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Old 01-03-08, 01:16 AM   #1
Velodiva
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San Bruno Hill Climb Race Report

I celebrated New Year’s Day by racing the San Bruno Hill Climb, an annual 3.5 mile sanctioned hill climb in Brisbane, CA - just south of San Francisco. The climb starts with a 7-8 percent grade up Guadalupe Canyon Road and a turn into San Bruno Park, and up Radio Road with narrow switchbacks and grades up to 10%.



Screen shot from my Garmin

There were 228 participants: 194 men and 34 women. I raced with the Women’s Cat 4 (W4) group which had a field of 20. I knew the W4 competition was formidable because two of the women had stellar performances in the low key hill climb series. I finished tenth with an official time of 24:19 (actual time 23:59). My “goal” was 24 minutes so I was pleased with my performance as a racing newbie. The results are posted at http://www.ncnca.org/road/2008/MtSanBrunoResults.html

So now, the rest of the story . . . .
I had a pre-race dream that I arrived 15 minutes after the race started, so Hermes and I arrived at 8:30 for a 10 AM start time. The parking lot was already full of activity with racers checking in, unloading equipment and setting up trainers. A trainer is a must on a short hill climb. The rule of thumb is: the shorter the race, the longer the warmup. I did a "reconnaissance" ride up Mt. San Bruno a couple weeks ago to check out the terrain, and was hoping for similar dry weather, sunny skies and calm winds. Well, 2 out of 3 aren't bad. The weather was sunny and cool (mid-40’s) but the winds already started to kick up a bit in the parking lot as I was warming up on my trainer.



Velodiva on the trainer



Most cyclists have trainers that hold either the front or rear wheel stationary. Above is a “purist” riding rollers without support.



The more conventional approach. The woman in the #250 won the W4 with a time of 19:58 - congrats to her!

The race was well organized and the mass start went out in two waves, three minutes apart. The Women’s Cat 4 were in the back of the second wave in back of the Elite men 5 - few of them wanted to hang back with us – go figure. The road leading up to the top was closed to traffic. This is about as safe as bicycling riding gets.



This is the Cat 4 women with Velodiva in the middle on the Orbea Orca and green Webcor team kit.



Here is a Elite Cat 5 cyclist in an interesting skinsuit.



Here is the starting line. It was all very civilized. Unlike running races, no announcing platforms, cheerleaders, warmup teams, loud music – just pure focus. This group was warmed up and ready to rumble.



This is men’s 55+ group.



This is a picture of the starting line consisting of the Pro 1/2s.



This is the first wave up the hill. The peloton is tightly packed.

Last edited by Velodiva; 01-03-08 at 03:01 PM. Reason: fix photo caption
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Old 01-03-08, 01:17 AM   #2
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Wave 2 - Velodiva is in the green Webcor team kit.



It took about 20 seconds from the "go" before I could actually start riding. The group quickly spread out going up Guadalupe Canyon. For the most part, I rode by myself keeping an eye on my cadence and HR. The only sweet feeling was passing numerous guys and women along the way.



The gusting cross and headwinds seemed to hit at the hardest part on the quite rutty and winding Radio Tower Road. Approaching the top, I passed a little 18-year-old. She kept yelling encouragement from behind and was on my tail until the end. We ended up with the same finishing time.



Velodiva approaching the finish

Happy New Year to all!
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Old 01-03-08, 02:44 AM   #3
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Wow! Thanks, a great report for an awesome looking ride! If you haven't done it already, give yourself a high-five and a pat on the back. Well done, 'diva, well done!
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Old 01-03-08, 06:59 AM   #4
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Great pics. Congrats on your good showing on this race.
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Old 01-03-08, 10:40 AM   #5
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Congrats! That's a great story and the pics do it justice. You were right there with your predicted time. Your many hours invested in training have obviously paid off.

I noticed some familiar names reading the results: some of my Team Precision mates, some of my fellow club members, and the Women's 1-2-3 winner. Well done, all!
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Old 01-03-08, 10:49 AM   #6
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Nicely done Velodiva, thanks for the great report!
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Old 01-03-08, 10:54 AM   #7
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Very nice report, keep em comin this year! Hope to see more of these from others as well! Congrats well done!
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Old 01-03-08, 12:00 PM   #8
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Excellent report. It's posts like this that are fueling the desire to train smarter and harder and start participating in events such as this one.
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Old 01-03-08, 01:44 PM   #9
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I wanted to go, but it clashed with my new years plans.
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Old 01-03-08, 01:57 PM   #10
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Great photo report. Like what Bostic said, this is a great encouragement to us slackers I really need to start riding longer rides to get ready for the Death Ride just in case my entry gets picked.
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Old 01-03-08, 02:06 PM   #11
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Now I'm really bummed out I didn't make it there, next year I'm shutting the phone off and going, the hell with it. Maybe next year you'll beat all the top guys too!
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Old 01-03-08, 03:39 PM   #12
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Congratulations on the race! Great way to start the year.

Great report too, and thanks for all the pics!
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Old 01-03-08, 05:18 PM   #13
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Great job. Thanks for the report and pictures.
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Old 01-03-08, 05:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velodiva View Post


Most cyclists have trainers that hold either the front or rear wheel stationary. Above is a “purist” riding rollers without support.
I used to ride with said purist.
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Old 01-03-08, 05:32 PM   #15
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Awesome Velodiva!!! Great story and pics. We have to set up a ride sometime in the not to distant future.
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Old 01-03-08, 10:40 PM   #16
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Great Write-Up

You inspire me!

Sassy of
Smoooooth and Sassy
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Old 01-03-08, 11:27 PM   #17
Velodiva
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Quote:
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You inspire me!

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Hi Sassy! You would love this race - and do VERY well indeed! I look forward to riding with you and Smooooth in the near future.
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