This weekend CIBK kicked off the road season with an exciting and fun weekend hosted by UCSB! Thanks, UCSB.

Day 1

Saturday was the road race up in Santa Maria-ish and we rolled out bright and early with a crew of 3 women and 2 men. In the group we had two first time racers, Kailey and Steven. All of our races started within 5 minutes of each other so we were all just focused on warming up and getting to the start line. The Women’s B/Cs were last of our group to go and Kailey, Emily, and I rolled out just as the sun was starting to come through the clouds.

The course is a little over a 14 mile loop with a bit of false flat in the beginning followed by a small climb, two short descents, and then rollers for the rest of the loop. Everyone in our team did the loop twice, except for Gio, whose race did it three times.

The whistle blew and the other ladies and I rolled out. For about the first 2 miles I was near the front of the group with some UCSD girls, and we were keeping a good pace. Quickly, though, I came to realise that these UCSD girls could fucking lay it down. This realization occurred at the same time that I began to feel the effects of a semester and a half’s worth of tacos and In-N-Out. I knew this wasn’t a pace I would be able to sustain so I dropped back further into the group until I found my teammate Emily. I looked for Kailey but didn’t see her in the rest of the group. Emily and I sat in the middle of the pack for another few miles until we slowly began to fall off the back. As we approached the climb we could see the rest of the group start to slow, then about a quarter of the way up the climb the UCSD girls hit the gas and that was the last we saw of our group for the rest of the race.

You may think, “Wow, getting dropped within the first quarter of the race? That sucks…” but oh contraire! Though the race was over for the two of us, Emily and I were still able to enjoy a good training ride. Not the mention the scenery was amazing and the weather gorgeous. Instead of beating ourselves up over a less than impressive performance,  we focused on just making the rest of the ride count.

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Zero complaints here.

Somewhere into the start of the second loop, a girl from UCLA who had also gotten dropped caught up to us. The three of us worked together for the next 10 miles or so, chatting while we took turns pulling and keeping up a good pace. When we got to the start of the climb again, she unfortunately fell off the back and we didn’t see her again.

When we finally crossed the finish line Kailey and Steven were already back at the cars. Kailey had apparently gone down after hitting a pothole on one of the descents on the first lap (the roads were probably the only less than ideal part of the race). She was a total champion though and somehow magically only sustained a minor bruise on her leg! What a trooper. CIBK is proud.

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Post-Race injury evaluation with unofficial nurse/medic, Emily.

Steven’s first race went well, he finished with a group of a few other riders. Way to go, Steven!

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Cool guy Steven chilling after his race.

There was a minor moment of panic when I thought we were going to have to go look for Gio because no one knew where he was. I thought, “Great, I already lost one and it’s only the first race…” But then we saw him cross the finish line with the other Cs and realized they had done 3 laps. Yay ! No one went missing!

Day 2

Sunday was the criterium in Goleta. Gio’s race was first at 7:30am so I took him early while the rest of the crew got an extra hour of sleep. Soon the rest of the team started to materialize around the time Gio’s race started.

The sunshine of yesterday was long gone, and a few minutes into the Men’s C race, it started to sprinkle. Gio had a good race and finished with the group. Woohoo!

The next race was the Women’s B/C. Emily and Kailey opted to do a clinic hosted by professional cyclist named Mary Maroon. She is really rad and was actually one of the pros at our WCCWCC training camp in the fall! They worked on some balancing skills and other drills. Thanks Mary!

After a rainy warm up I got to the start line. The whistle blew and I had some trouble clipping in. The rain made it hard to see and I spent the first few laps trying to get to the front of the pack thinking I was way behind but in fact I was just trying to chase down the same group of UCSD girls from yesterday. When I realized it was them on the front I backed off and the rest of the group started to form behind me.

The biggest hurdle was seeing through the rain. Personally, I like racing in the rain but sometimes the other riders get a little backed off.

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Who knew umbrellas made you so popular?

The UCLA girl from yesterday, Sandra, and I were working together and pulling for most of the race, pushing the pace a little bit. At this point it was raining hard. Eventually the UCSD girls lapped the rest of the group. Briefly, towards the end of the race, Lisa, a girl from UCSB attacked but I was already pulling and was unable to get on her wheel. Soon the group caught up to her though. At about 2 laps to go Sandra and I picked up the pace and I started to feel like I was going to puke. I made a half hearted attempt at break but I was starting to burnout and the rest of the group had a little fresher set of legs. On the last turn I didn’t have anymore left and they whizzed past me for the finish.

And of course, as soon as we were done, the rain stopped.

Ian and Steven were in the next race. Again, this was Steven’s first time racing a crit. Something weird happened with his race and it got cut kind of short, but nonetheless he had a great time and said he like crits way more than road races (hell yeah!).

All in all it was a great weekend of racing, and bikes, and just being with awesome and supportive people. Emily and I had a really nice ride on Saturday and ended up making a friend who I was able to work with on Sunday’s race. Kudos to Emily and Kailey for also getting on their bikes in the rain on Sunday to ride with Mary!

Kailey showed her grit and courage in getting to the start line and just going for it. Oh and did I mention she has only been riding for less than a month? Get it, girl.

Steven raced both days on a bike he had never sat on before, one with gears and brakes even! He mostly trains on a fixie and picked up his bike from Newbury Park Bikes approximately 12 hours before the race on Friday night.

Ian came out to support Saturday and tried his guts out in his race on Sunday in a group of quick riders.

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Gio always ready with a thumbs up.

Gio is a champ and he and his quads of the gods did CIBK proud in both of his races. Not to mention his constant optimistic spirit is always great to have on the team!

 I could not have been more proud as a Team Captain. Everyone kept a great attitude the whole weekend and that made all the difference. I also want to thank everyone for being organized and on the same page. Everyone worked really hard and didn’t complain despite having some pretty early mornings and long days. You guys are the best and I can’t wait for more this season!

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See ya’ll in Santa Cruz!

-Ondine

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