Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Chicken Ranch's Year In Review, Sort of!

This is the time of year that all those year in review stories hit the airwaves.

Why should we be any different?

We celebrated a State Champion, enjoyed many a fun ride and the trash talk never stopped, but below were some of the highlights or maybe low lights of 09.

In 2008, our Team Leader used a very unusual form of cross training,

2009 wasn't any different. Mr. Chicken Ranch aka (The Mutant or LJ) used a strange secret training method.

He even forced his children in to doing this irrational form of training (notice the look of pain on young Benko)

Matt, if you are going to go for a secret training ride, make sure the papparazi aren't following you.

2009 also saw Blingerman and his cycling accessories become so hot he had to start moonlighting. I hope you all received your invitation to The Best of Bling!

In 2009, there was a rumor circulating that I did not do any racing. Below is photographic evidence that those rumors were false. Good Job Patrick!

Last but not least I have never received an answer to the question "What is Dave doing to Blingerman in this photo?" Inquiring minds want to know.

Thanks for the memories boys and girls and if anyone has anything to add, please email me or just share your 09 thoughts in the comment section.

Enjoy the Ride!

Nice Ride, Nice Kits!

Hello Everyone,

I've probably seen the the sunrise from Gibralter Road well over 100 times but I'll tell ya it never fails to "wow" me. The views on our MTB ride today were absolutely spectacular. We're so spoiled to live in such a beautiful place and lucky that we're healthy enough to take advantage of the terrific riding opportunities that are right outside our doors. Too cool.

Little smaller turnout today but we had a solid group and had another great ride on the front country trails. I think a few people were tired from doing the Thacher loop on Saturday and opted to take it easy today. It's all good.

Hope you're all enjoying the new kits. I know I'm stoked. The new shorts are definitely a major upgrade and look great, and I think the White kits turned out really nice as well. When I first saw them in the bag I wasn't sure, but seeing them on the road I really like 'em! I know some people expressed concerns about sizing. If you feel like your kit just won't work, option 1 would be to try and exchange with Dave for a different size. We did buy extra kits. Option 2 would be to express your concerns to Dave in writing and if we have a number of people with sizing issues, he can forward those concerns to Garneau and they may be willing to replace some items if necessary. Option 3 would be to call Robert Ramirez's home phone and leave a really long and nasty message on his answering machine insulting his manhood and questioning his sexuality. It won't fix your problem, but it might make you feel a little better.

Please remember that noone is making money off of the kits. Dave puts a lot of time and effort into ordering, organizing and distributing the kits as well as fronting the $30,000.00 necessary to place this order and he doesn't make a dime. In addition, everyone of the sponsors on the jersey is also one of your teammates and they not only bought their kits just like you. But they also put in extra money just so that we can all do fun team events throughout the year and support local bike friendly organizations. Sometimes it's easy to forget that the names on the jerseys aren't just big companies, they're actually your friends and riding buddies. So here's a list of our 2010 sponsors and the riders attached to them.

Fastrack Bicycles Dave Lettieri
The Towbes Group Craig Zimmerman
SB Aircraft Management Bill McBride
COCOON Jeff Bermant
Howell, Moore, & Gough Joe Howell and Kim McDaniel
Jed Hirsch Construction Jed Hirsch
WORKSHOP Architecture Mark Wienke
David Jurist Construction David Jurist
TELEGRAPH Brewing Co. John Nygren
Meridian Group Robert Ramirez

Please support these companies when you can, and when you wear your jersey, which hopefully is often. Be a nice person...........have fun........ and smile a lot!

Thanks so much for joining this group and I look forward to riding with all of you in the coming months.



Ride 12-06-09


I have to say that was one of the best rides we've ever done. We discovered new trails. Re-discovered old trails and had a blast while getting our butts kicked by some of the steepest climbs imaginable and, as Dave would say "tearing up some singletrack dude!"

West Fork was a total surprise. the trail is in fantastice shape and many sections have been re-worked to make it much less death-defying and more rideable. Riding up East Fork was a challenge but the scenery was top notch and well worth the effort. We discovered a great little trail that connects the Romero Catway with the lower part of the Romero singletrack trail....very cool. This was one of those rides where there's a lot of hooping and hollering and guys yelling "Yeah, this is awesome!" and "Wow, that was cool!" Of course that was on the descents. On the climbs there was also a lot of yelling but I'm unable to write some of the words that were used. Suffice it to say there were a lot of four letter descriptive adjectives and exclamations. But in the end everyone was happy and had that natural high going on that you can only get from working your ass off and accomplishing your goal. Speaking of accomplishing goals I hope all our marathon friends did well?......Robert, Gabe, Joe, I missing anyone? Waiting for race reports and results. Sorry I wasn't out there with ya.........but not that sorry.

Mike Abbott rode exceptionally well today. I think he may be part mountain goat. I've never seen his parents but I wouldn't be surprised if one of them has bucked teeth...... and horns. Dano is a new man on his brand new Ibis machine, and as he said he can "feel the money" when he rides it. Doyle was making excuses for not finishing as soon as the ride started but he ended up sticking it out and did the whole thing and still had a smile on his face at the end....nice work. Dave pretty much lives at the shop or on his bike and he's not used to walking or hiking. So the hike-a-bike sections really took their toll on him. It always fun to see Dave suffering. He almost opted out right at the end but he hung in there and discovered his new favorite section of trail. Luke also suffered his way through "almost" the whole ride. He did all the hard parts anyways. So if you need anything done to your bike, today is good day to bring it in. I have a feeling Luke is going to be very productive today. To everyone who rode today, great job! That was an epic!

Ride stats: 4 hours 20 minutes...........only 28 miles........5,025 ft. of "hard earned" climbing............10 tired but happy dudes.

See ya next weekend.....if the weather allows?


Thanksgiving Day Dirt Fun!

Last Thursday we had another 1st time for the Chicken Mtn bike group.
We thought it would be fun to try a little true downhilling. So the hardcore group pictured below (plus Luke who took the picture) decided to climb Romero and add the connector trail off to the left at the top of Romero that puts you out on Camino Cielo. As we headed over toward Cold Spring Trail I thought a few would decide at the last minute to drop down Gibralter and miss the run. All 10 said they would give it a go. Most started looking worried as I brought out the skin and arm
guards. Someone replied, we are riding, not playing hocky. I think
Luke and Jonathan were the only 2 who had been down the trail in the last 10 years. Luke wanted others to go first so he could get the action on the handlebar camera. We will have a little video up on youtube soon where you can see Ian flip over and Alfredo and Big Rob
tear it up. I was very happy to have the body armor as I tested them
out with a good flip over early on the decent. We all made it down in one piece. I think Alfredo has found his calling. Luke had a great time finally riding a CR ride where everyone didn't have to wait for
him :) I have to say doing a real downhill where you have to
concentrate for over 30 minutes kicks you butt, hampstrings, calfs, arms and hands. Not a great trail for 29ers, or bikes when you can't lower your seat. Next time Downhill Bike! More when we get the video.


Ride Report 11-22-09


Wow, that was awesome! Without a doubt Snyder Trail and Camuesa Connector are two of the best singletrack trails anywhere. We had a nice turnout again today with 8 riders finishing the whole enchilada but many more joining us for segments along the way. Luke and Jonathon drove to Paradise Road and rode up Snyder Trail to meet us at the top and they timed it perfectly. I was lucky that Luke's car was parked at the bottom 'cause one of my cleat bolts fell off my shoe and I would have been unable to unclip for the rest of the ride but Luke was decent enough to give me one of the bolts off of his shoe when he got back to his car and saved my butt...thanks Luke! A few riders skipped the Camuesa Loop and rode back up Arroyo Burro Rd. I like to hear from you guys how that worked out?...Bill, Philip? Brett Hall and Dave Jurist did the Camuesa Connector trail but then turned back and climbed Arroyo Burro as well. How did that go guys? I think that might have actually been the harder way to go from that point?........what did you guys think?

Both Snyder and Camuesa were in excellent condition. Pretty much perfect. We ran into Mark Mittermiller and Bob Nisbet on their way up Little Pine which was kinda funny. No flat tires and no crashes that I'm aware of so things couldn't really have gone much smoother. We got lots of laughs talking about that video that Pete Sproul sent out. "You're such a dick!"......."What?"........"I said I like your kit!"

The views and weather were spectacular. By the time we hit the base of Angostura everyone was just looking forward to getting to the top so the talking stopped and everyone went into their own little pain cave for an hour or so 'till we hit the summit. As Dano was lifting his bike over the barrier at the top of the road his hamstring locked-up and he was screaming in agony. Fortunately, I was quick enough with my camera this time and I got a couple good shots of him for your enjoyment. He rode like an animal today though, as did Matt Perry, Dave, and Blinger. I'm pooped but that ride is a classic that definitely leaves you with a big smile on your face......and a big red mark on your butt after 6 hours in the saddle!

Can't wait to do it again!


Solvang Ride 11-15-09

Hello Everyone,

We enjoyed a great ride around Solvang today. Having the group split at Painted Cave and then re-group at the bottom of Stage Coach worked great. Everyone was able to ride at their own pace and we got the whole group back together before turning on to 154 with minimal waiting. We lost Kim McDaniel to the wolves with a double puncture but fortunately he had a ride waiting for him in Buellton. The weather was pretty much perfect and the danish's in Solvang were delicious.

Aaron Baker is a beast and I spent a lot of time drafting behind him and taking advantage of his strong ( and hairy) legs. Pete Clements got himself up and over the climbs and rode well. Alfredo showed up even though he raced on Saturday. It was nice to see David Larsen and Brett least for the first half of the ride. Total ride time for me was a little over 5 hours, covering 89 miles, 5,900ft of climbing and 1 very tasty apple fritter. We definitely need to do that loop more often. Great views, great roads. Rest up this week, because we've got a big, challenging, and otherwise AWESOME mountain bike ride planned for next Sunday which will include arguably the two best singletrack trails in the area....and plenty of climbing as well. So secure your fun-pass now!

See ya soon,