Friday, December 5, 2008

Time Has Come

Now that the back is feeling better, (thanks Dr. Wong and
accupuncture!) it's time to start rebuild version 3.0! I decided to
get my chubby Lola involved! We took a hike in the hills and she did
pretty well! I had to carry her a little bit but she will make the
whole loop in no time!
Also got in a ride yesterday which was awesome. Legs felt like crap
but it was amazing to be on the bike! Stay tunes for some Christmas

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Early Morning Hike

Monday I went on an early morning hike with my friend Justin and his dog Indy! These were the views that we were treated with once we made it above the fog! It was absolutely amazing! By the time we got back to the bottom, all the fog had burnt off! It was a great way to start the work week!

Sunday after church I took my dad out on his first "real" mountain bike ride! I had a really great time! We hit the Chesebro loop and he took it like a true champion! The first 20 times that I did this loop I had to walk large portions of it! Besides a couple bobbles on the two most technical parts...he rode the whole thing! I am way proud!

My health seems to be getting MUCH better! My back seems to be finally coming around as well. I am really anxious to get back to riding on a schedule but WILL NOT over do it. I am looking forward to a turkey day ride if the rain stops! Until then, I will be praying for the people in the burn areas!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I've Never Crashed My Road Bike...

Until now! I feel like an idiot! This was the first time I have been on my bike since Sacramento and I think I forgot how to keep the rubber side down?
I have been lacking in the post department because I got some bad news a few weeks ago. Rebuild version 2.0 has been put on hold because my worries were finally diagnosed. For the second time in my life I have been diagnosed with Epstein Barr Virus.(EBV) The symptoms that come along with this, complete lack of energy, no immune system, depression, muscle aches and pains, put me in a bad place a few weeks ago. I was shattered with fear and frustration of how I was going to make it through. My last bout with this virus lasted about 9 months, saw me gain 60 pounds, and was very difficult to come out of.
The first time I contracted EBV my Dr. put me on medication that would give me energy so I was able to make it through the work day. This medication was an anti-depressant and had tons of side effects. This was a rough 9 months for sure! If you go back to the very first post of this blog you can read more about it! I decided to do things a little different this time. I have to give a big thanks to Mom and Dad for their prayers and encouragement over the last few weeks. It's such a blessing to have parents that understand sickness, fear, depression, and ENCOURAGEMENT! I scheduled an appointment with Lisa Wong who is a Holistic Doctor. I have seen her change the life of many of my family members and even some co-workers. I have been saying for months that I was going to go see her for preventative care...should of, would of, could of?! I saw her a week and a half ago and she did a full evaluation and an acupuncture treatment. She put me on a few supplements and told me that I will be well in no time! This first course of supplements are to detox my body. I will follow that with tons of anti-oxidents to build my system back up. She believes that we can keep this from happening again! It seems very possible that training and not allowing my body to recover may have caused all this. I was also not filling my body back up with nutrients that kept my immune system strong and present.
I WILL be back. Stronger and faster than ever!
Keep Climbing,

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Senate Floor

Stopped by the Senate to give them a piece if my mind but they were
out to lunch! What's new?

Visit to the State Capital

Maybe lunch with Arnold... We will see!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Riding the River

On a little vacation with my lovelie! Luckily she let me bring my
bike! We are stating in west Sacramento with some family and I took
off this morning along the river! Long and flat suited me just fine
for what my body is going through! I followed the river for about 15
miles and then turned back towards home. Super beautiful weather and
very amazing time for me! All I want is to be on my bike and have my
body feel healthy.
Keep climbing

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Couple of Hours in The Sun

Still in rebuild mode. Not riding as much as I need/want but am working on a consistent riding schedule. Great ride in the sun today. Around Lake Lindero and then Lake Sherwood. Up and over Hidden Valley and back home! Looking forward to Lance's big announcement tomorrow. Maybe he is going to announce that he wants me on his team?

Rock on,

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Oh the Dirt!

Took a loop through the DIRT today! Not a long one but it was so awesome to get into some dirt with no back issues! Rebuild version 2.1 in full effect! Maybe there will be an end to my season? 8 Hours of Hurkey Creek? 12 Hours of Temecula? Please Lord let me stay healthy!

Climb Hard,

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Turf and Surf

Awesome day! 30 mile shop ride and then an afternoon of surfing!
Legs seemed to have a little more life in them and the heart rate is
going down little by little. Just what I needed after a long week at
When your surfboard is longer than your car you know that gas prices
are high!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Is Winter Coming Allready?

Easy ride this morning in the very cool and overcast weather! It was
pretty nice!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ghost Racers

I snapped these pictures last Thursday night during our weekly Fixie ride. I was not participating in the psuedo cross-race because I am still struggling with some health issues. I want this to be a positive place to read so I have decided to quit talking about my lame health issues. Time to remain positive!
I took these pics with my iphone so the quality at night is not to high. They came out really trippy! Hope that you enjoy! I got out on the bike today for a short spin and it felt great! Hopefully a little longer tomorrow!

Lance...making a comeback? Freaking awesome!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Rebuild Version 2.0

There is a reality that you face after being off of the bike for a period of time due to illness. Especially if you have to put your body through a bout of antibiotics. That reality is that your first few rides are powerless with a heart rate of a bazillion and the endurance to match a 4 year old an hour after eating a cupcake! The psychological aspect of this can hurt. My last few months on the bike I had gotten stronger, faster, and leaner. I felt as if I had really improved my training. Now I am just scared about how much of that I have lost. Today was day one of what I will call Rebuild Version 2.0. It felt so good to be in the saddle (except for the pain of actually being in the saddle!) I got in an hour at an easy pace and look very forward to another ride!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

North Americans Fall Short at Olympics

The men's XC race at the olympics happened late last night as most of
us were sleeping and the North Americans fell horrifically short. I
have personally seen our racers in action and am amazed by their
speed, talent, and endurance. I understand not having a good day. It's
as simple as sometimes you have it and sometimes you just don't. I
would love to hear from anyone via the comments button below, why they
think the Europeans are that much more dominant? Like I said, I have
seen these guys race and they are fast. I have even seen them beat the
euros on USA soil. What is it about racing overseas?

Lucas Crawford

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Can't Seem To Shake It

We arrived home last Friday night after a great two days ok the
island! I felt relaxed and was ready to get out ok my bike Saturday.
I had taken the whole week easy as I was not feeling so hot at the end
of the previous week. I woke Saturday feeling a little lazy and
unmotivated to ride so I waited until about 11am to take off. I wanted
to shoot for a three hour climbing session in Chesebro so I stocked up
on cold water and food and hit the trail. The first hour was
good, a little hot but exactly what I expected from my body. Entering
hour two I started feeling pretty powerless. I pushed on at a lower
cadence hoping that I could push through it but never seemed to
recover. I was about a quarter of the way up Powerline when I decided
that I as going to need to turn around. That still put me with about a
1000 ft. To climb and 45 minutes from home.
When I got home I drank some Recoverite and jumped into the pool. By
the time I got out I could tell I was I'm some trouble. I woke up
Sunday feeling like I had been beaten with a very large stick.
Wouldn't you know I seem to have another infection. This has not been
my year health wise. Tuesday night I had a temperature of 100 degrees.
Off to the doctor I went on Wednesday and a round of antibiotics was
the result. I am done with these health issues! I think it may be
time to talk to a sports physician and figure out where my threshold
for overtraining is. It seems that these weeks that I lay down huge
numbers, I end up over taxes. Hang I'm with me I'll be back on the
bike soon.

Lucas Crawford

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Great friends, amazing weather, wish it would never end!

Tracks of a different kind!

We saw a blue whale and it's calf on the way to the island! The boat
driver slowed and stopped so all could get a good look! It was pretty

On The Boat With The Youngins!

Hannah and Edan

No stress express!

The girls getting ready to jump aboard the no stress express to
Catalina! Fun pictures to come over the next two days!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Get ready!

So I figured out how to post pictures and text from my phone! Get
ready for post galore!

Lucas Crawford

Why I ride!


> If I didn't ride and had to sit in this EVERYDAY....I would be a
> little suicidal! Do yourself a favor...get out and ride!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Bony Pony Ranch

Mission: 4+ Hour ride in considerable heat at an endurance pace. Make it through without blowing up or getting cramps.

Variables encountered: 15-20 mph headwinds. No breeze on exposed mountain roads. Closed road in the middle of ride due to a large murder investigation.

Left the house around noon and headed out towards Moorpark. Once I dropped down Pleasant Valley the headwinds hit like a truck! No matter what gear I put it in I couldn't seem to get my heart rate below 150. I slowed way down with my end goal in mind and tried to push through. Once I made it through Camarillo and was heading towards the beach I started to encounter police galore. Once I got to the road I was to turn on I realized that it was closed and there were news vans everywhere. With not many other options I rolled up to an officer and asked if i could go through. He said that they were just finishing up and let me ride on!
Once to the beach I was hoping that the wind would be at my back and it kind of was! I was feeling pretty good as I hit the 2 hour 40 mile mark. So good in fact, I made the call to climb Yeurba Buena! Probably not the brightest decision that I had ever made, but I thought I could keep a manageable pace. Soon I turned away from the ocean and started the climb. Yeurba is a 8.5 mile climb with about 2600 ft of elevation gain. What makes it worth it is the 2.5 mile descent down Little Sycamore! It is bar far one of my top three road descents.
A little more climbing before dropping down Decker Canyon into Thousand Oaks. Once back into town the heat was high again and I was feeling some pain in my foot. I took my shoe off and shook it out. I was at the 60 mile mark at about 4 hours and was feeling the effects of the ride. No cramps and not blown up, I pushed my way home!
Ride Stats:
Distance: 65.79
Time: 4 Hours 24 minutes
Average Speed: 14.9 MPH
Max Speed: 47.2 MPH!!!
Average Heart Rate: 151 BPM
Max HR: 179 BPM
Ascent: 4279 ft.


Ride Hard,

Monday, August 4, 2008

Ride, Work, Bee's, and a Lesson For and From My Moms

What a week! I did just as I had planned and rode to and from work Monday and Tuesday! 106 miles in 2 days! I started Monday morning with the idea of it being a "recovery" week. I rode pretty easy that morning and felt pretty good the whole ride. I headed home at about 6 PM and decided to try to hit it. As the weeks of this high gas price year roll on it seems that there are more and more commuters everyday! That meant one thing for me on the way home... rabbits to chase! I dropped about 5 minutes off of my fastest time! The best part was that I felt pretty consistent and in control. Tuesday I awoke and was pretty thrashed. I was having second thoughts about riding but dragged my lazy butt out of bed and took off! Once I got warmed up my legs seemed rather snappy and I decided to push it at about 95%. Once over the hill and into the valley I had one of my customers from the bike shop ride up on me. He was on his Gary Fisher Superfly outfitted for a daily road commute. He was running some narrow street tires and keeping a pretty good pace. We talked and rode at about 80% and I ended up about 30 seconds off my fastest time! I had a long day at work and ended up not leaving until about 6:40 PM and that sure did not leave me much time to get home! So I gave it my all and hammered at about 105% the whole way home! I didn't feel as strong as the day before but I felt pretty freaking good. I definitely feel as though I am riding at a quicker, stronger pace! I had to wake up at 3:45 AM Wed. morning for work and I will say that I was feeling pretty thrashed. I took the day off from riding and hit the sheets early! Another early day at work on Thursday and I was hurting from the 345 AM wake up call! I was excited about the Thursday night Fixie ride. We had talked about doing Hidden Valley so I was a little freaked with the lack of energy that I was feeling! We ended up not doing Hidden Valley but we rode about 20 miles through some pretty hilly parts of town. We ended the ride with a test run of the first half of the "Tour de T.O. Blvd" race course. After all the climbing I managed to get the lead but when we hit a yellow at Westlake Blvd...Sammy blew through it and that was it! I hung in for second and figured I could make a pretty good run at the actual race if I am feeling good!
Friday morning I hit the dirt and wanted to push pretty hard. I picked a climb heavy trail route and hit the gas! I felt pretty snappy and then I came across this sign:
Let's just say that I slowly pedaled through Sulfer Springs. This sign wasn't there last week! I pushed at about 90% for 1 hour and 15 minutes. THe heat took it's toll and I blew before hitting the top. I found a pace and then recovered a bit on the way home.
Saturday brought a ride with the parentals. We loaded up the new ride with the bikes and headed to the harbor. A little ride halfway to Santa Barbara was on tap!

Check our Pop's HUGE Hoops!

The fog was pretty socked in and it was cool. Mom took off like a Jack Rabbit and said that she needed to warm up a bit. It wasn't long until you could tell that my mom was feeling a bit of pain. She was having some cramping trouble and was trying to push through it. We made it to the turn-around point and she stopped to take a rest as I jumped on my Dad's new Gary Fisher Cobia to try it out! I am very envious of the big hoops and really, really, really starting to fein for a Siren Song!
We made it about 5 miles back before Mom had to make the very tough decision to call it a day! We decided that I would ride back to the car and bring it back so Mom could drive it home. I thought that this would be a great opportunity to do an 8 mile time trial! Legs were feeling good so I pushed it all the way back to the car at 105%. Once we got Moms bike on the car she high-tailed it back to the house and my dad and I pushed on.
The Ventura County Fair was going on and getting through Downtown was a little freaky even for me! We made it over to the Boardwalk and headed back towards Oxnard. When all was said and done we had done about 40 miles and got to spend some great time together! My Ma was pretty bummed and I tried to explain that sometimes your body just doesn't want to cooperate. I know that that doesn't really help to just pretty much sucks! Oh yeah...what I learned from my mom is that Eggplant is full of nutritional value! I had read in a book a couple of years ago that it has none and told her that. She quickly printed some stuff off to prove me way wrong! Thanks Ma.
Sunday morning brought another mountain bike ride with my buddy Mike. We had decided to hit up some trails that we don't really ride all that often. I rode from the house to the trailhead about 5 miles away and when Mike showed, we decided to do a trail that I had never ridden. It was straight up from the beginning and it was awesome! Killer trail I had never ridden in my own home trail system! Great ride..Great week..time to recover!

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Mike, Rory, and Jenn after climbing to the top of Rocky Peak via Stagecoach Trail and Johnsons.

I picked Mike up at his house and we headed over to Corriganville Regional Park for the Bionicon bike demo. My friends Rory and Jenn met us there and we all picked out the bikes that we wanted to ride. I chose one of the only ones that they had left in my size, the Edison LTD. I knew that we had a tuff ride with over 2000 ft of climbing planned so I was a bit worried about taking out a bike with 6 inches of travel, adjustable or not! Not many other choices so we were off! We headed up Stagecoach trail which was Tuff (with a capital T!) Its about 800 feet of climbing in two miles! I would like to bring up the fact that Rory picked the Iron Wood which is a downhill bike with 8 inches of travel! He kept pace with us the whole way up Stagecoach! The way the adjustable travel works on these bikes is they have a handlebar mounted button that you push to move the travel more or less. If you want less front travel you push the button as you lean forward on the front end. Then before heading downhill you lean bag and push the button and the travel extends. It only took about 1 quick descent to figure out how to be ready for the changing terrain. I had absolutely no trouble with quick adjustments after the this!
We were soon climbing Johnsons and I was feeling some muscles that were not usually utilized. I was in a different position than on my bike and I was feeling it! Mike was climbing like a freaking Billy Goat and I was having a hard time keeping usual. There was a couple times that he just rode away from us! About a quarter of the way up I was able to pass Rory and separate myself from him. I should have been ahead of him considering he was on a 35 pound bike with 8 inches of travel. I still can't believe that he climbed as quick as he did!
As we hit about 2 miles to go we just seemed to be baking in the 100 degree sun! I was really enjoying the bike but was so ready to be at the top! We started to descend and I could not believe how FREAKING AWESOME it was to descend with 6 inches of travel! You just float over everything! We were very quickly at the Hummingbird trailhead. Hummingbird is one of the more technical descents around here and I could not wait to drop in! Usually on my bike there are a few spots that I have to dismount and walk down...on the Edison...not so much! The only time that I (purposefully) dismounted was to edge through two rocks that were not wide enough to ride through! I was so stoked! I was FLYING down this hill! And then it happened....almost! We were literally 300 ft. from the end of the trail and I ALMOST bought the farm! I somehow started to nose wheelie down the trail and off the's all a little fuzzy from the shock but I somehow was able to get the back end down but when I did my foot and leg drilled into the ground as the pedal pounded into the back of my leg just above my ankle. It felt as if it had broken in half! I think I was still in shock that I was not 50 feet down the side of the trail but once at the bottom of the run I jumped off my bike to inspect the damage. Other than a pedal mark in the back of my leg and some immense pain all seemed to be intact! We pedaled back to the parking lot a cuple miles away!
I REALLY enjoyed my ride on the Bionicon Edison LTD and really enjoyed spending time with my friends! When we got back to Mikes he was showing me how to slide on his new Drop Board! It was super cool! It was also really hot so we didn't last long. Mike called me later in the day to make sure that I was OK because I looked like a zombie when I left! It was a sweet day!
This week I hope to commute Monday and Tuesday then I have two days of having to be at work at 5 and 6am! I will definitly get in some afternon rides and I think that we are doing Hidden Valley on the fixies Thursday night! Yikes!

Keep Climbing,

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ride Ride Ride

The new ride with my baby on the back! Mad thanks goes out to Mike Mahoney for the blessing of the bike rack! No bikes in the car!!
It's been a great week so far! My plan was to ride to work monday. I usually wake at 515 am in order to give myself time bit all of a sudden it was already 6! So I rode to work at 95% of my maximum heart rate! I actually felt really good for the ride and was stoked on my average speed of 18.6 mph over the 26 miles! I also beat my best time by 3 minutes! I was worried about the ride home since I had expended so much and then kristen reminded me that I had promised to take her to the movies when I got home! So I figured what the heck let's smash it! I was stoked to find a only a small headwind as I headed through the valley floor. I was maintaining 22 mph and pushing a 172 average heart rate! As I approached the North end of the valley and the start of the climbing I found the missing headwind. I was starting to go into debt and wondered where I was going to find money to pay the banker! I settled into a smarter pace and pushed myself up the hill into Calabassas. The pain cave was starting to swallow me whole as I continued to climb. Finally at the top of the grade I started my descent and almost to the bottom I saw a bumble bee coming towards me! I sees that in slow motion he stopped in mid-air, turned around, and dive bombed me stinger first! Oh it hurt! He got me on the hand between the thumb and first finger! Freaking rascal! After about 5 minutes of trimg to scratch and squeeze the poison out I took off. I made it home in just 10 minutes more than what it took me to make it to work which I think was another personal best! I was definately thrashed!
Tuesday was a rest day as I woke up and just couldn't get my legs moving! Wednesday I hooked up with my buddy Mike and we hit up La Haas climb and flew down Chumash! I realized as I almost flew off the cliffside a couple times that I need to spend some more time on my mountain bike! My bike handling skills seemed a little off!
For our Thursday night fixie ride tonight we are supposed to do Potrero! This is a 26 mile loop with about 1800 feet of climbing! I'm a little scared as this is a tuff ride on a geared bike! Tomorrow, if I'm alive I will me riding to work again! Then Saturday I will be hitting a mountain bike demo with Mike. Bionicon is in town and I am looking forward to giving their bikes a try! I hope to get 4 plus hours in the saddle that day one way or another!
See if you can pick out the goes up, up, and up!
Ride on,

Friday, July 18, 2008

Hammer On

The last week in the saddle has been pretty freaking good! After a few frustrating post antibiotic rides, I felt my legs start to come back! I also got my mountain bike back last Saturday! I've been having a great time in the dirt since then! I'll leave to with this thought, Ricardo Ricco, how freaking lame!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Health....Sometimes Doesn't Cooperate

Sorry that I have yet to post a pic of the SWEET new ride as promised...I'll try to get it up this week.
I am typing this as I sit in the doctors office yet again. I finished up 15 days of antibiotics on Monday and my body has definately paid the price. I have been riding a bit since Thursday of last week but with no real power or endurance. Just trying to spin lightly to work my fitness back up and deal with the sore joints and muscles.
Bummer is, after 15 days of medicine, the cold is gone but I still have some sort of blockage in my sinus. Hopefully I will find out what that is here today and how to fix it? Hopefully no more meds!
My awesome parents had given me a ten day supply of vitamans to combat what the meds were doing and boost some energy levels. They really seemed to be making a difference but I ran out and need to now order them! My mom went through the trouble of sending the links to me so that I could order them from I just need to wait until payday...:(
I hope to continue to spin lightly for the rest of the week and maybe be ready to start commuting to work via bike by this weekend. I just don't want to put my body into a debt that it can't repay! I have already been sidelined too long this season. I think that my focus will now be on three races for the rest of the season. 1 day state championship XC race, 12 hours of Temecula solo, and 24 hours of Hurkey Creek 2 man team with Rory. We will see!
Pray for Health,

PS...check out his new jersy's will be pre-ordable next week! Hint..hint..sure would make a great christmas present for me...or anyone! (XL!). They will go quick again! They sold out in one day last month!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Ellings Park XC Race Report

Hot, hot, hot! Did I mention that it was hot? I guess this will always be the case when you are racing in SoCal in the middle of summer! They changed up the course for the better this year! They had us start on the beach side of the mountain instead of on the opposite side. They had also cut some new single-track that kept us from having to climb the horriblw fire road each lap. There was actually more climbing with the new course but it was better!
I really did not know what to expect on race day considering that the two days prior I had been experiencing horrific allergies. I actually felt OK when I woke up but was still worried! It was a little foggy when I got up to santa barbara and that excited me! With each passing minute it seemed to get warmer and warmer. I ran into some friends and had some nice conversation that kept my mind off of the impending pain!
When we lined up there was a pretty good bunch of guys that were towing the line! The gun sounded and we were off! I quickly went into oxygen debt and found myself near the back of the pack halfway up that first climb. I kept my eye on the ONE guy that I wanted to beat and when we neared the top of the hill he attacked hard! This is his home course and I instantly new that he had a statagy. I rode a little harder than I wanted to that first lap because I was at the back of the pack and that put me into some serious hurt as we finished lap one.
I backed off the pace(so I wouldn't die!) As we started the opening climb. I figured that I could try to recover and hope everyone else would blow at some point. By the end of lap two, it started to pay off as I passed a good number of ridersd that were suffering in the heat. I had also passed 2nd place at this point and tried to create a gap between us. There was no sign of first and that hurt a bit! I took it easy for the first half of the last lap and then tried to turn on the burners. I settled into a decent pace and just rode my race. As I got near the finish I tried to stand up to sprint but quickly realized that my muscles were screaming HECK NO DUDE!!! So I sat right back down and cruised across the line!
I finished in 2nd about 6 minutes back! That second lap had really killed me! I was pretty stoked with my performance all things considered!
Well I started this post three weeks ago and never got around to finishing it! In the mean time I have been off the bike for two weeks(finally back on for the last two days)because of a bad sinus infection. We moved last weekend! We only moved about 150 yards but it still took four days! My mountain bike has been in the shop with fork problems for the last two weeks! I hope to get it back from Fox on Monday! The most terrific news to report though is that I spent most of the day yesterday(4th of July) getting rid of the Death Mobile!!!(Ford Focus)
That car had almost killed me in numerous ways and I thank the amazing Lord for removing that pile of evil from my life! I was able to take full advantage of people trading in their larger cars, and picked up a fully loaded 2007 Chevy Trailblazer with 35000 miles on it for under $13500!!! Definately not the best gas mileage, BUT the car is in amazing condition and will be the perfect "race mobile!". I will post a pic here by the end of the weekend!
My friend Mary Collier (wife of Siren Bicycles madman Brenden) is getting close to finishing the Great Divide Trail Mountain bike race from Canada to Mexico! It has been such an experience just watching her do this, I cannot imagine what it's been like for her! I will post a link to the site later tonight when I get home. Hang in there Mary! You are almost home!
I am trying to ease myself back into training since I just finished 15 days of antibiotics. I need to go see the doc again this week as I still have something wrong with my right sinus. Hopefully getting it taken caree of will not require more medicine?! I hate what that crap does to my body!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

$4.28 a Gallon!! How About $3.00 Every 50 Miles!

It seems as if the prices are not stopping! $4.18 one day, $4.28 the next! I have now committed myself to commuting by bike everyday that it is possible. From my door to my store it is just over 25 miles. The plus of the ride to work is that the majority of the climbing is all in the first 10 miles. That being said , coming home, all the climbing is in the LAST 10 miles! No complaints because it is definitely helping with my fitness level and weight loss! I eat an energy bar before leaving home and then one more before heading home! Thats three bucks instead of the millions it costs to fill up my tank!
Saturday morning I took a slightly different route once I got into the San Fernando Valley. With the light traffic I thought that I would ride Ventura Blvd. the whole way down. Do you know how many restaurants I passed that were cooking some sort of breakfast food? Let's just say that it was enough! I will NEVER take that route again unless I have some time to stop and partake! On my way home Saturday I saw this crazy fire burning next to the road!

Saturday I overdid it a bit. I did not bring any lights since I usually get out before 5PM. was nuts all day on Saturday and I didn't roll out until about 6:15! I pushed at about 95% into a headwind the WHOLE WAY HOME! I pulled up to home just a the sun set. I was thrashed! I can't wait to see how I improve on my riding time? With that jaunt home I set the bar pretty high. Another benefit is that I am carrying about 15+ pounds on my back so when I go out on a regular ride, I'm feeling pretty light!
It seems like I see more and more people commuting by bike everyday! Maybe if enough of us ACTUALLY drove less, prices would go down! Thursday night rides are getting bigger and bigger and so much fun! Here's a picture from last week! (notice the police escort on the right!)

Ride on,

Saturday, May 31, 2008


What a great experience I had on Thursday! I mentioned in my last entry that I had given my dad my old mountain bike and that my mom had just bought a bike. They were so excited like little kids at Christmas that you couldn't help but be overjoyed with them! They had already laid down the gauntlet by doing a 30+ mile ride for their first ride in...oh I don't know....25 years!
I had the EXTREME pleasure of taking them on their first ever mountain bike ride! I told them to meet me at Sycamore Canyon and Pacific Coast Highway at 10:30 am!
I had ridden down through the canyon from Thousand Oaks and ended up being a couple minutes late after finding that 5 of the creek crossings were still running! My dad was kind of pacing around trying to find a cell signal so he could call me and find out where I was! It was 1033! They were so excited and that was awesome to see!
We headed into the canyon and my mom took off like someone had just screamed go! She was quickly 100 yards ahead of us and I asked my dad if he had ever heard the expression,"don't burn all the matches in your book!" He said that that's how fast she rides! I asked him if this was the pace that she kept on the Ojai ride and he said yes! I told him that he was in trouble!
I caught up with her and realized that she was in her BIG RING! After noticing that she wasn't shifting for the little hills I asked her why not and she said that she wasn't to comfortable with shifting yet! I gave her a quick lesson and she exclaimed how much easier it was to pedal! She then increased her cadence and took off again!

On their long first ride she had started to cramp up near the end and I had told her about nutrition and hydrating! They had brought all kinds of goodies with them including fresh cut pineapple and nuts! About halfway towards the turn around I led them off the double track onto some sweet single-track! You could tell they were a little nervous at first..ok..for most of it, but every time I glanced back they were right on my tail eating it up! Once back on the fire road moms said that she didn't know if she was ready for that. I told her that she did awesome and she just grinned from ear to ear!
At the turn around we chowed down on bars and fresh pineapple! We headed back towards the beach and my mom just hit the gas again! It was a little slower as we had a bit of a headwind but she was still pushing it hard! The second time through all the water crossings they seemed to have it down...choose a line and pedal through!
When we got back to their car and I we talked about how far we had gone(12.5 miles) my moms next comment was,"that's it? Let's go home, wash the bikes and go for another ride!" FREAKING AWESOME!!!
This was definitely a highlight of my life! I couldn't of asked for the experience to be any better! I look forward to many rides with them! Oh yeah...the next day they did the 30+ mile Ojai ride again! Then they called this morning and asked where they should ride today!

Ma and Pa...Ride On!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Thursday Night Fixie Fun

As we are coming out of the cold winter nights, Thursdays are getting better and better! When I asked for a Fixed Gear bike for my birthday back in January, I had one thing on my mind...Thousand Oaks Chain Gang Thursday night rides!

Drew (The Pirate?) Guarding the fleet!

As the weeks roll on, there are more and more people showing up to ride! We meet at the bike shop around 7PM and start rolling at about 7:30. All kinds of folks show up. Guys, gals, and youngsters. Most have fixies but some show up on geared road bikes and occasionally something crazy like a tall bike! We usually head down Thousand Oaks Blvd.(The main street in our community) towards Moorpark Rd. The larger the group gets the safer we all seem to feel riding on the busier roads. We usually get lot's of honks and waves. People get a kick out of seeing us all riding down the road. We also get the occasional jerk that wants to give us grief! Whatever! Once we hit Moorpark road it's a climb up to Toppers Pizza! Some of the best pizza ever!

After salad and pizza we have been lately heading out trying to find a place to race. Some weeks it's drag races, other weeks we map out a course. The last two weeks we have been going to the park behind the Thousand Oaks Library. We figured out a CRAZY figure 8 cyclocross type of race track. The first half-lap is on a 4 foot wide sidewalk that has twists and turns(even a bridge crossing) that are hard to navigate on a fixed-gear! Then it gets even CRAZIER when you hit the second half as it turns to a sandy path that also twists and turns! People were even crashing as we slowly rode the course pre-race. It then turns off the sand path onto the grass where you have to duck under some tree branches! A mushy jaunt over the soft playground surface and you finish the lap! 3 laps was the call and the first week out was NUTS! There was crashing and banging from the start, (no injuries) and I couldn't even hang with 3-4 of the guys! After that race we decided to do a gate to gate drag race. The road through the park is shaped like a big U. There are closed gates at each end and I would say that it is about 1/2 of a mile or a little more all the way around. We had someone yell o and I got a pretty good start. I was 3rd at the half-way point and I think we had pretty much dropped everyone else. As we approached the finishing gate it was slightly uphill. I looked up to see Bobby Langin Jr. and some other racer guy hammering with their heads down. In a flash Bobby screamed OH SH...and next thing you know he was flying over his bars! He did he pretty good tuck and roll and came right up to his feet screaming' "Did I win, Did I win?" The other guy had locked up into a skid that was no less than 25ft! Yeah...they were flying! I locked into a skid(I have no brakes, this is a complete lock up of the legs) and barely missed crashing into the fence! I guess we should have checked the end of the course first! The whole way back to the shop all we talked about was Bobby's Superman over the fence! He's got a pretty good talent for crashing onto his face!
We had about 20 people this last week and hope that it continues to grow! We will have to start reserving the party room at the pizza place! I also got to do the Ride of Silence this last Wed. This was a memorial ride that was held all over the country last week. Thousand Oaks had about 300 riders show up! It was pretty cool as some bike police also showed to ride with us. We rode up Thousand Oaks Blvd and made a big loop back around to the start. It was about 12 miles and there were all kinds of riders there! There were a couple really young kids that did the whole 12 miles on BMX bikes! There were old folks, racers, tag-along's, and even a few tandems. It was kind of funny when we were sitting in the parking lot waiting to take off and there were people eating GU"S and Shot Blocks! We asked each other if we missed the invitation to the race? It was a great time! We rode to Taco Bell afterwards and managed to eat a lot!
Sometime in the next couple of weeks will be the big Chain Gang Race that we have been planning for over a year! It will be from Agoura High School to the Jann's Mall parking lot! Straight down Thousand Oaks Blvd! There are a couple tough hills in the first 5 miles so correct gearing on the fixie will be key! I will definately have some pics!
I HAVE TO GIVE A HUGE CONGRATS TO MY MOM AND DAD! They have been looking to buy a bike for my mom and actually went out and rented one to try. So any regular Joe would go to an easy short bike path to get a feel for the bike! Nope! Not my parents. They decided to ride from Ventura to Ojai and back!!! Ummm yeah...that's 15 miles each way! It climbs 1000ft from Ventura to Ojai and then when you head back to Ventura it's all downhill, but usually a headwind right in your face! Though she started to have a little cramping, they made it the whole way! Awesome! Way to go guys! I am dropping off my old mountain bike to my dad tomorrow! Next up for them, a ride through Sycamore Canyon! They want me to go with them but I am not sure I will be able to keep up!

Ride On,

Friday, May 23, 2008

National Race Report

Wow! What a race! I am really glad that I pre-rode on Saturday in the heat as I think that it helped my body adjust...or ready itself for the hell I was about to put it through! After a rough nights sleep on the hard farmland, I awoke to cool air and a touch of fog. I new that it would get hot quick but I just couldn't decide on what jersey to wear? I definatley made the right choice with the short sleeve.
We lined up with a fairly large group and a lot of the usual suspects. There are some real powerhouses in the 35+ clydesdale class that are really fast and I even notoced some new guys to! We started at about 817 am and it had heated up quickly! We were off at a really quick pace so I tried to jump on to the front group as best as I could. I held on pretty well for the first climb even passing a few guys! Legs felt good but I knew I had a long way to go. The had us do this weird quarter lap twice. It included the hardest climb of the course so the second time up I backed off a touch so I wouldn't blow up! I continues to pass slower riders and then I hit the descent! I just let go of the brake and flew down the hill! When we rounded the corner by the dual slolom course to start the next climb, I found myself staring directly into the hot sun! I was sweating so much that I gave my bike below a bath! It was SOOO hot! I settled into a pace and started sucking down the liquids!
I really felt this climb as it felt like every rotation of the pedals I got closer to the sun! Soon I was at the top and really just blasted down the hill! I knew the corners to slow for from the pre-ride the day before and I was really able to open up some gaps on the guys behind me. As I rounded the landfill and started that climb I realized that there was two guys from my class right ahead. This is a rolling climb with 3 levels before it tops out and drops into the valley back towards the finish. I got close to the two guys and waited until the third roller to make my attack. As we approached I stood up and hit the turbo as I climbed! I blew past them and I think caught them by complete surprise. Knowing that I had a big downhill for recovery...I was pretty much going at 170 percent! At the bottom of the descent I looked back and saw no one! The next section of single-track is hard as it's slightly up-hill and a little technical. I kept my effort at about 130 percent and was able to put more time into the guys! As I hit the next short and steep climb I had to dial it way back! Once over that it was another fast descent that leads you to the last climb.

Right at the begining of this monster...I saw an angel! There was a man with a cooler and bottles of ice cold water! He sceamed as I approached asking if I wanted it dumped down my back? I screamed back that I wanted it on my head! He warned me that it was ice cold and I told him that I didn't care! Just dump away! That was SO WHAT I NEEDED to get up this hill! As I was about 1/2 way up I kept feeling as there were people closing on me and I tried to push as hard as I could! Once to the top (totally blown) I got ready for the last descent. I caught two more guys on the way down and found a way around them! Once at the bottom it was 2 miles at a 1 percent grade to the finish! I dropped through the creekbed and hammered it the last 1k to the finish!
Not only did I win my class...I beat EVERYONE that I started with! I can't tell you how much this win stokes me! Though XC racing is a total blast, my focus is longer endurance events. Winning XC is like butter on a warm muffin!

PS: this was once again typed on my blackberry during lunch...please forgive any spelling errors!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Santa Ynez National

I woke early today in order to get the dogs walked and to get Kristen ans I some breakfast. Then it was off to get a BADLY needed haircut! My chops were so long I was afraid that they would slow me down! I then stopped by the bike shop to pick up my trusty steed! I blew up my rear wheel yesterday for the last time and decided to just get a new one. It seems that I always need to replace something vital a day or two before a race!
I hit the road only to realize that the good ol' 101 freeway was a parking lot due to the Oxnard Strawberry Festival was going on. It also did not help that it was 11am and already 95 degrees! Everyone seemed to be headed for the beach. Before long I had made it through Ventura and it was pretty smooth sailing until I came up on an overturned SUV near UCSB. That took a b it to get through but I arrived to the venue just in time to watch the Pro XC guys take off! I felt really bad for them as it was 102 degrees!
They had a great showing with most of the big guys showing up. After the end of lap 2 there was a group of about 10 off the front and they looked pretty freaking strong in the heat. The finish was an odd one! The first guy came in and there was no one with him? I couldn't tell you his name as it did not sound familiar to me? Geoff Kabush came in about 2 or 3 minutes later. Then the next 8 to 10 guys came in seperated by a minute or more. I had never seen it so strung out? Weird!
I then got dressed and headed out for a lap on the course. it was still over 100 so I filled up a bottle and my camelback and was off. I find this course pretty tough as far as the fact that there is not a lot of recovery. You are either climbing or descending a very rough very narrow singletrack! Me being the fat belly that I am....I have a hard time on the climbs. There are a couple steady climbs that I may be able to hammer up and make some passes on...we'll see!
When I got finished I went up the hill to watch the dual slalom races. This was pretty intense! It's so cool to see all the pro's that you read about! These guys are so dialed it was fun to watch the fly down the hill!
I went into Buelton for dinner and then headed back to the course to settle in for the night. It's cooled down considerably as I sit here and type this out on my Blackberry in my tent! Please forgive any spelling or gramatical errors as there is no spell check on my Crackberry! I will send a full race report tomorrow night! I really want to win this one....
Please don't forget get about ! I would ask that you please continue to pray for the Nelson Family. Susan has had some better days since radiation started and the blogosphere keeps pouring out support for them which is awesome! He's had some cool and touching updates this last week...
Keep climbing...

Monday, April 28, 2008

Oh man...I think I'm gonna Ralph! 8 hours of Hurkey Creek Report

I had been looking forward to this race all winter! We were supposed to race the 24 hour as a 4 man team, but each and every one of us had to work on Sunday! I was just as stoked to do the 8 hour race and started training pretty hard about 4 weeks ago. I started commuting to work through the valley on my fixed gear in order to get riding time in on days that work would not allow regular rides. I found a bike path that runs from Woodland Hills to Sherman Oaks and is pretty much as flat as a pancake.

Monday the 14th I woke up with a devastating cold! I had been training really hard and was worried that I had overdone it. I went to the doctor that day and he told me that the nasty cold was going around. He wanted to put me on antibiotics and I said NO! I did not want to risk the side effects of that on my body!

Rory, Jen, and I drove up on Friday. We arrived a little after two and it was HOT and DRY. We set up camp and rode around the venue a bit. I wanted to ride the course to loosen up the legs but Rory wasn't feeling it so we just hung out relaxed, told stories and laughed our heads of.

It heated up considerably as 12pm approached and the wind was gusting pretty hard. Soon it was time to line up for the Le Mans start and Rory and I found ourselves in a sea of racers. We had a huge field of 48 sole 8 hour riders! The biggest ever at this event! The gun sounded and we were off! Rory and I had agreed to briskly walk as we are not big runners and did not plan on being out in front on the first lap!

The first lap was slow and steady. You start with a an amazing technical two mile climb up through the edge of the canyon. It was slow with all the traffic, but that helped us keep a manageable pace. When you hit the first aid station at the top, the fiirst roller oaster section shoots you around the mountain into the back valley. Once in the valley it turns to double track which is the first and best opportunity to pass people. The only problem was that as soon as you turned into the valley, the wind was blowing 20-30 mph right into your face! This made it really hard to not exert too much energy early on! I think that we over did it a little on the first and second lap. The descents are AMAZING at Hurkey Creek! Like fast downhill roller coasters! We rolled through the finish line with a time of 1:07. Jen had our bottles and food ready for us and we were off on lap two.

Lap two was a little quicker up the opening climb and we again pushed it to pass some slower guys out in the windy valley. Things got a little crazy as we descended into middle of the course we were following some slower riders. Rory went for a crazy pass on an even crazier line and ALMOST pulled it off! Next thing you know Rory's body and bike were turning sideways and looking like death was imminent! But no! He was stopped by a very large bush! He was a little torqued but like a champion was right back onto his bike and behind me in just a moment! As we were finishing up this 2nd lap my stomach was really starting to bother me and that was making me not want to ingest any of the liquid that I had on me. That had the side effect of cramping! We came through lap two at 1:05! New bottles and a pep talk from Jen and we were off on the lap of disaster!

With every pedal stroke I felt as if I was going to hurl my insides out! Rory was starting to cramp pretty bad and we continued to ride ourselves deep into a pain cave. We took a break at the second aid station and drank lots of water. That seem to make me want to hurl even more! It did help with my cramping though. We rode through the finish line with a lap time of 1:34! Hideous! When we stopped at the pits, Rory started to self-destruct. His muscles went haywire and he passed the point of no return. I drank some more plain water and managed to get a banana down and spent over 10 minutes stretching. After a 15-20 minute break I took off for lap 4.

It wasn't an easy lap for sure but I put one pedal in front of the other and pushed out another lap. I was actually passing some slower riders which gave me the confidence to push a little harder. I really opened up on the downhills since that did not require pedaling! I managed to make up a lot of time on the descents. I rolled through the finish with a lap time of 1:47. My actual ride time was 1:15 minutes! I had spent 30 minutes trying to recover between laps and one stretching stop during the lap.

After some heavy praying during lap four, my stomach was no longer hurting and my legs seemed to regain some of there snap. I climbed steady and strong and managed to ride the whole lap. About halfway through I came upon another 8 hour racer and he looked back and saw my plate. He took off like a rabbit and I went on the chase! I pushed as I hard as I could and came within a bike link going into the final limb but blew up as soon as I started the ascent! Once at the top I flew down the whoop section and into the finish line. Rory and Jen were standing just under the finish holding a beer for me. I was undecided about one last lap. I had peeled off a lap of 1:09 and realized that I could probably get one more in.

As I looked at Rory, I asked him how he was doing and you could tell he was having trouble just standing there. I decided against the lap and opted for the beer instead! The crowd gathered at the finish line seemed happy with my decision as they roared with applause as I took a drink! Kind of funny.

When I was said and done, I was really happy with the way that I rode. The heat was definitely not helping in the cramping department. I also learned a valuable lesson in the nutrition department! I had mixed my drink very concentrated in order for each bottle to last longer....not a good idea!

I ended up in 14th place!!! That's out of 48 8 hour racers! I am super stoked with that result. Not a bad way to start my endurance season! Back to training!

Keep Climbing,

Sunday, March 16, 2008


My First Fixie!

Beautiful Day

I apologize that I left you with the statement that I would try to write more regularly and then I wait 15 days to post! I have continued to work some insane hours yet see the fruit of my labour. It's truly amazing to watch the cement poured into a foundation and then move it around a bit trying to level it out. I find gaps and cracks but work quickly with the crew to smooth out the roughness. It is so close to setting that I am running out to buy the lumber for the frame!
When I have a free moment I try to first spend it with my lovelies(yes, that's Kristen and my doggies, not my bicycles!) I find myself not wanting to spend a ton of time on the computer after a day of work. I have barely been able to keep up with all my favorite blogs, let alone find time to get to mine!
I have been able to get a fair amount of saddle time in! I also raced the first California State XC race last Sunday. It was a pretty crazy race! My friends and I were smart enough to set our clocks before bed on Saturday...not the case with everyone else! They pushed the start of the race back an hour because there were so many people showing up late. It was an AMAZING turnout! Men, women, kids, it was nuts. Definitely the largest turnout to a state race in a long time! It was also great to see all the usual suspects that I had not seen since winter. I felt great during warm-up and then went over to wait for my start. This is one of the things I dislike about XC races. You warm-up before the race and then you start 17 minutes after lining up! I am always cold and sore for the first 10-15 minutes. Endurance races are a little different as I don't warm up much and start much slower. XC races are like a Japanese Bullet Train from the sound of the gun. I need to experiment a little more with the XC warm up. We had a decent group that we started with and the pace was fast. I was able to lead out the group to the first climb and then started dropping back into the pack. I managed to stay ahead of the guys in my class about 1/2 way through the first lap. That's when I was overtaken. I stayed close until the long climb towards the end of the lap and then he just rode away from me. It is very apparent that I need to drop this extra weight that I am carrying around. I feel very fast on everything except the climbs. Carrying my fat butt up these climbs is tough! Midway through my second lap I was passed by a pro that then broke his chain right in front of me. I stopped an offered my chain tool and a quick link. In the end I was about 14 minutes behind first place yet still managed to pull off 2nd. The results of this race were a little crazy as some of the big names did not do to well. Most people had set up their feed zone in the wrong spot and missed getting fresh bottles on all their laps! There were a lot of crashes too! My friend Bobby Langin Jr. went down pretty hard onto his face! He pulled out after the crash.
Mike Mahoney and I did a 4.5 hour MTB ride yesterday and it was amazing! I don't get the opportunity to blow him up very often and feel so great when I do! I had another hour at least, in me! I won't talk to much about the fact that when he pulled his bike out of the car at the trail head, his shock was completely broken. He rode the entire 40 miles with 4700 ft of climbing in "Lockout" mode which totally changed the geometry of his bike and pedaling! I don't think I could have done it! When we were climbing Overlook in Sycamore Canyon which is a 6ish mile climb, he rode away from me and stated later that he decided to put the "HURT" on. I gave him mad props then laughed at him later when he was suffering! Good times!
As you can see from the pictures above, Kristen and I took the bikes up to Ventura for a little sun therapy. We rode the bikes along the beach path then headed into town to see an old friend. It was a really great day! I love when Kristen gets on a bike and enjoys herself!
I am hoping to do 3 long rides in 3 days at the end of this coming week. Wed-Friday I hope to get in 4+ hour rides. Hopefully the weather will cooperate!
Please keep Kristen and I in your prayers over the next couple of weeks as we may have an opportunity that would change our lives forever!
Keep Climbing

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Catch Up

I have been playing catch up in every way the last few weeks. Not a bad thing, there has just been so much to do! Work is going great as far as the shape that we are starting to take! It hasn't been easy...but it's been fun. I have been finally catching up on my mileage! No trainer! Actual mileage!
I don't remember if I told you all what I got for my birthday? Well if not, let me share! My lovely wife heard my birthday wish and got me a fixed gear Limited Edition Specialized Langster "London"! This thing is so freaking sweet! I have been having a blast on it. Riding twenty miles on this is like riding 40 on my regular bike! No matter which way I ride from home, it is so hilly! This makes for a non-stop ride of pain! The Chain Gang, which is the my friend Drews fixed gear bike club here in Thousand Oaks, have been teaching me a few tricks when we ride. I have learned how to do a pretty good skid. When we rode this last Thursday night, they taught me how to do a 1 footed 180 skid! I'm also getting better at track stands. When I have an hour or so to ride and the dirt is out of the question, I have been grabbing this bike. I can get a pretty intense hour in!
I had the ride/hike from hell last Saturday. I got home about 3:15 and decided to hit the dirt before the rain started again. I took off into Chesbro Canyon and went for a climb! I climbed Palo Comado and the technical single-track that parallels it. As I got up to China Flat it started to rain a bit. Luckily it was all downhill from there...or so I thought. I was about halfway down when my rear tire blew. I was cold and wet but knew that I could change my tire quickly. Tube, check, CO2, check, CO2 adapter....crap... where is my adapter? Say it isn't so! Well, it was so! I was about five miles from home! The light of day had just gone and the rain was picking up. I started jogging down the hill with bike next to me but that didn't last long! By the time I got home I was a meat popsicle! You only forget your CO2 adapter once!
I have been squeezing in rides almost daily! Thursday I went on a great ride with my friend Mike and his friend Evan who is the Giant Bicycle demo coordinator. He just started in the position and was sharing his travel plans for the year during the ride. We rode out in Simi and I was a little tired from my fixed gear ride the day before. As we were climbing up Stage Coach Trail, I managed to fly over my bars and land on my face! was great! I must have hit my knee either on the bars going over or on the top tube as I face planted because I have a bump on the inside of my knee that looks like their is a golfball under my skin! It's a little freaky! It was a great ride and much needed after the long week of work!
That same day I did a ride with the Chain Gang through Thousand Oaks. It was a blast!
This morning Mike and I hit Sycamore Canyon. The fog and the moisture were super thick but it was great! We held probably our fastest pace through our ride ever! It felt great! It was more like a race ride. The trail was excellent with the moisture.
I have to work tomorrow but plan to get up early and get a three hour ride in. Next Sunday is the first California State race. It's a course that suits me well. Hopefully I can make it!
I will post some pics of the new FIXIE soon and try to blog a bit more regular!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Meltdown...Marathon Race Report

After a long week of work and very little training I awoke at 4am to head out to Santa Ynez! I met up with Rory and Jen at their apartment and loaded up the car. Our race time was 7:30 am and we arrived to the course at 10 till 7. As we rolled up to the venue which was at the Firestone Vineyard we were a little freaked about the FROST on the ground. Our fears were quickly realized as we stepped out of the car and walked over to registration. It was FREEZING! We registered and suited up. Knowing that it would warm up once the sun rose higher, I opted for the short finger gloves. Bad news for the first lap! We had 8 total for the marathon race. Not a big crowd but pretty much what I expected with the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo going on at the same time. This was an open class race which means that Rory and I were way out of our league! Then the ball was dropped...The race announcer told us that there was 1700 feet of climbing per each 11 mile lap! That's almost double the norm of an average cross country course. I just wasn't expecting that much! The gun sounded and we were off! The start wasn't too crazy but within the first mile 3 guys were gone! About a 1/2 mile in there was a water crossing! The layering meant nothing as my feet were soaked with ice cold water!
Rory and I managed to pull away from a couple of riders and settled into an average pace. As we ended the first lap there was even a larger water crossing! We came through the start/finish and got new bottles. All the XC racers were showing up and started t cheer us on. The second lap, Rory and I both started having chain suck issues. Between the creek crossings and the dust, our drivetrains were making sounds that you would here in a haunted house! About 3 miles into my second lap I took a pretty good fall on a descent. I had put about a minute on Rory so he missed out seeing this spectacularly lame crash! I drilled my whole left side into the side of the mountain! I was up quickly and just a little dirty and maybe a little embarassed!
By the end of the second lap I was starting to worry about wether or not my legs were going to loosen up. Usually this is where my endurance starts to kick, not so much. Rory and I yelled to Jen to hook us up with some lube and she than met us over at our bottles. Chain was sounding better as we headed out but that all came to an end as soon as we crossed the water again! We should have taken the bottle with us! When we hit the steep climb about three miles started, cramps...oh crap! I tried to keep up with Rory but told him to ride on because I was going to need to slow it down. He took off and I was instantly in no mans land! I knew I still had two guys behind me so that kept me motivated to press on.
This lap hurt. I was off the bike stretching out cramps for a good 10-15 minutes total. I was able to push good on the last climb and then push hard through the valley back to the finish. I was having mad trouble breathing from all the dust and new that if I tried to go on that I may end up hurting myself. I called it at the end of my third lap. I was bummed that I did not have it in me. On the other hand...I really enjoyed myself. Rory had gone out for lap 4 and when he came through the finish they stopped him and would not let him do the final 5th lap because the winner had already finished. He was bummed because he really wanted to finish. Usually he has the problem with the cramping, not me.
This was a great first race for me. I had a blast and so look forward to the season getting underway! Final stats for my race:
Lap 1: 1:18
Lap 2: 1:27
Lap 3: 1:44
33.4 Miles
5100 ft. of climbing
1 Funny Faceplant
1 not so funny crash
1 hammered drive train

Keep Climbing,

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Good. Great. Grand

Just wanted to leave a quick update. I have been enjoying my training very much! Lot's of work but also have been sneaking in rides almost daily. I had a great ride on my birthday Tuesday. Woke up early and hit the road for a 30 mile tempo ride. Legs are really starting to come around. Went to Disneyland after the ride and had a blast! Two days until the Firestone Vineyard Marathon race....60ish miles....pain....sweet. I can't wait! I'll post again soon with some pics of rides.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Bean Update-Chumash Ride-Sycamore Canyon-New Job and the Longest Blog Title in the World!

This is Such a Welcoming Sight!

As you read last week, I took Bean to the vet on Thursday. We thought that he was going to need A tooth pulled. All was well when I dropped him off and I headed to the shop for a day of work. I went to pick him up at 5PM and walked into devastating news. I was told that they had to pull 11 of Bean's teeth! My heart sunk even as they told me that he was doing OK. Chihuahuas are known to have bad teeth.(When we adopted Pippin he had just had all his teeth pulled.) I waited for what seemed like a lifetime for them to bring him out, it was probably 5 minutes. When they carried him over to me he was visibly HIGH from all the drugs and his tongue was hanging out the front of his mouth. I lost it and was overcome by emotion. The vet came out and told me that he was surprised that Bean had been eating for the last few months as his mouth was really thrashed. He had exposed roots and broken teeth. He also stated that Bean would probably be a brand new dog. I wrapped the little guy up in a blanket and headed back to the shop. I held him for the next two hours and he stared off into space. When I got home I laid him down in his bed and he didn't move for an hour. When Kristen came home he got up and tried to walk but fell over like a frat boy during rush week. It was so sad! I had to give Bean pain medication via syringe every 8 hours for the next couple of days. I am proud to say that little Bean has really started to come around and actually has become very active in the last two days. He has always been the only of our four that never gave us kisses. Last night he started giving Kristen and I little pecks! Thanks to all who sent prayers and good thoughts are way. I am confident that they made a difference.
Last Wed. I went for a ride with Mike in Simi. We headed out from his house in the middle of town and went towards the valley. We climbed Santa Susanna Pass and hit the trail at the base of Johnson's Motorway. It was probably 35 degrees when we left and didn't seem to get much warmer. The scenery was beautiful with waterfalls and green everywhere. It took us about an hour and a half to reach the top of Rocky Peak

and were then treated with a super fun descent down Chumash trail. The wind had picked up extremely to the point that I aired over a peak and was pushed about two feet sideways in the air! Scary! We headed back to his house and finished a great ride!
Friday I woke up with "The Crud" and I was not happy! I really wanted to get a couple long rides in but was unable with the way that I felt. Finally, Monday I went for a two hour spin down to the beach

but kept it very light as I had very little energy. It was pretty muddy with a few water crossings as you can see from the pics below.

The Shoe Cam!

The Head cam!

Today brought the beginning of my new job with Restoration Hardware. I was pretty nervous to begin this new chapter in my life, but after my first day I am proud to report that I am stoked with my new job. I spent the day with my new boss and he is really cool. I know that I am going to learn an amazing amount from him and really enjoy his leadership. We match up pretty well. I have a big job ahead for the next couple of months as I need to completely rebuild the structure of this store. This is the kind of thing that I am really passionate about and look forward to the challenge that is ahead. I will be training in Santa Barbara for the rest of the week and am looking forward to the drive up the coast. I was thinking about the days that I work later, taking my surfboard and getting in some riding on the way. I want to also take my bike and lights on the earlier days and hit up some of the great riding. I spent an hour on the trainer tonight and am still not feeling very peppy. I hope to lay down some time in the saddle over the next five days as I need to get ready for the
Marathon race at Firestone Vineyard next Saturday. 60ish miles! Good times!
Keep Climbing,