Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Steve "Crash" Wagner memorial Brevet

about 2 years ago , one of my friends in Pennsylvania passed away. This week, they had a memorial ride for Him. Since I could not get to Pa I decided to dedicate my double metric at the La Wheelmen's Grand Tour to him.
We started by climbing a hill. It wasn't bad but I should have gotten it into my granny - (Yes Steve, I'll pay for it later)we were on PCH for about 4 miles before we turned on to Latigo Canyon Rd. This was fun if you like going from Sea Level to about 2,000 feet in 6 miles. We then did more and more climbing , There was some descending, but not nearly enough. We finally got on to Westlake road, we lost about 1,000 feet in 4 miles This road sacred the Bejesus of my when I did Crusin the Conejo (Steve would insist that I use a Four letter word as an adjective, but it's my ride and I can curse if want to, curse if want to.. You would curse too if it happened to you!)
Where were we? Oh yes, I was really concerned about not making to the first control on time. we started see the double, triple, and Quadruple Century Riders(see, I'm not that insane!) Brent and Mike Miller said Hi. as well as one other person. It sounded like Tony Troccolli, but I was busy reading the cue sheet (did I mention a lot of folks got lost?).
I made to the control with 10 minutes to spare. as My boss would say, (woo & hoo).
I made it down the next big descent on Potrero Road, and passed CSU - Channel Islands. I stopped to a photo of a lettuce field. We then road through Camarillo and came to the second stop in Simi Valley. I stopped and talked to Frank Gutierrez and Enrique (Steve Liked to blab). I made it there with about an hour to spare. Less climbing faster = Jana!.
I did mention the "c" word? well , we started the climbing again. along the way I had to stop at a informational control. They put a sign on a post and you had to write down what it said I took a photo of the first one "Paris" but I didn't think I could get a good exposure of the second one "rando" (gee we must be on a brevet). I was cutting the time short again. I finally got on flat terrain, only to have to deal with the usual gusty headwind coming off the ocean in the afternoon. The road was named Pleasant Valley. Maybe they need to change the name unless you idea of "pleasant" is getting run off the road by giant fruit trucks. We were soon back into Oxnard. The final Control was at a civic center in Port Hueneme . I rode into the parking lot and there was no one there, and I had an hour to spare. It was right next to a park where we had a control at the January brevet so I rode there. no go, I finally rode back by the Civic center and saw folks rolling their bikes out of the door. Yeah!
Coming back, I stopped and took photos of a Cabbage field , the Phantom on display at Point Mugu NAS(The plane's a Fellow native of the Show-me state) and Mugu rock. Since I had the wind at my back, I able to make some good progress.
The last six miles on PCH have some very good size rolling hills. In January, I cramped up and had ride very conservatively> No cramps today. as a matter of fact, I managed to make it up some in middle ring (Yes , Steve I need to stop listening to Rabbit). the only problem was that the Sheriff's were towing illegal parked cars at the beach, so i had to avoid about 6 wreckers.
I saw David Nakai on the way back to City Hall in Malibu. I had talked to him at a registration. I went to get my dinner, and they were Frank and Enrique!. they had made a wrong turn and went to Ojai!
I had thou it would take make 12-13 hour to do, I wound up getting it done in about 11
Speaking of wrong turns, I decided to avid the traffic downtown and come back the 10 and 210, I avoided the traffic, but added a lot more miles as I went back trough Oxnard. Nothing ventured , nothing gained.
total Stats
Miles 126.48
time 11:15
avg speed 12.32
max speed 38.44
climbing 8,153

1 comment:

Rabbit said...

The Crash Memory Ride went off today without a hitch. I showed up on time today as yesterday I set my alarm an hour late and as I was leaving the house (thinking I was an hour early) Howard called me and said everyone was waiting for me in the parking lot. Eighteen minutes later in record time for me and we were on the Road.

All week they were calling for thunder storms thoughout the day and that scared a lot of people away for today's Crash Memory Ride. A lot of people are sick around here too. We did a memory ride this year as Steve "CRASH" Wagner's wife couldn't handle the emotion all over again for an organized Memorial Ride. Last year's inaugural ride had seventy-seven riders and we raised $2000 for Henry's (Crash's son) educational fund. Crash would have been proud as education was very important to him and he held a Doctorate's, two Master's and three or four Bachelor's degrees. I'm sure this year we would have raise $3000 had we had the Memorial Ride as it went over BIG the first year. A lot of people were disappointed as Crash was a guy that you met once and never forgot. Anytime someone needed help with something Crash was there whether they asked for it or not. He was a bull, built like a fullback and would be on the front forever. When we got to the rollers or a strong headwind I would say okay Crash this is what we pay you for. The Crash Memory Ride went up two 2.5 mile hills and also included a lot of rollers. Crash hated hills and would swear going up the hills, at the hills and at me since I made hill ride them. We started riding all winter a while ago but it was always flatter to rolling rides. So I started a New Year's Day tradition (with him in mind) of going up this 2.5mi hill every year. You should have heard Crash swearing. He said it was bad enough I have to do this in the summer now you are making me do it in the winter. I just smiled. So now when we climb we swear for Crash since he can't but we know he is laughing at us since he doesn't have to do it any more. Crash was the pessimist and I was the optimist and when someone would get cancer or some other disease Crash would say that's it they're dead. I would argue with him stating some recent discovery or study or someone I knew that beat it. Once in a while I would surprise him, a shocker since he had more intelligence in his pinky that I had in my whole body. Riding with Crash you always received an education as he knew about everything. The area you were riding in, the environment, flowers, trees, cars,politics the Civil War and just about anything. I feel like my IQ dropped fifty points since he passed and that's tough since it was only fifty-five to begin with!!
Not a day goes by that I don't think of him and miss him. He was always there no matter how tough the ride was going to be. He will forever live in my heart and I will ride all the hills because he can't. I just wish when I was struggling up the hills that he would stop laughing (payback I know) and be my guardian angel and push me up the hills. That wasn't his way though as he wanted you to earn everything. Crash rode for Team Giant in the MS 150 Ride every year and on this years Giant Foods MS 150 jersey is a stick figure (should have been fatter) with Crash's name on it. Thank you Giant Foods and I know in this years MS 150 there will be a lot of tears when people see Crash on the jersey.

I know when I go to the pearly gates Crash will be waiting there for me. My mission for getting in? Crash will make me ride the steepest, longest hill ever and if I stop I'll go you know where. He'll be laughing all the way and if I make it he'll say you earned it, welcome to heaven. Oh, just one more thing tomorrow's ride is the L'Alpe d'Huez and you're leading. Don't worry Crash will say I'll be right there with you sagging, drinking a beer and eating (two of his favorite past times) as you struggle up the Alpe. Ya got to love him.

Always on my mind and in my heart.

I'm a better person for having him in my life.

I'll keep riding the hills for you.