping and
dusting wearing nothing but his stretchy-pants and a tight "sexually-questionable" T-shirt. All while Kimberly layed down on the couch in her smoking jacket. It was like that all weekend! Larsen was like the camp chef, preparing venison sausage, venison meatballs, venison sandwiches, venison coffee, and venison pasta at various times throughout the day. Kim Bleth and Jane ended up joining them on boat number four and the next time I cruised over to say hi I walked in to find Dano on his back (still with his stretchy pants on) and Jane and Kim are assisting him in some sort of new-age-hippie-partner stretching routine. Larsen was working in the kitchen of course, and Kimberly is still on the couch in her smoking jacket. Whatever they were doing in there it worked! 'cuz Kim Bleth went on to a beautiful breakaway victory in the 45+ crit, Kimberly snagged a 2nd and Jane a 3rd in the womens crit and their whole boat rode great all weekend. I know who I'm rooming with next time! And I'm running to the
store to buy some venison right now!

Ben Edwards and I both had our "little chickens" there doing their first stage race. Brennan and Sean are both 12 years old and they had a full weekend with the 4 mile TT, 27 mile Road Race,and 30 minute crit. They both did great and the highlight of the weekend for me was towards the end of my cat 3 road race..we've let a breakaway get away and I'm feeling pretty discouraged but then we pass the little chickens going the other way,still working together and going strong and that gave me the boost I needed to keep hangin' in there to the finish. They had a good time racing and hanging-out, and the "Big Chickens" were very supportive. Right after passing the little chickens I saw something else I will never forget. As we were heading towards the turn-around we passed the 35+4,5's going the other way. Dano was on the front of his group dancing up the climb with his jersey zipped wide open. For those of you who don't know Dano's chest hair is so impressive it has it's own nickname. It's known as the "Marmot". As we were riding towards them I could tell it was Dano but I'd never seen the "Marmot" so exposed before. It almost looked like he had kidnapped Burt Reynolds and stuffed him down the front of his jersey and only his moustache was hanging out.

After a lot of Chickens posted really strong TT times Saturday morning including Ken Doyle who was in 2nd after the first stage. Saturday afternoons Road Race was a different story. A lot of us struggled. We had at least 3 flats, a few bonks, and some less then stellar performances. But we also had a few bright spots. Dan Rudd rode to an impressive 2nd place finish. In my cat 3 race Ray Turon and Tory Gillett put in excellent rides and Blinger won the field sprint for 7th place. I'm not sure of all the results and we'll have to wait 'till they're all posted on the website but I know John Comunale also finshed well in the cat 4's. John's wife Sara was also out there racing after just attaining her PHD. Once again proving that women are not only smarter then men they are also......much better looking.

On Sunday's crit the Chickens redeemed themselves. Seans Edwards started it off with a great race for 3rd in the jr's race and the momentum kept going all day. I heard that on Saturday night a few Chickens fell under David Jurist's evil spell and began drinking cheap vodka and telling bad jokes. I'm not sure who all was involved but I do know that Mitch Karno, Gene Raphaelian, and Ray Turon all missed the start of their races on Sunday by a lap or two but jumped in anyways and ended up riding pretty well Gene actually got 5th or 6th but then turned himself in to the officials and got DQ'd. That's OK, it was well worth it. I think the crit course was the best one I've ever ridden. I really liked it. I liked so much I won.......for a minute or two. Then I got 2nd again. Let me explain. In the cat 3's tha Chickens were riding really well. Lots of attacks, really forcing the pace. As we come around the last corner I'm in pretty good position and I start sprinting for the line I'm closing on the guy in front of me really quickly and as we cross the line....it's too close to call!...neither one of us raises our arms because we're not sure who won. We continue on our cool down lap and as we approach the finish I see all the Chickens staring at the officials waiting for the decision. Then they start cheering and they tell me I won! For a moment I'm in heaven. I hug Kim Bleth and Jane (Jane hugs better) I high five Jose Murrillo and Dano, I'm getting ready to tell my son all about perseverence and stick-with-it-ness and then the race director says.....Oh no it wasn't Chicken Ranch it was the other guy! I see the finish photo and sure enough I lost by about 2 inches. Ben Edwards starts laughing and says I've discovered the only thing worse than 2nd place......thinking you got 1st.....and then getting 2nd! But you know what for about 60 seconds I got to feel what it's gonna feel like when I finally win one and I liked it! So I'm gonna keep on trying.

I had a great time this weekend and was so proud to be a part of this Team and be associated with such a great group of people. Keep up the good work and thanks for the great memories. I'm looking forward to reading everyone else's race reports as well. Great job everyone!



Here are a few pics I took of the trip. A couple of the boats, the marina fish, Jose Murrillo and Dano Racing, Larsen and Blinger watching the 45+ race, out to dinner, and Bleth’s breakaway w/ his sprint win.

One of the most exciting races of the weekend had to be the 45+ crit. Not only did Kim Bleth start the winning break, but he finished it off w/ a sprint win. It was very cool is see a CR’er in a winning break.

The last pic is not of a CR’er, but of a Cat 4 having a temper tantrum in the middle of the race. Ray Turon and I were watching the Cat 4’s when this guys pulls out of the race and starts throwing and kicking his bike around and yelling, “I was feeling good too.” Then his girlfriend runs over and picks up his bike for him while he’s still yelling. I was hoping to get a shot of him kicking the bike, but apparently one kick was enough. Ray and I couldn’t stop laughing. BTW, I didn’t notice until I downloaded the pic that Dano was in the background! So it is a CR related pic after all


wow! what a weekend of racing! just a little race report..first off, a big thanks to matt for organizing all of us to attend this great event...racing, houseboats, etc..thanks matt.

saturday morn time trial..the only way i can explain it is 11mins of pure self-inflicted pain..but some great times by you cr's..

after a couple hours of recovery, we're off to the road race..i was surprised we made it through the chaotic sign in..but once on the road it pretty much went like this...ascend, descend, ascend, descend, ascend, descend, nature break???, ascend, descend, ascend, major descend, major ascend, nuetral feed zone???, descend..and so on and so forth..with 1km to go i felt the surge as mavic cozmic carbone's (of mr.benko) and to my surprise a rainbow-colored bike (of mr.bling) on his wheel fly by me..i must say it was an awesome feeling, after suffering for almost 70 miles on the road, to see my 2 teammates blow-off the front of the group..as craig put it "it was a tour de france lead out" by matt when craig took the field sprint..good work guys.....and yes, saturday evening, i had the privilege to partake in some team bonding..i was only kidding w/gabe on the way up when i declined to stay on his boat w/he, matt, and ben edwards saying i'd be a bad influence on the "little chickens", that my boat would be the party boat.. when little did i know my boat-mate david jurist slipped a bottle of vodka in the freezer..it was nice to sip on vodka cocktails and watch the classic "breaking away", and listen to some of carson blumes' life adventures after a long day on the saddle..thanks david.

sunday morn crit..so everyone was skeptical about this so called "crash-course" criterium..thanks to a handful of chickens that took the initiative of preparing the course, it turned out really fun..by-far the most impressive race of the day was that of kim bleth..wow! that is how it is done! initiate the break and win the damn race..great work by you "lady chickens" too!..the start of my race however...i wouldn't know cuz like mitch and gene, i wasn't there..i was off on a warmup when i realized the time..i got to the far end of the course and saw the field going by on their 1st or 2nd lap..earlier in the day craig labeled jumping in on a race as "pulling a gene", and i couldn't help but laugh to myself as i was about to "pull a gene" cuz i was not going to miss my 1st crit as a cat 3..i hid behind a honda crv and as the group approached i readied myself..i flew through the cones and settled in the pack..when the group got comfortable, just for kicks, i threw an attack..i was off and eventually a guy bridged up to me..i was blown from the attack and he was blown from bridging the gap, so we weren't much help to each other..that stupid little incline on the backside hurt ridiculously when you're on your own (more props to kim bleth for sustaining the break for what?..half the race)..we did last a couple laps when another rider bridged up and as he went by he yelled "lets go!! the chickens are blocking!!"..all i thought was shit!, my teamates are helping me out..and i got no more LEGS!..so before we knew we were back in the group, but fun while it lasted..i do wish we coulda gave matt a leadout so he coulda secured the victory..instead we got punk'd.."chickens win!!"...celebration!!..hugs and kisses...wait......no, other guy won....what??..but racing w/6 teammates and all of us being so involved...probably the best crit i ever raced in..great work guys.

by-far, we were the best represented team at the event and i'm so proud to have been a part of it....thanks again to matt and thanks to all you other cr's for sharing the weekend and racing hard!!...




Chester Gillmore said...

You guys rocked it out there in Vegas.
I feel so honored to be part of the Santa Barbara Bike community sometimes. We have some of the most talented races in California all in such a tight knit cycling community of a hundred or so riders. KEEP PULLING AWESOME RESULTS and KEEP REPPIN'(or representing, for all you masters racers out there) THE 805!!!

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone! If anyone who knows how to contact Kim Bleth reads this - please please please tell him Debbie and Peggy from The Asylum in Billings (well, not anymore but he'll know us by that gym) would love to hear from him!! Deb is at bozcricket@hotmail.com. We've been trying to find him for several years now - heaps of thanks!