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AN OLD TRICK

TODD BROWN tmwc registration

AN OLD TRICK

I DON'T HAVE MUCH, SO IT'S NOT SAYING MUCH WHEN I SAY IT TOOK EVERYTHING I HAD... but, It took everything I had to leave it in the small ring this morning.

I had to.
My legs felt great.
4 days on Catalina left 'em fresh,
but I wanted to save that feeling for tomorrow's TMWC.

Leaving it in the small ring is a great reminder to take it easy.  You start shifting that chain down in the lower cogs and it takes a lot of shifts to go fast.  Which is when the reminding comes in.

...

It's funny how I really can't get away from the bike even when I don't have a bike.  We were off on a family reunion with water and snorkeling and paddling and sailing on our minds.

On the way out of Peedro (localspeak) the domes atop PV reminded me how fun the Donut Ride can be and that I need to get back up there.

On the Island you can rent bikes to get around.  You can also ride on all the fire roads, going from one end to the other... but, bring your own bike would be my recommendation.

On the way back, the lady across the row started talking about Brian and Joy McCulloch and the Redlands bike race.  We're doing some gear for their Big Wheel Coaching... small world.

... 

So, we're back.
I'm rested, and fatter.
It'll still hurt tomorrow.

PS It was my first time camping on Catalina, it won't be the last.

PSS if you're planning on doing the unOFFICIAL TMWC please sign up now or we'll have to pull the plug.

_____

173.6
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2018 unOFFICIAL TMWC Fundraiser

TODD BROWN tmwc registration

2018 unOFFICIAL TMWC Fundraiser

JOIN US ON 7/31/18 FOR YOUR CHANCE TO BECOME AN unOFFICIAL Tuesday Morning World Champion!

Most weeks "it's just a social ride"  Once a year, it's a fundraiser... and a chance to have some fun before work.

We have a 4 rules:

1.  Have fun!
2.  Obey the law.
3.  Make a friend.
4.  Have fun.

 ... if you can abide by that, then come on out.

Entry and details are here:  https://pedalindustries.com/collections/tmwc-registration (kids are free)

Meet us at the park on the corner of Oaktree and Antonio in Rancho Santa Margarita.

We ALWAYS leave on time, 6:30AM


MASTERY

TODD BROWN dude

MASTERY

IF YOU CAN'T MASTER 1 WHEEL, how can you master 2?

Most of us start with a two-wheeler plus 2 training wheels, then yank 'em off as soon as we can.

Once we get the 2 wheel thingy figured, we start ridin' wheelies... riding as far as we can on just the back wheel.  

A few learn to ride a unicycle

I bought one summer when I was 15 and bored.  It took a week to master, hanging onto the raised garage door and going back and forth.  Some days I'd ride it 2 miles to school with my backpack.  It did not help me with the ladies as I'd hoped - shocker!  But, I did learn it's easier than it looks, it just takes practice and patience.

There's a lesson there,
somewhere,
somewhere between 4 and 2 and 1,
to keep it simple:
Practice and Patience.

_____

170.8
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TIMING THE CARBO LOAD

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TIMING THE CARBO LOAD

IS IT TOO SOON TO CARBO LOAD FOR SATURDAY'S RIDE?  It's tour season, and I'm as geeked up as the next guy.  Saturdays are the days when I roll out with Phil and Paul playing Jiminy Cricket.  I can't afford to fall flat or bonk.

Proper prep involves a lot of TV watching, website reading, social media fomoing.  Which requires a lot of brain power.  But, at the end of the day... well, it's the end of the day.  I'll need sugar to keep the synapse snapping.

Then, we've got the actual night before.  Friday night.  Whatever carbs I've burned with the above activities combined with the immense concentration required to properly taper will have to be further counteracted and overloaded with even more sugar.

It's Monday night.
Too soon to crack open the pink cookies?

_____

172
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THE ANYWHERE RIDE

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THE ANYWHERE RIDE

TODAY'S RIDE WAS JUST WHAT I NEEDED, AN ANYWHERE RIDE.  We met at 7am, like normal.  But we really didn't have a plan.  And that was the point, to ride anywhere the guy on front chose to go.

So often we get in the rut of "this route" or "this ride".  There's nothing wrong with a rut, unless you're on an MTB and don't know how to get out... then things can go bad, not that you'll die... but, it is true that a rut is like a coffin with the ends kicked out.

Anyway, off we went with no particular place to go.  All we really knew is we wanted to stay on the coast where it was cooler.

Turns out, when you ride anywhere you can end up everywhere.  I didn't know there were so many back alleys and underpasses to wiggle through, away from traffic.  For some it was all new, for others a chance to share secret stuff.

Sten took over through Laguna on the way back and pointed out every sweet surf spot in town.  

We should do more of this in the future... see you at 7 for...

A few hard efforts,
and whole lot of JRA*...
to anywhere.

* JRA = just riding along

_____

168.8 (probs dehydrated)
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WATER

TODD BROWN hero

WATER

MY HEART BROKE AS HE TRIED TO SHARE THE WATER WITH ME.  I encouraged him to drink more.  All of it.  The ice was melting fast inside the insulated bottle.

It was 111 degrees,
I was the idiot on a bike ride.
He was trying to survive,
collecting cans and bottles.
No english.
No spanish.
But sounds,
yes, sounds for sure.
He emptied the bottle,
I rode home.

 

a fire burns in the distance

_____

170.2
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WEIRD.

TODD BROWN hero

WEIRD.

FIRST THIS HAPPENED:  HEY, TODD BROWN!  The sun was behind him so I paddled over and he said, It's Bobby G.

Oh man!... it's been so long.

Yeah, I wouldn't have recognized you except I see you on FaceBook. Social media is so weird.  I thought you lived in Colorado because you always post bike riding?

Nope, right here.

Still surfing.

Yep, but mostly riding bikes unless it's good like today.  The bike is always good (always plugging the sport!)

We caught up on life after high school - family, kids, work.  I told him I always think of him when I surf this spot because of a terrible crash he had on his skateboard on the trail that leads to the beach.  

(I didn't tell him I think about him at least once a week when I ride my bike past that corner... that would be weird.)

Actually, what would have been really weird is if you told us way back when that we'd still be surfing and riding bikes and skiing (he's a big skier) when we were this crusty.

Next, I texted SurferDan thanking him again for the magic surfboard he made me.  He replied he was in town.  Get over here!  He stopped by, checked out our current set up met some of the crew.  

In the process, Dan said he quit riding his bike. 

If you know Dan you know that's just silly.   Then he clarified it, It's been a week and it always seems weird when I don't ride for a week... as if I gave it up.

I wrapped up the day with a very windy spin.  It was a spindy, I guess.

Sometimes weird things happen,
other times nothing happening is weird.

____

170.8
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BEYOND BEHOLDIN'

TODD BROWN hero

BEYOND BEHOLDIN'

MY BUDDY BRETT IS A VERY UNKNOWN BIG SHOT IN THE CYCLING WORLD.  When he comes to town, I listen.  His stories about past and present cycling, the ones you will never read, always deliver.  They are backed up by his massive collection of memorabilia:  The Horton Collection.

Last night he told me of one of his projects to have 4 custom steel frames made by 4 famous builders.  It was a collaboration with Campy, showcasing their newest 10-speed group set.

That's cool, but this is the juicy stuff.

He's had many famous and not famous riders come by and sent them around the test loop which features a down hill, a flat, a climb and a roller.  He's then asked each of them, Which is your favorite?

There is no clear cut winner. 

From Adams to Zabel, the answers are as wide ranging as the riders themselves.  Which got me thinking...

If beauty is in they eye of the beholder,
Then so are the solutions to our challenges as a country.
Dividing ourselves between us and them is not going to deliver the best answers.
Let us behold each other,
Appreciate each other,
Love each other.
Honor each other.
Listen to each other.

____

169.6
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THIRD TIME'S A CHARM

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THIRD TIME'S A CHARM

I'VE WRITTEN TODAY'S POST 3 TIMES.  The first two were all about me.  This one is about us.  You and me.  We have this pact.  We've agreed to ride bikes together.

Some of that riding is racing, most of it is just riding along.

We hold each other accountable with unsaid, silly goals to be the first to the City Limits sign.  And that's why I love you, because you make me better.

Tomorrow we celebrate the 4th,
our freedoms are real.
Today Iet's celebrate the 3rd,
You, me and our community.

____

171.6
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THE unOFFICIAL... WILL BE... 7/31/18

TODD BROWN tmwc

THE unOFFICIAL... WILL BE... 7/31/18

YOU'VE GOT 4 WEEKS TO GET YOUR BUNS IN SHAPE.  On 7/31/18 The unOFFICIAL Tuesday Morning World Championships will be held.

You may ask what happened to doing it on the 10th?

.... Life.
Mainly my life happened.
Brownie been busy.

So,  you may ask what's magical about the 31st?

Here's what's magical, whether or not you admit it, LayTurDayFranz is going to get you geeked up. 

If you're like me, you'll pay for the app to watch it in the morning live, at lunch on repeat, in the background at the Interplanetary HQ, and fall asleep to it at night.  

If you're like me, this is your favorite time of year to ride road because the weather is warm and the sun rises early and sets late.

If you're like me, it's fun to have an event on the horizon that's not too close and not too far away and not too hokey and not too serious.

What makes the unOFFICIAL different from the regular every Tuesday social ride?

The unOFFICIAL is a fund raiser for local high school MTB teams.

We time it.

We eat acai bowls after.

We have awards... because who doesn't like awards.

All that takes time to plan, and I've got some now.

Why do I have more time now?

Because we've finally got our US kit production up and running, cutting our production time from 6-8 weeks to 2-3 weeks.

Is it really all about you Todd?

Heck no, it's all about you.
So get your buns in shape.
Let's get geeked up and have some fun!

... stay tuned for registration, it'll be open soon.

____

172.6
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SHOULDA, WOULDA, COULDA... BLAH, BLAH, BLAH

TODD BROWN hero

SHOULDA, WOULDA, COULDA... BLAH, BLAH, BLAH

I'M SUCH AN ARROGANT DORK!  Because I was leading the series, and because I was undefeated, and because I was too lazy to check the points system I totally disrespected my competition today.  The result:  I lost the championship by 1 measly point.

I deserved to lose, and they deserved to beat me silly.

Even the above is arrogant... so let me try and sanitize the scent, like I did at the finish. 

Fellas, great racing today and congrats on the fast finishes.

Was something wrong with you Todd?

Nope.  You guys were better today.

That's the truth.

It's also true that I rode too hard the last 10 days, didn't taper.  And it's true that I had a rough night.  And it's really true that I didn't bother to check how the scoring went, thinking it was like other series where wins count so heavy that my lead was unassailable.  

I should have:
Rested,
I knew I was tired after the 6 races at OverTheHump.
Pre-ridden the course a few times,
it's technical and I lost a lot of time being cautious.
Looked at how the points are awarded,
That alone would have set up the previous 2 weeks.

It's arrogant to think that would have mattered, but if I'd taken those measures I'd at least know I gave it my all.  I did give it my all today, but I have those little things nagging at me... making me wonder and thinking... I coulda, woulda, shoulda.

I'm also really grateful.  I'm grateful to the Non-Dot crew for putting on a really fun race series. I'm grateful to have good health, and to have friends that are also healthy and able to race and still have fun.  I'm grateful to do as good as I did, 'cause I had no aspirations when it started... these guys are animals.  I'm grateful for the County of Orange for allowing the races.  I'm grateful for all the volunteers.

But, I'm most grateful to have been served up a big slice of humble pie.
I was starving for it.

Everybody ready to play.

Come on turd, get those wheels off the ground!

Cool shot.

Pizza never tasted to good!

____

170.6
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IT'S NOT MAGIC

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IT'S NOT MAGIC

IT WAS TRULY MAGIC TO WATCH HIM PLAY.  Friday nights with me and Chick Hern and Magic Johnson... Showtime!  But, for me the magic wasn't the winning, wasn't the teamwork, wasn't even his unbelievable skills.

For me, it was watching a man maximize his talent.  Magic was doing what he was born to do.  You could tell he loved it, you could tell he worked at it every single day.  And, WOW, was it fun to watch.

It's no different than watching a kid take off the training wheels and take those first few unsteady pedal strokes.  Soon, little Betty rips around the street smiling from ear to ear.  And, WOW, is that fun to watch.

What's magic?
Practice.
Passion.
Do it, make your magic...
... we all want to see it!
 

____

169.8
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WHICH CAT ARE YOU?

TODD BROWN hero

WHICH CAT ARE YOU?

MANY YEARS AGO USA CYCLING, OUR SPORT'S OVERLORDS, CREATED CATEGORIES FOR RACERS.  We start as Category 5 on the road, 4 off-road and work up to Category 1, then on to Pro.  I have immensely enjoyed the competition and "catting up" over the years.

But, I was thinking there are other categories that some people just rock:
Smooth, easy to ride behind
Points stuff out
Fun to talk to
Pushes me to give a little more
Can fix anything
Knows where the good food stops are
Great route planner

You probably have a few of your own.  I'd love to know what they are... it's always good to try and cat up some more.

____

170.4
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THAT'S RELATIVITY

TODD BROWN hero

THAT'S RELATIVITY

AT ABOUT 7AM THIS MORNING MY ENTIRE BODY WAS SHAKING.  Failure was near.  Time... the more I looked at the stopwatch feature on my phone the slower time went.

It was just 2 minutes in the plank position,
It seemed like an hour.

At about 5pm this afternoon we rolled out for MTB WDNSDY.  It was 80+ degrees, we were moving slow, gaining over 1700'.

It was 6 miles straight up for an hour,
It seemed like 2 minutes.

That's relativity.

----> Side note: I definitely should have gone to Santiago Oaks today to pre-ride Saturday's race course.  There's a pretty tricky down hill that I haven't ridden since last year.  Oh well, now I have a relatively good excuse.

____

171.2
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WHO ARE YOU?

TODD BROWN hero TRAINING

WHO ARE YOU?

THE BEST PART ABOUT THE KID IS HIS ENTHUSIASM.  Frankly, that's the best part about all my riding buddies:  EN-THUS-EEEEASM!  It's a greek word meaning "possession by a god", and there's one thing for sure... we are all part of the cult of two wheels.  It's more than hooked, more than into it, we are religious in our observance of daily practice.

Like any recent convert the kid is on fire and you know what the say... people will come from miles around to watch a man burn.  I predict he'll bring a ton of kids into the fold.

Like any old diesel, I'm willing to share all I know.  So when I got this text after this morning's TMWC ...

I had a to share what another old diesel told me early on...

It really is the best advice I ever got from a salty old man in his mid-30s.  Not only does it take 3 years to figure it, but... in three years you can actually mold yourself into a different kind of cyclist.

At some point I'm gonna encourage the kid to shave his legs.  NOT because it makes you faster, not because it's pretty, but at some point his skills are going to be on par with is fire... until then, that hair is a good signal to the initiated that he deserves a little extra space and tender loving care.

He's new.
Be patient with him.
He's the future.
Teach him. 

____

171.6
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IS IT FINALLY SUMMER?

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IS IT FINALLY SUMMER?

SUMMER HERE HAPPENS WHEN IT'S SUNNY ALL DAY LONG, when we push past maygrayjunegloom.  Tomorrow is looking like it'll be one of those days when I get to wear the sunglasses, not the photochromics.  I love the nerdy look of the photochromics, and I love not needing them even more.

It means it's warm and sunny at 530 am, a beautiful thing.
It means soon we'll be geeking out to the tour.
It means the unOFFICIAL TMWC is near.
It means a jersey and bibs will suffice.

Now that's a potent list of awesomeness, which is why I love summer.  So much daylight to get out and play.  So get out there!

____

174 (whoops!)
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BUT YOU HAVE NOT BEEN BAPTIZED

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BUT YOU HAVE NOT BEEN BAPTIZED

EVERYBODY HAS A FIRST TIME, a day they are baptized into the bloody brotherhood of San Juan.  It's a day they will never forget, a trail they will always remember. 

Miles of slippery decomposed granite, infinite switchbacks, steep drop offs and lots and lots of poison oak all competing with striking views across the West Coast to the ocean blue.

Once you've done it, once you realize that yes you will most likely give blood every single time and yes it's likely there'll be some mechanical failure along the way and yes it's nearly two hours to the top... once you've done it and lived to tell your tale then you can't resist inviting a friend.

That poor friend will be just like you were and you don't care. 

You try and warn but it comes out so weak because after the blood is dried and scabs are healed and the lingering itch of the poison oak is no more all you can remember is those huge vistas, the exhilaration of conquering the climb and a long, long smile-filled drop back to earth.

You have been baptized,
but your friend hasn't...
yet.
What are friends for?

_____

It's starts off so innocent.

Beautiful above the clouds

The least of his new tattoos

... and some for the rest of us too ...

Don't forget to wipe.

____
171.6
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CLOSING TIME

TODD BROWN hero

CLOSING TIME

SO, YOU'VE BEEN WORKED TO THE BONE.  Whatta ya do now?  When you feel like you're nothing but a skeleton, like there's no more energy to give, but you know the work is done?

... then one of your crew fires off a text like this...
Just like that the rejuvenation begins. 
It's like magic. 

I feel the energy swelling in my chest as it prepares to suck up massive amounts of oxygen.  My legs tingle with eagerness.  My eyes close and I see glorious single track being gobbled up as my knobbies scratch and claw across the decomposed granite.

With friends like that, how can we ever get old?
I ain't no skeleton!
It's closing time,
Time to ride!

_____

re·ju·ve·nate
rəˈjo͞ovəˌnāt/
verb
  1. make (someone or something) look or feel younger, fresher, or more lively.

_____ 


NO, WHAT DO YOU DO?

TODD BROWN hero

NO, WHAT DO YOU DO?

LET'S CHANGE THE CONVERSATION... next time someone asks you what you do? reply with I ride my bike.

It's not that work isn't thrilling and exciting and fulfilling, it's that being in amazing shape and feeling wonderful is all that and more.  And, if you are feeling all those things people can see it.  

What they are probably wondering is how do you work and still look great?  

Every now and then you'll find a cycle mate, then you can really geek out.

I ride road,
gravel,
dirt.
I've been to France,
Kansas,
Moab.
I'm just getting started,
Been doing it forever,
Just love to ride.
... I ride my bike,
What do you do?
____
171.6
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THE FIRST TIME EVER I SAW HORST'S FACE

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THE FIRST TIME EVER I SAW HORST'S FACE

DUE TO THE RECENT FIRES IN ALISO WOODS MANY TRAILS ARE CLOSED.  So, I found myself at the bottom of Rocket and decided to head on up as the lower portion of Coyote is verboten.  Rocket is a difficult trail to ride down and nigh impossible to ride up because of a quarter of mile section of rough rock (the pictures don't do it justice).  But, 25 years ago, on our rigid MTBs, Surfergirl and I stopped in awe as a 50 year old man (FIFTY!!!!) was riding his bike UP! Rocket.

He introduced himself and his incredible machine.  Horst Leitner was a myth to me, and the bike a whisper.  Somewhere out there was said to be a full-suspension mountain bike with a disc brake on the front.  We'd only seen pictures up to this point.  And here we were with the man and the machine himself.

Here was living proof that full suspension mountain bikes were coming and they'd change the way we rode forever.  Someone I considered way beyond his riding years was riding up an impossible trail and making it look easy.

As I picked my way up the trail tonight two things bounced around me noggin:  one, I'm older than Horst was 25 years ago... so maybe 50 ain't what it used to be; two, why in the heck am I riding a hardtail!

Here's a great example of that amazing bike.  I wanted one so bad, but it was out of my range.  Something I could only dream about.   

Horst sold the patent to the rear suspension to this little company called Specialized.  It's still in use.

Here's a link to more of his amazing inventions

... I love capitalism.

____
171
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