Monday, November 9, 2009

It's Been A While

Posts coming soon....promise...

Saturday, August 15, 2009


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep Climbing

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Susan Nelson..A Hero

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

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

Sunday, July 26, 2009

169 Miles. Oak Park to San Diego. Done.

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

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

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

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

Santa Monica Pier

Chain Gang..Party Time!

If you look close enough you can see the planes!

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

Bicycles and colonics! What a pair!

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

Surf City Hunnington Beach

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

Fashion Island Newport Beach

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

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

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

Bike path forever in Dana Point

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Breakfast: Egg McMuffin!

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

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

Keep climbing...

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

Friday, May 1, 2009


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

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

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


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


Keep Climbing!

Sunday, April 12, 2009


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep Climbing!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Holy Freaking Bee's!

So Giant Bicycles had a demo in my local hills today. Mike has a cousin looking for a bike so HE HAD A PLAN! Yikes! A little extended test ride was the goal that they shot down as soon as we arrived. Our friend Evan is the normal Demo truck driver but he was out of state with the other truck so we were out of luck. Not to worry, Mike had his wife drop off his bike and I had brought mine with me. After a loop on the Anthem X2 we turned the bikes in and said goodbye to the cousin. We mounted our trusty steeds and hit the trail with big climbing plans.

We headed out from Simi Valley and kind of hugged the edge of the lower mountain as we made our way to Thousand Oaks! We hit the trailhead off of Avenida De Los Arboles and started our long first ascent! This is a somewhat technical climb that I have done only once with Mike before and all I could think of was this one pitch that is over 30% grade! I did well as long as I kept a steady pace. The climbing loop we had done on the demo bikes was already weighing on my legs and I realized that I had forgotten to bring any food! When we finally hit the steep pitch I made it about halfway up before bailing. Mike made it all the way up as he usually does! Jerk! From there the descent pretty much started and it is a great technical descent with rocks, drops, water breaks, and other craziness! We got to the craziest part and Mike dropped it after taking a good look. I started to drop in and freaked a little. Mike yelled that I better turn around and try again so I did. I swallowed hard and rolled down it with no problem!

This trail drops you into the backyard of many of the rich and famous. The houses are unreal and the trail was in great condition. We made it to Lindero Canyon Road in Oak Park, (right above my apartment) and then made our way to Dead Cow. I was hurting pretty good and was really starting to worry about what we had left between us and my car back in Simi Valley. I suffered 3/4 of the way up Dead Cow as I watched Mike fall into a groove and ride away from me! When the trail turns less technical 3/4 of the way up, I found a pace and cruised right up. We made the loop at the top and I was really in the hurt worrying about the climb home.

We made the decision before dropping Albertson Motorway that we would follow the same lower mountain trail back to he car. That left only about 300 ft. of climbing and made me feel a little better! Once we hit the top of the steady climb we were home free and started flying towards the car. About 300 yards before the parking lot it happened....WHACK! Right in the forehead! It looked and FELT to big to be a bee and I was stunned! I could still feel it moving in the hole of my helmet but I was going to fast to take my hand off the bars. Then it bit/stung/scratched me and I hit the brakes. I ripped off my helmet to see this fall out:

Ummmm... I was a little freaked out. I kept touching my head to make sure that there wasn't major swelling. The "Thing" could not fly away because he was obviously injured. He was about as large as 50 cent piece and not pretty! Mike finally realized that I wasn't behind him and rode back to see what was going on. I felt better when he said that my forehead looked okay, just a red mark. Pretty crazy! We hit up The Hat for lunch and destroyed a Roast Beef sandwich and Chili Cheese Fries! I was decimated! Great ride. I won't ride without food again!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Parentals, God's Beautiful Green Earth, Deer, 3 Flats All in a Great Week


Holy smokes! Tons to report! My riding started last Sunday with an hour in the brutal wind! Legs were a little tired after the day at the Fillmore skate park opening! Monday I needed some solitude and headed out to Sycamore Canyon for a 3+ hour ride. The goal was to not cook myself early and shoot for 4 hours. Legs felt really good, there was a slight cool breeze and there was almost no one out! I dropped into the hill, flew down 2 Fox trail and then headed up Guadalajasco then down Backbone trail. From there I headed out to the beach for a look at the waves and a refill of fluids and Hammer Perpetuem. As I started up Overlook I was surprised that they had been bulldozing it and it was as wide as the 405! Overlook is a 6.8 mile fireroad climb that is a nice steady grind. The bulldozing was about 5.5 miles up and it made some sections BRUTAL. It was like riding uphill in sand! After a while, I was at the top and had the reward of descending Guadalajasco! So much fun! I started out Wood Canyon and headed up the backside. I was entering the pain locker after the deep dirt climb and decided to head out instead of the one last climb I had planned. So dropping the last single track trail I came around a corner a little to fast and almost washed out! When I looked up I had two beautiful deer were staring me in the face. Cool! I still had he gnarly witch to climb back up to my car and I was quickly deteriorating. I made it and I had logged 3 hours and 40 minutes with 4025 ft. of climbing over 31 miles! Close to the 4 hours! I was a blast and I was destroyed. I had stopped by a bike shop to get a packet of recovery drink and they had no packets! Hmmmm, In and Out is in the parking lot! Double Double was on tap and it was GOOD! About 5 minutes after inhaling that I started to feel a serious rumble and thought, hmmmm, maybe not the best idea! It passed!

2 Deer

Tuesday I headed up to Oxnard to go on a ride with the parents. With the heavy wind at the beach we decided to ride to Ojai and back! Mom took off like a rocket as usual so Pop and I tried to keep up. Legs were tired but fared very well for the 30 mile ride! At one point my Dad through down a little speed challenge so I took off only to watch him BLOW by me moments later! What?!?!?!?!?! He hammered me! We hadd a greeat ride and it was awesome to spend some time with them!

Mom and Pop

Wed. was an early morning photo shoot for Honey at the new skatepark! The grand opening was so crowded we decided to hit it early in the morning on a weekday! It was a blast!

Fillmore Skate Park

Mike had been dying to ride so Thursday morning we hit an early loop in Simi Valley! Legs felt suprisingly good and we HAMMERED up Lajas Canyon and then I suffered up the connecting climb to Chumash! Another great ride with beautiful weather!

Friday I did not expect to ride but after arriving home from a funeral (Welcome Home Mitsu Lankford!) I had about an hour to spare and decided to do a race loop through Chesebro. I managed to keep a pace that was at about 90% to 105% effort! I was pleased with the pace and the legs felt pretty good! I can't say that they felt all that great later in the evening though!


This morning Mike had the idea to get in a 3 hour ride in Sycamore Canyon. Now I loves me some hours in the saddle but I know that Mike was going to want to climb....a lot! I was a little worried but of course down to give it a shot! We met at the trailhead at 8 and there were probably 30 cars! Mike waited until we had dropped into the canyon before telling me what he had on tap! First trail was normal...but then...he uttered two words that I hate to hear! Coyote Trail! Ohhh crap! Coyote trail is about 900 feet of gnarly technical climbing with some short rises that are about 30% grade! Then after all the climbing there is ultra tech downhill that opens up into a GREAT flowy section that drops out onto Two Foxes. From there we headed up Sage Trail (more climbing) then down into Wood Canyon. They had done some bulldozing so you had to pay close attention! Next we climbed Guadalajasco at a great pace and then started our FLIGHT down Backbone. Right after passing two slower riders I heard PHSSSSSHHHHH! Flat! Bummer. Put in a new tube and jumped back on the bike only to hear PHSSSSHHHHHH 100 yards later! Two flats in 100 yards! Yikes! The mosquitos ate us alive as I changed the flats! From there we headed out both pretty destroyed! Up the witch and we were back at the car! Chipotle to refuel and a beautiful end to a great week of saddle time!

Grace and Peace.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

3 Days

3 days of riding! So awesome! Thursday afternoon I climbed Dead Cow Trail spending a little over an hour on the mountain bike. Friday was finally a day for some hefty mileage. I drove over to Pacific Coast Highway with the road bike and parked at Leo Carrillo State Beach. The plan was to ride to Venice Beach about thirty miles down the coast and then back. It was a little chilly but that worked to my benefit I'm sure! The beach was beautiful and the waves were pumping pretty good! There was a slight headwind (I thought) and I was looking forward to turning around and having a tail wind. (I wished!) From where I parked there is about 900 feet of climbing on the way out and 1100 feet on the way back.... after 50 miles!

It was great to get to Santa Monica and pass the pier and finally get on the bike path! Lots of interesting people! Venice was also an eyeful! I finally turned around at the end of Venice and I had traveled a little over 30 miles in 1 hour and 39 minutes. As soon as I turned around I knew that I was in trouble! The wind had picked up considerably and was coming off the ocean directly at me! Holy smokes! About 5 miles into this I started feeling cramps form! I said a few prayers and stopped to fill up my bottles. I downed a bottle and after refilling I headed back out. I was able to keep a pretty steady pace but the wind had dropped my speed by about 3 MPH. Whenever I was right along the water the wind just drilled me. So much so that my first big descent that should have been 40+ MPH, was like 25! I tried to stretch as I rode and just continued to pray that God would help me make it the 20 miles I still had left!

I was feeling OK and got to the last 6 miles that I would have to climb close to 1100 ft. As I hit the first big hill passing Zuma Beach I stood up only to have BOTH of my legs lock up so bad that I almost fell over! I sat/fell back to my seat and picked an easier pace. Another prayer and I managed o make it up the hill. I was really starting to worry about getting back to my car and having to step off of my bike! Slowly but surely I came around the corner from my car and was relieved! As I stepped off of my bike I had no issues (thank you Lord!) It had taken me 30 minutes longer to ride back than it had to ride out! Super fun! A little over 3 hours and 45 minutes. Sweet!

This morning I felt better than I thought that I would which was good because a ride with my Dad and Justin was on tap after the mens breakfast at church. My Dad and I rode from the church out to Malibu Creek State Park where we met up with Justin. It was pretty freaking cold but we had a blast. On the way back to the church my Dad and I rode up Mulholland to Cornell which was a great climb! Another two hours on the bike and it felt great! Hopefully I can keep it up! It felt good to ride for so long yesterday!

Climb Hard,

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tour of California Time Trial Solvang

Tour de France 08 Winner Carlos Sastre

My parents invited me to go to the Amgen Tour of California time trial stage in Solvang yesterday and I jumped at the chance! It's just a short drive for us and we hit very little traffic through Santa Barbara for a Friday morning. We arrived and caught a shuttle into town. We arrived about 2 hors from the start time and the town was already filling with spectators out to see the race and or Lance Armstrong. As we walked down Team Row we first came upon Team Saxo Banks TT bikes! Beautiful Specialized Transitions. Then we walked up on the Garmin camp and were treated to Christian Vande Velde getting ready to pre-ride the course. He's definately one of my favorites!

Christian Vande Velde

Next was the "Rock is not Dead" Rock Racing area. Tyler Hamilton was being interviewed by someone and then was very gracious to sign some autographs for the crowd. It was kind of funny the dress of the crowd hanging around the Rock Racing area. It was very Hollywood!

Tyler Hamilton Being Interviewed

We had walked by the Quick Step area a couple of times and there was always a group of ladies waiting for a look at Tom Boonen. When we walked up again he had just finished warming up and was heading into his RV with a gaggle of ladies in tow! It made for a great pic for me though!

Tornado Tom Boonen

We finally walked into the Astana camp. Johan was out doing interviews and Levi's wife and parents were also walking around with his little chihuahua. The team cars also pulled up with Levi and Lances TT bikes. What a sight!

Levi's Family and Beloved Dog

We walked through the expo area and then went and found a great spot about 125m from the start house. It was cool to watch my parents experience the race. They were so big eyed and full of joy! I felt the same way but it was inspiring to see their excitement. We watched the first 20 or so fly by at full speed and snapped a few pics. Here is a great one:

Tyler Hamilton at the Start

We then took off towards the finish to try to find a good spot. We found a great spot on some stairs and decided to eat the great lunch that moms brought! I took tons of pictures as the riders flew by to the finish. We were about 300m to the finish. We tried to get a little closer but just couldn't find as sweet as a spot so we then headed back. Floyd Landis was open mouthed as he passed by. Hurting. Ouch. Get it?

Floyd Landis Hammering it Home

As it was about time for Lance to come through and the crowd started filling in! It was getting pretty intense! There were even folks climbing into trees to get a good look!

People Waiting for a Glimpse!

We could sporadically hear the crappy announcers and we knew that Lance was a little over a minute behind the Zabriski. But when he came by the crowd went TOTALLY INSANE! Awesome!

The Man..The Legend..Lance Armstrong

Zabriski was on pace to beat Levi's course record but we knew at the time split Levi had 8 seconds on him. Barring a catastrophe a course record was coming! Zabriski was flying so smooth as he passed.

David Zabriski Briefly Setting The Course Record

At one point they had reported that Michael Rogers was 2 minutes ahead at the time check and the crowd was BUMMED! A few seconds later they came back on the radio and said that there was a mistake and there was no way that could be right! He was totally moving when he flew by us! He ended up 4th on the day.

Michael Rogers 300m From Finish

With Zabriski on the board with a record time we only awaited Levi! As he came over the hill the crowd got louder and louder! He was in the zone, opened mouthed but smooth as he FLEW by! 1st place! Levi Strong! Just as Lance said!

Levi 300m From Winning

We were all on a high of what we had just witnessed and the whole crowd was buzzing. We headed over towards the Astana bus and were treated to Lance cooling down as he downloaded to his coach Chris Carmichael and Johan. Chris Horner was signing autographs and the crowd was a little crazy. Everyone (including myself) wanted a peek at Lance! It was cool!

Lance Cooling Down

Our very amazing day was capped off by an hour wait for the shuttle. Only to be topped by an HOUR 4 mile ride back to our car! Only yet to be topped by a horrendous drive through Gaviota, Goleta, Santa Barbara, and finally Carpentaria! It gave us all a great chance to go over all the amazing things we saw and experienced through the day! Thanks Ma and Pa! I had a great time! Way to OWN it Levi!

Keep Climbing,

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sonic Boom

Looking Down Into Simi Valley from Rocky Peak

After some crazy rain this last week, we saw a possible riding window on Saturday. Mike and I knew the dirt on Johnsons/Chumash would be great and the views beautiful so that was our poison! Dean decided to come along and we headed up the pass at about 10:30am. The climb up Santa Susanna Pass was a little easier than last week and I ALMOST kept up with Mike. We pulled away from Dean as this was his first ride in a pretty long time! It did feel good to actually pull away from someone! The first part of Johnsons really sticks it to you with 15 to 18% grade for a 1/2 mile. Once passed that I found a steady pace and just tried to stick with it. I picked up a nail straight through the tire and had a quick stop to change out the tube. I managed to climb really well with no bobbles until the last little technical section! Mike and I had regrouped and decided to sprint the last 150 yards. He stuck it to me being one gear lower than I. Dean experienced the sonic boom and walked the last section! Poor guy. The drop down Chumash was perfect! The berms were awesome and the trail smoother than ever. We met Mikes wife and kids at Chef Burger for lunch and it WAS GOOD! Sourdough Melt...MMMMMM!

Looking Down Into Los Angeles from the Top of Johnsons

After church Sunday I thought I would take my chances with the mud in Chesebro and do my loop. Legs were not doing so hot after yesterdays effort but it was so beautiful out that I tried not to concentrate too much on the pain! The first part of the trail was in decent condition and I was having fun. I was about 3 miles from home when I hit the MUD! Somehow I missed seeing that it was coming and rode right through it. Chesebro mud/clay is not cool! It was great to get out and I can't wait until this rain is gone. I really need to spend some hours in the saddle building my base and dropping a this extra weight that I am carrying! It's pouring as I type this....poor guys racing in the Tour of California. Must be miserable!

Above Sulfur Creek in Chesebro

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Ocean Beach

Kristen and Lizzie at the Ocean Beach Pier!

MMMM In and Out

God's Beauty

San Diego Bound

Hadti get out of the house with my beauty so we called Grandma Jan to
dog sit and we are heading to San Diego to visit Kristen's cousin
Lizzie! Once we made it out of the SFV the rain broke and the clouds
are freaking beautiful! I will try to upload some more photos!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Not Ready

Mike was riding from Simi to Malibu today and asked if I wanted to
hook up with him in Thousand Oaks and climb Decker Canyon? I
unfortunately said yes! The weather on this Super Bowl Sunday was
amazing! (sorry to all you who may be in a deep freeze!) I headed into
Westlake to meet him and he had made really good time as I was late.
We headed towards the canyon and Mike blew a tube. I should have taken
that as a hint but no, I pressed on!
Decker Canyon is about 1400 ft of climbing in 1.7 miles. The
hardest part if the climb aptly named "The Wall" is right in the first
half mile! I was not ready for this climb. I have climbed this road
over 100 times probably and it is never easy! Even at my top form
it's hard. I had to stop on the wall for about 15 seconds to catch my
breath. It hurt bad! I definately for the first time felt my extra
weight as I was pulling my fat butt up the hill! We did make it up to
the top and I wishes him safety and fun as he headed down towards
Malibu, and I was back down the way I came! I thought that I would be
thrashed on the way home but other than the stupid headwind, I felt
decent. As I sit here I am feeling it though!
Super Bowl was awesome! Such a great game! Way to go Steelers,
and amazing job to the Cards who almost pulled it off!
Thats Mike in the picture as we climbed the canyon. He took it like
a champ with a 12-23 sprocket! Freaking animal!

Keep Climbing(as for me I will work on some steady base miles I think!)


Friday, January 30, 2009

Oh My!

What an amazing day for a ride! I have been able to get in a bit of
riding! Yesterday was my first real test of climbing! Mike and I hit
up Chumash. We rode from his house and climbed Lajas Canyon which is a
steady 1000 ft. Fireroad climb. In the 40 mph winds funneling down the was tough! When we turned off towards Chumash there was
1500 ft if climbing over the next two miles. As we crested one hill we
got a little freaked out when we saw a herd of bullhorns! We
proceeded slowly and realized they were not mean angry bulls! As we
got closer to the top the wind got INSANE! The gusts had to be over
60 mph! It was a bit scary! The ride was awesome and it was great to
get some miles and climbing in.
Today I hit the road with the mission of more climbing and another
2 plus hours in the saddle. It has been MONTHS since I rode Rockstore
and I was feeling the call! My legs felt good on the way out and I
hit the bottom of the hill and headed up. My goal was to not stop and
just keep a steady pace. I did it! I was stoked! I was WAY in pain
at the top! Next hill is Power Climb and there is not much recovery
between Rockstore and it. That was a killer for me today but I made it
up loving every minute of it! Then as I crested the hill I saw two
cyclists stopped and kind of looking around. As I pulled up and they
stopped me to ask directions. IT WAS GEORGE HINCAPIE!!! So freaking
cool. He was with Steve Blick from Oakley and they were trying to get
back to the valley! After giving directions I told him that he was
awesome and wished him luck for his season and took off with a little
extra pep in my pedals! So cool! Once I dropped down into Westlake I
had absolutely no power left! Riding the last ten miles uphill into
the wind was horrible! I felt like I had been out for 4 plus hours!
All in all I was pretty stoked with the ride! It feels so good to be
back on the bike!

Keep Climbing,

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Riding in the Winter Sun!

I've been on the bike a bit in the last two weeks! I actually rode
for 2 hours in the dirt on Monday! I felt great afterwords to which
is very inspiring! I need to get some steady paced miles in to rebuild
the base but the wind has prevented that! I finally got out on the
road bike for the first time since the crash! Let's just say I took
that corner pretty slow!

Keep Climbing,

Lucas Crawford

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bath Time!

Finally a day warm enough to give the pups a bath! I forget how small
Bean is until he gets wet!