Monday, June 30, 2008

LiveStrong! Portland 2008

Over the past few years I have had the chance to go to some of the Lance Armstrong Foundation fund raising rides.

This weekend the Livestrong Challenge was in Portland and was the first of 4 rides this year. Fortunately (for me) Lance was vacationing in SB last week and I thought if he was going to the ride from here maybe I could hitch a ride. So Saturday I got to fly on "Lance Air" up to Portland. A super cool 9 seat jet met us at Oxnard Airport. We flew at 600 mph and landed in the small
airport near the Nike Headquarters in Beaverton. We were met by "Higgins" who took us over to the Nike Campus where an awards dinner for the top fund raisers of the event. Lance and the LAF do an amazing job of raising cancer awareness and helping with survivorship issues. Check out and These rides raise about $9 million a year.

After the dinner "Higgins" chauffeured us down to a posh downtown hotel. Outside autograph seekers were waiting for hours to get a Lance autograph. Lance stops and signs a few and I go into the lobby where the staff of the hotel was trying to be over helpful. Fast-forward to 6am and we depart for the ride. Yes the autograph seekers were still outside the hotel. We figure they are selling the autographs to collectible dealers or they put them on EBay.

After hitting 100 degrees on Saturday, the ride weather turns out to be perfect. We do start with a large group of all kinds of riders who are trying to ride up front next to Lance. 1200 riders participated in the ride and 1800 in the run. Things settle down after a while and we do the 70 mile ride. Lance as always pulls most of the way at a super nice tempo and we do 70 in 3:12. Not too much time to hang out, Lance has a few meetings and a final presentation. Just before we leave Lance invited Jimmy (who is a 15 year old brain cancer survivor and Portland's top fundraiser) into the SUV. Jimmy had told Lance that he was a big Kid Rock fan. Lance and Kid Rock were in Iraq last December entertaining the troops and became friends. So Lance calls up Kid Rock and lets Jimmy chat with him. It was all very cool.

So soon enough Higgins takes us back to the airport and before you know it we are back on the runway, the pilot takes our bags and bikes and were are on our way in no time.

Coming into Oxnard we fly over Lake Cachuma, Jamison Lake, Lake Casitas. You could see a lot of cool mountain bike trails on top of the ridge toward Ojai.
All in all a hectic 24 hours of jet setting, riding and hanging out with some Fancy Friends!

Dave Lettieri
FasTrack Bicycles
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Manhattan Beach Grand Prix

Today's race was bright and early w/ a 7:45am start time in Manhattan Beach w/ a full field of 120 riders. The 3's race didn't go as I had hoped. Similar to last weekend at San Pedro, my race ended on the last lap, but this time I had to walk my bike back to the car and I didn't get to cross the finish line. On the back straight of the last lap, I was sitting pretty at the front of the pack, when another rider on my right side decided to make a jump to his left. He jumped out of the saddle and made an abrupt move onto my line w/ nowhere for me to go. I was 1/2 of a bike length into him, but apparently he didn't see me. I tried to slow down and give him room, but the next thing I know I hear spokes popping and my front wheel jammed up inside my fork. His skewer took out my front wheel and my skewer took out his rear wheel. Fortunately, no one went down and the only damage was a few broken spokes and the need for a front wheel rebuild. I'm a bit disappointed, but then again, that's racing. When you race crits, you put yourself and your equipment on the line.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

HOT! HOT! humid HOT!

The race weekend started off w/ Craig Zimmerman and I car pooling up to La Mirada. As we drove through the valley, we knew we were in for a hot weekend of racing. The temps along the 101 freeway ranged from 95 to 110 degrees. Once we got to the La Mirada race course, the temps were well into the 100’s w/o much of a breeze. Needless to say, we didn’t need much of a warm-up. We were fortunate enough to be called the “featured” race of the day, or as we saw it, the last race of the day at 3:55pm. At the starting line we had at least 50+ racers lining up. This was to be my first Cat 3 race, and I picked a doozy, w/ a 2 mile circuit that had lots of climbing, rollers, and an uphill sprint finish. The main climb being a ¼ mile big ringer. The pace was fast from the gun w/ riders trying to separate themselves from the field on the first climb; even after the climb, those on the front didn’t let up through the rollers or the descent. Craig was looking very strong staying in the top ten throughout the race, where I was hanging around in the top half of the group. With the 105 temps and the pace being as hard as it was, riders were falling by the way side. Going into the final lap, 7 riders attacked off the front and got away. The rest of us were left to sprint for the final top 10 places. In the end, Zimmerman took off and placed 9th, and I came in behind him in 11th. I later came to find out that over half the pack DNF’ed w/ the rest of them scattered around the course.

Brett Harrison was also one of the Ranchers at La Mirada racing the 4’s. We saw his start and kept an eye on him as we were warming up for our upcoming race. Brett was looking strong, riding at the front for most of the race, but at some point during the race we noticed he was no longer in the front group of about 12. We later found out that there was a crash and Brett got taken out. From the sounds of it, a rider in the pack toppled over from heat exhaustion and took out a number of riders. Brett toughed it out and got back on his bike and never stopped chasing. Brett ended up coming in 20th w/ torn kit and some road rash. The 5’s went off really early in the morning so we didn’t have a chance to see Dan Rudd, but he tore it up w/ a 6th place finish.

The following day at San Pedro, we found much better racing conditions w/ temps in the 90’s, but w/ a nice cooling breeze coming from the ocean marina. All the categories looked to be larger due to the fact that San Pedro was the State Championships. At SP we had Philip Friden representing in the 5’s, Brett in the 4’s, and Zimmerman and me in the 3’s. Zimmerman and I got to the venue in the middle of Philips race. He was looking really strong w/ good positioning throughout the race, but going into the final lap Philip found himself on the front, and going into the sprint he got swarmed and boxed in. Philip came across the finish line in 20th place. Brett’s luck changed for the better at SP. As always, we found Brett hovering close to the front of the pack. The pace of the 4’s looked to be extremely fast w/ riders popping off the back on every lap. When it came down to the sprint finish, Brett gave his all and came in w/ a solid 6th place.

As for the 3’s race, we had a stacked field of close to 100 riders. After yesterday’s race, both Zimmerman and I were curious as to how we would recover and how the legs would feel. From the gun the pace was fast, but not hard enough to blow the field apart. Zimmerman went to front and put in a lot of effort of stay up there, while I hovered in the top 20-30. The pace did pick up w/ a number of riders trying to go off the front, but a steady headwind on the front straightaway helped neutralize and bring the breaks back. With a few laps to go, the field started to get dicey and riders started to move up towards the front. I made it to Zimmerman’s wheel as we prepared for a lead-out. Going into turns 1-2 of the final lap, Zimmerman moved ahead and got into 3 wheel, while I stayed in the top ten. This is where everything went to @^$#! From what Zimmerman told me, some moron got a flat/mechanical on the previous lap and decided to walk on the course against traffic carrying his bike. We rounded the 1-2 corner in the big ring, out of the saddle, and fighting for position when the front riders ran into the moron carrying his bike. This caused riders to lock-up their brakes and some rode into the bushes to avoid the bike carrying knucklehead, Zimmerman was one that had to use his MTB skills to stay upright in the bushes. Although I didn’t go down, I came to a complete stop, in my big ring and on the hill. I got back on course and sprinted to the tail end of the lead group. Going into the final corner, I could see they were all strung out and at least 25 deep. My and Craig’s race was over at that point and we sat up. Craig was upset because he was going really good and put in a lot effort to stay at the front and out of trouble….so we thought.

In all, it was a good weekend of racing w/ some good times, good results, and some good high intensity workouts.

That’s it! Sorry if it was a little long winded. For those of you that missed out this past weekend, start getting ready for Sisquoc. With a Cat 3-4 race, we should have a huge turnout. I know that as of today, we have at least 7 CR’s in that race.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Missing Kenny!

I was emailing back and forth the other day with Esquire and the question came up about "how long had it been since Kenny passed away?". It was a day or so past the 6 month anniversary of his passing. After talking about it for a while, I could sense we were both a little bummed with ourselves for not remembering it.

Then I received a call from Jill Ballantyne who was coming to town for a week to visit some friends and relatives. Jill and her ex Joe were some of Kenny and Heidi's closest friends back in the good old days. How many of you remember the beginnings of the Cielo Velo bike club?

I was lucky enough to hook up with Jill for a ride on Sunday and after talking about Kenny and what a terrific person he was we just had to ride up Kenny's trail, aka Romero Canyon.

On Wednesday night Jill and her 2 children came over for dinner. The Benko's were able to join us and we talked about Kenny. We all have such fond memories of him as a friend, dad, bike mechanic, music expert, and just all around good guy.

We then began to talk about how much his family must miss him. Jill actually saw his mother in law while she was here. She said Gail, shed some tears and was still very sad about Kenny being gone.

After the Benko's left, Jill, My Wife and I sat around and wondered if there was anything we could do for the Harbaugh family. I know Patagonia the B Team as well as the local cycling community has been very generous to this point.

I for one am going to keep his family in my prayers, I hope you all will do the same.

Here are some links to posts about our good friend Kenny. I just reread all of them and it was well worth it.

I guess I missed the 6 month anniversary, but hopefully this is all in good time. Enjoy the ride! Kenny always did!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Stolen Bike

If anyone hears of a 19" 2005 Specialized Stumpjumper Hardtail (full spec in link below) for sale could you let me know. Mine was stolen from my garage yesterday. It is pretty much as per original spec, but has a different, pretty scratched up carbon seat post, a brand new WTB rocket saddle and Cane Creek Ergo bar ends.
Andrew Perkin
805 200 8204

Street Drag Racing!

Tired of long hot races, long drives, high entry fee, too much Lycra and hi tech bikes?

Well let me introduce Street Drag racing. This is where the new age cyclists meets competition. This is the group of fixed gear riders, fixing up vintage bikes and making them fixed or single speed. No Lycra here, just tight jeans and t-shirts. Each Wednesday Night they meet and ride over to the street that has a straight, flat 215 meter road.

Complete with a variety of booze and smokes, they arrive, change out some handle bars and are ready to race. Don't let the sneakers and tattoos fool you, some of these guys are fast.

Also their skills on fixed gears are amazing from skid stops to one handed wheelies.....

Each riders does a time trial to be seated, then paired in one on one matches. You can use a road bike (but much stay in the same gear), fixed or single speed bike. You can choose your gear, anything that allows a good start and allows you still to have some gear so not to spin out.

After watching for a couple weeks I decided to give it a try. I modified my track bike with a lower gear and a front brake (I am not as crazy to go no brakes). I do my time trial in a respectable 21 + sec time. A couple guys broke 21 but no reason to bury yourself in the TT. My first match was against a tall thin kid. He was asking if I every road a fixed gear before. Well I omitted my ten years of track racing and said "not lately" We start and I get a one length lead and hold it and advance to the next round. Round 2, I get a guy with a silly looking bike with a narrow flat bar. I think, this one will be easy. We start and I gain easily off the line. I figure I have it and out of no where this guy is flying and we finish in a photo finish (Yes the have their digital cameras for pics) I barely hold him off. I advance to the finals, 3 up this time. I try a different tactic knowing the faster rider has a lower gear. I start off a bit slow to get in his draft but didn't have enough time to come around....

Definitely a good time, interesting culture and good group of guys just hanging around. At least they are hanging around and racing their bikes!

Everyone is welcome.

Dave Lettieri
FasTrack Bicycles
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Racing In The Redwoods!

Hey Gang,

Last weekend, two chickens flew the coup to race in the North. While I was sensitive to all signs on how this one may turn out, seeing Matt in the Team Chicken Ranch suburban support vehicle as we turned on to 101 N was one GREAT sign. Our second sign besides the price of gas was a huge wildfire to the West while cruising up 101, looked like a big damn chicken roast but we had none of that action. Fish was on the menu at the local tavern and we were having some of that! The Red Snapper w/ mashed and green beans was a racer delight after a pre-car ride of the course and throwing down the bags at our killer campsite next to thirty shrelping kids was set! Now for some log sawing, EB woke on the other end of the campsite from where he went down, hmmmm ....

Masters 45+
OK, now race day and twenty-two urinations and I was ready but EB was still in the Johnny-line that was some 15 minutes long so races in essence were about 15 minutes behind at start. With Fred and Dave and Luke all nursing my Trek to race condition the past week, only question was could I hold on to her during the race! Well, I did not let them down since I spent the next 2 1/2 hours advertising with my tool bag still on my bike :) and the Chicken Ranch burro earlier in the week was still revving in my stomach .... and well with training and focus this time instead of just showing up, I managed to HOLD-ON to both the bike and burro this race!

About 75 of us started and rolled out casual but by the first climb (400') it was heating up, I stayed back and watched but was able to climb up through the slackers, when we hit climb two (400') it was a frontal assault by then but I managed again to be hanging with the leaders and to my surprise my forearms were not locked up with lactic ...we (about 30) re-grouped on the road to the bigger climb of the course and well when we hit it, we hit it hard and I was able to hang on to bitter end and fought and struggled but re-grouped on downhill, where only a couple risks were taken, all was well at this point, had gotten water, gone to bathroom, ate my snacks and kinda kickin' it with a smile no less. We hit climb #four, first hill (400') and it was getting faster but no worries yet and then it was time to worry ... climb #five separated the boyz from the men, me. I lost contact on that uphill and worked with 5-6 other riders to within 30 seconds along the road to final climb (900') that final climb, I dropped five of the six riders while two of us chased and reeled in a couple bonkers and then it was ova ... 47.22 miles in 2 hrs 21 minutes .. and not sure of the place or cats of the other riders yet but maybe top 25 for me, top 35 for Eric.

Here are some pix of the trip ... not so much of racing :) where I hammed it up for course photographers!

This was a very cool race with good setting and good course. REDWOODS!


Friday, June 13, 2008

Esquire's Elings Race Report

The following is the Team Chicken Ranch Race Report from last weekend's Elings Park races:

"The Chicken Ranch Cycling Team raced in the Cross Country, Super D and Downhill races last weekend at Elings Park, with the Jellison family leading the charge. On Saturday Bradford Jellison took 1st place in the Beginner Jr. Men 14+ under race and on Sunday Christopher Jellison took 1st in the hotly contested Jr. Men's 10 + under race. Also on Saturday, Mike Abbott took 1st place in the Downhill Sport 40+ race. In the Super D races, Pete "Super P" Sproul took 1st in Men's 30-39 race, while Jelly Jellison, Dave Lettieri and Mike Abbott finished 2nd, 4th and 5th, respectively, in the Men's 40+ race. In the Cross Country races Sue Fish took 1st in the Women's Sport 50+ race. Matt Benko took a hard-earned 2nd Place in the very competitive Expert 40-44 Race, while Pete Sproul took 5th in the Expert 35-39 race. David Jurist (Beginner 45-49), John Nygren (Beginner 35-39) and Mike Abbott (Sport Clydesdale 35+) each took stellar 2nd places in their categories, with Nygren having the 6th fastest time out of all of the Beginner races. Gabriel Garcia powered around the course for a fast 3rd place in the Sport 35-39 race, while Sean Edwards took 3rd place and a raspberry in the Beginner Jr. Men 12 + under race. In the Sport 40-44 race Robert Ramirez and Craig "Blinger" Zimmerman crossed the line holding hands to finish together in 4th and 5th, respectively. Brian Bermudes took 4th place in the Sport 30-34 race, with Seth Sproul finishing behind Bermudes in 6th place. And Brad Jellison took 5th in the 35+ Sport Clydesdale Race."

Also attached is a photograph that could be captioned: "Team Chicken Ranch's Christopher Jellison is all smiles after his victory in the Jr. Men 10 + Under Cross Country race at Elings Park last Sunday""


Kim R. McDaniel

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Couple More Elings Race Reports

Mike Abbott, who is Mr. Mountain Bike has a quick race report below followed by Mr. Sproul (dirt boy) and some photos. The photo credits go to Pete and Gabe. Thanks for sending them in guys.

it was a great weekend, got to see a lot of ranchers out beating the trail, thanks to matt and the feed zone we were all in good supply fluids, I was able to catch the first place rider in xc on the decent of the second lap, but on the end of the second lap climb he got by, i kept him in sight on the last lap up the pavement but did not see him till i was going south and he was crossing the line for the finish, he got me by more than a minute. the down hill on the other hand I got first!!, the super d came in fifth, due to the rule i did not know(you are suppose to drink a few beers shortly before the start if you want to claim a podium spot) that rule may need some tweaking to fine the proper mount of courage fluid!! Great job everyone.


Hard?!? Yeah, that was hard, one of the harder races I’ve done in a long time. I blew so hard on the fourth lap I wasn’t sure I was going to finish. Actually, maybe that was the second lap? I started off with what I though was a pretty mellow effort but after checking my first split and seeing around 27:30, I knew I needed to back it off a bit. I was sitting in 8th or 9th and had to figure out how to slow down and still pass people! Fortunately, that turned out to be quite easy as guys started popping big time about halfway through the second lap. By the end of the lap I’d moved up to 5th and just tried to maintain. The laps got harder and the lap times slower; 28 something for lap two, 29 something for lap three and about a 33 minute final lap. On lap three I was seriously overheating so I decided to roll around in the dirt for a bit. Didn’t really help but made for some good pictures. Best part was forgetting I was cramping in both legs and could hardly pedal and being able to pretend I was racing and sprint the last 100 yards with Matt! I’m sure it wasn’t nearly as fun to watch as Ramirez and Blinger but we gave it a shot. Fun times, too bad we have to wait three months to do it again!!

Great job to everyone else who was out there racing or just hanging out and yelling. Especially Jelly for talking me into racing SuperD on Sat. I’d forgotten what it was like on the podium and the 8 min race effort didn’t affect putting one foot in front of the other like I’m having trouble doing today!


Monday, June 9, 2008

Elings Report: Wow! That was hard!


We had a great turnout for our local MTB race with quite a few Chicken Ranchers taking the line. In the Beginner Class we had new Rancher David Jurist taking 1st in a blow out, John Nygren with an impressive 2nd, and Mr. Greg Knowles with a hard earned 5th. Ashely Edwards was out there representin' as well but I don't know where he finished. We also had a bunch of mini-Ranchers riding the big-boy course too. Paul Donahoe and Ben Edwards kids made it all the way around the challenging course. Ben's son Sean even has a big ole' Raspberry on his hip as a reminder of how hard the course was but he tuffed it out a finished strong. Which is more than his Dad did since he elected to "sit this one out".

The race of the day was definitely the duel between Brad Jellison's son Christopher AKA "Tick" and Ron Tekada's son Reny. They duked it out all the way around the course, never seperated by more than 10 yards. Tick had a little more in his legs at the end and outsprinted Reny for the win but it was a great race. Brad's older son Bradford also won the Downhill on Saturday. Fortunately Brad's kids inherited their Mothers athletic ability.

In the Sport race we had some excellent results with Mike Abbott pulling down a 2nd place, Gabe Garcia riding strong for 3rd in his class, Brian Bermudes with a "Best Ever" 4th place in the sport 30-34 class with Seth Sproul hot on his tail in 6th. Brad Jellison hung on for a hard earned 5th place in the "Big-Guy" Class. We also had Paul Donohoe, Dave Lettieri, and Philip Friden out there but I'm not sure how they finished-up the full results should be posted shortly.

The battle of the day in Sport was clearly the show-down between the "Crafty Spaniard" Robert Ramirez, and Craig "Blingerman" Zimmerman. They went back and forth for all 3 laps but somehow at the end they practically came across the line holding hands. There are only two possible explanations for this:

1. It was mutual show of respect between two friendly rivals.

2. It was a blatant show of support for California's recent decision to recognize Gay marriage.

I'm going with number #2.

In the Expert Class we had me and Pete Sproul flying Chicken Ranch colors. Pete rode to a very impressive 5th place in the stacked 35-39 class. I rode in the "Old Guy" 40-44 Class and I'm almost embarrassed to say I finished 2nd......again. I can't seem to break out of my 2nd place rut. I was actually trying to finish 3rd just to mix things up but the guy in first broke his chain and foiled my plan. I think next race I'll go for 4th.

When it came time to stand on the podium I didn't have a clean Chicken Ranch jersey to wear so Brad and Rob improvised and wrote "Chicken Ranch" on my chest with a Magic Marker. I think it looks classy.

I had a great time racing and hanging out with all of you and look forward to doing it again. Ride Ranchers Ride!


SB Bikefest Day 1

Thanks goes to Mr. Lettieri for being our on the spot reporter.

Today was the first day of the SB Bike Festival. It was a multi event day at Elings Park. Just a quick note that the Super D race was SUPER COOL.

It is basically a time trial on the flats and downhill of the Elings Park Cross Country loop. 8-9 minutes total. 30 sec intervals.... So no knarly downhill and no long term suffering, The 40+ group was Ok represented. I do think we all could have done it...I was surprised so few from Santa Barbara raced this event

There are no ability ranges, just age groups. We had Brad J, Mike Abott and my self in the 40+, and Super fast man Pete Sproul in the 30+ Pete smoked all but one to get the second fastest of the day.

In the 40+ Ron Tekada beat the field by 20+ secs to win. Brad J was 2nd, A state champion Super D guy was 3rd and I was 4th .4 secs behind him. Mike A was 5th. (After winning the 40+ downhill earlier in the day) Between 2nd and 5th it was only about 10 seconds.... Another cool thing that the results were up and the podium was held within a half hour of the finish.

After the Super D, I heard that they were serving Chichen Ranch at the BMX track. So I figured I could get in a few more races for the evening or at least get some good food.

I raced the crusier class and we had a good group of 5 riders. I finally beat a couple and finished 3rd!

Should be an interesting cross country race in the AM!

See ya out there,

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Chicken For A Day

Having received the bad news that my Platinum Performance pal and cycling mentor/motivator, Mr. Mortgage, wasn’t heading up for the Big Bear Shootout June 1 reminded me that my bicycles currently out-value my autos and none qualified as appropriate (read: reliable) transport to the start line. Enter one Former Olympian. I was down at the shop buying a really fine seat bag for the race rig (you know, the ones that come with a yellow bag with a square hole (I thought it was a free with purchase “Elephant Man”Halloween mask) when I mentioned needing a lift to the big day. The FO said he’d mention it around town and give a shout if somebody had an open seat. Seemed like one of those things that gets said and then floats off like a smoke ring. To my great shock and pleasure FO called at the beginning of race week and said that there was a cancellation and did I want to ride with---drum roll---the great chicken ranch trinity. Now, I have only been riding on two wheels without a beer in my hand for about a year and am new to SB, but not so new that I don’t know when my life is about to change! The fam and I relocated to Goleta last year from the Alamo City (clap, clap, clap, deep in the heart of Texas) last year and so we know a thing or two about ranches. I pulled up at the biggest chicken’s coop at the crack’o for the get-a-long and sure as heck, them boys showed up all a wearin’ stretchy pants, just like back in the Republic. I knew I was amongst kin.

Loaded up with the big one and the bling one, we went to Milpas and picked up what appeared to be a homeless man on a bike. But, whoa moses, there’s those stretchy pants again, spare that brother a dime! You can imagine the amount of cataloging my newbie mind was doing given this “all access” pass to observe the super chickens pre-race routines. Let’s see: there were the TWO cupcakes and a bottle of water for the homeless guy; a mysterious, peanut buttery smelling mixture eaten out of a plastic bag for the bling one and damned if the big one didn’t eat a peanut butter and jelly an hour before the race like it was 2d grade lunch period! All that restraint made me question the Belgian waffle, sausage patties and Frappacino I had slowly eaten precisely 3.4 hours before the race start.

One unfortunate episode on the way to the race, a spirit woman named Gigi, who’s voice seemed to be channeled through the bling one, gave us totally bogus directions that had us perilously close to losing almost 7.3 minutes of drive time and the homeless guys sanity. On the bright side it did give us a chance to check out Jeff’s white Yeti, TWICE! Not to fear, the troops landed with mucho tiempo to spare.

Once on the mountain everyone got right down to the business of race-preparedness, which way to the port-a-potties?!? After registrating and getting free-taco ticketed we got our collective arses in the saddle for what seemed like a 45 minute climb to the race start. The weather was fab-you-los, maybe 70 and almost no wind and the staging area was pleasantly cool. The big one was made to start early as he is big and must go further. Then off went the bling-y one with the FO on the medium loop. Sometime later, off I go with a huff and a puff or I’ll blow at altitude on the small one (and it was just right)!

The course was super fun, a long climb out of the start and then some rolly fire road. Things got interesting when the trails merged and I was greeted from behind by blingy and the FO who gave a much needed “atta boy” to the slaving limbs below me. There were some nice single track sections with varying degrees of difficulty from soft loamy dappled shade prettiness to sharp rock, pick your line or you gonna hurt, bomb-a-thons. My “glory” moment was chasing down my category foe, Mike Rauls, from team SHOW-OFF on a single track section. We had passed each other several times on the course and he made a move and got to the single track ahead of me. When we got to a fairly large spot of water, he decided to dismount and go around the edge. I quickly reflected on the situation, “what would the b team do?” I hopped off the war pony and went cyclocross through what turned out to be knee deep water and never looked back.

About 2 miles from the finish after panting up yet another climb and coming down some fairly sketchy fire road, I felt something falling on my legs. Was that thirty minute port-a-potty visit not enough to clear the bulkhead? When I looked down I saw my “Elephant Man” mask from the new seat pack wrapped around my cassette. I also realized that the recreational bikers on the trails were going to score some nice tire levers, a tube, patch kit, multi-tool and the overdue DVD’s from Blockbuster that I was going to return on the way home. Ten seconds into the argument with myself about whether to stop and clear it the jury came back: There was no flippin way daddy-o was pullin over. So I managed to shift into a gear and got a pedalin’, single-speed style. The chicken karma worked its magic and I got across the finish 4 minutes ahead of the dreaded SHOman.

The big one came in fifth in the papa category, just 7 minutes off the pace and is truly a spectacular captain of the good ship chicken ranch. FO and the bling one crossed the line 6th and 7th closer than a slow dance at the high school prom in the mama category. I, dear reader, managed top of the boxes , but then, I was chicken for a day.

PS One last amazing moment from the trip. On the way home, the FO, who is not one to camp in the outdoors, showed us how he makes “urban” s’mores. To celebrate the big right turn at the ocean and the home stretch, he produced a perfectly melted Almond Joy from his stretchy pants! Who knew the power?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Chicken 29er

If you haven't seen this Chicken on the latest Specialized 29er. You should, check it out at testrider.