Mt Hamilton Road Race Cat 4 35+ 16th/27

Race: Mt Hamilton RR
Date: 5/25/14
Racer: Joe Hofeditz
Category: 4 35+
Place: 16th of 27
Teammates: Trevor, James, Brandon, Phil, Stefan, Chris
Watch us race:
First, huge thanks to Clark and Ken for the feed and support before and after the race. Menko, the mileage labels were super helpful to know where I needed to get to when I was alone in the middle of nowhere. Great idea! Another useful tip: Download a course profile with elevation onto your Garmin. Along with the labels, I had a pretty good feel for what was coming throughout the race (extra helpful for a first timer like me)

At the start, I was super hydrated and ready for the long hot day...

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Sea Otter Circuit Race Cat 4 35+/45+

Race: Sea Otter Circuit Race
Date: 4/12
Category: 4 35+ (combined race with 45+)
Place: 19th of about 34
Teammates: Phil, Trevor, Matt, Geoffrey, Rene, Michael

This is it, the main event: 8 laps on the Laguna Seca racetrack. Great Pen Velo support and lots of teammates; family watching at the start line. After a hard race yesterday, legs were a bit sore on the hills during the team warm up. We took a last minute preview lap which was really helpful in gauging the main climb, the speed of the corkscrew and finding out that the hairpin is a tricky decreasing radius curve.

This is by far the largest race I have been in. Probably 70 in the combined Cat 4 35/45+ field. We end up towards the back but the track is pretty wide so it should be easy to move up...

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Sea Otter Road Race Cat 4 35+

Race: Sea Otter Road Race
Date: 4/11
Category: 4 35+
Place: 20th/25 (not counting DNF’s)
Teammates:Lenny, Phil, Trevor

My first road race (I did all crits as a cat 5). I did two easy rides during the week trying to rest up before doing back to back races Friday and Saturday. I was also looking to improve on my OTB performance at the CCCX circuit race a few weeks back. 47 miles and 5k gain felt very intimidating. Trevor picked me up at 5am and we talked a bit about trying to conserve energy whenever possible. Trevor advised skipping the neutral support as the feed zone is on a climb and can be tricky.

It turns out Sea Otter is a bit more than your standard office park crit. Lots of fanfare, crowds, announcers, support cars...

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CCCX Ft Ord Circuit Cat 3/4 35+

Race: CCCX Ft Ord Circuit Race
Date: March 16, 2014
Category: 35+ Cat 3/4
Place: OTB – 14/21

Rode down with Erik (thanks!) planning to do two races, 3/4 Masters at 10am and 3/4 Elite at 2pm. A lot of firsts today: First race as a cat 4; first race that isn’t a crit; first race longer than 40 minutes. There were 21 riders at the line for a 60 minute race (which means 5 4.3 mi laps).

First 3 laps felt hard but good. Two guys established an early break on lap 1 and the field stayed together for the most part. I fell back a bit on the descent to the finish after a sharp right turn and had to work to catch back on but was able to move back up the pack during the climb and rollers...

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Red Kite Crit #2 Cat 5E

Race: Red Kite Crit #2
Date: 3-9-2014
Category: 5 Elite (All ages)
Place: 11rd/38
Teammate: Geoffrey Hutchinson

Except for the fact that it was close by, I wasn’t really motivated to do this crit. Just 1 Cat 5 field (no masters), medals for podium, and only 30 minutes long. But then I found out that it was mentored and I would have my 10 points after going to a short debriefing. The only goal for the day was to stay upright and get out of Cat 5.

DST didn’t help. I rode out in the dark at what felt like 5:30am to head to Foster City to meet my ride, Geoffrey. We made it in plenty of time, got numbers pinned, and did a warmup on side streets around the office park.

The race felt like one of the early bird training races...

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Cherry Pie Crit 35+/55+ Cat4/5

Race: Cherry Pie Crit
Date: 2-9-2014
Category: 35/55+ 4/5
Place: 3rd/15

After riding all 5 early bird races, I had 7.5 out of 10 points needed to to move up to Cat4. Might as well do a rain race and I figured that a smaller field increased my chances of getting a pie. Maybe the rain would let up by noon? Nope. There was a steady rain the entire time. Fortunately, the last EB crit was in the rain and I felt decently prepared.

I followed the same layering and warm up strategy that worked well last week. After registering, I did laps up and down the hill a block from the course wearing an extra jacket and rain pants. Just 15 racers out of the 41 pre-registered online. At the line, they asked who was cat4 or 5 and who was 55+. Two 55+ racers raised hands...

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Early Bird Training Crit #5

Race: Early Bird Crit #5
Date: Feb 2, 2014
Category: Cat 5 30-44
Place: 3/17 (Though there was more like 20-25 at the line but apparently some were 45+ racing down)
Teammates: John Harris

Drove to an Early Bird for the first time today instead of a cold wet ride there and back (fortunately without forgetting anything important like my helmet or bike). The clinic mostly repeated other pack drills from previous weeks but it gave us valuable experience riding in a pack on wet roads. For the clinic, I wore an extra jacket and pants to stay warm and dry knowing that we would probably not be pushing too hard.

I was still kind of unsure about racing in the wet conditions, but it ended up being not a big deal. The pace was slower at first and cornering was fine...

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Early Bird Training Crit #4

Race: Early Bird Crit #4
Date: Jan 26, 2014
Category: Cat 5 30-44
Place: 10/40
Teammates: John Harris, Geoff Hutchinson, James Rainbow, Michael Busha (prospective PV member)

Great day out on the bike. Geoff and I got in a bit earlier than usual to stop by the PV tent for Meet the Teams day. We got to hear about Andrew’s heroic near full lap lead out and he gave his “I’m not just the President but I’m also a member” spiel to anyone around not already wearing a PV kit.

The clinic was a good one though I think everyone went a bit hard. It was the practice race before the practice race. 9 laps of moving between different formations with a practice sprint at the end of each lap...

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Early Bird Training Crit #3

Race: Early Bird Criterium Training Series #3
Date: 1-19-2014
Category: Cat 5 30-44
Place: ~8/40 (If it counted)
Teammates: Geoffrey, John, James, others

Rode in again with Geoffrey. The clinic on pack movement was my least favorite so far. Drills slaloming between mentors and riding in between a row of riders to practice moving around in a group. Then the “gutter ball” drill. Apparently, there are cases in a race where it is a good tactic to ride in the gutter over grates and debris. It was hard enough going 15mph in a tight group. There is no way I would do that by choice.

There were only about 40 riders today (probably because of the 49ers game) so it was only one field. My planned strategy was to stay sheltered and save everything for the last lap and sprint...

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Early Bird Training Crit #2

Race: Early Bird Criterium Training Series #2
Date: 1-12-2014
Category: Cat 5 30-44
Place: 6/33
Teammates: Matt, Geoffrey, Javier, David, James, others

Had a nice ride in with Geoffrey. Immediately noticed the steady wind coming down the front of the course, which meant a tricky crosswind after turn #1 and a fast backside straight. The cornering clinic was great. We practiced solo, then two, then three wide on one corner with mentors as pylons indicating the proper line through the turn.

Split field again, I was in the first wave. Following the clinic, there was a noticeable improvement in cornering (taking a good line, pedaling through the turn, not braking too much)...

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