Sunday, May 06, 2012

Wente Vineyards Classic Criterium

The Sunday after the Wente Vineyards Classic Road Race, instead of going home after breakfast John and I stayed a while longer in Livermore so we could watch the criterium. On this rare occasion, John was at a bike race not to compete in it, but to simply be a spectator--which he truly enjoyed.

First we went to breakfast at the Railroad Cafe, a cute old-timey restaurant not far from the restaurant row on First Street. On the left is a sampler plate from the breakfast menu; ideal if you're not super hungry and can't make up your mind between sweet or savory.  The plate on the right is a half order of Eggs Benedict.  Both were yum-yum!!
We arrived at the race just in time to watch the Master 35+ Cat 4 Men finish and then the Juniors 15-16/17-18 age category were next.  As the race officials called for a "junior roll out", I learned something I never knew about the term.  I had thought it was casual race jargon.  You see gear restrictions apply to all junior cyclists in events conducted under USA Cycling.  The restriction is on their bike's gear sizing and those in the junior category must use lower gears than those who are not to prevent knee injuries.  This gear size is measured by the distance one revolution of the crank arm will propel the bicycle (using the big chain ring in the front and smallest cog in the back) and is known as the 'roll out'.  All competitors are required to satisfy a roll out if they're 18 years or younger.  If a competitor meets the requirements, they are clear to race with a mark on their bib by an official.
John to the rescue!
A competitor who does not meet the gear restriction is not allowed to race and sure enough, one of the junior racers didn't meet the requirements.  I can only imagine his little heart sinking as he looked around, somewhat stunned as the other junior cyclists lined up at the start line.  So much nervousness, excitement, and anticipation for this event and he was not allowed to race.  Fortunately John was nearby and quickly assisted the young man who, consequently, was given the 'OK' to race after a second and successful roll out.
The venue of the race was great. Besides the Botts' dots in the middle of the road (they're round raised pavement markers used to divide lanes), the course was otherwise safe with beautiful surrounding fields.  There were some wildlife scurrying on and around the course...foxes, ducks, and an egret to name a few.  This link has more photos of the Wente Vineyards Classic Criterium.
Finally it was time to head home. The drive is always beautiful and I can't help but take photos of the snow capped mountains and the Truckee Meadows River winding its way along the freeway and through Reno.  It was a great race weekend!
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