Monday, May 31, 2010

SuperMoto Sunday

Since I did the Epic 'Cross Ride on Saturday, I decided to give my tree trucks a rest and take the SuperMoto out for a spin. Honestly, I haven't ridden that thing since December.

I had a lot of fun, even though the Memorial Day Weekend traffic sucked ass. I chilled on the long open roads and wicked it up a bit on Black, Alpine, and 84. My route was:

Home to Hicks Rd.
Hicks to Shannon Rd.
Shannon Rd. to Los Gatos
Los Gatos to 17 South
17 South to Black Rd.
Black Rd. to Hotdog Stand
Hotdog Stand to Skyline
Skyline to Alpine
Alpine to 84
84 to Skywood Trading Post
STP to Skyline
Skyline to Hwy 9
Hwy 9 to 17 to 85

I did hit the kill switch going down the Saratoga Side of Hwy 9 so I could "coast" down. The fun thing to do is to see how far you can go without a motor.

The one thing I did take notice of was all the cyclists that ride those roads and I think that we are going to be hitting some of the stuff on the Tour de Cure. Unless I was in a large group like the TDC, I wouldn't ride those roads, especially on a holiday weekend.

I saw the totally and utterly wreckless driving by the cagers (people in cars). It was horrible. I was watching people get buzzed, nearly getting hit, and people were turning in to driveways without signaling and making illegal u-turns on the highway. It was insane and I'm sure the hills sang the siren song a few times that morning.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Epic 'Cross Ride for OTC in Training

Even though I'm not on the OTC Team (On The Couch), it looks like I'm going to be riding with those foolios at the Tour De Cure. My brother enticed me with an Epic 'Cross "training" ride that would span about 40 miles or so. Here was the loop:

Home to Captiola Village
Capitola Village to New Brighton Beach
Ride to Niscene
Climb Niscene to Sand Point
Sand Point to Buzzard Lagoon
Buzzard Lagoon to Old San Jose Rd
Old San Jose Rd to N Branciforte
N Branciforte to Home

After hitting the scenic route via Capitola Village, we entered Niscene and started ascending. Right before the climb, my foot slipped off my Crank Bros. left pedal. Upon inspection, my pedal spring had broken! At the entrance to Niscene, there is a bike shop called Epicenter Cycling and my brother brought up the idea of riding back down and asking them if they could "help a brutha out". We rode back down a couple of miles (one footed) and entered the shop. I told the young man at the counter what the situation was: we just started our ride, I was out from San Jose and if he could somehow accept PayPal for a new set of pedals.

The dude offered me a test ride pedal to finish off our ride and when I would come back to return the pedal, I'd obligate myself to buy a new set from him - DONE DEAL! He spun on a replacement and we were back on our ride! Needless to say, I will be giving a very, very positive Yelp review because of this hook-up. Dude saved the day - we thought we were done.

I'm stoked that Epicenter gave me the hook up because the ride was truly epic. We climbed all the way to the top of Niscene, decended down and even hit a few creek crossings - the 3rd being at least a couple of feet deep. Here's the video of my brother:

Somehow we spit out at Buzzard Lagoon and took the pavement all the way back. On Old San Jose Rd. my brother took his "emergency $5" from his seat bag and went into Casalegno's to see what he could buy - and at $1.99 a pop, 24oz. of Pabst Blue Ribbon hit the spot, right before a long nasty climb up N. Branciforte, which finally descended back into town.

For all those who are poor climbers, I have to say this - I wouldn't have been able to do this ride last year. The last time I did the Niscene climb was on my geared MTB; I was granny gear all the way up and I was having a very hard time, taking breaks and drowning myself in water. Yesterday, I didn't have an issue at all. So, no matter where you are in your climbing ability - STICK WITH IT. Keep going and eventually you get better. Keep riding and don't get discouraged with your fitness. I can atest to the fact that you will eventually get to a place where you are not stopping and taking breaks and you become your own King or Queen of the Mountain. :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

In Before the Rain...

It's the end of May and it's raining. WTF, California?! As long as I can get my rides in, the rain doesn't bother me. It started to come down during my ride yesterday and it was beautiful. Turkeyzilla, his wife, Turkthra and their kids were out there chillin'.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Worthy of Support from the Cycling Community

Very good stuff happening in Oakland.

Scrapertown from California is a place. on Vimeo.

Newbie MTB Ride Report

After juggling around the location, the Newbie ride was held today in Wilder Ranch. Five of us (myself, Brian, Andrea, Eric and later my brother showed up) did the ride and it was a nice 2 hour loop up and down the trails. Nobody was dropped and left for the snakes and wild turkeys, and the pace was great. Some quick unexpected quick hills were walked, and that was fine! I've been fighting a cold for a week, but I think this ride helped a lot since I don't feel so bad anymore.

I rode my SS 29'er - which never fails me (except for the stupid square taper cranks that always come loose!).

It was really nice meeting up with my brother, Deric. I e-mailed him about our ride and we hooked up while he was descending. The joke was that he will descend to the bottom and climb back up and meet back up with us by time we hit the top. And he DID. He cruised with us on the rest of the loop and we both rode back to say "hello" to our parents, where I parked.

I hope this Newbie ride catches on and we can get those to join who are intimidated by the HammerHead rides that are on MTBR. I know from experience how discouraging it is to be dropped and for people not to wait up. That is what these rides are intended NOT to do. At the top of the climbs, everybody waited and we all rode together - as it should be.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Strawberry Fields Forever 2010

100K (+/- 68 miles) Strawberry Fields Forever Ride. Had a great time and it was Jen's first time riding it (Jen is my sis-in-law).

I've learned, when you do a big ride like this, it really is an eye opener of what you are capable of and what you need to work on to make such a trek. Also, it makes you re-evaluate your equipment. When you're pedalling for 5 hours, you need to make sure your bike and gear is fit for such a task. I was well prepared for this ride, and my bike was awesome.

I have to say that a year of consistent riding has changed the playing field for me, but especially the rewards of mountain biking, which made road climbing a piece of cake. When you're not dealing with traction and obstacles on a climb, things are a lot easier.

Anyhow, a have about 3 more of these big rides for the year, but I'll be hitting it everyday between that. :)

Location: Pajaro Valley, Ca.

The Team - Jen (sis-in-law), Grampa Rich, Deric (my bro) and me (behind the camera)

Camel Toes

My 1X10 cyclocross bike RULES. Still muddy; Ritchey SpeedMax's mounted


Top of the hill...

Grampa Rich climbing...

Deric and Jen at the top....

Deric and Jen

Outhouse line at Calfee

Bamboo fixed gear

Bamboo cages.


Next year, Jen. A lot of people have to walk Tustin Rd.


Lunch Break

My bro being rude.

Jen going for the gusto!

Beer and Netflix - finally home.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Okay, I'll host a newbie ride... Sunday, May 23rd @ Santa Teresa County Park

I was up at STP yesterday (yeah, so what's new?) and the trails were PACKED. A lot of newish riders, some even on NEXT and Schwinn bikes.

I've been only really riding MTB for the last few years with any seriousness (but riding MTB's for the last 7 years). I remember the first few "real" rides I did and having to walk up the hills. Even when I ride with some groups nowadays I get a little frustrated because some people are just so much faster than me on the climbs. In short, I know how it is to be 1) unfamiliar with the terrain and 2) trying to ride at a pace that is beyond my own fitness and hurting myself.

I'm not a racer and I don't go out to try be competitive. I really like riding just to ride, slow, fast... it doesn't matter. Problem is, is it's hard for me to want to join in any group because I feel like I'm just laggin' compared to you fastees.

So I'm offering a tour of STP for very newbie riders. Walking up hills you can't clear, taking breaks and waiting for fellow riders is welcomed by all participating. Aggressively dropping riders, making this ride into a race and passing out/puking will be frowned upon. No rider will be left behind or dropped. My wife will be joining us on her hybrid.

If you are a vet or have a lot of miles under your belt, this ride won't be for you as it may be a bit boring. We will start in the mid-morning and go as long as it takes for everybody to have a safe, fulfilling ride and burned calories.

Anybody interested? Please pass the word onto anybody that is starting out, as well.

The thread can be found HERE.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Trails were like glue today...

It's been raining in the Bay Area, and San Jose got some good stuff. Enough to tack up the trails, but not enough to close them. Here are some shots I got today while riding the Monster X.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Some Animal Pics I Shot While Riding

Well, Spring is officially here, and that means animals. This also means animals that give me the whillies (like snakes). Well, no pictures of snakes here - just the cute stuff. I almost hit rattle snake #2 today, and saw the biggest lizard I've seen while riding... it was some sort of red/green thing. Creeps!