Friday, December 29, 2006


So the ol' blog has sort of taken a backseat to riding and family this holiday but finally John sent me an email and spurred me into action. Thanks for cracking the whip.

Margarita Sunrise! There is a local ride on Christmas Eve and New Years that meets at the top of Brown Mtn. (Ken Burton) for margaritas. When they saw me poaching a pic with them they gave me a bottle of vodka to help me look legit. Thanks Matt G. for being ready with the camera phone...

Christmas has been crazy!!!!!!! And it's not over yet! We are leaving tomorrow at 5:30 a.m. to go to Brooke's parent's ranch. We will be having a 2nd (3rd??) Christmas there.
I am a big grinch, I HATE Christmas, so it is like torture for me... heh.
We've had family here too so I keep having to go to dinners (but not eat too much) and spend time with relatives which I like but it cuts into riding time.

We went on a big walk through a bonsai garden with family.

It's like pulling teeth to try and get away for a ride!! I had to go out 3 times the other day to get in 4 hours. After about 2 hours it started hailing on me so I went home (as soon as I walked in the door it stopped!) and showered/ate/dried off. By the time I got out on the bike again I had just an hour of light left so I did that and then swapped bikes and did an hour and a half MTB ride! I even had to resort to riding the trainer a couple days later.

In other news, today my weight was 160 lbs. HA, in your face Holiday Treats! Fruitcake, you don't intimidate me.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

They can't all be winners.

After spending two and a half hours outside in an uncharacteristically cold and rainy day, Hunter and I called it quits in favor of hot food and coffee and dry clothes.
Sweet new Peaks Coaching Group kits!!!!!!
After this picture was taken Hunter dropped me on the descent and stinging sleet added injury to insult.

Friday, December 15, 2006

New technology.

Brooke, Hunter and I rode to Mt. Baldy...

Hunter and Brooke on 39... (AKA: the calm before the storm.)

...And then Hunter cracked the whip!!! After giving Brooke some training tips he made her do intervals.

On the way up the back of GMR we ran into Mike Tettleton, a local MTB racer.

Read 'em and weep.

Some of you may have heard rumors in the peloton of new "stealth-cycling technology".
Today I am here to confirm that the rumors are true. While climbing out of the canyon, Hunter told me that I had BETTER drop him (perhaps an unspoken: "or else" ?). It took everything I had but I (thought I) suceeded when I looked over my right shoulder and he was several hundred yards behind and not closing in at all.
All of the sudden, in the time it took for me to go from looking over my right shoulder to looking over my LEFT shoulder I got passed by Hunter like I was standing still. All I heard was "Whoooshhh".
I fear I underestimated the Sneakyness.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Pancake morning, coffee afternoon, singletrack night.

Got up this a.m. and made pancakes, eggs and turkey bacon. We hit the trails right after breakfast. Here are Hunter and Brooke riding Sam Merril trail.
After the ride we ate and got coffee, cleaned the bikes and relaxed, then headed out for the local wed. night ride. It was me, Hunter, Banner (intoduced me to MTB racing, thanks Banner!), Matt, Steve and his dog.

The Troops.

Hunter killin' it on his first night ride. He might actually be screaming in this shot... kidding. This is the only one of my "action shots" that came out so like it or not Hunter you are the night ride/action shot poster boy!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Hunter's here!

So today I braved the traffic of downtown L.A. and (Coach) Hunter survived the perils of the airport, ticketing, driving to/from, pretty much the worst parts of travel! (the actual flying is the easiest, safest part! I'ts everything in between...) After I picked him up it was a mad dash to the trailhead for a quick Brown Mtn/El Prieto loop before dark.

The weather was perfect and the trail was in good shape so it was a sweet ride! I can honestly say that Hunter is the first person I've taken down that trail who never fell once. High-fives all around.

To save on time/$/hassle during travel Hunter just brought his road bike and we put his MTB pedals on my Ziggurat (hard tail). Since Hunter was on the Zig I got to ride my F.R.O. spec'd Race Day (full suspension) which totally rocked my world. I haven't been on it in a while since there're no MTB races of late and I had forgotten how damn quick it felt!

After that it was back to mi casa for some grub while my wife tried to absorb ALL of Hunter's knowledge over dinner. I call this photo: "The Interrogation". Hunter was a good teacher and I never heard her stump him once.
Bonus points to anyone who can post the name of that yellow gem resting next to my laptop in a comment...

Monday, December 11, 2006

Let the trash-talking begin!

For a good read, definately check out John Davis' blog. There is some back and forth that I would describe as "humorous", especially if you read the comments!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

New toys!

It was like christmas came early the night before the California state cyclocross championships. I usually don't recommend doing last minute equipment changes but I had been having mechanical trouble and it was the only time I had so I brought all my tools and my bike into the living room and started turning wrenches...This is the bike when I was pretty much done with it. Amuse yourself by seeing which tools you can name... okay that's enough of that. There are some sweet new cranks, a cassette and new cable and housing. Ohhh, Ahhhh! Eat your heart out bike dorks. Here is basically a pretty boring pic of me suffering, taken by my personal photographer, a master of the Glamour/Action shot. He has one of those artsy one word names like "Cher" or "Madonna". I think he goes by the name of "Dad"
As I said though, pretty boring pic so I guess he kinda' let me down but like I said, he IS a master. Trust me.

Okay so the race got off to a quick start and I kind of fell into a battle for ? place with this cat: Michael Lee, a pretty dominant fellow mountain biker.
After a couple of laps he faded and I pulled away so I am guessing this race came after a hard week of base miles as he is a super strong rider.
I mean... I, uh... told him... "Are you hungry?" and then he was all like "Whaaaattt??" only more high pitched than that, and then I was like "Eat my dust!" and I totally smoked him 'cause I am a champ like that! Yesss!
Okay that's a lie. Sorry.

Okay, seriously, I am a serious guy and this is how it really went down:

After going back and forth with Michael Lee for a while we caught up to Jason Lowetz who had rolled his tire off the rim and then punched it/threatened it back on to the rim and Fritz Bottger who had raced single speed earlier and won ( to become State Champ ). I broke away from Jason, Fritz and Michael and rode by myself for a few laps and then Jason put in a huge effort and caught up to me. I really wanted to stay away from Fritz and Michael, and Jason needed the points for his overall standing in the state series so I told him that if we worked together I wouldn't contest the sprint at the end.

Here is a picture of me riding the "run-up" with Jason hot on my heels. It is steep but he and I had practiced it last week and we both rode it every time.

Now back to the story... Jason and I were working together and with two laps to go Fritz put in a hard effort and almost caught us, but then he spun out climbing the run-up and Jason and I stayed away with no problem. For a while I thought Jason was going to fall off and give me the 8th place spot ( the last spot with a cash prize! ) because he started cramping, but he pushed through it and we came to the line together. He got 8th and I got 9th, not bad considering neither one of us had ever raced 'cross before last year.

We then retired to the parking lot to lean against the back of his Lincoln Towncar, the "Black Pearl", and investigate a giant box o' liquer in the trunk while we all shared a bottle of "High Life" that Fritz had brought. None of us are big drinkers so one bottle of High Life was enough for the three of us, but we had several racers crash the party and they all put a good sized dent in the giant box o' liquer. But that is a whole 'nother story, for a whole 'nother chapter. Plus it's top secret so I'll never tell.

Friday, December 08, 2006

So-cal winter.

After checking John's blog and Nick Martin's and seeing all the snow, hearing about the cold and how often they are willing to brave the elements and actually ride outside I thought it fitting to dedicate a post to the weather I am enduring here at home.

Okay so this was a little scary. If you see how bright the sun is then you know that I was in serious danger of a sunburn. A very uncomfortable sunburn. That's no joke.

Okay so two things: 1) you can't tell from this pic but it was very warm out and I was sweating. 2) even though the sky is crystal clear there was a real possibility of clouds suddenly rolling in and sprinkling rain on me. It made me very anxious while I was trying to enjoy my ride because there is only so much moisture a man can take. Sweat, rain... come on people!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A disagreement with Bella.

It was a good day for a ride...

Okay so today I found out that I am not a Chicago fan. I do not enjoy their muzak... in fact I would've gladly paid the dollar I found on the road to have never found the Chicago cd.

Bella, however, seems to love Chicago. It takes all kinds I guess.

Also, I am slowly losing weight. Yes!! More salad please. John, I believe I am doing some serious damage in the "bloggo wars" you mentioned. Man up.

And last but not least, upon returning home from a tough 4+ hr. workout I met the owner of the cell phone I found yesterday. He was stoked to get his phone back and forced ten bucks on me, which I believe balances the cosmic scale and makes the universe right after I was done so wrong by Chicago's Greatest Hits. Sorry Chicago fans.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Gold in them hills...

Today I rode 95 miles. I was really tempted to keep riding that extra 5 miles and make it a hundred, or 100.01 miles so that I could say "today I rode OVER 100 miles! MORE than 100 miles!!" Buuuuttttt.... my growling stomach got the better of me and I decided to eat instead. But still, 95 miles (to Mt Baldy and back for all y'all locals) and along the way I scored some loot! Check it:

I am definately keeping the Chicago Greatest Hits cd AND the dolla bill y'all! And some lucky dude will get his cell back.

I may not be getting PAID to ride but I'm still getting paid to ride...

I'd rather be PAID to ride though so if you would like me to ride for you, you can offer to PAY me and I will do it. See how that works? It's like a business transaction, see? You people can just go ahead and hire me now because I have way too much dignity to beg.

Please, please, please, please. Pleeeeaaaaasssse!

Get yours today

I am so excited I can't even sleep! I ordered my Free Sager wristbands and they will be here any day now! Yes! I will be the first kid on the block to get mine and now I can't wait for this weeks 'cross race to flaunt it in front of all the other bike dorks. In your face!!!

If you are not familiar with Jason Sagers blog it is available for your viewing pleasure here: and will fascinate and enlighten, (dare I say mesmerize?) you.

Once you have done that you will undoubtedly be super jealous of me and my Free Sagers and you will want to go HERE and get a pair for your own wearing pleasure.
AND... Fred Dreier of Velo News' Fred's-Eye View did a sweet interview of Jeremiah Bishop that can be seen at Velo News for those of you who want to check up on JB. Do it.

I am a big baby

So on sunday I capped off my 20-some-hour, 300+ mile week by racing 'cross and then meeting some buddies for another 2.5 hours of riding.

I am so tired I actually took a nap today, SLEPT in the middle of the day. Just like the big baby my wife tells me I am.

The last time I wanted to sleep in the middle of the day was when Brooke and I rode down the coast...
After doing this (riding) all day we stopped for some of this...

At maybe the best restaurant ever, Taco Temple. Don't let the unassuming name fool you, the food is top notch.

Anyway that was the last time I needed a nap but I didn't get one until the end of the day...

I think I might have actually been sleeping while this pic was taken!

Monday, December 04, 2006

What I've been up to and the fate of my old camera

Okay, a couple of weeks ago my camera wiggled it's way out of my pocket while I was riding this:

and got run over by this:

and now it looks like this:

But don't worry, 2 weeks and $300.00 later I have a new camera now and we're going to have some fun with it.

Friday, November 17, 2006

CX Bonanza

Early in the a.m. on 11/11 my riding buddy Jason and I packed our junk into the "Black Pearl", a sleek black machine worth over ONE THOUSAND dollars!

...and struck out for that famous (infamous?) hotbed of cyclocross: Bakersfield.
As any reader in the know can tell you, in the world of 'cross it pretty much goes, Belgium and then Bakersfield. Probably in that order. Maybe the other way around.
As we pulled up to the race it started to sprinkle and we thought we might have what they call "weather". If you are from southern california you may be unfamiliar with the term, however I assure you it is not a technical term and can be found in a regular dictionary.
Unfortunately it was just enough of a sprinkle to get Jason and me excited about the prospect of "weather" but not enough to actually keep the dust down.
We suited up, signed up, warmed up and then lined up before it all went down.
Apparently, in Bakersfield it is traditional to call only the first 4 riders in the series to the line. Jason and I didn't realize that or we would've tried to line up somewhere besides the extreme back of the field. Luckily though, it didn't seem to slow down "J-Lo". The course was fast and rolling with a nice run up and "J-Money" crushed it for a super strong 6th place and a cash prize. I finished in 11th and although I was out of the money it worked in my favor because for some strange reason Jason felt obliged to spend some of his winnings on our travel costs.
That night many of the racers met at a restaurant to have dinner and celebrate the anniversary of the birthday of an icon of so-cal cx. I don't know when she was actually born but we celebrated the anniversary of that day. I think it's some kind of tradition.
I ordered the salmon surprise and Jason ordered the sausage tortellini surprise. We were both surprised when our food came because there was hardly any of it.
After dinner Jason and I went for a second dinner and bought superglue that he used to try and fix his Tufo tubular tire for a couple of hours before giving up.
Bright and early the next morning Jason went for round two with his tire and I went down to check out the breakfast included in our stay at the Best (?) Western.
What I found was that they were all out of breakfast. I asked the staff if they were bringing any more food and was told "I don't think so... let me check... no." after which I concluded that the free breakfast ends at 8:30 in the morning on sundays?!! Hmmm...
After Jason and I found food and our way to the start line the race went off without a hitch. It was a fast course again and although it did have a run up some riders (myself included), (me, me, me, me), (me), were able to ride it.
Jason finished in 7th, one spot back from yesterday and being the pillar of consistency that I am I finished 11th. Again.
After that it was just a matter of pausing for a sandwich and to gaze in wonder at Jasons unibrow of dust.

...and then we drove home.

Losing (my mind) weight.

Losing weight is the hardest part of training for me. I don't mind riding the miles, but I am pretty sure my eating habits are better suited to a sport where athletes need to "bulk-up" and it's a compliment if someone tells you "you look huge!"

This is Bu!!$#!t. I'm not even sure if this is real food. Where's the meat and potatos? I want a full belly!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Pre-race festivities, Twister and Love is in the air

It's the "off season". I know it's the off season because I let friends have a party at my place the night before a cyclocross race. I can do that because I don't feel any pressure to perform. At the race not at sex I mean... nevermind.
Even though I went to bed early I still know what went on. It's not that I have some extraordinary powers of perception that are fully functioning even in sleep, no. I have a digital camera, and this is what I found on it when I awoke:

The girls played Twister...

The boys... encouraged them...

There was a stripper.

Meanwhile I slept through it all. When I woke up in the morning there were people sleeping on the floor and on my couch. I quietly gathered my gear up and crept out the door. The race was in Ventura and I was carpooling with Jason and Dan Lowetz in Jason's car, the "Black Pearl". The Black Pearl is a sweet machine, easily capable of carrying the three of us to the race in style. She has springs in the rear but no shocks so it's an extra plush ride.

She comes equipped with fully functioning windshield wipers but wiper fluid must be applied by hand. I can only assume that's because they don't make wiper fluid squirters that can cover the vast expanse of the Black Pearls windshield. Eventually technology will catch up. Maybe. I am pretty sure she can parallel park herself, if not I think Jason is getting it installed.
We got to the race just in time to warm up. Dan handed off bottles to Jason and I while we raced. The course stayed at sea level the whole time and was super choppy. It was certain doom to let off the gas and all the bumping left me with a back ache but I finished in 10th which was cool and Jason was in the top 8 which meant cash-money.
As soon as our race ended Dan started his race and Jason and I cheered/heckled him. He finished in 2nd.
Afterwards we got a pint and a sandwich and headed home.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Dry Spell

Hey all! It's been kind of a long dry spell for the old Blog.
My wife Brooke and I have moved into a new place and after 5 hours on the phone with our dsl provider they have determined that the reason we haven't had 'net access and also the reason we will continue to not have it is due to a computer "glitch". I think that's some kind of technical word.
I am currently poaching time on my riding buddy Hectors computer. Don't tell him.
A lot has happened since the last entry and some of it deserves it's own entry and will get it, although it will seem somewhat out of order.
Last week I did about 25 hours of training rides and topped it off with a cx race in Ventura where I rode well and got a top 10 finish.
There will be plenty of mileage this week too.
La Ruta finished last sunday and and seemed to be an intense race. It is a race I am really jonesing to do! On the second to last day Jeremiah Bishop had what you could mildly call a "mis-hap" Yeah. Jeremiah is one of the nicest athletes around and also a world class rider. After what was apparently a spectacular crash he toughed it out for a second place finish in the stage. Heal quick J.B.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Today I raced 'Cross to showcase my tremendous post-MTB season form. Here I am enjoying an after-race recovery meal after laying the smack-down on all comers.
Sure, I'm fat and my fly's down and I smell like Budweiser.
That doesn't make me less of a champion.

Friday, October 27, 2006

"Short sleeved or long"

Today I recieved a new skinsuit.
You know you are a true XC addict when few aspects of the sport excite you like a skinsuit.
Do you sport a euro-mullet/faux-hawk a la Fabian Weggman or Lado Fumic?
Have you ever seriously considered it?
Have you ever been called a "Leg Shaving Dirt Nazi/Skinny-Tire Tree Hugger" or something like it?
Have you run out of fingers to count the times you've tried to explain WHY you shave your legs?
Maybe you've noticed how sleek a skinsuit looked on the back of your favorite rider. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski. Adam Craig. Jeremiah Bishop.
If you have then maybe you can understand how excited I was when I got my first skinsuit. As soon as I realized what was in the mail that day I took it straight to my room and tried it on. I left it on for while even though I wasn't planning on riding. I called/emailed the friends I knew would appreciate it.
They were excited. Maybe you are getting excited too.
Hopefully you are starting to grasp by now how upsetting it would be if something were to happen to my skinsuit. Like if I were to crash in said skinsuit. In a cyclocross race. Two weeks ago.
As you can probably imagine, my dismay over ruining my skinsuit was almost as strong as my dismay over crashing in general, and 300+ dollars in doctors bills specifically.
I was feeling down. Some might say I was in a "Funk".
But then something happened. Something magical that cheered me up: I got an email from Jon Rourke, fearless leader of the Subaru/Gary Fisher Mountain Bike Team asking me, "short sleeved or long?" Apparently, making the impossible, possible on a daily basis, out on the road for weeks at a time, while playing Den Mother to a trailerfull of athletes from around the world is not enough. Nope. Not only did Jon and pro mechanics Matt and Brett help me with everything from feeds to Stan's when I arrived un-announced at their trailer for the east coast NORBA races, woefully unprepared, Jon ALSO went out of his way to send me one of the team skinsuits that I had coveted all year. And THEN, when I tore it up in a crash he says to me "short sleeved or long?"
There are so many guys like them that work behind the scenes, that you will probably never be aware of until they totally save your ass. Jon Posner (Trek) and John Dawson (SRAM) among others. Y'all are rock stars!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Castaic Lake/More Cowbell !!

I was at Castaic in my official capacity as Photographer/Cowbell enthusiast. Many thanks to Papo for the use of his cowbell. Alas, my skill as a photographer is no match for my prodigious talent on the cowbell and although I took many, many, photos only a few are worth posting. Quality/quantity, blah, blah, blah....

Papo has two good pics and wins the "most photogenic" award.

Phil has only one pic but the sun is behind him and it makes him look like a cowboy so he wins the "most badass" award.
It was frustrating not to be able to race but I had fun cheering on the team.

Ten stitches later...

I am now stocked up on Starbucks iced coffee and dvds and ready to hold as still as possible while I grow some skin. Shortly after this pic was taken I cut off the other leg of my PJs and came into possession of my first pair of Daisy Dukes. That's a lie.

The agony of victory, the thrill of defeat.

Disaster struck at almost the exact second that I won my first ever cyclocross race. These five pictures all take place in that exact second. If you look at my face you can see that I haven't even had time to realize how much the next 3 seconds are going to suck. Definately wasn't expecting this one. Good thing the finishing straight was on asphalt. Here are a couple of pics along with what I would've been thinking if I had had time for thoughts... Yep.

I am thinking: "Pedal!!!"

I am thinking: "Throw the bike.... NOW"

I am thinking: "Yes! I just won."

I am thinking: "There is a strange shoving sensation on the left side of my bar."

I am thinking: "!@#$%!"

East coaster.

Earlier this month I got to ride on the east coast. We rode in Bedford and Harrisonburg Virginia. It was cold. It was wet. It was the highlight of my month.
Harrisonburg has a really awesome mountain bike scene. Where we were riding there was an event that had trail building, mountain biking and trail running. All the riders were super friendly and we were made to feel right at home at their end of the day BBQ.
I am now seriously considering Harrisonburg (home of Jeremiah Bishop and Sue Haywood) in addition to Boulder, as places to live if I leave Cali.

Pouring hot tea and trying to stay warm. It was so cold there was serious conversation about how much warmth could be gotten by peeing on ones hands.

Here I am at the top of a pretty steep climb, with some skinny guy (Jeremiah Bishop)who keeps dropping me. It was all foggy and then you got to the top and there was a lush falls. Everything was incredibly lush and green compared to home.

In this pic: Walter, me, Jeremiah, Henry and Hunter Allen outside the Peaks Coaching Group office.

It was nice to be back! Directly after this picture was taken we all thawed out with showers and went out for some tasty mexican food.