Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pre-Redlands Festivities

Visitor Tayla
I had a visitor today. Hadn't seen my sister Tela since Christmas, and since she is a Long Beach person now she was able to to drive over to Redlands to visit me. We did lots of very very fun things but unfortunately the camera captured none of those. We did play Uno for quite some time and based on these next two pictures, tell me who did most of the winning-

I won't even tell. I will say that I won two games, but I will not say how many games we played. Use your imagination.

The past two days have been pretty nice, just hanging out in Redlands and riding on the courses that we will be racing the next 4 days. On Monday, Kennett, Dan and myself rode the Beaumont circuit race course.
Dan and Kennett contemplating the looming descent

The time trial course is pretty tough. There is significant amounts of steep, steep climbing. It has been helping me to break the course into sections, and basically there are 4 significant climbs with a bit of recovery in between each.
Near the top of section #1 of the TT course
In between rides, I have been soaking the legs in our hosts pool. They say that it is way to cold for using, but it has been quite refreshing and good for the recovery. The only downside is that their "brilliant" dog loves swimming in the pool...
Is Cody amused?
The Sunset loop circuit race is crazy! 80 percent of the race is through neighborhoods. I went out early this morning to ride it, and my teammates like to ride in the "heat of the day", so I was flying solo. Having no experience on this course, I thought I could just look at the map and be fine. Wrong! After comparing the course map given by the race, to the map on the google machine,  I started to take notes so I wouldn't get lost. It took me two laps of the course before I was able to ride it uninterrupted by wrong turns. It will be a really hard race, with positioning being just as difficult, if not more difficult then the terrain.
Sunset loop map

My notes for the top tube
TT is tomorrow. Good thing I have my go-fast Juice.

Super liquid

As a side note, there are 207 men on the start list for this race!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Recovering in the Redlands

We are now in Redlands for the next week to prepare for and race in the Redlands Bicycle Classic. Racing starts on Thursday with a short TT that is uphill. Very uphill. Back to thinking skinny thoughts. Friday is the 120 mile Beaumont circuit (??) race, Saturday is the Crit, and Sunday is the legendary Sunset loop.
Packing up in Covina. Leaving this
For this. Housing in Redlands.
We got into Redlands last night and met our new hosts and got settled in. I am staying with Cody and Lang, and we've already discovered the coolest thing in the house.

Lang adding some sophistication to the air mattress

Cody knows these things well. Apparently they have pockets
Turns out what I thought would be an acceptable blanket for my bed was actually a Snuggie. That is all. The other nice thing is that Lang made my bed for me
Lang knows a thing or two about air pumps
Redlands apparently has the worlds nicest people also. I was at a grocery store waiting in line to check out, and the cashier asked if I was here for the race. The lady behind me in line then promptly offered to pay for all my groceries! I was shocked! She was a cycling fan and just wanted to thank us for coming into the town to do the race. Very cool.

Here are some random pictures of the Redlands area. More later.

Orange trees
Part of the Sunset loop

San Dimas

First stage race done. (photo Chris Wingfield-
Stage race #1 of the 2011 season is finished, and I am pretty pleased with how it went. I ended up 39th GC, somewhere in the top 10 of true amateurs (sorry Chris Baldwin and Phil Zajicek if you are reading this, I don't really count you as amateurs). Chris Parrish had a great race and finished up 11th overall, the first amateur, and a good start to the season.

I already sort of talked about the TT, it was hard, I went as fast as I could, and for me, 63 guys could go faster. But here is a cool picture of the road the TT was on.
Glendora Mountain Road. Follow the pavement for 6.8k
The Road Race was around Frank Bonelli park and Puddingstone Reservoir.
RR finish. (photo Chris Wingfield-
To save from reading boring race reports about how I got dropped but then I caught up but then dropped again in the road race, I will say that the road race was extremely mentally stressful. I did not go into it with a crit mentality, and it truly felt like an 84 mile crit. It took me almost 30 miles to move into the position that I needed to be, and that was with conscious effort. Also, doing races with road furniture is different. It took me several laps to figure out how to get through the road furniture smoothly. Learning.
Base of the KOM climb in the RR
Parrish and I just making the front split with 1 to go in the RR.
Crit team camp. (photo Chris Wingfield-

The crit was a good introduction for me to professional level criterium racing. The moral of the story is that if you are not always fighting to move forward, you will lose 20 spots in an instant. I found out that the GC guys are great to follow in the first hour of the race, but in the finale they are not the ones to follow. There is obviously a lot of differences between a local crit and a big crit, but the similarities are there. The money is at the front, the starts are important, and the last lap is not the time to start moving up. I was a bit worried about getting a good starting spot, and fellow crit-shark Spencer Smitheman taught me all about lining up early. We were the first people staged, and when they called us to the line, were on the front row. After callups, we were second row, ready for booyah.
Second row start spot. Left side of the picture, just underneath the clock (
Dan and I figuring out the buddy system (photo Chris Wingfield-
Me. (photo Chris Wingfield-

Post Crit. (photo Chris Wingfield-
Recovery Sandwich. Hungry hungry hungry (photo Chris Wingfield-

The Elite and JV guys, post San Dimas. (photo Chris Wingfield-

Friday, March 25, 2011

We've moved. And raced once

Yesterday afternoon we left our house in the hills and headed South to various houses in the San Dimas area. The first step to actually leaving Agoura Hills was getting all our stuff together. This process was easier for some of us then others.
Spencers car, loaded professionally. Don't look to hard, you may see a printer
Plenty of headroom and eye sight. Ignore the 20 lbs of oranges
Dan and I are staying in Covina, which is maybe 20 minutes from San Dimas. Housing is a bit different then in the hills, and Dan and I are doing some serious space-related bonding. This apartment also is home to a Chi hua-hua dog (mouse) (bird) that makes noises I didn't think could come out of a creature with fur, not feathers.
Dans bed, with my fold out up next to it, with the wall right next to that
Today was Stage One of the bike tournament, a 6.8k uphill TT. Dan and I went out and rode the course in the AM, and hung around till our starts in the late afternoon. There is not much to say other then I went as hard as I could for this day on this course. But the real story is that after the race, we got the biggest burritos ever, for the best prices ever. Maybe not biggest ever (Actual biggest Burrito) but if I were to guess, the food we ate won for best Cost:Size ratio. There are no photos to confirm or deny these statements, but I can confirm that Spencer ordered the whole menu.

I also saw Sammy J and Sean P which was pleasant, but I was so flustered I forgot to take a picture. Here are some pictures I did take of myself and some teammates.

Me warming up for my TT

Joe Holmes, Director, Directing
Team Camp stage 1
Spencer pulls our super-aero Castelli skinsuits up and over his fresh road rash
Dan scheming
Tomorrow is the 84 mile Road race, which is 12 laps of a 7 mile loop, so its basically a circuit race, but I've heard that it is raced like a crit. So 3 competitions of the bicycle all combined in one race! I'm bringing the ferocity.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I've Seen The Future

But really, yesterday I witnessed something from the future. Maybe 1 mile from our host house in Agoura Hills is Malibou Lake.
Malibou Lake from our driveway. The white fence down there is where the magic happens.
 Every day we have ridden past organized Chaos on the main road- This chaos stemmed from RVs, People, Vans, Police Officers (real and fake), and other madness. The reason for this? There is a TV show filming an episode (that is the future part) and every time we rode past we'd witness television future in the making. The show: Criminal Minds on CBS.  One day Cody and I noticed a ramp leading into the lake, and a jeep looking like it was being prepared for launch. The next day, Joe got held up waiting for a scene to be shot, and somehow ended up giving his business card to the guy. 1 hour later, Joe got a text from an unknown number saying "Stunt happens now. Come down".

There is not much else to say that pictures and videos won't say better, but I will say that Joe was a giddy little school girl when we were down at the set. Apparently, Criminal Minds is THE ONLY show that Joe watches on the television, so he was recognizing all the actors and tweeting 5 times in 20 minutes about it.
The set
Floating dock for head-on camera shot

Joe and Phil

Rescue diver, preparing to pull the stunt driver out of the car

Post stunt, scuba diver just pulled stunt driver out of the jeep

Joe, Phil and I with Shemar Moore (aka FBI agent Derek Morgan). Joe requested this photo, hence the giddy smile. Phil and I were unaware of who this person was, until I used the google.
And finally, the stunt. We learned that the car used was stripped of everything for environmental reasons, and it was towed for a very short distance by a cable connected to another truck. There was a stunt driver and a male dummy with a blonde wig in the passenger seat.

Today is our last morning in the Hills. This afternoon we head towards San Dimas, where we have 3 separate host houses. It begins tomorrow with a 6 k uphill time trial.

Now to channel one of the props on the Criminal Minds set.