Love the Bike.

For some reason when we grow up we stop riding our bike. Just about every kid learned how to ride as soon as possible. A lot of us got that bike for Christmas, then the training wheels came, our first ride without them, our first crash, years of fun...then. We just stopped. Why is that? I think I stopped riding my bike once I reached about junior high - and I know a lot of my friends did the same. It just wasn't cool anymore, or we out-grew our bike or went on to other things. 20 years later, I'm starting to realize how much I missed riding. I remember riding with my brother and friends miles and miles, just exploring, finding new jumps, daring each other---just being a boy. My brother and I rocked the Diamond Back back then---his was way better of course (older brother) and I'll never forget the jump we would frequent on our way back home. He would catch this big air and then I would try to imitate. On this one occasion, I'm glad I didn't imitate. I was watching him take flight and I would yell YYEEAAHH (kinda like the old school skate movies when they would slow down the Yeah to YYEEAAHH). He landed it, but he landed it on his sac. Did I just write that? Yea, he hit hard and I'll never forget how much pain he was in. I really didn't know what to say..."Let me see if you're OK?" no...I just let him be. I remember him yelling that he thinks he's bleeding. I thought to myself..."That can't be good" "I wonder if he'll ever have kids...." Maybe that's why I stopped riding my bike...Anyway, I'm happy to see that he does have beautiful kids and he's recovered.

View from Lake Wolford
20 years later, I'm so glad that I re-discovered riding. I truly do feel like a little kid again when I'm out on The Mistress. Exploring, finding some jumps, challenging myself on some tough climbs, rolling the single track and listening to some hardcore. Haven't had this much fun since I was a kid. Road riding is a different kind of fun. I've never been a "cyclist" before. It's a whole other world, and I'm learning a lot about the sport. Especially from sweet movies like the one I recently watched; American Flyers....Kevin Costner a world class cyclist with a moustache?? Yes please!.....After my track workout the night before (12X200's---just like we did in college), I set out on a 70 mile group ride. The longest I had gone before this ride was 50 miles, so this was quite the jump for me. The plan was to ride down to Escondido, up to Lake Wolford and shoot back towards Temecula, up Pala and home.

Data from the ride:

I think the 70 miles part wouldn't have been that bad if it weren't for all of the climbing. Because along with this being the furthest I'd ever ridden, it was also the most climbing I have ever done in a single ride (5,200ft). Check out the calories burned, almost 4000. That's like 2 days of eating! Good thing I had some of Amy's homemade "Adams bars" to keep me from bonking...Oh wait, I did bonk in the last 3 miles! I ran out of calories and water going up our final climb in Pala---when I got home I ate like 3 lunches. It's amazing what your mind does when you get through a 70 mile ride. It makes those 35 and 40 mile rides seem so easy. The gains I have been making on the bike have been huge and I can really see my mountain bike strength coming along with logging so many miles on the road. Love the Bike!

Well Deserved Winter Warmer!
 Other week highlights include another session at Rehab United a few swims and then the weekend...Rain came of course, so I rode out on a 25 mile ride in what felt like 25 mph winds accompanied with lots of heavy rain. I got a lot of honks and a lot of weird looks and saw nobody out there. Usually Temecula is swarming with bicycle and running traffic on the weekends, not this day. I always feel that when you are working out in horrendous conditions whether it be the heat, rain, snow or cold that you can't expect huge physical gains, but the mental gains are huge. You get mentally stronger and learn how to be tough in those types of conditions. You never know what kind of conditions you'll see come race day, so you better prepare yourself for all of them. The next day it was still pouring rain and I set out on my 13 mile long run. I felt really good despite the 11 hours of training I put in that week. After taking a very hot shower, I warmed up some more by pouring one of my favorite Winter Warmer beers, Anchor Brewing's Merry Christmas Ale. If you haven't tried it, make sure to bring it to Thanksgiving dinner along with two of my other favorites, Deschutes Brewery's Jubelale and Avery's Old Jubilation. I'm loving the holidays with my family, my newly found fitness and my holiday brews! Maybe I'll re-visit the ole' Urban Beer Gardner soon and brew up a batch just in time for friends and family for Christmas. If not, I'll just train...Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!



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