Wednesday, April 30, 2008


If you race in the Bay Area you've either had your head in the sand or been completely ignorant if you haven't heard of the Cat's Hill race. For me, I didn't race it last year as it was my first year of competitive racing and I was somewhat hesitant to take on crits. Now with a few more races under my belt and the realization that I like more technical crits I've decided to give this race a shot.

Much like a moth being attracted to light, I feel the need to do this race, if not for more than being able to look back and say, "Yeah, I raced Cat's Hill...and that hill will kill you!". Who knows if I'll like it or if I put it on the shelf with a few other races where I just let them pass by on the calendar every year, but we'll soon find out. It seems like those who love this race really, really love it; and those who don't like it stay far away.

But the best thing about this race is the proximity to my house and the kid's race. Last year I brought the family over and we had a great time. I felt bad for some parents behind me in the registration line because we were the last folks allowed to register. Yeah, if they had this registration on Sportsbaseonline (which is used for about 95% of the races I do for online registration) this race would sell out within 10 minutes! This year I'll go over early and get the kiddies registered.

Even more amazing was the fact that one kid who had the same bike as my son had a mechanical at the start line. I don't think it was due to the little guy putting out 1,500+ watts, but he broke his chain as he was lining up for the start. The father was bummed, but the kid didn't really care too much.

It probably was safer anyway for the kid as the start of that race was almost as hectic as a Cat 5 start heading into a tight turn 1. This year I'll tell my kids, "Use your superior endurance to let the kids at the front flame out in the first 100 meters, then drop the hammer. Kill them with the excess lactic acid spewing out of your exhausts as you blast by!". Ok, probably the wrong strategy, but silly nonetheless. I'll just give them a kiss, tell them to be safe, and make it through the finish line in one piece.


velogirl said...

do the kids actually climb the hill?

Tall & Manley said...

We send the kids down the hill!!!

No, just kidding. Thanks goodness, or else you'd see a pile of small people all banged up at the bottom of the hill.

The kids race runs backwards on the course. They start at turn #1 and proceed down to the start/finish line. Once they cross they each receive a medal and some high-fives from people. Good times.

Anonymous said...

That was my boy that had the mechanical last year. He fared much better this year. You're right, I was disappointed, but mostly because I was the one who had gotten him amped-up for the big day. Wasn't really sure how he would react. In the end he was happy with his medal and we spent the rest of the day on the Hill watching the Pros.

Curious: what incident was so severe at this year's race that its burned into your mind?


Tall & Manley said...

Wayne, can you job my memory on my 'burned in my mind' comment? I'm getting old and need help remembering :)

Anonymous said...

You mentioned in your report of this years cats hill race. Which, by the way, was a lot of fun. Almost the most fun i've had on a bike.


Tall & Manley said...

Ah, now I remember. On several occasions I got caught behind slow riders on the hill. The specific incident I detailed in the report was how one guy literally came to a complete stop in front of me halfway up the hill. When I dodged him it felt like one of those slow motion replays you see on TV. Things here happening so fast in the race, but for 3 seconds time seemed to stand still as I dodged potential doom.

Anonymous said...

crazy...momentum is your friend.