2015 UCLA Road Race: A Wheelie Fine Race
Maybe that first photo up there has given it away, but I am going to go ahead and dedicate this race report to the hams of the peloton, the riders who keep it interesting. In a race like this you find out right away whether you stand a chance or not, there is probably no recovery, and certainly no hiding. So for all those who showed some appreciation for my sunburned neck, or put up with my crazy wife asking if you could pop a wheelie, this one is for you.
the day might not have gone your way, but you can still have a good time
the women don't normally go in for hamming it up like the men do, maybe it's a greater sense of decorum.
i don't know, but i did get a thumbs up
the wheelies and all were good, no doubt about it but, considering the day these guys win the 'Ham It Up' Award. the gesture wasn't lost on me, no sir, Happy Valentine's Day. lets say it all together, "ah, what a cute couple."
So, I got up to the top of the climb and the first thing I noticed was that unlike last year, the wind is pretty laid back. Even more than that however, what breeze there is, is coming up from down the road, meaning the racers are getting the benefit of a tailwind. To be brutally honest, that assistance was not enough. It was only the first lap, maybe half way around the loop, top of the climb and already the groups are shredded. If you are off the back now, there will be no hope of making contact again. If not whisked away by the breeze, which comes and goes, the tattered remnants of mornings hope and promise will have to carry on alone or in small groups of other cast-offs. This course is unforgiving, you either have it or you don't. There is no maybe, no in between.
A few minutes after 12:00 noon, the hour at which the final races of the day were scheduled to get underway, a few miles of a long climb away, and there were still stragglers on the road below, grinding their way up. But for their passing, the road was quiet - the drone of insects, a far away plane, the breeze across my years, the flapping of the UCSB flag, birds chirping in the sun are the only sounds to break the stillness and solitude of this lonely road.
Alright, two-hundred twenty-six photos selected for the Flickr album, much larger than normal, but only about a quarter of the photos I took during the race. As usual you can always contact me if you are looking for other photos.
As usual, if you see a photo you like feel free to download it (credit where credit due, of course). Want more? Go ahead and order your own copy of the CLR Effect racing annual. There are two editions available right now (2013 and 2014), and you can preview them by clicking the 2014 Seasons in the Sun Book Preview button near the top of the right hand column, or under the title banner at the top of the page.