2016 unOFFICIAL TMWC

TMWC cornerWhat does it mean to have a vision, a dream that only you can see?

… and what are you going to do about it?

We just put on an event with riders from as far away as Arizona, from Malibu to San Diego, and cities and towns in between… all connected by a concrete web so tangled only the locals can navigate without an app…

… at 6:30AM!… on a Tuesday!!!

The unOFFICIAL TMWC has grown into the largest weekday morning, pre-work “race” in the US, and it started with a dream, a vision, only a few could see.

How’d we do it?

Really, how do you do that?

The original crew of 4 laughed at me when I told them the name of the ride, I couldn’t even take it seriously: The Tuesday Morning World Championships.  It sounded so unbelievable I had a crooked grin everytime I said it.  But, we just kept saying it over and over.

Give your dream an audacious and memorable name.

We’d pick up commuters who would join us on parts of the route, and we’d ask them about where they were headed and what they did.  We’d post in club forums, and reach out to local shops and teams.  Many great people have come and gone over the years, and many friendships have been made.

Make friends along the way.

Sure it hurts the ego when you can’t hang, but it’s such an ego stroke when you can make it one corner or hill further than before.  When you PR a segment! Give it your all, beating on each other makes the group stronger.

Be gracious and congratulatory.

With the ride, it took about a month to scout out the course.  Challenging.  Safe.  Interesting. And, for “the city”  pretty darn light-free, completely light and stop free the last 7 miles.  It’s a great course.

Make it great, whatever it is.

Start on time, don’t wait for flats, obey the traffic laws, teach newbys the rules of group riding. The group is depending on a reliable experience they can plan the rest of their busy lives around.

Be dependable.

We kept growing.  Each invitation being delivered with passion and conviction by ever more people:  “Hey man, we got this cool course and awesome group a guys.  We hit it pretty hard every Tuesday.  Come out.”  Depending on skills and fitness, we followed with “we could use a rocket like you to light it up” or “you’ll learn how to ride in a group, it’s safe.”

Keep inviting. One human at a time.

There’s genuine love (too mushy?) for each other.  We’ve shared our life stories:  marriage, work/no work, child-rearing, cancer, broken bones, spiritual journeys, what training is working, what big event is on the radar, encouraging each other all along.

Have love for the group and the individual.

With all that naming, friending, congratulating, greatness, dependability, inviting and loving you still have to persevere.  There have been times when it’s 28 degrees and dark, days we didn’t get home the night before until well after mid-night, many times with an evening MTB  race to follow.  There will be obstacles in the way, but if that dream is burning you’ll show up, you’ve got to show up to your own dream

Persevere, be the leader and be dependable.

Know that there are lots of wonderful new friends that want to be part of what you’ve got going on… and you’ll keep making it better, because those new friends will contribute their time and energy freely, simply because you shared your passion with them and they are digging your vibe.

Share the dream!

Thanks for being part of our dream this year.

Sarah Strange for (wo)manning the registration table and shooting great stills on the corkscrew.

Jim and Vickie Bishop for riding lead moto and shooting the drone footage I can’t wait to see.

Chad and Geno at Baghouse for the awesome awards.

Damion Hickman for the killer t-shirt art.

Shelby Burton for the new sexy kit design.

Marco Sanchez for scoring the Oakley eyewear.

Guy LaRoque, BetterRoofing.com, for the insurance.

Robb Dorf for the PureFit bars.

Dan and Brandon for the Bowls of Heaven.

The local bike shops (I hope you frequent) for being awesome: RocknRoad, The Path and Two Hubs for the great gifts… really, go see these shops they are all unique and cool to visit.

Mike Gould, Chris Johnston and Jim Bishop for being on “the board”.

To all the trophy wives (that Susie Brown!) and husbands and lovers and kids and parents who indulge us and support us.

Now lets go build our dreams!

PS  The kids dominated!  1-2-3 when to Kevin 15, Mikael 18, Andrew 15… couldn’t be better.  We raised a record amount for the local high school MTB teams.  Official results will be up soon at TheTMWC.com

PSS… I’m sure I missed or forgot something, drop me a line and I’ll get it updated.

before corkscrew

Who’s missing? (TMWC)

who's missingThe unOFFICIAL TMWC happens once a year, in July.

Tuesday morning, 6:30AM – quiet time in our little mecca.

7/19 is a Tour de France rest day, and we are all geeked up.

It’s warm, but not hot.

The faces are friendly, the introductions genuine.

Interlopers, real pros or soon to be pros, will own the day.  We don’t care.

Us regulars just want to play in the same sandbox as long as we can and with a little luck snag a PR on one of the course’s many segments.

This is our day to share what we love with you.

It’s real.

Straights and turns, false flats and climbs, streets and sidewalks…

All leading to a broad, bike-only road, edged with friendly trees and shade.

The final 7 miles.

Just a gentle pitch to start.

Brief punches out of the saddle to keep it honest.

A tunnel to yell and scream.

A sleepy motorcycle bar warns “trouble ahead, trouble behind”.

A 4 minute (for some) wall to conquer.

A 50 m.p.h descent, twisting under an endless oak canopy.

A this-can’t-be-flat straight away past the 100-year-old general store and elementary school.

A final 1-minute blast (for some) up the cork screw to a this-is-definitely-not-flat drag strip finish.

If you are on this list below, awesome.

See who of your friends should be on it, and pass along our little invite.

If you’re not, we hope you can make it… whether you beat us silly or you’re hanging on with all you’ve got, it won’t be the same without you.

There are 100 spots in total to be had, and we’d love to fill them soon so we can properly plan an awesome morning for you.

(Last year we had a hundred, so I’m sure we’ll hit that again… the question is will you or your pals be there?)

The event is free and a fundraiser, and U19 have guaranteed spots.

We hope you’ll be able to stay for a Bowl of Heaven and the podium presentation of 2016 Tuesday Morning World Champions.

Cheers!, tb

Register at TheTMWC.com

Some interesting stats so far:

$492 in donations, most common is $20 – largest $200!

34 registrants

3 of you have never done the ride

48% admit to riding 10-15 hours/week

82% of you learned about the ride from a friend –  gotta pass this email along : )

 

Thanks in advance, you all continue to amaze me with great friendship, riding skills and generosity.

Fritz Reimers

William Langstaff

Jim Bishop

Robert Cavallo

Christopher Hill

Michael Quito

Mark Christopherson

Daniel Eitman

RJ Kern

Steve Horvath

Brian Cronk

Todd Brown

Patrick Galvin

John Brantley

Scott Lamb

Kevin Vermaerke

Frank Warren

Kevin Cavallo

Rigo Cruz

Jim Carter

Michael Russell

Cy Zuidema

Thomas Butterfield

Jason Hole

Spencer Roundy

Brandon Thede

Michael Wieczorek

Patrick Coffey

Shayne Kennedy

Chris Johnston

Wade Poulson

Marco Sanchez

Michael Gould

High school friends, then and now

my high school friends

My high school friends, then (2009) and now.

Such a happy day, during a very turbulent time of my life.

What to do when life gravity is pulling you down? Get some earthly gravity to pump you up.

My two sons, Trevor and Shane, and my other “high school” friends, Austin and Clutch, headed for our favorite downhill run: The San Juan Trial.

Why is it our favorite?

Because back when these punks were weak and scrawny (not Clutch), we only bombed trails, and SJT is the most bombable trail in OC – miles and miles of single track all headed downhill, all on decomposed granite – the kind of terrain that grinds flesh to the bone, all  flanked by buckthorn – the plant that tears at your clothes and skin, all full of twisty turns and rocky drops and lots and lots and lots of smiles.

Looking into that picture I see what time can do:  all four of the kids are now excellent men, blazing their own ride through life… making me as happy for them today as “way back when”.

Every rider tells a story don’t he?

michael long

South of town I see this guy heading towards me, he turns around so I wait.

Do you know how to get to Oceanside?

Yep, through the base.

They wouldn’t let me through.

Did you have ID?

My racing license…

Well, we need to get your real ID… you staying in a local hotel?

Best Western.

Okay, let’s go back and get it… I’m in no hurry, and headed that way.

My name’s Michael, we shake hands… I’m Todd.

ID in pocket, we roll up Coast Highway and catch Dave.

Where are you headed?

I’m meeting the guys at the T-shirt shop, then Celo Pacific.

Awesome… I’ve always wanted to do that ride… we can cruise down, draft the pack back.  Just what I’m a needin’.

Introductions are made, we point south.   Chatting, getting to know new faces.  Michael mixes right in… we’re rotating a double pace line with an odd number, always someone new to talk to.

At the end of the base, the boys are whipped out to water spring weeds, while we wait for the Celo crew.

Here they come, right on cue we are hammering at 35mph with a steady, unusual southern wind.  OK, new guy could be shot out the back… this train is being stoked by big lumber.

I make a move up the final hill before the North gate, solo through the small gate onto the emergency runway… the group is way back, it’s now or never… never, I scratch and latch onto a break of 4 very fast guys.

The tunnel under the 5 is wet and muddy, we slow and the main group reconnects.

Michael is there and takes a pull on the front. Nice job, new guy!

Tri guy takes the lead through the campground and stays there averaging 30mph, nobody comes around for miles.  I’m right behind him, so blame me tri guy.

Up the hill, the group swarms us… new guy included… lining up the sprint, it’s a fast one and the interlopers from San Clemente take the V.  Pretty sure the CP guys hate that… I sit up and congratulate tri-guy on the manly pull.

Cruising back through town, Michael and I decide to catch a “coffee” at Kaylani‘s.

Turns out he works for Travis Pastrana’s Nitro Circus… he’s used to managing rock groups, now manages the US tour for TP – there are 3 tours running this year.

Turns out he had a ride to Europe to race pro and went all teenager with his step-dad and screwed that up.

Turns out he raised a family, started riding again in his 30’s, and was instantly running with pros.

Turns out family came first so he retired again.

Turns out he got back on the bike 5 years ago and was easily spinning with the local hot shots.

Turns out a freaking car turned in front of him as he was crossing the line for the win on a local ride: broken neck, sternum, bleeding on the brain.

Turns out he’s tough – he is Aussie – and last year he qualified for Master’s World Championships.

Turns out he’s another gem, just riding along.

#meetnewpeople

54 and not much more #rookiemistakes

me at fontana

It was my birthday.  I’d been training all year for the mountain bike season.  And my plan was to kick @#$!

But… I’d over trained, raced way too many days on the road.  My diet was off enough to pack on 5 pounds. And my legs truly felt like crap… they bit back at me, just taking my “smoke break” walk around the office parking lot.

Racing was suddenly not seeming like a fun thing to do on the b-day.

The Boss insisted I would feel good in the morning… I believe everything he says.

Bam!… next thing I know it’s dark, and early, and my birthday.  Eggs are cooking, avocado is cut, smoothie is blending, fueling up the old diesel.

I’m ahead of schedule, scattering through my brain comes… “fix that cleat!”

No problem, I’ve got time and I have a brand new cleat.

Done.  Loaded. Heading down the road.  Let’s race!

Sign up, warm up.  All on schedule.

At the Start line I find a buddy to hand up my bottle after lap 1 – figuring there’s no need to add to the sloth I’ve become.

And we’re off.

I try my new strategy of not going out like an idiot but actually pacing myself the first 5 minutes.

15 minutes later, my masterpiece is not looking good at all.

Standing up and hammering hard, my foot pulls out of the pedal.  Damn cleat.  I sit and grind, pedaling in strong efficient circles.  Foot pulls out again.  DAMN cleat! Blast a rock garden. Foot out.  Ddddddddamndamndamn.  My right leg can only put out a fraction of the power being demanded.

Either the lack of rest or the pedaling imbalance or both creates all kinds of lactic acid.  ouch, ouCH, OUCH!

I roll through the Start/Finish for lap 2… buddy with bottle has vanished. Shoot.

Next lap begins the long parade of being passed, a lot.  Often.  Not trying to be arrogant, but dudes I normally beat by minutes are passing me and kindly inquiring – Todd, you okay? – yep, just not my day.

Back through Start/Finish I get my bottle for the final lap… too late.  Once you bonk – once I bonk – it’s over.

I wanted to quit, bad.  But, I never quit.  Ever.  Quitting aint my style.  I’m all in, regardless of the pain, the mishaps, whatever… I’m a finisher.  Plus, I paid for this epic fail, and I’m gonna get my money’s worth.

These are all rookie mistakes – lack of rest, failing to test new equipment in advance, not having a solid race food plan.

Maybe I’m not that old after all?

Deconstruction:  finished 20 minutes off the winning pace, but… PR’d the first half of the course, made the absolute best of the downhills, got a nice reminder of what it takes to race at high levels before Nationals this summer, saw all my friends and really enjoyed the day.

Brussels, Paris… 10 years ago

I am not shocked by the Brussels bombings, and you shouldn’t be either.

Right out of high school, a group of us traveled Europe by back pack and Eurail for the summer.  Europe at that time was a wonderful playground of history and adventure for us.

Travel was easy, language from my native “English” to my adopted Spanish to Italian was easy to navigate.  The Germans spoke great English.  The French made no effort to help our rotten translations, but who cared?… the food and bread were unforgettable!

11 years ago my pals and I landed in Paris, excited to witness the Tour de France.  It had been 25 years, but how much could have changed?

For the most part, nothing had changed in France.  The locals still sneered, even with my friend’s wife speaking decent French.  But who cares… the food and bread, and the riding(!) were unforgettable. I had no idea how amazing cycling would be, the roads seemed to be paved and banked and sized solely for the purpose or traveling by bicycle.  Perfect.

There was one part of the trip that did freak me out a little.

One evening, as the sun was dropping, we found ourselves passing through what could only be called a Muslim slum.  Instantly, I felt uncomfortable.  At first I chalked it up to wearing lycra, then I added being white, then I added being different, then I could only add the unpleasant feelings of not being welcome.  At all.

Mind you, I’ve lived among the poorest of Mexico wearing the standard uniform of Mormon missionary.  I know what it’s like to stand out, and hail from a very foreign culture.

This was different.  This was thick.

Maybe it was my paranoia at the time, but I distinctly recall thinking to myself France was going to go down.

The people were not integrating, not learning the language, and more importantly not participating in the economy.  This is a formula for disaster.  And the French, were not having children at nearly the rate of the immigrants.  At some point, they could not/can not afford to stay separate.  One of two peoples is/was going to swallow the other.

The only Honors class I took in college was Sociology.  Really the only thing I remember was being fascinated by the topic and by the students who were clearly smarter than me.

You may think some politicians, and wannabe politicians, are nuts to want to close our borders… let me suggest you go visit France, and England and experience what is going on there.

Solving the integration problem for immigrants must be addressed for immigration to be successful.  Landing in a foreign country, getting on the government dole and clinging to your fellow compatriots is not the answer.

A wise man once said work is a blessing.  The older I get, the wiser that seams.  When we work side by side towards a common goal our differences melt away, and we learn to appreciate and enjoy each others unique talents and backgrounds.

Europe’s 40 year history of kicking the can down the road is coming to head.  They desperately need vision, leadership.

Sure, it’s easy for a white dude, with time to ride a bike to make those comments… but, I’ve been kicked hard in the nuts by life just like everybody else I know and the only answer I’ve ever found that makes me happy is getting up the next morning and putting my pants on one leg at a time and getting back to work.

Witness all the successful immigrants in our country today, they get to work and integrate.

Is that too simple of a solution for immigration… getting to work?

A Toast To My Dad

As my dad celebrates his retirement at age 80, I would like to raise a toast to him for giving me the greatest advice for business and life I’ve ever received.

Calling Dad for advice is kinda like sincere prayer… things are either really great, or really not great.

This advice though is timeless so I hope  you find value in it to.

Here’s how it goes….

Dad, I have this thing, and it’s huge…

Dad laughs and says…  Well did I ever tell you about my first legal contract for the family property at the Zion Ponderosa?  I was straight out of school and so green and so nervous… and 54 years later, that contract is still in place today.

Then he says the key advice…

Or Dad, you can’t believe what is going on in my life…

He laughs, and he says oh that’s a good one…

Did I ever tell you about representing the doctor who cut off the wrong leg?

His story is always larger than life… we laugh, and he gives me the advice.

Or Dad, what would you do if this was going down in your life?

Always more laughter and complimenting me on my predicament followed by…

Did I ever tell you about how I rescued RoseMarie Reid’s swimming suit empire business?

My “thing” seems so small, and he says this key phrase….

Or, Dad I’ve got this business idea that could be…

Oh yes!, he laughs… did I ever tell you about our helicopter business flying fat cats from LA skyscrapers and landing on the tarmac at LAX?

I say that’s crazy… he says I know, laughs some more and clues me in with this advice…

Or, Dad I’m really concerned about this thing going on…

He laughs and looks at me and says, well ya but remember when we were trading gold and pesos and the check cashing business?… haha, I laugh too and he unloads the advice.

Dad, how did you ever figure out how to handle this thing I’m facing…

The smiles and laughs come harder and happier… and he tells me about him and Merwin clobbering the largest law firms in the nation – just a couple of cowboy cousins kicking butt… and he tells me again what to do.

So, here’s the advice…

Get up in the morning and put your pants on 1 leg at a time, and get to work.

The juicy details of that advice were a little bitter at times until I understood that my dad, loves to work and do big projects and have fun while he’s at.

Now I shared that so I could tell you this… because sandwhiched in between the laughter, the awesome story and the advice was this… You Can Do This

Cheers to my dad for putting his pants on one leg at a time and going  to work, making it fun, and providing so many wonderful times for his associates and family.

Can’t wait to see what he does tomorrow!

Hating that I hate to love this guy

I don’t know about you but… I love to hate my fellow racers, to find something that just makes me want to stomp their guts into the ground.

You know it’s not hard to do.  I find a lot to hate about myself, for example.

But Smiley, Smiley just ticks me off to a whole new level.

First, he’s so damn nice and personable.  He’s a total giver in a sport filled with takers.  He’s that guy that brings the tent early, and takes it home late; that guy that helps you patiently fix a broken bike, even as his start time viciously approaches; that guy that asks how the family is, and the actually listens…

… and he does all this with the most beautiful pearly smile, UGH!

Second, when I told my coach about my goal to take him down she just nodded and said, “ya know, he was built to race mountain bikes; and isn’t he a nice man?”

… all without a hint of hope, #$%@!

But the real kick in the nuts, is when chatting Smiley up about an upcoming race and how svelte I am, how primed I am, how much I’m looking forward to racing the big guns like him…

… there isn’t the slightest doubt in his mind that I have no shot, NONE…

Smiley, the epitome of that guy you hate to love!

 

Shaft, ya, damn right

shaft

Damn… my legs feel goooooooood.

Right on que, iTunes serves me up the theme song to SHAFT – the 70’s Blaxion hero.

Which reminds me of 0 to 1, Peter Theil’s awesome book:  Every business is successful as far as it can do what nobody else can.  Competing is stupid.

Isn’t that what winning is all about, doing that thing that makes a difference at the exact moment that matters?

The likelihood of me winning tomorrow is very, very, very, very, very small…

but damn, like Shaft I feel like “a bad mother”!

… and that’s worth all effort right there.

Who’s the black private dick

That’s a sex machine to all the chicks?

Shaft, ya, damn right

Who is the man that would risk his neck

For his brother man?

Shaft, can you dig it?

Who’s the cat that won’t cop out

When there’s danger all about?

Shaft, right on

They say this cat Shaft is a bad mother

Shut your mouth

But I’m talkin’ ’bout Shaft

Then we can dig it

He’s a complicated man

But no one understands him but his woman

John Shaft

Songwriters: HAYES, ISAAC

Shaft lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group