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!