Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Ontario Series GP: Let the Season Begin...

I left myself an out by not previously mentioning that I would be racing this fine day, first of the year, first in - how many years has it been? I will answer that for you - ten years. February 4, 2002 was the last time I raced a local criterium (any kind of road race actually). I didn't mention my plans for the day so that if things didn't go at least moderately well, I could just pretend to ignore the fact, pretend it never happened. Who would know, right? But that is not fair to myself or you all. I have never intended to hide stuff on this blog. Cycling is often a series of ups and downs. You have some good days and some bad (of course you try to minimize those).

Jr. Men 15-16 line up beneath grey sky (as did we all)

Not only was this the first race of the new season, and my first in ten years, it was a special day for another reason as well (read that word special with as much dripping sarcasm as you can add). You see, for the first time my racing license lists my racing age as 50. Yup, I get to race with that very veteran group, and was welcomed into the fraternity with all the compassion of a pack of hungry wolves on the scent of an easy kill. Not especially pretty, from my point of view. You see, the 50+ group is not broken up by category (there is no 50+ 3/4 race for instance), so there I was all lined up with the likes of riders who had made their names on the national and international circuit twenty and more years ago, and who have been able to continue their winning ways ever since. I don't mind, really. Racing against people at the top of their game, brings out the best in the rest of us as well. Eventually. Not today.

Today was all about reacquainting myself with the whole concept of racing. I woke early this morning with thoughts delusions of breaking away, or at least placing after unleashing a powerful sprint. Ha. Reality had other plans, and things turned out a wee bit different. Funny thing is the race started off well, maybe too well, I was perhaps too relaxed. I had none of those pressure nerves I recall from the past, waiting for the whistle to sound. I looked back over my shoulder (there were 84 racers in the 50+ race) and there was Thurlow Rogers and teammate Roger Worthington. I glanced to my left and there was Michael Burditt, who had already won an earlier race in the morning. Were I readily able to place names to faces I would have recognized some serious competition, maybe even enough to make me nervous. But I wasn't. It is just the beginning of this comeback, a year-long process, and I really had nothing to prove at this point.

Michael Birditt claiming his first victory of the day

and Michael Birditt claiming his second victory of the day

The first few laps went very comfortably. But then a series of prime laps (3 or 4 consecutively, I am not sure which) caused the pace to quicken. Soon enough I was cast adrift. Dropped. I was not the only one, and I don't think I was the first (small victories). Being dropped, I was then able to shoot the final two laps, and while I do consider being tailed off a bad thing, the photos are at least a small plus. I procrastinated away an entire season last year, while I debated whether or not I was fit enough to join in. Well I have beaten that devil at the first race of 2012 and now have my eyes fixed upward regardless of how many national and world champions line up next to me. The bug has been caught and is firmly in my grasp. Bring on the next race. And maybe a little fast-paced training before then.

The usual photo catalogs are here:

finish sprint of the Masters 55/60+
last couple laps of the Masters 50+
Misc. portraits, etc


  1. Wow, this is big. Great story and I am glad you had a go at racing again.

  2. Well, it was kind of big for me and like I said, now I can't wait for the next one.

  3. You're hooked! When is the next race? If possible, I'd love to photograph it.

  4. Jason, check the calendar at As much as I would like to do some of the upcoming road races I don't really want to drive those distances so, I don't think I will be out again until the Roger Millikan Crit in Brea on Feb 12.


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