Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rick's Lost Video

Hey Gang, I was just going through and cleaning out some emails when I ran across this from Rick Martz. No reason not to share it. After the Tour, I'm jonesing for more!

Hey Greg,

I have a semi-epic video of Amgen from a road-side perspective. The surroundings, the fans, some riders, me, the day as it was J And some groovy people who were across the street playing 60’s music but had a jumper cable meltdown that was hilarious when it went down … after a day of libations … it is @ 8.5 MB and a .wmv format. I had a great day but missed The Seinfeld Show go by, damm!

Best regards,


Lance's Tweets

I was just looking at some of Lance's recent tweets and ran accross this.

RT @LIVESTRONG: For those that dont know about @fatcyclist story. Go to If you feel moved, write a note of sup ...

It's a pretty touching story, if you get the chance to read it.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Big Rob = Champion!

Chickens and Chickenettes-

This past Sunday was the finale of the So. Cal. Series and as usual, Big Bear was beautiful. Temps in the high 70s and clear.

The course was the same as the first race but we went around it backwards. Racer turnout was moderate as I believe alot of the divisions were decided at the previous 7 races.

Chicken Ranch was represented by 1 (me) and Fastrack was there (Mark Rusin, my radiologist) and we were in the same race.

We even had strategy. I told Mark to just go as fast as he could to the top of the climb and then we would just work over any body that was left.

30 minutes of climbing later there was no body in the same zip code. We ended up finishing 1-2 in the race. After the free taco's and beer (not free), the state series results were posted and what do you know, there was Big Rob winning the whole shebang and Mark Rusin in second.

Now all I want to do is be like my hero, Dr. Kim Turner and win the State Championships so I too can wear the Bear.

Thanks to Chicken and Dave for helping me win the first thing I have ever won in my life, and to ALL the Chickens and Chickenettes. What a team we have. Thanks to God too.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Jane Says Thanks!

Here is a message from Jane (Heal Quickly Jane)

Dear Chickens,
I'm not on everyone's CR mailing list so I've missed a lot of the messages that have come through these past couple days, but Kim's been keeping me posted. I am so touched by all your sweet comments and your wonderful words of support and encouragement. Talk about getting choked up! I was a late and tentative addition to the Chickenettes this year, but it only took one race and a few rides with you before I felt absolutely included, and it's been a ridiculous amount of fun to be part of this team. Even with my generic black shorts and my one too-small CR jersey, I definitely felt like a member of the team. Kimberly and Susie have been awesome mentors and great new friends. And it's been crazy-fun to scream "Go Chickens!" at all the races! I guess I won't be doing the Everest Challenge this year, but I hope to be all healed up and ready to race next season.

It may not be the greatest race strategy, but I've learned how fun it is to be out front in a crit so that I can hear "Jane Faulkner of Chicken Ranch" over and over on the loud speaker. It's probably some vestige of a childhood need for attention that was never met, but if hearing my name amplified and winning a few races meets that old need, then I say it's all good. I was just unlucky on Sunday.

I just got home from the hospital and am doing really well. My concussion was worse than they originally thought, but I'll go in for a few more checks and I see the ortho tomorrow about the broken bones. I'm hoping to get by without any surgery. Kim has been nothing short of amazing: besides being a stellar massage therapist and a great coach, it turns out he can also deal with a sobbing, puking woman while driving one-handed and rubbing my neck. He also does a better ponytail than I can do. I'm in good hands.

Thanks again for all your lovely messages and kind words. I love you guys.

SLO Crit, A State Champ is Crowned!

Hi all!

Today was the SLO crit, which was really not slo(w) at all... I got my still-coughing-but-feeling-slightly-better self up at 5:30am to drive there this morning and race the crit. Chicken Ranch had a full women's squad out there, with 5 of us toeing the line. Susie, Jane, Sarah, myself, and our newest member, Edina (Eddy), were all up for this race.

We actually had strategy, and team tactics to play, and play we did.

Unfortunately the field was more than a bit sketchy, and there were THREE crashes during the race! Things started off well, with Jane winning the first prime. The 3 of us cat 3s decided to use the 2nd prime as a practice leadout, and Susie and Jane delivered me to the line first in perfect form :-). That in hand, I was feeling pretty good for most of the race. We tried to tire people out with some attacks, and I'm happy to report that Chicken Ranch got some serious airtime!

With 2 to go, I was too far back and getting nervous about positioning, but yet again a teammate came through in the form of Sarah Patz! Sarah had raced yesterday, too, and yet still had the energy to try and help me get up where I needed to be. I found a hole, and went up front. I saw some people coming over on the outside, and Jane was 2nd wheel.

Perfect. I latched onto that train, and around the final turn we went.

With about 1.5 blocks to go I launched, and came around them both, and never looked back. Finally a victory!!!!!!! Unfortunately, the sprinting pack got a little squirrelly, however, and behind me a couple of people got together, and Jane was caught up in a crash, which took a few riders right into the barriers (this is what I heard...I didn't even know it happened until I came back around...I guess when you're sprinting for the win you lose your hearing???). So that dampened things a bit. Susie and I went to see Jane at the ER on our way home.

She was being really brave, although she has a broken wrist and cracked scapula... ouch. Please send her your good thoughts, as she raced a really awesome race today (and yesterday, too where she claimed a 4th place).

I must say, that the womens CR team really came together today, and I am really happy to have been able to deliver us a V. :-) And since it was the So-Cal State Championship, even better!

I don't know how the other Races went today, as Susie and I left rather early to go check on Jane, but I hope all was well!

As always, I'm proud to be a part of this team.


Way to go Kimberly and to the rest of the girls!!

We were in the staging area waiting for the 3's race when the womens race was coming through on their final lap. It was an awesome site seeing all the CR girls drilling it near the front, then seeing Kimberly driving it w/ no one being able to get around her. Kimberly "State Crit Champ" Turner :-) sounds pretty good! As for for Jane, hoping for a quick recovery. Jane's crash looked really bad.

The men's 3's race was going really good.....until the final corner. The race had a full field of 75 riders and was fast w/ constant attacks. After dodging a number of mid-race crashes, all the CR'ers found themselves in the top 10 w/ only 2 corners to go. We were all sitting in good position when the rider sitting 3rd wheel overcooked one of the final corners and took out Matt, Ben, and myself. Most of the top 10 riders got taken out. Matt was shoved into the barriers, but managed to stay upright, Ben took a flyer over the hay bails and the fence, and I went down suffering minor scratches to the body and bike. On a good note, John VanMan managed to get through the mess for a top 10 finish. We're all OK, but bummed that we were all there, but couldn't finish it off.

I saw a bunch Ranchers riding around and racing, so hopefully we'll get more race reports.


July 4, 2009. A small field of 20 or slightly more 55, 60+ took off shortly after 800 AM under overcast skies and cool weather at Camp San Luis. It was a bit unclear to me, but I believe 3 riders broke away individually over the first couple of laps, including our own local, Karl (or Carl?) Weber. I heard later from Karl, these three eventually joined up at some point, but at the sprint finish, Karl emerged the winner. Note; Karl is 59, top of the

55 group and will be a formidable 60+ next year.

I managed to hang with the chase group of 6-7 riders through 5 laps of the 6 lap race, but unfortunately got dropped near the top of the final hill.

Riding alone, I maintained my position until the final few yards when someone passed me, possibly a 55+, but I’m not sure.

Final result, 11th over all; 4th 60+ against some of the top 60’s. If there had been a 65+, I would have won that, but believe there was only one rider older than me. See, eventually everyone dies off ;), so the longer you can last your odds of eventually winning increase.

All in all a good day, and I liked the course very much in spite of a few well marked pot holes and ruts. No one crashed in my race to my knowledge.

Note: I had an excellent pre race breakfast at Denny’s which included two poached eggs, Oatmeal, brown sugar and milk, a large bowl of fresh fruit and a cup of yogurt for $5.99 as I recall. Needless to say, I didn’t run out of gas during the race.


Rim Nordic, Big Rob Style

Hello Chickens and Chickenettes. This is the Big Rob version of the Nordic race report. First, I would like to say how nice it was to see some fellow team mates at the signup table. We were well represented and made a fine showing of true grit racing. The cat 3 race started in the cool of the morning and stayed that way for about 2 minutes then got hot. Our group strung out immidiately and after a mile it was just me and another guy.I was the better climber (no upper body, right Dano) and he would catch me descending. It was Elings Park all over again. I crashed on the last down hill and had to chase the guy down. I needed about 2 more feet of race course as the posted time was measured in 10ths of a second betweeen 1st and 2nd. After some food and oxygen, we enjoyed watching Gabe take the cat 2 to school. Congrats Gabe, it was fun chatting while we waited for the rest of the group. We saw every one come in except for Paul and thought maybe he flattted when around the final corner he came and didnt stop till he reached the medical tent. It was all macho talk until the "it might sting a little" stuff was poured over his wounds. Its been a while since i have seen that much blood on some one who was still moving. I was glad to see him walking around later but i'm bettin he did'nt work today.Mark Rusin and Mike Roberts ( both from Ojai but Chickens at heart till next year) both had podium finishes and it was traffic free on the way home. All in all it was a great experience. I am now putting out a challenge to ALL Chicken Ranchers. The 12th of next month is the last race at Big Bear before the State Championships. This is the time to get some racing in on the course. Its a very fast and beautiful race and they really put it together nicely. Lets make a great showing and show them the CR Team is not to be messed with. Lets go and get some.

Rim Nordic Part Deux

Awesome race Gabe! Props to Big Rob who pulled off a second place, missing the top spot by inches. And congrats to Bob, Paul and myself for ... well ... for surviving (barely).

Though Gabe's win was mighty impressive, it was rivaled only by his all-out 100 yard sprint to hand me my dropped water bottle on my second lap!

It was a tough course, probably the only course all year which required the "granny gear" to make it up the climbs. It was a lot of singletrack, very narrow, sandy terrain, just technical enough to keep you on your toes and steep. There were precious few sections of fireroad where you could grab some water or pass. And with temps near 90, lots of dust and the sun blazing through the thin 7000 ft air, the conditions were tough.

By the time the Cat 1 30-34 lined up, it was way too hot out and I was already feeling the sun and altitude. The field was small but super-competitive. Looking around at the start I realized that we had all been trading spots all season.. there was no clear winner and I could just as easily get first or last depending on my luck. About 1 hour into it, I found myself battling with the top four who were all bunched together within a few seconds (a pretty rare occurrence in MTB races). The brutally steep climbs got the better of me and the smaller riders pulled away but I kept 4th place and was satisfied that I left it all on the course after finishing 3 laps in 2:12. Bob was close behind.

After the race, I was surprised to see Gabe and Paul hanging around waiting in vain for their results to get posted. There were all sorts of screwups with the results from all categories - supposedly they gave the win in one Cat 1 race to a DNF. How hard can it be to keep track of results and post them in a timely manner? Pretty hard apparently.

As always a great time with great people. It was a lot of fun despite the "bad and ugly".

And one final note: The announcer (don't recall his name) must really love Chicken Ranch since every time we walked by, he commented "How 'bout those santa barbara chicken ranch riders and their carbon weave jerseys". Apparently we have big fans all over socal.

Some photos attached.

- matt

Rim Nordic

Today's race had its "good, bad, and ugly". The "good" went my way with a win in the 35-39 Cat 2 race. Unfortunately, "bad and ugly" went to Paul...see the attached pics.

The race course was great. It had a lot of fun single track rollers, some steep power climbs, and some of the funniest semi-technical descents of any of the race venues. The 2 lap race started, and right from the gun, I found myself chasing after the 2 leaders that got away. Once I caught up to them, I sat 3rd wheel and followed for 1/2 a lap. We came up to a steep rocky technical climb and both riders in front of me took the wrong line up the climb had to dismount. They saw me coming up and cleared a path to let me get through. After that, I never saw them again. I felt great for most of the race, but w/ a 1/2 lap to go to the finish, my legs and body started to feel really fatigued. At that point, I was in survival mode and just tried to hold on to the finish. I came across the line w/ a few minutes on second place.

Paul's race was going good until he went over the bars and down a steep ravine on the final lap. When he came across the finish line, he was a bloody mess. After some time in the medical tent, some tears, and a few bandages, he was all better.

The most painful part of the day was waiting for the results. I knew I won, I just wanted to get my medal. We hung around waaaaay too long, but I finally got my medal, which happened to be made of plastic.

A few pics have been attached


A Few Elings Photos! Thanks Paul