Hey Team,

It was an exciting day on Sunday at the Auburn Criterium for me. I didn't think I would do crits but I made the decision that I want to upgrade from cat 5 to 4. As everyone says riding crits can get you the mass starts for upgrading. So this was my first crit ever and I believe it was the first running of this particular crit. I think the course was ideally suited for me and actually a good first crit if one can handle a fast descent into a left hand turn. I decided to get two starts, riding the elite 5 and the 35+ 4/5.

The elite 5 was early, only the third race to go out. I got there early and it was a good decision for this technical crit. I had the chance to warm up on the course and getting to know all the corners and the descent. The course started on the steep uphill, at the top the road narrowed and went into two quick tight right hand turns. There was a long stretch in the wind on the backside followed by two quick turns right into the downhill. The downhill swept left and at the bottom there was a nearly 90 degree left hand turn into a wide road (you could go light on the breaks towards the bottom and then let it go through the turn keeping your moment). A short straightaway into two quick right hand turns. Then it was a flat straightaway with a slight turn upwards to the start/finish. Due to the uphill, the wind and the descent, all races pretty much stayed strung out single file. This is why it was a good first crit. I didn't have to worry so much about a tight pack through the turns.

Elite 5 race. We started with a neutral lap behind the mentor and I stayed somewhere in the middle of the pack. When we came back around for the rolling start I moved up towards the front as I started to see some gaps forming on the uphill. For the rest of the race I stayed in the front five only taking the lead once on the back stretch. I was just trying to conserve energy. At one point I was second and the lead guy wanted us to come around but I just stuck on his wheel as I did not want to be leading in the wind, I think he was pissed about this but I didn't want to lead it and no one else wanted to take it up. Each time on the uphill I felt good against the other riders. Based on Zack's race before ours (congrats for winning), I knew that you had to be in the top three in the last lap to be able to go for the win. I wasn't prepared for what happened the last time up the hill. It was a bit psychological and my legs were a little cooked, I saw about 10-15 guys blow by me and I couldn't respond. I slipped back to about 15th position. One the back side I made up a few positions and going downhill through the rest of the course I couldn't pass anyone else. I sprinted for the finish and came in tenth place. I was still very happy to get a tenth place in a field of 50 for my first crit. Congrats to Jeff Weaver, he finished in the top 20.

Lessons learned: 1. I can ride a technical crit course and it was fun.
2. HTFU it the last time up the hill to stay in position (something I got a chance to apply in the second race).
3. Speedskating techniques actually help on crit courses (looking through the corners help to guide you through) and the feel of cornering and pack riding is the same.

35+ 4/5 - I had a little over two hours to recover for this race and that was just right. There was another neutral start behind the moto and Eric Zeigler and I went to the front of the group. On the descent I was the front man out and it was great going down hill right behind the moto. As we started the second lap I let a few people by so I could set myself up with a good draft on the back side. I sat in for a few laps moving around in the first 5-8 riders. On lap 4 or 5 I followed another rider out and we had a bit of a gap on the field. On the backside I thought we would try and make a go of it. He came around wanting to give me a draft and some rest. I looked back and knew we weren't going to make it stick. The next uphill it was gruppo compacto. I was pleasantly surprised on the uphill portion that my legs felt fresh. I felt that at any moment I could sprint ahead of the group. I just chose to sit in, ease up the hill and be in position to draft (conserve energy for the last lap). On the second to last lap I positioned myself in the top 5 or so making sure that if anyone was coming around I would chase to keep in the top positions. We came into the straight away to start the last lap. As soon as we hit the hill, I hammered it up to the top taking first position to lead out the last lap. I was trying to drive it hard on the back side in the wind and just wanted to make it to the last two turns before the downhill in a good position. Only one guy made it around me before those turns. I was in second place going into the downhill section. We jammed it in the downhill and he got a small gap on me. Through the last two turns into the finishing straightaway. I was hammering it home and made up a little ground on the guy. I just couldn't close the gap but I also didn't want anyone coming around. As I made it to the line I could feel someone coming up on the right and I made the final push for the line. I finished 2nd in my 2nd crit. Awesome. Congrats to Rod who finished 11th and Eric who wasn't to much further back.

Lessons learned: 1. Apply what you learn in the first race and you can end up with a good result in the next.
2. Don't start pedalling hard before your bike is close to upright out of a corner. I almost went down from jumping my bike off the ground.

So it was a great day and I look forward to upgrading. It was also fun matching Rod's 10th and 2nd place finishes from the day before at the Folsom crit.

Later all. Doug


The main climb up Mt Hamilton can be broken into 3 steps. I got gapped on the 2nd descent and could not, would not close the gap as it ramped up onthe main climb towards the observatory. Darin was still in the front groupwhich allowed me to sit in on the chasers. The main descent is scary ( Isuck at descending). A guy overcooked a turn right in front of me and goes down. We neutralize to see if he is able to get back on; he does so we pickup speed and resume descending. A few seconds later a tire POPS behind mefollowed by a sickening thud and sound of metal sliding/scraping for several feet. I heard later it was the same guy. I did not see any ambulance come upof go by; Man I really hope he's OK. It sounded bad...

Darin's group is caught after the descent but he is starting to cramp up anddecides to slow down a bit to recover. A touchstone guy ratchets up thetempo and a couple of us try to follow. Ahead we can see another group. Wetry to work together but Touchstone is impatient and eventually attacks usand goes solo to bridge. Our little group totally falls apart. Lots of windin the valley section, I'm stuck in no man's land and losing ground to thegroup ahead. A follow vehicle passes me and yells "another group is about aminute behind!" I sat up and start eating and drinking -- a rolling picnicof Gu, Powerbar drink, Clif bar, and Jelly Belly Sport Beans while cruisingand waiting for the cavalry. A few minutes later a group of 7 including Timand Darin and... ahem... Trudy finally reaches me! YES! We got a pacelinegoing for a while but fell apart on the big rollers. The pace is a lothigher than I was able to do on my own and soon we catch Touchstone then afew others. They all looked pretty cooked and barely able to latch on. Wegot mixed up with a few riders from other categories but everyone hits thefinish sprint as if we're still in the money. I really had no idea how manywere ahead of us. I stayed long enough to see results posted. I ended up16th, Darin 18th and Tim 20th. No top 10s but not bad for flatlanders!

I rode it 15 minutes faster than last year when I got 54th. Huge moralvictory! I'm really happy not only for the very real improvement but also inthe sense that I am actually racing instead of simply riding it out.



35+ 4-5's A

We had 7 original registrants, but started the race with Mark Hockridge, Bob Blythe, Mike Broz, Walter Golding, Jeff Slaton and myself. The initial plan was to get two people into any breaks that happen, block accordingly and save a little for the sprint if it gets back together.

The race itself started off very slow. It felt like a leisurely Sunday stroll for the entire first lap. A few half hearted attacks occurred in the ensuing laps but nothing substantial until halfway through the fourth lap. A Metromint rider attacked at that point and a couple of riders latched on that included Bob B. and a Wells Fargo rider. They established a considerable gap that the peloton was content with letting them go. The pace once again slowed in the peloton and DBC and Wells Fargo took control to assist the breakaway with their chances.

A couple of attempts were made early in the fifth lap to chase the breakers but nothing materialized until later in the lap. About halfway through the fifth lap, a serious chase group of about ten guys formed and managed to break off the peloton. After realizing the amount of riders and representation in the chase group, I decided I would burn a match or two and bridge to that group. It hurt to catch them but I made it fairly quickly. I looked back and the chase group had a decent gap on the field and DBC was on the front controlling peloton.

The chase group made a feeble attempt at getting organized to chase the breakers while I took a back seat and offered no help. The face of frustration on the chasers was evident as one by one they began to sit up and soon the group lost interest in chasing. The lead group gained more of a gap but shed the Metromint rider.

The peloton reabsorbed the chase group before the end of the fifth lap and Bob was unfortunately dropped by the Wells Fargo rider around the same time. Walter G. was collected in crash just before the start finish line and was not able to continue. (It was a bummer because he was looking great, especially for his first race) It took a couple of miles before Bob was reabsorbed by the main group around the feed zone on the bell lap. Wells Fargo at this point took complete control of the peloton. Several riders shouted out at DBC to take control and help bring the lone rider back. Ironically, the ones asking us to do all the work were the ones that had the largest representation-Info Vista and Taleo. These two stacked teams didn't do much in the race. DBC obliged but it was too late

The peloton conceded the win to Wells Fargo by the lack of action. It came down to a race for second place. Mike Broz started to drive the pace for the final 5 miles and he successfully strung the field out. Jeff S. and Mark H. helped keep the pace up as well and I managed to latch onto Mark's wheel for the the final 3-4K. The approach to the finish was as expected, a race to the final turn. The pace finally ramped up to a safer speed and everyone was looking at each other to see who was going to jump first. I was well positioned on the outside heading towards the final turn. Two riders from Info Vista made the initial jump from the far inside and I was able to quickly react. I was third wheel through the final turn. At the 200M I jumped and managed to get around the two riders in front of me. Those 200M felt more like 300-350 meters and I was nipped at the line by two other riders.

I managed to secure a 4th place finish and earned my first race t-shirt. I came home and proudly showed off the "Cows on bikes" t-shirt to my family. Hopefully, I'll be lucky enough to get a couple more.



After watching my wife (Niki) race for the women's team the last couple months, I decided I'd better give racing a try as well. This was my first race. I raced with the Masters 35+ 4/5. Much of it was a blur - I don't know how Michele Feikert remembers the details of every lap! Overall, I had a great time. My primary goals were not to crash and not to get dropped. I achieved both goals. Other things I learned, or which were reinforced through the first-hand experience, include the following: (1) Being near the front of the main group is much easier through the corners and feels safer; (2) Things can change very quickly - I looked around once (2nd or 3rd lap, I think) and noticed that I was at the very back of the pack. I wasn't aware that this had happened. It just did. After that, I made a couple efforts to move back up to the middle of the pack; (3) Pay attention. Watch for squirrelly riders (I tried not to be one of these), road conditions, corners (calling out left or right turns is helpful - one guy next to me said, "Oh, I thought we were turning right," when we were actually turning left. Seems like that could lead to disaster.). Pay particular attention to the finish area and plan ahead. (I knew it was coming up on the last lap, but thought it was earlier than it was, and then all of sudden we passed the 1K mark); (4) people do some unsafe things in a sprint finish, so be prepared - this probably also falls under "plan ahead"; (5) Watch for gaps developing, especially through the corners; (6) Solid food doesn't work for me - takes too long to chew; (7) Don't wait for the last lap to get water at the feed zone - the pack may not neutralize (ours never did that I could tell) and you could get dropped; (8) Carrying an extra bottle in a rear pocket wasn't a problem for me. I didn't notice it and was glad I had it.; (9) I don't think I'm a sprinter, so I'd better come up with a different strategy if I ever want to finish in the top 10; (10) I'm not sure who the riders were up front setting the 27+ mph pace, but I don't think that's ever going to be me! I'm glad they were there, though.

I'm sure these things are second nature to most racers. I'd read and heard about what happens in a race, but there's no substitute for the actual event.

I appreciate all the helpful tips I got from several of the other DBC riders. Sorry I can't remember everyone's name - people look much different with a helmet and sunglasses on! I look forward to future races, and would be happy to help pull, leadout, etc., to the extent I can.



Hellyer Velodrome Track Races Sunday May 17, 2009 One more meet (omnium?) catered toward us beginner women. I must say the track directors and mentors are doing all they can to foster our interest and new skills! There were the various men's categories also. As most of you experienced this weekend. It was DARN hot. The heat radiated from the concrete bowl we were in. Luckily, there were tents we could retreat under. There were about 12 of us in 4 races. The first race was Win and Out, then a Scratch race, next a Miss and Out, and finally a Points race. The longest of these races was 15 laps (3 mi). In the second race we were all bunched up until the final 1/3 of the lap where some jostling went on and one lady went down . . .HARD. Remember, no brakes, no coasting so when you go down you go straight into the track. It looked like she went face first and there was lots of blood. It streaked the track which made it rather ominous for the rest of the races. Miraculously now one else went down. She was unconscious for about 10 minutes When the ambulance took her off to the hospital she was conscious. .(Latest news is she 's transferred out of ICU for head trauma (also a broken collar bone) and is doing well). Sooo, we went back out there and they gave us 3 laps to decide that race, yep, just over ½ mile. I went out early, having the memory of the previous race on my mind and trying to break things up and, not surprisingly, most passed me at the finish line. The next race was the Miss and Out. The last wheel of each lap gets eliminated. I was boxed in at the bottom of the track at the end of the first lap so out I was the first one eliminated : (. The next race was a longer race and I went early again towards the end and was JUST nipped at the end for third place. After adding up the points for all the events, Carol got 6th place and I got 7th. The organizers were very generous and we all received wine, Clif bars, coffee, and socks. One gal got a free bike fitting too.

Be safe out there, Marianne

Niki and the Modesto road Race

The race in Modesto last Sunday was my 4th. It turned out to be quite exciting and fun! It also helped me improve some skills and taught me a good lesson. As you know, Michele, and I were the only 2 women out there. I was a little worried we'd get some grief, but none of the men seemed particularly phased by our presence which was super cool. Well...except that guy who grabbed Michele when she was soloing. And I did hear a guy behind me comment to someone next to him that he wasn't getting much draft off me. Anyway, it was fantastic starting the race with the sea of orange and blue! We took off pretty fast, but after the initial shock to my body of lap 1 and reminding myself that my goal was to simply learn some good techniques, get a great workout, and stick with the group as long as possible, I felt much better. By lap 2, I'd gotten comfortable, moving around easily, cornering well and without fear in a large, fast moving group, and sprinting out of the corners to hang on. A few times one of the DBC guys would come back to check on me or give me news from further up. It was great to hear we'd put 2 guys off the front and were working to slow the pace of the group. I'm new to racing so hearing and seeing the strategy was terrific. It was also fun hearing the other teams comments when they'd realize the 2 Davis guys were long gone and there was nothing they could do. Bummer Dudes. There were a couple interesting moments, one when a large dog ambled across the road in front of us. People ahead were yelling something, but it wasn't clear what until I saw the dog. Luckily, we all avoided injury. The dog looked totally unfazed. Another occurred when riders ahead were yelling to avoid an object in the road. Some said it was a snake. Others a squirrel. I have no idea what it was, only that we all successfully avoided it. I tried to stay hydrated and eat blocks and gels throughout the ride, but was starting to get chilled around lap 5. I grabbed a "fresh" bottle in the feed zone coming into lap 6 and managed to hang onto the group. Coming into the start of the 7th lap, I was completely out of water again. I knew I risked getting dropped as I slowed to get the water, but I also knew it would be stupid to try to do the last 9 miles without water. In the feed zone, a guy near me missed the bottle he was handed and rode over it distracting me. I managed to snag a bottle a little ways up, but I'd lost momentum and the pack. I hammered to catch up and got in with a couple guys, but they weren't going fast enough, so I started to pass in a last ditch attempt to get back on. One guy stayed with me and then came in front. I thought we'd form a mini pace line and at least help each other finish if we couldn't reach the pack. He pulled off, and I started passing him to go in front when he tipped into me. I was actually holding him up! I thought we were going to crash, but we stayed upright with me yelling and him apologizing. I'd had enough of that nonsense, so pulled ahead and finished on my own. When I got home and out of the car, I realized I had a large swollen bruise on my left leg from where the dude's foot must have gone into me when we hit. Oh well. It could have been a lot worse, and I learned that I can stay upright and keep my wits about me even at the end of a HOT long road race! Looking forward to the Spring Hill RR with the DBC Ladies on May 31st! Niki

Lee and Panoche Valley

Will, Nelson and I met down by Hollister for the 4th Panoche Valley RR. Their 08 reports convinced me to check it out. Great event hosted by the local Lions club and Blossom Hill Winery. Awesome roads and scenery with sections reminiscent of Cantelow with lots of twisty turns, etc. Not an issue going up but lookout on the way down. Our field sold out weeks ago and the top finishers from Wente, Copperopolis and Berkeley RR were in attendance.
Yikes! Our immediate goal was to stick on the climbs. They told me that last year about a dozen made the selection over the top but this year about half the field made it as a group! Will attacked multiple times to soften up the pack. Great shots of Will putting in a blistering peel off the front on the way up.
Will was caught before the top but Nelson and I made it to the front as we prepared to bomb down the hill. We worked with another racer to keep it ramped up but he was clearly a better descender and easily put a huge gap on us. I looked back and saw the pack was strung out but intact so Nelson and I let him go and he kept going, and going and pretty soon he was completely out of sight! The guy easily put minutes into a disorganized pack. Lots of riders were able to latch back on while San Jose got taunted (they had 10 riders) and shamed into leading the chase. Will would randomly attack on the rollers and animate the group. We finally caught the solo breakaway with about 5 k to go. Will put in another huge dig up front that ramped it up for good. People finally got real interested and kept the pace high. The 1 k sign came into view and I hopped on the next wheel heading for the front. Eric Salander from Peninsula Velo surprised everyone by going really early. I waited just a hair to see if anyone else would chase -- NOPE! I sprinted to grab his wheel then he got off the saddle to sprint! No prob I was clearly gaining and about to overtake him then the darn finish line got in the way. He deserved the win! I'll gladly take 2nd. Nelson got 10th but Will deserves the prize -- he totally sacrificed himself by attacking no less than 4 times to soften up the (gullible) contenders! I spoke to the solo breakaway rider afterwards and he said we was full of self doubt and decided to sit up and wait for the pack! I told him the pack was disorganized and he could have won solo. He followed up with "MAN! I'm going to be thinking 'what if' all week..." Lots of food and drinks served at the finish. It was pretty hot especially for the central coast. People were diving for cover under the oleander bushes that lined the Winery. Several riders were brought in for heat stress. One guy came in with a possible broken femur. His spectacular crash was captured by the official photographer. He apparently overcooked one of those twisty turns. Podium shots: I didn't want to strike that "Don't shoot, I give up!" AKA "Underarm deodorant commercial" pose So I did my best impression of Fred... ;-D Lee

Michele and Modesto

Great racing for DBC this weekend. I heard of a lot of top ten placings! Niki did awesome and hung with the dudes.Michele Molesto RR5.17.09Men Elite 4/5 Molesto RR, no that is not a typo... skip to laps 3 & 4 for the action. 7 laps on a 9 mile course- OUCH! Lap 1 I was excited to race with the guys again. Niki and I went with 12 other DBC guys for a totally of 14! We immediately formed a train on the left hand side of the road and went all the way to the front of the pack. The temp was HOT and so was the pace (at least I thought so).Halfway through the first lap I started feeling awful and was falling farther back in the pack in each turn. Niki and I found ourselves at the back of the pack at the end of the first lap. Lap 2 Niki was able to move back up into the pack while I struggled to collectmyself in the rear. I hung on until the first left turn after Hall Rdand decided that I was either going to puke or fall of the back and just chill out. No spunk in me this weekend! I came off the back and watched the pack go. Even though I knew it was hot, I started getting the chills, had goose bumps, and had to zip up my jersey to "stay warm".I was going to tell the officials that I was done, but Paula was cheering for me and told me to keep going, so I did. Little did I know what was waiting in the next laps... Laps 3 & 4... I lost track. The Mstrs 35+ 1/2/3 group passed me and I drafted them on a straight away until I got popped off at the corner. Next, the Mstrs 35+ 4/5 group passed me and Rod was up near the front. Rod told me to get into the group! I hopped on at the back of the group and started racingagain. But after a couple of minutes, the moto dude pulled up alongsideme and told me to get out. The next group that went by had 900 #s.They told me to get in, and then insisted by opening up a spot for me.I ended up riding with them for quite a while, almost 3/4 of a lap. Then the group with 300 #s passed us. That was intense! Put two full sized fields right next to each other, toss in a couple of moto dudes who are horn happy, and a left turn... I just thought, Crit! On the back half of the course the moto dude finally realized that Iwasn't wearing a 900 # and he told me to get out of the group, so I was once again by myself. I could hear some guys coming up behind me because they were chatter boxes. All of a sudden, there's a hand on mya$$. This dude grabs my left cheek and then slides his hand along my thigh as he rides by... Seriously? WTF! There were two of them, theyhad 300 #s, and all I could catch was the Morgan Stanley kit of the guy who did the grab and run. I was in such shock that I had no witty comeback to yell at him. And I didn't even get his number! Lap 5 The Pro1/2 field FLEW by, but I didn't even attempt to jump onto that bullet train. I tucked into the next group that went by and went though the feed zone with them. I watched this guy pull a Gatorade out of his back pocket, take one of his water bottles, uncap both, pour the Gatorade into the water bottle, chuck the Gatorade bottle, and then replace the water bottle in its cage. Wow, now if he could do that with no hands on the bars and hold a straight line through the feed zone,you'd think that the Morgan Stanley guy could have pulled out pen and paper, wrote down his phone number and slipped it into my jersey pocket! Lap 6The officials showed me a lap card for one more lap. I held up twofingers as I went by because I knew I had two more laps. Paula yelled,"No just do one more lap and you're done." This of course meant that my field was shortly behind me and I was about to get lapped by them. Whenthey went by, every DBC guy in that field said, "Hi Michele!", or "Keepgoing!", or "Hop back in!" You guys are awesome! Finally, the motocan't tell me to get out of the group because I'm back in with the same200 #s. I did most of my 6th lap (their 7th lap) with the group. In the final miles they took off and I fell off the back. After I crossed the S/F line I circled back to talk with the officials. I wanted tomake sure that I was done and the officials said that I would be placed,but that I didn't need to do the last lap because the race was over. Ohthank God! Lessons learned:1) Not so spunky every weekend.2) Those moto dudes are so picky when your number doesn't match therest of the group... darn rules.3) Watch out for Morgan Stanley... doesn't he know that I can figure out who he is when the results are posted?4) Do yourself a favor and just get rid of the neutral feed zonewater bottles ASAP. Don't' look at them, just chuck them when you're done. You don't want to know how much mold was really on the inside ofthat bottle!

Darin's Racing Week

I must be racing a little too much as well as getting old because I can'tremember much about the race last weekend, except that the course was nice,wide and smooth, particularly the part that Rod Fernandez softened up in the2nd race with a little skin grease :-). But as I sit writing this, stillstewing about my flat with 1.5 laps to go (of 6) at Modesto, the Pleasant memories are starting to return. In the 4's, DBC was nicely represented (as always) with Rod, Lee Millon, Mark Fiori, Michelle Feikert, the Hockridge family (minus Ethan who I expect will join us soon) and me. The pace was fast but reasonable and I was hanging out in the mid-back section nicely until 5 laps to go. I was able to move up steadily after that and was feeling good to be on a Metromint guys' wheel (Paul Taylor, who dominated the final sprint in my chase group at Bariani) going into the 2nd to lastturn. Unfortunately his teammate, who was leading out, fizzled too quickly and he did likewise before the last turn. I was still in good shape, maybe top 5 out of the last turn when the serious sprint kicked in and while thefast-twitch boys moved up, I moved up more slowly and finished 12th,followed closely behind by my DBC brethren (I hope that term appropriately and in a PC manner covers our awesome DBC gals who represented and made us all proud! After a short 40 minute recovery while we got to see Jason and Joaquin mix it up in the 5's, the 35+4's was on with all the same DBC players except Michelle. I hung back for the 1st half to let my legs get additionalrecovery and therefore had a great view of Rod's valiant attempt to stay up after getting pinched and then his long fetal position slide towards the back.and me. I missed him, and Rod, as all DBC mates, follows the HTFU credo and jumped back into the race on the next lap. I found myself on hiswheel for a bit as the remaining laps ticked down and while lighteningrarely strikes twice, I thought better of it (no offense RF) and I moved up. I covered a potential one-man break near the beginning of the bell lap andled a fun accordion-like group as I attempted to extricate myself from being 1st or 2nd wheel still too long to go. I stayed in the top 3 on thebackstretch and after getting swarmed a bit on the straight section leadingto the final turn, I still found a nice available inside line and jumped upto 2nd or 3rd wheel into the last turn. It was a bit of an "agro" move butI made sure the other riders knew I was there and as such didn't jump in on anyone (at least nobody yelled or swore at me afterward, so I figured the move was ok). I was able to carry more speed into the turn than in the prior race (good lesson for future races) so the somewhat olderfast-twitchers couldn't inflict as much damage and I just cracked the top 10 with a 9th.
Cautionary note: if you carpool to a race, don't meet at and park anywherein the Pedrick Produce parking lot (there's a lot of no-parking signs butyou can't see them when it's 0-dark 100). Yes, my car was towed, and yes itwas expensive, and yes I'm boycotting Pedrick Produce for the foreseeable future!
I had a great time riding today with Fred F, Rhys R, Atac T and Chris B at Modesto today in the 45+3-4-5, at least until I flatted. I was a bit weary from 9 hours and 200+ miles of SAG work at the DDC yesterday but still felt good and lucky to be able to race with my awesome DBC mates. BTW, nice jobby Doug Rowland who finished the DDC in a pretty good time and when I saw him looked 10 lbs lighter and very glassy eyed! Anyway, we raced aggressively today and I recall receiving comments from other riders that it seemed like we had much larger numbers and "controlled" a good portion ofthe race. It was particularly fun when first Freddy and then Chris went off on their solo jaunts and the rest of us stayed at or close to the front and blocked or disrupted, in a nice way! Chris "Big/TT specialist" was off thefront for over 10 miles with a healthy gap and about 2 laps remaining and he may have had a chance to stick it if things didn't get screwed up withseveral neutral sessions as we were passed by the 3's.passed them back.andwere passed again. Anyway, it sounded like things got sketchy going intothe final turn and our guys were on the unfortunate line that got pushed out too wide and into the dirt. So no top 10's but still a good day! Congrats to Rod Fernandez on his 4th place finish and Michael Broz (9th) in the 354/5's, Chris Stastny (2nd!) and Keith Hillier (9th) in the Pro 1-2 race,Jonathan Teeter (2nd), David Carlson (4th) and Mike Gonzalez (10th) in theElite 4's and all the other DBC mates like who kicked a$$ out there! And to Michelle F for again racing against the dudes!

Marianne Friday Night Fighting Track Style

Hellyer Friday night track races...
Friday night Carol and did a couple of track races at Hellyer Velodrome. The first was 15 laps (~3 miles) with points awarded to the top 4 finishers. The next race was a Win & Out, win and you ride off track, next winner rides off . . . until you are the only one racing and Mike Hernandez, the announcer, can ridicule you for the entire lap. NOT REALLY!! Though, he does seem to especially enjoy doing that. The first finishers on designated laps get points but so do the people left at the end of the race. (Did I mention each race has different rules which seem to assign points randomly . . .) Anyway, it's all about crossing the finish line when points are awarded, generally just listen for the bell lap and plan to cross the finish line first on that lap. Carol is very fast!! I got a point in the last race-9 laps. I was once again reminded you can't stop pedaling. I was almost bucked off as I started to coast after crossing the finish line but reacted in enough time to stay on. Here is a photo of us lined up. Can you tell who the powerhouses are? Yep the 1st, 2nd and 5th gals. Also, here's a great photo of the "big boys" finishing one of their races.

I'm heading back out this Sunday May 17: warm-ups at noon, races at 1:00 p.m.---**** <> ****************

Let me know if you want to carpool. Berkeley Hills RR-2.7 laps, 51 miles The weather was puuurfect; cool and clear. The course is composed of few straight aways, mainly climbs and descents on smooth wide roads. My bike (and me) got the wobbles on one of the long fast descents. It is terrifying if you've never had it happen. Your bike starts shimmying laterally, then it wobbles more and more as you pick up speed, usually 40+ mph. I told myself "If I fall I will REALLY hurt myself! Get it together!" I took a couple of deep breaths, squeezed my frame with my thighs, slowed down and finally tamed the bike. I then had to put the hammer down to catch back on. Ugh! Anna led the entire race and pushed the pace. Her lead group dropped us handedly on the second climb (Papa Bear) of the second lap. After another lap, I finished third in the second group for 12th place. I was happy. I expected some of the lighter, younger gals to fly passed but they didn't. It's a tough race and tough finish. I recommend it!

Jason B... First Report... The Mendes Crit

Hey team,

Here goes my first attempt at a race report:

Joaquin, and John, and I chatted briefly before the race started about strategy. I was feeling pretty good that morning and I thought I had achance to be in contention at the end of the race - the Elite 5 Crit wasonly 30 minutes long, and I figured, if I can hang on during the Thursday night race ride, 30 minutes with only cat 5 riders shouldn't be a problem. My plan was to keep my nose out of the wind, stay towards the front of the field, and be in a good position for the final sprint.
The first few laps were pretty fast, somewhere around 27 or 28 mph, but after a while we settled down to around 25. There were a few attacks here and there but nothing got away. I didn't manage to keep my nose out of the wind entirely, but I tried to be smart about it and not spend too much time pulling.
At three laps to go, I found myself on the inside of the field, about 10 bikes back. I didn't want to be on the inside for fear of getting pinched on a corner and losing too many positions, so I accelerated up to the front, pulled for about half a lap, and then pulled off to let somebody else takethe lead. I was able to slot in about 6 riders back, this time on the outside.
With two laps to go, the pace was starting to quicken and the field was starting to get strung out. The group of 8 or 10 of us that were at the front realized we were starting to put the hurt on, so we all started to encourage each other: come on guys, let's push it and get a gap. Weaccelerated up to about 30 and now the field was really strung out. We kept pushing hard to the final lap, and coming out of turn three we finallyopened a gap. We came into the final turn, and the sprint was on. We had a decent gap over the rest of the field so it was down to the group of 10, andI was at the back of that group coming around the final corner. We started sprinting but I had too far to go to catch the front of the group, but was able to pull back about half the group and came in 5th!
Had a great time and can't wait until the Folsom Crit!

Michele- It's a chick and the Mendes Crit

"Sorry, no women's events this year" AKA Joseph Mendes CritElite Men 4s Preface I saw this crit last year and was looking forward to the chance to raceit this year. When I went to reg, there were no women's events. I emailed the race promoter and he told me, "Sorry, we're a part of the Junior Points Series, so no women's events this year." Well then, I guess we're just going to have to race with the dudes... Race Day I was the only one in the parking lot, all set up and in the trainer at 6:30am. I was determined to get a good warm up. I was texting Ann because I was totally freakin' out! As other guys pulled into the parking lot with their vehicles loaded with bikes, I started to calm asI let the race energy infiltrate and take its effect... the stage was set up and the music started playing... ah yah. My biggest fear for the day was that dudes were not going to be happy to see chicks in 'their' race. I knew our DBC guys were happy to have us,but what about all the other guys? This fear was immediately squashed when guy after guy came out to me in the trainer asking if I was going to race with them. After I sheepishly squeaked out a, "Yes," they replied with, "Awesome! I wished more women showed up and raced with the guys." The first couple of laps I was settling in and finding it much easier todo the corners with the guys. The pace was definitely faster than the women's races, but the cornering was soooo much better. Speed was carried through the corner as opposed to a whole lot of braking into the corner followed by acceleration out of it. *Insert Kevin McSpadden's voice here*- "Don't coast when things bunch up. Soft pedal and keep the legs turning. This will help flush out your legs and keep things moving for the accelerations." I knew we had two primes in this race. When I heard the announcement for the first prime I was on extreme alert and ready to accelerate for the surge... find a wheel and suck it! When Imade it through the first prime lap and kept going I started thinking,"OMG, I'm still with the pack... I'm doing it, I'm doing it!" I settled in and realized, "just go with the flow, you're ok." At one point I sawa DBC train form on the outside. I thought, "Don't be an idiot Michele. Get on that!" I got pulled up to the middle of the pack or so and hungout there for a lap or two. Oh... there were 72 riders in the race...that's a lot more than the usual 25-30 women in our crits. So the middle of the pack still visually looked like being at the back of the pack. After a couple of more laps I noticed that the thing that hangs in yourthroat was vibrating with every breath I took. I was breathing so hard I could hear it and I was at the point of drooling on myself! I feltlike I was hitting the mental wall and my only thought was, "Stop this ride, because I want off!" *Insert Fred Schnaars' voice here*- "Just make that surge. Even when you feel like you're about to die and you can't hang on any longer, HTFU and push harder. You will stay on, and the guys at the front are going to get tired and let up. The pack will slow up long enough for you to just recover for the next surge." Fred was right. I thought I was going to die for about a lap, but then it eased up, Lauren, Big E (Ethan Hockridge) and Joaquin- I could hear all of you. I know for the second half of the race I pretty much stuck to the back of the pack and hung on for dear life. *Insert OB 1 Conobie's voice here*- "Use the Force Michele, use the Force." I survived the second prime lap and was having a blast. When I heard the announce saying, "6laps to go, riders, 6 laps to go..." my thought was "SWEET JESUS!" The pace slowed a bit and then took off again. "5 laps to go... no more free laps." I'm thinking, "Hell yes, I'm still with the pack. I'm going to make it." 4 laps... 3 laps to go... oh no, what's that?!It's... a gap! A gap is forming, no!... pedal, pedal, pedal, pedal,pedal... shelled with 3 laps to go. But let me tell you, those last 2.5laps I could still see the pack and I got so many cheers from everyone out there, even the corner marshals! I thought I was DFL, but when Joaquin was doing some warm up laps and I was still rolling on the course he came up to me and said, "Awesome racing Michele! You stuck in there and the pack shelled a handful of guys throughout the race!" I ended up 69 out of 72. Hey, can't complain about that number!One other highlight was when I got back to my car to cool down in thetrainer. There were 3 Wells Fargo guys warming up next to my car. When I rolled in, they all were laying on the props! They said they were watching the race and thought, "Wow, that dude has got some long hair."Then after a couple of more laps they realized, "Oh $HIT, it's a chick!" Way to go Carol H! You did great!! We'll definitely race with the the guys again.
Lesson learned: 1. Guys love it when the chicks race with them
2. Push hard and make those surges, you will recover. 3) I love crits! 4) DBC rocks and is so supportive for anything that you might wantto try!

Karl and the Mendes Crit

Team,I was thankful for a 1230 start and warm weather for the open 3 crit. It seemed like a fairly full field of 80-100 riders but no teammates today as many were riding in Berkeley Hills tomorrow. The course was wide open with a short sprint to the finish of 200yds on a .75 loop. Avg pace was 27 mph but felt smooth. Moved up thru the pack with about 10 laps to go and hung out in the top 5-10 riders. Kept catching other riders wheels as the last 3-4 laps ramped up considerably and was constantly looking back to keep from getting swarmed. Last lap I was in good position at 4th place until about 600m to go and a few riders moved up where I couldn't stay in position. 2 corners to go and I was in 9th with the wind at our back feeling good doing 32+ when the pack got out of the saddle to go and I hesitated because I thought it was too early. Big mistake as they gapped me 3 bike lengths and I came to the final corner in 9th and finished there too. Had I went with the pack its hard to imagine that I wouldn't have gotten top 6 at worst but that was a stupid mistake that I don't plan on repeating. I should have counted on the lead moving earlier with the wind behind us at that point in the course. Next crit will be specialized Folsom or San Jose Memorial Day. Can't wait to hear Darin's RR and others along with Keith in the P1/2.

Carol... Michele and the Boys

Michele and I both raced with the elite 4's (as Lee has reported so fastidiously...) :-)
It was a great experience in both being in a pack ... the whole race... and riding aggressively.
I felt nervous for about 5 laps and then relaxed and realized that I could stay with the front pack.
Mark, Rod, Lee, Darin, and Mark Fiori were around all the time, and I just kept them in my sight and was constantly manuevering and fighting to get on their wheels. I felt so pumped
when the race was over!
The master's 4's was coming up, and at the last minute I decided to enter it. why not?? There was one spot left.... it was meant to be! I really wanted to feel what doing 2 races felt like..I got my number pinned on by the registrar, and jumped into the start line right before the race began.
This race was far more aggressive and sketchier than the elites. I felt good, though,and tried an attack at one point (that held until the next turn). :-) Hey, why not??It was awesome!! I even tried "blocking" for the guys, and going for it on the outside just to keep them guessing...
When Rod went down, I was actually next to him (I didn't cause it, I swear!). I heard yelling and *&%^ and I felt his front wheel on my back wheel... I sped up and just missed going down myself. It was terrible hearing him go down behind me, and hearing him "slide" for a while... I was amazed when we came back around on the very next lap and he was up and slid right back into the race... HTFU to ROD!!Overall and great experience, and a real joy to race WITH our guys.
I loved it when at 3 laps to go in the Master's race, a guy next to me yelled out "let's RACE"! I said "let's go..." Thank you for making Michele and I feel so welcome in your race!
DBC is the best!!
Cheers, and Happy Mother's Day!

Sonora Soreness from Bob B.

I thought of a few other names for this race report, Sonora Road Rash or Sore-nora Road Race, but in the end decided to keep it simple.
I woke up at 5:00am with the still pitch black sky sprinkling a light mist and thinking to myself that maybe I should just go back to sleep. The thought of Nelson's poetic plea to get people to the race and the HTFU emblazoned on the neck of my jersey steeled my nerve and I made the two hour ride to Jamestown.
The day started off ominously for me. Prior to the start of the race the tire on my rear wheel developed a bulge in the sidewall. Minor but not something I wanted to roll out on. The only other tire that I had was a heavy training tire but Lee let me borrow one from him. (Thanks Lee) I heard about the slippery railroad tracks and that a couple people had fallen already but didn't think too much of it.
We start the race and everyone is a bit tentative and taking it easy. We get to the first set of railroad tracks which cross the road at about a 45 degree angle and sure enough my tires go over it squirelly but I avoid falling. At the second railroad section, again at 45 degrees, I slip to the back of the group to take it as slowly as possible and about eight guys go down in front of me including Nelson and Lee but Mark and I make it over safely. Being at the back of the group I need to hustle a bit to get back on the group but do it in short order.
Halfway through the loop there is a moderately steep decent that ends at 180 degree turn over a slighly pot-holed one lane bridge. They had a person on the side of the road yelling "slow down, sharp turn" since you couldn't see the bridge until you made a sweeping left just prior to the sharp right over the bridge. With the roads slick and your wheels wet, this was an interesting section of the course.
It was on the second lap first set of tracks that I went down. I was being very careful but the guy in front of me slid a little and the slightest movement of my front wheel and "WHAM" I was down along with another guy behind me. Shoulder sore, hip scraped, hand cut, ego bruised. But I got up, checked my bike and chased to get back on, all the while cursing this course and the weather.
Took me almost the entire rest of the lap to get back into the group. I know there are only two more trips over the tracks. One guy took off after the last cross of the finish line. I wasn't too concerned as long as we kept him in sight. Once we all slowed at the final track crossing, I couldn't see him. I moved up to the front and said that we have a guy off the front. Half the guys said "I know" and the other half said "no we don't". Anyway, we did so I was hoping to get some organization going to pull this guy in but after only few guys were willing to roll through the front everyone seemed to settle in for the race for second.
At this point I just got pissed. Three hours of rain, mud, and crashes to race for second? I moved to the front and pulled the group through most of the rest of the race. I decided that I was going to push it, attack a couple times and see what happened. I figured there were a couple of outcomes. One of my attacks would stick or some of the group might get shed off the back giving Nelson, Mark and me a better chance to place higher. I did hope that some people would come up and take a pull but that really didn't happen. I launched two good attacks that got me some good separation but no one came with me and since I was already doing most of the work at the front of the group I couldn't make them stick. The finish was at the top of a hill and I had very little in me to try to fight for a win. I rolled through about eighth without a win but with the satisfaction that I was the most aggressive rider at the end and that I Fred would have been proud of my HTFU effort.
Today I am sore but healing and glad that I made the trip.