A ride so hot and humid, we couldn’t figure out what we were doing.

On Saturday a few of us set out for a ride through Aliso Woods. Normally it’s pretty cool there because it’s within walking distance from the ocean. Walking distance would mean like a few miles. I’m sure you could walk it, but I wouldn’t want to. Anyhow here’s a view from Lady P’s perspective as we’re trying to figure out where we were headed.

mtnbikeriders.com at aliso woods

At a certain point the heat just made things worse for all of us. Personally I had already bonked after the first climb, while Doc Thunda and our friend Josh had mentioned they were out late drinking and partying as it was 1999. Here we are at another junction on the trail, not really sure where to go, the heat had clouded out judgement.
aliso woods mtnbikeriders.com

Eventually we figured out what we were going to do. Here’s my vantage point after the ride…I was beat!

Heat is one thing that I consider such a buzz kill. I can handle the cold, but the heat is something else. It’s not like I can dress down any further when it’s hot. Besides I really doubt that anyone would want to see me riding in my birthday suit and if I fell, can you imagine how much road rash I’d get! Yikes!

Checks and Balances

So get this…on Memorial Day, Lady P and I loaded up our 29ers and headed down to our favorite trail, Aliso Woods for some not so epic riding. As we’re traveling down the freeway at 70mph, I hit a bump on the road, and then I look on my rear view and noticed Lady P’s bike fell off and was only hanging by the front wheel!!! I yelled like a school girl that just saw a spider and pulled over right away.

I rush to the back of our van, and quickly inspect her Airborne Hobgoblin 29er’s rear wheel. Whoa! Part of the tread was shaved off since it was dragging behind the van at 70mph. I inspected my mounting job and realized that I forgot to strap down the rear wheel…dork!

I get the bike mounted back on and Lady P is giving me the evil eye…Lucky for me her bike didn’t end up on the freeway and causing an accident. Phew! After we get riding, we felt so sluggish. I guess drinking the night before totally affects our athletic performance the following day, how do I know this? Because I totally sucked, I couldn’t climb squat. But as a consolation prize, Lady P got this photo of us. That’s my sexy mountain biker, seduction look. Is it working for ya?

The moral of the story is to have checks and balances. Lady P and I do quite a bit of riding together. Usually I’m the one loading up the bikes and gear. So we came to an agreement that the next time we ride, she will double check the bikes before we hit the road. It’s probably a good idea to have other people who might carpool with you to double check your mounting job.

Fun is Fun!

This past weekend Priscilla and I called up the troops to see if they’d like to join us at Aliso Woods for a super fun, easy paced ride. This venue has to be one of our favorite places to ride. It offers so much as far as variety in the type of trails out there. One can chose to go DH while another can do XC. But on our ride, we stuck with XC riding.

Our planned route was to hit some of our favorite trails. For Nick and Mark, Lynx was something they’ve never tried. So we made sure we hit it as our first descent.

Priscilla was celebrating her birthday that weekend. She took some great photos of the trip. Here’s one where I’m looking for a snack in her hydration pack.

Here’s some of the pictures she took. I love my EVEL jersey.

Doc Thunda showing that he has 5 fingers on his hand. Mind you, one of them is fake. He lost a finger during the great war in Romania.

Did you know the new iPhone 4s takes some amazing photos?

In this shot I was showing Mark where babies come from.

Nick is my new stalking buddy. Ever since he signed up for Latitude, I’ve been stalking him. Sometimes if I see that he’s only a few miles from me, I’ll drive over to where he’s at and just watch him.

I love this photo because it shows of our jerseys being worn by 2 of the manilest men I know! Don’t they look hot!

I busted out the Drift helmet cam and captured what you’ll see below.

Memorial Day Ride 2011

Much like most of you folks, we took advantage of the holiday and got some riding in. But before I go on, I would like to thank the men and women, past, preset, and future who have served this great country we live in. Thank you for all the hard work and sacrifice that you all have done.

On this holiday ride, we decided to enjoy the trails of Aliso Woods in Southern California. This is one of our favorite local destinations because it provides something for every skill level. From fire roads to downhill trails, Aliso Woods has it all.

We were joined by some of the guys on the race team, Dan Burdett, Corey Pond, Priscilla Policar, Yours Truly, and Art Aguilar. We were also in for a treat because one of our favorite Chinese people, Jeremy Yang was in attendance. The last time Jeremy and I rode together was just about a year ago, it was right before his Jet9 got stolen. Though, he and I only live minutes away from each other, our busy family lives have prevented us from doing too many group rides…DARN KIDS, always cramping my style! Anyhow, Team Medic, Doctor Thunda was there on hand to make sure that we were all medically safe. Khoa Nguyen, Team IT Administrator was also there just to make sure none of our technological equipment had any problems.
As we worked our way up Woods Canyon, Priscilla lead the faster group.
Priscilla @ Aliso

This is Charles, he has magical Asian hair. I was super jealous of his long dark locks. But then again, in order for me to grow hair longer than 2″, I’d need a some major doses of Rogaine.
Charles @ Alis

My Daughter and I rocked the trail on our tandem.
Tandem @ Aliso

We ended up doing a short ride because we had to hurry on over to the Original Pancake House for Breakfast. Holy Smokes! Have you ever eaten there? This was a first for many of us, but Dan Burdett goes there at least 3 times a week. He says their food is his secret training weapon.

Here’s a glimpse of how intimate our team can be. Corey and I LOVE to feed each other. Let’s just hope this photo doesn’t surface when either of us are looking for a new job and the potential employer decides to Google our names.

Weekend Ride Report: Double Dose of Downhill fun!!!

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a weekend of back to back rides. With a busy schedule sometimes getting ONE ride on the weekend is difficult enough. This weekend felt like a treat as on Saturday I headed off to Aliso Woods. I rode with a new group of riders who I met the previous week. A bunch of super cool guys ad good riders!

We met at one of the trailheads bright and early. We took a shorter route to the top so we can get started quicker on one of the downhill runs that Aliso has to offer. First on the list was Lynx – a pure adrenaline rush as we jammed non stop to the bottom. After we regrouped, we rode back close to our starting point to a trail called Cholla.

Group getting their armor on before we head down Lynx.

Riding back to Cholla for another trip up.

This was a series of switchbacks that would take us back to the top where we can hit another downhill run called Rock-It. Down Rock-It was just as fun if not better than Lynx. We hit a series of rock gardens as well as fast swooping lefts and rights. We ended the run by jamming down a jarring straight away… a total blast!!! Below is video from Saturday.

On Sunday I decided to go to a local “secret” downhill run with Val. About a month ago I took RL and Val here. It’s referred by us locals as a “secret” trail to prevent it from over-crowding and causing problems with the neighborhood; therefore exposure is kept to a minimum. Typically we do these shuttle runs with three or more cars however today it was just Val and I. We’re fine tuning our new sleds – Intense Slope Style 2 (Val’s) and my Uzzi VP.


How does it work? We would take car #1 up and leave car #2 at the bottom. Once we ride our bikes to the bottom, we load up car #2, drive up and retrieve the first car. Both cars drive to the bottom then leave car #1. Since the bikes are already on car #2, we take that up to the top… then the same cycle continues. Get the idea? I know it’s kind of confusing but it works 🙂


Today we had a total of three runs. On the first and second run Val led as I followed him with a helmet camera. On the second run, I led as I had the camera mounted facing the rear. Totally FUN!!! Check the videos below from this weekend’s ride.

Saturday – Aliso Woods

Sunday – W. Cyn

Aliso Woods Ride Report: Soma Double Cross Off-Road Update

Today Priscilla, Khoa and I hit up Aliso Woods for our Saturday morning adventure. As I was getting things ready in the garage. I stood there for about a good 2 minutes trying to decide on which bike to take to the trail. If you’ve ridden Aliso Woods, then you’ll know that this is can be one tough place to ride. I went back and forth between the KHS XCT 555(All Mountain) and the Soma Double Cross (Cyclocross).

Before deciding on which bike to ride, I visualized the various trails that we’d traverse and imagined how the bike would react to the conditions. I finally made a choice and it was the Soma Double Cross. I knew that this bike may have a harder time on certain sections, but it definitely would add some flavor to my day.

Priscilla and I got in the car and made the 40 minute commute to the trail head. This was also Priscilla’s second time out on her new KHS XC 604 frame so she was looking forward to seeing how it would perform.

Obligitary bike on the shoulder pose.

As we made our way through Woods Canyon, we finally ended up at the start of a tough climb, Cholla. There’s a few guys that I know that could literally climb this trail in less than 5 minutes, in fact Eric “The Animal” Hunner does that climb on his single speed in about 4 minutes. Well for regular folk like me, I can, on a good.rare day, muster up that hill in about 7 minutes. But today was certainly going to be different.

I started the climb strong, but after reaching the first few switchbacks, my legs were toast and was relegated to walking a major portion of the hill. From Cholla, we made our way to Top of the World. This place provides some awesome views of Laguna Beach. What you see below is the Pacific. We’ve had some overcast this whole month of June, but it usually burns off by 10am and once it does, that ocean is spectacular to look at.

After our snack break, we then rode over to Meadows. After we pass a residential area, there’s a big of descent behind some homes then back up again then down one more time. Khoa had warned me to stay to the left, but I ignored his warning and decided to go right. I figured that I had ridden the right side before so what harm could it be? I start doing down on the right side, my front tire goes into a rut, it high sides the rut, next thing you know I’m about to go over.

Funny thing about it, as I was falling, I felt like it was in slow motion and I’m thinking in my head, “Oh man, this is going to be bad…” Fortunately, I was able to clip out of my pedals and bailed out before hitting the ground.

Pointing to the nearest all you can eat buffet.

The best part about mountain biking would be the time I get to spend with Priscilla. I figured God REALLY likes me to have blessed me with a hot bikin’ babe. It’s really been encouraging to see her progress in this sport. I still remember the days when she’d walk everything. Now she’s bombing down the trails with her eyes closed and no brakes! I love that woman!

Here’s a short clip from our ride. I originally wanted to make a uber cool video with great angles and all that, but I got too impatient with having to stop to get a shot and regroup that we decided to just keep riding.

Regarding the update on the Soma Double Cross. The frame and fork are UBER sturdy. Even though the rigid bike was a bit uncomfortable while hitting brake bumps on the switch backs, the bike still performed better than I had expected. I’ve been really happy with the durability with both items and I’ve yet to find anything bad about the frame set.

I’d like to thank Khoa for the pics and a few clips of the video. Priscilla, thanks for taking some of the video as well!

I love long weekends

Most of you may have had a day off in observance of Memorial Day. First and foremost, I’d like to thank our brave men and women who have served, or are currently serving for our country. I personally appreciate all the sacrifice and hard work you all have put in.

Usually when we have a long weekend, we try to pack in some good riding. So on Saturday a group of 6 of us headed out to Aliso Woods in Socal. I love Aliso Woods because this place has some great trails that meets anyone’s needs.

After climbing a trail called Cholla, our little group split up. Priscilla, Dan and Khoa hit up Top of the World and down Meadows. While Doc, Val and I hit up Rockit.
Saturday was really nice. Blue skies and a cool breeze.

Cell phone pic of the view from Meadows. That’s the Pacific! If you look closely, right above the saddle, there’s a guy naked on the top of his roof….psych! Made you look! You’re dirty!

While Priscilla and her group were having fun in Meadows. The boy’s and I were ripping it up on Rockit. We were doing back flips, jumping gaps and riding without our hands on the bars…Unfortunately I didn’t have a camera…bummer, I wanted to really show you all the pics of me doing some gnarly stuff.

On Monday I assembled a group of guys to ride Whiting Ranch to the Luge. Funny thing is, I’ve ridden both trails before, but never connecting them. Everyone kept telling me that the would be much climbing. Oh boy…they weren’t kidding! Our climbs were long and hard (get your mind out of the gutter). We started up Mustard and I have to tell you. This alone is one tough climb. But the Animal kept doing some extra credit portions of the trail just so he could get a good work out in.
Then we headed out to the Luge for some major climbing. I made sure I kept my own pace so I wouldn’t burn my self out too soon and the guys were nice enough to wait for me since I was usually the last person.

I think they call this place Modjeska Grade. It’s a super steep road that we needed to ride on to get to the Luge.

From left to right: Dan, Chuck, Animal, Mark and Khoa. This was also snack time for us. My legs are already toast by this time. But we weren’t even half way done.

There was miles and miles of this.

Pretty view.

Animal was our leader for the day. For a guy who was hung over, he kept a pretty good pace.

Mark West


Khoa and yours truly(by the way ladies, Khoa is single and he has his own house! Call him for a date)


We finally got to the flag pole to rest and load up on snacks. This spot is right before some really nice single track called the Luge.

By the time our ride ended, we logged in about 16 long miles. My legs are gone and I’m sure I’ll be feeling it the next couple of days. But it was a great weekend overall.

Photo credits belong to Dan Burdett, Khoa Nguyen and Boss.

Sunday Ride: 02-14-2010 Aliso Woods & Laguna Wilderness Park

This past Sunday, Kim, Tony, Steve, Josh and myself met up at Aliso and Woods Canyon Wilderness park to ride what I consider one of the best Orange County All-Mountain rides.  We set out from the lower lot at 9am to pedal up Meadows to Top of the World park, descended and crossed Laguna Canyon Road to pedal up Willow Canyon Road, Descend T&A, cross Laguna Canyon Road again, ascend (walk mostly for me!) Stair steps and finally descend Rock-It to head back out to the car.

Tony entering the Trail
Tony entering the Trail

This was a maiden voyage for Tony’s new ride, a Pivot Firebird and he was diggin’ life until a pivot bolt for the upper rocker backed out and caused a failure of the upper rocker.  The bike performed well up to that point and we were able to rig a make-shift repair to avoid a long walk back to the car.

Joshua descending the last bit of T&A
Joshua descending the last bit of T&A

Joshua is a newer rider, but did pretty amazing on this ride.  Not a whimper or complaint the entire way, no angry accusal of attempts to end his life by taking him to trails this challenging, instead he was a great riding partner, he realized if he really had to think about it, it probably would be better to walk down some sections and by the end of the day his skills had increased.  Way to push your riding Josh!

Steve leading Tony at T&A
Steve leading Tony at T&A

Steve is always a hoot to ride with.  He’s got endurance to burn, a penchant for holding conversations uphill as my lungs burn and Steve’s always excited to hit new trails (this was his first ride here).

Kim near the bottom of T&A
Kim near the bottom of T&A

Kim also was new to this trail and man she impressed me.  Kim will roll over or through most anything!  It’s funny that though I may look like I’m doing something faster or better than Kim…the reality is that I’m trying to jump over, hop or avoid the obstacles that Kim is riding on top of.

I took some video with the awesome Vholdr Contour HD 1080p camera, check it out below.  The camera has been awesome, however I’m disappointed in how much the vented helmet mount rattles around, though I think I can remedy that by adding some foam to the mounting surface.  Enjoy the vid!

Aliso Woods Ride Report, this involves a crash.

Last Saturday, we met up with Joe,Cons, Gabe “Dr. Thunda”, AV Dan along with The Animal and Lil’ Animal.

We started at the lower parking lot of Aliso Woods. To reach the top of a trail called Cholla, we had to ride 2 miles on the main fire rode before ascending another 7-11 mins of granny gear riding.

The Animal and Lil’ Animal were leading the group as they muscled their way up the trail.

Here’s Gabe “Dr. Thunda”. He’s not a real Doctor, but he can give you a thorough exam on the trail.

Resting at the top of Cholla. Eric likes to pack his Ergon BD1 with enough drinks and snacks for his daughter Dana. One time he even had chicken nuggets in there!

Priscilla and Joe sporting their SRC Championship Jerseys.

We decided to go down a trail called Lynx. This is a super fun, fast and technical (at times) single track. Since AV Dan knew this trail like the back of his hand, he lead the group, Joe and I followed. We quickly approach a few trail workers and come to a stop. We let them make their way up and when it was time to go, Dan and Joe led first. I proceeded to roll about a foot, then my front wheel got caught on a rut, and OTB I went! I landed with my left arm across my chest, and face on the ground. The wind gets knocked out of me and I’m grunting and squirming trying to catch some much needed air. At the same time, one of the trail workers starts asking me tons of questions about my shoulders, my neck, and etc. He basically wanted to make sure I was ok. But when you’re in the middle of pain like that, you just want to be left alone. Anyhow, I try to sit up, my knee is banged up, I see Priscilla rolling, and asked if I was ok. I slowly get up, made sure all my fingers, hands, shoulders and penis was working fine. I’m good.

I get back on the bike and hurry to get to the bottom of the trail I catch up to Dan and Joe. I gave quick explanation of what happened. Within a few minutes, the adrenalin wears off, and I start to feel the pain. From the stinging sensation on my knees (road rash) to the aching pain radiating from my ribs. We were supposed to go back up Cholla, but because of the pain, I tell the group to go ahead and I’ll meet them back at the car. The 2 mile ride back to the car wasn’t too bad. I’d occasionally wince from the pain in my ribs. I never went to the doctor, but I’m sure they’re not broken, possibly bruised.

Picture taken at the bottom of Lynx.

2 days later, I’m feeling my ribs even more. It hurts when I laugh, sneeze, cough or anything with the same type of motion. I can’t even tie my shoes without it hurting. At this point, I’m really bummed out. I just started training for all this downhill racing that I wanted to do, but now I’m side lined by an injury! ARGH! Pretty frustrating. Luckily I was able to get on the spin bike last night for about an hour. I’m going to try and maintain my cardio level that way when I’m all healed up, I didn’t lose any valuable conditioning time.

First Impression: Vholdr HD Vented Helmet Mount

Vholdr Contour HD Vented Helmet Mount in Box

Here are MtnBikeRiders.com we’ve been tasked with testing the Vholdr Contour HD 1080P camera, and though the initial impressions are awesome, the lack of a vented helmet mount left a bitter impression in the staffers minds. The goggle strap that comes with the camera is awesome, relatively secure and adjustable. The rub was, just how often does a mountain biker wear goggles? For most of us, that’s during DH shuttle runs and maybe free-riders. Here in sunny so-cal there just aren’t that many shuttle runs to explore and most of which could be ridden comfortably on a 6″ all-mountain bike.
So what does all this babbling lead to? Most mountain bikers wear XC style lids most of the time! This left us hoping for a vented helmet mount. Well, Vholdr was aware of this and was working hard behind the scenes and the wait is over!

The mount is similar to those used by Nite-Rider to mount helmet lights.  A dual strap arrangement that loops through your helmet vents.  The mount also has a three-position tilt adjustment feature which is very helpful in getting that picture just right.

Mounted to my XC skid lid
With Camera
With Camera

We’ll be taking advantage of a break in the busy holiday schedule to squeeze in a ride with our newbies on the Fullerton Loop, I’ll try to take some video with the mount and post the results here.  Stay Tuned!