Todd's Blog


NOT TODAY

TODD BROWN racerness

NOT TODAY

I RIDE EVERY MONDAY MORNING.  An easy spin.  60-90 minutes.

But, not today.

I postponed to the afternoon.  Thought I'd get my Monday ride in at sunset.

Not today.

Today... today I'm tired.

Today... I took the day off.

Skipped the workout.

And, that's okay.

I'm tired.

Today.

______

163.6
2/60
8 hrs 
Ride with us: click for info. 


THE CONNECTION

TODD BROWN racerness

THE CONNECTION

NORMALLY, WE SIGN UP FOR A RIDE OR RACE. Do it.  And, go home.  Though the promotor assures us there's a good cause we're helping with our cash, we really don't care.  We're just happy our community is together and we're going to get down to some fun, challenging riding.

But, yesterday's heat was oppressive.  The riding quickly went from fun to challenging to destructive.  105 degrees, not a tree or lean to insight.  My breathing was fast and shallow.

The end was near.  Not of the ride, of my ability to finish.

I wasn't alone.

Banded and bonded together, 5 or 6 of us coasted to a stop at the Trabuco General Store.

Popsicles and Cokes are on me.

Our overheating cores began to cool, somewhat.  I knew 1 of these riders by name, and all of them by effort.  We were connected... and I'm guessing we'll remember this very rough day for years.  We mounted our dusty rides, our clothes covered in salt stains.

The name of this ride is the Hardman Classic, and for the second year in a row I've been reduced to a limp residue of a man.

I finished, blurry.  Drove 5 minutes home.  Made a smoothie.  Made another.  Drank 44 oz of water.  Showered.  Laid down. 

_____

Chris texted me.  He'd done his own terrible ride and found himself in a similar position.  Propped up, watching a dramatic college football game end he texted...

I love sports!

_____

I zoned out watching what I figured would be a predictable finally of the Vuelta.  Far from it!  This is by far the best grand tour.  My favorite to watch.  The attacking and countering was on 'till the very end... with an unknown 20 year old going long range a getting himself on the final podium.  I thought...

I love sports!

_____

Feeling half-human, I drove back to the finish.  Everybody was gone.  Mike, the promotor, had kindly taken down my canopy.  As I loaded it, a few volunteers stopped by to chat.

You guys are amazing, said one.

What you do makes such a difference, said another.

It wasn't registering to me.

How bad was it out there I asked.

We rescued a lot of people.  Exhausted riders.  4 guys throwing up.

I got that, but I didn't get this...

Do you know how many kids you help?

Tired, I could only raise my eye brows.

800 kids have come through the COA Kids bike program.  We are working so hard to teach them to respect their bodies, to avoid the dangers of vaping and drugs.  And, getting them bike riding helps them make a connection to their health.

Emotionally weak, I hid my misty eyes.

... I love this sport.

_____

Feeling fresh at the start

Gloves are covered in salt... isn't the body amazing?!

My attempt to look happy

Nothing drops like HVY MTL.. I coasted the flat and climby parts of this long descent.

Chris calls this heaven.  I think he's right.

 

______

162.4
0/0
9 hrs 
Ride with us: click for info. 

  


TO PRE-RIDE OR NOT TO PRE-RIDE?

TODD BROWN racerness

TO PRE-RIDE OR NOT TO PRE-RIDE?

THERE'S A FAIRLY FAST SECTION OF TOMORROW'S RACE COURSE THAT TRANSFERS FROM DIRT TO OLD PAVEMENT with about a 5"stub.  If you take it fast and on an angle it's not a big deal.

Tomorrow, I'll bet my donut money, folks who've never seen it are going to have a big butt pucker moment.  Lock 'em up.  Skid.  And most likely yell a Holy Hell!

Not me.  

I ride that section weekly, it's my home terrain.

But, that's the big advantage of pre-riding any race course.  

When I was racing Super-D, the precursor to Enduro, I would ride the course many times.  Forwards and backwards.  

When I race a crit, I take all the turns at various approaches to figure what works best.

The point is, if I'm there to do my best... which isn't always the case... I'm going to get as much course knowledge is as possible.  It makes a difference.  

The difference in speed can be immense, but often it's just safety and a more relaxed ride I'm after.

Do you have to pre-ride to have a good day?  Not even.  You can still have a good day.  But, it's nearly a lock you'll have a much better day with pre-riding.

And the PEDAL Posse agrees... how 'bout you?

______

165
20/30
7 hrs 
Ride with us: click for info. 

 


HOW BIKE RIDING SAVES THE BRAIN

TODD BROWN

HOW BIKE RIDING SAVES THE BRAIN

I HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO INTERVIEW THE GREAT DOCTOR BODD TROWN ON MY UNKNOWN PODCAST.  As many of you know, Dr Bodd is a specialist in Brain Salvation Theory.  In fact he is so unfamous, I was surprised to he accepted my invitation.

Here is the nugget:

TB: Dr Bodd, what is the internet doing to our brain that is so dangerous?

DB:  Totally screwing us up.

TB:  That's a little harsh, and murky.  Can you be more specific?

DB:  Yes, yes, of course.  The internet, the digital world, the meaningless online lives we lead... are totally screwing us up.

TB:  Yikes!  Is there anything we can do?

DB:  Yes, do anything!  Do something!  Play for Heaven's sake.

TB:  Play?

DB:  Yes, don't be an idiot.  You know what playing is... things like riding a bicycle.

TB:  Well, we love riding bikes.

DB:  Then, you might have a chance... just leave your damn phone at home, or tuned off.

There ya have it folks... bike riding will save your brain.  And you can remind your friends to do the same by clicking here for this t.

______

164.2
23/30
8 hrs 
Ride with us: click for info. 

 

 


ONE OF THESE DAYS

TODD BROWN The RACER's Life

ONE OF THESE DAYS

SHE’S MY CHEAPEST DATE. 
Expects the least from me.

Rolls with my whims,
all of ‘em

Easy on my mind,
when I’m uneasy.

Dirty-minded,
we’re like-minded.

I like her dusty,
looking used.

She likes any pace,
fast or slow,
... just wants to go.

This bike.  Inexpensive.  Heavy.  Solid.  Dependable.  Hopes for little, gives all.  Everyone oughta have one. 

One of these days.
We’ll ride away.
Nowhere.
Fade away.
Somewhere.
Hideaway.
Right there.

Never come back.

 

______

163.6
25/50
7.5 hrs 
Ride with us: click for info. 


LET IT GO, BRO

TODD BROWN The RACER's Life

LET IT GO, BRO

KOOKY IS AS KOOKY DOES... and I see a lotta kooky kaka.  I try not to dwell on it.  It's like kancer.  It'll kill ya.

This SUV is not moving.  It's parked.  The driver you can't see, he's outta the car.  Thankfully, he got back in and kept moving.

Let it go, bro... it never ends well.

______

164
0/0
6.5 hrs (paid for it on ride and at work)
Ride with us: click for info. 


EAT LESS. RIDE MORE.

TODD BROWN racerness

EAT LESS.  RIDE MORE.

BECAUSE I KNOW WE'RE ALL GONNA GO BONKERS FROM HALLOWEEN (I know you steal the kids' candy!) TO NEW YEARS... well you probably will, but I won't!... I'm going to make you a crazy offer.

I was reminded of this simple truth when I saw the leg shot from my last race.

And it's not just the leg shot, the results this year tell a similar story... and I'm not just talking about the kind you sign up and pay for, i'm talking about the personal challenges I set for myself:  PRing Live Oak, time trialing Harding, daily pull ups, etc.  

LESS BLUBBER = MORE SPEED

So, here's the cuckoo offer:  buy 2 of these t-shirts, give one to your chubby checker, and commit to eat less and ride more the next 4 months.  Use promo code EATLESSRIDEMORE for 50% savings.

Let's all roll into next year svelter, ready to take it on vs having some stupid goal to get in shape. Ugh.  The horror!

Note:  you can game the system and buy just 1 and still get the 50% savings but where's the fun in that?

PS... want to be even more gnarly, tell the world what you're going to weigh on Jan 1 now.  Just think, you'll be able to look back in 2020 with 20/20 of your grand accomplishment.

Educate yourself on the perils of facing this challenge alone

 

... The Old Diesel never had definition like that before, granted I was probably dehydrated at this point.

 

______

164.2
20/60
8 hrs
Ride with us: click for info. 


RIDERS OF A FEATHER

TODD BROWN racerness

RIDERS OF A FEATHER

THE SUN POUNDED ON MY BACK, sweat poured onto my glasses, and my quarter horse legs turned mule.  Dust whipped and swirled a mocking dance, but I kept on.... because I could see my friends' tiny silhouettes far ahead.

I'll be damned if those cats are gonna put the hurt on me!

Why?... because we ride and train together and I know (think? hope? pray?) I can keep up.

I'm part of that, I whisper to no one.... 

Riders of a feather, race together... jingled in my head. 

Later.
When it was over.
I looked that podiums.

Many were filled with friends.  And those that weren't friends before were talking about meetin' up for some future riding and training.

Why?

Because they've found a kindred spirit with kindred talent... and they're into the social side, the personal challenge side, the learning side...  way more important than the winning side.

Which is why riders of a feather, race together.

 ______

164.2
0/0
7 hrs
Ride with us: click for info. 


TRUST YOUR TRAINING

TODD BROWN racerness

TRUST YOUR TRAINING

PVIDDY AND I REPEATED THIS TO OURSELVES CONSTANTLY.  Any time we had self-doubt in the final week of prep, this is what we said...

TRUST YOUR TRAINING

He's a gold medal-winning Olympian, I'm merely a cycling national champ.

I'm not sure which of us came up with it, or if it's even unique to us.  But, it is real.

First, there is nothing you can do to improve your fitness a week before a big race.  NOTHING.  There's a ton you can do to screw it up, A TON.  Chiefly, riding too hard.

Second, the point of the training is to figure things out.  What is...
a good pre-race week?
food to eat the day before?
on the bike nutrition that works for you?
the proper tires and pressure?
how far can you sprint, can you sprint at all?
it's along list.

Figure it out.

Don't be that rider who has a million excuses of what went wrong with your race.  It's embarrassing and is an indicator weakness.

Be the rider who is prepared and confident and ready.

Trust your training...

The week of,
The night before,
In the heat of the moment.

Relax, you're ready... now go slay it!

 ______

164.2
10/30
7 hrs
Ride with us: click for info. 

 


ADDING OR SUBTRACTING?

TODD BROWN racerness

ADDING OR SUBTRACTING?

BIG SPIDERS AND FAT SNAKES JOINED MY JOURNEY THIS EVENING.  It's late summer, the best part 'round here.  As the days shorten, I've got a choice to make.

Addition or subtraction.

Am I going to add lights or ride less?
Ride the rollers inside or ride less?
Join Zwift or ride less?

Or.... improve our process at work, switch up the routines, and keep on slaying the sunrises and sunsets?

Whatur we gonna do?

 ______

163.4
20/60
6.5 hrs
Ride with us: click for info. 


THE A, B, Cs OF BIKE RACING

TODD BROWN

THE A, B, Cs OF BIKE RACING

 

TO RACE/COMPETE/CHALLENGE OUR BEST, we've got to make time for the A-B-C's.  If we don't, we become very dull.

C events are the ones where we Check Things Out... things like:  a long breakaway, a late sprint, different foods, attacking from the start, tire pressures, not taking a single pull, etc... By stating the expectation up front, it's easy to uncouple from I gotta do my best and hitch onto I'm going to see if this works... because if it does, you can slot it your quiver.

B events are for Being Aggressive.  Take that new arrow you added on the C event and let it fly with confidence by going all in on it.  Did you learn going hard the day before actually makes you feel better on race day?  Now is the time to really commit and put into practice.  Does it really work?

A events.  Oh, the A events.  The ones we put on the calendar a year out.  The ones we've staked the season on.  The ones where we Bring It All Together tapered and fresh to unleash our might fury.  These can, and should be, magical.

The scary part is most of us have never tried to get a B or a C.

PS . 

I RAN INTO SUPERCROSS AND MTB LEGEND JOHNNY OMARA TODAY.  He was with a young kid, Jett, who he introduced as the future of Supercross and Motocross. .

I asked the kid how long he'd be in the States.

6 years.

He just go here!  He's 16. 

That's a kid/man, with a long-term plan.  Which dove-tailed perfectly with what I was already thinking about.

 

 ______

164
20/60
8hrs
Ride with us: click for info. 


L.S.D. RESET

TODD BROWN PEDAL Posee Life

L.S.D. RESET

OVER THE YEARS I'VE HAD TREMENDOUS SUCCESS WITH L.S.D.  It's allowed me to reset my mind and my seasons.  It's a trip, for sure.  Done properly, the following days and weeks will be approached anew.

Why's it work?  I dunno.

When should you do it?  When you're burned out and stale.

Who needs it?  Probably everybody.

Where to do it?  Ideally, some place flat.

What is L.S.D.?  Long, slow distance.

How's it done?  You simply throw a limp leg over your saddle, mount, and softly pedal away.  For a long time.  Preferably with your pals, done alone can make you crazy.

Today was a pretty good LSD ride.  It was probably too lumpy.  4500' of elevation gain over 60 miles is a little much.  450' would have been better.  But, the pace was right on.  Just the 4 of us, two abreast, chatting it up.

The secondary purpose for me, was to find a challenging route.  It's close to ideal, though I think we might reroute a short section.  We'll see.

In the meantime, my body is resetting.  Getting ready for one last race this year, the Filthy 50 MTB race in 8 weeks... L.F.D.

 ______

165.4 lbs
0 pull ups/0 push ups saving it for surf tonight
Ride with us: click for info. 


BREAKING THE CODE

TODD BROWN PEDAL Posee Life

BREAKING THE CODE

EVERY TIME I RACE I LEARN A LITTLE SOMETHING.  It starts with putting the race date on the calendar, and putting down my cash.  From that moment on, my bikedar is scanning for speed.

It's like magic.

And the very best thing?

The code keeps changing.  I keep learning.

Why just yesterday I learned my right leg is 5mm shorter than my left!  All these years... all those miles... all the worry my riding days were coming to an end... all the lost power... ALL THE FOUND SPEED!

What are you signed up for?  What have you learned?  Do tell.

 

______

164.4 lbs
23 pull ups/69 push ups
Ride with us: click for info. 


COMPETE TO BE COMPLETE

TODD BROWN PEDAL Posee Life

COMPETE TO BE COMPLETE

IS THE AGE OF COMPETITION DEAD?  Are there no more winners and losers?  As grand as gran fondos are, and as tickly as the dopamine hit I get from Strava cup is... I miss the huge fields and butt whippings of the late 80s and early 90s.

When he lined up like gladiators.  To race.  To win.

When seeing stars and tasting blood while training.  Was common.

Have we just gone soft?

We lost almost every single time.  Some of us never won, or even got a sniff of it.  But we kept coming.  We kept charging.  Because something inside us was aching to be unleashed.

The competition held us accountable.  We discovered who we were.  We learned to win.  And we learned to lose.

A wise man once said, Don't wish it was easier, wish you were better.

So I say...

Ride the gran fondo, for fun.
Get the Strava thingies, for the high.
Do the group ride, to make friends.

Race your bike,
Set a PR you thought was impossible,
Find out who you are.

A winner.

______

165 lbs
20 pull ups/60 push ups
Ride with us: click for info. 

 


THAT 10,000 HOUR THING

TODD BROWN PEDAL Posee Life

THAT 10,000 HOUR THING

MALCOM GLADWELL MADE IT FAMOUS IN HIS BOOK OUTLIERS, the idea that if you did anything for 10,000 hours you would become great.

What is 10,000 hours?  Is it like fasting for 40 days?  Is it apocryphal?  Does it mean just do it for a long time?

When I was a lad, a crusty old crank took my 9 month old cycling exuberance and sat me down.  Looked me in the eye. Yelled a little too loud. 

You don't know what you are until you've ridden for 3 years!

I'm a road racer.

I doubt it!

I was, but it wasn't my best event.  Three years later I had a pretty good handle on what I could and couldn't win.

That 3 years was made up of an average 10 hours per week.  Roughly1500 hours.

Now, if you were a pro or had no other focus or obligation you might ride 15 or 20 hours a week.  Maybe even 30.  

Most pros have gotten there after 5-10 years of racing.  Or, about 10,000 hours.

That magic isn't in the predictable nature of a bike ride, but in the unpredictable.  The spider-sense develops and we do all these unconscious things learned by experience. 

We've all seen the new rider get the most flats, have the most close calls, take the most tumbles.  We've heard the new rider say things like I was leading the whole race until the end.  

We feel for them, try and teach them, and encourage them to see it through.  And sometimes we are the crusty crank yelling a bit too loud because of our love for the sport and our knowledge that it just takes time to be great.

Count your hours,
make 'em count.

______

164.6 lbs
20 pull ups/60 push ups
Ride with us: click for info. 


SOME MARKS ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS

TODD BROWN PEDAL Posee Life

SOME MARKS ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS

I CRASHED TONIGHT.  Dinged my knee.  Hip's a little sore.  It left a mark.  Naturally, I popped right up... after a few regrettable words with myself.  Got right after at.  Started making my way forward through the places I'd lost.

Then, I blew.

I knew it was over.  Shouldn't have even raced.  But, while legs were saying no, heart was saying yes.  Friends were saying yes.  Ego was saying yes.

And that's why I did it.

I'll have that mark to remind me for the next couple of weeks to back it down.

But the mark that matters is the mark Matt Wenger has left on the OC mountain bike scene.  

For 10 years, he's promoted and executed the largest weekly mountain bike race in the world.  500-600 line up every Tuesday night to race, for 12 weeks of summer.

Enduring friendships have been made.

Lives have been changed.

A deep culture of having fun on mountain bikes has been gifted.

His vision and passion and energy bring it all to life.

That's all it takes.
And it takes his ALL.

Thanks bro.

______

163.6 lbs
20 pull ups/60 push ups
Ride with us: click for info. 


OFF-SEASON OR NO OFF-SEASON?

TODD BROWN Tour De Donut

OFF-SEASON OR NO OFF-SEASON?

FULLY 70% SAID THERE'S NO NEED FOR AN OFF-SEASON.   I say bull pucky! NowayJose! and FAT CHANCE!

We gotta have a rest, reward.  And, it oughta be hell-yeah fun!

Ergo: The Tour de Donut!

What could be more fun that sugaring up with a bunch of skinny, underfed monks?  

Nothing!

Will you get fat?  Who cares... but no, not even if you try.
Will you spike your sugar?... well yeah!
Will you get sick of donuts?... most likely.
Will you have fun?... oh, please don't make me answer this.

Does one day make an off-season?  Of course not.  The point is to reset our minds.  Recognize all we've accomplished.  Socialize.  Flip the switch.  

What do I really mean by off-season?  I mean, really, "different season".  Different being:  different bike, different rides, different purpose, different routes, different amount of time in the saddle.

Change it up.

Starting with burning in all those good intentions with a rock-solid sugar high.

You buy the jersey, we'll buy the donuts!

Oct 12.  7am.  Starting point TBD.

Join the ride: 

https://www.strava.com/clubs/294012/group_events/567065

______

165.4 lbs
20 pull ups/60 push ups
Ride with us: click for info. 


IT'S A PODCAST!

TODD BROWN The RACER's Life

IT'S A PODCAST!

HEY... I WAS A GUEST ON THE BIG WHEEL COACHING PODCAST.  Brian rooted out some of my secrets.

I had a blast.  Before I do another...

... I'd love, love, love... your feedback.

20yrs After His First Leadville Trail 100 MTB Todd Brown Scores A New PR! Podcast Episode #24 Athlete Profile 

The Leadville Trail 100 MTB race is iconic in the world of endurance racing and has absolutely exploded in participation over the last ten years.

Only a few people have seen this amazing event since the early years, one of them is BWC Athlete Todd Brown who recently completed his sixth Leadville Trail 100.

Twenty years after his very first LT100 Todd Brown set his sights high and came home with a Personal Record this year, bettering his previous PR he set 19-years ago.

But it was not all sunshine and rainbows for Todd, there were challenges and difficulties along the way to this amazing performance...

In this episode of the BWC Podcast, Coach Brian talks with Todd about his unique training, the ups and downs of his season, and of course, his PR at this years' Leadville Trail 100 MTB! 

Click The Link To Listen To The Full Episode: http://bit.ly/TBDoesLT100EP24

Would you like some BWC swag? Check out the BWC edition Race Day Bag from Pedal Industries!
https://pedalindustries.com/collections/big-wheel-coaching


We hope you enjoy this episode of the BWC Podcast, can relate to Erik's journey, and utilize the lessons discussed as you work toward your 2019 goals!

#TrainYourPotential

Until Next Time, Be Safe, Train Hard, & Have Fun!

-Brian and Joy McCulloch

Big Wheel Coaching, Inc.

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164.4 lbs
20 pull ups/60 push ups
Ride with us: click for info. 


LEARN. WIN. INSPIRE.

TODD BROWN PEDAL Posee Life

LEARN.  WIN.  INSPIRE.

LEARN SOMETHING NEW.  Read a lot.  Listen a lot.  Every, single, day.

DEFINE THE WIN.  Set a goal.  Figure out the process that is going to get you there.  Do it.

INSPIRE OTHERS.  Share your journey.  We're all rooting for you.

______

164.4 lbs
20 pull ups/60 push ups
Ride with us: click for info. 


OFFICER TODD

TODD BROWN PEDAL Posee Life

OFFICER TODD

ENTER OFFICE TODD.  Not me.  The CHP.  On his way to patrol the canyon we ride, in the hopes of finding the kook who buzzed the riders last week, he stopped everybody for a little lecture.

Guys, I'm on the way to see if we can't find the person who buzzed you in the white BMW last week.

Can you make my job easier?

Yessir.

Please ride no more than 2 abreast in the bike line.

That was it.  Just a dude, doing a thankless job, and being awesome about it.

Guess what?

We're gonna do our best to make his job easier.

PS If you can identify this jackass in the 2014 BMW M5, let me know.  

CA License 8JUJ265

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165.2
0 pull ups/0 push ups
Ride with us: click for info.