Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Email Your Congress Person!

Hey Cyclists- I urge you to get hold of your Congressman/woman in support of the Resolution on Cycling described below. Let's get some recognition that bikes belong on the road as a safe, healthy and environmental transportation choice!



From: "Walter Finch" <>
Date: April 29, 2008 11:25:14 AM PDT

National Bicycling Strategy

National Bike Month

Take Action!
Support House Congressional Resolution

The House Congressional Resolution on Bicycling (H.Con.Res. 305), introduced in February, calls on the United States Congress to adopt a national bicycling strategy to fully realize the incredible benefits of getting more people bicycling, more safely, more often.

There is a "sense of Congress" that complete streets policies are essential to ensure wise use of considerable Federal investment in transportation infrastructure, and that expanded funding for bicycling and walking programs is desirable and appropriate.

As we celebrate National Bike Month in May, cities and organizations throughout the country will be hosting events promoting bicycling as a healthy, fun, and viable form of transportation. This is also a perfect opportunity to contact your Congressional Representatives to thank those that have signed onto the Resolution and urge those that have not to so.

A good showing for the Resolution is essential as this would serve as the first ever comprehensive bicycling policy statement and would serve as an important policy statement guide for the next transportation reauthorization which begins next year (2009).
As part of National Bike Month please take a moment to Contact your Congressional Member to urge them to support HCONRES305.

Thank you.

From 47 to 97 Degrees in 107 Miles!

Greg Hanson, a friend and local cyclist sent me this. So I thought I would post it. Sounds like fun Greg, keep on ridin!

The San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club Wildflower Century 26.April.2008

Started at 7:15am with temp near 47, was pretty cold the first 45 minutes. But then some sun started to warm me up. Within the first hour and a half at the first downhill twisties – here was a rider sitting in the middle of the road obviously in pain. Guess he got over excited to be on his bicycle going with too much speed and fell breaking his collar bone and a couple ribs. Looked back as I passed to see the pain on his face and soon a fire truck passed me heading up to assist him.

Hooked up with 2 new friends: Michael & Ken from Monterey and rode much of the day with them – when I could keep up on my 25 lbs. 30 yr. old bicycle and they on those new 15 lb. models. But I don’t ride to be the first to the top of the climb or the finish – for me it is exercise and therapy.

Overall the ride was excellent with good fruit, food & water, power lemonade & gatorade at the rest stops. Good meat cuts, fresh strawberries, cookies at lunch.
The roads overall I thought were bumpy and rutted in places but that is what age, time, and weather will do. The wildflowers were abundant and beautiful. One stretch came upon about 5-7 bicycles lying down on the side of the road with the riders off in the flower fields taking photos. The poppies and lupines were everywhere.

One stretch rode with a mother of 2 daughter’s ages 18 and 15 from Porterville. Sam’s 15 year old was going to the Prom that night. She wanted to complete her 1st long ride (she was doing the 75 mile route) and drive back with her friend she came with – a female retired police officer, so she could help her daughter get ready for the prom. Later in the ride after lunch – passed her and said: “hi Sam – a Mom who is going to make the prom.” Her reply: “I am so excited.”

My understanding is the heat of the day reached 97 degrees on one of the climbs. Don’t know if it was that heat, or the fact that I ate a full sandwich at lunch - mile 72, or waiting for Michael & Ken to finish talking with another rider on an Orbea frame ($9,500 – he stated he had invested in his new bike) spending 50 minutes at lunch. I usually only lunch stop for about 30 minutes, but after warming my legs up for a bit back on the bike, then for about 45 minutes I felt miserable. Drank my water, ate a few hard candies from my jersey pouch – trying to recover. Made it to the next water stop – drank up, filled the water bottles and back on the bike felt good again and finished strong. OK.

The century route was 107 miles with 6,500 feet of climbing and finished at 3:30pm.. Have done this century 2 times before and remember I had the patches from previous rides. With time on Sunday – looked and found my last patch of this century dated 1982. Wow – returned 26 yrs. later to enjoy the wild flowers once again.
Looking forward to the next one…….

Greg Hanson
Coldwell Banker
3902 State St.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Whiskey, Pete Style!

After reading about this race in Bike magazine my brother and I decided a few months back to give this race a try. The Whiskey goes down in Prescott, AZ and having ridden there before I knew there was an abundant of epic single track to be had. This race is put on by Epic Rides out of Tucson, AZ and I’d heard that their races are indeed epic.

The Whiskey was said to be an old-school style MTB race with a festival like atmosphere. There are three version of the course; the 50 proof (44 miles, 6,800’ of vert), the 25 proof (28 miles, 4,800’ of vert) and the 15 proof (19 miles). My brother and I opted for the 25 proof. I was looking at times from years past and out of about 250 riders doing the 25 proof, the winning times were around 2:40. This wasn’t shaping up to be your standard socal series lap race with 25 miles being done in 2 hours and my brother and I were a little apprehensive. One thing I was really looking forward to after weeks of 8 am start times was the 10 am start and a hotel a block away. Prescott is at 5,000’ so temps weren’t forecasted to get any higher than 75 which would be nice. With a mandatory meeting on Friday afternoon the town was crawling with bikers when we arrived around 4 pm to grab our packets and get in a little ride to loosen the legs up after 8 hrs in the car.

Saturday dawned sunny and mild, perfect for racing. The 50 proofers went off at 9 am and we rolled out with a neutral start at 10 am sharp. I kept telling myself to heed Matt’s advice on pacing as the race started with a 9 mile climb and another 6 mile climb awaited near the end of the race. Blow up early and an already long day could turn epic. The pace was manageable on the first climb and I managed to stay in the top five. This wasn’t a NORBA race there were not the usual categories just junior, open (19-44) and master (45+) categories so I tried to keep my eyes on guys who looked over 19 and under 45. Maintained about 4th overall to the top of the climb, passed on the Whiskey shots being handed out at the top and hit the downhill which turned out to be pretty gnarly. Similar to something like San Ysidro or Romero singletrack but with cactus. Had to stop once due to my stem faceplate coming loose and my handlebars twisting but a quick bolt tightening did the trick. Suffered like a dog up the final climb and bombed the single track and pavement to the finish. I was thinking I would be happy with a top five in the open men since it got hard to tell who you were racing against as we came onto the 15 proof course and there were some 50 proofers scattered in as well. I ended up getting 2nd in open men and 5th overall on the 25 proof course. Floyd Landis was there racing the 50 proofer and finished third.

All in all an epic race that reminded me of races in the late 80’s-early 90’s like the Revenge of the Siskiyous, The Lemeurian and the Humbug Hurry-up. If you want to experience what mountain bike racing was really like back then with huge fields, epic courses, tons of free schwag and just a really fun time I would definitely suggest you check this race out. I’ll be back for sure.

Oh yeah, Gabe, since they don’t break it up by category, just by age, we can move our rivalry over to the dirt. Put it on your calendar next year! J

More info on the race is here. Check out the video from 2006, it’s pretty sweet;


Monday, April 28, 2008

Devils Punchbowl Part Trois

Namaste, wow bike racing is pretty f*&%^% k-gnarly! ... Really enjoyed my day Saturday at 666 Puke Bowl, raced 40+ Cat 4/5 with Eric and Gene.

Gotta say pinning on my number was one of my challenges for the day. But Diane and Elda got the flap out and dialed me in. It wasn't that hot boyz (drama), or that windy ... maybe hotter and windier in SY valley Sat. All things went smooth in the lead -up to ...

So, off we went and over the top I labored but was in lead group (@13) where we lost Eric , then Gene ...I was ready to turn back to the truck. Full lactic sizzle-lean, I was gapped on the first downhill by the group since I was spent from the effort of climb and was checking the Lakers score on my BlackJack .. and actually enjoyed the ride down but worked some, too much actually!

Into the wind on the next leg and sucked up by group two and the next thirteen or so riders where EB but no Gene was clocking and I had a chance to nod to my teammate, he said later I looked pretty red-faced :) , well, Eric looked good really ... I rode and hung for a couple miles with them but they dropped me as well AND with four to five other riders we re-grouped and we kept them in site. After a completely smoking quick down hill to the bottom of the climb, I dropped all the riders with me ( .. only one dry heave that was spectator viewable if launched , ego said look good thru the S/F line area :) and I did, I was surprised how much I made back ... but no contact with group 2 and the tank was well into it's burn now, and then another downhill of gyping and tacking, the 5/6 guys I dropped well, they reeled me back ... and we split again and ..

Then somewhere down toward the end of our second back stretch into the wind leg, came a train with a Team Chicken Ranch rider, Gene, and a few other riders came storming up on me, I was riding solo, ... and I hung on to their wheels to the finish (Gene, who I did not know, the two of us introduced and met on the final climb home with Gene sporting me a FasTrack Bicycle water bottle (thanks for the bottle) with some backwash to wet my whistle and lighten his load for the checkered!) .... two riders were from another team and one of them went early and then Gene jumped up and hammered them pretty nicely then the unattached rider and I went and the final rider was from the other team ...we all finished together .. 34th to 38th and I was 37th I SWEAR :) ... great fun! wooo, glad it was OVA!

Here's are apr├Ęs race picture ... we are basking in Brett's FIFTH-place finish (NICE!), I felt allot of support from the other Chicken Ranchers and mates on race day, Brett and Dan and I warmed up together and chilled and last minute wheel change for Brett and good teamwork (a day's highlight!) ... HOWEVER, the race itself was absent of CR teamwork, I believe if Gene and Eric and I rode together we would have all placed higher!!! Hummm.

I'll be registering for race #2 soon, in June. Since only deciding to race the first of March, with no speed training or real endurance training, I accomplished the goals and could not have a better team or done it without, Eric, Dave, Matt and the B Team blog ... sweet, thanks.


Rick Martz
Department of Earth Science
University of California, Santa Barbara

Punchbowl Part Deux

Hi Everyone

I was told I need to write a race report so here goes. This is my first one so bear with me.

Devil's Punch Bowl is a very hard race! It was hot, windy, hot, with lots of climbing and very hot. Brian Hershkowitz, Dan Rudd and I rode the cat 5 race. This is my story, I will let Brian and Dan tell theirs.

On the first lap the field got blown apart on the back stretch, with a lead group of about twelve guys. Going into the second climb one guy got off the front. I pulled most of the way trying to bridge and also break up the pack. It worked on the back stretch there were only four of us left still chasing the leader. At this point I was freezing cold and could barely hang on. Two guys broke off and I was left with one guy to work with. We raced to the finish together, and he got the best of me. I finish 5th, Dan 11th, and Brian 32nd respectively. Many thanks to Elda (Dan's wife) who was there instantly at the finish line with cold water. Which I'm pretty sure saved my life.

Rick Martz ,Eric Knight and Gene Raphaelian also raced in the 40+ 4/5. Eric 25th, Rick 38th and Gene ?.

Chuck Pontius Crit. Ok I will try not to be as long winded on this one. I showed up for the early morning cat 5 start of 7:30, which turned out to be a good thing.(hot and windy) We had full field, the pace was fast with lots of attacks that didn't pan out. On the last lap at turn 3 I attacked on the slight uphill, knowing this was my only chance on a good sprint position (I'm not a sprinter). It worked, I came into the last turn in 1st and almost made it until this big diesel engine passed me just before the line. 2nd place, and now a cat 4... I'm stoked!


Brett Harrison
Surf 'n Wears Beach House
10 state st. SB, CA 93101

Chickens In The Punchbowl

Yes, there were several Chickens cookin' in the Devil's Punchbowl on Saturday. And by "cooking" I mean roasting in the 95 plus degree heat and not necessarily kickin' ass. But, as everyone who's participated in this event knows, surviving and finishing the Punchbowl is by itself an accomplishment. All Chicken Ranchers who made the drive out to the high desert above the not-so-thriving metropolis of Pearblossom did in fact finish, get a great workout, dehydrate, suffer, have a blast and in the end place very respectably. With a full field of 50 in the Open 5's , Brett Harrison led the way with a 5th place finish, followed by Dan Rudd in 11th, and Brian Hershkowitz in 32nd.

With a field of seventy in the 45+4/5's, Eric Knight posted a 25th place finish, followed by Gene Raphaelian in 34th and Rick Martz in 38th in his first ever RR (you know how to pick 'em, Rick!). We didn't notice any others Chicken Ranchers so if I missed someone I apologize.

In the first race, things got started before the race even began. On the drive out in the morning we watched the temperature climb from 68 degrees in SB to the 85 at Fillmore. At this point we stopped looking. When we arrived and went for our not very necessary "warm up ride" we noticed that Brian was spinin' & sweatin' it out on his trainer which was strategically positioned straddling the San Andreas fault (really). On the way back in from our warm up ride Brian was still rollin' & shakin' on his trainer. I don't know about you Brett, but there's a chance that Brian may have over-done his warm up. The race itself got off to an interesting start in that the threats of the Starter to DQ anyone who even as much as looked at the center-line were well heeded. Read this to mean that at the beginning of the first 4 mile climb several riders were literally pushin' there way to the right shoulder. The sounds of of wheels touching was enough motivation to slip out of the pack and move up front which turned out to be a well timed move as three riders jumped on the last step before the road turned right for the last mile of the climb breaking the group up in two. While I certainly was under some stress, Brett and I made it over the top as part of the lead pack which hit the rollers hard before reaching the long descent. I moved up to third wheel and kept having to tap my brakes and decided to instead move outside and see how it felt in the wind. Next thing I knew I was in front, feeling fast and comfortable. I was having a great time and approached the right turn onto Tejon Road, but much to my surprise the CHP manning the intersection started waving me/us through as though not to take the right. I hesitated a second and a guy blew by me and through the intersection and I followed. Of course, the rest of the pack swept right through the turn in the correct direction. It was at this very moment that I heard Brett's fading voice yelling "DAAANNNN" and the CHP swear "Oh Sh-t!". After a quick brake, U-turn and what was now a left onto Tejon Road I was in full-on chase mode. I think I may have panicked a little and over-extended catching back up to the group. Once I re-connected Brett was kind enough to say "hey, don't worry about it. You're back". But all I could think about at the time was "please, no one attack on the step up ahead. I need just a few seconds to recover". No sooner did the guys at the front stand up and accelerate. I told Brett to "go" and I faded away from the lead group. I did recover and felt that I finished strong picking off close to another dozen riders over the second half. In the end the, blowing through the turn wasn't the difference for me as I could tell on the first climb that I didn't feel light and have the legs on Saturday. All in all it was a great time and experience that offered many valuable lessons and many fond memories. Looking forward to the next one, but in the meantime I need some water...

Dan Rudd

Friday, April 25, 2008

Robert Ramirez Gives Us His Perspective Of Sea Otter

Note From The Editor; This is not your standard G rated race report, so read at your own risk!

Cat 5 35+ Road Race: This race is really fun. There were like 40 guys all like me racing it. Brett Harrison was there to, we made quite the pair. We all had to wait 2 hours to start however, so I was able to go to the bathroom a couple more times, what a relief. My goal was to not get dropped.

On the first hill, I got dropped. Then on the 2nd hill (there are 2 hills in the race) I got dropped again. But then I was able to stick with the group for 2 straight laps and was feeling good, until my chain popped off at the bottom of the hill. I said my final good by’s to the group and rode 2 laps solo. Gabe and Mitch were passing out water bottles, but messed it up and gave my bottle of EPO to someone else and I had to drink water. On the final long climb home, as I was passing the spot where Matt Benko was rescued last year, and out of sympathy I think, I cramped. I got back to the trailer at about 8 PM and ate pasta. I had a beer (actually 2) and put on the streatchy pants.

Sport MTB Race: At 6 AM the next morning, I got up to get ready for the MTB race. It was cold. I made Kim coffee. The Race was more fun than the road race. There were about 100 guys just like me, except about 55 were faster than me. I started strong, ripping it up! I then cramped. Then I crashed. After a few minutes, I cramped again! I rode home happy but blowing sand out of my nose for quite some time. When I got back to the trailer, I ate pasta again, had a few more beers and hung out with the kids. It was way fun with all the families there and the 17 kids who were camping with us. I was able to sneak down to the podium and take a picture of Matt’s podium where he got 2nd in the circuit race, see below.

Way to Go Matt!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Gabe, throwin down at Sea Otter

35+ Cat 4 Road Race
The road race started bright and early at 8am on Friday morning. It was foggy, a bit chilly, and there was a constant breeze. The race got underway w/ the neutral start down into the valley where we were scheduled to run 6 laps and end w/ the final climb out of the valley to the uphill finish. There were 3 CR’s in the race w/ Pete Sproul, Mitch Karno, and myself. The game plan from the beginning was simple…. survive until the final climb and grind it out to the finish.

The race started off on the .5 mile climb at a hard tempo. The climbers were off the front and determined to split the group. Once at the top of the climb, it was carnage behind and the group was divided in half. We were down to about 25 riders in the lead group w/ all the CR’ers still present. The pace was a constant hard tempo around the course w/ the pace picking up every time up the .5 mile climb.

At the halfway point, we were down to 17 riders and going into the final 2 laps, it became evident that no one else was going to be getting dropped. The group appeared to take it a little easier on the final lap, saving their legs for the final push up the 2k finishing climb. Once we started climbing out of the valley, the pace picked up and riders started to drop off the back. Pete and I managed to stay w/ the lead group up until the final 1k where the hill kicked up and got steeper. Both Pete and I got unhitched and began to lose ground on the leaders. The race ended w/ Pete coming in 8th place and me right behind in 9th. Mitch gave it all he had and came in just outside the top 20.

Once I came across the finish line, I rode up to Pete to give him a pat on the back for a job well done. But before I could say “good job Pete,” his first words out of his mouth were, “Gabe, I finally beat you!” Apparently Pete wasn’t racing against the other 50 riders, his goal was to come in before me. What Pete didn’t realize was that once he attacked for his 8th place finish, I was playing the team role and blocking for him, guaranteeing his top 10 finish. Although Pete doesn’t believe my “blocking for him” excuse, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! As far as I was concerned, there wasn’t an inner squad rivalry between Pete and myself, but after Pete’s untimely comment, there is now!!! :o)

35+ Cat 4 Circuit Race
After Friday's road race, which was suited for the climbers, I was looking forward to Saturday's Circuit Race which was more suited to my strengths. The course is fast w/ one steep, but short climb.

The race started w/ a hard tempo leading into the first climb. I was surprised that the pace started so hard, so early. At the start of the race we had over 40 riders, but going into the final 6 circuits, we were down to only 8 of us. Of those 8, there were 2 teams represented w/ 2 riders each. And from the way all four of them were chatting, it appeared they all knew each other. With the 6 circuits remaining, one of the riders from the represented teams went off the front. I sat in waiting for someone to chase and see how the other team would react. It became obvious that there were 3 riders of the remaining 7 blocking and neutralizing any organized chase for the rider off the front. I glanced around and the remaining solo riders were looking gassed, including me. It was now a race for 2nd. On the final circuit and coming into the final corner, I positioned myself perfectly on 3rd wheel. I tried to catch everyone off guard and lead it out early, but I made the mistake of shifting down and sprinting at the same time. My chain didn’t like the torque w/ the shift, and the chain skipped. My plan of catching everyone off guard failed once my chain skipped and I had a hesitated pedal stroke. I did manage to wind up the sprint and hold on for a 4th place finish and a spot on the podium.

I left Sea Otter satisfied w/ my efforts and results. My goals coming into the races were top 10 finishes. I successfully accomplished my goals and exceeded them w/ a podium finish in the Circuit Race. With the season halfway over, it’s time to take a few weeks off from racing and start to recover physically and mentally.

See you on the road,

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Jed "The Downhiller" Hirsch's Sea Otter Report

Pictures of the campsite and peeps.

A fun time was had by all, as evidenced in these pictures.

You will note the Ramirez's trailer set up complete with homey touches like lamps, flowers, potted plants, paintings hanging on the wall. They really know how to camp.

Thanks for setting all this up, Matt and Kim.

My race went well, I went as fast as I could in the downhill 40-49 sport. My time wasn't good, but I was going as fast as I could. I had a good run. Very fun. After the race, my wife, who was watching on a steep downhill section said to me "I'm glad to see you weren't bombing it" and "I'm glad you were being cautious". I looked her in the eye and told her the truth "yeah, I knew you were watching". Shoot, that was as fast as I could go and I felt like I was flying! I was redeemed when Ben Edwards' son Sean told their dad that "Jed was going so fast when he came by." Thanks kids. Rule # 72 "be somebody's hero". (Quoted from Tom on Beauty and the Geek last night) I finished "mid-pack" 20th out of 39 in my class.

Mike Abbott, a few hours after racing 30 or so miles cross-country raced the downhill, and got an impressive 12th out of 30 in his class.
Imagine if he quit pansey cross-country and focused on DH.
All our kids had a great time on the pump track and jump course. They borrowed demo bikes from Haro and killed it. I took pics, but my camera snaps a second after I hit the shutter, and I got a lot of good pics of back tires.

On a somber note, if you want to read the latest coroners report article about the guy who died, here is a link. Kathy and I are following it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Matt's Sea Otter Wrap Up


Great race reports everyone! I always enjoy reading those. I have to say that this years Sea Otter will go down on record as the funnest one yet. I think we had over 50 people from Santa Barbara either camping with us, or stopping by to say hi, or warm-up on trainers, or just hang out. The only problem is that there are so many different races and events happening at the same time it's hard to pick one to watch. I got to watch Susie and Kimberly's Circuit race and I also saw Gabe and Mitch's Circuit race. My kids had a blast and are already talking about next year! How many bike races can you say that about? They have pump tracks and obstacle courses and jumps set up for kids of all ages and they're all free. Plus the kids love just cruisin' around and getting free stickers and swag from all the vendors. Actually, so do some of the adults! Congrats to all the people who performed well. I know we had a few Chickens on the podium. I know Susie got a 4th in the Cat 3 Road Race and Gabe got a 4th in the Cat 4 Circuit Race and I managed a 2nd in the Cat 3 Circuit race. If I'm forgetting anyone I apologize.

I'll give a quick run down of the two Cat 3 races I did. It's funny, last weekend in I.V. and Ojai I felt like I had great legs and yet I made poor tactical decisions and never gave myself a shot at winning. At Sea Otter I felt like I had crappy legs but I rode smart and gave myself a chance at the end. In the Circuit race I had a really good chance, but I didn't have the legs to close the deal and got pimped at the line and ended up 2nd........again! I feel like I have a 400lb. 2nd place gorilla on my back! I've tried asking him to leave politely but it's not working. I think I'm gonna have to try drastic training smarter! In the Road Race I was with the lead group to the base of the final climb but quickly realized you can't hide bad form on an uphill finish. I got spit out the back and ended up 29th. But then I rode back to our campsite and saw my kids all sweaty and tired with big smiles on their faces and lots of stickers on their bikes and life was good! We all sat around camp exchanging stories of how hard it was with the wind, or how cold it was and how we would do things differently next time. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that just getting out there and doing it is the important part. How we finish just changes the story we tell our family and friends. The important thing is having a story to tell, and people to share it with.

I'll try to plan a Team dinner in the near future so we can all exchange stories in person for a change. Thanks to everyone for representing Team Chicken Ranch with gritty determination and positive attitudes. Hopefully, we all inspire other people to get out there and do the same. Keep training hard, and having fun and I'll see you all out on the road.



Monday, April 21, 2008

Susie Willett's Sea Otter Race Report

Ladies and Fellow Ranchers-

I just want to add a few personal comments to Kim's well detailed race report.

The circuit race was definitely a lower than expected turn-out, but I believe that worked to our advantage as there weren't as many to compete against. We had several good climbers in the group which was the critical element for that race and ultimately the deciding factor in the finishing line-up.

The descending was fast, but not too much that you couldn't get back on down the back side.

After the first lap I noticed we had a brutally strong climber in the lead who decided to torture us on repeated laps. She would gently pull ahead as we would start to climb and then hammer it on the beginning of the steep climb just enough to put several of us at threshold. I saw her once actually turn her head and smile as she watched us agonize.

The wind at the top didn't help either as we were in our easy gears still only doing about a 55 cadence. I managed to stay in the front of the pack and was third going into the final stretch.

The woman behind me came around and the sprint was on. I was pushing too big a gear but managed to keep the rest at bay and took 4th.

Turns out the strong climber who took 1st is Sarah Maile, a pro cyclocross rider. At the podium she graciously mentioned she was headed to registration to upgrade to a 2 for the Sat RR.

Kim described the RR well and I would simply add that this is where having more women in the group (we started with 24) would have made a difference.

There were few attacks since no one wanted to be out in the wind for long and the race was all about the final climb.

After 45 miles, I was first coming around the final turn into the climb and stayed with the group of 5 until the last km when I started to feel the effect of the circuit race in my legs.

At that point the girl (junior girl) I was with had her cheering section about 100yds from the finish which is all it took for her to get a bike length ahead of me. I could see my daughter and husband at the top cheering me, but my legs had nothing left. I took 6th (although Sea Otter final results show only 5 finishers) and was glad to be done.

The best part about racing at Sea (Or is it a Beaver?) Otter is rolling into the campsite to hang out with other racers and friends. Thanks to all for cheering me on; we'll do it again next year!


Ps. A BIG thanks to Dave and Luke for dialing in my old bike. It descended and handled to perfection!!

Kimberly's Sea Otter Adventure

Hi all!
Well, I survived Sea Otter for the 2nd year. Survived is about all I can call it, though!

Here's my little race report. Many folks have great results to report, but I won't steal their thunder. I'm sure reports and stories will come in soon!

Circuit Race: My circuit race was on Friday, at lunchtime. The weather was fine--a tad windy, not too cold.

Only 15 women were in my race (cat 3 is a much smaller category than cat 4 in women's racing), so I knew there would be nowhere to hide. And there wasn't anywhere to hide. I got cooked on the steep part of the main climb the 2nd time up! Being a decent descender, for a few laps I would get gapped on the steep part of the climb, and then chase back on on the descent and backside.

Unfortunately this practice was stopped on lap 4 or 5 (they all run together in my mind) when the girl on the front kicked it up a notch on the climb.

Oh well...Anyway, I finished the race in full-on chase. I wasn't too far back, though, and I nearly caught another chaser on the sprint in. However, the times are all off in the results, and the girl I finished right behind does not correspond with the published results either.

Oh well....the norm for sea otter, it seems. Regardless, I was pretty demoralized after that race, and it was more than a bit of a challenge to try and be motivated for the road race today.

Road Race: After yesterday, I decided to take the road race lap by lap, and just use it as a good training exercise. I knew the race was full of strong climbers, and that it was going to be a challenge to stay attached.

Not helping matters were the strong winds and cold temperatures! It was not a good sign when some of the barriers on the track blew OVER while we were lining up for our start! And the neutral start on the track was more like a sandstorm as the winds whipped. I was very glad I didn't have deep section wheels!

Anyway, the race was pretty uneventful, save for the wind. I got gapped on every single steep climb, but thankfully the course has a lot of rollers, so I could just power back on. This was basically how the race played out for me.

I got to know the moto-ref and the follow car guy pretty well, since I was continually passing and getting passed by them! We had a little conversation going a couple of times...the first time I got dropped he was giving me the encouraging "keep working hard" stuff, which I know only means 'I feel sorry for you'...but later on, he was like "wow, you have quite the motor" because I just kept powering back on.

If only I could climb better...this racing thing would be less work! All the more reason to kick up the training a notch.

Anyway, I managed to stick on all the way through the final lap, but alas all that chasing had taken its toll, and when the grade turned up on the finishing climb, my little motor decided it had had enough. It was a slog up the hill, as those tiny climbing girls rode away. There was nothing I could do. Nothing was left.

I passed 3 struggling masters riders as I slogged up the hill to the finish. Susie was already there, as she is one of those tiny climbers I spoke of....she got 6th!

On the spin back to the car, my hamstring completely cramped up, thankfully it let up with some stretching.

I don't know my final placement, not that it matters much, as I got on the road home quickly. I was happy with my efforts today, though, as I worked through the hard stuff, and had fun on the technical stuff, and am not feeling as bad about my fitness as I was yesterday.

In typical Team Chicken Ranch fashion, everybody was super supportive of each other, and I think fun was had by all. At least it seemed like it to me! And congrats to everyone who did well--please post race reports!!

Kimberly Turner

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Did Matt Win?

The first day of Sea Otter and already we have a controversy. The results say Matt won the Cat 3 circuit race, or at least they did at 7:22am on Saturday.

The word on the street though is that he called home and said he got second. Hmmmmmm, guess we'll have to wait for the race report from LJ.

Then choose the Circuit Race and look at the Elite Cat 3 results

Good Luck to everyone on the rest of the races.

Steve Close & Sea Otter's 55+

2008 Sea Otter Road Race ReportResults:

25 very fit looking 55+ lined up at 11:50 AM April 17, 2008. Weather was near perfect, if slightly warm. 60+ category was eliminated for 2008,placing all in the 55+.

There were 8 over 60 and one 72 year old. 16riders were under 60. The winner was 60 year old Kenny Fuller in a time of 2:24:07 for 5 laps.

he first 14 riders completed 5 laps, the next 11 didonly 4. The race was neutral to the first left turn leading into a steep climb.It’s a harsh way to begin a race: very little warm up before a fairly brutal, all out climb. At the top of this first climb the field had shed perhaps 10 riders. Though tired I was among the first cull survivors.

Going up the hill to the feed zone I was well positioned mid pack, when bam,I went into A fib. Or so it seemed. Demoralized, all I could do was sit and drift off the back. A Fib is like adding 40# to bike weight, and it is worse climbing hills. Symptoms: short of breath and massive lactic acid build ups as circulation drops to 60% (estimate) of normal and heart rate varies between normal and 200+ without pushing much blood. There is occasional discomfort/pressure in upper chest and belly.

I thought about quitting race, but absent a heart monitor, I wasn’t 100% convinced I was in a fib. I wanted to complete the race. Soon a lagging rider passed me at a good clip and I decided to try to follow. We picked upanother 2-3 riders making a chase of 5. I was of no use on the front, so sucked wheel most all the way. I was with the other 3 at the bottom of thef inal hill, but my usual hill climbing strength was gone, so they rode away.

Ultimately I finished 21 with an average speed of 17.1 mph; estimate 2 mph slower than my previous efforts. The 72 year old finished a place or two in front of me. At the finish a pulse check confirmed I had completed ride while in A fib.

I converted to normal about 330 PM on the drive home. Asusual, no negative after effects. The good news is, absent A fib I believe I may have completed race near the back with the 5 lap crowd of 15, comparable to past performances and allowing for increased competition from 55’s.

The bad news is, I have to deal with a fib which is an unpredictable situation. More good news, it’s not a serious health issue, more of a nuisance when it comes to hard bikeriding. It has gone into remission in the past and may do so again.

Meanwhile I will respect my limitations. BTW, I saw Brandon after his road race. He had gauze around his left elbowand knee. He crashed leading group out on lap 2. Probably happened on that sharp, gravelly left turn. He also mentioned he broke his collar bone 4 weeks ago, only getting OK to ride 2 days before Sea Otter. He landed on broken CB side, but everything held. I scratched out of Circuit Race.

Hope to do Saturday ride, either the 7 or 8.


Sunday, April 13, 2008


The weekends race reports would not be complete without a true salute to Jed, Mike, & Ian who braved the infamous downhill course at the Stump Grinder Downhill.

Race report for Downhill.

This may not be as interesting as Gabe’s, but I’ll give the lowdown:

Hecker’s event at the Chamberlin Ranch was actually a success. About 80 downhillers participated, and there were pros, and serious experts in town for the Sea Otter that made their way over to Santa Ynez.

It wasn’t as hot as it might seem, there was a cool wind blowing the stars around.

Chicken Ranch was represented by 2 Guys, me and Mike Abbott, who beat me handily.

Oh, well, I am still the shortest on the team. I think. Brett? I’m 5’-4” beat that.

I raced Sport 40 and over, got 3rd out of 5, despite falling on my second run. I may have gotten 2nd, without the fall, but I didn’t hurt myself, so, it’s all good.

Mike raced Beginner, with a huge field, and should have raced sport, because then he would have bumped me out of 3rd, and he would have taken it. His times were faster than mine, even without the fall, but I’m better looking.

The HUGE upset, was that MY friend, carpool buddy,and riding partner, Ian Mcfarlane raced his 3rd downhill EVER. He raced sport, because, how would he know otherwise. HE BEAT ALL THE PROS FOR THE FASTEST TIMES TODAY.

He is a regular on the Wednesday rides since he was 13 (he’s only 16) and I taught him everything he knows.

See you at Sea Otter….

Jed Hirsch

Kimberly and Susie, Representing!

Hello all!
I'm just back now from my LONG day in Ojai, feeling the effects of beingout in the sun all day, not to mention the racing part!

Chicken ranch was well represented in many of the races...and I'm sure lots of racereports will be flying around soon enough.

My first race today was at 7:01 am. Too early for working that hard, at least when you're still sore from yesterday's crash! Let's just say my back was screaming at me for about half the race. I rode in the main group, but didn't work the hill properly on the last lap, and only got 10th.

I was a little annoyed with myself, but hey, it's experience. Although teammate Susie Willett was awesome, and managed a 4th placefinish.

I only wish I could spin up the hill time and time again the way she can! She's going to rip it up at sea otter...

However, being the persistent type, I ate, hung out and cheered for the4/5s, 35+,3's and 2's, and then took the line again for the pro1/2/3race.

Now that one was a bit speedier! It was also really hot. My goal for the race was to ride hard and lay it all out, and see how long I could last (the teams of TIBCO, Colavita, Value Act, Touchstoneclimbing were all there, not to mention the so-cal strengths of Helens,and southBay wheelmen).

I lasted a whole 6.5 laps before getting gapped on the hill. I kept on chasing, as I had told myself I had to get a reasonable workout in, and would ride until I got lapped. I made it past the halfway point, so I was ok with that.

The few other women from the morning race crazy enough to toe up for #2 were already all dropped out by the time I left the course.

But the most important thing was that the second race of the day was actually FUN! With nothing on the line, and only myself to satisfy, it was really fun to ride with the big girls.

Oh well...maybe next year will be another story.


Garret Lemire Ojai Circuit Race

Wow, tons of racing this weekend and Gabe has been the in the peloton reporter. Below is his blow by blow account of the 4/5's. There is also a selection of photos from John Goodman's coverage of the day. You know the drill, give John some green if you want to make them your own. I think all the chicken ranch photos are of the 3's race. You guys looked good. John has many more terrific shots of the pros. Check them out!

Now on to Gabe's coverage,


Unfortunately, CR didn't win the 4/5's today, but we did have another good showing w/ 3 CR's represented in the top 10. Today's race started w/ a fast pace. A couple of teams went to the front and hit the back side climb pretty hard. I was surprised that I was feeling good today considering yesterday's efforts in the 4/5's and the 35+ at IV. A few riders tried to go off the front early, but in the 4/5's it rarely works because everyone is fresh and chases you down.

About mid-way into the race, the early hard effort started to take its toll on the peloton and it started to break-up and riders were falling off the pace. It was at this point that Pete, Brett, and I got together near the front and decided that CR was going to dictate the pace on the final climb. Brett and Pete were both looking strong near the front, and I was feeling like I had the legs to pull it off.

Going down the final descent into the final climb, all 3 of us went to front. We all took the turn into the climb at speed, then Brett and Pete got out of the saddle and gunned it. I was right on their wheel and just as my mind was saying, "ITS TIME TO GET OUT OF THE SADDLE AND HIT IT!" my right hamstring said, "SIT YOUR ASS BACK DOWN!" My right hammy cramped up and caused me to get back in the saddle. I was still in the top 5 at the top of the climb, but my hammy was twitching something awful. Apparently yesterday's efforts in the 4/5's and 35+ caught up to me. I did manage to get on Pete's wheel just before the final turn, but just as I started to wind it up, I cramped again. I managed 8th place w/ Brett finishing ahead of me in 7th and Pete in 9th. I later spoke to Craig Foley who was also in the race, but was unable to ride as strong as he would have liked due to the soreness and bruises from yesterday's crash. As for Ken, he got his win yesterday, so his work was done and had nothing more to prove. I believe he just kicked back in the pack and stayed out of trouble.

Considering the efforts we put forth this weekend in the unseasonably hot weather, I think we all did a great job today. I wish we could have repeated the success of yesterday's finish, but all in all, I think we are pretty satisfied with today's team results in the 4/5s.

I have to say we all had a good weekend of racing. 4 out of the top 5 yesterday w/ Ken's win was awesome, and 3 CR's in the top ten today isn't too shabby either. And BTW, today during the race, a rider came up along side of me and congratulated us on our team's success yesterday. I thought that it was a cool gesture of him to mention it during today's race.

My plan going into the weekend was to load the legs w/ racing miles, so I can start to taper down for Sea Otter which is this coming weekend. I felt good in all three races and am feeling confident going into the RR and CR at Sea Otter.

That's it for the 4/5's

See you all at Sea Otter,

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Island View ala Gabe! Congrats Coach!

Congratulations to everyone who participated. That's what it is all about. At the bottom of this post is a slideshow of the photos John Goodman was so nice to give us permission to use. I went through his photos and pulled out all the Chicken Ranchers. Make sure you check out all the photos from the race and if you see some you like cough up some dough to John. That's what he does! Thanks John! Good Luck to those of you going to Ojai.


KEN WINS!...........KEN WINS!..........KEN WINS!!

As you know from Dave's previous email, Ken Doyle smoked the 4/5's race with an impressive sprint that started w/ a lead out on the back side of the course.

Friday evening I stopped by Dave's shop to get a few pre-race bike adjustments. We talked really quick and he gave me the advice that we should be giving it "full gas" going into the final turn and in full sprint. So this morning I got to the start finish line and saw the rest of the CR's and relayed Dave's advice. As we were getting ready to take off, a rider from the other local team looks at me a says out loud, "I'm gonna get on your wheel for the sprint. I heard how you did at San Dimas." So I'm thinking, "great, just tell everyone to mark the CR'ers." Going into the race, a few of us had talked and determined the obvious, we have to be in the top 3 out of the final corner. The consensus was that whoever was positioned into the final turn would start the lead out. Whether it be me, Craig Foley, Pete Sproul, Brett Harrision, etc....

As the race got going, it was noticeable that the CR's were going to have a good showing. We were constantly near the front and looking strong. But mid-race going into turn #1, some knucklehead pulled a typical Cat5 move and tried to squeeze in between the curb and Craig Foley, who happened to be on my wheel at the time. The next thing I hear was bikes crashing and riders yelling. Craig was able to remount and get back on, but the bruises and bike issues prevented him from moving back to the front.

Going into the final lap I was somewhere around top 5 coming out of turn 2. On the back stretch, Ken moved up on the inside and I got on his wheel. We quickly passed the one guy in front of us coming out of turn 3. As soon as we came out of turn 4, Ken started his sprint w/ me on his wheel and Pete Sproul and Brett Harrision on my wheel. On the final stretch, I went to the left to come around Ken, but it was about that time that Ken kicked in the supercharger and held me at bay. At this point I became a riding cheerleader yelling, "GO KEN GO, YOU GOT IT!" The impressive part was that Ken led it out on the back side and was able to hold it going into turn 3 and 4 and finishing it off at the end. Both Pete and Brett then came around on the cool down lap to congratulate Ken and mentioned they both got top 5. We ended up w/ 4 of the top 5 placings. A friend later said that it looked awesome in the final sprint w/ a wall of CR riders spread across the road sprinting to the finish.

In the 35+ race, I went into it w/ the job of helping w/ the work load at the front. As soon as the race started, the tempo was high, but not flying. That soon changed when a large group of 8+ riders got off the front and quickly put 15 seconds into the pack. A couple of teams were represented in the break, but unfortunately CR wasn't one of them. There were a couple of teams blocking at the front, so Craig Foley and I both went to the front to string it out and try our best to drop the gap. A few laps later Dave Larsen took a monster pull w/ both me and Matt on his wheel to help w/ the chase.

The break was finally brought back, and it as at this point that I thought I could recover a bit. But a couple of big hitters decided to give it another go, and we found ourselves chasing again. A number of CR's took our turns at the front, but the blocking teams did a good job of not allowing an organized chase. For me, after numerous turns on the front, my legs were shot. With 2 laps to go, I thought my work was done and I could just sit in and cruise to the finish in the pack. But just as I was moving back into the pack from a turn on the front, Dave yelled, "Gabe, go to the front and bury yourself." So that’s what I did. I went to the front and fried my legs to the point that I could no longer pedal. My work was done and I cruised in alone in serious pain. Thanks Dave! :-)

With a full day of racing behind me, I now have to try and recover, so we repeat the CR success of today.

See you tomorrow,

I.V. Update

Subj: Early Race News.....!!!
Date: Sat Apr 12, 2008 12:54 pm

The Chicken Ranch almost clean swept the 4/5 race.

Ken Doyle with the Victory with Gabe 2nd, Pete 4th and Brett 5th.
That was cool!

Matt was top 10 in the 3's

I was 8th in the 35+ due to alot of work by the team to bring back a
dangerous 8 man break a way...

More soon,


Friday, April 11, 2008

Photos From Jalama

With a big weekend of racing coming up in I.V. and Ojai, I thought I would put up some cool photos that Mr. Steve Otero sent around. For those of you that don't know, he is also a very avid Kiteboarder. They are terrific photos and remind me of why we live in this wonderful part of the world. Good Luck to everyone racing this weekend!

Just one of the many reasons I drive "all the way" to Jalama to kiteboard.
Gotta love the springtime!!!!
Hope all is well,

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Artistic Cycling?

Where do they come up with this stuff?

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Latest Newspress Headlines

Mecay soars on a snowboard - Chicken Ranch's Garcia claims green jersey at San Dimas race

April 4, 2008 8:39 AM


Gabriel Garcia of the Santa Barbara Chicken Ranch Cycling team won the Category 4 green points jersey at San Dimas Stage Race, a three-day event that included an uphill time trial, a road race and criterium.

After finishing in the middle of the pack in the time trial, Garcia rebounded with a powerful sprint finish to win the road race. In Sunday's criterium, Garcia placed second to secure the points title.

Brett Harrison of Chicken Ranch took fourth overall in Category 5. He finished sixth in the uphill time trial, sixth in the road race and in the lead pack in the criterium.

Kimberly Turner also rode well for Chicken Ranch in the Women's Category 3-4 race.

Former Santa Barbaran Kim Anderson, of the women's professional cycling team Team High Road, won the overall title in the Women's Professional Stage Race at San Dimas.

Platinum Performance Team member Gary Douville finished fourth in the Category 2 criterium at San Dimas and Mark Fannell placed ninth (15:06.71) in the Master 35+ uphill time trial. Brian Cook was 10th in the Category 2 road race and seventh in the criterium.

The local cycling teams also competed at the opening event of the National Mountain Bike Series in Fontana last weekend.

Platinum riders brought home four victories and one runner-up finish.

Terry Dahl continued his winning ways in the Expert 60-64 division, while Chase Schoen captured the Expert 30-34s, Luke Werhkoven the Sport Clyde and Amanda Schaper the Beginning 19-20 class. Bobby Langin Sr. pulled off a second place in a very fast Expert 45-49 division.

Other top five finishers from Platinum were Adam Poytress, third in Sport 25-29; Todd Booth, fourth in Expert 35-39; Mike Roberts, fourth in Sport 55-59.

From Chicken Ranch, Peter Sproul nabbed a sixth place in the very competitive 35-39 Expert Race.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Multiuse Trails Update

Below is an email sent out by the Multiuse Trails Coalition. They have been working very hard and if you haven't read this already, I suggest you do. Ride On!

Greetings Trail Users,

We wanted to keep you up to date on the progress of the recommendations on the road to implementation. City Parks Commission approved the rec's at the Feb '08 meeting. County Park Commission discussed but did not yet approve the rec's at the March '08 meeting. They will be discussed again and hopefully approved at the April '08 meeting. We will keep you posted.

If the rec's are passed by park commissions and USFS then they will go first before the City Council for approval then to the Board of Supervisors for approval. It is at these two meetings we will need to make our presence felt. If all goes as planned then both CC and BOS will approve the rec's and direct the TF to begin work on a MOU. Another meeting at some point will be needed to approve the MOU. We don't expect the City Council and BOS meetings to happen anytime before May '08.

Zaca Fire updates:

This Friday all areas closed by the Zaca Fire will be reopened. This means that the local favorites Little Pine/Santa Cruz and Camuesa Connector(previously opened) will be restriction free at last. Our person in the field recently rode up Buckhorn Road and down Santa Cruz Trail back to Upper Oso and they tell us this: Between Happy Hollow and the saddle it has been bulldozed along the ridge. First mile below saddle was burnt by Zaca Fire and rains have created multiple slides- carefully in this area. Below this first mile, trail should be more or less intact with possible heavy growth from extensive rains. Careful at the creek crossings and watch for drops!

Camuesa Trail was unaffected by Zaca or Ranch fires but the first 1/4 mile east of Buckhorn rode is now a dozer road. There was heavy growth along this trail with significant poison oak. Trail was in good shape with damage occurring at water crossings.

If you know any different at either of these trails or any other Zaca effected trails please email the info and we will have a place on our homepage with the most recent back country trail info.

Can we all just get along?

As you may have seen, our homepage has our official statement regarding the Task Force Recommendations. We support them and we would ask that you read them and show your support for them as well. We believe them to be fair and have all the trail users best interest in mind. We feel it is a small victory that the TF is looking for data before any future decision is made on trail access. Interestingly enough, a group that we have never seen eye to eye on trail issues is also showing their support for the rec's. In the upcoming April/May Sierra Club Newsletter, the Santa Barbara Group announces their support of the rec's. We hope this is not an April fools prank.--

Thank you,
The Multiuse Trails Coalition Board,
Dave Everett, Dorothy Littlejohn, Cort Flinchbaugh

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

San Dimas Race Report (from first to worse)

Hello everyone,

Well here's my attempt at a San Dimas race report. Actually lots of things to report this time. Let's start with the good news. Gabriel Garcia and Brett Harrison were the big stars of the weekend in their respective classes.

Brett rode a solid uphill TT to put himself in 6th place. In the RR he rode with the leaders but was unable to move up in GC. But the crit is where he earned his stripes. He took 3rd in the time bonus sprint to move up to 5th in GC and by the end of the race his field was blown apart and he ended up moving up one more spot to finish 4th in GC! Excellent work Brett way to be aggressive!

Gabe was bummed after the TT. I think he placed 48th and he was all down on himself. But in the RR he more than made up for it. He rode smart at the front of the pack all day, and when he crested the final climb he was in group of about 10 that had a few seconds on the rest of the field. As they came to the line Gabe lit the after-burners and won it going away by probably 4 or 5 bike lengths. Then he thrust his fist in the air and let out a "cave-man" like scream that scared all the birds out of the trees. His wife Kate told me he did the same thing on their wedding night. He followed that performance by riding strong in the crit and finishing 2nd and secured himself the green points jersey. Of course why would you want to wait around and stand on the podium with your hard earned sprinters jersey when you can go to a free breakfast buffet at the Hotel? So both Brett and Gabe missed their awards ceremonies 'cause they were busy stuffing their faces.

Kimberly Turner and Susan Farber both rode in the womens 3/4 race. I know Susan wasn't feelin' great and abandoned during the road race. Kimberly improved each stage with a 23rd in the TT a 16th in the RR and a 14th in the crit. Nice work Kimberly!

In the 3's we had me and Steve Swartzendruber. We both rode marginal in the TT with me finishing in 28th and Druber a few seconds back in 32nd or something like that. The RR was fun and we were both in the lead group at the end for the wild sprint finish. Our group had been caught by about 10 of the cat 2's that had broken away. We were all mixed together as we lined up for the sprint, and the lead motorcycles for some reason felt inclined to go across the line with us. We had 40 cat 3's, 10 cat 2's, and 5 motos all duking it out for position. It was crazy! I managed a 10th and Druber got 23rd. Nothin' to write home about but we were in the mix.

Sunday's Crit is when the real action took place. I started the day with high hopes but 20 minutes into the race my hopes were dashed when my legs and my brain apparently got into an argument and decided to stop talking to each other. I was unceremoniously dropped from a crit for the first time in my life. I wish I had a great excuse or could say that I later discovered that my brake was rubbing but no such luck. My bike was in perfect working condition. After riding with my tail between my legs back to the car and changing, I walked over to watch the end of the race and see how Druber would finish. Unfortunately, Druber finished strapped to a board in the back of an ambulance with his pupils the size of quarters. Steve has little to no memory of what happened, but according to eyewitnesses just after a prime sprint somebody in front of Steve crashed. In his attempt to avoid that rider he became entangled with another rider and went down hard. By the looks of him his head and body took the bulk of the damage. But further inspection also revealed a broken Cervelo frame, broken handlebars, a broken Zipp front wheel, a broken helmet, and a severely dented pocketbook! After a few hours in the hospital they released him with a concussion and a lifetime worth of roadrash! Steve was one tough customer in the ER talking cheerily with the nurse as she scrubbed his wounds with a stiff bristle brush and hydrogen peroxide. A quick shot of morphine in his butt and he was all set for the drive home!

Besides the crashing part, we all had a great time racing and hanging out in San Dimas. We went out to a couple nice dinners with a few of our Platinum friends. One of whom was the Devil himself disguised as Mark Fennel. I know Steve will recover and hopefully we'll see him on the bike again soon. At least one good thing came from the crash. It temporarily drew attention away from the fact that I got a crit!!! Thankfully, Gabriel and Brett's triumphs made all of us feel like winners at the end of the day....except Steve... I think he just felt sore!

Can't wait 'till Island View and Ojai.

See you out there,