LoToJa TRAINING RIDE #9 – END OF THE ROAD AKA BETTY CROCKER TIME

DID YOU KNOW A 20 OZ BOTTLE OF DR. PEPPER CONTAINS 250 DELICIOUS, REFRESHING CALORIES?  After 6 hours on the two-wheeler the cupboard was empty – 6 waffles gone, 6 bottles of GQ6 drained.  The Shell at Crown Valley and Niguel is a trusty dealer of sugar and fat.  I cracked open the bottle and settled on 2 Tiger’s Milk bars vs BBQ Lay’s.

So cold.

So good.

So many calories.

My formula, well Paul’s CTS formula, was perfect.  300 calories/hour.  With the Dr. P and 1 bar, 400 more calories would get me to Kaylani’s… where all great rides end in celebration.

Garmin says today was my longest day ever.  It wasn’t, but it was close.  LoToJa will take about 3 more hours, and I felt like I could easily do that… but there’s no point.  I’m ready, well as ready as I’m going to get.

It’s Betty Crocker Time now.

What I mean is, all the ingredients have been mixed and it’s time to put the cake in the oven:  nutrition is dialed, bike is dialed (got my rear wheel warranteed and back, shifting perfected, saddle figured out, etc.)

3 weeks out, I’m not going to get any faster or fitter… but I can certainly get slower.

No more big, long rides like today.

I’ll be resting more.

Trying to sleep a lot.

Maybe a few efforts, and a couple of sprints.

But right now, it’s so easy to overcook the cake.  You can undercook it too, but it’s much more like to be overcooked.  It’s time to really trust the training, and let the body heal and recover.

Work on your brain, too.

Everything for the next 3 weeks is going to be about feeling fresh.  Building mental confidence that I’m going to have a great day.

I’ll go over the bike.  Inspect the tires, pads, chain, etc.  Replace anything that could go bad next week, and have 2 weeks to break it in.

I’ll stretch a lot.

Roll the legs.

Get a massage, or 2.

But mainly, and this is the hardest part, resting will be the big focus.

Days off.

Days spinning.

Days surfing.

Long walks on the sand at sunset (wait, that’s my Tinder profile).

One last way to really screw up all the hard work… blow the diet.  It’s gonna be hard to stay on track there.  But, a little discipline never hurt anyone.

Feeling hungry?, drink water, eat a few minutes later, eat slower.

That’s it.

The end of the road.

SOMETIMES THE BEST RIDE

SOMETIMES THE BEST RIDE is no ride at all.  It’s just thinking about the next ride.

Charting the route.

Packing the food.

Prepping the bottles.

Checking the bike over.

Setting out the favorite jersey and bibs.

Just day dreaming all day on Friday about how great Saturday is going to be.  Meeting up with the crew.

Doing some drafting.

Sprinting the city limits signs.

Climbing a little.

Carving the turns.

Outside all day, if you want.

Wrapping it up with sugar and fat at Kaylani’s or wherever you’re at.

170

THE HORTON COLLECTION

Brett is in town and dropped by the office.  Aside from catching up on life, we spent a few hours scouring 3500 of his amazing pictures from The Horton Collection – there are hundreds of thousands in the collection.  The pictures themselves are revealing of different times.  Some are post WWII, with cyclists racing through still devastated towns.  Others capture the innocence of a champion’s wife running along side him handing up a bottle.

They are black and white.  Well they started that way, but typically have faded to yellow.  The true richness comes from listening to my friend share the background behind each picture.

The details we all miss are vividly shared.

For example, in the pictures from the 1920’s the race director’s all wore white lab coats.  It’s the kind of thing that is easy to categorize as part of the times, and not ask who are those guys in the white lab coats.

Oh my irony… white lab coasts on race directors who’s riders are doped… sorry Sammy but history’s not on your side… it goes so far back.

Back to the goodness of the collection and what we have planned.

We’re going to make at least 2 limited edition runs of RaceDay Bags.  One will feature exceptional vintage photos.  Not the typical guys with cigarettes, or the shot from the front of a group climbing.  Those are great photos too, but we’re planning something more unusual that captures the romance.  The other will be for the Eddy Merckx fans, pure Eddy like you’ve never seen him.

Damion is working on two really cool t’s featuring Brett’s pics.  I’m excited to add these to our collection as well.  Brett’s art will be the 3rd person who’s art we’ve licensed, Radical Rick and Derailled being the others.

It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.

DON’T EVER TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER

IT’S EARLY, AND I WANT TO SLEEP BUT I GET UP TO LIFT THE WEIGHTS and my body says no.  No buddy, don’t do it.  We’re still sleeping.  You’re feeling sleepy.  Skip today, for tomorrow we lift.

And so starts the battle.

I stumble downstairs.

Grab the few tools I have.

Do some jumping jacks.

Push ups.

Pull ups.

Core stuff.

Light weight shoulder stuff.

20 minutes later.  I’m pumped.  Ready to go.

… they say no, but I say now…

DO YOU MIND IF I SLEEP WITH YOUR WIFE?

Can I ride your bike? feels just like, can I sleep with your wife?  I can relate to you not relating, but can you relate to my answer?  Can you get a sense of what your asking me man?

Try and understand.

This bike didn’t just show up one day.

I scoured the interwebs, drooled in showrooms, visionboarded this lovely into reality.  She arrived a virgin.  Pristine and pure.

(AND YOU WANT TO TAKE HER FOR A RIDE?!)… shame on you.

I didn’t even ride her at first.  We took an intimate trip to the fitter, essential for us to get to acquainted.  We went for a gentle glide together, just the too of us.

(AND YOU WANT TO TAKE HER FOR A RIDE?!)… you filthy %$@.

I took her home, and introduced her to the family.  Her name is Flashy Jack, because though timid she has a wild streak.  We made a special space just for her, off to the side where she could rest unmolested.  My little princess.

(AND YOU WANT TO TAKE HER FOR A RIDE?!)… have you gone mad?

Over time we became one: climbing up and getting down, charging hard and easing into the sunset. We glisten and listen only to each other.

(AND YOU WANT TO TAKE HER FOR A RIDE?!)…

…. do you mind if I sleep with…

WOULD YOU LIKE SOME FRIES WITH THAT?

By the time I got to my not regular bike shop I was only focusing on my most pressing need:  tubes with 80mm stems.  I walked in, was greeted by a friendly smile.  We quickly found just what I needed.  Maybe I had that iknowimforgettinsomething look on my face?

Do you need any lube?

It wasn’t scripted.

It was caring.

Yes!… I need levers.

Here you go, Pedro’s are the best.

He rang me up.  I took 3 steps towards the door, thinking about how much I appreciate professionals.

I turned around.

I need tiny box of those press on patches.

He was back and ringing me up some Park Tool patches.  Also, the best.

Just one dude helping another dude.

It’s not salesmanship.

It’s empathy.

GOOD.

Being good has nothing to do with talent.

It has everything to do with time.

Focus.

Energy.

Want to be good?

Ride your bike, more.

Want to be better?

Ride with faster riders.

Want to be your best?

Hang on to…

(Photo from The Sausalito Bicycle Company)

172.4

LOTOJA TRAINING RIDE #8 – RANDOM THOUGHTS

Random thoughts:

Bring an extra tube and air cartridge… didn’t listen to that.  Fateful.

Where else will you ride with or see 3 Olympic cyclists on 1 ride?  Hi Steve Hegg, Nelson Vails and John Howard.

If we had invented texting before voice calls, would people be watching the road and talking instead of texting?

Is hitting a couple of 15 minutes climbs going to be of any use when there are multiple hour long climbs at LOTOJA?

Speaking of seeing, how the heck do I manage to run into so many friends on a ride?… Hi ProEcos.

I asked Steve if he knows Chris?  Oh you mean Tube Top.  Tube Top?  He used to wear a little tri, sleeveless thingy on the rides.

Am I the only knucklehead who’s been racing since January and is still foolish enough to think I can be remotely fresh in September?

After another low-mileage week and my legs still feeling like doodoo… will they ever come back?

I wonder if the cashier will recognize me as the guy that was here less than an hour ago filling up water bottles with ice and pouring a mysterious powder into the bottles?

Why don’t I ride down to my parent’s house more often?

It takes about 135 minutes to ride from San Clemente to the start of Swami’s… why don’t we ever ride down, do Swami’s long and ride home?  We could break it up and eat in Oceanside – chocolate shakes and fries at In-N-Out.  Oh my epicness.

The black kit in the coast fog was fine, when the sun finely broke through it was “hot in, so hot in here”.

If I call Andy, will he dust off his bike and pedal with me?  Can’t believe he’s back to running… what is Boston?

Hegg said he’d train for HUNKR.  Is that a sign?  He also said Kal was a real Mr. America!  Wow.

If I roll my legs twice a day, take ice baths, get a few massages, quit doing any intensity… will, it, help?

Is double flatting a sign that I’m flat?

I’m going to the beach.

949-SRFR-GRL

ROLLIN. ROLLIN. ROLLIN’ ON THE SAN JUAN!

Mike’s my bro-in-law… at one point all my bros and bros-in-law rode bikes.  There’s 7 in total, and he’s the last one who still rides regularly.  When they drop in from NorCal, it’s only a question of when are we riding.

I’m bringing the mountain bikes.  Can we do San Juan?  I want to take the boys (Zach 13, Ben 17, Jess 21) on something epic, and I remember what a great trail that is.

Of course!

… of course, we’re going to shuttle it – leave a car at the bottom and drive to the top.  Who wants to ride up with 90 degree heat beating you down?  The boys are fit and athletic, but they don’t ride much.  The purists scoff on shuttlers… I get it, but this is one of the few trails you can bring an athlete out for a humongous afternoon and come back big-grinning.

It’s bucket list worthy.

12 miles down.

All single track.

Views of the ocean.

Canopy covered.

Lot’s of poison oak.

Lot’s of sharp rocks.

Lot’s of slippery decomposed granite.

Mix all that in and you bound to pull off a few crazy landings, leave a little blood and live to ride another day.

And we did.

(3 bros and a bro-in-law)

 

SWEET STEPHANIE

This little lady dragged the four of us around town, across the country, even across the ocean.  And everywhere we went, Neil’s voice rallied our spirits… whenever he was in town she’d go see him play, sometimes finding ways to bring us too.

When you’re tiny, it’s hard to appreciate someone could reach into another’s heart without knowing them. But he did, and that brought so much unentangled joy.  You know it’s good, but you’re not sure why.

There was no doubt what we were going to do tonight.  The sibs flew in from left and right coasts.

Neil’s 50th Anniversary Tour.

Mom’s 29th birthday.

Riding melodies, stories and memories.

I DON’T NEED NO DOCTOR

I don’t need no doctor

Sayin’ ride your bike.

I don’t need no doctor

Sayin’ ride your bike

 

Been workin’ dusk to dawn

Feelin’ a big ride coming on

 

I just need a doctor

Que sabe my ask

I just need a doctor

Issue a haul pass

 

Been workin’ dusk to dawn

Feelin’ a big ride coming on

 

Come on now my doctor

Don’t you let me down

Come on now my doctor

S’time to pedal ‘round

 

Been workin’ dusk to dawn

Feelin’ a big ride coming on

170

LET’S PLAY BIKES

When 80+ people show up for a group ride on a week night you know there’s something special going on.  I had to go check it out for myself, and I’m glad I did.  This really is a social ride.

It begins at Bill Barber park with Junike buzzing around like a bee, pollinating conversations and welcoming incoming cars with bikes.  At 530ish, Jason gathers the troops in for a group photo… we needed a drone to get everybody in.  He’s taken the time to learn all the newcomers names, and introduces each of us individually by name to the group.

After the intros, the ride sponsor – PEDALindustries in this case – asks 3 trivia questions and rewards the winners with prizes.  It’s a great way to get to know new people and for people to become acquainted with your brand.

Then we ride the streets and bikeways of Irvine, up to the end of Portola and back.  The pace is conversational and the conversations are fun.  It’s warm.  The evening light is pleasing.  Irvine is a great cycling town, and for the most part the group is able to stay together.

Back at the park, the sun floats down.

Butts rest on top tubes.

Selfies are shot.

We’re happy.

170

SMALL RING, DINGALING

The big ring is for hammering, the small ring is for spinning.

The big ring is to go fast, the small ring is to go slow.

The big ring is for flats, the small ring is for climbing.

This is so hard, I bet you won’t do it:  roll down the driveway and leave it in the small ring until you get back.

Great big ring sessions are built small.

(pre-MTB?)

171.6

SPECIALEYEZD

4 years focusing on the road,

Got my sprint and jump back.

4 years focusing on the road,

Lost all my MTB skills.

But I still remember this…

… the body always follows the eyes.

(There was a time I’d be dead center, no brakes)

LOTOJA TRAINING RIDE #7 – THE NON-DOT WAY

Here I am at NON-DOT MTB race #3, Aliso Woods.  It’s 630, and I’m scrambling to put up our canopy and bike rack so I can get registered for the 730 start.  I want to spin a bit to warm up before I get slayed… there will be 4 current or former National Champions lining up plus the rest of the gang.  The Aliso course features Rocket a 1/4 mile trail of very gnarly rock, we get to hit it 3 times.

What could be better for LoToJa prep?

90 minutes at the limit.

On my hardtail.

Pretty much any road ride could be better.  I’m fatigued from Thursday’s Market Ride, I should be out for a gentle spin.

But, I love the NON-DOT crew.  The name NON-DOT comes from their forays into Moab.  The Slickrock trail is marked with white dots… going non-dot means going your own way, where the essence of Moab calls you.  I get that, and these guys put on a fun MTB series I like to support.

It’s kind of like my training.  All my experienced LoToJa friends are out doing 100+ mile rides at tempo every weekend.  I’ve done a few, not enough according to them.

We’ve been racing every month since January.  I’m super burned out, just wanna park the bike and surf.  Little motivations like the MTB race get me out…

… I need to get more miles today…

… It’s 1pm.  I’ve got 5 hours before taking my mom to the movies…

I’m going to head out for a few more hours, just spinning… spinning over to the bike shop to get my front derailleur adjusted.  On Thursday’s Market Ride it went whackadoo and was clicking on the crank each rotation in the big ring… I had to small ring it at 30+mph, right up to the sprint, it probably helped keep my cadence really high… dumped it into the big ring for the final mile.  #worthit.

Do these LSD miles even help?

I dunno.

…LoToJa, could be once in a lifetime…

169.6

HOT AUGUST NIGHTS

It’s snake season, has been for a while.  Lots a posts ’bout sitings.  Haven’t seen but one this year.  Seen plenty in the past. Ivrun’em over. Dodged ’em.  Jump’d ’em.  There’s something about being on a bike that gives courage.

I’d never pick one up.  Not my thing.

The snakes are durable.

The tarantulas aren’t, they’re quite fragile.

These big spiders will be out soon, in the afternoon.  You can find them on most skinny single-track trails in these parts, when it’s hot… towards sunset.

Creeping along.

No danger.

Elegant.

… Neil Diamond’s in down next week.

170.8

WHY ISN’T STRAVA BETTER?

If STRAVA is social media for endurance athletes why isn’t it more social?  It seams like with just a few tweaks it could be so much better and useful.  A lot of riders aren’t on any other social media, they might be on more if the STRAVA experience was better.

For examples:

Why can’t the app and browser versions have the same functionality?

Why can’t I like a comment?

Why isn’t there a widget to give STRAVA kudos on people’s websites?

Just because we all love STRAVA doesn’t mean we’ll always love STRAVA.

WHAT I WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT

I truly believe we get what we focus on.  Equally, I believe you cannot see a negative.  When you say ride safe, I listen.  When you say don’t crash, I tune you out.  If you persist, I will stop talking to you all together.  Our friendship could easily end.  That’s how serious it is, for me.

When I hear a caring loved-one say to my friend “don’t get hurt”.  I look right at that person and say stop jinxing him.  Stop planting those negative seeds.  What do you think we all see when you say that?

We see dear old Loverboy in a pile, hurting in the worst way.

What should you say to the people you care about as they venture out to any activity?

See you later, have a great time, come back smiling…

…we all want to talk about that.

THEY RAN ME OVER

First off, nobody who calls themselves Robot is normal.  It’s no surprise that he prefers to race in the single speed category at a mountain bike race.  But… looking at his bars all twisted, the yard of dirt on his shoulder I could tell this was going to be special.

They ran me over.

What do you mean the ran you over?

They ran me over.

Who?

The guys behind me.  There was this little g-out and I flipped over the bars, then they ran me over.  Look at my back, pull up the jersey.

The skin is all rashed and bruised.

That’s where one guys pedal just dug into me.  Another guy ran right over my knee, see it’s all flippyfloppy now.  Look at my bars, some dude plowed across them too.

They ran me over.

What are you going to do?

I’m gonna get my bars fixed, get out there, and chase ’em down.

That’s just one of 500+ stories that will be told tonight after Over The Hump.

… what’s your story?

WHICH BIKE SHOULD I BUY?

Dear Chris,

You’re not alone.  This is a difficult topic to broach, especially with you spouse or partner.  Here is my proven formula for getting the proper bike:

  1. Find a used bike that you can easily afford to throw the money away on.
  2. Ride it and see if actually like riding regularly.
  3. If you do, go see a bike fitter I recommend so your next purchase is the right size.
  4. Now you know you like the cycling lifestyle and you know what size bike to get, what you need to know now is how much is this going to cost?

Whether you buy a beater or a quality bike, it’s going to cost you about $3/day.

If you buy a bike from Walmart for $500, it’s going to last you about 6 months.  180 days X $3 = $500.

Right now, you can get an amazing bicycle that will last you 3 years for about $3000.  1095 days X3 = $3285.

“I don’t ride every day”… well guess what Bucky, seeing that bike there costing you $3/day is gonna get you riding a lot more than you otherwise would.

“$3285 is soooooo much money!”  Compared to what?  First, there’s no fee every time you want to go ride the bike like there is in  golf, or skiing.  Second, you spend more than that at Starbucks every day.

Look, justifying the expense is stupid.  You’re gonna lose on this… even though it’s less than a Starbucks a day.

You gotta flip it.

Let me tell you how you’re going to save:

  1.  You’ll never need a shrink
  2.  You’ll be in excellent health
  3.  You’ll be in a significantly better mood
  4.  … and so on

But the best part is, you’ll have no money or time or energy left over for a mistress.

PS… give me a call and I’ll tell you where to go and who to talk to.

171.4