Monday, April 27, 2009

Some Ventura Updates!

For those of you interested in doing the Ventura SR in a few weeks, you might want to know that they changed the TT course. It was originally slated to end on a steep, out of the saddle climb, where the use of a TT bike was not beneficial.

Its my guess that they changed it in order to keep the spectators in downtown Ventura and to make the race more competitive. The course now wraps around the streets of downtown w/ 2 short climbs and some straightaways. It no longer has the long steep climb. The time gaps will now be closer after the TT.


For anybody not riding the Ventura Stage Race, Sea to Summit is also that weekend, the 16th. It's 88 epic miles, lots of climbing, that starts in Ventura and ends at Mnt. Pinos. Typically has a fairly small turn out of 100 or so riders, but there is always a group of 15 or 20 that are racing it with full support vehicles. It is a lot of fun and a real accomplishment to just finish. Here is our own Danny Rudd's excellent blog about last years event....

Here is a map of the course:

Here is some info, mainly for volunteers but it has ride contact stuff as well. I have a flyer I can email to anyone interested. It is run by some Quasi Cult Religious Rehab program, but hey, if you expire at the summit your soul will be taken care of.



A Mountain Biker Is Born!

Hi fellow chickens and chickenettes,

(warning, this is a long one, so if you want the bottom line, skip to the bottom)

So today I did my first mountain bike race. So many of you made it seem like so much fun, I just had to try it! As expected there were some hiccups, but all in all a spectacular time, and I can't wait for the next one!

So I borrowed a bike, graciously loaned by fellow chickenette Kim Lyons. The only problem was, the bike was in Santa Ynez, and I wouldn't be able to get it until the morning of the race. Not a problem, I thought, I could just get there early and figure it out then. I would jsut swap out the pedals, adjust the seat, and go. Which is pretty much what happened, although not without the help of Barney, because I wasn't strong enough to get Kim's pedals OFF the bike! (note to self--must build upper body strength a tad...). Then the rear tire was flat!

While holding the bike while Kim took the wheel off, I did what I guess anyone who has disk brakes knows you should NEVER do, somehow I pulled the brake lever. Oops. Then the wheel wouldnt go back on. NOthing like last minute mechanic work-- I got to learn how disk brakes worked, and got the brake working again (thanks to Mark Luke and David Larsen and Blinger). Then I got to preride a little, and get everyone's last minute advice. Some of it included...pedal up the hills, just use your granny gear, it's all in your head, get in front before the climbs, etc. Sounds easy enough, I thought!

At the start, I was with the other 15 or so beginner women. I got a good start and passed all but 1 person before the first hill. I had a good gap on the rest of the field, but that was soon thwarted when I realized I didn't know how to climb the hill! I got in my granny gear and spun happily, until the front wheel started coming off the ground...I shifted my weight forward, but with no prior practice....alas I lost so much momentum I had to get off and run. A girl passed me and

then I was mad. I got to the top of the hill and soon there was an

off-camber downhill. I love to go downhill, but alas, when you have never done something, it might not be the time to pull out all the stops! I was flying along happily, and then hit a little bump and flew in the air. Came down fine, but scared myself a bit and decided I should slow down. Unfortuantely that didn't happen in time before i hit another bump and didn't land so well that time. I flew in the air and landed on my elbow. Ouch. I layed there a minute or 2 and let a few guys pass me, and 2 girls. The guys asked me if I was ok, and I"m pretty sure I said "I'm not sure". Good answer...

Anyway, I decided I was fine, and that I needed to keep racing. I got back on my bike and off I went. I was feeling ok, but there was a lot of blood. I didn't really like that thought, so I forgot about it. I passed the guys again, to which they said "I guess you're ok" and kept going. I passed one girl and then saw the other. I kept this time the course got a LOT easier (or I started figuring out how to ride this fat tire thing). I finally got to open it up and use my cardio fitness a little, and then I noticed that the race was almost over. Oops. Nothing like hitting your groove at mile 10 of an 11 mile

race! I passed the final girl on the run into the finish in a

crit-worthy sprint. Aside from a horrible bruise and an abrasion/laceration worse than I've ever had in a road race, I'm good to go.

The bottom line: I got 2nd place in my age group...and more importantly had a great time! I think I'll be partaking in more dirt rides in the future!

It was really fun seeing all the chickens there! I saw lots of chickens on the podium! It was very fun and I really appreciated all the comraderie and fun. Congrats to you all--I won't mention you by name since there were so many and I'm sure you want to brag on your own!

Thanks for making my first mountain bike race fun.



Friday, April 17, 2009

Multiuse Trails Coalition Updates & Opportunities

Dear Trail Users,

This past Thursday, April 16th the City, County, and USFS sponsored a "stakeholder group" meeting to review ongoings of our front country trails before the May 6th Task Force public hearing. Groups represented were ourselves, SBMTV, Sierra Club, and Santa Barbara Trails Council.

The agenda of the meeting consisted of review of current trail maintenance projects, trail leader training and IMBA Trail Care Crew visit, upcoming State and National Trail Days, and current recommendations by the staff.

As for current front country projects: a USFS crew just finished working on a large part of Rattlesnake Cyn. They are now focusing on fire burned areas in the back country. Our own Front Country Trail Crew will be hosting Happy Hour on the trail next Tuesday to do a little debrushing on Jesusita towards Inspiration Point. Contact us if interested in attending.

A review of trail crew leaders training and the IMBA Care Crew was discussed in some detail. Both events had excellent attendance and show that many people are willing to become involved in local trail maintenance.

State Trail Day is this Saturday! Join the USFS and LPFA to help clean up North Tunnel/Matias Trail in Devils Canyon. Click HERE for more info.... Mark your calendars now! Although National Trail Day is 6/6, locally we will be celebrating it on 6/13 by cleaning up Romero Canyon Trail. This event is going to be old school Chris King style huge! Plan on an after party at Manning Park just like in the old days, check our volunteer calendar for the details of this event.

As for the recommendations, they are slowly coming into shape. Budgets by the agencies are being made to hire a part time Trails Coordinator. Other topics included the ongoing debate of the UTAP Trail Condition Survey Method and how to go about surveying our trails. More to come on this topic.. Next Public Hearing is on 5/6 and if you would like to comment about any of the above topics please attend this meeting to do so.

And Other Upcoming Events...

Bicicentro needs volunteers for Earth Day, Sunday 4/19. Bicicentro is expecting to help valet up to 500 bikes throughout the day. Needless to say they need help to make this happen. Contact Ed France if you can help out

Santa Ynez Mountain Bike Classic Needs You! Kim Lyons and Hecker are looking for volunteers to help out with the SYMBC happening on the 24th-26th of April. They are in need of all types of positions and are offering a prize raffle for all that help out. Contact Kim for more info

Thank you,

The Multiuse Trails Coalition,