Monthly Archives: December 2010

No Rest for the Weary

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Yesterday was crazy busy for some reason. I rode Sue to work at 8am and kept going up the coast. I stopped at the Pannikin for some coffee, did a little more and rode back. I rode up Country Club to the top of Mt. Soledad. The steepest way yet. Much harder than Via Capri.

I then jumped into the car and drove up to Irvin to meet Wayne Stetina at Shimano. It is so weird driving around here. Sometimes it seems like it is a movie. I was cruising through the Marine base, Camp Pendleton, over 90 and wasn’t really blowing by people. I don’t even know what radio station I was listening to other than it must of been from outer space. One minute Personal Jesus by Depeche Mode is on and then this country western song comes on, Tequila Makes Your Clothes Fall Off. It was pretty surreal. Southern California.

When I got to Shimano, Wayne was in his cycling clothes, which surprised me. And he never changed out of them. He commutes everyday to work. Pretty good.

I thought it was going to be a quick in and out trip. But, I ended up staying there a couple hours. Wayne and Jesse decided that I needed my shoes form fit, so Wayne personally did it for me. They are great. At least walking around on carpet.

I barely got out of Orange County without getting snarled in the Friday afternoon traffic. I hit some super slow stuff up by Laguna and then down by Carlsbad after going through Camp Pendleton. It took me only 50 minutes to drive the 75 miles up there. Pretty great average. It took me over an hour and a half to get back. And I think I was lucky. I could never live here just because of the traffic.

Today, out the door at 7:15 to meet up in Rancho Santa Fe at the bakery for a long Saturday ride. I might bale early since I”m racing tomorrow. I not sure yet. I have to jack with my bike some before Sunday’s race in in LA. Should be another crazy busy day. It doesn’t seem right to be so rushed on the weekends.

The traffic was moving pretty good through Camp Pendleton. The temperature was a little cold though.

I passed this auto carrier on the drive up. There is a AMG Mercedes sitting right behind this beat up bus.

This guy was following.

Wayne vaccuming my hot shoe on.

Pile of stuff I got up at Shimano.

I think I'm going to have to race my old shoes this weekend and test out the new ones next week. Here is a shot of my customized sole on my old Shimano shoe. Griffo tread.

Done Riding by Noon – Nationals TT mistake

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I’m not sure why I’m dwelling on this so much, but I can’t believe how many miles I get and it is still way before I normally even leave to ride. These guys get going too early. But it isn’t too early if you’re racing at 9 am a couple times this week. I’m trying to get on that schedule. It’s not my body’s normal schedule for sure.

We drove over to Rancho Santa Fe and met Don and Sue’s friend, Brad at the bakery. We then rode over Del Dios Hwy. and I turned around after about 10 miles. I went back to the bakery, had a coffee and muffin and then headed over to the coast, a little out of the way North.

It amazes me how many people ride bikes out here on the weekends. I saw 100’s. Multiple 100’s. Individuals, packs of 50. Lots. It is nice being able to tag onto the back of a group any direction that you happen to be heading. I got behind a small group of 10 most the way to the coast. Easy.

I have to put new cleats on my shoes, mount cross tires on my clinchers and get my bike ready for the race tomorrow up in LA. It is going to be nothing like Oregon. This will be a desert race. But, I think I need the intensity that I’ve been so avoiding the past 4 days. I have nearly 350 miles the past 4 days. Like I said before, probably not the best for a short cyclo-x, but that is just too bad.

I heard some interesting news that kind of depresses me. The time trials that they are running up in Bend for Masters at Nationals aren’t being held at the Nationals venue. I haven’t confirmed this, but I assume it’s true. That is so wrong. I was wondering how they were going to close the course down in the morning to run those qualifiers. They aren’t. So, they are holding a 10 minute race on another course to decide how good everyone is to line up at the start of a different course? Maybe they should just do computrainer races instead on a simulated Nationals course. It would be about the same. Who wants to spend time riding a different course the day before their event? Not me. I’m wondering how many people are even going to be pre-riding that course? I thought it would be kind of fun comparing times from the different categories. Not anymore. They need to come up with a better way to do the whole thing.

Wayne Stetina is going to hate reading this, but historically, The USAC Nationals, in most all disciplines, are some of the least thought out, worst run events I go to. That wasn’t the case in Bend last year though and hopefully it won’t be the case this year.

I saw this Mercedes AMG in front of the bakery. I’d never seen one, even in a magazine. It has gullwings and the styling is unbelievable. I looked it up on the internet, 200K. New for 2011. I think you can put your name in for the wait list.

Check out the size of these front brake calipers and rotors. I think the rotors are ceramic?

My little group for the ride back to the coast. Every rider here was on carbon. And not one duplicate frame. Colnago, Specialized, Motobecane, Wilier, Orbea and lots of others. My ti Eriksen was the standout.

Dog Walking – Cross racing in LA

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The fun filled day continued. Sue and I drove up to Del Mar and ate lunch up on a park overlooking the ocean. Then we took her two dogs over to doggy beach. I guess from October until April, the beach is open for dogs off leash. It was a blast. Tons of all different breeds of dogs running crazy. Ranger, a German short hair was the fittest by far. Never stopped running the whole hour. Crazy for gulls. Or any birds. Bromont would kill him, of course.

Tomorrow morning I’m driving up to Palos Verdes to do a local cyclocross. I’m a little apprehensive about going up there. I’m kind of worried that there won’t be many riders. I’ve been warned. It really doesn’t matter much. I’m just trying to get a workout. The map of the course looks like a lot of pedaling. That’s fine. I’m kind of beat from all the miles and schedule, but I’m planning on taking it easy most of next week.

Okay. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Ranger with all his electronics. A Garmin collar and a shock/warning collar. Obviously, he can get carried away with his bird observations.

Sue not wanting to be photographed. The tide was way out this afternoon.

I love this picture and this dog. He was totally consumed the whole time by anything that moved underwater. Strange for a bird dog.

Palos Verdes Estates Urban Cross

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I drove up to LA to race a local event in Palos Verdes yesterday. I was looking for a race to get some intensity. I wish I would have known about a cross in San Marcos, down closer to San Diego, on Saturday, but didn’t hear about it until it was over. Anyway, I did the two hour drive and it was pretty painless. When the traffic is moving in Southern California, it moves.

I got to the course early for me and realized that there weren’t going to be that many people racing. There were only 50 cars or so, so I knew it wasn’t going to be a big Pro/Elite field. I still don’t know how many were racing. There were maybe 15 of us on the line total. The race went fine. I felt just okay. Probably better than okay, but maybe not. I won the race by minutes. The course was pretty good for riding hard. It has a long gradual climb and a short climb after a barrier. Plus a lot of high speed descending and a downhill creek run. Nice course.

I kind of wish I would have been able to push myself harder. I didn’t really get feeling good until 3 laps to go. We rode 10 total. The last 3 laps I was going pretty well. I haven’t been riding on hard pack with rocks for awhile, so it took me some time to get used to the drift, etc. But, I did get a lot better in a few important cyclocross aspects, which is always good. It was a pretty good tune up before Bend. Better than a muddy Portland, even though Portland wasn’t muddy yesterday.

After the race, I call my friend, Stan Phillips, who lives in Laguna Beach. I was lucky to catch him at home. I met him through the Jogmate sponsorship and he does an excellent job of keeping contact. I don’t. It is always enjoyable seeing him. He is a great guy and super interesting. So, I drove to Laguna, hung with Stan for a hour or so and then met up with Sue and her friend, John, and had dinner at Nick’s on PCH. I had fish tacos and red wine. It was great.

Today I’m going to mess with the cleats on my new shoes some, go ride and then pack my bike afterward to fly early Tuesday to Portland. I still have to glue some tires onto the new wheels I got. I’m actually looking forward to resting some this week before the weekend. I think I was a little tired today at the race.

If you've never had the chance to ride around Palos Verdes, you should. It has great views.

More views.

Looking back on the barrier before the creek crossing. Pretty tropical.

The first corners after the start.

Foot out for the 1st lap of the high speed corner.

There is so much wrong with this podium picture, I actually like it. Lots of different things going on here.

Stan in his new kitchen.

Last Ride in California

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Okay. I did it again. Ended up riding for over 3 hours when I was going to rest. It is just way too nice here to not be riding a bike. And there is a ton to see. I started North and then decided I was going to end up with too many miles, so turned around, rode back up Torrey Pines and down into La Jolla. Then I rode around the edge of La Jolla and out to the end of Point Loma. It is a super nice “suburb” of San Diego mixed in with a military base. Great views of the city of San Diego though. Usually there are abunch of naval ships in the harbor, but I didn’t see any.

I stopped in PB and got some take-out sushi to bring back up the hill. It was great. I’m washing all my clothes, packing my bike in it’s bag and getting ready to fly to Portland early tomorrow morning.

I can’t complain at all about how I’m riding. I definitely would not throw my chip back in for the next weekend. I guess I’ve done most of everything I should have done to be going good. Other than my right thumb being valueless and the same hand going numb while I’m riding, I seem alright. I guess we’ll see how it works out.

I was trying to convince Don and Sue they needed two kittens that I'd deliver. But, they said that the cats get eaten by coyotes in the canyon below. This guy helped me clean my bike this morning.

I rode by this wood roller coaster that is down by Mission Bay.

This house is in Point Loma. I wouldn't want to live here considering the ground movement issues.

There is a military cemetary out of the end of Point Loma.

I'm kind of spooked by the whole cemetery thing, but this one is giant and has a fantastic view.

Lunch - Rainbow Roll.

Mechanics at Work

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I just got a text photo of my guys up in Portland prepping my Dugast tires so I can glue them on tomorrow when I get there. Just got done packing my bike. I have a bunch of extra stuff, so I have to distribute it accordingly. I never like to have my bike bag weight too much. Partially for the $$$, but mainly for the chances of them screwing up my bike. The tend to throw it around way more when it is unwieldy. Okay. Going out to dinner in Del Mar and then it is up to Oregon.

Bill and Jim sealing up my tires.

Quite a miss mix of pipe insulation.

Here's a photo of the new Shimano 980 pedals. These pedals are awesome. It feels like you are riding a fixed road pedal. Crazy stable.

We have unbelieveable sunsets in Kansas, but there is something to be said about the sun setting over the ocean from the top of a hill.