Postcards From Boulevard

by Arlyn on February 8, 2009

My friend Mark drove an hour east of San Diego just so he could stand in the freezing cold, rain and snow to get these pictures of us. He is the man! Thanks Mark!

Click on any photo to view a larger version.

Lead group on the first lap

This is the lead group on the first lap. There are three Descenders here and you can see Rick smiling. Everyone else is grimacing.

Arlyn struggles to maintain contact on lap 1

Here I am at the same spot. I’m struggling to maintain contact with Voris (in the clear poncho).

It was really cool seeing Mark on the race course

It was cool having Mark on the course, it really lifted my spirits and gave me another reason to leave it all on the road.

Lone rider in no-man's land

This is a great shot of an unknown rider in no-man’s land.

Lead group beginning climbing in second lap

The lead group (with three Descenders on the front) beginning lap two climbing. Logan looks great here.

Arlyn begins climbing in the second lap

Me at the same spot, searching for my legs.

Just starting to rain

Trying to strike a pose for the cameraman – did it work?

Arlyn starts to feel a little better

Tucked and aerodynamic, just starting to feel better. This is when I realized I could start catching people.

Arlyn on the nose of a chase group

I’m on the front of our chase group, climbing the last bits on La Posta Road. Dave (behind me) is getting ready to jump out and hammer downhill. Also, there’s Yellow-Jersey-Guy (Josh).

Down comes the snow

Big, wet, sloppy flakes – I love this photo of the four of us. I had no idea Blue-Jersey-Guy was back there.

Fulfilling a dream

I’ve always wanted to chuck a bottle like the pros. I don’t know why, just because it seemed cool.

Arlyn approaches the finish

Coming into the finish, I had nothing left for the sprint. Voris and Josh (Yellow-Jersey-Guy) duked it out for 20th and 21st, leaving me 22nd.

Arlyn at the finish line

The end of my first road race. I’m proud of my results knowing that I gave it my all and left everything on the road.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

uncadan8 February 9, 2009 at 6:50 am

Congratulations, Arlyn! That’s awesome! Looks like you were having a good time out there, and by good time, I mean it looks like you left it all on the road, got exhausted, hurt a bit, and looked forward to the end. HA!

Arlyn February 9, 2009 at 7:28 am

Thanks Dan, it was a great day and I’m still sore this morning to prove it.

Barry February 9, 2009 at 5:21 pm

Nice job on your first road race. And great job on the photos Mark. So, what did you learn and what will you do different next time, before and during the race? Taking body type out of it, what separated you from number 17 & 12? Things to ponder. Not to take away from Mark’s comment (“do you want it enough?”), but want is a weak term. We all “want”, but only so many of us actually get what we set our sights on. I am not talking about wanting to attain a lofty goal such as winning the Tour, or something like wanting to win the lottery, but reachable goals. Certainly 17th or 12th in a similar field during similar conditions is an attainable goal for you. Do you want it enough? Yes you do, you showed up and gave at least 100%. Remember, you said it best, to be a road racer, you have to be a road racer. Are you willing to do what it takes, maybe that is the real question?

Arlyn February 9, 2009 at 5:57 pm

Great questions Barry.

What separated me from 17th or 12th? Training, commitment to racing and experience were all factors. And I don’t think bike racing is for those seeking instant gratification – it takes time to improve. Especially when you’re pushing 40 with a job and a family.

Am I willing to do what it takes to be a road racer? Depends on the definition, I suppose. I’ve been mulling that over quite a bit since Saturday. More on that soon.

Scott February 11, 2009 at 12:44 pm

Congrats on showing up and competing. What a hard, cold day in the saddle. The pics are spectacular, especially the snowy ones.

You can’t beat yourself up for not winning; the competition included some big players!
Velonews coverage

Scott February 11, 2009 at 12:50 pm

I just noticed that the Velonews article was written and shot by Mark Johnson – is that the same Mark that’s also your friend?

Arlyn February 11, 2009 at 1:14 pm

@Scott, thanks, it was a cold, hard day. Mark did do a fantastic job and probably wishes he was a writer for Velonews, but is sadly just a software engineer like me.

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