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Hans1It has been really fun racing time trials for the past few years. I like the challenge of the time trial. There is no one else except me against the clock. I also like the ambiance of the time trial, which is very different than mass start races. Time trials have such a positive atmosphere. I also like the camaraderie which exists with teammates who are all focused on the same goals. Since I've been time trialing, I have had the opportunity to race with some great teammates. There have been several, but Paul L, Hans J, Carl M, Tom E, and "Pastor" Bob B have been the main ones. It has been a pleasure to race with each one.

Last Sunday, as I crossed the finish line at the Piru ITT, I couldn't help but thinking about racing with Hans over the past few years. As many of you know, Hans moved this week to his new home in Oregon and we probably won't have the chance to ride with Hans that often. So, I thought I would take a few lines to share some good times I've had with Hans as a way of saying thanks.

 

In thinking back, while it was Carl who first got me to race against the clock on the tandem, it was Hans who really taught me to time trial. It was with Hans that I did my first TTT and ITT. Hans impressed on me the importance of meticulous preparation, specific training, and thorough warm-up. Hans helped me with decisions on equipment and positioning. And it was with Hans that I had the fortune to pull on a State Championship jersey in the team time trial.

Hans2I still remember how in my first team time trial I did not warm-up at all and consequently was not able to put down power as I should have, which, we all agree, cost us a State jersey as we lost by only 8 seconds. So with that behind us, at the next TTT, Hans made me set my bike up on a trainer right next to him and said, "Get on the bike and do exactly what I do." That is how I learned to warm-up, and thankfully, I had an opportunity later to make amends for that gaff.

I have had the great pleasure of being there each time Hans won a State Championship jersey. I clearly remember both of his State ITT wins. At the first one, we were at the Lancaster course and he was just so very pleased that all of his years of work had resulted in a "Bear Flag" jersey. It made all of the hard work mean so much more. It also gave all of us encouragement as well.

His next State ITT win came at the Lake Los Angeles course against a deep and talented field. When the results were posted, I waded through the riders crowding around the result board and saw that Hans won it. I yelled, "Hans, you won!" But Hans was nowhere to be found because he did not think he had beaten the other top guys. As I ran around looking, I saw him down the road walking his dog (as the family had come with him that day). I will not easily forget the look on his face when he heard me exclaim that he had won! It was great to see his reaction. I truly enjoyed delivering that news.

Hans3The day that we got our State jersey together, Hans and I raced in the mixed 4-man TTT at the Lancaster course with Sherri Norton and Margaret Human. We were the last mixed team to go before the 4-man men's teams. We rode at up to 30 MPH on the 12 mile downwind leg as we passed a couple of the mixed teams. When we turned back into the wind, we had 13 miles to go back to the finish line with Hans and I doing a two man rotation at 26 MPH into a strong headwind with the girls sitting behind us.

The remarkable thing about that race was that we passed all of the remaining mixed teams while holding off the men's teams. None of the men's teams passed us, even though there was one men's team just a few seconds off of us at the turn around. Of course we weren't in their race, but it was really satisfying to hold them off, 2 men against 4. I just remember that Hans was a beast that day. It is also a great memory of Sherri!

This year, many of us were there as Hans and Keith P (friend of Canyon Velo who we have raced with several times) won their two man State TTT at Lake Los Angeles.

We have had a good run, with a lot of fun along the way, at races and also on all of the training rides, too many to count.

Hans4Now, I suppose I can't end this piece without mentioning the time at the Lake Los Angeles State TTT, when Pastor Bob and I blindly followed Hans at 30 MPH into and across the biggest pot hole I have ever seen (or felt)! I think the sound of my wheels breaking can still be heard reverberating around the high desert! Amazingly, we persevered and finished that race, albeit out of the running for medals. It was a testimony to the commitment we all had to compete together come what may.

Finally, I just want to say thanks to Hans for the fun, for the instruction, for the coaching, for the encouragement, and for the great memories. Hans, I hope you truly enjoy your new environs and I hope we have an opportunity to ride together again soon!

 

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