On Saturday, October 1st, 2011, it was the National Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day. We decided to join in on the festivities at the local event that Adam Davidson was hosting in Irvine Park. Over 150 people in attendance and about 80 of that number were kids!
We signed up for a short 4 miler ride that consisted of paved and fire roads.
Big thanks to Adam Davidson for putting on this event for the local OC folks.
Tons of bikes everywhere!
Aleah in her giraffe jersey waiting to get her raffle tickets. She took home some nice schwag that included a hat, gloves, a Hans Rey poster and a t-shirt. The grand prize for the raffle was a brand new Rocky Mountain 24″ Reaper mountain bike. A lucky 5 year old boy won it.
Priscilla and Aleah enjoying the event.
Aleah and Dad. Like my white sunglasses? Dollar store. Get yours today!
OK the time is near, I feel it in my bones, like the birds that get the urge to go south for winter or the migration the whales do to baja, its time, time to make our trek to the city of sin, the city that never sleeps, the city where a beam of light shoots into the air and breaks into space never to be seen again. On the way we pass an old ghost, a road named Zyzxx, the worlds biggest thermometer. The pull, the pull its getting stronger. I start looking at the hills and mountains and think to myself how would I go down this hill, how would I climb it.
This place, this place in the desert that lights up so bright at night like a diamond waiting to suck the life out of some, but not me, not me for I’m on the way to my “MECCA”, my place of worship once a year where we gather, we the media, we the dealers, we the makers that give you the riders what you want.
Ohhhh I feel it, my place of worship, my “MECCA”, but the first stop at my “MECCA” is the place in the desert where we start our trek up and down the hills of this place that will torture our souls with dust, heat, beer. A place of tents with goods, but none to trade only to show, touch, and drool over, but this is only the start for their is much, much more to be had in the fallowing days. It is not just of feasting on what the makers bring for us to show you, but to also catch up with old friends, see new movies, go to feast, drink free beer, and more beer, and then some more AAahhhhhh, INTERBIKE is coming!!!!!
And in this time it is up to us the media to show you as much as possible to entice you as we get enticed by all that the makers bring to show us and the dealers what will be out in the coming months. You will start to see the pre spy photos and new lines of gear, parts, and bikes ( I have goose bumps just thinking about it.), and as we pass through the gates where only the chosen are allowed we will bring it to you through email, tweets, Skype, Youtube, and websites, and all manner possible.
So to give you your pre shot you need here is a taste of last year’s travel to my mecca, “INTERBIKE !!” Enjoy.
Friends come to share smiles, we walk along in the wonderful sunlight and ride all that is new to us, oh what a wonder time we live
There is so much to see while you are here you will surly miss much. One has to slow him or herself down to not miss anything, control, control, you must learn control.
If you love the things you do, do them to the fullest extent and never stop. I truly believe that you will remain younger at heart in your mind as well as your body.
While I’m here I make my peace with all that is cycling, from road to mountain, to BMX, cruiser, and yes even fixie ( The latest fade that has lasted for what over five years now, OK it’s not a fade anymore.)
LAST YEAR WAS TO BE THE LAST YEAR IN THE DESERT OF DECADENCE
Yes this was to be true 2010 was to be it for Interbike here in Vegas. The kegs were going off the parties were many, heck one group was doing it big by giving top notch whiskey shot as a toast fair well to the Vegas venue just about every hour and handing out mustaches to go with the toast. Now this is STYLE!!
And you would look for the popping open of the kegs of beer.
NIGHTLIFE IN VEGAS WE KNOW
As the show ends for the day it is time for us to venture out into the lands around us, to see the sights, the sounds, the smells, the people that walk about, ahhh it is quite the adventure here in our annul trek to our “MECCA” we call INTERBIKE. All that we suffer to bring you the newest pics of the the best bikes and products, the stories of things to be and the things that never will.
This summer here in Orange County at Irvine lake is a local mountain bike races series on Tuesday nights. The Over the Hump series spans about three months and is twelve races long. This past Tuesday concluded the second installment of the series.
The first race had around 600 hundred riders participate and there were 77 riders in my class alone. The course is a fairly simple one with no major technical sections, and only two longer extended climbs. The starting line is a fire-road type section overlooking a nice view across Irvine Lake. From the starting line the road makes a generally straight shot to the first climb, but it is subject to two way traffic from the riders (mainly expert/pros on the first lap) ahead returning from the first loop. The course takes a hard right hand turn up the first climb of the lap.
The climb starts the first part of the loop and at the top it levels off hits a added section that differed from the first week’s course. It went through a few turns and and headed down the other side of the hill from what we climbed and then back around and up to where we dropped down and back down the way we came up. After this descent was the fireroad that led back to the starting line.
Just past the starting line the course makes a left across the lake. After a short rise and matching decline the course leads into another flat. The flat leads around the back of the back the hill which holds the final big (relatively to this course) climb of the lap. From there a short descent leads to the the longest section of mainly single-track with some quick turns. The first week this area ended in a big very muddy section through the brush, but for the second race was a reroute through the sand. Once out of the brush a short fire-road leads to the finish line.
The first week I was in a rather large class, as I mentioned before, and I started near the back of the group. So for the second race I made sure to try and start closer to the front of the pack. Once off the line the leaders where in a full-out sprint. I sat and spun at a good clip and tried to keep the leaders in site. By my count there were about 7 riders ahead of me at this point and I was trailing the lead pack. We hit the first climb and I thought I passed about 5 riders on the climb. I stood the whole way through the climb hoping to put the other two riders back in sight, but to no avail. The first lap continued uneventful I didn’t see any other riders from my class.
As I exited the brush at the end of the first lap a I finally saw another rider from my class as he passed me. I made sure to stay tight on him through the flats to the first climb where I return the favor and passed him. I pushed hard up the hill to put as much ground as I could between us. Down and back up the back side of the hill I pushed hard before heading down and out of that section. As I crossed the lake the other rider in may class was able to pass me again. After leading through that section of flats I didn’t have enough to fend him off. I made sure to keep him in sight and thought I should be able to gain some ground back on the final climb. I did gain ground, but only cut the distance in half and it was not enough to pass him again. Only twenty yards or so separated us as we zipped through the remaining single-track. As we hit the sand he was able to get around a sport rider who was keeping a good pace. He was going fast enough that I didn’t have enough left to pass him through the sand. As I hit solid ground again it was a hammer-fest to the finish line I was stood the last quarter mile in a full sprint to the finish line.
I finish 14 seconds behind the other rider in my class, thinking we were probably about 4th & 5th respectively. Once the results were in to my surprise, I was way off. It turns out I finished 2nd, and once the results were finalized, after the first two races I am leading the series as well.
This past Tuesday was the kickoff for the 2011 season of Over The Hump. If you are not familiar, this is an XC event held at Irvine lake on Tuesday nights. I participated in a few last season, and enjoyed the laid back, friendly vibe. So I am back again for some more fun. One thing I noticed right away, it was packed! There were 450+ racers! And tons of sponsors on hand to help out. I got there early, check in was a breeze. Met up with teammate Dan B, and hit the course for a pre-ride.
The course was close to last seasons. The lake is full right now, so some of the single track on the first half is under water. This lead us to run a lot of fire road this time out. One lap was just at 4 miles. Also one thing to note, the last section, ( which never had any mud last season ) was little muddy on the pre ride.
After the kids race, the masses lined up. It was kinda hectic at the start, I couldn’t tell how big may class was. I got a spot on the front row, planning for a good start. When the horn went off, I sprinted to get out front. That didn’t last too long. Guys were going all out to get a good position on the first climb. I settled in the middle of the pack, and fought some traffic up the hill. Once we hit the return road I was able to pass a few, and jump on a group charging the flat road to the other side of the lake. This side has a short and a longer climb that leads into twisty stuff, the entire course is pretty smooth and super tame, this meant guys were hammering the whole time. At the end of lap 1 we hit the muddy section I mentioned. By now it was worse, I was able to pedal through it, but it was tough. Part way into lap 2 I wasn’t feeling so good. I think it was the bad result of eating a banana, Honey Stingers, and a GU before the start. I backed off a bit, but kept a good pace. once I hit the mud again, there was no riding through it. I dismounted and ran past a few guys trying to ride it out. How muddy was it? Heres an idea.
The third lap my legs felt good, but my poor choice of food was messing with me. I didn’t see any others from my class. There was another bottleneck in the mud, so I jumped off again and this time it was ankle deep. I know most of the racers hated this section. But honestly it was a great place to pass the faster guys that didn’t want to get their shoes dirty. After a quick spin to the finish line, it was all over. At just under an hour and 12 miles, this race was a real fast paced. I placed 17th the a class of 43, I got some work to do to hit the Top Ten. The word on the street is, no muddy section next race. Stay tuned for more reports from the OTH series.
Come Participate in the First Ever XC Race in Orange Counties’ Irvine Regional and Santiago Oaks Parks – Saturday, July 16th
Irvine, CA (CFEpr+) May 16, 2011 – – Okole Stuff, makers of the “Worlds’ Best Chamois Ointment” announce the inaugural OKOLE STUFF CUP mountain
bike race for riders of all levels, to be held at Irvine Regional Park on July 16th, 2011.
In addition to the race, multiple manufacturers will provide bikes for consumers to demo on the course when the racing is finished.
“Okole Stuff is proud to present the first mountain bike race to ever be held in one of Orange County’s awesome parks ,” states Ron Sawicki, President of Enduro Stuff, makers of Okole Stuff. “I’ve been to World Cups around the globe, and this course is absolutely World Class.”
For multiple reasons, OC Parks have never authorized anyone to put on a race in County property, until Sawicki presented his plan for the Okole Stuff Cup.
“The course itself is unbelievable,” continues Ron, “we start in the back of Irvine Park at our Festival-style Start/Finish area, then make our way on pavement to some open fireroad, across the creek and then onto incredible new single and double-track climbs in Santiago Oaks, before dropping down the ridges back to the Festival area.”
Each nine-mile lap contains over 1000 feet of climbing, smooth singletrackand technical rocky drops, providing exciting mountain bike action for participants and spectators alike. Beginners will do one lap, while Pro’s will do three on kona use this this challenging course.
This Saturday, April 30th was the Project Rwanda ride. This a ride to raise money for Project Rwanda, and they provide bikes for those in Rwanda to be able to transports agricultural produce. According to their website:
Project Rwanda is committed to furthering the economic development of Rwanda through initiatives based on the bicycle as a tool and symbol of hope. Our goal is use the bike to help boost the Rwandan economy as well as re-brand Rwanda as a beautiful and safe place to do business and visit freely.
They sell tons of raffle tickets, and will give away a carbon bike as the grand prize, as well as lots of smaller items. There are two ride options available for those who want to participate, 25 miles and 50 miles. Somewhere in my confused brain I thought, “I’ve done 25 mile ride before, why don’t I do the 50”. Needless to say I am now paying the penalty for that decision. From what I heard they were expecting around 600 riders for the day. The 50 mile ride started at 7:00am and the 25 at 9:00am. When I arrived at Cook’s Corner early due to limited parking for the start of the race, the wind was absolutely howling. I prepped the bike and stayed in the car out of the wind. There wasn’t a good area to spin and warm up, plus 50 mile is plenty of time to warm up, so I waited till the last minute jump on the bike and spin a little bit.
After some brief comments by one of the ride organizers, he finished by stating, “You have now officially started.” It took a few moments for those at the very front that this meant GO! This was a mass start so even near the middle of the pack it took a minute before I even started moving. The first section of the course followed part of the Aliso Creek bike trail (which is paved). This was just downhill enough that there was no point in pedaling on the single speed. Next was the first turn onto dirt and riders were backing up trying to get into single file for the single track. This section headed into the Whiting Ranch for a small loop. After a quick climb the trail headed down and out of Whiting on single track. With SO many riders so densely packed, this was the absolute slowest I had ever ridden through Whiting. At every water crossing, there were at least five riders who would stop for some unknown reason. I never did figure out why so many riders seemed to have a water phobia on this ride. This fear of water continued throughout the entire ride and only got worse as the water crossings got bigger and deeper.
Once out of Whiting we headed back toward Cook Corner’s and on to O’Neil via Live Oak Canyon. This was a fairly easy stretch, but had some good climbs. The first aid station I knew was around the 12mi marker, although at this point it felt like I was past 12mi, it was probably only 8-10mi. By this point the riders were starting to thin out a little bit, but the hardest part for me, being on the single speed, was the single track climbs. All the geared riders would immediately drop into granny up the hills and spin away, not climbing very quickly. I, however, had to stand and crank on the pedals to get up the hill, but it was even harder to do it at a slow pace. By this point I was beyond the brief 10-15% of the course I had actually ridden before, and everything was going to be new to me. So I pulled over for a quick snack. I had checked with another rider before the race who does a good amount of endurance riding and was informed that your body is only capable of making us of approximately 250 calories and 24oz of water per hour. Based on that info I had loaded my pack accordingly with GU gels, Cliff Bars, Gatorade, GU chews, orange slices, and a peanut butter & honey sandwich (for the home stretch). I ate one of my oranges, chugged some Gatorade and took off again.
As I continued to head on I scaled back my pace a bit to make sure I wouldn’t run out of steam too soon. This section was mainly rolling fire-road and a little bit of pavement till I hit the first aid station. The aid stations had plenty of extra water, Gatorade, snack bars, as well as fresh oranges and bananas. I downed a couple a bananas, a bottle of Gatorade, a shot of GU, and a bag of chips. The aid station was near a set of restrooms, which I made use of while they were available and because I had already had to stop once and answer the call of nature. The though did cross my mind at this point, if this is only 25% of the course, how am I going to finish. After the brief rest, I was feeling good and headed out. Once past the first aid station the riders definitely began to thin out. After about 10-15 minutes I began to feel the benefits of the food I had consumed and kept on spinning. Not far out past the aid station I hit some pavement as the course wound away from the dirt and through a few intersections. In just a few miles I came upon the second aid station. I only stopped long enough to grab a few Cliff Bars and down another bottle of Gatorade and kept pedaling. I’m sure I probably was not eating quite enough as I should, but my stomach is not very forgiving when it comes to mixing food with strenuous exercise.
I was already in unfamiliar territory by this point. All the dirt was new to me, and I had to start keeping an eye out for the trail markers as not every turn had someone pointing in the right directions and no large groups of riders to follow. After some downhill section which I knew would be tough on the way back I came across several water crossings and each seemingly followed by sand pits. And just like before there were riders who didn’t know how to attack the crossings. The water on the deepest crossings was only about 12-18”in. My fee didn’t even get wet till the third one. The sand coming out of the water was pretty deep. A lot of riders ahead had given up and were just walking through. I pedaled through most of them, but 2/3 of the way through the biggest sand pit, my front wheel sunk in and I was done in with it. A quick hike a bike out of the sand let to trail through the river bottom that was just painful at this point. All of the little river rocks were just chattering me to death.
Rolling hills and deserted fire-road came and went for several miles as I tried one by one to pick off the isolated riders ahead of me. In one section I came charging down a fire-road only to find a off-camber left turn at the bottom with a large rain rut on the outside of the turn. I quickly tried to lose as much speed as possible before I made a fatal mistake and ended up going OTB. Just as my front tire slid into the rut I had gotten my speed under control and was able to keep rolling through the rut without going over the bars. There were constant reminders that MTB’ers were not the only ones to use these trails as evidence of horses was more than abundant. After a bit of trail that was more down than up I rolled up on pavement and third aid station situated just past the halfway point.
As I sat resting in the shade at the aid station I contemplated how much energy I really had left. It felt like I had used up 75% on the first 50% of the mileage. More bananas, oranges, and a cliff bar quickly were eaten while I chatted with some of the other riders from which I found out that there was a big climb out of where we were back in the other directions. I took a little longer rest knowing that the first thing out of the gate was another big climb. There were guys at the rest stop cleaning and lubing chains, so I took advantage of that while I rested and ate. I was not really watching the clock on my rest, but quickly enough I reached a point where I realized that I was only postponing the inevitable and further rest would not be of any benefit.
I headed out to face the pain of the final half of my journey. Just like I had been told shortly after the aid station there was a long grind. The first bit of it was not too steep and I slowly conquered it. The last section got fairly steep and I ramped up what speed I could and made it about halfway up before I spun out and lost my momentum. A quick HAB up the remaining climb, I then headed back through the rolling hills that led to the sand and water crossings. After the final water crossing there is a significant climb, but all the riders ahead of me stopped to clean their bike in the middle of the trail at the foot of the climb. On the single-speed this just sucks, as momentum is your best friend. I ended up having to attack the hill in sections, stopping for air several times. This just depleted what remaining energy I had, and in the 35-40 mile range I was really SSuffering. I was starting to get cramps in both legs, and when I straightened my legs they cramped up badly and wanted to stay that way. About the only thing keeping me moving forward was sheer stubbornness and unwilling to give up. I was definitely slowing down and other geared riders were passing me. I came across some covered benches and took a few minutes to rest.
I got back on the bike and continued on at what felt like a snail’s pace, but I was still riding. After a while I came upon a group and riders and used them to pace me and chatted with them along the way. After a while things were starting to look familiar and I realized we were quickly approaching the second aid station on the return route. With that glimmer of hope, I had a small resurgence of energy and pulled ahead of the small group I had been pacing with. The aid station was down in supplies to mainly water and a few granola bars which I passed on. Finding a spot in the shade to rest, I finished off my remaining fruit as well as my sandwich. I still had a good amount of water remaining, so once my food was eaten there was no point in further rest. From the aid station it was pavement for a bit, so even on the mild uphill, it was fairly easy even in my tired state. Soon enough I found dirt and generally gravity was in my favor as I headed back passed the first aid station toward O’Neil Park.
I came through the pavement section of O’Neil and began the last major climb of the ride. I was so spent I had to break it up in to section again stopping every hundred yards or so. By the top of the climb it had gotten too steep to ride. I hiked the remaining bit of the climb and the cramps returned only much worse this time. I made it to the top of the climb and the last hard climb was over. With every pedal stroke my legs wanted to lock up whenever they straightened. The cramps were bad, but I was not about to quit this close to the end. I was on the home stretch, and I could virtually see the finish line. That alone was enough to give me the burst of energy I needed to finish strong. Up the final climb at Live Oak Canyon, and down the hill back to El Toro and Cook’s Corner where the finish line was. It felt good to be done!! I had never done a ride of this caliber before, let alone on a single-speed. 50 miles is a long way, and this was an awesome but painful ride.
Over the weekend we participated in a track rental at the Orange Y that our friends Nick and Megan DiBlasi coordinated. This meant full access to the track and a working start gate. Since I’ve never done anything like this before, I felt a bit out of place and even intimidated. But after my first go at the track, I knew I was hooked. Oh I have to mention that this was so exhausting! By the time I got to the finish line, I was completely zapped and my throat was burning while my legs shook. As painful as it was, I was having a blast! I went back up to the start gate and went on the track again. By the time I was on my 3rd round, I was starting to figure out how to pump the course when and where to pedal.
Joe, RL, Gabe, Khoa, Jacob and a really fast guy.
This was a family friendly event. Kids from all ages were welcome to ride the track. That’s me in the red wearing my Rad Racing shirt, I thought it was appropriate for the event. Jared and Joe Solancho right behind. Joe used to take Jared to the venue when he was a kid to race, so it was nice to see him on the track enjoying himself.
Even Little Jake was having a go around the track.
Everyone was having so much fun that even Priscilla decided to try this BMX thing out.
She was actually pretty good at it, I think years of mountain biking paid off. She liked it so much, now she’s thinking of racing BMX!
Our friends Khoa (who is Mr. Careful) and Doc Thunda was getting RAD on the track.
Well that’s about it kids, if you ever get a chance to practice a BMX track, do it! We were just lucky to get invited, but I do know this, we’re hooked. So much so that I’m already window shopping for a 24″ BMX Cruiser.
Big thanks to the DiBlasi’s for arranging this event!
If you’re going to be in the Orange County area on Saturday, April 30th, 2011, then head on over to the Orange Y BMX track and ride with us. Here’s some of the details:
We have booked the Orange Y BMX Track for Saturday April 30th, 2011 from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. This will be a great time to catch up on your Mountain Bike and or BMX skills and have a good time. We will have all types of bikes racing so bring what you got. We are allowed to arrive 30 minutes prior. Anyone without an ABA Membership will need to sign a waiver form, which I will provide to you before the riding begins.
Some of use will be heading to the local pizza place after so everyone is more then welcome to join.
If we get 20 people it is only $15.00 per person for the entire time. The more people we get the better the deal. Please make sure you RSVP so we can plan accordingly.
Feel free to invite anyone you think that would have a good time.
Helmet Required : Full Face or road style
Long Sleeves or Short Sleeves w/Elbow Pads
Pants or Shorts w/knee Pads
Orange Y BMX
2241 E. Palmyra
We will be meeting there from 3:15-3:30 so we can get all the paperwork and waivers taken care of. Please note everyone must fill out a waiver form in order to ride the track.
Also if we are trying to get a final head count of who is coming so we can finalize the rental.
Everyone is more than welcome to bring friends and family as there is plenty of riding room and seating for many. We will have tons of bikes so and riders of all ages and skill levels so
We will be getting pizza after and everyone is welcome to join. If you are planning on joining us for pizza please let us know as we will be making reservations at Round Table Pizza down the street.
Don’t get intimidated, this is going to be my first time there too. Besides, from what I understand, we can bring our mountain bikes!