Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Too much good stuff!

Yesterday's road ride was awesome...

View Big Loop Around Diamond Valley And Skinner in a larger map

The wind coming back through wine country was killing me though. I didn't have much go juice left. Funny how energizing it is though when you finally get back on familiar roads and you know that the 3+ hr ride is close to ending! :)

I am trying to get back into the swing of training. So far so good! I feel totally fresh today which seems strange after a ride like that (and how tired I was last night at 10 o'clock when I finally took a breather). I suspect that our eating habits are playing a significant role in that. Hopefully after the next week or so I will be able to look up while on the bike and not have to fight to get back into Allison's slipstream! :) (what little of it there is!)

Things are super hectic, but quite good. Kinda screwed up I think, Allison and I cooked way too much food last night and now have filled our entire refrigerator with leftovers. Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but right now it means we need to pack them all up and take them with us on our little "Year End Adventure."

Tomorrow we will be heading out on the road for the next week or so. I will make sure to snap a photo of the rack setup fully loaded. The Black Max is going to look like a freight train with the moto and 4 bikes behind it! I am stoked though, it is really gratifying when I get to design and fabricate stuff again. Never get enough of that at work...

Monday, December 21, 2009

So nice to be back!

Saturday we headed over to OC to support the Hunger Ride put on by Rock N' Road. We brought some cans and boxed dry goods to donate to the cause then rolled out with a huge group of roadies.

Since Allison didn't like the idea of riding the MTB's I figured it would be best to stay with the lead group. There were some seriously big motors on tap like Brandon who won State Champs (MTB) by a significant margin.

I did my best to keep my nose out of the wind and conserve energy, but wound up popping off the back of the group. I was stoked for Allison as she managed to stay on for the whole ride. Not an easy task and she was the only female to stay with the leaders, so proud!

After the ride we ran a bunch of errands and I finished wiring up the lights on my new moto rack. I have yet to load it all up with bikes and moto, I'll post a picture of it when we head to the desert in a few days. I am stoked though that I can now load all our camping gear into the truck with the moto and 4 bikes on back! SWEET!

Saturday we put in some hours on the MTBs. We met Steph and Dan and did a bunch of loops in Daley Ranch. It was great to see them!

Unfortunately my time away from riding has not only hurt my ability to hang with a pack of roadies, it has also really hurt my ability to power through obstacles and technical climbing. Allison and I both did some repeats on some steep/technical climbing. Hopefully it comes back quick with some work.

Droning out silly Z2 work or doing "Wish I could just die now" intervals are so much less fun than this! :)

On a much brighter note, I don't think my descending has suffered too much with the time off. :)

Maybe it was just the jersey that was helping me out... :)

I have a long ways to come back to where I was at this past season but I look forward to the challenge. Keeping up with the wife is a tall order, but I am going to do my best to Mann up!

It is going to be a long few days before we start year end shut-down. This place is a ghost town!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Back in the saddle...

Well after a seven week break I am finally back to riding. It is great to get back outside, pedaling. I missed riding. Hopefully my fitness comes back as I would like to join the wife on her long training rides. At this point I have hopes of maybe getting back to where I was at last year fitness wise.

Moving up one age group isn't going to make racing any easier! I will still be racing with Gary (definitely one of the strongest athletes racing Cat1) and I know that several of the racers in 35-39 were putting significant time gaps on me in races in 2009. I also won't be able to resist comparing my times to semi-pro racers that I raced against in '09 like James, talk about depressing (maybe I can talk him into doing a SuperD at Bootleg or something so I can lay some smack down on him).

I had hoped to build on my fitness from '09 and go into '10 as a top contender for my AG. I now feel that it will be a stretch goal and I will most likely be further back in the pack. That is okay though, I am going to use the racing/training stuff to stay motivated so I can try to keep up with Allison.

I have taken it upon myself to try to free her up to chase being a high(er) level Pro racer. That means that instead of sitting with my feet up, I am hustling 100% of the time to get things done. Cooking, wrenching, running errands, (fixing flats!) I am now the core of the team (still not going to take on cleaning, as far as I am concerned the house can be a mess!). I like the feeling I get though watching her grow as an athlete, pushing to new highs.

I am also enjoying the moto very much! My little KLX250S is a blast and I hope to continue to get out on it occasionally to get my BRAAAP on in the dirt. I use it a ton to run around town and do errands. The other day I did some grocery shopping. My backpack was LOADED, but it saves on fuel costs and I can get across town MUCH faster! Pulling wheelies from stop lights is so much fun! :)

I am working on a rack for the truck so that I can have our bike rack and the Moto for trips. Hoping to weld it all up this weekend some time and will post pics of the finished product.

Friday, December 11, 2009

It's been a while...

I will get the bad news out of the way up front, I am sad to report that I am still on the injured reserve list. I have made efforts. Photographic evidence of pedal FAIL...

Lots of stuff has happened though since my last post. Thanksgiving was awesome! I cooked a nice bird for my mom, sister, Allison and I.

It was super tasty!

On the bright side I have a new toy...

...and am enjoying myself a great deal!

I still have hope that I can get back on the bike before too much longer and maybe still do some races next year. Gonna try to hit it up next week.

Monday, November 2, 2009


I have had the Korn song stuck in my head for a few days now. Today I realized that I had modified it as it played over and over in my head...

"All Day I Dream About Specialized"

... bikes that is.

So my daydreaming about bikes is probably more intensified lately. I can't ride, wait, rephrase that... I can't ride the way I want. I am currently suffering from Patellar Tendonitis. I can spin a bit, on flat ground, but no real riding. Did I mention that this sucks yet?

Weekend update:

Friday I drank too much.

Saturday I dropped off the Mannimals at the trail head for Noble. Talk about torture!

Sunday I ate too much, and drank too much.

I think I see a negative pattern forming here.

Working hard with the Physical Therapist, icing the joint, taking the prescribed meds, and trying to ensure I don't over stress the knees... all in an attempt to promote healing before the Training Plan is supposed to start up in a week.

Please let my knees come back around, please...

Happy monday!

Monday, October 26, 2009

San Jacinto Enduro

SHORT VERSION: It was long, hard, and satisfying...


I started mountain biking to get fit. I love being outside with my wife. Rolling through the landscape, for hours on end, on fat tires. Nothing else feels quite the same.

At times I gaze around me and try to take mental snapshots of the incredible scenery, the beauty of it all, the joy of the adventure. Other times it is very different. My head hanging low between my shoulders, my mouth agape gasping for air, sweat dripping from my head coats my presecription lenses and stings my eyes, a long string of spit and snot hanging from my face, trying desperately to keep pace.

Saturday I ranged through those extremes and others.

At 6AM we rolled out of the campsite near Hurkey Creek. The temperature indicator on the mirror in the truck had blinked "ICE" just before departing, warning us of what we were in for.

The roll out was uneventful, I tried to suppress the shivering enough to hold my position in the group. It would suck to crash, to cause a pileup before the sun came up. My hands were completely numb as was my face. My light was useless and Allison's had stopped working just yards from the truck.

When we hit the dirt the faster participants accelerated off the front. I stuck to my game plan and kept a steady pace. Luckily there was at least one guy that had a light, I didn't ever get a chance to thank him for it but I definitely appreciated his presence!

The sunrise was spectacular. At one point Allison said something to the effect of, "I want to remember this, the pink light dancing on the rugged mountains."

It was quite a sight! We were warming up quickly due to the effort too which was a welcome change!

When we turned onto the Rouse Ridge fire road I stopped. I took off my trusty Specialized Deflect jacket, got out my Rx Oakley sunglasses, switched from my PI Cyclone winter gloves to my Specialized half finger gloves, and peed in the bushes. Steph caught up to us, but Dan was still a ways back. I put a mark on the road and expected him to catch up.

On one of the climbs my RD overshifted and the chain fell between the cassette and spokes. I told the girls to continue on and that I would catch up. I have learned a trick, if you run a SRAM Quick Link you can quickly break the chain and then remove it easily from between the cassette and spokes without damaging anything. Once rolling again I made quick time and caught back up with the girls. The rest of Rouse went quickly despite the fact that I was limping along with a very near flat rear tire.

Once at Cranston Ranger Station I aired up the tire, took off my wool base layer, refilled my empty water bottle, peed on a bush, and fired up my Ipod in preparation for the climb back up to Idyllwild.

I took off up 74 a bit behind Allison. She was putting in a very solid pace and I didn't catch her 'till the 5S06 turnoff. At this point someone turned up the heat in the kitchen and we were moving at a solid pace up the 10% grade. When Allison is turning a solid pace on a climb we all know that it is time for me to drool on my top tube. Things were going well untill my RD overshifted into the spokes AGAIN. This time it took me a little longer to fix. I had sweat pouring into my eyes as I was hunched over fixing it. It stung like all hell. During the repair I used one side of the quick link to adjust the limit screw on the RD in the hopes of not having it happen again. Once back on the bike I put my head down. I wanted to catch Allison before reaching any navigation points. More drool on the top tube...

Reaching the asphalt at the top of the fire road was reassuring, and we picked up two other riders to make a foursome. I knew that there would soon be awesome single track which eased the pain of the steep paved roads to get there.

The single track in Idyllwild is really great stuff. One of the main reasons that I didn't object to participating in this event. It didn't let me down this day either. Our little group of four snaked our way through the sweet twisty, turny, techy, single track with me out front grinning from ear to ear.

Before long the single track was over and we were back at the truck preparing to go out on "Lap 2". The word on the street was that the second portion of the event was tough. I still felt okay since I had kept up with my nutrition and hydration to this point.

The new to us double track and fire road was not very challenging, except that we already had well over 50 off road miles in us. I started to slip on my nutrition and hydration schedule as it felt like my stomach was full, and I was having difficulty with anything sweet. Even plain water from my Wingnut pack tasted horribly sweet for some reason.

After a rocky descent back into the valley I remembered that I had a bag of un-sugary trailmix in the pocket of my Wingnut. I immediately dug it out and risked crashing on the sandy, post holed, double track in order to stuff some in my mouth. I knew we had another mountain to climb and descend and I needed some fuel.

The climb up Thomas Mtn. was grinding. I would slip into a labored state and pedal squares, then realize that I was wasting energy and force myself to smooth out, eventually slipping back to squares, and repeat. Around the half way mark my RD once again overshifted. I was too tired to be angry and fumbled with the repair. This time I didn't send Allison ahead!

We were both at our limits for the day and luckily only had 3 more miles of climbing. I felt rejuevenated on the descent down Ramona Trail but Allison was not feeling it. I waited up to make sure she made it down.

The final section was mostly flat double track and then some flat road riding. I motored along on the front, pulling for Allison, in the wind. I wonder what a non-biking passerby would think at what they saw. Two dirty looking people on bikes, the guy on the front tucked into an aero position with his elbows on his grips and a salt covered face twisted and screwed up from the effort, then the skinny little boy, or is that a girl, tucked in behind him equally dirty and sweaty and obviously uncomfortable. No number plates so they aren't racing... :)

At the last little rise to Hurkey Creek I was toasted. Allison stood on the pedals and zipped past me. I felt furious and chased. As we coasted down the hill I spread my arms knowing that soon I would be off my bike. It was more than just stretching the muscles and joints, it was a victory salute of sorts. I had conquered the challenge of the day and felt jubilant and free.


Happy Tuesday.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Off Season Continued...

This whole off season thing is very confusing.

Now that we have spent a year trying to get faster, it is hard to convince mind and body that it is now time to slow down. All in all though, things have been going pretty well.

I won't go through the painfull details on much since this is the "off season". :)

Good Rides, Good People!

Allison and I have done a bit of running to cross train, but I managed to damage the ball of my foot badly (probably my crappy shoes) and I had to take time off from the off season cross training... :/

Allison was the guest speaker at the Rock N Road Divas Night last week. What a cool group of women!!! They had the coolest swag/gifts too! No guys though so most husbands see this...

I got to hang out because I was running the presentation for Allison...

This last weekend Luke got married and I was in his wedding.

"Running just as fast as we can..."

I planned out a good hard ride. It was hot but we got 'er done! 47 miles, 8800ft of climbing, story in photos...