2017 Dare to Race Grand Prix

Waking to a slightly damp and unpredictable morning (least ways I predicted it might be unpredictable) I might very well have opted to zoom zoom out to the Velo Sport Center for the final day of the LA World Cup. There are times when indoor warmth and dryness is the more attractive option. Instead curiosity got the best of me; were roadies still showing up for cries, or had their interests shifted away and toward the unique thrills and spills of golf? Had they been tempted by the inexpensive of Strava competition over the past eleven months, the amount of time since I last had to put up with people asking why I wasn't toeing the line at a USAC race?

Before running out the door I quickly checked the directions to the Jurupa venue, since I didn't make it out to any of those races last year, and was pleasantly surprised to see that I would only need to drive as far as Ontario, where the familiar series had returned after a year away. At the same time I discovered that the course would only be half of what it once was. That change, as it turns out, is due to the requirement of having law enforcement officers (not volunteers, as used to be permissible) stationed at each intersection - thus halve the course, and you can halve the expense, or some fraction thereof.

as the oldest guys finish up with smiles on their faces, the youngest line up to start

juniors

junior sprint finish

masters 55+ race if not mistaken

masters 55+ finish if not mistaken

pretty big cat 4 field, though that they are one of the largest numerically may not be news

break in the masters 50+ race storming away

cat 3/4 race

cat 3/4 race

Big Orange powers to the win, cat 3/4 race

Road racing is in a bad way right now. I know it tends to be cyclical anyway, so perhaps we can simply identify it as a down period in the cycle, and expect things to recover. Or can we? Ray, the organizer of the Ontario series for the past nineteen years is committed to racing through the Easter Sunday Criterium. Beyond that, however, things become cloudy and questionable. Ray is an old time racers; we both raced with the Chevrolet / LA Sheriff club back in the late '80s / early 90's, so his blood cells, like mine and probably yours, ride little bikes through his veins. Unfortunately, there comes a point when, no matter how long you have been involved in the sport, increasing constraints make it impractical (maybe impossible) to keep moving forward. For years now, it seems as though USA Cycling has been unprepared to find, and put forth a workable solution, something that will encourage new racers to try, and hold those who have been at it for whatever length of time. Where does it end? After Easter? That would be a shame.

Ninety-five photos made the selection cut for the photo album, which you can access by clicking here. Those 95 are only a fifth of the total, so it you don't see what or who you were looking for, just let me know and I shall see what can be found.

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