Monday, December 31, 2007

1/2 Day and Last Ride of the Year



I had to go back to work today. I was one of three! Everyone else decided not to come in. So...I filtered through the emails, did a little work and then took off at noon. I thought that I would take an easy mountain spin to loosen up the legs. Well the Red Flag Wind Event made that a little difficult! I did my Chesebro loop backwards which makes it a shorter steep climb and long flatter section as opposed to a long steady climb and steep descent. I cleaned the technical climb for the first time and it wasn't easy with the 50 mph+ winds! I was stoked! Flying down the mountain I ran into single speed Vince and his friend and stopped for a quick chat. Once my legs loosened up I felt pretty good! It was a nice loop to end my year with! It looks like I am not going to make it to Santa Ynez for the big ride tomorrow. I will have to start my year off with a long shop ride. Hopefully my legs will hold up! I attached a couple pictures from my Disneyland trip last Friday! Happy New Year and please stay safe tonight!
Keep Climbing,
Lucas

Screaming Good Time!


We Saw These Scary Pirates in Line

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Poor Planning

I was supposed to do the 50 mile Project Rwanda with Brendan on Saturday. This is a ride that you know I was super excited to do. But because of some lame planning for the month, I had to bail. Brendan, Mary, sorry. Hopefully we will all ride soon!
I slept in a little with the dogs and once they were all walked and fed, decided to get in another long road ride. I toiled about the route since I was pretty sore from my previous two days of riding but decided to go the way of pain anyway! I did Rock Store over to Decker Canyon then down to the Pacific Coast Highway. The weather was perfectly cool and I tried to settle into a steady pace. I crossed Ventura County Line and made a right back into the mountains. I had decided to climb Yerba Buena which is a 10 mile climb at an average of 8-10%. I realized about 3 miles into the climb that I was in some serious pain! Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse I was passed by two guys that were probably in their 60's and carrying on a full breathed conversation! Demoralizing! I set my mind towards a hot tea latte and was able to push my way to the top. The payoff on this climb is an amazingly fast and smooth descent down Little Sycamore. It's like a Grand Prix race track with twists and turns but an average speed of about 35 mph. Then it's just a bit more climbing before dropping back down Decker into Thousand Oaks. I rode over to the shop for a bottle refill and a little moral support for the end of my ride. The guys tried to talk me into a Midnight Ridazz ride that night. More on that below! After a bottle of water and some chit chat I took off for home. When I got back I had traveled 51 miles and climbed 5100 feet in about 3 and a half hours. I was destroyed! Climbing up the hill to home was tough! After walking the dogs and a nice hot shower I went to meet my beautiful for some dinner! I never had my tea latte!
I asked the wifey if she minded that I go on the Midnight Ridazz end of year ride and she gave me the approval. Free ride close to home equals yay! Midnight Ridazz is a group that has grown all over the country into different groups of people that love to ride. I believe that they are born from fixed gear riders that started holding after dark rides. Soon they had over 1000 people showing up for the rides through Los Angeles and the surrounding cities.
My guess is that there were about 200 people that showed for this ride last night. I think that the cold kept people away. It was amazing riding through the streets of Studio City, Burbank, and North Hollywood with 200 or so other people! People were dressed super crazy like Lucha Libre masks, onesie flannel pajamas, and all kinds of other craziness! At points the police would pull up into intersections and block traffic for us! They seem to be cool with these rides as long as no one does anything stupid. Like...at one point the ride went into a 5 story parking garage and the cop that had just blocked an intersection for us wasn't digging that decision! I had held back and watched the cop zoom into the garage. After a moment had passed a police helicopter was above shining his light onto the top of the garage!(Video Below) After two hours of riding our group broke off to head home. Did I mention that I did this 14 mile ride on my wife's beach cruiser? Basket and all! This will definitely not be my last one of these! I am attaching some pictures below! That's my friend Drew on the double beach cruiser! He's crazy.
I would of scrapped both of these rides in order to do the Rwanda Ride instead. I really need to start financially planning my race season! I would hate to miss a big race because I wasn't paying attention! Back to work tomorrow and then off for New Years Day.
Keep Climbing,
Lucas

This is The Indian at the Top of Decker that Keeps a Look Out for the French


Down There Lives Wayne Gretzky On Lake Sherwood


Looking Back Towards the Ocean


Not The Sign You Want to See When Your Hurting


This is What Pain Looks Like


High Tide at County Line


Lake Malibu


Drew Rolling in High Style


I'm Being Followed by a Skeleton


Bik on the Brown Bomber



video

Friday, December 28, 2007

Pit Bull

Just as hoped, I scored a new camera for Christmas! My new riding buddy! Kristen had to be at work in Sherman Oaks at 4am the day after Christmas and I drove her down as she has a hard time driving that early. I needed to get in a long ride and the only way that I could work it out was to take the car back down there after a little sleep and ride home. The air was cool, the traffic was OK, but the wind was demoralizing! I headed down Van Nuys, left on Burbank, right on Balboa, and took that all the way up through the valley. I almost took a spill in a pothole that was as deep as a well! Once I got to Rinaldi I took a left and headed towards Simi Valley. Up and over Santa Susana Pass and down into town. I opted for the long way around so I hugged the East hills. As I made my way through a neighborhood I got the scare of the day when a pit bull charged me! I made like Tornado Tom Boonen and sprinted my ass off! I almost had to change my chamois! I made my way back into Thousand Oaks via Olsen and Erbes Road. The Erbes climb was painful 40 miles into the ride! I somehow got a flat halfway down Erbes. That sucked. I made my way to Westlake Cyclery after changing the flat. My front wheel was a little out of true and Tony fixed me up. From there it was on to home! I finished the day with over 55 miles and 3200 ft of climbing in 3 and a half hours. I then ate more Sushi than I ever have and may have single handedly wiped out the spicy tuna and eel supply! My goal was to do a 4+ hour mountain bike ride the next day...I did it..barely! I will post pictures of that Sunday. I am off to Disneyland with my lovely for the day and then tomorrow is the Project Rwanda 50 miler. I'm a little scared!
Keep Climbing,
Lucas

Short Reprieve from Traffic


101 to the 118 Via Balboa Blvd


Looking Back Over the San Fernando Valley


Climbing Santa Susana Pass


Pushing it in the Wind


Looking Down on Simi Valley From Rocky Peak


Back Home in Westlake


View From Above

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas 2007


Merry Christmas from the land of plenty! Lucas, Kristen, Pippin, Lola, Finnagin, and Bean(that's me...pretty good looking huh!)
We wish you all a wonderful, memorable day.

Monday, December 17, 2007

2007 Cycling Memories

I just can't believe that this year is almost over. I am not complaining, time has just flown by. I mark 2007 as a year that my life changed drastically. I had raced in my first mountain bike race November 2006 and from that point on...I knew 2007 held some immense challenge and fun!
My racing year started on a FREEZING cold and SUPREMELY windy day in January at the Southridge Winter Series. I think that I weighed around 245 pounds. I took second place that day in the beginner class and was stoked. Over this 6 race series I met some amazing people that helped me in many ways, and some I have built great friendships with. Rory, whom I raced with in the first race of the season, became my greatest challenger of the season. The last race of the series proved to be our best as we battled it out to the end! He almost caught me at the end...almost!
The California State Series started the day after the Southridge final and I was feeling great. After winning the overall at Southridge it was time to move up to the Sport division. Moving up to the Sport class meant doubling the mileage and faster competition. I was flying through this course. My first lap was so great..then on lap two, disaster struck! I was 9 miles into the 12 mile lap when every muscle in my lower body balled up like a twisted phone cord. I spent the next 7-10 minutes on the ground in agonizing pain! I was still able to finish in 2nd place about 2 minutes back from 1st. That means I had well over 10 minutes on 2nd when I came near death! OK so I am exaggerating a little. The rest of the Cal State Series was great and I was able to take the overall in this as well! State Champion...good times!
In April I also raced the annual Sea Otter Festival in Monterey. This was an amazing experience getting see all the pro's and racing in a field of over 60 riders. I placed 21st and learned a great deal in this race. I also learned not to speed on the 101 driving through King County! 1st Speeding ticket in a long time!
One of the highlights and goal changing events of the year came in June. I headed back to Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey Ca. for a 24 hour mountain bike race. I was part of a four person team with Rory, Jenn, and Heather. I instantly fell in love with the atmosphere and commraderie of this discipline called endurance mountain bike racing. After my first lap I was hooked! We managed to pull off 10th place in the Co-ed open field! We were stoked and an endurance inspiration was born!
The end of Sept. brought my first endurance challenge! 8 hours of Hurkey Creek. I thought that I was super ready for the race until I got a cold the week before and my wife(whom was going to be my support) got scheduled to work. About 5 days before the race the weather forcast was calling for freezing rain! Every day the forcast seem to change a little...and it was always for the worst! Well, we never got more than a light sprinkling for a couple of hours! The race was great. I was able to stay with friends in their R.V. and they also helped a little with support between laps. I was able to ride all 8 hours of the race and came in 13th out of 31 racers! I had an amazing time and couldn't wait to do it again. I had every intention of doing the last 12 Hours of Temecula of the season...but could not work it out.
I finished my race season with the Southridge Challenge. I decided to give the expert class a try! Just as I expected...I came in 6th place. That was out of 6! I really got everything out of the race that I desired and know that for any XC races I do in 2008, I won't yet be at the expert level! My ending weight for the race season, 214. From first getting on my bike after the sickness a little over a year and a half ago until now I've lost about 75 pounds. If I could lose about 20 more I think that I could compete with the little skinny guys! Pulling my fat ass up all the mountains would be much easier if it were a skinny ass! If I could lock into the right eating regimen, I think I could do it.
I have one last ride before the end of the year and that is the Project Rwanda charity ride. This is a 50 mile endurnce ride that will test my limits. Please check out the website as this is a great cause that I stand behind fully. Brendan from Siren Bicycles and I decided to partner up for this ride and suffer together! We both have not spent much time in the saddle lately and this will be an amazingly painful ride! I can't wait!
For the few of you that have been reading my race stories this year, I aprreciate your thoughts, support, humor, and love! If all goes as planned on Christmas, I will be getting a new camera that will become my cycling buddy! This will make my blog a little more exciting as I will be taking mad photos of most rides in order to share what I see as I enjoy this love called cycling!
I am still not sure what 2008 will bring. I would love to say that I will be racing every weekend and by the end of the year ready to go pro....but then I would wake up and realize that I need a job! My goal for this season is to race a solo 24 hour event. Right now my eyes are set on the 24 Hours of Hurkey Creek in September. A lot would need to fall into place for this to happen but I figure that if I train my butt off over the season, when and if all falls into place...I will be ready. In the mean time I will be cheering on some of the amazing people that I met this year:
Mary and Brendan Collier, Josh Smith, Bernice P., Jeff Kerkove, Ernesto(Solo Goat), Eldin(Fatty),The Langins, Rory, Jenn, and a few others! Good luck my friends! For those of you whom I met this year, thank you for your support, advice, and friendship.
May you all have a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Lucas

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Brrrr!

Is it ever going to get any warmer? I was finally able to get out on the bike Friday afternoon. I hit Chesebro Canyon at about 3:30 and did 2 reverse loops. I had strapped on the light for the second lap as it is getting dark at about 4:30 now. As soon as the sun went down it dropped about 20 degrees! I had enough clothing on but with the strong wind it was giving me a brain freeze headache! My legs felt pretty good after not riding all week. They did not recover all that well though! Saturday I slept in a little and then worked at the bike shop all day. Christmas in the bike shop means lot's of crying kids! The parents bring them in to size them up and then drop the bomb that they are not getting the bike right now. Once that happens...all hell breaks loose! It's a blast though.
Bill let me borrow his trainer again so when I got home I spent a little over an hour spinning. I did a couple intervals as well! It hurt a bit.
Today was the Southridge Racing awards banquet. It was all the way down in Riverside but worth the drive. I received the 1st Place Champions Trophy and Jersey. I will try to post a picture tomorrow! It was a fun ceremony. When I got home I put all my warm clothing on and did some time trial pace laps around the neighborhood. I wish it wasn't Monday tomorrow...
Keep Climbing
Lucas

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Sidelined

I haven't been on the bike since Sunday. I seem to have caught a form of that flu that is going around. My biggest symptom is absolutely no energy. Very much like when I had Epstein Barr Virus. It doesn't seem to be fading either. I am bummed. I wanted to start bike commuting again this week.
I have been trying to put together my race schedule for next season but it hasn't been easy! There are so many Southern California races that are double booked it is making it hard to decide which ones to do! Then there is work conflict as well! I think that in January and Feb. I could race every weekend if....(wife approval, work approval, body approval, pocket book approval!) I really wanted to start putting in some base miles this week and not being able to will definitely affect the start of the season!
I am going to the Surf and Skate Expo in Orlando in a couple of weeks with Mike and his company Honey Longboards. I have never been to Florida and am looking forward to the trip as well as the opportunity to meet more pro surfers and skaters! I will keep you updated on this and definitely take lots of pictures! I will miss the first race of the season at Southridge but I think that it is worth it.
Pray for health,
Lucas

Monday, December 10, 2007

Thar She Blows

Another weekend and another Southern California wind event! The 35 degree weather kept me off of the bike on Saturday. I was pretty bummed about that but planned a great ride for Sunday. Myself, Mike and Rory met up at the Sycamore Canyon trailhead Sunday at 9:30. It was still in the high 40's(which is freezing for us SoCal kids) when we dropped into the canyon! We FLEW down the 2 Foxes singletrack and decided to give the Goat Trail a go from bottom to top. Note to self...probably never a good idea to ride UP a trail called Goat Trail. Still being pushed by the adrenalin from our screaming descent I took off a little quick! I quickly found myself in the pain locker with Lactic Acid rushing into my legs like Niagra Falls. When we finally got to the top of the trail, even Mike said he never wanted to do that again! Going down this trail is much better! Going the opposite way there is still a ton of climbing but you get the payoff of a great descent at the end! After arriving at the top we dropped into Wood Canyon and headed up Guadalajasco. Mike took off like he was Tinker Juarez and left Rory and I in the hurt. Rory even managed to put about 3-4 minutes on me! I was ready for a great downhill. With all the rain on Friday, the trail was tacky and perfect! We dropped the first part and made our way to Backbone and flew down like Freeriding pro's! The wind had really picked up and was gusting in the 50 mph range. We decided that climbing up the covered canyon was better than the exposed fire road. It hurt but was definitely the better choice. When we reached the infamous Black B*$@h to climb back to the cars we all looked like broken men! We found a little extra steam until halfway up we hit the wall of wind! Pedaling into a 50 mph headwind....well it's demoralizing! Mike tried to make a jump and I let him get a few yards on me. I waited to the last turn and dropped the hammer! I was able to pass him about 25 yards from the top as my heart rate hit 190! That was my last little bit of juice and the last 2 miles back to the car was extreme pain!
We loaded up and hit the local Chipotle! Perfect painful ride followed by a great burrito! Hope to get in some great rides this week...
Keep Climbing
Lucas

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Super Funny Post

Check out today's post from the Fat Cyclist...it had me "shredded" with laughter! The comments are just as funny!

Fat Cyclist

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Finding the Long Way Home

Rode to work yesterday..(still no car or hope of getting it back before the rain hits tomorrow) It's a quick 5 mile shot to the office via Chesebro Canyon. Staying out of the crazy school mom traffic is the only excuse that I need to hit the dirt on my way here! I left work at 2 yesterday in order to ride over to the Ford dealership to see if they could get me out of my crappy money pit. That tacked on another 7 miles. No luck with them..although I am not to upset as another Ford is the last thing I want at this point. So I thought that I would find the long way home!
I headed for the hills. After an uphill seven miles, I hit the trailhead. Dark was starting to fall so I strapped on my light and began the 3.5 mile climb from Avenida De Los Arboles up Albertsons Motorway to China Flat. I had only ridden this trail a couple times before and I started to get worried that I had missed a trail turn? Worst case scenario is that I would end up in the Valley! Right after worrying I reached the top and my turn! My legs were feeling pretty good even with my 20 pound bag on my back! I decided to drop down into Chesebro Canyon and extend the ride a bit. There were a good number of folks out riding as well! About 5 miles from home the Red Flag winds started to get pretty nuts. At one point I was standing trying to pedal into the headwind...and I really wasn't moving forward!
When I was climbing out of the canyon towards my house my legs were letting me know that they were really pissed off at me!
When I got home the Garmin read 31 miles, 2.5 hours of ride time, 2800 ft of climbing! Not a bad way to sneak in some saddle time. My legs are still a little pissed this morning! Not the easiest ride in to work! Maybe take a long route home again tonight..we will see, Kristen's off today and I still need to figure out what to do with the car.
Keep Climbing
Lucas

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Lesson Learned

So with the car in the shop, I have been riding to work! I of course bring my lighting set-up, as it is dark when I get out of here! Last night on my way home I learned a valuable lesson! I use a Chrome Messenger Bag and of course stuff it as full as possible. Last night I had my laptop, clothes, and some papers that probably weighed close to 15 pounds. I am lucky enough to work at the base of my local trail Chesebro Canyon and I can do a great 12 mile loop home. It is about 900 feet of climbing at a steady rate except for a couple steep rocky sections you have heard me refer to as the "Chesebro Challenges."(This is where I clipped a deer last week) All was well and I was trying to push a heavy pace. Legs were sore from Sunday but doing a great job. That is until I hit the Challenge...Lesson Learned....When you have 15+ lbs. on your back, it's a little hard to balance up steep sections! As I rode up the rock face, I rode myself right onto my back! Luckily my clothing cushioned most of my fall! There I lay...on my back staring up at the black night! It was actually very peaceful for a moment..than I heard some critter noises in the bushes and jumped up! I think that I will pick a slightly different line up that hill tonight!
Keep Climbing,
Lucas

Monday, December 3, 2007

Oh Boy

Not a super amount to share..Work was long and difficult last week. I had the opportunity to get in a few short rides...one of which was a night ride that I collided with what I hope was a deer! I was shooting down Chesebro Canyon when I came around a corner and went to drop through one of the "challenges" (it's a rocky steep section) when I saw something huge dart up the rocks and across right in front of me! I managed to catch its ass with my bar end! Luckily I was going fast enough to stay up! I wondered whether I should turn around and look with my light or make a break for it? I decided to turn and look...but all was gone. I am assuming it was a deer because it was to large to be a coyote and I am pretty sure that I heard what sounded like hooves scammering across the rocks! A few moments after that i rode through a small flock of bats and I am sure one tried to bite me? OK maybe not...but that was two scares within five minutes! Great ride though!
Friday brought a heavy rain and no opportunity to ride! The rain was supposed to start late but was pouring when I woke.
Saturday I rode early before the shop and it was 39 degrees F. My toes have yet to thaw out! Saturday night on my way home from the shop....MY CLUTCH BROKE AGAIN! Not two months old. More on that in a few.
Sunday was great. After recieving VERY STRICT after riding rules from the wife..(I had to driver her car to and from my ride! She no want's a stinky car!) I was off to meet Mike at his house in Simi Valley. We headed out towards the valley around 11 and rode to the trail head. Nice warm up in the cool air! We climbed Chumash and it was in great post rain condition. Only bummer was to realize that some goofballs had gone up and did some "trailwork" recently. Maybe someone can clue me in on why you would fill fun technical, but very ridable sections with dirt? Mike was pissed as this is his favorite climb that he rides a few times per week. We made it to the top of the 2.6 mile climb in about thirty minutes and headed over towards Rocky Peak. We looked for a trail that Mike had heard about and finally found it. It was a super fun, really technical downhill that had some sketchy areas. We then climbed up Stagecoach Trail to Rocky Peak Church and headed for Johnsons Motorway. By this point we had climbed about 2100 feet in 11 miles and I was feeling the pain. When Mike told me that we had about 2000 feet more to climb I about melted! Johnsons was really cool. It was really rocky and technical all the way up! I managed to clean every bit of it except for one toe tap. This made me pretty happy because I was having some balance issues earlier.
Once to the top we worked our way back to the top of Chumash and FLEW down! This is one of my favorite descents because it has everything! YOu have to be on your toes or you's in some trouble! We made it out to the road and dropped back into town. We had brought some money and stopped at Taco's Jalisco for a Super Burritto that was like gold! All in all we had about 28 miles, 4004 ft of climbing, and a ride time of 3:20 minutes! Just what I needed!
I won't enrage you in my car details. Ford, please take mercy on me?!
Ride On and Keep Climbing
Lucas