We just returned from our last road race of the season which was the Henleyville Road Race in Corning, CA. The Henleyville Road Race was our first ever Cat 5 (no junior) Race and although we knew it was going to be hard we were ready to take it on! We both competed in our longest road race ( 54 miles). Junior Categories races are normally around 20 miles.
The road surfaces were very rough with a lot of potholes so several riders got flats. About 100 feet past the start line I flatted. It took me about 15 minutes to fix it. Since the peloton was gone, my only real goal was to have a respectable finish, but without question I needed to finish to get my 10th mass start to apply for my Cat 4 upgrade and this was the last Road Race scheduled until 2014. Meanwhile, Jake was riding in the peloton, he comfortably sat in the entire race for the final sprint.
I jumped back on and started riding again and at a good speed! I had only been riding for a mile and luckily there was another group coming up that I could draft off of. I rode with that group an entire lap (the laps were 18 miles each). On the start of the second lap I couldn’t hang on any longer so I fell back and looked for another group. About half way through the second lap, another group came up and I gladly drafted off the back of them. On the beginning of the third lap they slowed down a lot and I wanted to go faster but I had a hard time pulling in the wind. A few minutes later a faster group came up and I pulled into their slipstream. That didn’t last very long as the moto-official show me no mercy and kicked me out, so I had to face the final miles out in the wind, on my own.
At the finish Jake’s group going up the finishing hill, Jake was in 4th, but was out sprinted by the adults in his group and finished in 6th place. I was still quite a ways back, but finished in 8th in the Category. We both secured our 10th mass start, so we can, should we elect, to get our Cat 4 upgrade.
Last weekend, not only did we get to visit the scenic city of San Francisco, but we were able to ride in the 1st ever mountain bike race held in the city! But, our trip to San Francisco to race the McLaren Short Track Challenge was unique in so many other ways.
What made this one of our favorite races was the uniqueness of the location and the cause that the proceeds went to. We were really looking forward to racing in San Francisco, where no MTB race has ever been held. The course was neat because it was 2.50 miles long and 450 ft of elevation change and a mixture of mostly singletract and short sections of paved path and road. We enjoyed that there were a lot of spectators cheering for the racers. All of the people that were at the park were so excited that a race was going on! San Francisco is a city that had no dirt trails to ride! This race has now changed that and McLaren Park now is a place where kids can come to experience riding MTB bikes. Soon McLaren Park will have a Valmont style Bike Park too. Isn’t that awesome?!
The turnout was great, there were at least 200 people racing and at least as many spectators. That’s more than most of the Race Events we’ve been to, and all of the money from registration and raffle tickets will go to building a bike park at McLaren. That makes us really happy! And talk about dedication! The race promoter, Dan Schneider of SF Urban Riders, has been working on getting this race together for 5 years! Just goes to show how much people care about this sport! If you want to help support this Bike Park contact him through their website www.sfurbanrider.org
The McLaren Short Track was a great event! The community was obviously well behind this event, the immense amount of prizes and raffle items shows just how San Francisco feels about getting dirt cycling in its City! The event has a great atmosphere and if you ever get the chance you should go race it, it’s worth it! If you ask Yackle Brothers Racing, we feel San Francisco would be a great choice for a top UCI/USA Cycling Event. The people would support it with enthusiasm. We like to see it get done!