Saturday, December 16, 2006
I managed to get out the wind by the border patrol . but the the last 8 miles from Niland to Calipatria were something else. There was a 20mph crosswind. I had to stop get off the bike to drink for fear of being blown down! I decided to call it a day at 100. Calipartia was having a Christmas Festival when I got back. , So I browsed it for a while. I forgot to a photo the World's Tallest flagpole when I left town. Calipartia is 180 feet below sea level, and the flagpole is 181 feet tall(my maximum elevation for the day was about -54). I guess that way they can find their town when the Gulf of California or the Colorado river floods town
Monday, November 20, 2006
time 6:58, which put me in the Gold, which is where I thought I would wind up.
I got in to town on Friday, picked up my packets, and had dinner with some friends. Got up early on Saturday and lined up in the middle of the silvers (your supposed to choose three places to line up Gold, Silver, or Bronze, based on you abilities. The Golds start first, followed by the Slivers, and then the Bronze) Another member from my club showed up right after me, so I had some one to talk with for the hour it took to get started. Floyd Landis put in and appearance and tired to talk on my cell phone to a couple of other club members to see where they were at.
The "race" started. Frankly I was expecting Congress street to be lined with broken bikes and folks clutching their shoulders. There was one rider down, but a whole lot of dropped water bottles, Hammer Gel Flasks, and other junk that would put you down on the asphalt.
One of the unique features of EL Tour is the river crossings. Twice in the race, you have to dismount and carry your bike across a wash (Southwest American for dry River or Creek bed). I was told the first one helped to thin out the crowd. It didn't . Part of this my have been that I wore some very Ratty tights to the start, and discarded them there. I was having problems find a hole to pass folks without crossing the double line, which was supposed to be a DQ. But other folks were doing it, so I Did a couple. Also saw several folks on areobars with race bibs on thorough the day.
I was bypassing most of the rest stops, but I stopped at one to take my jacket off. before I knew It. I was at the second wash crossing. I started having problems with my jacket. I had bought when I weighed 300+ pounds, and it was too big for my jersey pockets. It would fall out, and then a Boy Scout/Girl Scout/ another rider would pick it up and carry it to me. It did this about 6 times.
We turned on to Oracle highway and stayed on it for a long time. I , unfortunately , saw the aftermath of a bike-car collision. we rode in to the city of Oro Grande and though sun city, when I got on tangerine, I had pacelines passing me on both sides, even thought I was about 6-12 inches from the shoulder. Got Stopped by a train at the 10 Freeway and turned onto Sliverbell for the run back downtown. I noticed a lot of folks cramping here. Part of is that El Tour is actually 109 instead of 100 miles, and people did not plan adequately(my guess). Also, The even does attract folk from all over, so they were not used to riding in the arid Southwest. I remember some folks asking me why I was not cramping, and I said "when in doubt, DRINK!" I had a 70 oz camelbak, and two water bottles with Hammer Preputum in them.My Jacket fell out a Final Time, and this time it got jammed in the cassette. I made back to convention center, turned in my timimg chip, and went to get my Gold medal, only to be informed that they all gone! Seriously, the only difference is a sticker on the back, and I'm planning on sticking in a frame. went back to my hotel, showered, Had lunch with some friends who had gotten platinum (The top award, <5>Plus, if you are plantinum, you get start ahead of the golds, and don't have to wake up at 3AM to get a good spot), and then went back to expo area to await the club's other members (The gentleman from my club that I was with at the start was 30 minutes ahead of me). we had dinner afterwards., I was supposed to call a guy from Bike Journal to arrange breakfast, but spazzed that one.
I'm still debating on doing it again. It was a very well organized, it just that's too many who are in over the heads. It's up to you to line up. I enjoyed it, It just having a summer of FallingOffTheBikeitis, I'm not sure I want to trust my body to 8,000 strangers.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
His partner, Nicole Honda, was from San Mateo. The support was Jae Honda (Nicole’s husband), and Dennis Salguero from Pasadena.
On the 508, team use totems instead of numbers. Once you are assigned one. You have it for life. Bernie and Nicole had both done the race solo, as teams Basenji and Golden Dragon, so our totem was Golden Drasenji, Half Dragon and half puppy. I got to the Hotel in Valencia on Friday night. We had a “real” team meeting (vs. a couple of conference calls) and found out Bernie had pulled his hamstring playing softball. We then adjourned to our rooms and slept.
Saturday morning, I helped Jae get the Support van ready. He had customized a one-ton van for the race (helps to be married to a mechanic). He also had me drive it, so I could get comfortable with the beast.
Stage 1: Valencia to California City 82 miles
We started at 9:00. Nicole was the first rider off. We drove 24 miles and waited for Nicole to show up. I was the “feeder”. I was mixing drinks (Bernie use Perpetum, Sustained Energy, and Hammer Gel. Try Gatorade mixed with Cytomax, and Big dollop of GU thrown in. Yes, in the bottle) We would leap frog her, get out, cheer her on, asked if she needed anything and pass out what she asked for last time. We went up past the Willow Springs raceway, and past the Airplane Graveyard at Mojave, and arrived at the first stop. Time 5:06(keep in mind, the clock runs in these events, even if you are stopped) 16.4 mph average.
Stage 2 California City to Trona 70.25 miles
Bernie had decided to lower his saddle to help his hamstring. This backfired, as he got a saddle sore, and didn’t help the muscle pull. I was now driving the van. We went though Johannesburg and Randsburg. About 10 miles from Trona, we had to switch to follow mode as the Sun started to set. We drove behind Bernie, and He used the van lights to see. There was a loudspeaker on the front of the van, which we used to play music to keep the riders from falling asleep. Trona even has a bike Path! Time 4:40 Average 14.but Bernie claims it was 12. He normally does the stage at 22. We stopped and put gas in the Van, and got ready for the night. Dennis wanted some Red Bull, but the store only had Rock Star.
Stage 3 Trona to Furnace Creek 99 miles
I was back mixing stuff and rifling through the coolers. When I wasn’t busy. I tried to sleep. During the night, we handed stuff out the Van’s window. The stage climbs from 1600 feet to 2800, and then descends to 1500 feet before going over Townes Pass (4956). Nicole was going strong, and was dropping riders left and right. We started seeing a lot of the Solo riders here (they left 2 hours before us). We then went down into Death Valley and stopped at Furnace Creek at 3AM. The whole time, we would occasionally stop and massage Bernie. Time 5 hours 30 minutes average 18 mph.
Stage 4 Furnace Creek to Shoshone 74 miles.
We decided to have Nicole ride this stage, even though we were not sure if it was permitted by the rules. We were going to get clarification, but the officials at Furnace creek were not sure, and we had no cell service to call Twenty-nine Palms. I was the navigator. I sat in the front passenger seat, and Jae would poke me to wake me up when Nicole needed something. Nicole had almost DNF’ed at last year 508 with knee problems, so we stopped and massaged her knees several times) Right before the ascent of Jubilee (1285) and Salsberry (3315) passes (6am), We stopped. I got to sleep in the bed. I woke shortly before Nicole summited. She was having problems with the crosswinds on the descent. We arrived at the next rest stop in Shoshone in the morning. We had run out of Rock Star during the night, and the store had none. It was also Bernie’s time to ride. Still had no cell service.
Time 7 hours speed 10mph. It was late, but we had no choice but to get Bernie ready to ride, and we need to make that Nicole was still able to go.
Stage 5 Shoshone to Baker 56 miles
I was the Navigator again. Bernie was doing considerably better. This stage is almost all down hill. He did have to stop and throw up. We leapfrogged him at first, but after his stomach problems. We went back into follow mode. Baker has bike paths, too! At the time station, I ran across the road to restock the groceries. More Sprites, more lunchmeat and condiments, more Red Bull, and we were ready to go. We got the Ok for our strategy, provided Bernie would ride the last two stages. Time 3 hour 15 minutes average speed 17 mph
Stage 6 Baker to Kelso 56 miles.
This stage featured a 20-mile false flat with 2500 feet of gain followed by a 1500 feet descent. The main problem here was the Moonscape like pavement. I was the Navigator, as Dennis drove and Jae got Bernie ready. time 2 hours 45 minutes average 20 mph.
Stage 7 Kelso to Amboy 33 miles.
I was driving again. We followed Bernie up a 12-mile – 2000 feet climb, and down a 50 mph descent. The traffic picked up. All Riders who make to Amboy get a lei. I got a can of Pineapple Juice. Time 2 hours 30 minutes. Speed 13.2mph
Stage 8 Amboy to Twenty-nine Palms 56 miles
Per our agreement with Chris Kostman, the organizer, Bernie rode the final stage. I was 6:00 when we left Amboy, and the highway was surprisingly busy. I was driving again. Bernie had to ride up Sheephole Mountain (1500 feet in ten miles) in the dark. The plan was to swap drivers on the descent, as it is harder to drive the van close enough on the curves, but not to drive over the rider. Bernie was feeling very good at the summit, and wanted to push on. At 10 miles from the hotel, He bonked. We stopped and got him going again, and swapped drivers. At 11:30 we finally arrived! We had pizza and champagne, and piled in to one motel room at 1:00. I got to go to the Bathroom without finding a large bush first! Nicole was smarter than moi and wore a large skirt (Maybe our Great-Great Grandmothers were right with their Fashion sense) Time 5 hours 20 minutes. Speed 11.8
Monday morning. we watched the final riders arrive. Among them was Emily O’Brien, who rode the entire event solo on a fixed Gear! On our way to breakfast with the other teams, we saw several riders sprinting to beat the 7AM deadline for official finishers. We all talked about what we would be doing a year from now before heading home.
Would I do it again? You bet! I had been an official at an Ultra race before, but this my first time working as a crew. Who knows, maybe next year, Team Thunder Chicken could be showing up at best Western parking lot at 6:50 am on Monday….
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
On the 12th, I fell while I was in a pace line on the Santa Ana Trail. I’m not going to get in to the dynamics; aside from there was probably enough stupidity to go around. Wound h up fracturing my Humerus. Has to drive myself back to San Antonio Hospital in Upland. Currently, my left Arm is in a sling. It supposed to take 6 weeks. I’ve been doing walking to keep with the exercise. Tried riding a stationary bike, but that didn’t work.
Computer stuff – I’ve been leaving the laptop at home. It’s less stuff to lug on and off the train. And I haven’t been to type with it on a desk. I may try using as a laptop tonight and see how it goes, I’ve been back at studying my SCJP stuff. Haven’t touched my other Java stuff or the fiction.
Speaking of Java and writing, I got an e-mail from a headhunter, He noticed that I knew Java and COBOL, and could writing. He was looking a for a tech writer, but My résumé is fairly outdated. I’ll be working on it the weekend
Saturday, August 05, 2006
bear is 6700)
WE did something a little different We met and carpooled up to Big Bear Lake. We then rode around Big Bear and Baldwin Lake. It was lot cooler , due to the elevation (Cucamonga is 1200 feet and big bear is 6700) Very gorgeous! The ride started OK with some climbing through big bear city. We soon crossed the bridge and rode around the north shore (Same as a I did on Ride around the bear) We then continued past the turn off for RAB, and continued on to Baldwin Lake . We had a regroup. After that we were off again. Came around Baldwin, and found the turn to go to Onyx Summit. Some of us went back to the cars, and other went up to Onyx. I , of course, went to Onyx. Some of the slower riders got lost and wound up trying the road to Onyx as well. I Think I surprised some of the "Big Dogs" by making it up to summit as fast as I did. It's an 8 mile, 1700 foot climb. I was felling pretty good, too. Of course, not riding my bike form Redlands (50 mile and 5700 feet) helped a lot! Unfortunately, no one was there to document my accomplishment, as the other had already started down.
going downhill was a blast. Max speed was 46.9 mph! Then I had to navigate through the Traffic Jams in Big Bear City. Had to stop and let a Ambulance get to a Motorcycle -car crash :( . I managed to get lost on the return and had call some one for directions. Great Ride! and Pasta for lunch!
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Friday Morning started out fine. I decided to be lazy and not ride. I watched the tour instead. It was a breakaway, which was what I was expecting, Got some housework before heading over to Tom and Sue's. We loaded up the truck and headed out with Fred and Sylvia.
We stopped and In N' Out in Newhall and had lunch. Got caught in Traffic in Santa Barbara. We were out of traffic and soon turned off the 101 and onto highway 1 for the scenic cruise into Lompoc. Tom and Sue were surprised by how small Lompoc is(42,000). It's about the size of the town in Missouri where I grew up(Cape Girardeau). we checked into the hotel Fred and Sylvia had to convince the clerk to give them another room. Some thing about hauling a tandem up to the fourth floor. we had dinner at Lompoc's only Italian place. We were all remarking how cool it was. It was in the 70's, compared to the 100's in Cucamonga . Guess I've turned into a Desert Rat. The dinner was uneventful, aside from the couple next table that left without paying. Carbo loaded up, we headed back for the Quality Inn.
In morning we all got up bright and early. Sue has managed to miss the Solvang century since she started riding, either due to illness or weather, so she was asking me if we were on the Solvang route, which were were for the first couple of miles. We were soon at the registration tables in Los Alamos. My line moved faster that there, so I was soon off riding.
I rode down Foxen and to the first rest stop with a Lady from Agoura Hills. Soon after we got we there, Tom and Sue and Fred and Sylvia showed up on their
tandems. I took off with them , and got dropped soon after wards.
I was still maintaining a brisk pace. Sometime in the next interval, My bike started making a Thumping noise. I first thought I had ran over some bubble gum or tar, and it would wear off. After about 10 miles, I gotoff my bike and found a bulge in my rear tire. The SAG van soon pulled in behind me. I thought my century was over at mile 33.There was a reporter from the Santa Maria Sun in the Van, so I wound up giving an interview. After I had mentioned that this would my goal of riding a century a month short, Jody, the driver of the van, mentioned that he could give me a tire which he had gotten on a used bike that was identical to mine that was at his house, which was only a block off the course in Santa Maria. I took him up on it. He offered to drive me back so I could still do a century, but I did not want to inconvenience Tom and Sue too much.
We soon had the bike on the road and I pedaled a block to the second rest stop. I met Tom and Sue and Fred and Sylvia there and told them of my adventure. They, in turn, fed me the latest Tour De France news. The camera battery's also died. I was wasn't that hungry, so I had some Grapes and Strawberrys and set off on the next leg to Guadalupe. This covered some more of Solvang route. It was dead flat , which meant killer headwinds. I spent a lot of time in the drops. Had some more strawberrys and some bananas there and took off again. I saw a sign that said the beach was only 4 miles. and I was feeling pretty good, so I figured Tom and Sue wouldn't mind if recouped my miles. I soon found the ocean and was soon back on highway 1, perking along at 20 mph.
All good thing do come to an end. We turned off highway 1 and were greeted by a 2 mile long 8% grade. My average speed went from high 16's to a measly 14.8 and stayed there. I made up the hill, and found the fourth and final rest stop. We covered some more of the Solvang route before turning on route 135c to do to the 10 miles back to Los Alamos.
I think what happed next was that pushed myself too hard to see if I could get my average speed up above 15. It's a 1% grade all the way back. That, and I've lived out here long enough to lose my acclimatization to riding in high temps and high humidity. When I got back to the park, I could just barely make it up the hill. I wound stopping 50 short of Tom and Sue's truck. I more dehydrated than anything else. Another thing I should have done was to put my Camelbak in Fred and Sylvia's Fridge in their room. I soon managed to rehydrate myself,, and had some lunch. we had a break in Santa Paula, and were soon back in the Inland Empire, where it was a balmy 108 with a Thunderstorm
I started out with a goal of doing it under 7 hours. i had 6:20 on my heart rate monitor, but I only got in 93 miles. The “official” mileage was 96, so I didn't cut off too much. Still, I think I could do better
Next month: A Century With more “Cool Breezes”
Sunday, July 16, 2006
I started out at 6:00 am today, Rode a little bit up the hill nad then back down before meeting the club at Ralph's. We were soon on our . I managed to hang with the fast riders until the first hill, where I was dropped. I caught a rider at campus, who didn't want to go and do Shinn Road. I rode with to Benson and waited for Tom and Mary Lou, Bep, and Chris to show up I turned around and made to church in the nick of time. I discovered I had left my normal glasses at home, and the roofers had taken away the skylight. It was little difficult seeing.
After church , I rode down to Etiwanda and back home. Called to wish my brother a Happy Birthday, and it was on the road for a loop around Ontario Airport.
Pictures: These are from last Sunday when I did GMR(Glendora Mountain Road)
And my turn around point for that day. I always like this old burnt tree:
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Today the club went to Lake Elsinore. This is Southern California's only natural lake. It was very hot today, so we went for a short ride., about 40 miles, I got started a bit early, since I am planning on doing a brevet series, and would like to build up my mileage. got about 13 in before I made it back to Tom's Farms. We had 11 riders which was very good for us.
Thing started OK, But one rider soon feel back. Tom Logsdon stay with him. It was the second ride of his adult life, and he was on a department store Schwinn. We had a rest break after 7 miles to get everyone together:
We were soon off again and into the City of Lake Elsinore. Fred Roth had a flat, so we waited for him to fix it. we were soon waiting for Tom and “Mr Schwinn”. I doubled back, and found Tom By himself. It turns “Mr Schwinn” was not doing so good. Tom would take his charge one way around the lake, and we would go the other way. My toolbag decided to come off, so we had to take a stop to fix it:
Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the lake. Should have , as it was a slow day, and would have given me a chance to do some speed work. We stopped at a convenience store. Afterwards, I had a flat, which we quickly repaired. We rounded the lake and came around to the other side. We soon found Tom, and Jeff had a flat tire. We paused at another store:
And the group photo:
From Left to right:
We pedaled our way back. The group managed to hang together, and went past a neat abanbonded hotel. At about 6 miles to go, we let everyone do their own thing thing. Mike and Fred soon left me behind. Jeff had another flat. We had lunch per Tom L.'s suggestion, at Senor Tom's (wonder why he liked that name?)
Friday, July 14, 2006
I've been meaning to try and see how far I could make it up Mt. Baldy road. Today was the day. Started out on the wrong foot by forgetting my camera, after retreiving it, I was off. It was the usual rote throurgh Upland. I was passed by a couple of guy who suggest I needed a lower gear . Sorry, but I was already in my 30X27. They pulled off at Shinn Road. What wimps! I slugged my way up to Hogsback, Taking a couple of rests along the way. The first photo was from one of those. I resumed going up the grade and made it to first goal of the day: Baldy Village and 4,000 feet (started the day at 1,200 feet) I also saw a neat yucca plant. The grade leveled out at bit. so I decided to press on. I wanted to make to Icehous canynon, but wound up turning around at Baldy rest. You can see my bike, as well the view back down the hill. I took a little differnt route home. You could the smoke from the fire out near Pionerrtown. I was goint to take a photo, but was not sure if would turn out. Turns out, I was Half mile short of Icehouse. Darn!
Sunday, June 18, 2006
After the ride , we all had lunch at a Taco place. Later on I di the group ride at Coates bicycle in Pomona. it was about 20 miles, with Pizza, Ice Cream, and a move afterwards. Thanks, Greg!
Sunday, only the fast and the furious showed up for the bagel ride. I rode with them until the 210 freeway . They were headed to Duarte and the City of Hope. I went back to church, usual thing, although did get invited to a 4 year study group. I then took a ride out the Chino airport
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
It's been a week since I became Great Aunt Jana. Pic 1 is Megan Nicole Lingo.
This moring I woke up for my normal bike ride and could not find my keys. They're still lost. I think that Lord Voldermort snuck in and cast a spell. I have the master key form the landlord for now, althiugh we will probably wind up switching the lack this weekend. I called Kal at LA LEADER(aka work) and he said to take today instead of friday off. I, of course, took my mind off the key by going for a bike ride!(what were you thinking?)
pic 2 is of Ontario peak from claremont
pic 3 is the junction of Baldy and Shinn(it's actually 2500 feet here)
pic 4 is spanish broom
next one is looking back over Upland and Claremont
The south baldy tunnel
and finally, a Yucca Plant in full bloom
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Bicycling – not much. The usual route around Sandy Place Ranch.
I'm on the train right now. The usual spectacular view of the San Gabriels. Got some more fiction work done. I need to start at looking how to market the grail book, and probably pick another one to work on I discovered that I'm now entitled to the “professional clergy” discount. woo hoo!! I can also subscribe to Christian Century. Tuesday is the night I usually watch NOVA, but KCET is having a beg-a-thon. Darn. the good news is that KVCR will run NOVA tommorrow.
Monday, June 12, 2006
Sunday, June 11, 2006
I arrived at the park in Redlands at 4:30 am. Ron and Cindy Meir were already there. Ron was going to ride it as a pirate, that is, not stopping at the official rest stops, Tom and Sue Tisler, Les, John and Fred Roth arrived shortly there after. Tom and Mary Lou Lodsgon had agreed to drive their van as a SAG vehcile I picked up my registration number and was on my way at 5:30
Fred and Sylvia Santiago were not able to ride.
The first 15 miles were through Redlands, Highlands, and San Bernardino. I met Tom and Mary Lou
when I turned onto Boulder in Highland. We went up Bolder to the Walmart, turned on to Route 330 and the fun began in honest, we soon passed this sign:
This one says "cars turn off air conditioners next 20 miles"
I laterpassed another sign that said “Watch for Bike racers” Funny, I did not think I was racing. We passed the 2,000 foot elevation sign and came to the first rest stop:
I rendezvoused with Tom and Mary Lou here, and got a refill of Cytomax(energy drink) and water. we soon passed the 3,4, and 5000 foot sign and entered Running Springs and California 18. Despite the fact that we were back in civilization, we kept on climbing. I stopped at the second rest stop at a ski resort, and we soon climbed past 7,000 foot sign and found this view:
If you look real closely at the mountain in the background(Mt San Bernardino), you can see snow. We soon started descending to Big Bear Lake (6,700) feet. I saw a pirate ship on the lake. Must drink more Cytomax... I did not get a chance to get a picture of the ship, but here is the lake:
I was grateful for the flat terrain surrounding the lake, I soon came to the Lunch rest stop:
I met up with Tom again:
As well as Mary Lou:
I made a wrong turn after lunch, but I was able to correct myself and was soon on my way to Onyx summit
Almost, but not quite:
At long Last:
OCW claim its' all downhill from here (40 Miles), It actually 10 miles of downhill, with a mile uphill, 5 miles of rollers, and 16 miles of down hill. I had started cramping going up to onyx summit, so I was concerned about the mile uphill. It was not a big bother.
another pic of Mt San Bernardino.
and another view downhill:
I passed one of the of the Colivita Olive Oil riders on the way down. Maybe CalTrans was right about a bike race...
I was back at Redlands at 3:30. About what I had planned on, even though I just about dead last.