Since jppe asked
, here's how the games went from my perspective and for me.
My wife, youngest son, and I drove up to Palo Alto from SoCal on Tuesday, the 4th, and I checked in at the main sports venue, Stanford University. It was pretty interesting seeing older athletes from several sports -- like basketball -- walking around on the campus.
The 5th was "practice" day on the course, Caņada Road, in Woodside, CA. The course with its rolling hills and uphill finish seemed to suit me.
It's kind of funny being in the race with the youngest competitors (50-54) instead of being in the race with the next to oldest. As the youngsters, we were the first race of the games on the 6th: a 20K road race. There was about 40 starters. My tactic was to try to draw out some of the stronger riders in a break so I attacked several times but to no avail.
My last attempt was about 3 miles from the finish and that attack just about finished me. I was a bit off the back of the pack when we hit the finish hill. I managed to pass a couple of people and ended up 20th. The guy who won was also from SoCal and he looked more like a body builder than a bike racer. Obviously, he could sprint uphill.
I decided to try a couple of early attacks in the 40K race (on the 7th) and without anything significant happening I sat in for the last 10 miles of the race. The pace picked up approaching the finish hill and I was in a reasonable spot. Unfortunately (for me) these guys were really fast going up the hill. I didn't pass anyone, but no one passed me either. I ended up 12th. The guy who won the 20K also won the 40K.
I did some easy rides over the weekend with an old college roommate and felt fairly good heading into Monday for the 5K and 10K individual time trials.
Some bad planning on my part left me with zero warm up for the 5K. I rode at my limit which was ultimately good for another 12th place. There were 8 places on the awards podium for each race and I was 3 seconds out of 8th.
The 10K TT was later in the day so I had plenty of time to warm up. By that time the temperature had risen into the 90s and there was a headwind on the outbound leg. The headwind was tough but I was able to make the most of the tailwind to nab 7th place -- a spot on the awards platform. Unfortunately, the timing folks were having problems and we had tickets for the Giants vs. Dodger game in San Francisco so I had to leave before the ceremony.
BTW, the guy who was 1st at the USA Cycling Masters National Championships for the TT was 2nd in the 5K and 1st in the 10K as well as getting on the awards platform in both road races. Also, my very good friend got 2nd in the 40K 55-59 race in a breakaway and was in the top 8 in all of the other races.
Overall, I had a great time. My only regret is that since it was also a vacation for the rest of my family and a visit with friends and family up there, I didn't participate in any of the other activities for the athletes nor did I get a chance to spectate any of the other sports.
I won't be going to Houston for the 2011 games but I hope to qualify for the 2013 games in Cleveland.