Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Saddle Sore

Finally got back on the bike yesterday. I haven't been on since last Friday. Needless to hurt. Went on a 20 mile road ride with very little climbing. One of the few things keeping me off the bike this week has been that daybreak is not until almost 7AM. With as unusually cold as it has been, it's hard to get out into the freezing darkness! Afternoon rides have been shot as well since I have been putting in 12 hour days since last week. I have also been experiencing migraines for the lst couple of weeks and this week they have been really bad. Not sure what is causing them? I started on some new vitamins a few weeks ago and of course that is about when the headaches started. Went back to my old vitamins today to see if it makes a difference. My prescription medicine is not even taking these things away! Enough complaining for now...sorry.
Legs were not very cooperative on ride yesterday. Still feels like I have no juice in them. Not sure what the cause of this is's been this way since the cold/flu a couple weeks ago? Maybe the round of antibiotics I was on? Hope to put in some heavy time on the bike this weekend. We will see.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Smoke Filled Haze

Luckily most of the fires around me are out! Our prayers and support go out to all those in Orange and San Diego counties that are still under evacuation and those who have lost everything. Stay strong, it can only get better.
The large Castaic Lake fire that is still burning near us is now just supplying us with enough smoke to keep us indoors. Without the heavy winds the smoke is just floating into our valley and sitting. I actually got out yesterday morning for the first time since Saturday(between the smoke and work being insane) and it was pretty bad. If you do not live in Southern California, let me put the wind from this event into perspective. I rode into Chesebro Canyon (which is the local loop outside my house) yesterday morning. Once dropping into the canyon I realized that there was no loose dirt anywhere on the trails! This area is famous for having a loose topsoil most of the year and very deep sand in parts. Even the sand was mostly gone! The wind was so strong that it blew all the dirt away! I saw parts of the trail that I had NEVER seen before. There was also trees down everywhere. At the beginning of my ride I was removing large pieces of tree from the trail but quickly realized that I did not have enough time to continue doing this! One area through Sulfer Springs (yes it smells just like it sounds!) had a huge tree down blocking the trail! Detour!
When I woke up this morning, the smoke was already really bad so I skipped riding. I couldn't take it anymore so I went home at lunch, put on my riding gear, filled my Chrome Bag with my work clothes, put a bandanna around my mouth and nose(like a Bandito!) and hit the hills! I won't lie, the air was horrible even through the bandanna. But it felt good to ride. And the bonus is, I get to ride home...back through the hills. I probably will not get to ride this weekend as we are headed to the Happiest Place on Earth for Kristen's birthday! Some of K's family are coming down from Northern Ca. so it should be a great time! I hope everyone else has a great weekend!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fire Storm

We have found ourselves in a Ring of Fire. The wind hit about midnight last night like a hurricane (60-80 mph gusts) and it was loud. When it gets like this I always start worrying about our cars getting hit by downed trees. So when I finally got out of bed at 6:15am to get ready for my ride(yeah, like I would ride in this wind) and I walked outside to see the downed tree on my walkway, my heart sunk. I had to climb over it to get out to the parking lot. Cars were good. Other things like the homes in Malibu...not so much. After smelling the smoke I came back in and turned on the TV. News did not start until 7 so I was watching Sportscenter when the news started scrolling across the top. Malibu was on fire! There was also another fire out behind us that started last night, and they started talking about a third that would be right on the hill behind my house. 100% of the shitty newscasting was about the fire in Malibu. As horrible as it is if I hear that another multi, multi, multi, million dollar home caught fire, I was going to throw up on my TV. Are these houses more important than a less expensive house? Do we really care how expensive the house was?
Sorry...It just makes me sick. Something that was horrible was watching Malibu Presbytarian Church burn to the ground. This is a church that I have driven by 5000 times on my way to go surfing. Thank God that the fire hit early instead of later while church was in! The other pictures I just took fom outside my house here in Oak Park. It looks as if there is a fire coming over the hill?! Can't find any news about it though?! They are still concentrating on Malibu. I will try to keep you updated as the day finishes out.
Oh yeah...I heard Britney Spears may have started it to smoke out the Paparazzi since she was arriving home past her court appointed curfew...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Riding with Tinker

Today I again received affirmation as to why I love mountain biking. Whenever I go on a ride or to a race or some other MTB event, people are just stinking cool. They make you feel at home and they make you feel welcome! I met up with Mike Mahoney out in Simi Valley for the Cannondale demo. Mike and I got bikes and went out for a quick loop to get loose. I rode the new Team Edition carbon fiber Scalpel. I was quickly impressed with the climbing ability of the bike and the acceleration was amazing. Once we hit a technical descent it was a little different. I had a really hard time getting comfortable with the super short top tube. I felt really sketchy on the downhills.
We rolled back to the parking lot and met Tinker Juarez and his wife Terri. They were instantly aprreciative of US haveing THEM there. From the get go of the ride Tinker old his his stories and training tips. He answered everyones questions with excitement and concern. What I thought was more cool than anything was that he more than once commented how he knows how good he has it to have this as a job. As we were all suffering up each steep climb Tinker had it in his big chain ring and I don't think he ever broke a sweat!
Needless to say, we all had a great time. Tinker and Terri, thank you!
I would highly reccomend that if you ever have a chance to meet Tinker and his wife...jump at it!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Tinker Juarez

It's been a tough last seven days as I woke up with a sinus infection and stomach flu last Friday. I finally went to the doctor yesterday as I have not been able to shake the congestion. He told me that I needed less stress in my life! As long as it's not the training that is making me sick...!
The picture that you see above is Tinker Juarez. Tinker is a legend! Please take a moment to check out his blog and from their make sure to link to his homepage and read about his past! Tinker is the 2007 24 Hour World Champion. One of the most impressive things about him is that he is 46 years old! Through my friend Mike Mahoney I actually get to do a ride with him tomorrow! I am so stoked to meet this guy! Tinker has been a mainstay in the cycling community since his BMX days in the 70's. I look forward to sharing my story and some pictures about the ride.

I have gotten out a few times this week regardless of feeling under the weather. Monday I rode and felt like it helped me a bit. Thursday as I hit Chesebro canyon I ran into some of my racing buddies and was invited to follow. Everything was going great until we hit the first big climb and my legs had nothing! I haven't felt bonked like this in a long time! It was very embarrasing as these guys quickly put about 5-6 minutes on me and then waited at the top! As I approached, I thanked them for waiting and told them to not wait as I really had no juice to keep up. I rode on with them and because of some mechanicals of one the guys, I ended being able to hang for most of the ride. We rode about 16 miles and climbed close to 3000 feet. I loved the ride but was bummed about my performance. I also went out this morning with Kim for the Fast Friday ride(our version anyways) and it was another ride in the pain cave. 20 minutes up Rock Store was pitiful! As we approached the Power Climb, Anthony (Pro class rider from Fast Friday) blew past us, smiled, laughed and took off! We were really worried that the rest of the group was going to catch us but we never saw them. Thank goodness because that would have sucked!

My legs are just hurting at this point. The beummer is that they did not feel like this before I got sick. I need my boys to come back on line if I have any hopes in competeing at the 12 Hours of Temecula!

Ohhh Yeah, I forgot to tell you about the HUGE stressor that happened the night before I woke up sick!
When I was walking Pippin, Finnagin, and Lola on Thursday night, I did something that I have never done...I stepped on Pippin! When we were almost home a large dog was walking up the road. I reached down to pick up Kujo..I mean Lola, and Pippin just started yelping. This was one of the scariest moments of my life. I quickly picked him up(I never felt him under my foot so I am just assuming that I stepped on him) and his leg was just kind of hanging and his yelping did not stop. After the longest 2 minutes of my life he stopped. I sat him down to see if he could stand on it and he limped across the way. I picked him up again and took him inside. Lola was so scared when he first started yelping that she tried to bite him? It was a very sleepless night for me. Once morning came I was sick and Pippin was limping around. Kristen was working later in the day so we decided that she would keep an eye on him and then make a decision wether or not we should take him to the vet. I am happy to report that Pip is doing great! It's just me that feels like an ass!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Picture From Piru Time Trial

My good friend Bill Knapp of Knapp Photography shared this picture with me today! This was when I was flying WITH the wind!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

35:41 Fighting the Wind

Time trial experience #2! I looked forward to beating my first time of 32:35 this time out as I was feeling much stronger. With what I learned in my first attempt I thought that I could knock off at least a minute. I awoke Sunday morning to the sound of hammering wind outside and I was instantly discouraged! I have heard the horror stories of the windy Piru time trials and they flooded into my mind as I took the dogs out. When I left the house driving down my street was like being in a pinball game with downed tree limbs and debris everywhere!
Once I arrived to the canyon road it did not seem as bad as home! I enjoyed watching the elite athletes warm up on their TT bikes. They have a look of seriousness on their faces like this is the World Championships! It's kind of cool.
So as I rode down the course to warm up I realized that there was a HUGE tailwind at my back! This was verified when I turned around to head back and the wind blew into me like a Japanese Bullet Train! Holy smokes, this was going to be interesting!
I was third off and I hit it out of the gate. The course is a 12.2 mile out and back. The 6.1 miles out was extremely fast! Let's just say that I averaged over 30 mph and made the turn around in under 13 minutes! Then...the wind!
This is where I entered the pain cave. I had already passed one of the two that had started in front of me and I had the other in my sights. I used this as motivation considering it was a Fast Friday rider! As much as it hurt I pushed and pushed. I hammered up the little rollers and pushed hard without overdoing it. The 6.1 miles back felt like 20. Once I realized that I could catch the Fast Friday guy I pushed even harder. As I came within 10 yards of him a huge gust of wind pushed him right off the road! He managed to keep it upright and get back on but I quickly dropped him and smiled inside! That smile turned back to pain as I had about 3 km to go! I saw a couple pictures of me at this point and let's just say that they are not pretty! I knew that I had passed my time from the last race so that did not help either. I pushed through to the finish and then spun myself down the road.
I ended up 2nd in my category again! I missed 1st by only 4 seconds! Ughhh!
It took me 20 minutes to get back! Freaking crazy! I felt like I rode it so much better than last time which is what I know matters. I would love to give it a shot on a TT bike. Someday...
Great news to share! I was asked to join a team! Previously known as Team One Racing, they are renaming the team for this year. This is primarily a road racing team with a few of the guys racing mountain as well. I am super stoked to ride with these guys and look forward to learning a lot! I will of course keep you updated on the progress!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Ouch! My Legs

So I managed to not ride my bike until Friday of last week!:( I tried to get up Thursday but could not find some of my gear and used that as an excuse to not ride. My legs were feeling better by Thursday and I really wanted to get out, but I failed. Friday I did the Fast Friday road loop with Kim and felt OK. Saturday I went for a quick mountain bike loop through Chesebro Canyon before work at the shop and that hurt a little. My hamstrings and quads actually feel bruised! I pushed through the wimpy 13 miles and worked for the rest of the day. Sunday I made the mistake of telling two groups of friends that I would ride with them. I started a 32 degree FREEZING (for Southern California)road ride with Kim and a couple motorcylce racers that just finished their season. When we pulled up to the bottom of Rock Store I felt a rush of energy and settled into a pace. One of the motorcyle racers and I gently pulled away and pushed up the hill. About 3/4 of the way up he pulled away from me like I was standing still! Skinny bum! Once we were to the top of Power Climb I realized that I would not be able to do the whole ride with them and make it to my mountain bike ride with Mike. So I finished out the road ride at about 30 miles and 2450 feet of climbing.
Once home I ate quickly, walked the dogs and took off to Sycamore Canyon to meet Mike. My legs were hurting pretty good at this point! We dropped down into the canyon and I started to feel a little better up the Sage trail climb. He was just warming up so I was able to keep up. Once we hit Guadalajasco I was not certain I was going to make it! Usually I climb this trail in my middle ring but had to resort to my granny gear today! I suffered up the hill until about 5 minutes from the top when I got some juice back. I rolled up to the beautiful view were he wads waiting for me. He had probably put 6-8 minutes on me. We flew down the hill like pro's until he flatted! Quick change and we were off again. Headed back to our cars and we climbed the singletrack all the way to the black b*@$*. I actually climbed that in my middle ring and sprinted the last 200 yards. Quick jaunt over the connecter and it was off to Chipotle! I finished the day with a little over 50 miles and over 5500 ft of climbing!
Legs are still feeling a bit bruised today...I think it's time for a massage. I want to start some seriuos training to run through the month of October and get ready for the 12 hours of Temecula. I will write about my goals this week!