Friday, May 13, 2011


i returned to san diego late on monday and started riding again. i did the SDBC ride solo on tuesday for 45 miles. my speed is slow, but steady. then i mapped out a nice hilly 60 miler that combine my elfin magic loop with the SDBC ride. the routes overlap so it worked well. funny thing is i never realized it. they intersect in a few spots, but you are either crossing paths or going in the other direction. i hadn't noticed.

yesterday was another 50 miler. today i was sort of shot and was going to just ride to swami's and back for 30 miles. i battled a headwind all the way there. it was cloudy and cold. but i wanted to stay out a little longer so i rode up to carlsbad. i turned and was lethargic. some dude actually caught me from behind. he was moving at 22 mph vs. my 18. i sucked wheel to get home fast. he was jamming the uphills. at the next set of lights, we started chatting. he was cool. too bad he lived up in carlsbad. i meet a lot of people, just no one to ride with. this dude pushed me. we both complained about our fitness. as we approached the climb at torrey pines, he said he was going to do it and turn around. WHY NOT TURN BACK AT THE BOTTOM!! SH!T he put me in a world of hurt. we were going about 2-3mph faster than i do alone. i saw my hr at 99% the only time i looked.
okay make it to the speed limit sign. make it to the corner, make it to the no parking sign. make it to the pothole i always ride over (missed it today)...

he got out of the saddle three times and accelerated. crap. i responded each time, staying seated and spinning faster. he wasn't trying to drop me, but man it HURT.

at the top we gave a high five and went our separate ways. thanks for the motivation.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Riding and Drinking

All I do out here is ride, work and drink beer. not a bad life if i have to be away from the family. i wasn't going to buy anymore beer this week as i am flying on friday back to NE. i was going to go to the local brewery and grab a beer to satisfy my "needs". but i stopped in at the local deli and they have quite a selection of microbrews. Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe IPA for under $6. i cannot be that bad. in fact, it was quite nice. probably less than i would have spent at the Rock Bottom Brewery for one beer. if i have to, i'll store it at a friends house for the next week till i come out. no worries, he is mormon and doesn't drink! WaHoo! Ya know all the talk about Mitt Romney being mormon. I think I have more friends/acquaintances/relatives (by marriage) who are mormon. they are not as crazy as the mainstream media or our religions make them out to be. hell, i'm crazy and i know crazy.

yesterday, i did the elfin forest again. 56 miles. i was dead at 30. just a bad day. i managed though. today, i did the SDBC Saturday ride and really slammed the hill 12 miles in that breaks up the group. if positioned well, it really is no problem. i jammed it from pretty much bottom to top. it isn't that long. last week, i missed the lead group, got through everyone, but realized that i was going to have to chase solo so i sat up a little on the climb and waited for the next group just behind. they would have caught me right after the climb, so why waste energy. my endurance is the problem so being alone in the wind really isn't the best thing.

saw a lot of folks riding today. i see lots of groups in the opposite direction, but can never catch one going my speed. once a group caught me from behind at the start of my ride and i was able to hook up with them.

i was riding well and came up on a tri-guy. he had a sweet cervelo. real chatty. he told me i looked tired and slow. whatever. he was going 19mph with a tailwind. i got bored and went to the front. i dropped him. he seemed nice, a bit arrogant though. we did converse after i got stuck at a light. he sprinted by me and lifted the pace. i got on and was happy to have someone to ride with. but he slowed again and dropped off the pace. hey, it made me feel good. i know when i go back to the east coast, those guys are going to kick my butt. no way i can whip my butt into shape in just three weeks.

i'm riding tomorrow then pretty much taking the week off till I return to soCal a week from monday.

I did come up on a girl by the beach wearing a string bikini today. ooooh. you don't get that at Scarbourough Beach!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Eflin magic

Yesterday I downloaded a loop through the Elfin forest.

I got a late start and it was sunny and warm. This was going to be my longest ride out here. The day before the SDBC ride, but hey, that is a ride. While I want to ride well, it isn't like I need to sit on my butt and do nothing. I'm getting bored out here in San Diego. One week to go for me then I return home for just a week. At least I got to get to know my bicycle again.

As I headed out the coast on the normal route, I checked out the soCal ladies getting their $5 lattes and walking about. At a light, there are some 40ish YO women chatting about senseless stuff. One is complaining about her new hairdo. Her friends are telling her it looks good. As the light changes, I glance over and her listen to her friends, she looks good. Don't know what sort of reaction I got as I took off.

Turning off the main road, it now goes up for a while into the Elfin forest. Forest is a big of a reach. I expect a plethora of trees, I guess it is a forest when considering what else is around. I kept my eye out and saw this...

I tried to chase him down and get some cookies, but he was quick. The loop finally got me away from stop lights. I swear there is one at every intersection. It is really annoying the number of them that exist out here. There are just too many cars and people. I started to get tired at 40 miles, but still had about 18 miles to go. I hit the Torrey Grade (I'll refrain calling it El Guapo anymore since I know the real name. Here is the original "El Guapo".

Right before in Del Mar someone catches me from behind. He has a wicked one piece carbon areo bar setup and flys by me. He is wearing regular pants and a backpack. I'm not going super hard, but man, he flew by me. Plus he had a pannier rack on the back. Wait, that isn't a pannier rack, thats a battery. IT'S AN ELECTRIC BIKE with an aero setup!?!?! Bizarre setup to say the least. I keep pace about 40m back. I easily catch him on the downhill before Torey. I'm planning on going easy, but I figure that heavy bike will bog down going up. Uh-NO. He doesn't even slow as he goes up and totally drops me. The rate of ascent was amazing. I should have got the brand of the frame cuz it wasn't big and clunky except for the rear hub and the power assist motor. I could kill yabroudy on a climb with this.

Today I awoke to do the SDBC ride. I arrived about 10 minutes before the start, had a banana and we are off. big group again. guys fighting for position early in the city to be up front when the heat gets turned on. It does. We are jamming at 30mph for a long time. the first ten miles of this was insane. my legs are screaming. it usually takes me 20 miles to even warm up. Races do not start out like this (crits yes, no RRs). INSANITY! We approach the hill I got dropped at last week cuz I was at the back. I was boxed in as guys are really trying to get up front. We go up and guys start coming back. By the time I break clear of the field, there is small group of maybe a half dozen riders a bit in front. I am not going to catch them by the top and they won't slow. No sense attacking. I am in a group of about 6 as well with a few guys behind. We are about a dozen riders as we chase them down. We pick up a few who must have gotten dropped. There is a cutoff that you can do and after we pass through that, we swell in size and slow down. I think we absorbed the front group eventually at a stop light. We probably have about 70 guys and girls now. It is pretty mellow now. It gets speedy for some sprint they do. In fact, it was an echelon with a serious cross wind. The guys driving it were absolutely hammering. There was carnage. Someone a bit in front of me left a gap. There was yelling and screaming as guys surged past. I latch on and we get on the tail as the sprint ensues. I don't sprint. Some of these guys are clearly beastly sprinter types. I want no part of that.

After the sprint it settles down. Some guy in a Dutch National Kit is talking trash with most people. I'm thinking he is pretty good. He talks a lot, and dressed like that you have to be good. He is now up front in the field as we approach Torrey. I see 'Simple Green' up there as well. He and I climbed together last time. I'm about 20 back again. Someone leave a gap and the top ten start the climb about 20m in front of the rest of us slugs. I pick my way through people again and i'm just trying too keep a hard tempo up it today. I felt good. A few guys shoot by me to get to the leaders, but I know it is long and don't want to crack. One is a really old dude. Good job man! they have about 10 guys up there. I pass "Simple Green". One by one the group up front splinters. I start picking them off. I'm 6th on the road and catch some young dude who gives me the double take. He's all over the bike. I'm spinning easy in the 25 and give a nod as I smile. He tries to grab my wheel and I hear him back there. It is good to have someone pass you to give you that little extra ooomph. I focus on old dude next. As I approach, I want to increase the speed a little and zip by him. I drop the young dude in the process and can focus on the podium. Two guys are really far up and I am not catching them no matter what. Third place is doable. I keep my pace. I don't want to attack, blow and go bassackwards. He picks it up near the top and I get to his wheel right at the top. I don't go by. Now we focus on chasing down the two leaders. He drops me!?!? I catch on... He drops me again. Fast/Slow/Fast/Slow... I catch him at a light, but he gaps me on the corner!??! He gets there a little before me. Once I catch on I'm thinking DB. But his first words are "Uh, I should have worked with you to get these guys and it would have been easier". We chatted and he was pretty cool. An old fart like me. He rides a lot, but doesn't race. I told him I used to race now I don't ride a lot, just suffer like a pig. All in all a good ride. I'm happy my fitness is starting to come around.

Tomorrow no ride. Red Sox game.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

San Diego Coastal ride.

went for 40 miles today. it was misty in the morning and i didn't want to get out. i waited for it to get better out. i was going to do the SDBC loop again, but was not sure if i wanted that mileage today. so i figured i'd do an out and back along the coast again. some may call it boring but there are a lot of sights to be seen. i caught some cute blonde a ways into my ride. she asked to suck my wheel. oh, that sounds dirty, i figured it was okay, since there is no bodily contact i kept a steady pace of about 19mph. we chatted quickly at stop signs and she was going to carlsbad. it would make a 40 mile ride for me, but i felt good and towed her home. i never got her name at the end of the ride. i need to remember to introduce myself to people out here. i usually do with the male riders. no, i'm not gay. MARRIED. perhaps we'll ride again if she does the same out and back. i think she called El Guapo "Torrey Grade". if i see her on an out and back, i'll hook up and force her to do it with the promise to tow her back. then again, i probably won't run into her again as i have not seen anyone i have met out here more than once.

after she peeled, i kept going for a few more miles, turned back and stopped at the swami's. while there, someone went past who looked fast and i used that as motivation to catch. i caught him. passed him. dropped him. then the stop lights began and i'm in no rush so i don't run them. he caught me. we chatted. and rode together. i was happy to have someone to ride up el guapo with. wouldn't you know at the last turnoff before el guapo he waves goodbye. PUSSY!!!

im alone and figuring out what to do. first, dont ride over the metal pieces on the road that i ride over every day (tomorrow, i move them off the road!). next, get a good rythym and watch the speed and try and beat yesterday. i had it at 12mph most of the way up which was relatively good compared to previous tries. i slowed at one point, but then jammed at the top. this climb is 3km at 6-8%. i kept a good hard rythym in the 23 most of the way up. no 27 today.

cooled down and almost considered the snake. i this climb is one i used to run. f-ing steep... 20+% at points. maybe tomorrow... i am getting ready for the challenge. i need to lay down a time so i can do it again and try and beat it. oh beat it... that sounds dirty too.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Phoenix rises from the asses.

licking my wounds, i was a bit slow this morning again on purpose. it was a bit chilly. i planned the SDBC saturday ride cutting off one part of the course to see how quickly i can get to the intersection where they criss cross again. as you know dear readers (i think i have two). i started at the back on the climb at 10 miles and chased for 10 more miles.

So I started off in the city and hit every light. Some triathelteelte, err tri-geek, goes by me without a nod. he blows through a light and is gone. but, it starts to go up. only 4%, but i am in a rhythm and his bike doesn't climb that well (specialized tt bike). i reel him in before the top. he nods. asks me about my blue. light goes green and he's off. i was going easy up to the top, but over the top and on the flats he was killing it. i think he was surprised i was still there at the next stop light. hey, i know how to suck wheel.

shortly after, i peeled off and went in another direction towards the hill. really, it wasn't bad. i think position is key. maybe they went hard, but it wasn't that long or steep. if i'm near the front, i should latch on next time. instead of taking a right at the top, i went straight as my garmin told me. it cuts out about 2-3 miles of a loop. no wonder when i caught on 10 miles later, the group was big. i thought they all dropped me. no way all of them beat me up that climb.

i piddled about the rest of the route to the coast and back home. i did a few hard efforts. out of no where, some dude is on my wheel. i wave. he is sitting in. did he chase me down and is resting? did he just start out? is he a beast. i didn't see really what he looked like as we approached "El Guapo" (Celts up by one). i catch some older lady at the bottom, then ride over the piece of metal i have every day for a week. i need to just stop and throw it to the side.

so, i decide to just spin up. i hear "click". i'm moving good. it is hard. i'm sure my friends back home would dust me, but i know this is a long climb. i'm spinning away. i'm breathing hard, but steady. good rythm. he hear nothing. i think i dropped him, but he could come back. concentrate... it was a zen moment. not my fastest climb, but i was just in the zone. not attacking, just happy. i look down, and i still have a gear to go. hey, pretty good. i look back and i put some time on my quarry. i am now at the steepest part. it levels near the top. time to try some bigger gears. nice. not attacking, but power is still there.

at the top, i slow and he eventually catches me. he is stocky, but muscular and is SLAMMING now that it is flatter. i struggle to keep up. we chat a bit. he is pretty powerful. then i head for home. 46 miles today. i finally beat someone other than norton to the top of a climb.

time to hit the buffet and happy hour before going to work.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Crash and Burn

Sunday was pretty slow, i recovered from the SDBC ride and did 30 miles solo, nice and easy and drove to my cousin's house to watch RedSox and Celtics and enjoy his wife's cooking. It was a good day.

Today I awoke to misty rain. I ate a late breakfast and decided to do my admin work in the morning and hope the stuff burned off by noon. No rain, but misty so i set out for the Swami ride with plans to do some intervals.

I didn't see many riders today. I bombed down El Guapo noting the mileage at the start and once again forgot to get the exact mileage from top to bottom.

I then do a set of intervals and my last sprint was almost over. well of course if was my last, but it was my last PLANNED sprint as well. I'm 5 seconds from the end. i look down at the timer and...

If you crash and there is no one there to see it? did you crash???

ANSWER: YES. You have road rash, you need a new helmet, a rip in your arm warmer, blood ooozing through your bibs... need i go on? oh yeah somehow my bottle cage broke off and the bolt broke so i cannot put it back on. GReat.

I missed a bump in the road and my hand slipped off the hoods due to the misty air and i went down. i was alone. i did not take anyone else out. i was actually fine and could have finished my planned route, but my lid was seriously damaged, so i rode back to UC Cyclery in La Jolla. They hooked me up with a new bar end cap and a i bought a new helmet. so far, i really like this shop. everyone is really helpful and friendly. by now, i should start getting a discount. i wish the dude that i dealt with the last two times were there. i'm getting to be regular status. i've spent more money with them this year than my LBS (kudos to Ten Speed Spokes Newport, RI).

anyhow, i'm sore and have no aspirin, but i have a few beers left. if i am not too bad tomorrow, i am going to do the Saturday loop or a long ride up the coast.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Died a thousand Deaths

Today was my initiation to the SDBC saturday ride. They have an "A" ride, a "B" ride and D(elopment) 1-5. There were a $h!tton of people. On my ride yesterday, a guy told me to do the "A" ride. The guy at the bike shop said to do the "B" ride. I was chatting with some rider at the start and he said the A's are fast. I'm wearing my black wool Cyclonaut Jersey and it is starting to get warm. Some absolutely drop dead gorgeous woman was sporting a similar look. Black wool, white stripe, i don't know what it said on her jersey, i didn't want to stare. As she lined up for the D's (I think) she put on these shades that reminded me of a mid-80's Tour De France, totally retro. I had no shades.

okay, the A's line up and there are about 100 people. They take off... Men, women, old and young. Some guys with a little pounch, but most looking fit. I look over at the B's... About 15 people. I go after the A's and join in figuring i can hide. once out of the city, it is fast and my HR is soaring. This is like a race as it is pretty much strung out. At about 12 miles, we hit this climb and I'm near the back. Bad news. My climbing is sucking and i am in the back. we get to the top and the group in front of me goes right. I do too and my garmin says i am off track. i stop for a second and proceed. crap. i should have stayed with them cuz they are jamming it. i am solo, about 20 seconds behind them for a long time. then i start to tire and some dude pulls by me. he almost drops me on a climb, but your hero grits his teeth. Then i see on the garmin that we are joining up with the course. later reviewing the data, if i had followed the garmin, i would have actually cut a corner and made up some time. i catch some guys from team SLOW STEP. they are riding at a moderate pace when some dude comes up from behind and slams it the slow step guys keep jamming. we start catching people in front of us and the group grows. Slammer yells at me for leaving a gap and tells me to sit at the back. Okay, no problem tow my @$$. We are on a twisty downhill that the road surface isn't too great and i'm with a bunch of guys i do not know. i am not going to be up someone's @$$. Unless SHE is really hot. They continue to slam and we slow for a little bit and i'm chatting with a guy from SlowStep (the jersey's look like Quick Step, really cool). I'm like, man, doesn't this let up? I am hurting! He laughs and says something about "Hurt feels good". Yah, when I'm in shape and laying the hurt, not sucking wheel and praying for the end. We come around a corner and lo and behold, the lead group is there. They go fast for a mile or two, then we slow. The group swells and familiar faces are back. Then, we are on a flat and some guys are moving up. I know the area, so i know they are not jockeying for a hill. Someone talks about a leadout. Then it goes up to 30mph with guys/girls (the girls are good out here) going bassackwards. I'm just moving through the field. I can hang on the flats. Then i see guys out of the saddle sprinting. Hmmmmm. They sit up. Some of us roll past them and the pace slows. There was a sprint line somewhere. Not really the best of places, but whatever.

The group reforms and I know "The Big Climb" is coming. I'm calling it El Guapo in honor of the hill at the end of the Arc En Ciel Ride. This mofo is probably a little over a mile and a half. I think there are about 50 guys or less left. Ladies, forgive me, i'm going to use "guys" as a generic term since you are in a big minority. Let's just say, I am totally impress with the ladies abilities.

i hit the climb near the front, but i'm cramping. Drat. I find my gear and go my pace. Guys pass me at the bottom. I pick a few off on the way up. two guys catch me. one guy keeps attacking me. i just maintain my pace. there probably wasn't that many in front of me. i dropped the attacker near the top. he went really hard and i think he blew up. the grade lessened a little bit and i upped the pace as i went by him.

i set my sights on catching people in front of me. i made a wrong turn, which made me pass a bunch a second time, but hooked up with a few folks for the last few miles. worst thing is the finish is a little bastard of a climb. i was hurting but this one girl i was with most of the day lit it up and i could not get dropped now.

OUCH! I was done. Cooked. fried. need beer. hell, it is only 11AM. if i can get some good riding in while i'm out here, i should get in shape fast. at my best, i could probably hang with the top guys. they are good, but hey, I used to train with Yabroudy the Slayer of the Mtns. He taught me how to suffer. Actually, he made me suffer. Lord Vader just says get in a break or tow me up front at the end to unleash the fury.