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Apr. 17, 2008
TCB Cycling Shindizzle
Wow, it’s already April. Over here on the West Coast we’ve been racing for a couple months. “Racing” means different things to different riders at the beginning of the season. Some of the guys out here in California are absolutely flying. Personally, I don’t think I could ever muster up the early-season fitness that some guys start the season with. What I do know is that racing with really fit guys in Feb & March can be pretty damn painful.

What happened the first weekend in April is a fine example of just how much a race can sting the legs & lungs.

On Saturday the 5th we were in Martinez for the town’s Bay Front Classic Crit. The whole day leading up to the race was sorta nuts—my son & I spent the morning supporting my wife’s efforts at the Cinderella Classic bike ride which was rad; so the afternoon race in Martinez wasn’t the priority of the day. Once we got to Martinez for the crit it turned out the reg line was moving a tad slowly and it took a long time to get my number. So when it was all said and done I ended up at the start just in time to line up at the back-of-the-bunch—add a complete lack of a warm-up and I knew I was in for some class-A discomfort when the whistle blew.

The first 10 laps went fast and I hurt. Finally started feeling better and found a bit of a rhythm so I worked on moving up through the field but the course was technical, it was windy out, and the race was fast most of the time so moving up was challenging. Then about half way through the race a couple guys went down in front of me and I ended up hopping a curb and going down very gracefully and painlessly. So I headed to the pits, but they put me back in at the end of the group which was rough.

The race paid to 25th so I had hopes of getting up to a spot where I could finish in the moolah, but with a couple final lap crashes to avoid my dreams of sleeping in a pile of money were short-lived.

So the moral of the story is that the early season racing can be tough—and completely void of any crumbs of glory. But even with the pain and the off-the-radar mid-pack finishes racing’s still a whole bunch of fun. Go figure.

Some fast pro dude won the whole dang thing from a break. Hats off to the guys who can rip it at this point in the season. And hats off to my wife who rode the Cinderella Classic like a champ. My son and I had a great time supporting her Cinderella Ride efforts in the morning, so all in all it was a great day full of bike stuff regardless of my race result.

And while I, for the time-being, may be early season pack-fodder some of my teammates are doing their part to fly the TCB colors at the front end of races.

Mark ‘Superhara’ Shimahara scored a nice overall result with consistently good placings in the P/1 races during the NCNCA’s Highway 99 Series to get the season started. Then on Sunday he finished strongly at the Santa Cruz Crit.

And just recently, Dave ‘Sister Quistain’ Quist went to the San Dimas stage race solo and rode his way into some of the San Dimas images on (see 'em here and here) a week after finishing well at the challenging Copperopolis RR:

To complement the racing efforts, earlier this month a few of the team riders visited the Berkeley High School campus to have lunch with the kids and speak with them about the benefits of good food and active lifestyles (part of the Be Fit Berkeley campaign. We’ll be doing more school visits as the season continues.

And about a week ago Channel 7 News came by the Clif office to do a story on Clif Bar’s ‘Cool Commute’ program and I was able bride my way onto camera for a short spell to share some thoughts about the new bike incentive component of the program.

Lastly, huge thanks to all of the TCB Cycling sponsors. We’re looking forward to another fun & memorable season and we couldn’t do it without the support of the team sponsors:

Rudy Project
Body Mobilization
Posted by:
Le Sensation American
Team Clif Bar

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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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