Sunday, February 22, 2009

Seinfeld & The Chicken Rig!

Hello everyone,

On Friday Craig and I did the amateur version of the Solvang TT for the 2nd year in a row. And for the 2nd year in a row it was an incredible experience. I will do that race every year that they offer it as long as I can still ride a two wheeler! There's nothing else like it! This year due to the Lance factor and the favorable weather, the crowds were 10 times the size and the overall vibe and energy was off the charts. I think I saw every single person I know from the cycling community somewhere out on the course. Whether it was David Jurist holding up a big sign that said "Go Chickens!" on the first climb..(that made me laugh)... Greg Leach and company whoopin' it up in front of his house in Los Olivos...Jason Hannon and the Platinum crowd just a few houses down... Randall Tinney doin' his Red Devil impersonation on Ballard...Mark Fennell taking pictures in two places at once...Dave Lettieri and company yellin' at me from the follow car tellin' me my "ass looked big in those shorts" and laughin' when I almost went wide on a corner going 30+ miles and hour in the aero bars...I was soakin' it all in, and lovin' every minute of it!

Once you get over the embarrassment of being a poser ( I got over that a long time ago) the experience of riding on the same course, on the same day, literally just minutes before the best riders in the world is unbelievable! Imagine getting to play flag football with your buddies on the field during Superbowl halftime...that's the closest thing I can think of. As a cycling fan it gives you such a unique perspective on what it would be like to be one of the top riders in the world. Except that they do it every weekend...and we get to do it maybe once a year.

Craig and I both got up there early to get good parking spots and set up our trainers for the warm-up. The competition was much stiffer this year with the addition of two local hammers Gary Douville, and Brian"The Cookie Monster" Cook. Last year when I did this race I felt like I rode as well as I could have on that day. This year I felt like I was struggling the whole time and could never get on top of the gear and yet I rode almost the exact same time. Last year I rode a 36:27 and this year a 36:29. Two seconds difference... You have to marvel at the consistency of my mediocrity. Blinger on the other hand was almost two minutes faster than last year. He's getting older and wiser and I'm just getting older. We both got our doors blown off by Gary and Cookie. Gary won with a 33:47 and Cookie got 2nd with a 34:47. Floyd Landis's buddy and owner of the OUCH Cycling Team Dr. Brent Kay was 3rd and beat me by 15 seconds.....ouch! It's kind of surreal doing the race in the morning and then a few minutes later your standing in one of the VIP tents watching the pros on TV thinking "I was just right there!" and then you see them fly by you in real life. Too cool!

I'm always amazed when I see the photos that guys like Fennell and John Goodman, and Carson get. Fennell somehow got pictures of every local rider starting and finishing, as well as pictures of all the top pros. I got one picture of some blurry guy that I think was Levi but I'm not sure. By the time you realize they're coming they're already past... plus there are 100 other people all trying to take one step closer to the action getting in the way. Check out Fennells' blog to get his take on the days activities.

There were a couple funny things that happened that I thought you'd enjoy reading. Dave, Gabe, John V, Kim McD, and Barney were all gonna drive behind me in the Big Ol' Chicken Ranch truck. The amateurs aren't supposed to get follow vehicles but Dave knows everyone and was able to swing it last year. So they roll up to the course officials and one of the guys says " There's no way in hell you're taking that big rig out the course!" Dave says' " We already talked to Chuck and he said it was OK"
The guy says "Who talked to Chuck?" and Dave says " Barney did." to which the guy replies " Well I'm Chuck, and all Barney said was Hi, and there's no way in hell you're taking that big rig out on the course!" So being the quick thinkin' guys that they are, Gabe runs half a mile and gets his BMW wagon. They all pile in and drive back to the course officials. This time Chuck just laughs and waves 'em through! It's always good to hang out with Dave at pro races.

After my race John VanManakkes comes up me and says "Hey you got any jumper cables?" It seems the Rock Racing Team car, a Pimped out black Escalade had a dead battery. So we trek over to my truck grab some cables and then go hang out with the Rock Racing guys like Tyler Hamilton and Fast Freddy while they get the Escalade going again. While we're there some lady asks Tyler if she can take a picture of him......with her dogs. Being a dog lover he obliges and she proceeds to arrange her 5 dogs in the perfect position and then gets Tyler to crouch down and pose... with her dogs. She wasn't even in the picture. Just Tyler with her dogs. I thought it was funny.

The last funny story was hearing a rumor that before the race Lance Armstrong had been spotted riding the course with Jerry Seinfeld and some other guy. Upon further investigation we discovered that it was a case of mistaken identity. Lance did pre-ride the course in the morning. But not with Jerry Seinfeld and "some other guy". It was our own Dave Lettieri and Levi Leipheimer. They thought Dave was Jerry Seinfeld! And poor Levi, when he rides with Lance and Dave he gets relegated to "some other guy" status.

What great day! I look forward to doing it again next year if the opportunity arises. And if not.....well, I've already got memories that will last a lifetime. Thanks to all of you who were out there cheering us on. It really does give you an extra boost and help you go faster......except for David Jurist's "Go Chickens" sign. When I laughed it caused me to lose my breath and I never recovered. I think it cost me at least 3 minutes.....maybe more.

See ya,


Esquire, thanks for the photos!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Killer B Fitness Report

I'm not known for my writing other than in the Daily Sound so hopefully I can entertain you guys on this one. I'll keep it short.

John gave an excellent report, but there are a few things that I need to add.

Saturday at Cantua
After Matt and I warmed up for 30 minutes pulling the pack at an easy pace we decided to fire things up a bit. Nobody wanted to do any work, and I guess my mentality right was that I'd rather get a good workout than win. So Matt and I led out a couple break attempts. We may have dropped a few, but pretty much everyone stayed together. I wasn't sure if it was doing anything to tire out the field, but no one seemed to pull through even at the end except for Freddy, the bandit. To recap the ending: I was fairly spent when Matt decided it was time to punch it with about 1.5 km to go. I sucked wheel at that point like I've never sucked before. I tried to make my 6'4" frame turn into a 4'6" frame. I'm glad nobody took any photos at that point. Matt is one strong frickin dude is all I have to say. I could see John and Freddy ahead about 15 feet as they broke away for the finish. Matt was pulling me up the last little riser and I had 1 guy on my tail. We got to the so called flat spot just before the finish and I decided it was time to reach a new max heart rate. I sprinted to John's wheel who was just behind Freddy. The guy riding my wheel was nowhere in sight. Then with about 20 feet to go I attacked Freddy hard. I was coming up on him quickly. I just ran out of real estate and he got me by a 1/4 wheel. It was a photo finish in my book even though I clearly knew he got me. I was proud to race with John and Matt who are exceptionally strong and fun to ride with.

Sunday at Pine Flats
About 20 miles into the race after a solo break had been away for about 5 miles I was trying to get everyone to work together. It turned out that only Matt and John heard me. Everyone else would draft and then when it was their turn to pull they would slow down. So I just said screw it and took off. Maybe not the smartest thing to do with 35 miles left in the race, but Freddy sprinted onto my wheel and said "vamos." Luckily I knew enough spanish to understand what he was saying, and I said "andale andale." We took turns pulling and caught the solo guy in about 15 minutes with the main pack nowhere to be seen. At the climb I was feeling it so I slowed down a bit. With less than a mile to go up the climb here comes John pulling a train of 3 riders. I couldn't hold that pace so I dropped back. Matt soon caught me and he made me suffer once again. The 5 riders ahead must have been 45 seconds ahead, but 45 seconds is nothing when you've got Matt's downhill skills. We caught the lead group on the decent in about 1 minute. That was awesome. I felt like Team Astana as Matt and I took the front and pulled John to the last climb. We did all we could to give him a nice lead out. It wasn't much on my part, but Matt was paving a nice path for our climbing contingent. All 5 riders rode past us as Matt and I sat up and said "our job is done" and cruised in. The only thing I was pissed about was that this guy who rode upright like he was on a beach cruiser ended up coming in 5th.

All in all, a fantastic weekend. We would have won both races if Freddy wouldn't have been there. He did deserve both victories though, and it was fun riding with a really smart rider. I just want to know how the hell he pisses and rides.

Congrats to Dan for an outstanding weekend as well.

It's also great to hear about Matt, Craig, John and Gabe's victory down south. Way to go!

See you all on the road.

Bob Wilcher
Killer B Fitness

UCLA Team Time Trial, Chicken Style!


While John, Bob, Dan, and Matt were kickin' some butt up north. A few other Chickens headed into the beautiful desert community of Lancaster for some good old fashioned Time Trial Racing!

They had two races on Sunday as part of the UCLA road race weekend. First was the Team TT. I personally have never done one, so I was excited and nervous to see how we would do. Our four person Team consisted of Craig Zimmerman, John VanMannekes, Gabe Garcia, and me.

After standing in 40 degree weather for 30 minutes to register we were informed that our start time was 9:18am it was currently 8:50am and we were still in pajamas and all our bikes and wheels and trainers were still in the truck. We scrambled like I've never scrambled before, got dressed, pinned on numbers, pumped up tires, rode one mile to the start line and got there with 30 seconds to spare...I'm not kidding. The starter yelled go and after two hours in the car and literally no warm-up we were on the rivet within 45 seconds. I can honestly say the first 5 minutes were about as painful and uncomfortable as any I can remember. When you're doing a Team Time Trial you can't just say "well I'm gonna take it easy for the first 5k" cuz you have to stay with the other 3 guys. The no warm-up and cold start hit Gabe the hardest and he lost contact about 5 miles in to the 12 mile race. So now we were just 3 and we had to stick together because the 3rd rider across the line is the one that stops the clock so you can afford to lose 1 teammate but not 2. After getting over the initial shock of the lactic acid overload and the traces of vomit climbing up our throats we settled into a nice rhythm. After the turn-around we really hit our stride and we were flying on the way back! On one downhill section John was on the front I was 2nd wheel about 3 inches off his back tire in the aero position when I look at my speedo (that's short for speedometer Robert) and we're going 42 miles an hour! It was awesome! Then a little further down the road we caught and passed a 4 woman team from Cal Poly. Blingerman was on the front and I was 3rd wheel, as we passed them I heard the girl on the front mutter "Holy S@*t!". I'm assuming she said that because our speed was so impressive... but she might have said it because of the massive amount of drool hanging out of the corner of my mouth. Either way it gave me an adrenaline rush and we hammered all the way to the line in 28:06. Good enough for 1st place in the cat 3 division and the 2nd fastest time of the day! Only the UCLA "A" team beat us by 15 seconds. But that doesn't really count because we're all old and have kids and they were all young and have nothing to do all day besides train... and recover from drunken Frat parties...and study to be doctors and engineers and easy stuff like that.

We were pretty stoked, and as soon as it was over we wanted to do it again 'cause we know we could've gone faster. Gabe was a little bummed but we were all right on the edge those first few minutes and any one of us could've popped. Besides he would redeem himself in the days 2nd race.

The individual TT took place on the same 20k course a few hours later. This time we had plenty of time to properly prepare and our start sequence was less dramatic. We all rode well and posted strong times in Cat 3 with me surprise here... 2nd place with a 29:29, John in 3rd with a 29:42, Blinger in 5th with a 30:09 and Gabe in 6th with a 30:39.

We checked the collegiate times cuz we wanted to see how the UCLA boys did as individuals. All four of them rode better than a 28:30 which shows how well we rode as a team. As individuals they were all much faster than us, but as a team they only got us by 15 seconds. And with a little practice and better preparation we can go even faster. I'm definitely excited to try a Team TT again in the near future.

The funniest part of the trip was when after the individual TT Blingerman's zipper got stuck on his skin suit. All three of us were trying to unzip the thing so we didn't have to cut it off of him. I had one hand on the collar and the other hand on the zipper pulling as hard as I could when suddenly my hand slips off the collar and I give Blinger a perfect uppercut right to the chin... He wobbled for a moment but like Muhammad Ali he refused to go down! Not only is Craig an excellent Time Trialist I think he would also make a great UFC fighter because clearly he can take a punch. Next time I'm gonna sucker punch him in the gut to see if he can handle body shots.

All in all a great day of racing. Congrats to Dan Rudd on a huge win at Pineflat. He's gonna have to give us the blow by blow. If there are any more race stories out there we'd all like to hear 'em. Win, lose, or draw... it's all good motivational material.

Great job Chickens!


Monday, February 16, 2009

Cantua & Pine Flats-Cat 5


Nothing like a weekend of racing! Matt Perry, Big Bob, and I started the weekend trip off on the right foot by hitting up the Chicken Ranch on the way out of town for some burritos for the road. Where else would we go? Next stop, the Motel 6 in beautiful East Coalinga, where the sheets made me more nervous than a 50 mph descent.

Day 1 - Cantua

Matt and Big Bob being the mountain bikers that they are were determined to make sure that they made the race hard. I'm pretty sure they just wanted to hurt people, which they did and will continue to do on every ride or race they ever take part in. Let's all just be glad we wear the same jersey as them. Each of them took turns attacking the field, which resulted in too many quick chases to mention. At the beginning of the second lap Matt went to the front and drilled the short descent and Bob looked at me and said, "Let's make it really hard." We formed a paceline at the front and after a few pulls I looked back and there was no one on our wheels, so we rejoined the pack, but we made it hurt enough to drop some people. After the last turnaround, Matt and Bob had already put the fear of god into the field, but they were still grumbling about the race not being hard enough. So, they did what they came to do and attacked a few more times. The last few miles everyone was looking at us saying, "Watch those guys." Matt took the lead and stared drilling it with me on his wheel into the 1k finishing climb. I saw the k to go sign and jumped, a mystery rider hopped right on my wheel. We got a nice gap and then he attacked me and I was saying to myself, "Damn this guy is fast." We were riding side-by-side and with 200 to go he hopped on my wheel as I was trying to jam my shifter into the big gear. With 150 to go the guy jumps hard and flew around me as I'm stil playing games with my shifter, 100 to go, Bob and Matt fly by! We cross the line with the Chickens in 2-3-4. Good stuff!

This mystery attacker was none other than our new friend Fredy Prado who we would get to know well over the weekend, but not too well because he only speaks a few words of English.

Dan road like the powerhouse he is and scored a podium (3rd) in the 45+ 4/5.

We had a little lunch at the local Red Robin and headed to the next great tourist destination California has to offer, the outskirts of Fresno!

Day 2- Pine Flat (the one with the hill)

We lined up at a chilly start and our new friend Fredy pointed at me and said, "Climb good, you try win, how many years you?" "Yes, I try win, I'm 27 years" I responded.

Needless to say we were on Fredy's radar screen. Maybe 15 miles in, Matt rolled off the front to take a tinkle and Fredy jumped around the group, sprinting like a mad man in the drops to get Matt's wheel. We were screaming, "Hey Freddy, he's gonna take a piss!" When Matt pulled off the road, Fredy was maybe 3 inches from his wheel and almost crashed into him. The scene was priceless as he realized what was going on and rolled back to the pack. Shortly after, a rider from Salinas attacked hard off the front before the descent and once we got on the roller section it was time to do some chasing. We tried to organize everyone and to reel in the rider, but it was just the three of us trading pulls. Everyone in the field was scared of the wind and had no interest in helping us bring the rider back. After Chicken Ranch train pulled, Bob was bored and wanted to make it interesting, so he attacked, HARD! Once again, Freddy shot out of the pack and bridged to a Chicken wheel, which was a few 100 meters down the road. Communication was a bit tough between them, so Bob yelled, "Fredy, VAMOS," and pointed up the road. They were off, awesome, Big Bob finally had his break.

Matt and I sat on high fiving each other and road 4th & 5th wheel as three guys chased, while everyone else just looked. On the rollers before the climb, one of the guys decided to really start racing and dropped the hammer, shelling all but a few of us out the back. When the climb started I just road tempo with a strong climber from team Vapor with a few others in tow. Maybe a mile and a half from the top we caught the break, which had become three and I shifted my mindset to racing! We crested the climb in a group of 5 and started the 5-6 mile rolling descent to the final climb. I was sitting second wheel and all of a sudden I hear Matt scream, "Are you read for the Chicken Ranch 1, 2, 3!" He and Bob had bridged and went right to the front. I came around the guy in front of me and said, "That's my ride!" That section was hands down one of the coolest experiences I've ever had on a bike, getting to follow my two buddies, flying down a cool descent with the adrenaline pumping. When the road flattened or popped up a bit I was yelling like a maniac, GO, GO, GO, RIDE, F*CKING HIT BOB. Bob would look back with his face redder than a tomato nodding his head.

Finally, the shallow rise before the steep final climb. Matt takes off as hard as he can, it's not going to stick and our small climber group is going full gas at the climb. Fredy attacks hard on the 1st section of the steep climb, the Salinas rider couldn't keep the pace as a whipped around him. It was just me and Fredy throwing down all we had, riding side-by-side, slugging it out. The final steep section had a sharp switch back and I thought now or never and attacked the hell out of it and got a small gap. I crested the final climb on to the shallow rise to the finish and made it about halfway to the line before sitting down and backing off a bit (it hurt). Fredy smelled my weakness and threw the final attack and went to the line. I rolled to the line in 2nd behind Fredy pounding on my bars disappointed I couldn't finish what I came to do.

Bob and Matt rolled in for 6 & 7, so there were some good results for the Chicken Ranch boys and more importantly a whole lot of fun. Getting back to the parking lot we hooked back up with Dan who soloed to a win! Nice!

Driving back we were all overcome with the riding our new friend Fredy through down. Matt told us how at the beginning of the race Fredy was taking a piss, while he was still riding his bike, mad skills that guys has. Bob and I were completely dismayed and couldn't imagine how a cat 5 racer could race so well, let alone piss and pedal at the same time. A quick google search of Fredy Prado popped up a bunch of race results for pro Mexican stage races from a few years back. Huh! What was he doing in the 5's?

John A. Comunale

Monday, February 9, 2009

Weekend Race Reports


I made the incredibly smart decision to drive down to San Diego Friday night to try and do the two races schedule in the area. After five hours of traffic accidents every few miles and rain so hard the wipers didn't work fast enough, we made it to San Diego. We got up early Saturday to head east to the booming metropolis of Boulevard, CA. When we were getting out of the car to register it was 38 degrees and pouring down rain. I was trying to keep come enthusiasm going as the weather was a bit demoralizing, but I definitely wanted to get out there and leave it on the road.

We started the 1st lap with a cold fast descent and at the base of the descent the rain started coming down a little harder. I was just cruising 6-10th wheel on the roller section until I dropped my chain and had to get of my bike before chasing back on to the lead group. We crested the climb for the 1st time and the lead group was about 20.

Fast forward to the bottom of the descent on the second lap it started SNOWING and snowing hard! When the snow started coming down after being soaking wetting and freezing, I definitely wanted to light up the climb and get a good result. We were all drilling the rollers hard and when the big climb started about 5 of us road away from the field, then 4, then 3.
Myself and two others were hammering through the snow alone the last few miles. The other two guys were definitely strong, but all I could think about was how I'd get across the finish line 1st. One of my friends told to remember that when it hurts really bad on the climb that everyone is feeling the same pain, so keep pushing, which was some good advice. With a 1k to go I was ready to attack, but our group of 3 was flying, so I held off.
Finally, 200 meters to go and I got a rush of adrenaline and knew it was time to hit it. Click, click, click on the shifter and I stood up sprinting as hard as I could and gave a look back with about 150 to go and saw I had a nice gap, they couldn't respond! I was telling myself to just keep going as hard as I could to the line, so there was no way I'd get caught. I crossed the line, still sprinting as I heard one of the two snow bound spectators yell, "Way to go Chicken Ranch!"

I was so psyched, I won the race! It was really satisfying to ride through the rain, snow, and the climbing induced pain cave to a win.

Riding back to the car the 2nd place finisher was pulled off of the road standing there shaking with the snow coming down. I stopped and gave him my left over Cytomax and realized that my hands and feet were totally numb as well.

Getting back to the car, the pro and cat 3 races were getting ready to roll as the snow continued to fall and they were all definitely not happy to be out in those conditions. Then a very excited Ken Hanson rolls up screaming about how he's in his element and is ready to race. The numbers in the pro field dwindled really quick as all of the Jelly Belly, Team Type 1 (besides Ken), and most of the cat 1/2 riders dropped out during the 1st lap. 3 laps in I went to the feed zone with Ken's girlfriend and next thing you know Ken and this guy named Floyd ride by with no knee warmers.... Crazy!

Now I'm off to a crit. In the rain..... Sweet!


yo matt..just got in from san diego..wanna give you a weekend update..raced red trolley down in just 2 pts from cat course, short w/a nice drop into the final turn and then a little kicker up to the final stretch..i latched onto some guy on the drop and he powered me up the hill, 2 guys were able to make it around us on the stretch then i was able to dig in enough to move around my leadout sucker into 3rd...kinda suffered in the middle of the race cuz my dumb ass feeling fresh at the start tried to go in a break..i composed and tried to relax the rest of the way then moved up w/3 laps to i was happy w/my finish...last 2 weekends of racing have been my only high-intensity riding all winter but my legs are starting to feel stronger..some good training the next 3 weeks then nevada..i saw a chicken riding cat 5 but didnt get to talk to guys get some wet rides in this weekend?....ray.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Message from the USFS and City about Front Country Trails

This just in from Dave @ the Multi Use Trails Coalition.

Dear leaders of our cycling community,

I spoke with Kerry Kellogg of the USFS this AM about some maintenance related trail stuff and up came the topic of the recently plowed ridge/trail that is just south/east to and parallel to 154. He informed me that he was receiving complaints from landowners of mountain bikers trespassing on private property which makes up the lower part of this trail. Most likely the property owners are calling the police and the USFS is then getting the message. Currently to exit this trail in most cases you will need to trespass lower or head back up the way you came in. He made it clear to me that cyclists were the only reported users on this trail that were trespassing. This was not a threatening conversation instead he was just informing me.

Last week Jill Zachary from City Parks informed me that cyclists were using Parma Park while it still closed to the public on the fire roads and trails. She wanted me to help remind everyone that the single track in Parma is off limits to cyclists and to please only use the park when it reopens.

This email isn't me trying to tell people how and where to ride their bikes. Instead I just want to remind everyone that mountain bikers have been and will continue to be under a microscope in the eyes of the agencies and public. As leaders in the community I believe we are obligated to try and do what we can to improve the image of mountain bikers. Hopefully getting the message about these two areas to the masses can prevent any future consequences that may impact our access.



Sunday, February 1, 2009

Mothballs Race Reports

I sure am glad these race reports keep coming in. I enjoy getting a feel for the action. Thanks!

Early report form the Mothball's

Bill Cutler 3rd in the 5's (1st podium for Bill)!
I was 4th in the 45+
Pete Clements was 5th

Cat 3 Matt was you guessed it 2nd!!!!!!

Ken and Dano were between 4 and 7th in the 4's

Aaron Long was tape 5 ish in the 3's..

Fun racing today.. More soon,


Hi all!

It was so great to see so many Chicken Ranchers out all day...well, all
Morning, anyway. My race was not until 3pm, and by then most of you
were all probably at Super Bowl parties....but some (one) of us were
(was) still out there for 50 minutes of fun/pain.

I lined up with about 55 (!) women in the 1/2/3/4 race. It was an
impressive of the largest to date, and I'm sure the largest
Mothballs has seen in awhile! There were some fast girls there, lots of
1s and 2s. I was flying solo for this one, being the only girl Rancher
to race, and so my strategy was simple: Don't let anything get too far
away, and try my hardest to be in any break that goes.

After a few laps of sketchyness....and a few halfhearted attacks by the
NOW girls, a break went about 1/3 of the way into our 50 minute race. I
was on the outside, about halfway back, and I saw my friend Heather on
the inside also thinking about bridging, and I went for it. I had so
much momentum, that when I caught up I actually sort of went by them!
Anyway, it was good, and there were 7 of us. We organized quickly and
got a good gap on the field. I didn't know how much time we had on
them...but at one point i heard someone on the field say 30 seconds. I
knew there was some horsepower we had left behind, so it wouldnt be
easy. We dropped Heather after a couple laps, and then there were 6. I
was pushing the envelope, but feeling ok. I managed to sprint for a
prime ,my first ever ,and won! I also lost one by a nose... oops. We
all worked hard in the break, managed to keep everyone motivated, and
hanging on. I could tell everyone was getting tired. THe problem was,
I didn't know how far the main field was. WE lapped probably 15-20
people, but I knew there was a strong field chasing. So when we had 3
to go I know I had to bury myself. I ended up dragging the field around
the last lap so they could all sprint around me at the end. Smart move
(not!!!). oops. My thinking, however, was that if the break stuck, I
would at least get top 6, but I didn't want to have done all that work
only to get swallowed up in the end... Turns out we had a HUGE gap and
it was a non-issue... I guess it is a learning experience. :-)

Bottom line: I got 6th in a 1/2/3/4 race. All the others in the break
were 1s and 2s, and the next highest 3 finisher was 12th. I won a
prime, and I earned some respect. Everyone in the break seemed to know
each other, and afterwards they were all asking me who I was! I know it
was the magic of the Chicken Ranch Skinsuit...oh, and just maybe it is
from hammering with you guys all the time! It was the hardest I think
I have ever pushed in a race. On the last 3 laps, my heart rate didn't
go under 200(!) and I didn't even know I had a 203 in me! I do...

Anyway, so I know you were not there to see it...but the long girl
Rancher today worked hard. And got a good result for the team. And she
is severly jet lagged and going to bed now.

G'night all! I watched most of you today, and I've gotta say, this team
is awesome! Not only do we have SO MANY PEOPLE in nearly ever race, but
we get the results, and have a lot of fun.

Congrats! When's the next one?


Just a few quick observations:

1. Why do so many people in slings and on crutches show up to watch Crits (not counting Barney)? Nothing freaks me out more before going out to do a crit than seeing someone hobble up with pins in their legs.

2. In the porta potties, what are these people eating? If someone in my household had that kind of action going on in their digestive tracks, we'd be at the hospital right now.

3. There's nothing cooler than seeing moms and dads cheer on their kids racing, no matter what age.

4. There's nothing cooler than having your own kids cheer you on (thanks Charlie and Maisie)!

5. Is it just me, or does everyone except for the Chicken Ranchers seem so serious?

6. How come they don't do podium ceremonies? Here you bust your ass for a top 6 placing so that you can go pick up $15 from Angie Bell (who by the way does an awesome job and even includes a nice note about seeing you at Mothballs again next year). No bash on the organizers, but it sure would be nice to see who beat who (or is that whom?).

7. Do aero wheels really work? It's tough to tell as there are some really fast guys out there using 32 spokes.

8. Is it better to warm up on a wind trainer or ride around? I saw way fewer wind trainers in the parking lot this year. Is that fad over? If so, I can't wait to sell mine.

9. The more I see last year's Chicken Ranch kit, the more I realize how ugly that thing was (Druber, I still love ya).

10. Why are the officials so angry? Someone asked if the lap cards could be raised a bit so that you didn't have to look down to see how many freakin' laps are left. You would have thought the official was asked to strip naked and run on hot coals by the tone of his response.

Anyhow, I sucked in the 3's. I was in good position in the final corner and then got pushed outside (way outside, like to Hollister). As usual, Matt killed it and Aaron got a high placing. I freewheeled in to save my sprint for the 30+ 3/4 Worlds. By the way, it's always fun to race with Aaron, Matt, Dave, and Gabe, but adding in John and Tory has been awesome. Those guys like to attack.

The 30+ 3/4 was immediately after the finish of the 3's. I don't think I've ever done back to back crits before. Bill Cutler (who heroed earlier in the day for a 3rd place) dutifully delivered my bag to me in between races with a fresh bottle, Red Bull, a Gu, and a nice rub down. Well not really a rub down, but the way he held my bag out towards me, you would have thought he was the ring bearer at a wedding.

The 30+ 3/4 was pretty smooth, not too fast until Larsen got in a break with 3 other guys. They killed it out there. With 3 to go, I thought it would stick. With 1 to go I wasn't sure. I was a total spectator until the back stretch when I realized this thing might end in a sprint. Dano did a great pull to get me near the front and then Gabe was up there going good. I wasn't sure what I had left but I sprinted to 2nd place. Really fun to race with Coach, Mitch, Brett, and all the Ranchers. Finally, Larsen's effort was amazing. My prediction is pops is about to peak again and nail it.


The First Road Race of The Year!

Sorry gang, if I'm a little slow on the posting right now. My email has changed. Here are the latest race reports from Saturday's races.

Hello Everyone,

Well I thought I'd take a stab at the first race report. But by no means does that excuse the rest of you from telling your stories!

The Cat 3 race started about as friendly as any race I can remember. We were comfortably conversational all the way to the first turn-around about 17 miles in. It was kind of embarrassing 'cause the Cat 5 group that started 5 minutes behind us came flying by us like we were standing still.

Things picked up after the turn-around and as we hit the return climb towards the end of the first lap an attack went off the front. I decided to go with it 'cause Dave had warned me to "race aggressive! We have enough sprinters!". Oh, by the way Dave broke his chain on the first climb about 6 miles into the race and had to abandon, so we were without our "Patron". I ended up in a break of about 12 riders with one other Chicken Rancher, Tory "The Razor" Gillett. Meanwhile the big gun sprinters on our team like Blinger, Gabe, John "The Van-Man" Van Mannekes, and Aaron were content to sit back and save their legs and to wait and see if the field would bring us back.

Our breakaway group worked well together and basically pace-lined it for 50 miles and they never caught us. So it was left up to me to deliver the goods at the finish line. Unfortunately, when I wasn't looking someone strapped two logs to my legs and when I went to sprint it felt like I was wearing stilts! Needless to say my pathetic 25 mph "stilt- sprint" did not seal the deal and I ended up 4th. I think we would've had a better chance of a Rancher winning if the sprinter group had caught us. We had a lot of horse-power sittin' in back there. But we all raced well together, we had a good strategy and didn't make fools out of ourselves, the weather was outstanding, and nobody crashed! All in all a pretty successful day!

The only other riders I knew in the break were two Platinum boys. Chester Gillmore and Ron Tekada. The rest of the guys I'm sure were all doping......Well, OK I'm not 100% sure they were doping but it felt like they must be doping and it makes me feel better to imagine that they least the 3 guys who beat me.

I know we had at least a couple other Chicken Ranchers finish in the top two in a couple other races but I'll let them tell their own stories. Even if we didn't win we were by far the best looking Team out there on the road and in the end that's probably way more least for pictures. Speaking of which, I took exactly zero pictures, so if anyone has any pictures to share please send them to Greg. I think we also won the "Miss Congeniality" award for being the nicest guys at the race so that gives us some momentum going into tomorrow's Mothballs showdown.

Great job everyone!

See you tomorrow,


Hi there!

My race report isn't that interesting, but at least the women ranchers
put up a good result in the form of ultra-speedy-climber Susie Willett!
As most of you know, I spent over 24 of the last 40 hours on a train or
plane or sitting in an airport, not really the best way to get your legs
ready for a race! And since my circadian rhythm is telling me that it
is 9 hours later than it really is...let's just say it might not have
been an ideal day for a road race. But I did it anyway, and it was
actually pretty fun!

The W3/4 race was slow from the get-go. There was one rider making
things *interesting* in the form of pass the peloton over the centerline
and then attack. Then sit up, then repeat. This was how the whole race
went--I think my brakes got more workout than my legs for awhile there!
Anyway, things got a bit speedier on the way back, and sure enough, the
climbers went on that final long climb, which alas was too long for my
airplane-legs. I got gapped, and then the chase was on. I worked with
one other girl, and we tried and tried to catch back up. I thought we
were going to do it...but then lost a few precious seconds trying to get
the follow car to notice us so I could get by... I rounded the final
corner by the feedzone and realized I wasn't quite gonna make it.....I
gunned it and crossed the finish line in 14th, right behind Lauren
(UCSB) who had led out Jen (UCSB) for the win. So close.....

Susie, however, rocked the climb, and ended up 2nd!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!

Maybe tomorrow will be more my thing. I just need to convince my legs
that they can climb just a LITTLE better so I can use that sprinting
power for something more useful and exciting than 14th!

See you all tomorrow!!! And good job to everyone today! I saw so many
Ranchers out there--got tons of comments on how awesome the kit looks,
and I think we are off to a great start! I'm happy to be a part of this

Kimberly Turner (so jet lagged she is going to sleep now).

In the 1st cat 5 group we had Dan, Brian, Bill, Dave J, Matt Perry and myself. The 1st half of the lap was a pretty reserved pace, but we could have been a part of a bloopers video when we got to the turnaround. I think we were the 1st group to go through the turnaround area, so the UCSB course marshals (they must be cat 5 marshals) didn’t tell us to go right until some riders were already turning left. It was pretty comical as only about half of the field actually went around to the right and the others to the left, so we were all turning into each other, which was complete chaos.

The second half of the lap was faster with Matt and a few others mixing it up at the front. I road about 10th wheel waiting for the climb to come, so I could try and thin the field to a small group that could hopefully get to the finish. I rode the 1st half of the climb pretty hard and looked around and there was only one rider within a couple of bike lengths. I slowed up and offered some encouragement, hoping I’d have a few people to get organized with for the flats. As we got to the top, three of us came together and not too long after Dan & Matt bridged up with a few others, with another couple riders joining a few miles down the road. The last couple of k’s there were probably 10 of us as Dan and I sat on for a bit as two Fast Friday riders did all of the work. Going into the sprint, I was kicking myself for not attacking before we fanned out taking up every inch of road and I’m no Eric Zabel. As I sat up, Dan saw a gap and started moving like a freight train through it, but the riders on each side must have not liked his speed as they tried to make a sandwich out of him. Matt Perry the bike handling maestro moved effortlessly to the front and took 2nd!

Every person I saw in a Chicken Ranch jersey crossed the line with a smile, so it’s probably safe to say that we definitely had the most fun…!


A brief follow up on John's E mail from one of the Cat 5 guys who was gapped before the first turn. It was a scary but funny , watching you guys make that first turn with no direction from anyone of the race organizers and watching them run around and try to reset the cones before we got there. Thankfully no one got hurt.
But the highlight of my day even more than passing the cat 3s on the way out was the support I saw among the Chicken ranch team for all its members (including newbies like me). I did not see that kind of verbal encouragement coming to members of other groups If I didn't respond with more than a smile and nod it was only because I was gasping for air at the time but it felt great. Dave thanks for yelling to catch and stay with those Cat 4 guys at the top of the hill ,I did and stayed with them the rest of the way. (I was kind of discouraged at the time thinking that you had already finished 2 laps and ridden out to watch).
When I was considering becoming part of the team and a sponsor, Matt talked with me about the philosophy of being inclusive and supportive to all team members and it was sure evident today.
Good luck tomorrow for those racing and I will be out to root you on .

Bill M

After begging for a spot in the 5 A group to race with my fellow Chicken Ranchers I had to settle for 5 Bs. I think my grandma could have stayed with the 5 Bs for the first 17 miles until the turn around.

When we hit the climb the pack thinned out a bit. I suffered up it, but managed to cling onto the 3rd group and we quickly joined the 2nd group. I helped bridge us up to the first group and if someone would have moved the finish line 200m closer I would have won, but I had to settle for 6th I think. I think I was doing a little too much work in the last 5 km to have anything left for the sprint.

I talked with Big Rob, the only other Rancher in 5 Bs that I saw, about strategy before the race and he quickly said "Hey man, this is my first race," so I forgot about the strategy and just road.

If I had to do it again I would have liked to work with a few guys earlier on to thin the pack out before the big climb. I think we could have stayed away. This is all hypothetical of course, but maybe next time.

I had a lot of fun, and can't wait to regroup tomorrow.

Congrats to everyone.

Bob Wilcher
Killer B Fitness
126 Powers Ave, Santa Barbara, CA 93103

As Matt mentioned, he was able to get to the front at the base of the long climb and stay w/ the lead group, which ended up being the move of the day. I made what turned out to be the dumb move of the day and take a nature break a couple of miles before the base of the climb, which left me at the back of the group. I figured that Iʼd have enough time to work my way up towards the front before the start of the climb. Unfortunately, the group wasnʼt going very fast leading up to the climb, so we were 5 wide w/ no room to maneuver through the pack. I spent a lot of time and energy trying to work the edges of the yellow line and the right side of the road trying to move up. The next thing I know we were hitting the climb and Iʼm still ½ way back in the pack. By the time we get to the top, I see Matt and Toryʼs group of 13 off the front. They had a good gap, and we were left w/ about 10 riders trying to bridge.

Coming to the turnaround under the Start/Finish line for the start of the second lap, I could see we were within striking distance of the lead group. Shortly after, Tory backed off the lead group and joined our chase group. It was when we picked up Tory that I decided to put in some hard efforts to bridge the gap. My reasoning was that the lead group of 12 only contained 1 Rancher, Matt. Our group of 10 contained 4 Ranchers, thus weʼd have the numbers to help Matt if we bridged. A few La Grange guys helped w/ the chase since they didnʼt have anyone in the break. At one point we were close enough that the follow vehicle was backing off from the leaders and got ready to get behind the chase group. I was at the front and pulled off thinking someone would pull through and finish bridging. Unfortunately that wasnʼt the case and no one pulled though. I think that those of us that were doing the work were too gassed to finish the job. It was then that the front group gapped us even more and the chase group backed off. We cruised back and at the base of the final climb, Steve Smith from Platinum and Blinger picked up the pace. Over the top, the pace picked up and a rider from Bishops Peak took a hard pull, but no one followed his wheel. I jumped out of the saddle and got on his wheel. One quick look back and I could see the two of us had a gap. Another look back and I could see Toryʼs CR jersey at the front blocking . At this point it was 2 of us working together, we picked up another rider who tried to bridge the gap to the leaders earlier, making us 3 working together to the finish. Going into the finish I decided to try my legs for a long downhill sprint. I took off early, and got caught at the line. I ended up finishing in 14th place. I wish I would have made the lead group, but that being said, I was happy w/ my fitness and my result.

Sorry if it was a little long winded :-)