San Bruno Hill Climb Masters 55+ Report
By Jim Langley
Photos by Sam Parker, Michael Hernandez and Kevin Kone
Please see Mark Edwards' excellent race coverage below for a complete report of the team's outstanding performance at San Bruno, to kick-off our '09 racing season. Team Bike Trip had 2 racers entered in the 55+ event, myself and Gary Griffin. Unfortunately, our other ace, Larry Broberg was sidelined with a hip fracture suffered while mountain biking (rumor has it he's recovering nicely, though).
We ultrageezers - as Michael Hernandez dubbed us on the NorCal Cycling News blog, rolled out just behind the 45+ group and were quickly strung out on the opening section of the climb, which is one of the steeper parts. For me this meant leap-frogging from small group to small group while I marked Ron LeBard who I thought was my main threat having been so soundly trounced by him last year in the Mt. Diablo Hill Climb. We easily distanced our field and even dropped former San Bruno champ Scott Hennessy, who we found out later was coming back from a bad flu.
Nearing the top (photo), Ron started to slow and I felt good so I pushed it across the line hoping I had won the race. But, as the fog cleared a bit, I could clearly see another 55+ guy standing there and knew he (Mac Carey) had won, putting me in second. Ron finished just behind for 3rd. Gary was only a couple of minutes back, 11th out of the 20 starters (sorry, I couldn't find a photo of Gary to post here).
The highlight for me was getting into the 17-minute club - and feeling like I might have been able to shave a few more seconds had I known a target was hiding ahead in the thick fog. Congratulations to all the Bike Trippers who made this San Bruno Hill Climb the most memorable of the 3 I've attending with the team so far. Awesome job!