Todd's Blog


THE BIKE BENEATH MY LEGS

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THE BIKE BENEATH MY LEGS

FOUR DAYS IN TO MY SELF-IMPOSED BIKE FAST, and things are miserable.

My legs ache.

My energy is terrible.

My whole system is off.

Withdrawals!, some might say.

Well, I agree.

I don't know how folks who neglect their health do it.

How do they keep going day after day, all work and no play?

I'm already tipping the scales higher than I've been in a year.

... and I'm wondering, what is the point of the (no) exercise?

I need to get out and feel the sun on my face, hear the wind, feel some tension in my musckulls (Pop-eye!)

All I wanna do is ride my bike fast!

Which brings me to my favorite Bruce Lee quote:

Research your own experience, absorb what is useful, discard what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.

I'm pretty sure I'll be breaking the fast in the morning.  My legs have felt like $#*^ since the Filthy 50 on Saturday.  I don't remember a recovery ever taking this long and I think it has to do with the lethargy.  This body of mine needs to stay in motion.

Lesson learned.

Want to know what else I've learned along the way?, check this out:  

https://pedalindustries.com/collections/pedal-posse-proven

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166
0 pullups/0 pushups
7 hrs sleep
0 hour ride.

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WELL, I HAVEN'T MADE THAT MISTAKE YET

TODD BROWN racerness

WELL, I HAVEN'T MADE THAT MISTAKE YET

YOU KNOW I TRY AND SHARE EVERY MISTAKE I MAKE OR ALMOST MAKE in the hopes my friends can avoid them.  But, this one is a new one... and, well, I guess I'm glad it happened.

Todd, you're not going to believe this.

When I hear this I always take stock of the teller... sometimes I think Oh, I'm going to believe this and others the opposite.

In this case, when a cat goes by the handle of "Crazy" on the Stravas... well, I'm probably going to believe it and love it.

Especially, double-especially, when it happens after the awesome and feared TMWC!... 'cause, honestly, who can get anything useful done after that social ride?!

Anyway, what you really want to avoid is this...

Someone stoke my kit.

What?

Yeah, I always hustle into work after the ride and leave my kit to dry on the back of the car.

Hmmm... I mean that's totally normal, right?... so it's not the mistake you and I should avoid.

And someone stole it?

Yep.

That's terrible! (which it actually is, good kits ain't cheap)

So Crazy comes on down to hang out at PEDALindustries HQ and pick up some new gear.  We spend a good bit rehashing the ride I missed, the upcoming weekend rides, and other riveting news only we can lose ourselves in.

Another mistake I've learned to avoid is that of shoeing people I enjoy out of my life because I've got to grind - we all need to hangout and connect more.

Crazy heads on home, saving a bundle by picking up brand new closeout gear.

Here's the mistake you don't want to make, but probably are going to make or already have made.

Found my TMWC kit. 

Where?

At home. I raced back home to get a student a belt and forgot I had dropped them off. Tuesdays my brain is just useless after 8am!

haha... SO. IS. MINE!

Remember kids, we're stupider than we think we are after a beat down/social ride... and no matter what, how things go down in our memory are almost a lock to be different than what actually happens.

Just in case it happens to you, https://pedalindustries.com/pages/close-outs

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166.4 lbs (heaviest in a year, yikes!)
0 pullups/0 pushups
7 hrs sleep
0 hour ride.

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FIRST DAY OF NO RIDING - FAIL

TODD BROWN The RACER's Life

FIRST DAY OF NO RIDING - FAIL

WHEN IS IT OKAY TO BREAK YOUR PROMISE TO TAKE A WEEK OFF?  Does it really matter?  I mean nobody is checking, right?  Sure my body is worn out...

But, when a college buddy calls and says I'm in town, let's ride!

Ya gotta go.

Though the paths we ride are thousands of miles apart, our souls are still traveling together...

... and that's a ride I'm always never gonna pass on.


NOT ACCORDING TO PLAN

TODD BROWN racerness

NOT ACCORDING TO PLAN

I HAD PLANNED TO WRITE THIS BIG DRAMATIC END OF THE SEASON POST ABOUT THE SEASON.  Then, I got home after a scorching Filthy 50 and melted into the couch.  I was completely drained, vowing never to do it again.

Yesterday pretty much sums up my season.  Set a giant goal, train to the point of not loving it, recover like no other, shock myself with the result, collapse in exhaustion.

24 hours later, and I feel a lot better... even starting to have fond feelings for the Filthy.

Which means if I'm really calling it a season, my collapse is going to extend for an entire week.

A week off the bike.

Do you think I'll make it?

Monday will be easy to resist - I'm pretty achey from the cramps I was fighting the last 20 miles.

Tuesday will be the last Market Ride of the year - it ends with the time change... so, I might ride.

Wednesday is pretty packed with work commitments, I should be good there.

Thursday I'm planning to surf with my brothers, which isn't really resting, but we are overdue for a board meeting.

Friday, oh Friday and it's cherished meditation/journal session... that'll be tough, maybe if I just ride really, really easy it won't count... or maybe I'll just fire up the scooter and get the journaling done.

Saturday, to try and make it impossible to ride I am thinking of camping Friday night and leaving the bikes behind.

Well, that's the plan for now.

Honestly, I'm pretty sure I'll falter... but I sure do need some rest. 

 

 


I KNOW WHO I'LL BE TOMORROW.

TODD BROWN racerness

I KNOW WHO I'LL BE TOMORROW.

TOMORROW WILL BE MY LAST RACE OF THE YEAR, and I know what I’m gonna do. 

I’ll be that racer cracking a few nervous jokes, trying to break the tension on the starting line. 

I’ll be that racer with a giant grin, cheering other riders on and high-fiving the volunteers. 

I’ll be that racer going all out, giving it all I’ve got.

I’ll be that racer covered in dust, and maybe a little blood.

I’ll be that racer fighting cramps, chewing my salt tabs.

I’ll cross the finish line, gassed.

I’m gonna have so much fun!

Who are you gonna be?

164.4 lbs 
0/0
7 hrs

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THE ASSASSIN INSIDE

TODD BROWN ride fast

THE ASSASSIN INSIDE

EXACTLY 36 HOURS FROM NOW THE GUN WILL BLAST AT THE FILTHY 50 MTB.  Dust will be flying.  Blood pumping.  Lungs filling.  Brain quiet.

Brain quiet?

Yes, quiet.

No cell phone ringing. 
No incessant internet pinging.
No wondering if I set the alarm. 
No does this helmet make me look fat? 

The world will be sealed off, my invoice shut down.

Quiet.

Deadly quiet.

The assassin will be in charge.

With one singular thought:  Ride Fast.

_____

165.4 lbs 
25/60
6 hrs

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IT'S HER BIRTHDAY

TODD BROWN The RACER's Life

IT'S HER BIRTHDAY

MY GIRL IS A SURFER FIRST, BIKE RIDER 2ND.  Which means we surfed this morning - paddle surfed... and, we might go for a bike ride tonight.

Do I panic I'll miss my planned DRTY WDNSDY ride?  Not even.

It's all part of the diabolical plan:  do all I can to make this day special so I can ride all I want the rest of the week.

It's more than that actually, because she celebrates the entire week.

So, on Monday night when she wanted to go watch the meteor shower I said Heck yes!... even though I knew we'd be out so late I'd have to skip the Tuesday Morning World Championships.

... all part of my diabolical plan to ride all I want the rest of the year.

_____

164.4 lbs 
25/0
7 hrs

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AREN'T YOU GLAD?

TODD BROWN racerness

AREN'T YOU GLAD?

I SURE WISH I WAS RIDING RIGHT NOW.  This is no way to spend an extraordinary afternoon.  It's warm.  It's is clear.  A brilliant blue sky.  But I'm here...

... and the drilling that's about to happen ain't the kind happening on the group ride I'm missing...

Open wide Todd.

A little wider.

I'd much rather have to close a widening gap in a cross wind than this.

You might feel a little pinch.

Give me screaming legs trying to keep up any day.

We're going to suction now.

No wheel sucker could be this annoying.

This temporary crown is good to go.

I'd rather DNF.

We'll see you in 2 weeks.

Not if it's a day like today.

_____

164.4 lbs 
25/0
7 hrs

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THE TRAINING TRAIN

TODD BROWN racerness

THE TRAINING TRAIN

DUE TO A COMMITMENT I HAVE TAKEN ON, MY REGULAR SHEDJULL (I love the English' English), has been interrupted.  50% of my standing Tuesday Morning World Championships are on hold.  This is messing everything up, and it's gotta get fixed.

Tuesday afternoon training has leaked into the other days of the week.

My sleep, work and training habits are erratic.

Which makes me exactly like every other wannabe athlete.

I can already feel the next step, the dreaded and oh so lame...

"I just don't have time".

Whatabunchahooey!

I still got 24 hrs a day, 168 hrs a week.  There's plenty of time to get it all done.

A I really need to do is get back on the training train... you know the schedule... commit to it.

All aboard!

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165.4 lbs (I know, I'm way up... part a gettin' off the train)
gym work
8 hrs

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THE ONE HOUR RULE

TODD BROWN racerness

THE ONE HOUR RULE

I HAVE A NEW RULE.  Well, it's not really new but I just realized I practice it so I might as well share it with you.  There are some great pros with this rule, as well as a potential major con.

Here's the rule:  If I can ride my bike to "the ride" within 1 hour, I'm riding.

Why?  Because by the time I load the van/car/truck, battle the traffic to get there, and unload and prep... well,  probably could have ridden there nearly as fast.  Right?  5-10 minutes to load up, 15-30 minute drive, 5-10 minutes to unload.  

Might as well ride.

I'll get there warmed up, ready to rip.

I'll save money on gas and wear and tear.

I might meet some of the posse on the way, always good.

What's the con?

Well, for example, after today's pretty heavy 4 hour MTB ride, which it took me an hour to get to...

... I still had to ride home.

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165.4 lbs
0/0
6 hrs

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I DON'T SCARE EASY

TODD BROWN The RACER's Life

I DON'T SCARE EASY

I'M THE BRAVEST, TOUGHEST PERSON I KNOW until I'm faced with a threat.  Then, I'm much for flight than fight.  Tonight, long after the shadows took over, I leaped up a steep single track leaving the comfort of asphalt and street lights behind.  It seemed like a good way to get back home.

My light was shining steady and bright, and I zoned out lost in my thoughts as my legs spun an easy tune.  It felt so good to get away from the bustle of my daily hustle.

City behind.

Cars long gone.

Just me, my light and a dried mustard weed forest.

The moon was yet to rise.  It would beam bright, eventually.  But, at the moment things were quite dark.

I heard a yelp up ahead, to the left.  Not a big deal. 

Coyotes are shy.  I see them often... in fact, I've been seeing them a lot lately. Usually alone.  Occasionally, two or three.  They are aren't starving, they are big and healthy.

Another yelp.  This time  ahead, and off to the right a bit.

At that moment, I was reminded of Justin's encounter with a coyote on the way to TMWC.  It ran along side him.  Unafraid.  It flanked him.  It should Justin up for weeks.

The next yelp was off to my left.  

Were they surrounding me?  I was alone.  Going up hill.  Breathing rather hard.

I stopped.

Whipped my rig around.

Flipped the beam to highest strength and got the heck outta dodge.

... real brave, real tough... ha!, not tonight.

_____

164.4 lbs
20/60
8 hrs

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YEP, I'M A TOOL.

TODD BROWN The RACER's Life

YEP, I'M A TOOL.

I'M PROBABLY NOT LIKE YOU.  My day job is largely spent with 20 year olds.  I also put in a fair chunk of time volunteering my time serving teenagers.  

When it comes to my riding posse, I usually out old most of 'em.

I'm lucky, I guess.

All this youth, constantly sharing with me how they see the world.  In obvious and subtle ways the teach me.  

Yesterday, I received two great lessons.

Young Luke, 13 years old/100 lbs, kept attacking and attacking on a flat and windy course.  He had no business even trying against a bunch of strong adults.  That's the lesson, train hard and your races are easy.

The other was from AC.  Airpods firmly drilled in, attention clearly zoned out. 

I asked what he was listening to.  
Music.

I like music too, so I asked what.  
60s-80s-90s.

I like that too. I asked top band of each decade.  
Grateful Dead-Dead Kennedys-Tool.

Only knowing a fair amount about the Dead, we got down to talking.

When I got home I pulled up the Essential Tool playlist on Apple Music.

 

... I may be old, but at least I'm a Tool (fan).

_____

163.6 lbs
Gym
7 hrs

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THE MID-OCTOBER FOOLERY

TODD BROWN racerness

THE MID-OCTOBER FOOLERY

INVARIABLY EACH OCTOBER I FIND MYSELF DELUDED.  I'm just sure I'll wrap up the day's work early.  I'm positive the sun will set later than advertised.  I'm banking on the shadows to creep ever so slow.

And there I am, 20 minutes from home.

In the dark.

This particular delusion is amusing, because the consequences or riding lightless could be life-changing.  But, there's a certain adrenaline associated with it, It keeps me alert.  More alive. 

And when I make it back and open the door...
I listen...
After all these years of cheating the night successfully,
there's still a little bit of relief within the walls...
... I'm home.
And that's a buzz that never gets old.

_____

164.8 lbs
0/0
7 hrs

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DON'T COUNT THE CALORIES

TODD BROWN racerness

DON'T COUNT THE CALORIES

I'M CURED.  I'LL NEVER EAT ANOTHER DONUT.  I'm always amused at the interactions when people find out we're spending the morning riding 100k, stopping at 10 incredible donut shops along the way.

How much weight will you gain?

Why would you eat all that junk?

... questions those who do the tour know are irrelevant.  But, I'll answer them for your via my anecdotal experiences:

No weight will be gained because the appeal of sugary goodness has diminishing powers.  Plus, while 100k was the quest... I rode more like 150k (80 miles 'mericans).

You eat that junk first because we skip it all season long, you eat "all" that junk because as I mentioned my sweet tooth lies 6' under at the moment.

What other benefits are gained on such a ride?

Well, the pace is tranquil and long and we all know LSD is the way to grow capillaries, right?

We end up actually learning where the best shops are and what their specials are.  For example, someone told me South Swell was awful.  However, I found their chocolate cronut to be amazing... always ask the server for recommendations

But, the best is the people you meet along the way.  The interwebs spread the gospel of TdD and beguiled new faces.  At a minimum we enjoy the novel company, and more likely we'll ride together again.

My top 3 donuts

3.  Chocolate Cronut at South Swell, Laguna Beach

2.  Bacon In The Sun at Duck Donuts, Irvine (these are made to order)

1.  The Smoked Apple Fritter at JD Flannels, San Juan Capistrano.

6:15... and we're rolling from Kelly's Donuts

 

Keep your helmet and glasses on... that sugar is gonna build and make you unstable.

Flirt of the day

The ferry to Seaside Donuts was a nice touch... what a morning!

At this point we're buying communal donuts and just breaking off pieces.

Rob's glove covered in powdered sugar from his french toast donut at Duck.

We're down to 4

I thought Sidecar donuts would be the most expensive... but no

But no, the most expensive and the best was the $4.75 Smoked Apple Fritter created by this guy and his team.  A-Ma-Zing.

 

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163.4 lbs
0/0
6 hrs

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OFF THE BIKE IS GOOD TOO

TODD BROWN PEDAL Posee Life

OFF THE BIKE IS GOOD TOO

ONE OF THE WEIRDER ASPECTS OF BIKE FRIENDS IS HOW UNNEIGHBORLY  WE CAN BE.  After hours and hours and hours riding side by side, fueling up mid-ride and helping out when things are broke... we know everything about each other.  You'd think we'd get together off the bike as well.

But we don't.

I have some ideas about that:

7.  We're sick of each other.

6.  We don't want our worlds to collide.

5.  The sig others might not gel and who could risk that?

4.  It's conflicts with an unsaid cycling norm.

3.  Netflix bro

2.  We're not as social as we think.

1.  It's just me. I'm the weird one and the rest of ya are just leaving me out.

Not always!... MikeG pinged me for lunch today.

We should do that more.

... at least I should.

_____

163.4 lbs
0/0
7.4 hrs

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HEY MAN, CAN'T YOU READ?

TODD BROWN racerness

HEY MAN, CAN'T YOU READ?

NEW RIDERS CAN'T READ.  They get more flats, crash more, and so on.  They can't see what you and I can.

It takes time.

I've been reminded of this the past couple of months by my own experience.

As I've ridden more and more technically challenging trails on my mountain bike, I've noticed my ability to judge what the bike can and can't do improving.

Each experience gets catalogued and as I see a similar challenge approach the successful solution gets burned further into my brain.  The more this repeats the easier it gets.

Soon, I'm seeing the trail and quickly interpreting what to do.

It's easy.

Automatic.

I'm riding.

Not thinking.

I've learned to read, by riding.

PS. Tour d' Donut is this Saturday.

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164.2 lbs
30/60
7 hrs

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THE BIKE MAKES THE MAN

TODD BROWN racerness

THE BIKE MAKES THE MAN

YOUR BIKE DECIDES WHO YOU ARE, NOT YOU.  Oh, you think you're in charge, but you're not.  Not in a meaningful way.

Track racers don't have suspension.

MTBr's don't bring skinnys to the dirt.

Roadies have lots of gears.

Gravel... well, forget gravel for now...

The point is, your bike decides what kind of ride you're going on.

Choose your tools wisely.

PS. Tour d' Donut is this Saturday.

_____

163.6 lbs
gym work
8 hrs

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RESISTANCE IS(N'T) FUTILE

TODD BROWN racerness

RESISTANCE IS(N'T) FUTILE

THERE ARE TWO REALLY HARD ASPECTS OF A FLAT TRAINING RIDE.  

I was able to overcome them because...

Gritters shamed me when I slid over after a 2 second pull.

Edwards kept attacking and giving us something to chase.

Robot bailed at the I.D. check... I love getting more hard miles in than him.

Tonight was fast... 32 miles in 1:20.  

That's 23.6mph., and includes a lot of loliygagging. 

We were on it, when we were on it.

Which brings up the 2 big challenges I face when using this flat ride for training:

First, the overwhelming temptation to sit 15+ riders back and sightsee.  It's so nice back there.  Often tame enough to chit chat.  No wind in the face.  Just riding hard enough to hang on.

Second, the inmyface recognition that hammering for allimworth is going to get me  nowhere.  That knowledge just hallows out my soul.

But, I am who I am.

I came with a plan.

To ride fast.

No matter.

... my legs hurt, and my mind is hardened.

PS. Tour d' Donut is this Saturday.

_____

164. lbs
20/60
8 hrs

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LAY(ER) IT ON ME!

TODD BROWN The RACER's Life

LAY(ER) IT ON ME!

25 IN PARK CITY THIS MORNING, per Jeff. 

47 in San Clemente this morning, per Todd.

I tell him the humidity makes it colder than it is...

... he laughs at me.

We're both laying it on pretty thick because it's time to layer up.

My ride today when from 47 to 59 inside of 12 minutes.  Part of that is geographical, riding from the shaded river bed to the sun-warmed ridge tops.  Part of it is just the time of year.

Layer time.

Today was just my kit and a windbreaker.  That's what I like when I know the temp change is going to be rapid and drastic.

Other days I roll out with kit, vest and arm warmers.  Ditching the arm warmers as thing percolate.  Keeping the vest to warm my core.

Next is knee warmers with arm warmers and vest.

The most I typically need in these parts is arm and knee warmers with the windbreaker... 

...unless it's in the 30's, then I'll add the vest too... 'cause humidity!
(Jeff goes kit only until sub-45... 'cause stud)

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164.6 lbs
0/0
7 hrs

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TOUR DE DONUT 2019 - HUNKR

TODD BROWN racerness

TOUR DE DONUT 2019 - HUNKR

YES, TWO EVENTS IN ONE.  This year's Tour de Donut will be a HUNKR.  

10/12/19 - 615am

100k. route link

10 donut shops

1 ferry crossing.

No timing chips.

All fun n sugar.

We're rolling early because we don't want to get aced out of the good donuts.

615 Start at Kelly's Donuts in San Clemente... get there early, we're leaving there at 622.

With a finish 4-7 hours later at Rose Donuts & Cafe (they have "real food" too, which we might need... or not)

Only I can really guarantee is a nice pace, some good chats, and so many donuts you'll be sugar-proof for the upcoming holiday season.

Can't make the whole thing?  We'll try and post our check-ins on FB and Strava as we go.

Offiicial Gear 

https://pedalindustries.com/collections/tour-d-donut

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164.6 lbs
0/0
10 hrs

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