I DON'T ALWAYS POST 2X A DAY, but sometimes when you are a man AND you wear stretchy pants...
10 of us met at the corner. 7am, Golden Lantern and Dana Harbor. It was warmer than it has been, fog had rolled in. Our mission was to try out a newish route, something to get us ready for HUNKR OC.
We picked up 3 more riders in Laguna Canyon... I say "riders" to hide the fact that we're all dudes. C'mon ladies we need more of you on the road.
The talent level of these 13 riders is exceptionally high, but our fitness levels are quite varied: from a current pro MTB racer in his prime to an athlete coming back after an achilles tear and 18 months off the bike, with a couple of old diesels in between. That said, the ride up the coast and up the canyon was full gas for some of us and a nice warm up for others.
What were we warming up for? C.V. Canyon Velo.
CV is a ride that has turned so nasty most of the original guys don't even do it. Not nasty in a bad way, nasty in a good way. Nasty fast. Nasty hard. Of the 2 main Saturday group rides in South OC, CV features more hills and longer climbs.
Our plan was to make it even nastier.
When we got to Sand Canyon and Trabuco we had a 8 minutes to spare. This was due to my Nervous Nellyness which kept the pace a tad erratic... and probably was the cause of us shedding some of our posse a little early in the ride. Whoops.
From this point, the hills start hitting then clobbering with unrepentant velocity. One by one, the weak are knocked off. The final hill of the first section is La Paz. La Paz was the featured climb of the '84 Olympics. It's not steep, it's the speed that kills. 1 mile, 5%... all out. Peter Stetina holds the KOM at 3:22. You won't be close to that... too judgmental?
The good news is the original CVrs put in a still-respected rest stop at the top of La Paz, at the ball park. This is the 2 hour mark for us, which is a perfect time to re-load the bottles and unload _____.
Now for the nastiness.
The next 50 minutes the group covers 17 miles and 1300' of elevation gain... 20.4 mph, pretty darn good.
We go all out up the final 4 miles of climbing including The Wall a heinous, 1/4 mile at 9%. At the top of Santiago everybody cruises down to the big oak tree to re-group...
...but we don't!
We turn right, and go up Old Mojeska. 1/2 a mile, average gradient of 9% and the steepest section is 20%.
That's nasty! but that's what some do when it's HUNKR time, and you wear stretchy pants.
Save the dates: HUNKR 3/17, 6/9, 11/10 – TMWC 7/10
1. First off, rememberHUNKRis about your personal best over 100K. Sure, we all want to win and we’ll have cool awards for the category winners and cash for the top finishers. But, even the winners will be looking at their finishing times and comparing it to what they thought they could do, what they did at the last HUNKR, how they compare to their friends.
You should try and get some good group rides in. Group rides will help you with bike handling, cooperation and riding in a pace line. With a good group, you’ll go much faster than on your own. It’s quite common for HUNKR riders to find themselves in great groups of guys and gals of similar ability. The result is a lot of fun and friendship. You can find groups onTribeFindr,Strava and other platforms… or start your own.
2. Remember a HUNKR course is about equal in distance to most longish weekend road rides. If you can ride your bike easily 30 miles, you’ll do great at a HUNKR. You don’t need to do a bunch of crazy miles.
You should look at your HUNKR course and work in some similar terrain. If it’s a flat HUNKR, work on your flat speed, if it’s a climbing HUNKR work on your climbing. Get as specific as you can in the weeks leading up to your event.
3. Remember to test out your food. For the faster riders, they’ll be fine with 2 bottles. Some of you will need to make a stop, and we’ll have aid stations for you.
If you think you’ll be needing to refill your bottle, be sure to check out our drink sponsor and try their product in advance. We’ll also have quick snacks for you to munch on.
4. Remember to get your FUNKR team of 5 together and registered.
RACING MAKES YOU A BETTER RIDER, ALWAYS. Let me show you just one simple way. Tonight I picked up my spanking new frame – more on that later… it’s so purty. The shop put my parts back on, but I still needed to mount a few things: the Garmin, the RaceRepair Bag, and the lights. Once pedaling, I realized my rookie mistake.
My headlight was pointed down at too sharp of an angle.
I see this mistake all the time this time of year. Guys are riding with the beam of the light pointed about 5′ in front of the front wheel. It looks great in the garage, it’s terrible when you’re up to speed. How terrible?… Well, check it out what Kyle calculates:
At 20 miles an hour you travel 29.33 feet per second.
20mph is nothing on a road bike. Most days I come back with a max speed approaching 50 miles an hour. If your beam is pointing straight down you have no time to react to any road garbage you’re likely to find.
But, there’s another huge advantage to pointing your beam down the road.
A beam that is pointed down will not show you any shadows. Shadows are what give you depth perception when it’s dark. So, if you point that beam farther ahead you’ll get a much better feel of the terrain. On a road bike you’re good with one solid light.
I learned all this racing mountain bikes through the night.
On a mountain bike, you much better off with two lights.
My preference is a very powerful wide beam, mounted as low as possible on the bike. This will light up the terrain and cast all kinds of shadows. The second beam is a helmet light. I want this light to be more of a spot light, with a weaker beam than the light on the bike. This spot light allows me to see around corners on single track sooner by turning my head quicker than the handle bars which typically lag. Keeping the beam power down and concentrated on the helmet light allows me to keep seeing all those shadows which so I can quickly adjust to fast changing terrain.
You’ve been enlightened… now go ride your bike Grasshopper.
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.
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