THERE'S A RACE FOR EVERYONE.Byline: SUSAN WILLIS
So you're on the cusp, weighing your ability as a mountain bicyclist and deciding if you're good enough to compete.
The last thing you want is a cutthroat cut·throat
1. A murderer, especially one who cuts throats.
2. An unprincipled, ruthless person.
3. A cutthroat trout.
1. Cruel; murderous.
2. , winner-take-all affair that may turn you off racing before the end of the first mile.
For a friendly, yet competitive event with enough categories in ability and age to make everybody happy, consider the fifth annual California Mountain Bike Challenge on April 20 and 21 at Castaic Lake Castaic Lake is a lake on Castaic Creek formed by Castaic Dam, in northwestern Los Angeles County, California, near the town of Castaic. The 323,700 acre foot lake (399,000,000 m³) is the terminus of the West Branch of the California Aqueduct, though some comes from the 154 mi² . If bitten bit·ten
A past participle of bite.
the past participle of bite by the race bug, you may even opt to participate in the entire eight-race series, which uses venues from Snow Valley Ski Area to Mammoth Mountain Mammoth Mountain is a large lava dome complex that lies to the west of the town of Mammoth Lakes, California in the Inyo National Forest.
Mammoth Mountain is home to the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area which is notable in that it gets an unusually large amount of to Orinda to determine its state champions.
Last year's series produced seven area champs.
Tomarra Notch of Chatsworth, who won the women's pro/elite category - the top event - in just her third year of mountain bike racing The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) recognised the sport of mountain bike racing relatively late in 1990, when it sanctioned the world championships in Purgatory, Colorado. The first mountain biking world cup series took place in 1991. , said a series instead of a single race is the best way to decide a state champ.
``It's more exciting and challenging to have many races determine the champion rather than one finale where someone can peak and be crowned champ,'' Notch said.
If you think you can't participate because of lack of fitness, age or family commitment, think again. I signed up for five trials last year, had an excellent time and was surprised to find I placed fifth overall in my age group.
These races will get you in shape quickly, and there are a plethora plethora /pleth·o·ra/ (pleth´ah-rah)
1. an excess of blood.
2. by extension, a red florid complexion.pletho´ric
1. of categories to choose from, all of which have a cross-country and a downhill element. The men's side is split into 22 divisions based on ability (pro/elite, expert, sport and beginner) and age (from 12 through 14 to grand masters 55 and older). The women have 10 slots. There is even a Clydesdale division for riders over 200 pounds.
Newbury Park's Dermot Carroll has been crowned series champ in the expert category, ages 35 to 44, the past two seasons, all while working full time and raising a young son with his wife, Beth.
He works out in a clever manner and doesn't overdo it. Cross-training on road bikes helps his speed, endurance and momentum on the hills.
``I learned to take days off, and I ride how I feel,'' said Carroll, nicknamed by fellow racers The Derminator for his crushing hill-climbing ability. ``If feeling tired, I'll rest or spin - use a low gear, not a muscle gear and turn my legs over quickly in fast cadence cadence, in music, the ending of a phrase or composition. In singing the voice may be raised or lowered, or the singer may execute elaborate variations within the key. .''
Last year's other area champs are: Dustin Householder of Agoura Hills, sport, ages 19-24; Larry Niday, Reseda, sport, 25-29; Steve Bird, Sherman Oaks, sport, 45-54; Bruce Gustafson, Thousand Oaks Thousand Oaks, residential city (1990 pop. 104,352), Ventura co., S Calif., in a farm area; inc. 1964. Avocados, citrus, vegetables, strawberries, and nursery products are grown. , beginner, 25-29; and Stefanie Woodmansee, junior, 12-18.
These races are somewhat unusual in that they provide as much entertainment and fun for the racer racer, name for several related swift, slender snakes, especially those of the genus Coluber. All of the racers are nonpoisonous, nonconstricting, day-active snakes. The black racer, C. as the non-racer. Each event has a free kids-only race open to ages 11 and younger. Fun rides open to all - even first-time mountain bikers - are scheduled the day before many of the competitions.
Event director Michael Epstein has seen the number of riders in the series rise from 4,815 in 1994 to 6,878 last year. He attributes the jump to a general increase in popularity of the sport and the family atmosphere of the series.
Epstein has designed it with destination in mind, often situating a race close to a camping area and providing such diversions as rock-climbing walls and remote-controlled cars for the kids.
But don't be fooled into thinking that the series is inconsequential in·con·se·quen·tial
1. Lacking importance.
2. Not following from premises or evidence; illogical.
A triviality. . It attracts big names like Olympic mountain biking mountain biking Sports medicine A sport in which participants use specialized bicycles to navigate rough, steep trails covered with unforgiving rocks Injury risk Concussions, fractures, death. See Extreme sport, Novelty seeking behavior. hopeful David ``Tinker'' Juarez of Sugarloaf, who last year placed first at the Pan-American Games Pan-American games, amateur athletic competition among representatives of countries in the Western Hemisphere. The competition, held every four years, follows the organization and eligibility rules of the Olympic games and is held in the year before the Olympics in and fourth in cross-country at the World Championships. Area fans can see him compete in the series Sept. 29 at Castaic Lake.
What's it going to take to win?
``First, carefully pick your race schedule and race as many events as possible,'' Epstein said. ``Be extremely fit, because the series is extremely competitive. And have good equipment, because a mechanical (failure) will put you out.''
Oh, and one other thing: Do all your own maintenance during the race. Help from anyone will also put you out.
MEMO: Susan Willis' cycling column appears monthly in the Daily News.
For more information on the California Mountain Bike Challenge, call the race hot line, (818) 707-8867. Fees range from $25 to $37 per race, depending on when you sign up.
Photo: (1--color) Tomarra Notch of Chatsworth, who won t he women's pro/elite category - the top event - is in just her third year of mountain bike racing.
(2) Dermott Carroll, left, Dustin Householder, Bruce Gustafson and Larry Niday were champs last year.
Tina Gerson / Daily News