|Roll Through Wine Country
Napa, CA - June 19, 1999
This was the first time that skaters were allowed on the right
side of the road with traffic in two years. However, the CHP still
would not allow skaters to use the traffic lane, forcing skaters
to remain on the right shoulder at all times. Since the CHP did
not consider the event a race, they would only allow skaters to
depart Napa in packs of 15 spaced 2 minutes apart.
There were more pro skaters than could fit in one pack. Dan Burger
(Twincam), Joe Prescott (SDSE), and I (Howard) started in the
second pack. This group worked together for most of the race with
no breakaway attempts. Dan and I tried to push the pace when we
pulled in an effort to gain time on the lead pack. Although we
never caught the lead pack, we picked up most of the skaters who
were dropped from that pack.
When the final turn-off was in sight, Dan's turn to pull came up.
He took advantage of it by making a break. I pursued while the
rest of pack was caught sleeping. After making the right turn, Dan
had tired from leading me out. I successfully sprinted past him
for the finish. Joe finished with our chase pack.
In the lead pack, Dane Lewis (Hyper) broke away towards the end
to finish two minutes ahead of the chase pack. Helle Carlsen
(Kryptonics) started with our pack and therefore finished first
with an outstanding time. The other pro women started in a pack of
their own but did not skate as fast.
Congratulations to new SDSE skaters Andy Pele, Brandon Thorsten,
and Jake Jacobs for finishing their first Napa race. Bob Minami
finished first in his class. Sandra de Bruyn was tired from
touring San Francisco the previous day, including the Friday Night
Roll, and took the race as a fun roll. And thanks to Leondra Baker
for running car support while out recovering from an injury. SDSE
had 7 competitors at this event, more than any other team.
We had the traditional post-race barbeque at the campground up
the road from the finish. There, we reviewed the race and overall
the event went well. Look for another Roll Through Wine Country