I try to plan out at least one trip every year, in order to race in a different part of the US. Last year I went to Tulsa, OK. This year I decided on the UCI race in Cincinnati, OH. Being born in Ohio it was my first time back to the Buckeye State in over 25 years. I had heard that the courses in Devou Park and Harbin Park were epic and they did not disappoint. I didn’t have a hook up for photos out there, so I have none. Kobi, his dad and I journeyed out there. The course at Devou Park on Saturday was amazing. It had rained all night and then started to snow in the morning. Tough conditions for the softies from Cali. Warm-ups included a long stint with the car running trying to warm our feet.
For this race there was an interesting format. You raced in a heat and were scored separately, except your USAC points were scored together. In my heat there was 35+, 40+ and 50+. They lined us up according to cross results. At first I didn’t like it because I didn’t know who I was racing against. In the end I got 14th overall and 6th in the 40+, which equaled great points for Nats. I was convinced this was the way to go. The course had tons of mud. Rollers that we would ride were now run ups. There were some crazy off camber sections. All the running started to seize my back up, but I kept soldering on and motored past people as they cracked. Kobi got a taste of UCI with his first race in that category. It started on a bad note when he was told his tires were too wide. I had forgot about the fact that even though tubeless tires say “33mm”, they actually balloon out to larger than the allowed 34mm. Fortunately we pleaded our case both days and they let us slide.
The next day was a little different. 40 degree temps solidified the mud and the grass. It was set up as a power course, which usually would have been a benefit for me. But I left my engine at the hotel and had a bad race. I jumped into the UCI race and got some points, which I actually feel guilty about. I am essentially paying for points. I shouldn’t even be in that race, but I guess I am just going with the system. I wish I didn’t have to travel at all or enter these UCI races, but….. Kobi had a better race and lasted over half the race before being pulled. All in all a great weekend….minus the fact that TSA deemed my battery pump a danger and ended up throwing it away because I wasn’t going to check my bag for $150. Airline travel is getting harder and harder.
Back to California for a classic race at Coyote Point in SF, technically San Mateo. This course has a ton of memories for not only me, but the cyclocross world. There is the infamous beach run that borders the bay and of course all the planes buzzing the course while on approach to SFO. They thought of getting points brought out a ton of good riders for the 35+ A’s. I had a great start and made the Top 5, but the technical aspect of the course shredded me. A guy on a mountain bike won, which didn’t really sit well as a course designer. It’s a cross race. Make the course a cross course, not a mtb course. Oh well…the juniors really had a great day with more podiums. Vida keeps getting faster and faster – passing the boys that start one minute ahead of her. Super proud of these kids.
Ian, Vida and Travis at Coyote Point
Storming the Beach at Coyote Point – Photo Jeff Van Strucken
Travis and Ian on a run up…