Sunday, January 24, 2010


Wow. I sure made good on that promise! I have been off the bike due to injury for the last couple of months. I am dying to get back at it. Not bring able to ride has made me a pretty dull boy! I seem to be on the mend though and hope to be slowly getting back to the pedals in the next few weeks so stay tuned!

Monday, November 9, 2009

It's Been A While

Posts coming soon....promise...

Saturday, August 15, 2009


I wish that I could say that the picture above is me! You can't really tell from this view but that is a total drop of about 12-15 feet! And that would be my friend Drew Rohde making it look easy! Last Sunday the boys from the shop took me downhilling! Drew has an extra bike that he let me borrow, so he, I, Jordan and Twig went to Suicide! Suicide is a trail that is right above my house and I had rode/hiked up it once. It is definitely a downhill trail. They decided it best that we push the bikes up the actual trail instead of the easier way to the top so 1. I could see it and 2. Drew could teach/show Jordan the faster lines down. Seeing the trail on the way up had me a little freaked out! I starting to wonder if I could do this? We finally made it to the top and I said a prayer and I was off. It was so NOT as scary going down! The big rock gardens and drops were totally smaller as you flew down them! I did get off at one drop that I did not feel comfortable with. A quick remount and I caught up with Jordan. I was able to then match his speed the rest of the way down! It took us over an hour to push the 35+ pound bikes up the hill and only about 10 minutes? to get down! It was so much fun. Drew and I hiked back up a quarter of the way and hit the bottom section again. He is scary fast! As much fun as it is...I don't think I will ever get too deep into it. Too much risk and way too much money!!

So are you ready for the carnage story? Thursday one of our reps brought us in two SWEET demo bikes to use for three weeks! I will write a review in the next week or so! So Mike and I decided that Sycamore Canyon would be the ideal place to put these bikes to the test. I text messaged him yesterday that I would be bringing both bikes so all he needed to bring was his pedals and a pedal wrench. We were set to meet at the trail head at 7:30 and when he showed he did not bring his pedals! He jumped back in the car for his 20 minute each way drive! Once he finally arrived we set up the bikes and were off down the trail.

It being Saturday it was pretty busy and after we dropped down the "black ?itch" we watched a lady in front of us EAT IT HARD! She seemed to of just slightly get off the edge of the trail and WHAM! We stopped and tried to help/comfort her and her husband whom seemed in shock as well. She took the brunt of the crash to her right elbow and may have possibly broke something? They told us that there was nothing more that we could do so we took off. We headed to the Sin Ombre trail and luckily (or maybe unluckily?) passed a very large group of slow riders into the beginning of the roller coaster of a trail. Everything was flowing great (famous last words) and on the last swooping left downhill turn into the next all went horribly wrong. In hindsight I believe it was a mixture of way too high of tire pressure and a little too much speed. I started to drift and I drifted right into an off camber rut that twisted me. It seemed like it was slow motion as it happened but to be honest I only remember drifting than hitting the ground HARD.

I hate to admit that the first thing that I was scared about was whether or not I ruined my brand new Chain Gang Kit? As I looked down I saw the blood...everywhere. OK maybe not everywhere but there was enough! I screamed to Mike and he headed back towards me. I picked up the bike and quickly realized that it did not roll! I had pretty much taco'ed the wheels! Luckily Mike had some mad skills and after about 30 minutes of spoke tightening/loosening, rim pounding and bending, I was able to wobble back onto the trail. Again, I will review the bikes later next week but for a little info Mike was riding the BELT driven singlespeed 29'er and I was on the 1x9 29'er but rode it as a singlespeed in order to level the playing field!

My body was pretty sore but I was able to push hard! We climbed Sage Trail then dropped into Wood Canyon. Guadalajasco was the next climb and it was awesome on the singlespeed! We passed a few people as we had no other choice than to push the only gear we had! We made it to the top and I was ready for some downhill! We dropped Backbone and these bikes just flowed down that! It was a stoke for sure! We headed back up 2 foxes to Sin Ombre than up the paved road to the bottom of the "Black ?itch." Mike and I were both dreading this climb as it's a doozy! I REALLY wanted to beat Mike so I stayed with him most of the way up. I felt that about 3/4's of the way up would be a good time to "go" and I tried. He must of been anticipating it because he turned it on as well and gapped me by about 15 feet. I put absolutely everything I had into catching him and as I locked onto his back wheel he hit the gas again and I......had nothing left. With about 200 feet to go, he dropped me! UGGGHHH! So close! He chuckled and had a good laugh!

I took the bikes back to the shop and begged Tony (the mechanic) with lunch in order to get him to attempt to fix the wheels! One half of an amazing pastrami sandwich from Rhineland Deli later...he fixed them! I got the other half of the sandwich! Then I was on my way home to be with the dogs and endure the intense pain of washing the dirt and rocks out of my trail rash. When all was clean I have trail rash on my elbow, shoulder, back, side(love handle), hip, and knee! I am just glad that it wasn't my other elbow! Thank you Lord!

My body is pretty sore as I sit here and type this. Kind of like I got hit by a truck....I hate crashing!!! I do think that if I can spend three weeks on this singlespeed...I might be able to beat Mike....someday!

Keep Climbing

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Susan Nelson..A Hero

I was heartbroken to read of the loss of Susan Nelson this evening. Grace and strength to your family Elden. Thank you for sharing your deepest with us.

Why can't we as a people focus on things that REALLY matter, like cancer. Susan, thank you for fighting.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

169 Miles. Oak Park to San Diego. Done.

You can't tell but these waves are 8+ feet!

Mike and I had lately been discussing a two day ride to San Diego. He has done it once and said that it was pretty awesome! So when Kristen said that she needed to head down there to do some got me thinking...
A one day ride? Could I do it? How would I map it out? Yep..I'm gonna go for it! I stopped by the shop on the way home from work and picked up a few supplies and the butterflies were swarming in the stomach already. I also washed the bike and overhauled the drive train. (thanks for the help Chuey! I owe you a Frappaccino.) Then it was on to home to spend some time with the pups and have some dinner. The plan was to start at 5:30am. I was a little worried that I would not be able to fall asleep I was so excited/nervous. I bagged up all my food and prepared my bottles then laid down with the pups.

5:05am came and I was up! After a little breakfast I took the dogs for a walk then got dressed. I felt pretty weighed down with all my food, sunscreen, electrolytes, and other necessities. It was just getting light out and I needed to wear some arm-warmers as it was pretty cool. I rode out of town and I was pretty worried about how my legs were feeling! Friday morning I had ridden with Fast Friday and a few of the Chain Gang. With that being a race ride, I gave a lot! I pushed on over Las Virgenes/Malibu Canyon hoping the legs would come around. I knew that if I was going to make it all the way to San Diego, I was going to keep a careful eye on my pace.

I hit Malibu and was amazed by the huge waves. I stopped for a moment and snapped a couple of pics. It's been awhile since I've seen such great surf and i knew that I was in for a treat all the way down the coast. I even saw one guy shoot the Malibu pier! It was insane! I was quickly off and trying to keep the heart rate in the 130's. I bit after mile after mile and made my way into Santa Monica and Venice. My directions were starting to look a little "catty wonkus", as they sent me to a dead end! I kept on pedaling and soon rolled into El Segundo. I left my wallet in El Segundo! Great song!

Santa Monica Pier

Chain Gang..Party Time!

If you look close enough you can see the planes!

Next I was passing Los Angeles International Airport and trying to find the right street to turn on! I followed my map but that took me about 2 miles out of my way and I turned around and rode back! Once on the right road I found myself spinning a pretty good cadence. Manhattan Beach was nice and luckily still early enough where there was not too much traffic. Next was Hermosa Beach and then Redondo Beach. It was time for a bottle refill and a "nature" break! I'm pretty glad that I found a place to do this in Redondo Beach because I next rode through Torrance and Long Beach. One word, S-K-E-T-C-H-Y! I was definitely the only Lycra clad guy on the road for about 15 miles! I already needed another bathroom break so I stopped at a bike shop. A quick application of sunscreen and I was off! Get me the heck out of this town!

Bicycles and colonics! What a pair!

I pushed pretty hard and made it to Seal Beach where I stopped at the next bike shop that I saw. Bottle refill and another nature break. This shop had tons of really cool fixed gear bikes and parts. They must do a pretty good track bike business being close to Carson Velodrome. Next was the never ending stretch of Huntington Beach! It was truly beautiful and there were a zillion people! I found it very int resting that it seemed as if ALL the people of Orange County take EZ-UP tents to the beach with them?! Strange. I made it to the Huntington pier and there was some action sports event going on. It was a pretty large X-Games like set-up with ramps, surf, exhibitors and all. I think that everyone in the state of California was was crazy! That stretch of beach was miles and miles long and I hooked up with a couple different groups of riders.

Surf City Hunnington Beach

I rolled into Newport Beach next and was feeling pretty darned good! It was definitely warmer than I expected being beach side but not too bad. Another bottle refill and off I went! I'll go through my nutrition plan at the end of this post but I carried three bottles for the ride. 1 with water, 1 with electrolyte mix, and one with Hammer Perpetuem.

Fashion Island Newport Beach

I paired up with a rider after a bit of back and forth with him. We talked about the HUGE waves and how we were both stoked to be out on our bikes! I finally dropped off his pace and slowed. Next was Emerald Bay. There was a huge set-up for some big triathlon that was supposed to be going on, but they had cancelled it because the waves were to big for the swim! I almost stopped for some free goodies but I was in a spot o bother and knew stopping would be a bad idea. I think I was about 73 miles in at this point!

Next was Laguna Beach and the little seaside city was pretty awesome. So many food places that I passed smelled WAY too good! My liquid food, though it was working, has nothing on the aroma of fresh Mexican food! Traffic was a little hairy riding through town but I made it unscathed!

Dana Point then Capistrano Beach and San Clemente! SO amazing watching surfers charge the big waves as I rod along the highway. The miles clicked off and I made it through my rough spot. I couldn't find my next turn, so I asked a guy on a bike and he pointed out the entrance to the road. He was very concerned that I was going to ride the whole 17 miles to Oceanside! I thanked him for the directions and assured him that I would make it! :) I hit Old Highway 101 and the famous Trestles beach break. It was about this point where I saw the legend Johnny O'Mara. Then it was onto Camp Pendelton property where signs to watch for Marine Vehicles were all over the place.

Bike path forever in Dana Point

This is where my directions failed me again and I was at a loss for where to go. Then I saw a rider ride up the 5 Freeway on ramp. I reluctantly followed but figured it was OK when I rode past a CHP without incident. I rode about 4.5 miles before the freeway rest stop and as soon as I pulled off I heard it...tick, tick, pshhhhh. Flat tire! Thank God it happened as I pulled off of the freeway. A tire change and a phone call to my beautiful wife and I was back onto the freeway praying for no more flats! I had no more tubes! I rode the next 5 miles on the freeway at about 22 mph. and finally rolled into Oceanside!

This was a ghost bike memorial on Old Highway 101 at Trestles Beach

Up to this point I had done better than expected physically.For my nutrition plan for the day my food was Hammer Perpetuem as I shared earlier. For my body weight the suggested serving is 3+scoops per hour mixed with water. I like to run two hours worth per 24 oz. bottle. Lately on 3+ hour rides I have used 1.5 scoops per hour and has worked well. With the length of this ride I decided to do 2 scoops per hour. I should have stuck with the 1.5. It is really easy for me to eat this way. With a two hour bottle I take a drink every 15 minutes. Easy-peasy! With the stronger mix I had a few instances where I was hurting in the tummy. As I've learned I just skip a drink when hurting and I usually come back around quickly. Rolling into Oceanside I was feeling it! Knowing I had 2+ hours left I slowly entered a mentally dark place.

I found a bike shop along the highway and stopped in for a couple tubes. With the flat I was now worried about getting another. Back on the road again I pedalled my way out of the funk and started to fly high and quick again! Next I entered Carlsbad which was beautiful then on to a really cool looking town called Leucadia. This beach town seemed to stretch on forever but was pretty neat looking with lots of historical looking buildings that were very well kept. I had hooked on to the wheel of a triathlete and pushed myself a little harder than I had been. I think we were averaging about 24 mph over about 12 miles. He turned off as I dropped down a superfast descent (I hit 57 mph!) toward Del Mar beach. This beach was PACKED with people as all the others and the waves were still HUGE!

Then I saw it! THe start of the Torrey Pines Climb! I was a little worried as I couldn't see the top! I hit the bottom picked a pace and pushed myself up it! It was actually a great climb. Long, steady, long...did I mention long? Once to the top I was a pretty flat roll by the golf course then another superfast descent down Genessee ave. You know the thing about decents? They usually mean another climb is looming! I crossed back over the 5 freeway and was for a moment stoked that I was in Northern San Diego! I still had a distance to go...but I had made it! Yet, there was some unknown major pain to come!

Torrey Pines Climb in such a spot off bother I took the picture sideways!

As I passed Scripps Hospital then UC San Diego I made my way into University City. I would drop down a high speed descent only to encounter another huge climb! After about two of these I stopped halfway up one to take my last emergency gel and 4 Endurolyte capsules! I started back up and pedalled away! I was getting texts from Kristen every 10 minutes as she knew I was close. She and her cousin were concerned and I was determined to finish!

You can make ot a bit of my stats if you look hard enough!

Finally I made it to my next turn and was stoked that the road pointed back down towards the water. My directions soon took me down another dead end street and I was starting to enter that dark place again! I found my way back to the right road and kept pushing. Another 20 minutes and I found myself at another dead end! I called Kristen and asked her cousin Lizzy where I was. Good news! I was two blocks away! Bad news, It was 2 blocks of straight up San Francisco style hilly streets! I pushed like Alberto covering a Schleck brother attack up the Ventoux in the queen stage of this years tour and then heard the most awesome thing of the wife and her cousin CHEERING ME IN! It was SO AWESOME! As I pulled up they were clapping and screaming and had a huge glass of ice cold water waiting for me! Thank you ladies!

The view out of Lizzy's apartment window in Old Town

This was epic! I feel like everything came together better than it ever has for me. Another fear I had is that I would wake up the next ay sick. In the past, most large cycling efforts would attack my low immune system and leave me with a cold or sore throat. Not this time! 2 days post ride and I feel like a million bucks! I cannot thank Dr. Lisa Wong enough! She has taken my horrible immune system that has twice left me with Epstein Barr Virus, and strengthened it to handle this kind of abuse! Thank you! I can't wait to do something like this again! Where will my next adventure take me? I would like to try a multi-day ride with each day over 100 miles?! We will see? Hope you guys enjoyed the write up and few pictures!

Ride stats:
Miles: 169.25
Ride Time: 10 Hours 23 Minutes
Total Time: 12 hours 30 minutes
Average Speed: 16.3 mph
Max Speed 57.2 mph
Calories burnt: 12,820
Average Heart Rate: 136 bpm
Max heart Rate: 165 bpm
Average Cadence: 79 RPM
Total Climbing: 5588 ft.
Total Descent: 6398 ft.

Breakfast: Egg McMuffin!

5, 2 Hour bottles of Hammer Perpetuem
3 Bottles of Hammer Heed Mild Melon Electrolyte mix
4 Bottles with 1 each Camelback Elixer tablet Verry Berry Flavor (electrolyte mix) (I alternated the Elixer and Heed)
2 Rasberry Hammer Gels (I used these in the last two hours of the ride)
8 Hammer Endurolyte Capsules (these were also used in the last two hours to scare off any cramps!)
10 plain water filled bottles

Dinner when ride was over: 2 of the most amazing fish tacos ever! I also consume another 50-60 ounces of water post ride.

Keep climbing...

Please pray for Elden Nelson and family as things have started to drastically change.
Susan we will be praying for you!

Friday, May 1, 2009


The riding came in a coupe of large chunks this week and last! Legs felt pretty darn good after the 100 miler a couple of weeks ago so I have taken pretty good advantage of that and the weather! Other than those two 100 degree days the weather has been great for riding. A week ago today I had the ride of the week! Mike and I along with our friend Evan (the East Coast Demo Truck Driver for Giant Bicycles) rode in Simi. We rode from Mikes house and climbed Chumash. Then climbed to the top of Rocky Peak and descended to Hummingbird Trail. I hadn't been on Hummingbird for about a year and was looking forward to the ultra technical descent. I have NEVER descended HummingBird without getting off at a point or two and walking a crazy section. Well I am happy to report that I cleaned it! I was so stoked! After descending HummingBird we climbed another steep hill and headed home! So much fun!

Tuesday of this week I went on a road ride with Drew. He needs to start some serious training for the BC Bike Race that he is racing in July. He needed to spend about 4 hours and we hit that right on the head. We left the bike shop and headed out Hidden Valley. We dropped Portrero to Camarillo and then headed out to PCH. We had been discussing which canyon to climb back to Thousand Oaks and got the CRAZY idea to climb Latigo Canyon. Latigo is a 10 mile climb with about 3000 ft of elevation gain. Pretty great climb. The crazy part was that we would be starting this climb at about mile 45! Even crazier is that there is still a lot of climbing back home once you finish Latigo! I felt pretty darn good during the climb and even better once we finished! 65 miles. 4 hours and 2 minutes. 5000 feet of climbing! Sweet!

Today was another 4 hours on the bike. On tap was a ride with my younger brother and Mom. I rode down Sycamore Canyon and met them at the beach. I totally time trialed the 2 Foxes trail and it was a blast. Once meeting up with them we climbed out Wood Canyon and then the paved road climb and hooked up with the 2 fox single track at the very top. It seemed like they really enjoyed the pay-off of the descent! We even stopped a couple of times to take pictures on a couple of jumps. (I'll post once Stephen sends them to me!) We headed back out to the beach and they took off. I filled up the bottle's and headed back towards the hills. I decided to climb Overlook and wanted to try to keep a good pace. I decided that I would not drop out of my middle ring and pushed pretty hard! I was able to push pretty hard the whole way which made me HAPPY! I dropped down the awesome Backbone trail and headed for the horrible climb back to my car. That one hurt a bit but still middle ringed the whole thing! 3:50 minutes. 38 Miles. 3200 ft of climbing!


Early morning ride with Mike tomorrow to close out the week!


Keep Climbing!

Sunday, April 12, 2009


100.15! That's right race fans...I knocked off a hundy yesterday and it was awesome! I drove up to Oxnard and parked at my parents house with the thought of heading towards Santa Barbara. I had all intention of making it as long as a ride as possible but you never know how brutal the wind can get heading up the coast. After a brief visit with Ma and Pa, I headed out and was pleased with how the body was feeling. I had to make a quick stop in Ventura and get some additional nutrition and then tried to pick up the pace a slight bit. There was a small cross wind but it wasn't too bad. There is a point where PCH ends and you actually have to ride on the freeway for a bit. It wasn't as bad as I thought and the road was super smooth. At one point the traffic was all backed up and I was riding faster than they were driving!

I made it to the Montecito Polo Fields and snapped a picture of them practicing. Pretty crazy watching them!

Up a short climb I passed two recumbent riders and as I started the descent one of them latched on to my back wheel and wouldn't get off. I tried riding at about 30 mph and I even slowed to about 12 mph and he just wouldn't come around or drop off. After about 4 miles he just turned around and took off the other way?! Weirdo!

I rolled into Santa Barbara feeling pretty good. The temperature was perfect being a little cool with lots of sun! I encountered this guy below on a modified electric skateboard with trailer in tow. There was a dog in the trailer! Sweet. The guy had these big wheels and the board was on some kind of axles that let him carve back and forth! All the tourists in the pedal cars just loved what they saw! It was pretty funny!

I made it t the pier and rode a bit past looking for a place to refill the bottles and stretch. I snapped a picture and sent it to my wife and my parents to let them know that I made it and got a "you're nuts" response from Kristen!
Stats for way out:
39.87 Miles-2 hours 26 minutes- 16.3 Average MPH- 145 Average Heart Rate
3/4 of a 3 Hour Bottle of Perpetuem- 3 Bottles of Water with 1 Elixer Tab each- 1 Hammer Gel- 1 Bag of Orange Wedges (Thanks Mom!)

Heading out of Santa Barbara I was happy with the way my body was feeling! Nutrition and hydration seemed to be spot on and though I was having some straining in the muscles I could hydrate and and it would go away. I seemed to be in the zone with the tempo that I was carrying and other than the few short climbs out of Santa Barbara I kept the tempo pretty quick.

It was already on my mind that if I wanted to go for 100 plus miles that I was going to need to change my route up a bit. My body was still feeling on task and I ran over 1000 route changes in my mind. I stayed on PCH heading back to Ventura and went through some pretty heavy cross wind sections. Once off the freeway section I stopped at the campground for a bottle refill, pee break and a stretch. All taken care of and back on the road. I rolled into Ventura and stayed on the bike path. I swerved through the gangsters and tourists and almost hit a few long-leashed dogs! Back to the road and a decision needed to be made! I started to work my way through the marina and headed towards Port Hueneme. I picked up a really fun bike path along the beach that was super smooth with twists and turns!

Once I got into the Channel Islands Harbor I was speeding through the neighborhoods, reached down to grab my bottle as I passed an empty lot between houses and ALMOST got blown right off of my bike! Funny thing is...5 minutes later I did it again! Though my body was hanging in, my mind was definitely starting to meander! I hit a couple dead ends and decided to head back into Oxnard. By the time I made it back to my parents neighborhood I needed 7 miles to hit 100! I wasn't going to be done until the odometer hit that number! I made the first lap around and it was about 2 miles. I decided to see just what my body had left so I punched up the volume on the iPod and hammered out 4 laps at an average speed of 21 MPH. There was a quarter mile stretch that was directly into the wind and it HURT! So good! Awesome ride and body is stiff today but not destroyed! Can' wait to ride again!

Stats for way back:
60.28 Miles- 3 Hours 35 Minutes- 16.8 Average mph- 155 Average heart rate- 1- 3 hour bottle of perpetuem- 6 bottles of water with 1 NUUN tablet each bottle- 1 bottle of water- 2 hammer gels

Keep Climbing!