Well, the road racing season in Washington is finally over. 45 races in the books for me this year and I definitely need a rest. The season kicked off with the Mason Lake Series in mid March. A three race series that is usually accompanied by cold and or wet weather. Like the weather, my season didn't start off so well. In my first four races I racked up two DNF's and some back of the pack placings due to punctures and mechanicals. My frustration was running high as I was riding well in all of them before things started to unravel. I was starting to think it wasn't going to be my year.
When the month of May finally hit things started going a lot better. I started racking up a lot of top 10's and I was quickly upgraded to CAT 4. My first race as a 4 was the Enumclaw Stage Race. I did OK in the Time Trial and the Crit and then got my first big win in the season in the road race. It was one of the best experiences I've ever had on the bike. Everything just clicked. We had 75 in our field and on the first climb I went on a breakaway with five others and we increased our lead by take a chance and went hard and 100 meter before the KOM line at the top. I caught the other's off guard. I rode solo for six miles to the finish and won by 20 seconds. I was proud to be sporting the green and yellow of Lakemont when I threw my hands in the air as I crossed the line. I can't describe the feeling.
I rode that high into the Masters Road Race State Championship race in Spokane at the end of June and was able to grab a bronze medal by getting into a breakaway with a small group on the last lap.
In mid July I took a short break from racing and participated in the Death Ride down in the Tahoe area. To this date it is the hardest single day cycling event/race I've ever done. 3500 riders doing 130 miles with 15,000 ft. of climbing over five mountain passes that are all over 8200 ft in elevation. We had had temps in the 90's and some serious head wind in critical parts of the ride. I was the 24th person to reach the summit of the final pass. It was a great experience (I can say that now after a couple of months).
Luckily the season didn't end the same way it started and I finished in the top five in four of my last five races and just missed another bronze in the Crystal Mt. Hill Climb State Championship TT by just three little seconds. These last races races got me upgraded to CAT 3 so it was a nice way to end the season.
Along with the USA Cycling/WSBA sanctioned events, Hoyt got me to go down and race at Pacific Raceways one cold Tuesday in late March. I had never raced there before and told him I would give it a shot. They score points five deep. In my first race I finished in the points with a 5th place. I got one point and got the bug. I started thinking about a book I had just finished call "Ten Points" by the editor of Bicycling Magazine. He had gone through some tough times and turned to racing as an outlet. He had been doing this hard crit series every year and would get a couple of points a season. This one year he decided he was going to get ten points and made got the last point in the last race of the season. I decided that I was going to get ten points at Pacific. I started showing up every Tuesday. The season is 22 weeks long and the race changes each week by direction, adding a hill, points per lap, etc. I started winning and racking up points and by the end of the year I took 1st in the CAT 4/5 field with a total of 57 points. Along with the cash prize I get all my races paid for next year. I guess I be back at it again next year. It is a blast and everyone should at least give it a try.
Some of my favorite racing highlights for the season:
1st - Mutual of Enumclaw Road Race
3rd - Masters Road Race State Championships
3rd - Lake Washington Velo Circuit Race #2
4th - Crystal Mt. Hill Climb TT State Championships
5th - Lake Washington Velo Circuit Race #3
7th - Boston Harbor State Circuit Race Championships
7th - Ravensdale/Cumberland Road Race
7th - Joe Bar/Native Planet Road Race
8th - Wenatchee Omnium Senior State Championship Road Race
Series and Stage Race Results:
1st - Overall CAT 4/5 series winner at Pacific Raceways http://www.buduracing.com/raceresults/20090825_370.xls
4th - Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race - GC - Masters C
3rd - Lake Washington Velo Circuit Race Series
4th - Washington BARR (Best All Around Road Racer) - Masters C http://www.wsbaracing.com/competitions/show?type=wsba_barr#5
7th - Overall Washington State Ranking - Masters C
I owe a lot of my success to my Lakemont teammates. They were out there pushing me during our morning training sessions throughout the season and have given me tons of support. They are not just strong riders but good people as well. I love those guys!!
As many of you know I have a great opportunity to race for the Starbucks team next season. The Lakemont guys might think they are getting rid of me but they will still see me out there every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5:30 in the blessed AM next season!!