As fate would have it, I’ll be racing my bike down in Southern California this weekend. Naturally, I’ve already procured a set of greater-LA-area-specific podium glasses for the occasion.
Yes, those are bejeweled Dolce & Gabbana logos. No, you can’t borrow them.
Ordinarily, I wouldn’t be too excited at the prospect of racing down yonder, but I can’t say I’m disappointed to be leaving the Bay Area this time.
You see, I am taking a road trip down to San Diego over the weekend and — though I hardly even ride my bike during the week anymore — I tend to fall into a mild depression when I am unable to race on the weekend. As an alternative to antidepressants, I visited the SCNCA’s race calendar and discovered that there will be a criterium in Ontario on Sunday afternoon: The Spring Classic GP.
Now, I started writing this post last night (before I was distracted by Arrested Development on Netflix), and I was concerned that I might inadvertantly write something offensive about SoCal racing; however, just this afternoon NorCalCyclingNews.com featured a post bashing the SCNCA’s crit-racing scene. This coincidence is most opportune, as I can simply reference others’ opinions and therefore deflect the blame from myself.
In fact, today isn’t even the first time there has been some sort of NorCal/SoCal rivalry post on the aforementioned “news outlet.”
Combined with the recent “NorCal v. SoCal Cyclocross extravaganza” in Bakersfield, it seems there is a natural rivalry between the halves of the state.
Now, I haven’t migrated south for a bike race since the Dana Point NRC crit a few years ago, and the only proof I was even there is this Velonews-sourced photograph of me snuggling up behind Floyd Landis.
That picture nicely illustrates how much of a presence I was during the race, too.
However, I’ve done a few non-NRC races down in the nether regions of CA, and my experience is that they invariably favor massive, meatheaded bunch sprints over finesse- and tactic-driven breakaways. Can you tell by my choice of descriptors that I’m biased? It’s just my opinion, of course, but I have been nearly smeared along the wall of an old mission at San Luis Obispo by the likes of Bahati, Williams, Hansen and Holloway, so I’m sticking to it.
Anyway, given that I insist on finishing crits either in a breakaway or dead last, common sense dictates that I don’t stand a chance at a top 50% finish in Sunday’s criterium.
Then again, I don’t have much common sense, and the course description of the event states, “Course is 1.2 miles, flat with seven corners and good pavement. This is a grand prix race.” That sounds semi-technical, and though I may not have a clue what it means by “grand prix race,” the fact that it’s written in bold font makes it sound fast.
If this race turns out, in fact, to be hella technical and fast, there may be a chance for one of those fabled “breakaways.”
We’ll see. I imagine anyone will enjoy watching me flailing for a breakaway and subsequently getting manhandled by the SoCal sprinters’ teams. That’s got to be the cycling equivalent of watching professional Midget Toss.
Regardless of the outcome, I know a fair number of people who race in SoCal — mostly through my collegiate cycling days — and I hope to see some of you out there. Additionally, if by some miracle I have readers down there, I’d love to meet some of you.
If you see me rolling around in my little green goblin suit, come say hello. Also, I love a good heckle, so feel free to unleash some vulgarities in my direction during the race.
To all my readers here in NorCal: Have fun racing the Wards Ferry RR in driving rain. Here’s to hoping it ends in a massive, meatheaded bunch sprint!