2014 SCNCA Elite District Road Race Championships: The Lonely Road

with the finish line beckoning atop the still distant wall, a back-marker
in the women's race solos home along the lonely road

The lonely road. Sounds like an old-time country-western song, certainly it has been the theme of many over the years. I can't help but think that Wichita Lineman was playing through the minds of many racers at some point today during the Southern California / Nevada Cycling Association Elite District Road Race Championships (SCNCA). Then again maybe it was the Beatles' Long and Winding Road. Either way, one or both, are probably enough clue to serve as background to the days' action. The Chuck Pontius Memorial Castaic Lake Road Race, this year, served as the course for the district Championships for Category 1-4 racers and, as the terrain in at least a couple of the photos here show, it was a course designed to offer up a full helping of challenge.

Most riders, maybe all, knew the best way to survive was to keep to the group or, barring that, to find the company of at least one other set of wheels and hold on for dear life. Sometimes the lonely road has other plans though as plenty of riders found out, found themselves caught out alone on the lonely road. Out on that road the wind blows a mournful tune, it mocks and belittles the efforts of mortal humans. Those who choose to race bikes, though, are not so frail of mind that they easily succumb to simple taunts. Some may resort to self-conversing, not through delirium, but as a means of coping, or rising to the challenge. The lonely road may undulate without mercy, it may be torturous in its winding path, it may be painfully long. But, it does have an end. Good job to all those who rose to the challenge along the lonely road today. 

The race's Flickr set contains 109 select photos, almost all from the Pro/1/2, Cat 3, Men 35+, and Men 45+ races. As usual I took far more than are in the set, if you are looking for something in particular, let me know.

the character of the lonely road - head down and a long way to go


not sure how things worked out for this guy, but he put in quite an acceleration on this hill

i knew there must be a reason that i have not seen him at a crit yet this year - saving it for the road races. the winner of the 45+ (1-4) race would emerge, after another lap, from this breakaway group - the man with the rainbow striped sleeves. Thurlow Rogers.

the first rider from the Pro/1/2 race to come past me was #33 - he was flying, and had a nice gap on the next two racers who, by the way, were both teammates. the question is, did he hold on?