(Me, Todd and Tod)

JACK NOSCO HAS CREATED A PHENOMENOM.  Each year, on November 3rd, 800+ bike riders take the day off from work and ride.  They ride to remember Jack’s brother, Mike, who was killed riding his bike.  They ride to raise funds to help people in the community, real people that Jack knows…

… and they ride 80 miles, climbing 9000′ …

Last year was my first NOSCO and it was terrible… my worst day on the bike of ’16.

Brutal heat.

I think it was a million degrees on the climbs.

This year was different.

I was different, too.

I just wanted to PR the climbs.  There was a 50/50 chance of that.  I’d only ridden them once.  I planned to not ride like a lunatic to the first climb, and stop at all the aid stations.

My Freddar was on high alert as we rolled out.  Warning pings were going off and sure ‘nuf a wave of riders tumble over each other.  I made sure my pals were not caught up in it, and shot ahead to get clear of the freddom… but the Freddar was pinging again soon and one guy took himself out.  This time I didn’t even look for the fellas, no need.

Now, I could put the Freddar away.

Deer Creek is a terrible climb.

It starts out awful, then gets steeper than Everest… like a 44% grade.  My new lower gearing didn’t seem to be helping at all.  All my surfing balancing skills were need to ride my pathetic pace.  Big sprinters, little climbers, guys on beach cruisers were flying by.  My wheels were like velcro.

At the top.

Watermelon, sweet watermelon.  Coke. More watermelon.

Encinal is the toboggan run to the ocean.  I went brakeless, slicing the turns, using my blubber to blow past the “climbers”.

Mullholland was soothing.

We had a nice little group.

Me, Todd Darley and Tod Turley had a Toddfest.  Chatting it up.  Matt was trying really hard drop us.  It was futile.  The ToddTodTodd TeamTimeTrial was firing… not really.  Peter rode across Matt’s 3′ gap, I was heartbroken.  Crushed.  The Tod(d)s cheered me up.

At the top.

Watermelon, coke, watermelon.

Latigo, the last climb.  Latigo means whip in espanish.  It’s the longest climb on NOSCO.  9 miles, 2000’.  Last year it whipped my @$$.  Total punishment.  It took me 66 minutes.  66 minutes of hell.  Phil did it in 31 minutes.

We hit the bottom together.  Latigo punched back.  I ducked, kicked it hard.  I bit, I scratched. I screamed.  Matt n Pete gapped me off.  I was on my own.  Me and Latigo. Pedal a pedal.

Once you clear Latigo, it’s all “downhill”.

Except where it’s not.

It’s pretty easy to see why the ride is bigger every year.

But it’s still not as big as Jack’s heart.




the truck smells like 3 Guys Chamois set up shop  it’s ripe