2002 Florida Challenge HPRA race results - Recumbent and HPV racing
HPRA Florida Challenge 2002 Race Results
Feb 23rd 2002, Cooper City, FL.

Thanks to Shari Bernhard for organizing and directing the race, and providing this report and the results!

Shari's Race Report

Name Num Class 200m Flying Sprint Last Man Out 30 minute
1 KM TT  Overall Points/Place
Bryan Ball 326 Stock 13.93 secs
31.90 mph
2nd 51.325 laps 1:31.07
24.56 mph
Mike Kring 377 Stock 17.58 secs
25.27 mph
4th 41.5 laps 1:50.69
20.20 mph
Ray Brick 357 Stock 16.70 secs
26.61 mph
6th 45.875 laps  1:51.07
20.14 mph
Jose Hernandez 342 Stock 17.73 secs
25.06 mph
7th 40.625 laps  1:56.74
19.16 mph
Jim Wilson 399 Stock 15.55 secs
28.57 mph
1st 51.625 laps DNR 118/5th
Jim Ossa 328 Stock 15.01 secs
29.61 mph
3rd 50.0 laps  DNR 114/6th
Jim Scozzafava 367 Stock 17.10 secs
25.98 mph
5th 49.125 laps DNR 109/7th
Dennis Sootkoos 326 Stock 19.45 secs
22.84 mph
8th 39.5 laps DNR 96/8th
Sergio Agramonte 330 Stock 17.94 secs
24.77 mph
10th DNR DNR 63/9th
Rudy Chapman 331 Stock 18.89 secs
25.52 mph
9th DNR DNR 63/9th
Alan Criado 329 Stock 16.37 secs
27.15 mph
DNR DNR  DNR 37/11th
Cleve Watkins  204 Super
18.14 secs
24.66 mph
1st 42.25 laps 1:40.93
22.16 mph
Joseph Brooks 217 Super
18.69 secs
23.93 mph
3rd 41.0 laps
Mark Cooper 222 Super
16.20 secs
27.4 mph
2nd DNR DNR 78/3rd
Peter Noris 224 Super
15.30 secs
29.04 mph
DNR DNR DNR 40/4th
Ray Brick
Sharie Brick
709 Multi
14.97 secs
29.68 mph
DNR 35.625 laps 1:29.69
24.94 mph
Shari Bernhard
Dennis Sootkoos
748 Multi
17.15 secs
25.91 mph
DNR DNR DNR 39/2nd
Jay Hoover 112 Super
14:97 secs
29.88 mph
DNR 46.5 laps  1:37.03
23.05 mph
Alan Jarrett 888 Streamliner 14.48 secs
30.89 mph 
 DNR 41.25 laps DNR  80/1st
Sharie Brick 809 Streamliner 18.33 secs
24.24 mph
DNR DNR  DNR  39/2nd
Shari Bernhard 648 Women 19.63 secs
22.79 mph
1st 39.25 laps 1:48.49
20.61 mph
Sharie Brick 601 Women 21.30 secs
20.86 mph
2nd DNR DNR  78/2nd
 Kevin Hernandez 508 Junior 16.34 secs
27.19 mph
DNR  22 laps
DNR 80/1st

Race Report
The weather reports were decidedly not good. February 23, 2002 was forecasted for a 100% chance of rain. However, this is South Florida - 100% chance of rain does not mean that it's going to rain 100% of the time. It means that there is a 100% chance that at some point, for some amount of time, it will rain somewhere in the area. That was my story and I was sticking to it as the emails and calls came in.

It rained during the night, and there was still a slight drizzle as I loaded up my van with bikes and gear for the race. By the time I got to Brian Piccolo Park, it stopped, but it was still threatening with roiling black clouds that billowed in every direction. I wanted to cry.

I got to the park about 7:20 am, met with my buddy Fritz "Wrench Central" Mueller and Carlos Laborde, manager of the Velodrome. Carlos warned me that in the case of rain, there should be no riders on the track. It was extremely slippery when wet. We took a walk over to the Criterium track, a .6 mile oval with a long straightaway with a 200M distance marked out, just in case. As we walked back to the Velodrome, the sky actually started clearing ever so slightly. Dare I hope?

Cyclists were starting to gather and unload their bikes. Fritz, Carlos, my friend Dennis Sootkoos and a couple of others headed into the Velodrome infield to move the tents off the soaking wet grass onto the paved area between the inside warm-up track and the main lap track. We got tables set up, the PA system up and running, and score sheets arranged while riders began to register and tech inspections got underway. The skies were holding.

By 9:30 am, it looked like fate was on my side. The track was, by now, completely dry since it has stopped raining a couple of hours earlier. Heather Fortner, a new member of my bike club, had come to assist me with running the race. She proved to be an invaluable asset, keeping things going smoothly and doing her best to keep me calm, not an easy feat, I can tell you.

As 10 am approached, I announced that the races were about to start and told all racers to get ready. Some were on the warm-up track, others were still fiddling with equipment and attaching numbers. I decided to start with the 200M Flying Sprint to give the slowpokes time to get in gear. One by one the racers blasted around the track. Despite the wind, we had some notable times

Bryan Ball, Editor in Chief of BentRiderOnLine.com took the top prize with a blistering 31.90 mph speed to complete 200M in 13.93 seconds. That was remarkable, but the big hit of the track was our only Junior Class rider, Kevin Hernandez, 14 years old and racing a Challenge Taifun which he received just one week before the race. He blasted around the track in 16.34 seconds for a sprint speed of 27.19 mph. The lad is a natural and we're looking forward to watching him take top honors in his racing class in every event he does.

The clouds were still teasing us, so I thought it best to do the 30 minute timed race next. We did this in two groups, the large stock class in one heat, and all the other classes in the second heat. The first group finished without incident. I raced in the second group, and after about 5 minutes, a light, steady rain started up. Within the one lap, 4 riders went down like they were riding through eel poop on ice. As I approached the timing area, I pulled off and told Heather to call the race, and bring the riders in.

Ten minutes later, the rain stopped completely, and with the wind blowing in from the south, within another 10 minutes the track was dry. We resumed at the start line from the time we stopped, leaving about 25 minutes in the race. Unfortunately, Sharie Brick, not realizing we were continuing, had left the track and loaded her bike up in her van. Another disappointment was that Kevin, one of the riders who had gone down when the rain started, had to bail with a mechanical problem. The fall had weakened the spokes on his front wheel and five of them sheared off after 22 laps.

The rains stayed away the whole rest of our time on the Velodrome. The next race was Last Man out, followed by the 1 KM (3 lap) time trial. Right after I announced the end of the races and thanked everyone for coming, and thanked the volunteers for their assistance, it started to rain, right on cue.

Twenty-four racers, family and volunteers attended the awards dinner that evening. Bryan Ball won the GeeBee Bicycles Stock Sprint winner, and Kevin Hernandez was awarded the Challenge Taifun, slightly used, by Garrie Hill. The look on Kevin's face when I announced his award was priceless.

Sunday morning dawned clear and sunny, chilly and windy. In attendance for the Tour de Broward were racers Ray and Sharie Brick, Cleve Watkins, Mike Kring, my bike club friends Conni on her Stratus and Matt on the token upright (a classic Cinelli), and my husband Jeff on my V-Rex. I was on my Screamer with Nick Sortal, a reporter with the Sun-Sentinel newspaper, as stoker. Nick spent several hours at the race the day before, interviewing people for an article on recumbents, and he wanted to ride a recumbent himself so he could write from experience. He did quite well, and since he's in good shape from running, basketball and cycling, he didn't have much trouble with the 28-mile distance.

I want to thank all the racers for participating and supporting the event, the volunteers, especially Heather, who was instrumental in keeping things humming, and experienced racers Ray Brick and Bryan Ball who helped me with details I couldn't remember or had overlooked. Thank you to all the spectators who helped with lap counting for the timed race, and to Sean Wentzell from Atlantic Bicycle for manning the stopwatch. Thanks also to our sole exhibitor, Paulo Camasmie, from Orlando, FL, who brought along his new product, the Catrike (a fast and nimble trike which many people enjoyed test riding), and to Mark and Linda from PowerOn Cycling in Valrico, FL, for attending and showing support.

A multitude of thanks also to the sponsors: Atlantic Bicycle (three generous gift certificates), PowerOn Cycling (two generous gift certificates and two beautiful water bottle cages with quality bottles, the South Broward Wheelers Bicycle Club for donating 7 T-shirts, GeeBee Bicycles for the Stock Sprint Award, and BentRiderOnLine for a generous cash donation which I used to offset cost of the awards dinner for all who were able to attend. GeeBee also donated the Taifun to Kevin.

I hope more racers will attend next year. I promise it won't rain.

-Shari Bernhard

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