Thursday, August 30, 2007

TransRockies Run

Man, if I wasn't having problems with my tendon and ran like I was back in 2005, I might consider doing this race. The TransRockies Run looks like an amazing event, modeled on the multiday alpine stage races in Europe. In the inaugural event in September, up to 150 teams of two racers will run from Beaver Creek, Colorado, to Aspen: six days on trails, forest roads, and pavement, totaling about 125 miles, camping each night at a tent city set up and torn down by the race staff. The course:

Stage 1: Beaver Creek to Camp 1, 10-15 miles, 2,500-3,000 feet
Stage 2: Camp 1 to Camp 2, 25-29 miles, 6,000-6,500 feet
Stage 3: Camp 2 to Leadville, 15-19 miles, 1,700-2,200 feet
Stage 4: Leadville to Camp 3, 24-28 miles, 3,500-4,000 feet
Stage 5: Camp 3 to Camp 4, 16-20 miles, 3,500-4,000 feet
Stage 6: Camp 4 to Aspen, 22 – 26 miles, 6,000-7,000 feet

Oh yeah, did I mention the hefty price tag? $1200

This is probably the 2nd best stage-race that I have heard of, the second being the UtraRun Tour de Mont-Blanc. Anyone want to go in on any of these races in 2008?

Aravaipa Canyon

Hiking the 11-mile one-way canyon. Due to its perennial flow, Aravaipa Canyon is home to many species of plants and animals including 2 threatened minnows and over 150 bird species. Stopping by Oracle to fill up the bio benz at 4th Dimension Fuels with some biodiesel. On the way back, the plan is to eat at La Casita in Mammoth, home of the best Mexican food.

My sister

As I was up in Zion canyoneering, Patrice (who lives in Portland) was hit by a car while crossing the crosswalk. If that was not enough, the gentleman started to drive off after the incident only to be stopped by witnesses. Since the surgery where the doctor inserted titanium rods into her legs, she is very upbeat. Here is a picture that my mom took while she was visiting my sister the day after the accident:

My sister is car-less, one of the things I really admire about her. I commute to work on a daily basis, but I still have the bio benz as a backup. She walks, bikes, and takes the bus everywhere she goes. Can you imagine a world where more people would take the step to start to ride their bike, walk, or ride a bus?

I imagine such a world would look like this

I did a morning bike ride today, 4 hours of fun out to Cody Hill in Oracle. The idea of a road/mountain bike 50/50 race out there is very tempting.

Achilles Tendinitis Recovery Plan

For the past 16 months, I have been recovering from Achilles Tendinitis in both of heals. First, I had problems with my right one. Then about 8 months later, my left one began hurting. How did this injury happen? I attribute it to running massive amount of hill workouts in my workouts while training in Mexico. Also, doing 3 marathons and about 15-20 5ks and 10ks races in 1.5 years might have contributed to the problem.

After running my entire life, I had to switch over to the triathlon/biking scene because my Achilles would not allow me to run over 5-6 miles. Hence the new love for triathlons and biking.

Well, I guess I am ranting a bit, but my point is that I am going to do more than the ibuprofen, icing, and stretching that the doctor said. Here is a quick plan:

1. I am going to cut back on the ibuprofen so the healing can take place. I have never been hip on using it, so I am slowly going to wean myself off of it.

2. I am adding extra soy milk to my diet (especially before bed), and supplementing with lysine, glycine, and vitamins C & E. I just got back from GNC, bout about $50 worth of the aforementioned goods.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Canyoneering in Zion

Picture from Fat Man's Misery,a 3B IV rating

Headed up to Zion tomorrow (Wed, 8/22) for some canyoneering, then over to Las Vegas to see the family. I decided not to go to Flagstaff for the Old-Fashion Race this weekend. Here is the plan for this weekend in Zion:

1. half day canyon on Thurs, Spry or Pine Creek
2. full day Englestead
3. a good canyon for Saturday. Maybe Fat Man's with some extra hours in
the pot hole section to practice.

Click here to read more about canyoneering in Utah.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Results from Mt Lemmon Time Trial

MT Lemon Time Trial Results from yesterday.

A good article about racing bikes in the NY Times today. The most notable quote is:

“Real bike racing is a rich man’s sport,” said Mike Dee, a messenger and an organizer of the race, called the Staten Island Invasion. “This is like the bike race for the rest of us — people who like to drink a beer in the mornings.”
NY Times Article

A little food for thought as I decided which races I am going to do in the next few months.... freebies or $ registration?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Mt Lemon Time Trial

I finished in 1 hour 5 minutes (unofficial results). Not where I wanted to be as far as time, nevertheless, this time trial showed me areas that I need to work on. This is my first road bike race I have ever done, 12 miles, 3,000 feet of climbing.

Click on this picture to view the profile of today's climb

When climbing mountains, it is best to look to Lance for some wisdom. He said:

This is not Disneyland, or Hollywood. I'll give you an example: I've read that I flew up the hills and mountains of France. But you don't fly up a hill. You struggle slowly and painfully up a hill, and maybe, if you work very hard, you get to the top ahead of everybody else.

In some sections of today's race, I was in pain. Just shows I need to ride some more this week. So, I have decided to increase my bike training a notch in order to meet some personal goals. What does "notch" exactly mean in this case? More long rides, one 4-5 hour ride a week.

I will post pictures and results soon.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Tragic Accident of a Friend

AZ Daily Star article on my friend and colleague.

John "Jay" Beatty was a friend, fellow mtn bike enthusiast, and Outback Steakhouse colleague. I talked to him last Tuesday about the Old Fashion Bike Race, his move to NAU to attend as a freshman, and how he wanted to buy a road bike to do more commuting around town.

I will be training and doing races with a ribbon in his honor.

Please remember his family and friends in your prayers.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Catalina State Park Morning Ride

Total Mileage: 22 miles

I had a quick road ride today before the Mt Lemon Time Trial that is on Sunday. I met some triathletes (Leo and Tony) on the ride. I met them before I did Mountain Man in Flagstaff, so we had a little post-race discussion. Both were on tri bikes, going at it with a descent, tamed pace. I turned into Catalina State Park to see all the new green from the rain.

I am excited about the TT. I am hoping to finish in 1.5 hours even though Mike seems to think that I am going to be ahead of him. Tobi, Mike, Max and I are all doing the race.

Flyod Landis in the NY Times

Here is a very balanced article on Floyd Landis that was in today's newspaper NY Times

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Tucson named No. 2 place for triathlete training

My brother sent me this link today from the Arizona Daily Star

Triathlete Magazine has named the Old Pueblo the second-best location in the world for triathlon training.

The first was Hawaii. Falling behind Tucson were San Diego, Aukland, New Zealand and Clermont, Fla.

Triathlons include swimming, cycling and running.

Gates Pass and Mount Lemmon were mentioned in the article as particularly good places to work out.

The magazine also offered praise to the Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau for its efforts to attract amateur athletes to the city.

“Perhaps the best part about Tucson is that the locals want you to come,” the article said, mentioning that the visitors bureau could help plan for large group trips.

For the entire article, click here

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Day 1: San Diego-Dana Point

The pacific coast highway (PCH), a combination of US1 and US101, would easily find a spot at the top of the list of scenic drives in the United States. Starting somewhere between the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego in the south, the highway runs all the way upto about 40 km into the state of Washington in the north, bordering the pacific ocean over majority of its length.

The scenic drive starts off with a series of wonderful beaches in Southern California. La Jolla, Malibu, Santa Monica, Pismo, Santa Barbara, Venice to name a few are very easily accessible if not present right at the edge of the scenic drive. My friend kacy and I decided to tour the PCH from San Diego to Santa Barbara, roughly a 300-mile trip. The goal of the trip was to bike hundreds of miles, camp under the stars, and see the California coast, one bike mile at a time. Our return ticket would also be along the same coast, but on an Amtrak.

Day 1: San Diego-Dana Point
Total Mileage: 80 miles

After battling to get to San Diego on Sunday in Kacy's Volvo (radiator problems) and a broken chain on Sunday, we started out in San Diego with the intent of making some ground. Starting from the Volvo dealership in National City, we managed to make it to Campland of the Bay campground as a prologue to the start of the first day.
A picture of me testing out the rig and the BOB trailer across from the Volvo dealership

The campground was a little disappointing. At one point, our neighbors and us were counting how many domino's pizza deliver drivers came into the campground. We counted 4 before we headed to bed at about 9pm after chatting with our San Fran neighbors.

On Monday, we got up at 5:30am to get an early start. The route took us near La Jolla Bay before climbing up the most difficult hill of the trip next to UC San Diego. The bike paths in San Diego were amazing, especially around Mission and Ocean Beach. A typical bike path in San Diego

Outside of San Diego, I saw another tourer with a BOB trailer. That brings me to the debate of why I chose the BOB trailer instead of panniers. I figured that the BOB would allow me to hold more items and would be easier to use after the trip. It has paid off, especially with short jaunts to the store or to do errands.

Leaving the beaches, we headed to the Coast 101 Highway that had a very nice, big bike lane that went Leucadia, where we stopped at Mozy Cafe for some coffee and carrot juice at about 1030am. It was a nice, little, quaint place off the side of the highway.

Camp Pendleton was our next big stop. The base requires all cyclists to bring an ID, something I had realized that I left in the volvo. It was going to be a challenge to try to fanaggle our way past the guards instead of having to take the bus across the base. Since Interstate 5 is the only road the shoulders the coast, Pendleton is the only option for bike touring on the PCH. So while we were at the gate, the private was asking me why I did not have my ID. Some where in the conversation, I mentioned how I was trying to save weight by not carrying my library card, bus pass, etc in my wallet. Turns out I just took everything out of the wallet while I was getting ready in the parking lot next to the Volvo dealership. Yes, it was a dumb move, but luckily he let me on the base.

The ride within the base went without incident. At the checkout on the other side of the base, I snapped a few shots of Kacy before entering into our own bike highway on the side of Interstate 5. This "bike highway" continues on for a few miles. We saw tons of triathletes on this segment of the trip. The "bike highway" eventually crosses back under Interstate 5 with a tunnel. We stopped for a quick break here before continuing on.

At 4:00 we stopped at Capistrano Beach for a quick swim. Kacy near Capistrano Beach

I am trying to get accustomed to swimming in the ocean for triathlons and the La Jolla Open Water Race, so I did a quick 800 meters. Surprisingly, we there were just a handful of people on the beach. After about an hour of swimming and enjoying the water, we headed up to Uncle Manuel's house (about 5 minutes off the PCH). Uncle Manuel showed us a few photo albums of his touring in Germany. I did not know this, but Germany is one of the best countries in Europe to tour since it has so many bike paths across the country.

Outside Manuel's house, me and Kacy before starting off on Day 2 of our adventure

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Day 2: Dana Point-Marina del Rey

Day 2: Dana Point-Marina del Rey
Total Mileage: 74 miles

I slept in until about 7am and had a nice cup of coffee out on the patio with Kacy's family. Their patio looks over Dana Point. Manuel rides his bike 2-3 times a week around Dana Point and swims on Mon, Wed, Friday with his wife Carol. We chatted a little bit about touring and the route that lay ahead of us. Although I have been biking for a number of years, this is my first tour trip. It was great to talk to someone that has been doing this for over a decade.
Bike path outside of Newport Beach

We left a little later than I had hoped. Manuel and Carol were so hospitable. As a parting gift, they wrapped up two pieces of chocolate cake and two forks for the trip. Since L.A. has few campgrounds, we planned to stay in a hostel in Santa Monica. Huntington beach was few hours away from Dana Point. Huntington and Redondo Beach had two of the best bike paths during the entire trip. Before reaching Huntington, we stopped in Newport Beach at the Harbor House Cafe for a some lunch. The turkey sandwich with spinach was amazing. At about 1pm, we passed through Huntington and pressed on to Long Beach.
Huntingon Beach

The hardest part of the trip was going through the refineries of L.A. to get to Palos Verdes. The small bike lane coupled with the 18 wheelers made of a little of an unpleasant biking experience. In addition, the view was less than appealing. We took some back roads to get off of the highway in and around Wilmington. At 330, we stopped at a gas station to refill on water and Kacy bought a GU packet. The high in L.A. was 107 degrees. The attendant in the gas station asked us if we were doing a competition. I guess we must have looked pretty official. He was a little surprised to see us and even more surprised about the entire trip.

A few minutes down the road, we took the bend into Redondo Beach. Redondo, Hermosa, and Manhattan Beach have some of the nicest bike paths and beaches. We stopped in El Segundo to call the hostel to inquire about reservations. One of the biggest challenges I had with pre-planning the trip is knowing how many miles we would do each day. I had a tentative plan, but I was unsure if we could meet each tentative mileage. It turned out that I underestimated most of the trip. There were no empty dorm rooms, we we decided to just get a hotel when we got to Santa Monica.

We got to Playa Vista and Marina del Rey at 5:00 pm and decided to get a hotel at the Jolly Roger Hotel. We sat in the jacuzzi for 15 minutes, showered, and went to eat at C & O Cucina, a semi-upscale Italian restaurant next door to the hotel. I tried an Italian beer, Dreher (owned by Heineken). Dinner was great and the beer was even better. Immediately after dinner, we headed to bed.

Day 3: Marina del Rey to McGrath State Park

Day 3: Marina del Rey to McGrath State Park (Ventura)
Total Mileage: 72 miles

We woke up at 630 am and headed off to the continental breakfast that the hotel offered. It was another treat that we had not expected (since we were planning to stay in the hostel). Like most continental breakfasts, it was lacking in food, but it did have waffles and muffins.

The next section of the PCH into Malibu runs along the cliffs of the sea. The route here runs on the PCH, rarely veering off into smaller bike paths along the beach. After the mountain section, Oxnard came into view early afternoon. Rows and rows of fruits and vegetables line the highway here.

We stopped to eat at Jersey Mike's Subs, a small little deli. The entire staff wanted to help us and asked tons of questions. Besides the common "How far are you going?" they also moved to the more philosophical, "what made you want to bike the PCH?" We decided to buy a "gigantic" sub to go for dinner.

I got a little of course in the outskirts of Oxnard. We ran into the 101 that does not allow bikes on, so we headed west toward the beach and McGrath State Park. As we were going west, the wind picked up to at least 20 mph. After about 1 hour of riding into the wind, we decided that we were going to stop at McGrath and check out their hike-n-bike facility. When we got to McGrath, we decided to call it a day instead of riding into Ventura. Here is the picture of the hike-n-bike campsite for $5/person.

We headed out to the beach for a quick swim. It was the perfect temperature to a long, hot ride. The only problem was the waves and riptide were strong.

Day 4: McGrath State Park-Santa Barbara

Day 4: McGrath State Park-Santa Barbara
Total Mileage: 48 miles

While we were sleeping, dew and condensation soaked the outside of the tent. When I woke up at 5:30 am ready to cook breakfast, the water, cold weather, and ache of my legs told me to go back to bed... So I listened. About an hour later, we got up and started to cook oatmeal and tea. The night before, we had showered for $.75, pretty sweat deal. We loaded up the Bob, and headed to Ventura as the sun was still coming up. Kacy on the Ventura bike path

The bike path in Ventura skirts the beach. People were running, biking, walking their dogs, or drinking a coffee.... I would love to be able to do that every morning. Mmmmmmm.... coffe; it was definitely on my mind. I decided the next time we saw a place to get some coffee, we would stop and rest. Miles and miles later, there was never a small cafe. Taking a break before reaching Carpenteria

We rolled into Carpenteria at 10:00. We found a little coffee joint that had smoothies. Kacy treated me to an expresso and a "health freak" (a fruit-veg-yogurt smoothie).

We passed another state park, Carpenteria, where we decided we would stay the night after we bought our Amtrack tickets. Santa Barbara was the perfect final destination. We arrived in the afternoon, about 3.5 days after leaving San Diego. The epic ride was concluded at the brewery Santa Monica Brewery mmmmmmmmmmmm!

Biking and beer.... two reasons why I do this. Here is my trophy that I won....300 miles later

We ate subs and pizza, had a beer, and another beer while waiting for the Amtrak to get back to Carpenteria. We decided to take the 9-minute train ride back to Carpenteria so we could have time to enjoy our beer. The next morning, we got on the Amtrak back to San Diego. Here is a nice picture of Kacy and I on the train.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Old Pueblo in NYTimes

If you look real close, I am in the 4th row back. You might be able to make out my helmet and jersey.

NY Times Article on the Old Pueblo

Downshift Your Driving: Go Car Free One Day This Week

Carbon Conscious Consumer Logo

Time to start commuting on the bike more now that I have a trailer. Hit Trader Joe's early today, now I am going to do some more errands on the bike.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Sentinel Peak Solo Ride 8/2

Rode up to Sentinel Peak on the road bike today at 530am. I managed to crank out 36 miles by doing a tour downtown and at the U of A. On the way back, I saw my friend Nick the firefighter on the road, my cousin Jennifer Urias and kids, along with Michael F, and the typical crew at Starbucks. Great ride with two loops on the top of A Mountain before heading back down Mountain Road.

Off to the gym before work, then going to buy some slicks and a new chain for the bike tour.

Total Mileage: 36 miles

San Diego to Lompoc

Our goal is to ride along the West Coast from San Diego to Lompoc, a total of 285 miles. I tried to start out easy as we begin, slowly increasing the mileage per day. Here is the very tentative plan for next week's bike tour:

Day 1: San Diego to Carlsbad 36.5 miles
Camp at the South Carlsbad State Beach
Day 2: Carlsbad to Dana Point 43.2 miles
Stay at Kacy’s uncle house.
Day 3: Dana Point to Redondo Beach 52.2 miles
Hotel in Redondo Beach area. Dinner with a friend from Mexico.
Day 4: Redondo Beach to Ventura 72.2 miles
Camp at Emma Wood State Beach
Day 5: Ventura to Lompoc 80.9 miles
Gaviota State Park

Total Estimated Mileage of Tour:
285 miles

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Tortolita Scouting 7/31

Justin and I did some scouting around his house, out near Saguaro Ranch. We went about 25 miles around a nice jeep loop that led us up into the Tortolitas. It would be a great area for some single track/technical loop. Especially this time of year when all the monsoons create an amazing change from the brown desert color to a vibrant green.

Total Mileage: 25 miles


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