Recovery - 2 Hours - Hallelujah Trail

Up Pioneer Trail from below White Cloud to Skillman Campground
Up Burlington Ridge Road
Up new unnamed trail
Down Hallelujah Trail
Up unnamed fire road
Down Pioneer trail

12.71 Miles
1276 Feet Climbing
2:05 Hours
1703 Calories
116 Average HR
184 Max HR

On the singlespeed. Accompanied by FinX. A nice spin up Pioneer Trail. Very dusty and loose.


Northstar Race #7

11.06 Miles
1849 Feet Climbing
1:16 Hours
1127 Calories
175 Average HR
185 Max HR

This crushed me. I worked very hard to catch, pass, drop and stay in front of they guy I did end up beating. This was a three lap race, my average HR for the third lap was 5 beats higher than the first two and I reached my max HR in the last lap. It was a good way to finish the series.

Expert Men - 3 Laps
6th Place of 13 Entries


On Bike Strength - Scott's Drop

Up Uren Street
Up Snow Mountain Ditch
Up Willow Valley Road
Up Pioneer Trail
Down Scott's Drop
Along Scott's Flat Lake trail
Across Scott's Dam
Up very steep trail
Out Pasquale
Down Red Dog Road
Up Nevada Street
12.17 Miles*
1822 Feet Climbing*
1:24 Hours*
816 Calories*
118 Average HR*
164 Max HR*

*GPS didn't pick up any data till about 50 minutes into the ride. For some reason it couldn't lock into any sattelites. Data above is not complete. The blue on the maps I added after the fact. The pink is "real" data from the GPS.

On the singlespeed. Accompanied by Raphael and J, J, J. Very tired from SSWC08. Relaxed group ride, we didn't push too hard. I am getting comfortable descending faster and faster.



SSWC08 Race Course at Skyline Park

24.13 Miles
4674 Feet Climbing
2:59 Hours
2197 Calories
175 Average HR
192 Max HR
No cadence sensor on singlespeed

I found out Saturday morning as I left home that I would be racing Sunday. I tried to get into this race on New Years Eve. I submitted my entry at Midnight and 05 seconds. I later found out that, somehow, I didn’t make the cut and have been bitter about it since. I was very please to find out I got in and I am in debt to a few people now (thank you Cruz brothers and Curtis!!!). Gladly so. Racing on Sunday changed my drinking plans for the weekend, which was kind of disappointing, but I was excited to race.

We arrived around 2:pm on Saturday and our friends had found a great campsite under some big oak trees about 100 feet from real bathrooms and showers. Socialized, drank beers and walked around for a few hours. Did a short pre-ride, but could only find the first small loops of the course. Got to see a Swedish fellow perform a spectacular crash in one of the switchback descents. Spectacular!

Right when we returned from the pre-ride we headed over to the bowling alley to watch the Decider. (btw, I thought G.W. was the decider... I guess this isn't a trademarked term...). Left towards the end of the first frame, headed back to camp to fire up the veggie bbq. Camp was quiet around 9:30 pm and started to get sleepy. Around 10 I decided to head to the tent. I then started to realize the partying was starting. Big bonfire around the corner, some yelling and boozing. People yelling at boozers that "there is a race tomorrow, i'm trying to get some sleep!" etc.

I was woken up at 3:00 am on the dot by some very violent vomiting a few tents over. This fella was having a rough time of it. It was loud and juicy! We didn't confirm, but I hope he survived.

Got up around 7:30, had some breakfast, made Mimosa's for my campmates and myself and sought out some coffee. Found the caffeine (thanks Pat!) and got ready for the race.

I had about 20 minutes to warm up before the race so I did some hill climbing and found my heart rate was very easily going high, a good sign.

Ding and I right before the race.

My camp mate (Ding) and I put our bikes down the hill in the field as instructed and walked back up for the start. Go! We ran around the horse corral and back to our bikes with everybody else. It took some work to navigate through the runners headed to their bikes and the riders headed to the course. Got on course and started my GPS. I was immediately passing riders on the flat gravel road. As the gravel pointed up I kept passing people, but not as quickly. Since I’ve raced at this location a few times I knew what to expect, so I was able to navigate some of the slightly technical sections of the climb better than others and was able to keep passing. The fire road got real steep and loose and everybody started walking. I figured that I might as well keep my heart rate pinned so I walked as hard as I could and kept passing people. Walk hard! My goal on the climb was to find as many shaved legs as I could and pass them. From my experience on this course, I descend the tricky sections better than most people so as to not lose time I have to beat the roadies to the top (same strategy as Downieville). We got to the top and the trail pointed down, steep down, real quick, with really tight switchbacks and rocks in the middle of them. I passed Tiffany (1x SSWC champ) in the first switchback and hit the gas. There were (of course) many riders in front of me and I couldn’t get around so I took it easy, relaxed and rested.

Next was the single track climb back to the top, I was able to ride with Tiffany during this section, we picked a few people off, some passed us. Made it to the bagpiper (I was very pleased to hear this guy and was surprise how much I liked the sound) and took a left. Fast, fast, fast into the corners, keep the momentum on the dips and don’t lose any ground. Felt good going into the lake section. On the backside of the lake on the hike-up-the-slickrock section I saw Linda (2x SSWC champ) a few switchbacks up. This would be the only time I would see her.

Climbing, sweating and grimacing.

Got bunched up behind some flailing rider on the next flowing, tight downhill section. The first guy pulled off when he realized he might die if he tried to go the speed we wanted to go. We then spread out and I had some space in front of me for the first technical drops / switchbacks. Rode them clean with some cheers from spectators.

This is when the memory starts getting a little blurry.

I made the next section of switchback / drops cleanly with encouragement from Shannon from PDX. Made the next switchback section clean and flew down the rocky fire road to the next section of…. Ok, I made all the technical descent and did them fast, enough, eh?

After a water feed, beginning of the second lap.

Back through the start, picked up my water (thanks a MILLION Max!) and headed out for my second lap. I ended up walking a bit more of the singletrack climb this time than on the first lap, but was feeling pretty good still. Before the lake I noticed a guy in front of me was riding a fixie! Idiot! Parents, give your kids the love they need or they’ll end up like this guy. I stopped at the water station near the lake and filled up my bottle with more water. It was really hot by now and I was covered in sweat and dirt.

Picked up my third bottle at the start of my third lap. I declined the Clif Blocks because I was felling pretty good. 300 yards further I started to feel the first sign of cramps. Doh! Shoulda grabbed the Clif Blocks!

About a mile further my right hamstring cramped. I got off the bike and started hitting it, drank a bunch of water, forced my leg straight and started pushing my bike. I had it worked out by the time the trail eased up enough to ride. Made it up to where the bag piper had been, but sadly he was gone. The course was getting pretty empty at this point. I was running into fewer racers and far fewer spectators.

I was starting to have some real trouble clipping into my pedals because the dust had scrubbed all the oil off my pedals and cleats.

I caught Nacho Libre from Texas and we chatted a bit heading into the water station by the lake. I filled up with more water here and asked the spectators if they had any chain lube. All I got in return was laughter and hazing. As I was leaving I heard a racer come in and say “there is some real seriousness out there.” Referring to the idea that people (who were clearly not going to win, myself included) were taking the race too seriously and maybe should have been focusing more on having fun.

Got to the creek crossing before the lake, saw a giant pink bunny holding a can of Tecate and asked him and his crew if they had any chain lube. I got the same laughter and hazing from this group.

I was starting to see a theme. There is very much a scene at this race, a scene I was hoping would not be here. A very ‘cool’ scene. I was clearly not very ‘cool’ because I was asking for chain lube.

We all need love. Especially the kids. Parents, love your kids. By the way, have I mentioned that I think that people who ride single speeds on a regular basis were not shown enough love by their mothers?

Where was I? Lap three.

Heading away from the lake on the hike-up-the-slickrock section I saw Tiffany one switchback below me. We tugged back and forth a bit and she got in front of me going down a technical section, then, then, then she was frickin’ gone! She completely dropped me. Well, I’ll be. Hammer time! I caught up with her at the dry creek crossing and passed her shortly thereafter. Flew down the fire road with water breaks and across the bridge. Coming up to the last climb a gentleman in a t-shirt that read “WHITE TRASH” encouraged me to dig deeper and informed me that there were only 500 meters to go. Meters? What kind of white trash American gives out information in metric units? The next guy up the hill informed me in a clear fashion that I had about ½ mile to go. Sweet, pass anybody in sight and don’t let anybody by.

I caught the fixed guy at the paved road crossing right as both of my calves started to cramp. He had his feet resting on his top tube. I spun as fast as I could and put my hand on his back helping him forward a bit. As the fire road turned up for the last little section before the finish I went as hard as I could go to the finish.

Some stranger put a bottle opener in my jersey pocket that said Finisher #94. According to my GPS I finished in 2 hours 59 minutes. I laid down my bike, chugged a Coke and searched for a beer and a shower.

This is me, cooked, at the end of the race.


Shiney New(ish) Garmin

I received my refurbed Garmin Edge 305 in the mail yesterday. I am pleased. It's been a few weeks without, i've been lonely. Now I can get back to posting my routes and maps! I'll start with this weekend's SSWC08.


Race - Howell Mountain Challenge

Downieville was my first long race in Expert. I've done some local series in Expert, but those were limited to about 1 1/2 hours at the most. I was really curious how this would shake out.

Got the bike ready the day before, got up at 4:45 am for the 3 hour drive from Nevada City to Angwin. Had plenty of time to warm up and drop off some bottles for the 2nd and 3rd laps. About half way into my warm up my rear shifting started acting up. I've been having problems with my rear shifting sticking very badly, I have new XTR rear der, put on new housing and the cable is relatively new. I've also had trouble with my SunRace rear cassette coming loose and the chain jumps around when this happens. My drivetrain is a mess!

Tightened the cassette and went to the start line.

Started at the very front of my group. When we hit the first bit of singletrack there were only two people behind me. I started flailing early on. I started passing people right after that and kept passing. First lap I kept slipping and sliding around the tight corners and kept my HR around 183 on the climbs. Traded pulls with a few people on the first lap but didn't catch anyone else.

Second lap I dropped dumped a water bottle and decided to race with just one bottle and rely on the water feeds for the rest of my hydration.

The second lap started out pretty good. I was feeling tired but pretty strong around the reservoir and hammered into the singletrack. I was having some serious shifting problems now and only had about four gears in the back, not always the same four, just a random four. I mostly relied on my front three.

After the first water zone a single speeder caught me and suggested we should catch the guy in front of us. So, I hammered down the fire road descent, the one with the water breaks and gaps. Fast, so fast. Didn't exactly realize I could descend that fast that comfortably. That was fun! Caught the guy we were trying to at the start of the last climb before the giant whoop-de-doos.

Third lap I dumped my empty water bottle and grabbed a new one. I was very tired now, my shifting was getting even worse (I was now having trouble with my front shifter now too, so much stiction my thumbs were hurting from shifting), my shock was getting a lot of stiction and my (five year old Crossmax) slick ceramic rims were locking up in an unpredictable manner. Awesome! So, I just trudged along, keeping my HR between 165 and 177. I downed Gu packets and keep my head together. I had some *almost* cramping in my legs. They would hesitate a bit when I pushed them but never actually went into cramping. A good thing.

After the second feed station I went as hard as I could and passed a few people on the last climb, the whoop-de-doos and the road leading to the finish.

According to the prelim results I got 4th, out of how many, I don't know. They only showed four deep. I was 3:08 off of third place. Not bad for my second real Expert race.

I am thrashed. I feel worse than I did after Downieville.

My time on my Polar HR was 2:46:16, average HR of 174, Max HR of 238 (the Polar has a tendency to get this REALLY wrong).

First Lap – 54:52, Av HR – 175, Max HR – 238 (wrong!)

Second Lap – 50:49 (no HR data???)

Third Lap – 1:00:33, Av HR 181, Max HR 220 (wrong!)


Basic V - 2 1/4 hours - Scott's Drop

Up Uren Street
Up Snow Mountain Ditch
Up Willow Valley Road
Up Pioneer Trail
Down Scott's Drop
Along Scott's Flat Lake trail
Down to Lower Scotts Flat Lake Trail
Out and back on Lower Scotts Flat Lake Trail
Up Scott's Flat Dam Road
Up Scott's Flat Road
Down Pioneer Trail
Down Miner's Trail
Down Uren Street

21.6 Miles
2340 Feet Climbing
2:21 Hours
3259 Calories
137 Average HR
182 Max HR
No cadence sensor on singlespeed

On the singlespeed. Things are getting dusty out there. Rode Lower Scott's which is a trail we rarely ride, but is really fun. Still working on making this trail connect to complete a loop. Accompanied by the Believer, Don Adams, Raphael, SuperGirl & Gator. Note: Someone has blocked the new upper section of Miners 2.0. Who has done this and why?


Endurance Training - Super Punisher

Up and down the Tahoe Rim Trail from Spooner Lake to Mr. Toads Wild Ride. Down Mr. Toads to downtown South Lake Tahoe.

49.6 Miles
7415 Feet Climbing
6:52 Hours
4951 Calories
147 Average HR
181 Max HR

Billiam and Don Adams suit up. We leave the car at 11:39 am, about 40 minutes later than scheduled. Shouldn't be a problem, right?

Climbing up from Spooner Summit.

Our first lookout, about 3 1/2 miles from the start point, 12:09 pm.

From my rear view mirror.

View for Lake Tahoe from west of South Camp Peak.

Another view of the lake from where I fixed my second flat.

Billiam and Don Adams patiently waiting for me to fix my flat.

Don Adams almost cleaning a couple steps on the Tahoe Rim Trail.

Lunch Break in the suburbs of Heavenly.
Some lunch time Arrogant Bastard Ale!

Don Adams playing gangsta.

View to the East from our lunch stop.

Don Adams develops a hemorrhoid. Fixed it with a dollar.

We have HOW MUCH FARTHER TO GO? 18 miles to Mr. Toads, well, since it's 3:43 PM, we better get moving!

Leaving Heavenly Ski Resort.

Sweet singletrack climbing.

Singletrack and views. An amazing ride!

Yes, more climbing. This time on a sandy decomposing granite. Not too slippery, but descending it at speed took some finesse.

Food break above Star Lake. An aspirin would have been good about now. Note Billiam's not so happy face.

We are getting to be some tired puppies at 5:50 PM.

Star Lake.

Quite a few pushing sections on this part of the trail. Even if we weren't tired we couldn't have made this one.

Panorama looking where we had been. Between the big saddle, to the right of the center peak is where we had ridden from. Lake Tahoe is to the left.

We found some really nice Lupine and other flowers in this wet section of the trail. It was nice to descend back into the plant life from the treeless areas above 9700'.

More of the sandy decomposing granite.

Looking South as the sun gets very low at 7:38 pm.

At the top of Mr. Toads at 7:56 pm.

We got to the bottom of Toads about 8:43 pm and made it to dinner at Taj Mahal Indian Cuisine in South Lake Tahoe at 9:24 pm. We had dinner then I took a taxi back to the car at Spooner Lake. After picking up Billiam and Don Adams we drove home. I got home at 2:00 am. I had left the house at 9:00 am that morning. A very long and very fun day.

If I haven't said it yet, the Trance X1 is an awesome bike. Perfect for this kind of riding. Perfect!