Saturday, May 22, 2010


Hey Chickens -

A week ago Saturday Bill McBride, Paul Wren and I raced in the Livermore Crit. This report is a bit late because I left on vacation immediately upon returning from the race. We flew “Air McBride” and landed at the airport 8 miles from the race site. Riding to the race would be a nice little warm-up, and it was, until my only reservation about riding city streets with race wheels was realized as I got a front flat 2 miles from the course. There was about 50 minutes til the start, all I had to do was ride a flat 6 miles into a headwind back to the airport and change the wheel then haul ass to the race. Good thing I brought an extra wheelset! Bill and I brought extra wheels just in case of such a mishap.

I made it to the airport with about 5 psi in my tire. Nice thing about tubulars, you can ride them flat if you have to – just don’t turn. There was a crowd gathered there to watch some WWII fighter planes take off. They were a bit confused when I rode past them out onto the tarmac to the only jet parked out there, changed the wheel, then rode away. The tailwind helped my time trial to the race course, but I was still a bit nervous. Bill tried to check me in and get my number, but they wouldn’t let him. No worries, with the numerous crashes in the race before ours, our start was quite delayed.

A decent sized field rolled out on the 1 mile course and I spent the first 15 minutes trying to figure out the good lines in the corners and also trying to understand how there was a headwind on every side of the loop. 2 guys tangled up on the front stretch on about the 5th lap. They were literally tangled up on the ground with one guy’s legs through the other’s frame. One of them got back in and raced with his bare ass hanging out of his shorts.

Half way through, Paul “Bunyan” Wren went straight to the front and did one of his trademark 700 watt pulls for a lap. We all dodged another pile-up late in the race and started to set up for the final laps. I had been eying the field for who I thought were the strong guys. Sure enough, with 3 to go, they were all at the front. Things were getting nervous as everyone jockeyed for positions, then Bill came to the rescue and went to the front with two laps remaining. In high winds, he drove it fast enough to keep the usual Cat 4 swarm from happening. He brought us through the start/finish at the bell and then stayed up there through turns 1 and 2 before pulling off. The charge was on down the back stretch, and I got through turn 3 in 7th and on some good wheels.

Turn 4 is a big double sweeper with the wind blowing hard from the right/front. I swung out to the left and moved up to the wheel of a big guy that was charging hard. We passed the others, then when he looked back, I jumped around him with only 100 meters to the line. There was a rider way to my right, I caught and passed him with the headwind hitting me hard. Just 20 meters to the line I saw a wheel come up on my left and we came down to a bike throw on the line. The guy patted me on the back and said that I got it. I told him that I wasn’t so sure. Video review showed him winning by about 2 friggin inches.

The photo below doesn’t show the guy that got me from my left side (good race photographer). You can see the big guy that lead me out and the third place finisher near the curb. I was a bit disappointed, but I know that I didn’t leave anything out on the track. Are 47 year olds supposed to still hit 200 bpm?

Additional props to Bill for carrying the giant tub of Cytomax in his backpack 8 miles back to the airport. Note to 3rd place finisher – no helmets on the podium...


Monday, April 26, 2010

Luke's Wild Ride!

This just in, Luke enjoyed his weekend! See below

He's not just a pretty face!

For Ladies Only!

Save the date for a Cinco de Mayo Women’s Ride!

Hi Ladies--

Please join us on Wednesday, May 5 for a Women’s No-Drop Ride at Whole Foods on upper State St.(cross street is Hitchcock) at 5:00 pm. The ride will start at 5:30 pm. Whole Foods will be kindly providing some drinks and pocket snacks. We will gather on the patio area at 5:00 pm before we take off at 5:30 pm.

So pump up those road tires, lube your chain, and come have some clean healthy fun on your bike. The ride will be part of CycleMaynia —

Also, we are thinking about moving our weekly women’s ride from Thursday evening to Wednesday evenings. Please let me know if this will affect you — and or course if you have any questions, please email me. Looking forward to rolling again!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Peter Rupert's Bike

Hi All,

Thanks for all of the kind words! It is great to be a part of such a great bike community. I have posted some pictures of the damage to my ex-bike. Front fork sheared off, bars snapped in two, rear triangle nearly completely separated.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

You Have to Love GOOGLE, I mean Topeka! April Fools

Check out Google today and you will see something a bit strange. Click on the colorful logo and enjoy the April Fools moment! I wonder if the city of Topeka did anything in honor of Google's.

I did click on the Topeka website and it took forever to load. I'm sure this little google love is overwhelming their website.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sagebrush 2010

In the spirit of the day, and since I've had a couple questions about how it went, here's my belated report from the MTB XC season opener on Feb 28.

I've used a hybrid Fastrack/Ken bullet point style, with the patented Jurist style extended coverage for anyone who actually gives a darn:

Cliff Notes version:

-Super fun, fast, sloppy, clear, beautiful, crazy tough event with 3 Chickens racing: Alfredo finished an impressive 4th in Cat 3, Me a slightly disappointing 12th in Cat 2, and Gabe seemed happy with his 7th in Cat 1 (I think Gabe was mostly just happy to have finished his near epic 2Hrs, 43 Minutes on course, gnarly!!!!!) Let's get a bigger CR turn-out for Bonelli.

Extended Coverage:

- Alfredo wins the last minute planner award for making final decision and arrangements to race while still at work after 10PM night before

- 4-1/2 hour drive down under clear skies on Sunday morning rolling out of SB at 5AM on day of event with Alfredo, myself and Gabe carpooling as the only riders representing Team CR (Cats 3, 2, 1, respectively).

- Dirt entry road and parking lot were relatively firm, but scattered with deep mud puddles and temps were still in low 40's. Reports from overnight campers and locals was that it absolutely dumped rain Saturday evening with freezing temps overnight

- Racers were out in force, seemed like REALLY good numbers in the lot, registering and at the starting line. Lots of great energy and good buzz out there.

- Seems like about 1 in 4 riders is on a 29'er now and half of those are hardtails.

- All ages and classes went off with staggered start times beginning at 11AM, by which time it was warm with absolutely beautiful clear blue skies.

- Cat 2 & 3's both rode the same course ~18 miles, Cat 1 & Pros going a tough 22 miles

- First 1-1/2 miles or so was paved & mild. My Cat 2 group of 22 riders hung together in a tight peloton with quite a bit of joking about who was gonna try to organize a breakaway and/or win the next 'prime'. The pace did get lifted a good bit on the flat to put some pressure on the group leading up to "the hill"

- Course turned steep up hill for a 15 minute paved climb (7-10%?) which blew apart my group right away. I was able to hang with the top ten riders of my group on the climb but things did get a bit messy/confusing while overtaking slower riders from prior heats & simultaneously getting passed by 1 or 2 fast f'ers from the following heat. (no group numbers were written on legs at this race for some reason, so you could only ID someone actually in your age/cat if you recognized them form your starting group)

- At the top of this first big paved climb, less than 1/4 into the race I'd say the finishing positions were about 80% fixed.....

- Leaving pavement & dropping over the backside of the ridge, the course became an absolute never ending roller coaster super fun carve fest. Lots of excellent banked twisty single track and some super fast fire road descents made for one of the most fun course I've ever raced. The dirt withstood the water really well in general, not clumpy SB type clay, but just a little tacky in general. The multitude of puddles and a few granite rock carved single track sections and a couple mild drop offs really kept things interesting.

- For those of you gear hounds - although I did get passed by a very small number of full-boing riders who were absolutely bombing so fast through corners on the twisty fireroad downhills that they must've been locals, (IMHO), in general I really fell in love with my 26" hardtail during its first race. Even on the washboard descents and drop offs I felt like I could open it up and bomb just fine, and obviously it was super nice to be able to climb seated or standing on a lightweight hardtail on the uphills. On the flip-side, I did feel the fatigue factor just a little in my lower back having to stand for the duration on one of the longer downhills late in the race.......

-most puddles could be avoided carving slalom-style on the single tracks & open roads, but when you had to plow through a water hazard, it was a little scary. In order to not risk an endo you wanted to keep your weight back or try to unweight/bunny hop, but obviously that's easier said than done. Ask Gabe about his front wheel stand manuever at race pace sometime when you get a chance......

- one ginormous section of super steep hike a bike uphill at about 2/3 through the race was pretty hard on the psyche. It was a huge quarter mile long uphill slog conga line. I actaully did pass a couple "trudgers" by shouldering my bike lower down on the wall, but then I regained my senses and got into line just in time before I imploded.

- Final mile of the race included about 3 or 4 good water crossings, one maybe 24" deep in the middle and 25 yards wide which some riders rode and some carried their bike ( I rode through and got completely drenched with cold water while rinsing quite a bit of grime off me & my bike)

- Met up with some guys from Linked Cycles after I started chatting things up with them a bit after my race and one of them says, hey you're with Chicken Ranch, do you know Robert Higgins?...... Seems that this guy (Ryan) knew Big Rob via email but had never actually met him in person. So Rob: Ryan from Linked Cycles passes along good wishes and prayers for a speedy recovery.

- We all do miss you out on the rides and at the races Rob, hope your recovery is going well.

- Alfredo scored a super nice lazer engraved stainless steel plaque for his efforts

- After the race, a guy next to us mentioned that he was from San Diego and this was his ONE local San Diego race and he wasn't looking forward to having to make the hube drive for BOTH of the Santa Barbara races. (chalk one more up for living in SB)

- Team Chicken is now sitting in 5th place in the team competition after 1 race, sure would be nice to have a minimum of 8 Team Chicken Ranch riders register, race and score team points at Bonelli and beyond!

See you ALL at Bonelli.

Ride On!


Gabe Says!

The Ventura Chapter of the SB Chicken Ranchers opt’ed for better weather in NorCal. John Vanmanekes and myself made a last minute decision and headed north on Sat evening to enter the Merco Foothills RR in Merced CA. Unlike our brothers who headed south, or stayed local, we endured perfect weather w/ the temps in the mid-60’s w/ patchy clouds.
The race was run on the back roads of Merced with complete road closures. I can’t remember ever being in a road race where we had no center line rule and access to the whole road….pretty cool! The course was basically 72 miles of rollers and flats, with the biggest hill being slightly steeper than our local Bates Rd and about the same length. We had roughly 90+ racers in our group. Considering that John has been going really well lately, it was agreed prior to the race start that I would work for John to either help bring back breaks, or get him into position for the sprint.
The race was difficult at times with attacks and small breaks that didn’t materialize, but going into the final lap it was pretty much certain that it was going to come down to a sprint finish. The last 2 miles included some big ring out of the saddle rollers, with the finish being about 500 meters from the top of the last roller. The original plan was to get to the top in the lead group and lead John out, but going into the final 2 miles, the Specialized Factory team formed an 8 man lead-out for their sprinter, who happened to have also won the previous day's crit. At this point, John got on my wheel and we made our move on the outside. Once on the front, I tried to wedge myself into the Specialized train, but they had it locked down pretty tight, so I just tried to keep the momentum up as high as I could and keep John near the front. Once we got near the top of the last roller, my legs were done and John went around in the top 10. I got swarmed by about 50 guys, but I managed to see John’s head bobbing near the front of the sprinting pack. He pulled off an impressive 7th place finish in a hard fought sprint, and his prize……$20 which covered the Starbucks bill on the way home.

There was also the Sage Brush MTB race last weekend. Paul Donahoe, Alfredo Gallegos, and myself headed down to San Diego early Sunday morning. Alfredo pulled off a 4th place in the Cat 3s, Paul turned in a 12th place in the Cat 2’s, and I finished in 7th in the Cat 1’s.

That’s it!


Island View, Susie Style

Since there are so many fine race/ride reports coming through today, I thought I would give my two-cents for the ladies 3/4 crit on Saturday.

Although I had no official teammates, Avalon (of Kalyra) and Sommers (of Echelon juniors) were at the start with me and we know each other well from the morning rides. We had a pretty small group, 7 total in the race, mostly college racers.

The start and middle were tame with a few attacks, all chased down successfully. Avalon, Sommers and I were at the front for most of the 40 minutes sharing pulls and keeping things under control (haha).

Final two laps put the three of us going a bit harder and in final lap Sommers yells at Mom (Avalon) to "GO GO GO!!" which she does and I just stay on Sommers wheel. Av pulls off in the final turn and Somers took off like a bullet. I felt like I went into reverse, but instead took 2nd with Avi in 3rd. Other finishers were pretty far back, so I guess that meant we had a good final sprint. That's what counts, right?

BTW, Kimberly, a few of the men were asking "where's Kim? Did she move to Arizona? I sure do miss watching her race!" To which I replied, "ME TOO!"

Come on out sometime, would love to see you!


Island View Crit Race Report Cat 5

Not nearly as dramatic as San Diego, but this weekend was also the Island View Crit for anyone that stayed in town and wanted to race. The threat of rain held off for the Cat 5's and Cat 4's...I left during the Pro/1/2/3 race and it started POURING down rain when I was at lunch (at Chicken Ranch, natch) so they probably got deluged. Hecky or anyone, any report?

The Cat-5 race was very predictable - jumpy at the start, lots of sprinting off the corners but then braking into them. No significant strategy usual one 90-second attempt at a getaway was pulled back by a string of 20-year-old college kids with energy to burn. With about 8 laps to go the predictable big crash happened in the last turn, luckily I was in the inside lane near the front and just saw it out of the corner of my eye and heard the awful sound of wheels pretzeling, carbon shattering, and tires bursting. Everyone was off the road the next lap so I guess they were okay. There was a Chicken outfit in the crash I think but I never heard who it was? Anyone?

Anyway after the crash the race was much more manageable and Masters-like. Faster and more strung out, with a final lap push and sprint. Kent Luu got fifth for the Chickens, very strong showing, and I got my first top-10 in 9th after another little college kid got me at the line for 8th. At least everyone in front of me on the results was 20 years or more younger so that was fine for me. Bill McBride was in the race and got caught up in the back of pack I think for 24th, also Tucker in 30th and Alfredo in 32nd must have got caught behind the crash, but they can chime in with what happened back there if they want.
I hear people complain sometimes about the aggro group rides and "Sunday Worlds" but it is definitely the key quality training for a Cat 5 - the races are EASY compared to that.

In the Cat 4's I saw Ken Doyle doing a ton of work at the front pulling back various breaks but he was toasted by the finish and got something like 8th. Gene was off the front a few times but I think also ended up mid-front-pack. Ken, any bullet points? You were definitely the man in that race.

Great day, really, compared to the forecast, unless you were in the crash or that pro/1/2/3 race...those guys must have got doused.
Best regards,

-- Paul

Monday, March 8, 2010

Ken Is The Champ!

Wow, I didn’t know people cared so much. OK, I will respond to the pressure to improve my race report. I just feared boring people with details. How about bullet points!

  • Missed 2 weeks of decent training leading up to race due to illness. Post-antibiotic funk and jacked up back left me questioning my abilities.
  • Flew over to Vegas with Mitch and Bill McBride in Bill’s jet (45 minute trip). That’s how we roll.
  • Kicked it with houseboatmates Paul Wren, Mitch, Avalon and her daughter Summersby.
  • Waited til 4:30 to race the uphill time trial.
  • Raced well, matched last year’s time, should have pushed harder.
  • Time that was good for 2nd last year was only good enough for 7th this year. Deeper talent pool damn it.
  • 7:00am road race start time under threatening skies. 44 mile course with 3500 ft. of climbing.
  • Top GC guy is on the local Vegas team and has the most teammates – great!
  • Gene, Paul, Bill, Mitch and I make it through the course in the lead group and head towards home.
  • Gene jams up his drivetrain shifting gears and is off the back.
  • Bill moves up towards the front to stay out of trouble.
  • Paul launches and attack about 3 miles out and gets everyone out of the saddle.
  • Race settles in as everyone smells the finish line in a couple of miles.
  • With my crampy legs I move onto the front anticipating the local team driving it in to the finish.
  • I guessed right, and jumped into the 4th position of their train, riding it to the turn 1/4 mile from the finish.
  • Random guy behind me jumps around me and I get on him to get past the leaders.
  • Thanks for the leadout Beotch! I jumped him 100 meters out and got a road race victory.
  • Moved up to 5th in the GC.
  • Bill gets a top ten finish in the hilly road race!
  • Rain comes down within minutes of our finish. Later groups get hailed on out there.
  • Had to explain a dozen times that we are not sponsored by the Nevada version of a Chicken Ranch.
  • 30 minute parking lot crit, no chance of getting away, try for another win.
  • Gene breaks away on 5th lap for a prime win of a Road ID.
  • Mitch drives a fruitless attack with 5 to go. Local team is marking everything closely.
  • Gene rolls up with 3 to go and tells me to get on his wheel – yes!
  • Could not advance in heavy traffic and settle for something around 10th (thanks for trying Gene).
  • Managed to move up to 4th in GC.
Overall a great time. Definitely an event to plan on next year. 45 houseboats full of racers (only 20 boats last year). Super cool having all races start right there in the marina. Stage races are the best team events – good times!


Gran Fondo San Diego

Wow. What a ride, not race, but timed, with a winner just from the timed portion, which is in the middle of the ride and is a climb, but not a triple crown.....Whilst you and your loved ones were basking in a glorious Santa Barbara, sun-filled day, Steve Boelter (aka Platinum Chicken), Dave Lettieri and I ventured south to tackle the 101 mile Colnago San Diego Gran Fondo (Now and forever known as the Gran Flash Flood-o). Rain was the threat from for the last week with percentages dancing around the 50-70% range, which for our ilk means 50-30% chance of sun! PC and I left early on Saturday in order to retrieve numbers for ourselves and for Lettieri who was leaving late after Luke arm wrestled yet another customer for the chance to purchase a new bike (if I win, you buy a bike. If you win, you buy a bike). Saturday evening showed some signs of rain ranging from nostril blast while riding to genuine, that'll clean the car downpour. Again, optimistic that any rain the day before means less chance the next day. After dinner and a game of "where the hell does a helmet number go", it was all about the ride.

Up early Sunday and out the door with pockets full of rain jacket, zip lock of spare dry gloves and the anticipation of the "wild indian" start that is a Dave legend, we got to the start line with nary a drop falling from the sky. By 6:40, PC and I were standing under a bus shelter several blocks from the start watching water creep up over the curb. Some city workers offered to put sandbags around our location, but we replied that we would be riding our bikes 101 miles in just a few moments. You can imagine the looks. We watched straggling riders dutifully riding to the rear of the start queue in the monsoon and later heard from Lettieri's dad that it took 45 minutes to clear the start area in waves. Sweet. 75 minutes in sky dumping rain waiting to ride in it.

Our little plan to jump the start almost went of course when we realized we weren't on the right street, which meant having to roll down a few blocks and then sprint to catch on with the lead group. So cool! They had three Ferrari's and a motorcycle escort leading the pack through downtown SD, but the weather was so lousy no one saw it. We followed 950,000.00 worth of cars to the on ramp of the Coronado Bridge. Just as they made the turn they stopped and those crazy Italians started yelling that we had missed the turn and we were supposed to take and that everyone needed to turn around in the single lane of the on ramp. Easy! Just like Poor College Kids last year, eveyone chose their own little u-turn in a direction they felt expressed the level of hypothermia they would return with. Back down the street and a left turn put the group onto the exit of the bridge so that we rode up two dedicated lanes on the left side. Great, except for the metal expansion joints with the shark teeth shape that threatened to crash out anyone going over 15 MPH and the still blasting rain.
As we headed down the strand from Coronado, I hooked up with the first of my ride saviors, a guy from the Amgen Giant masters team who was happy to tap out 21 MPH in a head wind whilst I drank the gravel filled water from his back tire and didn't even whimper a complaint. He was also quite effective at organizing our group of twenty or so into a two abreast group ride. One not so fortunate tri athlete type was sent packing after he continually bolted ahead dropped back and then blew a stop light. Doyle, you would have loved this guy. Around that time I noticed that PC was no longer in our group, had flatted and decided the jacuzzi at the hotel was the more prudent activity for a rainy Sunday.

Around mile 40, we stopped at the Olympic Training facility in Chula Vista/Otay Lakes, grabbed sandwiches and then smaller groups headed out the 9 more miles to the start of the timed climb. I was feeling pretty good until I needed to shift and my chain hopped around the cassette like Shaun White in a half-pipe. OK, now I wasn't feellng so good with marginal gear management possibilities. The next sag was 1.5 miles from the top of the climb so I handed my bike off to the Campy support, who said, guess what? "Oh, I see the problem, you're running Shimano." Oh, wow, there's a new one! I grabbed some coffee and sandwich while the comedian worked on my bike. I don't remember who said that clothes make the man, but I can tell you that the right clothes keep the man from shivering like Chick Hearn Jell-O and the groups of team riders under the leaky tent. I was wearing leg warmers, arm warmers, vest, rain jacket, head warmer, long fingered gloves with a shell over the gloves and these knuckle heads looked like they were headed to a summer crit in Ontario. Much to their extreme discomfort, the descent was 15 degrees colder than the climb and it was still pissing rain.

I did the descent on my own, which was gnarly. Lots of water streaming across the road, some mud and all the while raining , foggy and cold and , oh yeah, not much braking power. Around mile 60, I hooked up with a guy from Canada who had caught me at a red light. He was chatty and wanted to ride back together. When the light changed and we started riding he slipped a pedal and crashed in the intersection. I would have really liked to have ridden away from him, but he turned out to be pretty strong and we eventually picked up 8 other riders, including an Eastern European riding a 29'er mountain bike with street tires, cross brakes and drop bars, for our bell miles back to SD. It should be noted that we stopped for every stinking stop light from Otay Lakes to downtown San Diego.

I'm not sure where we finished, but lots of folks came in after us. Subtracting stoppage time, the ride took just about as much time as the King Ridge Fondue. Lettieri's time was similar as well, although he is claiming 7th in the ride that's not a race.

While waiting for PC to pick me up (he had to check out of the hotel at 1:30, so no shower for you!), I decided to get some of the promised free food and wound up getting in to the VIP tent. Super bonus! Hot pasta, prosecco, ham, a Lavazza espresso and all the Italians congratulating me on doing the ride. Extra Super Bonus! Bill Walton was in the VIP tent. Why? Who knows! But the whole deal was a slam dunk!

David Jurist

Yes I know the journalist is a hard act to follow but I can add the following in the Ken style of a ride/race report:

- Woke up at 5:30 to dry roads. Great don't need to carry all that rain stuff.

- 6:15am go outside to get ready: raining, change of plans, put on everything I can

- 6:45 wait to last possible minute to get to the start line and see 3000 crazy people just standing a full downpour waiting for the start

- 7am Got a nice front row position on the start line, nice to be from Pennsylvania now and then. (the guy organizing the start area was an east coaster)

- Small start delay so the Ferraris could get warmed up and Olympic and World Champion Paolo Bettini could get out of his car.

 - Within the first 10 miles we go over Cornado bridge like its a hill top finish and I look back to see only 10 riders in the group, fortunately since the ride marking were minimal, 20-30 riders caught up while the front group decided which way to go.

- The timed hill climb was like a 7 mile Casitas hill ( the fastest guy up was a pro mtn biker). Probably would have been an easier climb if the triathlete did TT it to the base.

- Not stopping at some rest stops is a good way to catch up when you get dropped on the climb

-Like the Santa Rosa Gran Fondo, it seems strange that with 3000 people you could be riding with only one other person for a while. At least she was a former World Champion and Olympic Silver Medalist and good looking.

- In the rain, 50 miles seems like a 100, Temps were 42-49 degrees, You also can't really get food out of the pockets with big gloves.

- For the last 50, we had 5 riders chasing 3 (who we never saw after the climb) , a Triathlete, a cat 5, a 3 former Olympians

- At the 90mile rest area, a guys asks if we need anything, yes for the ride to be over :)

- 92miles, (on the bike path) flat tire, also hard to fix in the pouring rain and with big gloves.

- Finish in about the same 5:30 ish as the Santa Rosa ride with less climbing. Slow average speed with weather, lights, more stopping and small group in the early part of the ride. Charts showed 4500 ft, more like 5500 ft.

- The big city rides are a bit rough with the lights, unlike DJ, we did blow quite a few lights in the last 20 miles.

- Overall an epic hard core ride. I would say 65 miles really good roads, the rest standard big city stuff.

-Good gloves, real rain jacket, tons of Squirt chain lube, the flamingo fender and plastic bags in the shoes are key.

Dave L.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Newspress Task Force Update 3-4-10

Here is a link to the update from the newspress regarding the Trails Task Force Meeting this week.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cantua and Dinuba Race Reports

Made it up north to Cantua Creek on Saturday for the road race, and to Dinuba on Monday for the crit. I thought I'd give a short commentary in case anyone is interested for next year. There were a couple Chicken Ranchers at Cantua, and Hecky, but nobody I recognized at Dinuba.

Cantua was an out-and-back though farm country, 2 laps 26 miles each, with a course that was a lot like our Sunday group ride. The only real hill was a 1km rise to the finish pretty much identical to the climb up Bates from Rincon, so that came mid-race, and at the end. Otherwise it was flat or slightly rolling through farmland and the pack stayed together. That is, unless you made a suicidal, lone break-away, which I did on lap 2 for about the last 20 miles so Gene could sit in the pack, and also just for fun...they caught me at the 1k to go sign and I think Gene ended up winning the race (45+ cat 4/5) in the final hill sprint. Congrats, Gene. Hecky said the 2/3 race was just a pack, with a 2-man break that never got any ground and got swallowed up on the final hill sprint. The pro/1 race was dominated by the Yahoo team, who had 12 guys and just turned it into a team time trial when they got 5-6 guys off the front who walked away with it while the rest of the team blocked. (They did 3 laps for 78 miles). The course was pretty good pavement-wise, although if you're allergic to bees don't go there, because the cropland is dotted with hives brought in to pollinate the trees.

Dinuba was a classic downtown crit, although L-shaped so there was one left turn. Several harsh pavement joints in the turns and a big giant concrete rain-swale in the main straight made it a little nerve wracking. The Cat 5's had three big crashes on the final lap, but I did the 35+ Cat 4/5 race and there was only 1 crash, which I missed narrowly, and the usual last-lap weaving and thrashing around, but everyone stayed up. I tried the solo break-away technique with 3 to go but they were having none of it, so I got swarmed & swallowed up in the last lap. Fun race though, nice little town, no traffic problems, etc. Cheap hotels, too.

Both races were about a 4-hour drive from SB. Think about it for next year...especially at Cantua, if we could organize 4-5 Chickens for any one division, we could definitely dominate the Cat 4 or Masters, I think, especially with guys that are fast up Bates or Gube.

-- Paul

Paul's move at Cantua was amazing. He was pretty much on the attack for the second half of the race, most of it solo. I had a "free" ride to finish as the strong riders in the group had to burn matches to bring back Paul and his breakaway companion.

I was talking to a few of the riders after the race and one of the Webcor riders, a very tall German, said in his best German accent, "The Big Chicken (Paul), and the Little Chicken (me), worked very well together". I had a good laugh at being called the Little Chicken.

Well done Paul! I owe you one.


Saturday, February 13, 2010


Big Rob, better than ever!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Poor College Kids Race Report

Hey guys & gals -

Four Chickens in the B section of Cat 5, unfortunately nobody made the top-20, at least not according to the results. I got dropped from the main bunch on the final climb and chased to get back with Big Rob but didn't make it back on. Of course after working my guts out in the last few miles Rob sprinted by me at the line and towed some hanger-on with him, dammit. Somehow Bill McBride got dropped from the results although he finished in front of me - strange actually that Rob and I show as the first two Chickens, I could have sworn I saw the kit ahead as I sunk into a red haze on the final climb...

One wicked crash on the fast downhill on the way out - some rocks on the side of the road, somebody twitched at 40mph and one guy's front wheel got taken out, so he's sliding down the road just in front of me and the next guy runs into him, tumbles over and lands VERY heavily on his shoulder & back. He howled the worst sound I've heard from a human in a long time. He was STILL ON THE GROUND when we came back through an hour later, that's some seriously poor medical service if you ask me. Rumor at the finish was it was a compound fracture, too.

At the finish line, got to watch Susie Willets WIN the women's 3/4 race, looked like Jane in 2nd, and Dave Letteiri won the sprint from the main bunch to get 3rd in the Men's 3. Sorry, no photos, I didn't have a decent camera. Attached is an iphone shot of the men's 5B results, just for anyone's interest. Apparently the winner was a professional BMX racer, some grumbling about his placement in Cat 5...

Best regards,

-- Paul

Friday, January 29, 2010

Home Depot Velodrome Invaded By Team Chicken Ranch!

The Chickens took over Home Depot Velodrome in Los Angeles. Check out the photos and video. Good Times!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Gibralter Time Trial, Ouch!

Hello Everyone,

What a morning for a ride up the Gib! It was surprisingly warm this morning as we rode up to the start of the race. Thankfully Luke was there driving Dave's truck up to the summit so everyone could throw their extra clothes in at the bottom and get 'em back at the top. Pretty decent turnout for the race as well. Lots of Chickens that's for sure. Some new faces and a few guys I haven't seen for awhile. It was nice to see Ben Stefanski back out there again. He hasn't lost a step. The scenery was so awesome this morning it almost made me forget all the pain and suffering that's required to haul yourself up to 3,900ft on a bike.

I don't really know anyone's times but everyone looked pretty good and it wasn't long before the whole group was reassembled at the summit and we began a nice leisurely ride across East Camino and down Painted Cave. Hard to think of a better way to start your Saturday morning! Great job everyone!

Check out the results

Hope to see you all on MTB's tomorrow morning!

See ya,


Jan 2nd, Death March!

Hello Everyone,

What a day! We started out with about 10-12 brave souls heading out for the full monte. A surprise visit by multiple time National Cyclocross Champion Tim Johnson and his wife Lynn made all of us work a little harder than usual up Old San Marcos and 154 but we pretty much stuck together and got to the Armour Ranch turn-off as a group. There we were joined by a few reinforcements including Kim McD, David Jurist, Mike Abbott, Gene, and a few others. A little later we were also joined by a few of Mike Hecker's Coastal Tree care riders so we had a pretty good sized group as we approached the base of Figueroa Mtn. The climb was long and relentless but with some pretty spectacular scenery. As would be expected there were riders spread all over the mountain but everyone made it to the top in one piece. Except for Carson Blume. He ended up taking a little dip in one of the small creek crossings on the way up. Luckily the new white Chicken Ranch kit is "water safe". Near the top of Fig we were joined by Susie and Kimberly and we rode as a group into Los Olivos for a little lunch stop at the Country Market. I was feeling pretty worked at this point but a nice tri-tip sandwich and a coke brought me right back from the edge. At this point some there was some dissention in the ranks. Tim Johnson decided he was going to ride back home along 154 and back the way we came thus shortening the ride considerably. My guess is he was intimidated by the depth of talent within Team Chicken Ranch and the relentless pace that we maintain and he felt that to continue on would simply be too difficult. Afterall he has Cyclocross Worlds coming up in 3 weeks......Then again maybe he was just bored of riding around with a bunch of weekend warriors?....I'm going with my first guess. Several other riders also opted for the "shorter" loop leaving only 5 brave, hearty souls to continue on. Gabe Garcia, Dan Rudd, Carson, Blume, Randall Tinney, and myself. Fortunately we had a few Coastal Tree Care boys willing to escort us all the way to the end of Alisal and the 101. Thanks guys we owe you one!

We did a great job of working together and made great time down the 101 taking turns on the front. Once again I slightly over-estimated the distance of this ride and it only ended up being 104 miles (from In-N-Out) instead of the 117 I had originally thought. I took us just under 7 hours total time including the lunch stop and a few regroups....not too shabby. We have to do this ride again! It's a great loop and not as difficult as I intially thought it might be. Don't get me's tough....but it's not a death march. The only real mishap on the whole ride was when I dropped my camera going about 30 mph down the back side of Figueroa. Thankfully, it survived. Looking forward to doing a few more big rides next weekend!

See ya,


Happy 2010

Hello Everyone,

What a great way to start out the new year! We had a fantastic ride up Little Pine and Camuesa Connector this morning. Great turnout! with about 20 riders starting out at 9:00am from Lower Oso. The fireroad had these sections of sticky mud that made the climb a little tougher but we all made it up without to many problems. It was good to see Greg Knowles out there ridin' like a champ. Angelo showed up for I believe his first Mountain Chicken ride and showed that he's been hiding some impressive MTB skills from all of us, but now the cat's outta the bag. Steve Boelter showed up in his new CR kit lookin' good! I've seen him plenty of times in his old Platinum kit and I always thought he was a nice guy, but until I saw him in a CR kit I never realized just how handsome he really is. Black and red are definitely his colors.....he must be a summer.

The Santa Cruz trail is world class, and in great condition. The ride down was a blast. I'd forgotten that Little Pine is higher than the front range and you can still see the ocean and the islands from the summit....stunning. When we got to the bottom a few of us decided to climb the 19 Oaks trail as a "shortcut" back over to the top of Camuesa Connector. Dave has appropriately renamed the 19 Oaks trail the "19 hikes" trail but it got us where we wanted to go. When we finally got back to the cars Luke, Jonathon, and Greg were already there drinking beers and hanging out. I was a little embarrassed for Luke 'cause he was drinking "girl" beer......bud light with lime. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I just pictured Luke being more of a Sam Adams, or Colt 45, kinda guy, but at least now I'll know what kinda beer to get for the Team Chicken Ranch end of the year party.

Well, time to rest up! I want to make sure I have plenty of energy to lay on the side of road with double leg cramps during tomorrows ride! Anyone who didn't ride today is going to have to do all the pulling at the front tomorrow.........Aaron Baker, Dan Rudd, Randy.....this means you!

See ya in the morning!


December Mountain Bike Fun!

We had a nice little turnout of 6 Chickens for a great ride on Sunday.

It was a bit chilly early, my computer showed as low as 41 degrees early in the ride, but it warmed up quickly and the trails were in epic condition, very Nice! The Magnolia contingent registered about 40 miles and 4000’ feet of climbing in just over 4 hours, others probably came in a bit lower.

A couple high/low lights included Fastrack, Iron Mike and Platinum Nick cleaning the rock wall, then Big Rob pausing to take a bath trailside, and I got the chance to ride the final 25 miles or so with only one foot clipped in due to a pedal spring failure.

Hope to see a few more ‘smiling’ faces next time. It looks like the first Team Big Bear XC race event will be Sagebrush Safari on Feb 28, not too far away at all….

Ride On!


Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Years Day 2010-Little Pine

In case you missed all the muddy fun on New Years Day, you check it out by watching the video.