Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Elings Race Reports

I waited a couple of days for all the race reports to come in and I have decided to post them all in this post. There are some good ones. Thanks for contributing everyone!

so this is the story, saturday got second in the down hill, second in the super d, and that gave me second in state points super d for the year. sunday, qualified for the d/s thanks to team big bear and ed brown, letting me time it out pre cross country race time, raced xc was in first and did not know it, sprint to the finish thinking it was for 3rd and tangled with the guy, went down on the pavement at the finish, ended up second in xc, got a patch on the knee, ran the duel slom corse and got 3rd. what week end, from the chicken ranch banquet to the finish in the med center sunday afternoon for about ten stitches! all is well.


mike abbott

John Goodman was nice enough to take some good shots. I think I have all the Chicken Ranchers below. Enjoy and if you want to purchase any of the shots just contact John.

The Elings XC was fun and brutal as ever today.

The marine layer did help to keep the temps mercifully low, at least right up until the sport class heats went off at 11AM. There seemed to be a solid turnout at the event in general (with the notable exception of the Chicken Ranch Triathlon team members of course). The number of riders seemed to be down only slightly compared to the June Elings race.

From the Chicken contingent I saw only a couple Sport Class riders and no experts or beginners: Philip, Blingerman (& Wingerman), FastTrack, Iron Man Abbott and our freshest Chicken recruit Matthew Perry (won his first beginner class race today AND took the attached photo of me pedaling through a corner, very nice).

Was anybody else out there, Jed on the Slalom perhaps?

They combined my class of 17 riders along with two other classes into a single heat to make for probably the most hectic start I've ever experienced at an MTB race. I found myself zig-zagging in & out of slower riders (what few slower riders there were) up that first fire road climb in a massive pack & hugely thick cloud of dust. Clearly a good argument here for lining up early if you see they've combined start times with other classes on you!

Anyway, in spite of not being prepared at all to "bring it" myself today, I did have a few highlights:

- Playing cat & mouse with a multi-year nemesis that himself crashed twice but still managed to nip me on the last half lap. (rat ba**rd)

- Playing cat & mouse then finally dropping a friend who was in my heat (but not my age group) who I had talked into coming up from Santa Monica to race the event. (priceless)

- Chatting with Mike Abbot post race as he was bemoaning his loss/crash at the XC finish line while bleeding significantly from his knee & hip. He proceeded to casually throw on his flak jacket body armor and prepare to transition over to the dual slalom course to get quickly bandaged up before
his next race. We did all agree that it made sense for the first aid
station to be located at the foot of the slalom course....
Iron Man, you are THE MAN!

Ride On!

Below are a few more photos that Paul & Rod contributed.

My report goes as follows,

I went as hard as I could for 3 brutal laps. On the final climb to the finish there lay a rather flamboyant rider laying spread eagle on the course screaming in pain, cramps on the hammys it looked like. I jumped off my bike thinking I would run around him (after making sure he was OK, you know
me) but when I straightened my legs wouldn't you know it my quads locked up on me. I'd never had cramps like that before. After standing frozen on the course for some time and watching the other rider eventually get up and go on, lots of riders passing by and offering words of encouragement, "drink your water man!" I was finally able to finish, but lost lots of time. But as I was standing there, it did strike me how nice and caring all the fellow competitors were, even in the heat of battle.

Love to you all.
Taser Friden

Based on the fact that it’s a 10 minute effort I decided to race the SuperD again this weekend at Elings. This would also salvage a bit of my weekend of racing as I was seriously wavering on whether or not I would do the XC on Sunday (ended up not). My fitness has been on the decline since early July and the last Elings XC was painfully still very fresh in my mind. Possibly the hardest 20 mile MTB race I’ve ever done.

Ran into Iron Mike, Dave L. and Dave Jurist before the start and we were all ready for a little suffering. Course was slightly different from last time with a trip down to that lookout/turnaround that is used in the XC. This added about a minute to the times and it wasn’t a fun minute. I swear I’ve ridden the whole SuperD course much faster when I’m racing XC and in a good rhythm. When the gun goes off for a 10 minute race, it’s full gas and severe oxygen debt from the start. I ended up winning my class, the 30-39 open division, Iron Mike was 2nd in the 40-49 open followed closely by Dave L. in 2nd with Dave J. in 5th (with a crash, I believe).

It was also very nice to have an awards ceremony within 20 minutes of finishing. I’ve attached a photo taken by Dave L’s Dad who was at the race. Dave said no helmets on the podium but he didn’t mention anything about gloves so I kept mine on.

I glanced at the State Series standings today and low and behold, I ended up 2nd in the overall for the year in SuperD! This, coupled with my solid 2nd place in the national XC series, and I’m keeping that 2nd place Chicken Ranch tradition going strong!
Now, who’s up for some cyclocross? http://www.socalcross.com/

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

California State Mountain Bike Championships, B Team Style!

Dave Jurist and his impeccable prose regarding the State Championship are below for your reading pleasure!

Le Bon Temps Roulet

Four intrepid poulets made the 6 hour round trip out to Big Bear on Sunday with the California State Cross Country Championship title hanging over their heads like an ARM reset on a Fresno mansion. Due to a costume malfunction on the Blinger mobile, Junior Varsity was called off the bench to head the transportation committee for the “voyage”. The close quarters of the JV mobile had CZ sprawled across the backseats for a disco/beauty nap and Brian “The Bladder” Bermudez ridin’ shotgun (Mike Abbott had ridden in via Jesusita and the Angeles Crest minutes prior to start). Mind you, nothing compares to the “breast” room of the Chicken Rig, but we did manage 3 bodies and 3 bikes with the relatively diminutive foreign substitute.

In what seemed like fifteen or so minutes into the drive we were pulling over for our first pee stop. In what seemed like fifteen or so minutes Brian had finished and we were back headed to the race, chatting easily about tire pressure, philosophy and, at Brian’s request, the most strategic way to have his bike fall off the top of the car.

We arrived at 9 to a near empty parking lot at the race site. The registration tables were marginally crowded, but nothing like you would expect for a winner-take-all State Championship race. When signing up, I hadn’t noticed any Team Sho-Air names in my group which is usually a given. After bathroom, registration, shedding clothes, stretching, taping, filling and kitting up we got going up the hill to the start. As we mosied up, there was the Sho-Air squad parked up by the ski hill (not the designated parking area, gentleman!) and the start area was showing a pretty good group yapping and doing the fire road for warm up.

By a cruel stroke, the organizers decided on a group start for all sport classes, so Craig and Brian went off in a blur of dust and lycra with about 100 riders. It’s up to those boys to give the gory details of the 20 mile “medium” course, but I can say for certain that Blinger blasted through his previous Big Bear time by 8 minutes, shut down his arch rival (the “America’s Got Talent” Phil Dalhauser look-a-like) and even, with the 6th fastest time in all sport categories, took 4th in the 40-44. It doesn’t get the JV too pumped for an upgrade in class next year! Brian, riding on a bike he apparently doesn’t even like any more, made 6th in his group and shot his bike after the race.

I did manage to overhear a snippet of CZ’s post race interview with “The Goodland Velo Lemon Rancher Gazette”:

GVLRG: How was the ride out?

Blinger: We had a good time.

GVLRG: Were you happy with your race?

Blinger: It was a good time.

GVLRG: With the road race season over, can we expect any equipment changes next year?

Blinger: I already have a good Look, maybe a good Time.

My task was far less daunting. My main rival from Sho-Air was a no-Sho which left some guys whose riding I haven’t really seen much of. The start went off in typical fashion with Mark “Quick-To-The-Front-And-Quicker-To-The-Back” Thome doing his usual 90-seconds-to-anaerobic-failure start up the hill with me on his tail. After depleting all the oxygen within a 45 foot radius of his body in the first hundred yards, I stroked past and started to remember just how much climbing the course dishes out. About half way I had passed most of the other groups back markers and couldn’t see anyone from 45-49 100 yards behind. So, I did what anyone would do and promptly crashed on the fire road descent straining to look over my shoulder. With that out of the way, I made my way around the short course, avoided being run over by expert riders and cruised in for a first place finish. And that my friends, is good timing.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Special Olympics Cyclist's Bicycles Stolen!

I read about this in an article from the Santa Maria Times.

Here is a short statement from one of the riders taken from the Santa Maria Times.

Paul Grennan, 44, was one of those athletes. He grew emotional Monday when speaking of his lost bike, which he had named “Kit” because of his love of the television show “Knight Rider.”

This is a pretty sad story on many levels, check it out and if you feel compelled to help the information is below.

For people looking to help the Special Olympics team, an account has been established at Bank of America. The account number is 08349-67643. Dettrick can be contacted at c_dettrick@yahoo.com.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Be Careful, Mountain Lion Seen Locally

If you didn't see it, below is information from an email that went out a couple days ago. Spread the word.

FYI: There have been two reported sightings of mountain lions in the last week on Romero and San Ysidro Trails.

The following website has useful information when traveling in mountain lion country: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/keepmewild/docs/lionbrochure.pdf

Thank you,
The Multiuse Trails Coalition,

Monday, September 15, 2008

Should Lance Stay Retired?

I will admit, I'm not a big fan of sports figures coming out of retirement. I remember when George Foreman did it and it was incredible. I also remember Michael Jordan doing it and it was uneventful if you ask me. Now Brett Favre is doing it and of course the reports are out now that Lance will come out of retirement to try and win an 8th Tour.

The main motivation that has been reported for such a move is to make the fight against cancer a more global fight. I have read he plans to have a film crew follow him around in preparation to do a documentary on his training and drug testing. It would appear from what I've read he wants to make sure everyone witnesses that this comeback and the 8th victory can't be questioned. 

This report in the Skinny Moose says he doesn't have a team to ride with. Does he?

This British periodical The Independent reports that his comeback is just as much about his relentless desire to compete and win as it is a cancer issue. What do you think?

And of course I had to read the reports from Velo News to see what the Bible of cycling has to say. They reported he may try Mountain Biking or Cyclecross. Hmmmm?

Comments Anyone?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Special Olympics Cyclists Need Your Help!

Below is a copy of an email sent out to the b team. In a matter of moments a few hundred dollars had been raised. I thought I would post this on the blog and see if we could spread the word and help Ken & Dan really do something cool for these kids. Chip in if you can, I'm sure the money will be well received. Just look how happy these kids are in the photo below. GREAT JOB! Ken & Dan.

Hey Chickens -
Some of you know that Ken and Dano coach the Santa Barbara Special OlympicsCycling Team. This is the third year of the team, and we are gearing up to travel and compete in three events this season.

Dave Lettieri has been more than generous in his support of the team by giving deals on much-needed bikes and even donating jerseys the last 2 seasons (see photo).

New regulations will not allow a jersey with sponsors on it, so we have to order some semi-custom kits from Voler. We need to raise about $1000 to get this done since non-profits are hurting more than ever these days.

If any of the Team Chicken riders (or their companies) want to contribute to this cause, we would be very appreciative. Please contact either of us if you are interested in helping out.

Thank you,

Ken Doyle and Dan Onorato


Donations checks can be made out to:
Special Olympics Southern California
Please write "Cycling Team" on the front

Mail to:
Ali Sprott-Roen
Regional Sports Manager
Special Olympics Southern California
Santa Barbara County
423 West Victoria Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Friday, September 5, 2008

Check Out The Happenings At Testrider.com!

Ben Edwards, sometimes known as Burn, but most recently known as the man who has triathlon strategy down to a science has been hard at work. If you haven't been checking out his website you really are missing some great stuff. Below is part of an email he sent out highlighting some of the more recent products he has been testing.

September Program Guide
We see RED, Keep the SUV in the Garage, Assault your buddies on a budget!

Now Playing

SRAM RED: After a few thousand miles and multiple races, we weigh in on RED.

SKY BOX PRO: Versatility in a box, by Yakima

RAPIDADE: Sports drinks from the mind that created EPNO,
Team Garmin's go to supplement.

ASSAULT: Reynolds adds a 46mm deep carbon clincher to its
budget line up.

SPECIALIZED SL2: Compare and contrast the SL2 to it's pro tour
cousin... you might be surprised which bike is "better".

What are the Testriders riding now?

We're riding Van Dessel's budget racer, the Hellafaster. Flashpoint 60's, TT speed on a budget. We've been hitting the trails with an S-Works Stumpy. Stay tuned for great footage from Interbike, including "Carbon 101" with the biggest names in carbon.

Congratulations to Tom M. from Frisco for winning our Polar Pak giveaway!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Weekend In Review!

I'm not sure how you spent your weekend or if you even got on your bike. I do know many were coming off the S.B. Triathlon, and I even heard one of our own has given them up. Say it ain't so!

I started my weekend Saturday morning giving it my best to keep up with the group on the climb fest that probably 15 or more riders joined in on. I decided to leave my house around 7 and go directly to OSM to get a head start on the group, because I knew I would be holding them up otherwise. I made it to the top of OSM and first saw Mike Abbott who had headed up by himself as well. In just a few moments the rest of the group came around the corner together. I think I heard someone say 21 minutes. I think that is my personal best, so lord knows I couldn't have finished with that group.

We all exchanged a few niceties and then crossed over 154 to Painted Cave. The group did go at a very nice pedestrian like pace and I was able to hang with them until about the very first switchback. One other rider was off the back and they eventually passed me and left me to my misery all by my lonesome. I don't know what it is about that hill, but it is a great climb with a number of incredible views. Saturday was no exception.

As I got near Camino Cielo, Pops Larsen decided to go the other direction and let me know the group had just departed heading for Stagecoach Road. Once again I'm just slugging it out in what Bob Roll would call "My Own Personal Pergutory".

Coasting down to 154 and crossing it was a no brainer and then heading down Stagecoach was pretty cool. I like riding by Cold Spring Tavern and seeing it without the craziness that can sometimes be found there. I enjoy the different views of the valley you get heading down that way. I caught one rancher on the way down but I decided to turn around at Paradise Road and head back up Stagecoach. Not wanting to hold up the group by being the caboose.

I made it up Stagecoach and waited at the top for about 5 minutes. The group appeared to be all in tack and I had to jump on my bike and take off as they all just blew down 154. I was chasing the entire way and did catch and pass a few riders and hooked up with Silent Bob and Druber near the bottom.

That ride is a good ride and a great way to start a 3 day weekend. I guess I got a bit disappointed in my performance and I climbed OSM and Painted Cave on Sunday and Monday. 3 days in a row of hard climbing is something I hope I can build on.

Good Riding Ranchers! I guess Summer is over or coming to a close.