Friday, January 15, 2010

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,


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