Wednesday, January 10, 2007

New Year's Day on Mt. San Bruno

Road bike racing season starts early in Northern California with the Mt. San Bruno Hill Climb. The base of the mountain being about 5 miles from our house, and Joey being a climber, it's become a favorite. Last year, we dropped Anne off about midway up the mountain, so she would be near the finish, could cheer Joey on, take pics, etc. I went down to the start with Joey to get him registered and ready for the race, and after the mass start, thinking "Now what? Am I just going to hang around this parking lot for an hour till they get back?" I ran over to my car, got my bike down, put on lots of warm stuff, and took off up the mountain, about 10 minutes after everyone else.

So this year, I decided to "race"--register and ride up the mountain at the back of the group. My one fear was that I would be last, although I don't know why that bothered me. I know I'm no racer.

It was a beautiful day--cold and foggy at the start, but it was sunny where we'd dropped Anne off halfway up the mountain so we knew it would warm up as we climbed. Joey was feeling good, and got in line with the Juniors--including Marcus Smith, one of his main competitors in his age group locally and nationally (Marcus podiumed twice at Nationals last summer). The Masters 45+ group (my category) lined up a fair ways back, so I never saw Joey until the finish. I had a nice climb, mostly riding by myself, and was not last.

Joey had an amazing day, beating his best time by more than two minutes (20:49, as opposed to his previous 22:58). He didn't beat Marcus but he finished 133rd overall, beating 80 other people. He finished 14th in the juniors (out of 20) but this included the entire juniors age range. I beat my best time by a minute (28:08, as opposed to 29:00). I might have beaten 28 minutes, but it didn't seem cool to try to outsprint the 10-year-old I was riding with at the finish line. Unfortunately, I did finish last in my category, and saw fit to publish the results (a slow cycling news day, I guess). That last name at the bottom of the 45+ list did kind of stand out. Oh well. There's always next year.

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