This morning I woke up at 5 AM to go on a little hunt. I drove out to Julian to a location called dead man’s flat, which is in the Cleveland national Forest. It was a beautiful cold crisp morning. I’ve never been to this location so I didn’t know what to expect. I have to say that the terrain was way more rugged than I anticipated. I hiked up a ravine looking for a rabbit or other small game that is in season. On the way up the ravine I saw three doe and that was it for a while. I was hiking over some rocks and I heard something in the bushes and there was a small bobcat running after something. I’ll go back to dead man’s flat and hunt again; however, I don’t think I’ll ever get anything because there are no animals around. If I do get something there it’ll be all luck. There are definitely no wild hogs around dead man’s flat. I walked around looking for signs of hogs and I didn’t see any. So all those people that are saying there hogs around that area… I think they’re on something. Once again it was a gorgeous day in the California mountains and I feel very blessed that I was able to go out and experience it.
Well, the race season is over and I was able to complete 17 races total. Overall, 2013 was a challenging race year because of several crashes. I had 5 crashes 2 on the road and 3 MTB crashes this season and all of my crashes were during a race. I am happy to take a break now from bike riding. Lately, I’ve been surfing, running and swimming because it is nice to mix it up. I am also planning on hunting several times this Fall here in San Diego and up North in the Trinity National Forest. Hopefully, I can bag some quail, duck, turkey, pig and deer this season.
I am in the process of learning all the ins and outs of hunting here in San Diego County. There is a lot of public land here that is available for hunting. I plan on taking full advantage of going out and learning the terrain. It will be a challenge and I feel like if I bag an animal on public land it will be luck. From what I’ve read all the animals stay mostly on the private lands. There are also reports of hogs in San Diego. From what I’ve read it is not likely that you’ll even see a hog here. When I am out hunting I will shoot a pig if I see one. I am now a licensed hunter in the State of California. I’ve jumped through the hoops and taken the tests and paid all the fees to be able to hunt in this beautiful state.
It has been a fun race season so far. I’ve competed in 15 races this year and my best finish was 2nd. I’ve yet to win a race since I started in 2010. That’s Ok though because I have fun racing. Sure it is more fun when you win, but competing and staying in shape is fun too. I can definitely tell that I am a more efficient bike rider. I can go faster with less energy now. My average speed has gone up every year since 2010. It is nice to see some progress and it is apparent when I look at all the data. I’ve documented every ride on Garmin connect and training peaks. I find this data to be very useful and it helps me understand my training better. I changed my diet recently. I decided to only eat meat 5% of the time and I don’t eat dairy. I am down to 152 lbs and I am trying to get even lower. I feel really good with my diet change. It would be nice to be racing at 148 lbs because that is my true fighting weight.
I’ve been having a tough time lately pushing myself in a non-race situation. When I am training, I can push myself a little most of the time. Although, these efforts are good, they are not even close to my efforts during a race. I guess I am just being lazy. I am amazed to see how some of my friends can push themselves on solo training rides. I guess this is something I can work on.
Monster Climb 2013
This weekend my friends and I rode and an epic adventure. On Friday we drove to Independence, CA and road the famous Onion Valley climb. When we arrived the temperature outside was 106 degrees. It felt like we were riding in a forest fire without the smoke. I started the climb and managed to maintain the same pace for the 12 mile ascent. Thankfully, the temperature decreased as we ascended. I was the 4th one up the climb amongst my friends. I ended up getting a PR and beating my old time by 18 minutes. This year I decided to take my time on the descent and take some pictures. The pictures turned out spectacular. After the climb we went to the creek side hotel in Bishop, CA. This is a really nice place to stay in Bishop.
The next morning we started early to try and beat the heat. The route was an easy 95+ mile route with 10,000’ of ascent. We rode to the first climb as a group and topped off water bottles at the SAG car. The first ascent was Pine Creek. I felt pretty good going up the climb. I rode a steady tempo pace with Eric and Matt. I didn’t want to overdo it because of the heat and remaining climbs. We rode up to the mine and I took some more nice photos. The day was getting hotter and hotter. By now the temperature was 106 degrees. I rode back to the SAG car with Eric and we topped off water bottles again. Eric and I started ahead of the group on the Old Sherwin grade ascent. It was hot! I forgot how long this climb was on Sherwin. I climbed up to the 395 and I was feeling pretty good at that point. I decided to ride to the top of Sherwin and then back to Tom’s store in order to get my 100 mile day. I now think that this was a mistake. I should have gone straight to Toms and ate a bunch of food. Instead, I got rushed and didn’t really eat much. The group left about 6 minutes after I arrived. I ate a little food and drank some Coke. I immediately started to feel kind of bad. I started losing power and felt a little dizzy. I went through every emotion on this climb. I finally felt happiness when I arrived at Mosquito Flat. I wanted to quit so many times. I don’t know why I kept going. I probably should’ve just gone back to the store and rested.
Once I arrived at mosquito flat I looked for a shaded grass spot to lie down. I found a spot and feel to the ground. I tried to eat and drink, but all I wanted to do was lay there and close my eyes. I sat up after about 10 minutes and saw a couple of friends starting to descend. I didn’t want to be left alone and I snapped up and got on my bike. I did stop to take one picture. I caught up with a few friends and road down the rough road. Thankfully, there I was able to get on their wheel and draft down the hill. We made it back to Tom’s and I needed more water. I didn’t have time to buy water because I thought they were going to leave me. I really didn’t want to be left alone because I didn’t know if I could make it back by myself. I went to the restroom at Tom’s to get water and there was a sign down the stairs that read “Warsh room” this funny because I was just talking about the funny words Midwestern folk say. I met my friends at the corner and we started back to the SAG vehicle which was down Old Sherwin grade. The descent down was very hot and there is one little climb in the middle of the route back. I wasn’t feeling strong and Jim asked me if I needed help. At first I said no and then I thought about it for a second and said why not? Jim is a very strong pro rider. I grabbed his pocket on his right side of his jersey and we both started peddling. Talk about a 425 watt power assist bike! Jim was pulling over 400 watts and I was at about 220. Together we cranked up that climb with ease. That was really nice of him to help me out. I really needed it. We descended the remaining part of Sherwin and made it back to the car for some more water. My Garmin showed 114.5 degrees and it felt like it! I got some help back from by riding in the draft all the way back to Bishop. I ended the day with 102 miles and 10,450’ of ascent. Thank god for such strong friends. I wouldn’t have made it back without them.
After the ride we all took a dip in the pool and I took a quick power nap. I met up with everyone at Whiskey Creek restaurant for dinner. I was so hungry for anything. I ended up drinking a couple of beers and eating the butternut squash filled ravioli. After dinner I bought a couple of beers and met my friends for some conversation and beer. Around 8:45pm I was still hungry and I walked over to the BBQ place and ordered a pint of potato salad and a large piece of cornbread. I felt much better. The next morning we woke early and packed up for our 3rd and final ride of the trip. We had a 22 mile climb up to White Mtn on the agenda. I helped pack up and ate breakfast. We headed to our ride and took the token group picture in the heat.
At 8:03 am we started the climb to the 10,000’ destination of the ancient bristlecone forest. I started the climb feeling pretty good. The climb was a lot steeper than I had anticipated. Oh by the way, it was already hot. I managed a decent pace on the first half of the climb to mile 13. We stopped and got water and food at the intersection. I felt good on the start of the second part of the climb. It was still hot! I was sweating like there was no tomorrow. I felt like I was climbing in an oven. It was interesting that at exactly the 9,000’ sign my body basically went into bonk mode. At that point, I was in survival mode. It was weird though because at on second I felt good and the next second I felt like I wasn’t going to make it. I got dropped by my friends and managed to complete the climb. I really didn’t want to keep going, but for some reason I kept going until the summit. Upon arrival at the summit, I felt dizzy and kind of like puking. I drank some water and decided to start descending slowing in order to stop and take pictures. I was happy to stop and take some photos of the beautiful vistas. I stopped and got some water and finished the decent. It got hotter and hotter as we headed back to the car. I actually felt better when I got back to the car. What an epic suffering adventure! We were all so hungry after that climb that we decided to stop and eat Carl’s Jr. I ate the bacon guacamole six dollar burger with a large drink and large fries. Wow! That tasted so good! After that we drove home for 5.5 hrs. and made good time. I got home around 7:30 pm and met Rox and Myles. That was one of the most challenging bike adventures I’ve ever ridden. The extreme heat and high elevation took a lot out of me. Hopefully, next year we get some perfect temps with light variable breezes. Thank you Descenders for another epic sufferfest!
Ok. Well, it has been a while since my last post. It has been 3 months to be exact. We’ve been super busy working and living life. I’ve done 11 races so far this season and 2nd place is my best finish. I also did something new on a race day. I missed my start at Santa Ynez by over an hour. I raced anyway and they just add all that time to my final time. It took me 1:58 of actual riding time. I was feeling good that day and I was disappointed that I missed the start and didn’t get a chance to see how good I was against the other racers. Nevertheless, we had a great time in Solvang, CA. We really like it up there and visit every chance we get. I’ve had a rough season so far when it comes to my power. I have been struggling to find my power all spring. I don’t feel strong when I am riding, but it is strange because I am getting personal records. I was able to climb Palomar East grade in 55 minutes. That was 3 minutes faster than last year. I don’t get it. I am faster in some aspects, but I don’t feel like I am faster. Maybe it is all mental. I’ve only done 3 road races this year. I raced Barrio Logan and Dana Point. I was feeling good at Barrio until the 6th lap when a Jr rider decided to fall in front of me on turn 6. I was about 5-6 wheels back in a single file line and he lost control somehow and made me crash. I wasn’t very happy about that. I messed up my derailleur and my rear wheel. I went to the pit got a new when and kept going. My right ankle was throbbing. I tried to keep up but the pain was bad and I got dropped with 4 laps to go. I finished the race and came in last. I took my bike to HT and Paul fixed me up for the Dana Point GP the following morning. I did the 35+3/4 race as a warm up and it went well. I was feeling alright. I raced the 3 race later and I had trouble maintaining my position. I went from the front to the middle of the pack. With 20 minutes to go I came around the first turn about 4 riders wide and to my surprise a couple of riders where laying on the floor. I slammed on the breaks and in slow motion I skidded to a stop, rolled over the handle bars and landed in anther riders lap. I went to the pit and rejoined the race. I wasn’t feeling good after that and I decided 2 crashes in one weekend was enough. I called it the day and met up with Myles and Rox for some lunch.
I have a MTB race this weekend at Big Bear, CA. I am not happy with my bike because the fork isn’t working right and now I have to race with a broken fork. It will take Specialized 8 days to fix it and get it back to me. I will have to drop it off after the race. Big Bear is a fun race because of the altitude. It is a challenge to race at 7000’ coming straight from sea level. I love riding in the mountains. I sure hope I get my legs back (or my mind back) so I can race fast. I’ve decided to try a new diet for the next few weeks. I am cutting out meat for the next 3 weeks to see how I feel. I’ve read so much about how much better people feel when they do this and I decided to give it a try. Maybe it will help me get down to 150lbs. I’ve been struggling this year to get my weight down. I am at 155 – 156 lbs now all season. Last year I was 153lbs until June. After June I went up to 158 and stayed there all winter. That is good because it is a nice weight for me. I’d like to be 150 for racing.
Memorial Day weekend was fun because we did some nice hiking up at Palomar Mtn and we went to the beach. Myles didn’t want to go to the beach. Once we go there he didn’t want to go home. He kept talking about Subway stating that he could eat a foot long sub. We took him there and got him a foot long and guess what? He didn’t eat it. He did eat half and had the other half for lunch at school. He is so funny. He did good surfing again. The water was a little rough and he wasn’t able to ride the waves as long as in the past. Rox has done a couple of races this spring. She is doing really well with her running. She is going to do the Old Pros next on the 4th of July. That is a really good race. I will never do the bike ride again. That ride is crazy. There are a lot of kooks that show up for that one. I am surprised there are not a lot of crashes. I have to say the spring has been good and we are very blessed. I thank God each day for my wonderful family and giving us the means to live life to the fullest.
I was informed that Poway Unified had no school the week of 2/18 and Monday the 18th was presidents day. We made the decision to take a few days off from work and drive up to the Bay area to visit family and friends. There is a lot to do in the Bay area. Snowboarding, surfing, biking and hunting were the activities on the list for me. Roxy and Myles were going to hang out with grandma and grandpa for a couple of days while I met my friends Klaus and Jon (Hobbes). The plan was to drive up to San Ramon on Saturday the 16th and return to San Diego on the 21st. We packed up the car on Friday night with equipment for each activity and woke up at 3 in the morning Saturday for the 7 hr drive. We left on schedule for epic adventure. The drive was nice in our new Subaru Crosstrek XV. The gas mileage wasn’t too bad with a bike and surfboard on the roof to include all the equipment. We ended up getting ~25 mpg with a strong headwind. We arrived at grandma’s house at 11:15 am and the weather was perfect. I decided to take a bike ride up Mt. Diablo. The Diablo is a 11 mile climb which averages 5.7%. I was shocked to see and feel 70 degree weather in the Bay area in February. I rode 46 miles and felt great in the perfect weather.
The next day Roxy dropped me off at Klaus house in Vallejo, CA. We got there at 5:30 am and Klaus and I drove to Ocean Beach, SF to surf. We go there and the surf was sloppy, cold and windy. It was a gorgeous morning but I decided not to surf. Klaus paddled out in the slop and I walked around taking pictures and just enjoying the change of scenery. After the surf we drove to Marin and visited Amos to hang out and enjoy conversation and cappuccino. It was 9:30 am and we headed back to Vallejo to gear up for a hunting expedition on Hobbes 500 acre ranch in Lake County, CA. We packed up the guns and ammo and headed to Napa around noon or so for some BBQ lunch at the Bounty Hunter. The food and wine was spectacular. Next, we stopped at Raymond winery for some wine tasting. I was the designated driver and my friends took advantage of the situation to drink and be merry. We arrived at Hobbes ranch around dusk and immediately geared up for a wild boar hunt. I really wanted to shoot a pig and eat like a king. We walked all over the property and didn’t see a pig. After the hunt we drank fine whiskey and talked story.
The next morning we woke up early to hunt for hogs. It was a cold crisp morning and hog signs were everywhere. We saw about sixty turkey sitting under a tree and proceeded to walk up, down and all over the property. We must have covered 6 miles with a couple thousand feet of ascent and we didn’t see on damn hog. There were signs everywhere to include the hog created network of trails. I did see 4 deer and one was so close I could have shot it with my eyes closed. Too bad it wasn’t deer or turkey season. After a long hunt with no luck, we decided to shoot guns. Shooting guns is one of my favorite activities! We set up targets 100, 250 and 400 meters away. It was windy so the long shots were a bit more challenging. I did hit the 400 meter target with strong winds. I was very happy with the shot. Next we shot handguns, cleaned up and got ready to go to Pt. Arena to surf.
We drove to Pt. Arena and the weather started to change for the worse. A storm rolled in and the temperature dropped 20 degrees. We arrived at Pt. Arena at 6:00 PM and ate dinner and I took advantage of a nice hot shower. I didn’t shower for a couple of days and it felt great to get cleaned up. The next morning was Tuesday and the surf was windy and cold. Klaus talked me in to paddling out in the cold windy surf. The surf was big and I stayed on the inside trying to catch a few small waves. I paddled the whole time and the water was so cold it felt like pins and needles in my hands. After the surf we packed up and headed back to Vallejo. I have to say we did more in 2.5 days than most people do in a seven day vacation. What an epic adventure.
Roxy picked me up and I headed back to San Ramon with Myles and Rox. We all hung out and had dinner at grandma’s house. The next day Roxy and Myles went to a park in San Jose with her sister and my nephew Jet. I went on a bike ride and found a really nice road called Morgan Territory RD. It was a cold windy 38 mile ride but well worth the views. The next day was Thursday and we headed home to San Diego. We got home in the evening and we were all really tired. I look back and I am so thankful I got to have such an epic adventure with friends and family. I am really blessed to have such a wonderful Wife and Son. I had a great time hanging out with Klaus and Hobbes. I look forward to hunting again and next time we will get a hog!