I’M LEAVING

WHEN I PACK FOR A CYCLING TRIP, I pack for 2.

Me, and me.

Human me, and cycling me.

Tomorrow I head to Utah for the big race.  Currently, it’s 9:21pm, and I want to leave at 5am.  I’m not sure why I don’t have a master list for big trips.  They’re all different, so that’s probably part of it.  Sometimes I just like the mini-drama of getting ready.

For sure, I need:

Kits

Tools

Socks

Race food.

Vitamins.

Snacks for the road.

Winter clothes – the race is at high altitude.

A cooler, chairs, and flags for my crew.

Swimsuit

Pack it all tonight.

Wake up.

Load bikes.

Hit road.

… I’ll remember everything – hopefully before I leave.

ALL I SEE IS RED

LA VUELTA IS MY VERY MOST FAVORITEST grand tour of the year – always.  It’s 21 days, but it’s usually 21 chaotic days.  It may not have all the star appeal of Le Tour, but it always has future stars.  Do good at La Vuelta, you get a shot at the biggest races.  Most guys are a bit tired, but some have come off an early season crash and come in rested.

Mix all that up and you get unpredictable racing.

Sure Sir Froome is doing his best to feign drama, but in the end he’ll make it boring… the race for 1st.  Who cares though?

All those other cats are come bearing claws, showing fangs.

The tired, dangerous like the wounded animals they are.

The young, full of piss and vinegar.

The recovering, bleeding passion.

Spectacular mountain top finishes have riders throwing haymakers daily… including the toughest climb in Spain, the awesome and feared Angrilu.

watch video before bed, nightmares guaranteed

169.8

TIME

MARTY YELLS TO ME, HEY TODD you know how to say what time is it in Spanish?…Que hora es?… No!  Pointing wildly to his watchless wrist, Yougot da TIIIINE?!

Dad says, You have all the time you need.  Plan your work, work your plan.

Einstein teaches time is slower for the person that is moving.

… maybe there’s something to staying younger by riding?

 

MERINO WOOL

I’M GONNA CONVERT YOU, Mike tells me.

Wool stays cooler on hot days, warmer on cold days, and is odorless… I won’t wear anything else.  I go to this co-op, hidden away in a top secret store, buy ’em by the dozens.  For cross, they’re the only way to go.  Road, too.  MTB, I’d never do anything but wool… and not just any wool, Todd… MERINO wool…

… he’s preaching now, and I’m nodding my head…

Tomorrow I’ll repent of my ignorant ways and be baptized a Merino.

Funny thing is, we’ve been making Merino wool socks for 5 years… I’ve just never converted… I get so passionate about what we make, because for the most part I design it all then abuse the heck out of it.

But, I can’t design sheep like the Merinos, which are extra-super-soft-and-fine… from the continent of weirdo animals – Australia, of course!

Good thing I’ve got samples ready to rock… let me know if you want to join the congregation.

TOUR DE DONUTS

ON SEPTEMBER 30th, I’m going to celebrate the end of the “racing” season – because there is no off-season in SoCal.

How?  By riding to the 10 best donut shops in the county.

Which ones?  I hope you’ll help me decide.  There are a number of lists on the interwebs – see below.

It won’t be a race, but we’re competitive – right?

Maybe we’ll honor the most donuts consumed?  Most weight gained?  Best donut-themed kit?  Best napkin collection? (Is Krispy-Kreme the only one with branded nappies?)  Trust me, we’ll think of something.

Stay tuned.

Please send us your top 3, here are some recommendations:

The Donuttery – Huntington Beach

Friendly Donuts – Orange

M&M Donuts – Anaheim

Poqet Donuts- Irvine

Seaside Bakery  – Newport Beach

Sidecar Doughnuts and Coffee – Costa Mesa

Sweet Bubba’s Donut Cafe – Anaheim

U Jelly – Fountain Valley

Zombee Donuts – Fullerton

Rose Donuts & Cafe – San Clemente

Surin’ Donuts – San Clemente

Halfsies Doughnuts – Tustin

DK Donuts – Orange

The Doughnut Parlor – RSM

Royal Donuts & Burgers – Mission Viejo

 

LOTOJA TRAINING RIDE #10 – HOW MANY DAYS IS THAT?

WHEN ARE WE GONNA GET OUT AND SURF?

Soon man, I just have one more event on the calendar.

What is it?  It’s this retarded race from Logan, UT to Jackson Hole, WY.

How far is that?  204 miles.

How many days?

2 weeks.

To go 200 miles?

No the race is in 2 weeks, we do all 204 in one day.

That is retarded.

The anticipation is killing me now.  Wondering… will my body hold up?  This is 70 miles further than I’ve ever ridden before.  Racing.  Helmets on.  Cleats locked in.  No rest stops.  No ice cream breaks.  Racing.  I know my body, and I know unanticipated problems can show up over a long day of riding.

Here’s to all of us riding smart, safe, and mechanical free…

… and getting a little more balance in our lives…

… like riding with the kids …

… and more lazy rides like this …

A HARDMAN IS GOOD TO FIND

HE LOOKS LIKE A FAMOUS JEW who roamed around 2000 years ago.  But, he’s a heartless bike racer.  And, an even more evil bike event promoter.

The HARDMAN Invitational is a horrible bike ride/race.  It’s always in an infernal month, it mixes road and gravel and lots of plain old dirt.  But, it’s in sunny Southern California where nobody is actually all that tough. Right?

Nope.

If you’re lucky enough to get invited you’ll be there.  Because it’s hard.  Because it will challenge all your skills.  Because it goes right up Maple Springs and down Harding Truck Trail – two iconic dirt roads on Saddleback Mountain.  Because the field will be whittled down to small groups of comrades who end up riding the entire distance together – returning battered and beaten and better than when they started.

All that terribleness, and you’re going to pay for it too.

Why does Mike do it?

Not for the entertainment.

He does it as a fundraiser for Community Outreach Alliance, specifically so at-risk youth can participate in bike riding activities.

Will this earn him forgiveness for his heartless racing and evil promoting?

I doubt it.

But who cares?

He’s putting in the time and effort to make you a HARDMAN

(PS… if you’re reading this, you’re invited.)

SWAMI’S, I C WHAT YOU MEAN

75 RIDERS SHOWED UP FOR THE SWAMI’S RIDE, on a foggy August morning at 6:30.  They left in waves:  A group, B group, C group.  Self-selected or self-inflicted, A fastest.  All ride the same route.

This means, depending on the time of year or phase of our training you have 3 options.  Should you get dropped another group is coming – unless you’re in C.

Pretty cool.

No pressure.

Just decide, and go.

I did the B with club president Fred Muir.  Typical… the B was closer to most group’s A.  That’s Swami’s for ya.  Fred is friendlier than most riders… also typical of the Swami’s team.

If you’re ever down that way, it’s a beautiful ride:  24 miles along the Carlsbad coast with a fair amount of rollers thrown in.  Get there early, choose your wave.

La Costa Roasters was the place to be after.

Yum.

Which brings me to my question.. at our local group ride, The TMWC, we start all together and there’s an A-loop of extra credit about halfway through. This works well for most of us, but I’m wondering if it’s time for a C option… something that leaves 5 minutes early for those that want the camaraderie but want an easier ride.

Thoughts?

(mid-pack in the B group)

AND HELMETS OFF TO ALL THE DADS

WHEN YOUR NEPHEW’S KID GIVES YOU KUDOS on Strava you know _____________.  Don’t say it.  Don’t even think how ancient…  Just relish how cool it is that a middle schooler is out riding and posting.  He’s pumped for the middle and high school MTB season which starts next month in UT.

Actually, that makes two surprise riders for the day.  Trevor Brown claims he’s ready to get fast again – CPA tests are over and passed… I’ll try not to jinx that by getting too geeked up.

But there’s more… how about all the dads and moms who hauled their kids out to OverTheHump all summer.  Amazing.

TMWC’s own Kevin rolled out to OTH and crushed all the pro’s and his teammate Andrew took 5th… they’re 16, and I personally know how involved their parents are… from motorpacing to independent study.

Some of these dads have seen their kids like Danielle and Mikael go on to race on premier college teams.

Some of these dads own bike shops, some feel like they do.

And no… it’s not just the dads.  The moms are there every pedal stroke of the way, even if they can’t help saying “be careful” every time the kid leaves to ride.  It’s a team effort.

Not every kid keeps riding.  Many of us have got ’em started, had fun and seen the kids go on to have other interests.

The memories will last forever.

Driving today, I popped into some AM radio on KFI and heard some pop psychology… “What was the happiest moment of your youth?”… silence… “I don’t know”… “Was any of it happy?”…

On Christmas, when I got a bike.

(Kevin started last, finished first)

 

IN ANOTHER’S BIBS

READING RIDE TITLES IS SO ENTERTAINING, it’s like the proverbial riding in another man’s bibs…

… Austin pointing out that this morning’s ride was so easy he could do it on his full-suspension mountain bike…

… my brother from another mother concurs with a smiley face and grade of “more tolerable” …

… Brett, while on the same exact ride gets a little dramatic… I’m not sure why, most people can do the drag strip in 1:03… ‘nt  …

… Chris shares his 1st Group Problems… poor guy, hasn’t seen the back of the group since ’14…

… yet, Jake finished about 5 minutes behind Brett… apparently there was a lot of murdering on the ride…

… add Jim’s pyromania to the murdering and well, maybe it wasn’t all that tolerable after all…

… but, we see a little, grandmother was able to not only finish with the dead and burning but also improve on her previous times…

… shoot, Bud didn’t even need a big chain ring – SuperDave would be so proud…

… Sean loves murdering and burning so of course it was friendly enough for some extra credit…

… then there’s young TJ, modestly sharing he did the A Route … isn’t that awesome?!

… so thank y’all for letting me briefly ride in your bibs as I drift off to sleep…

YOU, WHO ARE ON THE ROAD

MUST KNOW THE CODE:

It’s a social ride… I like you, and I like hammering the snot out of you even more.

It’s a no-drop ride… Don’t get dropped, or you won’t be on the ride.

I’m worn out… This is a glimpse into your near future.

It’s a super hard ride… It’s not really that hard for me, but you should turn around now.

I haven’t been riding much… I’m totally tapered, fresh and ready to crush it.

It’s a kinda technical trail… I can ride the whole the whole thing, you’ll be walking and bleeding.

Less obvious:

Dude is breathing hard… someone is about to get dropped.

Dude takes off early on sprint, you pass him early… someone is about to get smoked.

Dude rolls up sporting a super old kit… someone is going to get schooled.

CAMEL OR THOROUGHBRED?

It’s so tempting to get everyone’s buy-in on your next kit/t-shirt/event… etc.  But you know what they say:

Committees design camels,

Leaders design thoroughbreds.

Be brave.

Have faith in yourself.

Polarizing is memorable… don’t do it for polarizing’s sake, do it for you and the people you lead.

Then bring it to life.

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