Sunday, December 30, 2007

12 Hours of Oleta in Miami in January and a visit to Mack Cycle Bicycle & Fitness

Post race update:
I want to thank everyone for all their efforts and apologize for not making it to the race. I hope it was a great race for everyone.
Tinker


Well, we just got back from a nice Christmas in Pennsylvania and now I need to work off all that good food so I figure the perfect way is racing for 12 hours! I'm heading down to Miami next weekend for the 12 Hours of Oleta and will stop in to the Mack Cycle and Fitness store on Friday January 4th at about 4PM for a meet and greet. I hope all the locals can stop by!


Have a safe and happy new year.


Tinker

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Little bit of BMX history

I received a very complementary email from a fan recently that was about my early BMX days. It got me thinking about those days and how I never would have guessed I'd be doing what I'm doing now. Then, I saw this posted on the internet and figured Mom and the family would like to see it! Wow - has it really been THAT long??!!!
http://sgcycling.org/index.php?showtopic=922
















































Tuesday, December 11, 2007

2008 Race Season kick off and Otway's Odyssey Down Under!!

My season will start early this year. I'm planning to start it off in January at the 12 hours of Oleta in south Florida, then head to Arizona for the 24 hours of Old Pueblo and then take a long leap across the big pond to Australia for the Otway's Odyssey. I'm really looking forward to heading to Australia to race again. I haven't been there since the 2000 Olympics and I've always wanted to go back. When the race promoter contacted me, I was thrilled! He posted an announcement on the website that made me blush!! Well I have a lot to live up to now!

Looks like it's got some good climbing...

Check out the Otway's Odessey website for more info about the race...



Hope to see you there!



Cheers,



Tinker

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Fred Dreier's La Ruta Experience

I can describe races, and talk about my experience, but I'm not so good at really describing the experiences that well. So when I was googling La Ruta to see what other folks said about it, I found this article by Fred Dreier at VeloNews.com. His story describes it well. And I have to admit, I've wanted to quit, too.

Fred's View

PS - Thanks for the nice kudos and photo Fred!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Four days in the Costa Rica Rainforest Filled with, Mud, Guts, and La Ruta


Lots of people want to know how I train, what I eat, how I prepare for a race like this and how I do all that during the race, but it doesn't matter what you do, really, for a race like this. Pretty much what I ate during the race was what was there. Beans, rice, eggs, plantains, fruit, and whatever was on the Denny's menu.

The much needed rest was tough to get. Trying to get to sleep early was nearly impossible since by the time you got to the hotel, you had to go find dinner and then trying to get to sleep after such an exhausting day -- your body has a hard time trying to wind down after something like that. It takes more than the time you have and then a few hours later you get the wake up call and are at breakfast by 4 AM. Then you're back on the bike with everyone else ready for the next stage.


Ok, so how to prepare? I rested about a month since the last race. Got as much rest as possible. I eat lots of either Italian or Mexican food and try to avoid red meat the week before the race. Fuel for the race are Cytosport energy bars and drinks and whatever they have there. The fruit is incredible and I eat as much as possible.

Not knowing who my roomate was going to be left me a little worried. It is so important to get sleep and then to take a risk with someone you don't know is tough. But when Luis told me who I would be rooming with, I knew it was someone I'd heard of before...a guy from France Thomas Dietsch. It turned out that he was the bronze medalist in the World Championship Marathon this year and the UCI Marathon point leader over all. He was the best roomate I could have asked for. Spoke English really well and that's a good thing since I can't speak any French (or Spanish!). We both had a mission to do really well and we had the same attention to focus on. We both wanted the podium. So I got a chance to race with him and talk a lot. It was a good time and we both made the podium.

Making a four day race this year in the hardest conditions I've seen in Costa Rica yet, it was crutial to have a mechanic and help. Troy Laffey, of Cannondale, was there and he made things so much smoother. He took care of everything for me. He took it from the finish line every day and it was ready to go in the morning at the start line. I cannot say enough how much better it was to have him there. I was able to rest a little more and it was so much less stressful. It helped so much. He was there to help me and 9 other Cannondale racers/bikes to work on and he helped everyone else that asked. That guy is a saint. And one of the best and nicest mechanics I've had opportunity to work with. Check out Mike Cushionbury's article about his experience with Troy: Click here.


Conditions were brutal though. It was mostly cloudy and rainy and not super hot, but the trails were pretty much washed out from the rains. There were lots of deep trenches and deep gullys which made the trails and jeep roads technical and dangerous. It was wet and slippery and rocks and boulders everywhere. My heart was stopping - the decents, the scary technical trail, it was crazy. And it was nice to have pavement when we did.

I think it was interesting to hear people there for the first time not really knowing what to expect and out there to race. They had no idea what to expect but what it is - is the hardest race on the planet. You're either going up or down. Roads you never imagined could be so steep around every corner - they are volcanoes! It was amazing to watch everyone finish every day sometimes at the very last minutes of the day and just to get shuttled to the hotel to find food, rest, and do it all again the next day. The fourth day really added to the difficult factor.

There is one thing about the race and that is you can have a conversation with just about anyone. No one has their own agenda. Everyone is friendly, and no matter how much they suffered that day, everyone has the same feeling. They can't believe the amazing beauty of the place and how incredibly brutal it was to raced a mountain bike there.

Seems like most of them don't got to win but rather want to see a beautiful country the best way possible. To ride your bike from one side to the other! And then end the day by kicking off your shoes, grabbing a beer, and talking about how much they hurt that day! It's an adventure of beauty and riding your bike on the hardest trails you can ever imagine.

The new stage - Stage 2 - was probably my favorite of the four days. It was tough but a great addition. I heard a lot of great things about it and the way they had it set up - long first day and shorter second was a good plan. I hope they keep it.

Realistically, to make it on the podium at a race where so much could happen, I was very happy with the finish. After finishing stage 4, the race promoter asked if I would come back and I didn't hesitate - "yes!" Probably when he asked me, I was so wiped out I wasn't able to show as much enthusiasm as I felt. After getting back home and recovering a few days, I'm already looking forward to going back in 2008. Truthfully, being the top American in the field since 2004, makes me feel really good. I worked really hard for this one and when you manage to accomplish your goals, it makes all that suffering go away.

Just want to thank the race promoter and volunteers. It was a brutal but fun experience! Thank you!

Now that the season is finally over, I get to spend some time with my wife and baby and I get to experience the most beautiful thing that life could give you. I get to watch my son grow and learn and have the family time I never knew was possible. I'm having the best time of my life right now.

Many thanks to all my sponsors - each and every one has made my dreams come true for over 30 years of racing. Big thanks to Cannondale for sending Troy to the race. Being sponsored by the best bike company in the world is an incredible achievement and I want them to know how sincerely thankful I am for all their support.


Wishes to everyone for an awesome holiday. May your journeys be safe and God bless to everyone.



See you on the trail in 2008



Tinker

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*** Always do your best.***

Sunday, November 18, 2007

La Ruta de los Conquistadores 2007



Dig deep.

That is what it takes to finish the 2007 La Ruta de los Conquistadores. Four days of racing ended with a happy but exhausted Tinker who joined the leaders on the podium with a 5th place overall finish.

The guy might be old enough to be your dad, but he sure can ride a bike.

Congratulations are deserved by everyone for finishing!!

CONGRATULATIONS TINKER!!!
Here are the top 10 overall finishers in the Open Men division.


1 Federico Ramirez Mendez (CRc) BCR-Pizza Hut-Powerade-KHS 17:40.21
2 Paolo Montoya Cantillo (CRc) Macosta Lee Cougan Santa Ana BCT at 28.28
3 Thomas Dietsch (Fra) Gewiss Bianchi 44:36
4 Deiber Esquivel Benavides (CRc) IBP Pensiones 1:03:07
5 David "Tinker" Juarez (USA) Cannondale 1:05:39
6 Juan Alberto Solis Rodas (CRc) BCR-Pizza Hut-Powerade-KHS 1:09.23
7 Thomas Zahnd (Sui) Team Stoeckli-Craft 1:40:33
8 Jason Sager (USA) MonaVie/Cannondale 1:58:11
9 Kris Sneddon (Can) Kona Les Gets 2:09:46
10 Enrique Artavia Cedeira (CRc) Super Pro Banco BCT Santa Ana 2:14:18


Finishes by some of the other Cannondale athletes are here:
29 Timmy Dougherty (USA) BearNaked/Cannondale 1:16.27

44 Thomas Spanning (USA) MonaVie/Cannondale 1.21:52

45 Chris Peters (USA) MonaVie/Cannondale s.t.

76 Shawn Luphco (USA) MonaVie/Cannondale 2:00:30

113 Troy Luphco (USA) MonaVie/Cannondale 2:33:02

Master A:

8 Ohran Ohranran Matt (USA) MonaVie/Cannondale 8.28


Photo credit: Rob Jones at Canadian Cyclist

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Demo Day at Simi Cycling Center

What a perfect way to spend a morning! Simi Cycling Center and Cannondale hosted a demo day at Simi Valley last weekend and we had a group ride and BBQ after. It's such a great place to ride and for sure I want to go back. Here are a couple of group photos they sent. I love my Lefty!

Just want to thank Greg at Simi Cycling Center and the rest of the gang that helped out. It was a great ride and great to meet everyone!

If you're looking for a Cannondale dealer, check out the Cannondale website dealer locator. If you're in Simi, check out the Simi Cycling Center.

Simi Cycling Center

897 E. Los Angeles Ave
Simi, CA 93065
808-522-0565





Meeting people like them are why I love mountain biking!





Peace,





Tinker

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Chupracabras 100 km MTB Race in Mexico!!

I'll work on a story this weekend but wanted to say this for now....there were almost 3000 racers!! It's hot, technical, and it would probably be best NOT to do a 3 day stage race the weekend before the Chupacabras 100km in order to do well.

Here is a cool video from last year.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVEcNKpCfLc

Friday, October 26, 2007

SoCal Fires

Sorry I've been so busy lately but I wanted to post a quick note about the California fires that my new agent Tonya Bray posted on her blog.

See Tonya's blog for info.

We're fine here in Downey...just some ash and smoke. Thanks to everyone that called and emailed to see if we're OK.

I'll post recent race stories this weekend and also finally update the Garage & Swag Shop.

God bless the victims of the fires.

Tinker

Monday, October 08, 2007

Cannondale-Bike Center Team Takes 2nd Place in El Reto Del Quetzal


The inaugral 3 stage 2-person team race called the "El Reto del Quetzal" rolled out early Friday morning from the steamy city of San Juan Sacatepequez. The race venue included a beautiful historical rustic road near Salama known as the "colonial route" and passed through the towns of Rabinal and San Miguel Chicaj. The route included dense forests, plains, natural springs, streams, and river passages across a countryside spotted with ancient Spanish churches. The territory is inhabited by the pre-Columbian people called the poqomchies who curiously greeted the racers as they passed by.

Athletes finished the race three days and 165 miles later in the colonial town of Coban, Guatemala.

Day 1









Day 2








Day 3







Tinker Juarez (USA) and Heiner Morales (Guatemala) raced together on team Cannondale-Bike Center and placed a strong second in the Open Men category. Tinker's brief update included how beautiful the country was and how good the competitors were. Tinker said, "It's incredibly beautiful here and it's a great race venue. I'm already looking forward to coming back next year."
Final results for the top three teams in the Open Men Category:

1 Endurance-IB: Deiber Esquivel & Yonathan Carballo (Costa Rica) 11:23:14
2 Cannondale-Bike Center: Tinker Juarez & Heiner Morales (USA & Guatemala) 12:26:54
3 Magnarealtycostarica.com: Marcelo Silva & Carlos Marin (Costa Rica) 12:45:37

Cannondale dealer Bike Center in Guatemala City hosted Tinker and supported the duo. Tinker's race report will be posted when he gets back in town.
Next time you're in for a real treat, visit the Bike Center and ask for Gonzolo Quevedo (contact info below).
GUATEMALA: Bike Center, S. A., 20 Calle 24-67 Zona 10, Paris Plaza, Local 2-3, Guatemala City Guatemala, tel: 502-333-4388, fax:502-333-7394, email:bikecenter@intelnett.com

Cannondale Goes Red at Interbike

Check out the great story on Bicycleretailer.com about the Cannondale demo rides at Interbike.

Cannondale Goes Red at Interbike

LAS VEGAS, NV (BRAIN)—Each year everyone from the bicycle community congregate in the halls of the Sands Convention Center to get a look at what’s new for next year. For three days dealers and their staff frantically scurry from booth to booth trying to keep appointments in order to see, touch and hear about the latest product and why they should bring them to the sales floor.

One company absent from the convention halls this year was Cannondale, largely due to the fact that the company showed its dealers the new 2008 line months ago in Morgantown, WV. During the presentation dealers interacted with engineers, product managers and graphic designers. At the conclusion of each day dealers were able to ride the product with Cannondale staffers as well as the athletes they support. This way they could feel how the product performed while encouraging them to ask questions.

Putting a huge emphasis on test rides Cannondale participated in the Outdoor demo in Bootleg Canyon for the first two days of the show with close to 200 test bikes. Then, in an effort to allow dealers and even general public a chance to ride the new line, Cannondale took its entire fleet of demo bikes to the beautiful Red Rock Resort for the final three days of the show. Organized road rides left the resort on an incredibly scenic 28 mile loop through Red Rock Canyon. The ride offered around 1000 feet of climbing on top of a double wide asphalt road that is one-way, where you can dive into corners without worrying about running into anything unexpected.

Cannondale hosted organized rides Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning starting at 7 a.m. and finishing up at 9 a.m. Two 15 passenger vans shuttles were run each morning down the Las Vegas strip doing pick ups as well as returning riders back to the strip in time for a quick shower and into the show feeling fresh.

Each of the three morning rides left with close to 40 riders and their choice to ride the new SuperSix, SystemSix, Synapse SL or Slice Tri bikes.Test rides didn’t end there as Cannondale also organized night rides Wednesday and Thursday through Blue Diamond Park lead by 2007 24 Hour Solo World Champion Tinker Juarez. Again shuttle rides were provided while the good folks from NiteRider outfitted the all new full carbon Scalpels, Rush Carbons, Taurines and 29’ers on hand with systems lighting up the trails.

Garmin also got involved supplying bikes with GPS systems to insure nobody got lost while SoBe provided hydration for all. With all sorts of nightly activities going on in Sin City Cannondale had tremendous turnouts for these rides, hosting 55 riders on Wednesday night's ride and nearly 40 riders on the Thursday night ride. Each night was followed up with a pizza party.

“Of course there are going to be cancellations and no shows for rides but I was pleased that for every one who didn’t make it someone else showed up unannounced who heard about the rides through word of mouth," said Bill Rudell, marketing manager for Cannondale.“For a first year event I couldn’t be any happier. Seeing the smiles on everyone’s face during the morning road rides made it all worth while," Rudell said. "Let’s face it, Vegas has a lot to offer but we’re cyclists and never before during the show have you been able to experience riding a brand new bike in such an incredible setting. After each ride I was continually asked: 'is Cannondale going to do this every year? This was the best way to start/finish my day during the show that I have ever had.'”

For a first hand look at the road ride check out http://www.testrider.com/fly.aspx?layout=player&video=2.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Cannondale News: Cannondale Spotted A 2007 InterBike Show

Proud to be "Made in America"! See the latest news from Cannondale:

Cannondale Spotted A 2007 InterBike Show

Posted on October 3, 2007 11:22:03 AM

Front and center as always was the great product from the SRAM team and at the center of their booth wasn't a hot new XC design or the bike of the World Champ as you may expect, but a commuter. A commuter bike? Not just any city cruiser this is the revolutionary Cannondale"ON" bicycle. The "ON" bike is the work of the Cannondale advanced concept design group, led by Chris Dodman. The "ON" project uses a revolutionary new singlesided rear with an enclosed SRAM drive system "mated" up front to a Righty.

The race proven Lefty design was turned 180 into a Righty to allow the innovative center hinge to fold the rear and front wheel perfectly together for transit or storage. Looking down "ON" the action in the SRAM booth was a 2008 PERP, collaborating on the paint and graphics this raw aluminum swingarn, frame and fork received the same galvanized finish.

Equipped with the latest Avid Code's, Truvative bits and an awesome 180mm of perfect 1.5 singlecrown plushness up front with the Rock Shox Totem the PERP turned its share of heads. Across the show the new System Six was spotted at SRM, the power meter leaders, with their SI crank mounted version that comes stock on the Liquigas team bike.
Further into the show, Garmin was showing off the new 705 GPS unit keeping riders informed and ontrack with its new big screen aboard a Super Six. Look a little further and not only Cannondale product is being shown off, but their technology as well.

See the rest of the story here....

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Guatemala 3-day Stage Race Oct 5-7!!

I'm heading to Guatemala tomorrow for a three day stage race! Here is the cyclingnews.com story about it. This is a perfect primer for the La Ruta in November.

Stay tuned for the race report!


Tinker




Guatemala will host a new three-day stage race called El Reto del Quetzal from October 5 to 7 for teams of two in open men, open women, mixed, and masters categories. It will start in San Juan Sacatepequez and finish three days later in Coban while passing through semi-desert areas, tropical rain forests, and through the clouds and dense fog of Coban.


Trek VW's Sue Haywood, who was on the women's winning team at the TransRockies, and Lea Davison are favorites set to compete in the women's race. Tinker Juarez (Cannondale) and 2006 Pan Am Champion Deiber Esquivel are among those that will contest the men's race.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Garmin and Cannondale take riders on desert night ride

The desert at night, Garmin, Niterider, and Cannondale bikes make a great combination!

See the Garmin story here: Garmin Interbike Night Ride with Cannondale

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tinker's 2007 Sponsors

Dear Sponsors,

I want to say thank you for sponsorship in 2007. I won the National Championship jersey, the Solo 24 Hour World Championship jersey, had a great time in the NUE series and had a fantistic season. I couldn't have done it without all your support.

Many thanks,

Tinker

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Niterider, Cannondale, & Tinker at Red Rock Demo

SAN DIEGO, CA (BRAIN)-NiteRider Technical Lighting Systems announced they will be providing lights for Cannondale’s test ride demo days to be held at beautiful Red Rock Resort in Nevada, September 26-28.This three day event will provide the first time opportunity to ride Cannondale’s 2008 line of bikes. There will be multiple group rides of both mountain and road bikes daily and the event is open to the public. NiteRider will provide lights for the night rides which will be lead by 2X Olympian, Tinker Juarez.

Both Cannondale and NiteRider have been long time sponsors of Juarez, providing him bikes and lighting up the night as he continues to dominate the solos.NiteRider president Jack Gresmer said, “We were thrilled when Cannondale called us and asked us to help with lights. This will be a great opportunity for our dealers to try out the long awaited and much anticipated TriNewt. It will also be a chance for dealers go for a ride with the newly crowned 24 Hour Solo World Champion Tinker Juarez sporting his new Wireless TriNewt.”

For more information about Red Rock Demo Days please visit www.cannondale.com. For more information about NiteRider’s new lighting systems please visit http://www.niterider.com.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Tinker Juarez Wins 2007 Solo 24 Hour World Championship!!

























Image credit: spare cycles

Here is proud papa Tinker crossing the finish line with 8 month old son Joshua in his arms. Tinker has been waiting many years for this moment!

Image Credit: Scott Kennedy

More images of Tinker by Scott Kennedy: http://kennedyphotoworks.smugmug.com/gallery/3418821#191493576


Scott Kennedy
Photography and Instruction
Cell: 909-379-9014
scott@kennedyphotoworks.com
http://www.kennedyphotoworks.com/

Monday, September 03, 2007

Thank you for the 2007 World Championship 24 Hour Solo Race at Laguna Seca

Just a quick note to say thank you to my family, friends, sponsors, fans, and everyone that came out to the 24 Hour Solo World Championship mountain bike race at Laguna Seca this past weekend. Especially want to thank Cannondale for the bikes - the Taurine and the brand new 2008 Carbon Scapel, Kenda for the perfect tires, Cytomax for the nutrition and energy drinks, Tifosi Optics for the eyewear, Niterider for lighting up the night, and the rest of my awesome sponsors. I couldn't have won it without your support!

I'm working on a post-race story but right now I'm heading over to a friend's house for a Labor Day BBQ to wish his son off since he's heading to Iraq. Here are a few photos and a link to the Cyclingnews.com story.

Thanks everyone!!

Tinker












Rusch and Juarez win in brutal conditions

Cyclingnews.com story By Sue George

Tinker Juarez and Rebecca Rusch won the 24 Hours of Adrenaline World Solo Championship in Monterey, California, this weekend. Juarez rode with Kelly Magelky for 21 hours and then attacked him for the win. Nat Ross, Ernesto Marenchin, and Mark Hendershot took third through fifth spots. Last year's second place Rusch, on the other hand, won by a larger margin of two laps in the women's race. Lynda Wallenfels and Sally Marchand Collins finished second and third.

Santa Cruz Syndicate's Hendershot commented on the challenging conditions. "It was a brutal race, over 100 degrees. Four of the top ten guys were pulled off the course by medics."

Both defending champions, Craig Gordon and Sue Haywood, and last year's runner-up Chris Eatough were absent from the event. The latter two chose to compete at the Shenandoah Mountain 100, the National Ultra Endurance Series final, in Virginia.
In a bizarre finish to the event, a brush fire burned up the Sea Otter downhill course just as the race was ending.

Elite - Male
1 Tinker Juarez (USA) 19 laps
2 Kelly Magelky (USA) 19
3 Nat Ross (USA) 18
4 Ernesto Marenchin (USA) 18
5 Mark Hendershot (USA) 18
6 John Waddell (Aus) 17
7 Steve Schwarz (USA) 17
8 Ian Leitch (GBr) 17
9 Chad Swanson (USA) 16
10 Leighton Poidevin (Can) 16

Monday, August 20, 2007

It's a Super Six love thing...


She arrived Friday. All boxed up and brand new. As I carefully unpaked the box containing the 2008 Cannondale Super Six road bike I realized she was nearly weightless.


It was love at first sight.


Now my Taurine has a friend... the Super Six!!



Ain't she beautiful?!!??!






Wednesday, July 25, 2007

NUE Race #4 report

I have to admit that the Breck 100 will be the hardest NUE series race of the year. The attrition rate was very high and I almost quit, too. I don't know what happened but on the second loop I missed a turn and just kept riding and riding until I realized that I knew it couldn't be the right place - no marking, arrows or anything. Must have been at least 2 miles out. It was hard to get my head back together but I did. When you make mistakes at altitude, and after pushing it so hard on all those climbs, you really loose motivation.



So I got back on the Colorado single track trail and found out I lost 5 or 6 places once I got to the checkpoint. With the volunteers and the Cannondale rep Matt Ohran encouraging me - I kept on. BTW - he said he got lost at the same spot! So just to let you know - major thank you to everyone! Well, 5 riders were ahead of me and I tried to bounce back with a better attitude. Got some fresh water bottles, adjusted my seat, lubed my chain - and I left on the final 37 miles of the race with a mission. I caught 2nd but he had more in the tank than me so I finished 3rd overall. I was happy about it! Congrats to everyone that did finish and especially to Josh Tostado. He was on fire and had a great race in his home town.



The race was great - the place was super beautiful - and it was good to see everyone out there. I'll be back next year for sure!






I raced my newest bike for 2007 - the Taurine carbon Team Replica . It was the first time I raced a hardtail in 4 or 5 years. IT WAS SA-WEEEEEEET!!!!! It just flew up the hills and was super comfortable. I decked it out with all the good stuff, too. Kenda tires, Stan's wheels & rotors, Crankbrothers pedals, Magura brakes (they come in red and look great!), USE bars, skewers, cage, etc., Fizik saddle. This is the lightest bike I've ever ridden. Some of the sections on the course where it was 'hike a bike' it felt like I was hardly lifting anything. I think Joshua weighs more than the bike! Here is is ready for the race:





Check out Cyclingnews.com story: Breckenridge 100 race report









PS - Check out the paint job on my Uvex helmet in the photo! Many thanks to Nick Tsokalas for painting it for me. It turned out great and I love it.





Oh and can't forget to post the latest photo of me and my boy...

Keep it sideways
Tinker

Sunday, July 08, 2007

National Marathon Champion Jersey at the Firecracker 50 on July 4th


After missing the Lumberjack 100 race - 3rd in the 2007 NUE series in Michigan a few weeks ago, I've been unpacking and getting a little hill training in. I'm so glad to be back to my old routine here in CA. Despite not being in the hills, I could still train, but not like here.

I knew it was too soon to go to a big race at altitude - showing up the day before and putting my bike together at 6PM, it was kind of nice to have a choice to choose if I should race my age group or pro. Mom and wife didn't even want me to go. So there I was in the hotel room putting my bike together contemplating. Guess it was climbing up the stairs to get to registration and before I knew it, my hand marked the age group.

Race day - wasn't sure how things would go, but it went really well. Started off great and I was able to get to the front 10 minutes into the race. I was able to set the pace and that was a great start. I didn't think I was going to be able to set the pace but my legs felt good and I started looking ahead and the groups that started ahead was my main focus. I tried to catch as many riders as I could. I couldn't believe my legs felt good. Even at my best when I was younger, racing at altitude was and always has been tough for me. And if you've got a chance, the bike will show up, you'll get to the race in time, and your body will be in shape enough to have a good race.

But to really do well in the pro class at altitude, you either need to live and train at altitude or you need at least a week to acclimate. So, I guess what I'm trying to say, is that I raced in my class for the second time, ever. The ages were 40-49 and if you are in that class and ever raced it before, it's not easy. And now looking back, I wouldn't have been able to win if I crashed or had a mechanical. The race came down to the last 10 miles and switching back and forth between me and a Chipotle racer. The only thing I had was my experience to win. Can't find the race results or his name but he was a good challenge right to the end.

I was happy with my performance, with just two weeks of hill training. I'm so glad to be back!

No matter if I had raced my age group or racing the pro class, I would have been in the top 10, but in the pro class, I wouldn't have won the National Jersey. I needed this win, not only for the confidence, but it's been tough racing since last year at RAAM. Some good and some bad races. I also needed to practice at my age class since August is the UCI Master's World Championship in France. Until last week, I had no idea what it would feel like, and I'm glad I got a taste of it. It will be tough. But I'm up for the challenge.

No matter how you look at it. A National Championship jersey is a National Championship Jersey and it feels good to wear one. This is a nice way to get ready for the second half of the 2007 race season.

This was my 8th National Jersey and as you get to this point of your life/career, it means a lot. So much has happened this last year. With Joshua, new responsibilities, my new wife, and everything else, it was nice to bring home the jersey. It was for the family.

And just to finish, I found this quote from the race director and he was discussing the race and the atmosphere there: "I think that the national marathon championship designation will have a modest effect on the field," the race director said, "but this event has been and will continue to be more about the lifestyle racer than the pro. It's for guys who work their 40-hour weeks and like to get out on their bikes as much as they can. Just finishing the Firecracker is an honor." - This is really what mountain bike racing is all about. Not me, or what I've done, but those guys and gals that make cycling a lifestyle. I love being a part of it.

God Bless America,

Tinker

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Sea of boxes, the perfect plan and the smelly cat

We moved last week.

This wasn't the 'just across town move', either. This was the 'sell as much of the stuff as possible move' since it was almost 3000 miles that we had to ship it all.

Now we are digging our way through a sea of boxes. Even though we sold a lot of it, we still had 12,000 pounds of STUFF. Mom Rose is a saint! Not only is she helping in every way possible, we brought all this stuff and now it is half unpacked but there are still at least a hundred boxes piled all over our house and garage.

I just wanted to tell everyone that I'm really sorry I couldn't make it to the Lumberjack 100. We had it all planned out...it was a perfect plan. I went to a shop visit in Plano, TX the weekend before the Lumberjack. But before that, I had to pack the garage and as much of everything else as I could since Mom Rose and Terri had to pack the rest of the house. See, they were planning a big garage sale when I was in Plano and I know they had different plans for some of it than me!

So when I got back on Sunday evening, the whole house was packed and there was a pile of stuff for charity. The movers came on Monday, we closed the sale of the house on Tuesday, and we loaded the cars on the car-hauler Wednesday before we went to the airport to catch our one-way flight to LA. We had the baby, the cat, bikes, and all our luggage.... After we checked in, we sat down to celebrate over beer and food. That was around 2 pm. 'Perfect!'

The plan was that we'd arrive in LA around 8:30 pm, I'd unpack the bikes and clean up the mtb from the Mohican race. Then pack it up for the Lumberjack and use it as a backup for the new bike that Cannondale sent for me. (More on that later....) I had all my gear packed and all the extras on the moving truck. I had what I needed and just had to get on the 11:30 AM flight to Grand Rapids on Thursday. Friday they had a breakfast scheduled and a couple of shop visits to Velocity Cycles, Terry's Cycle and Sports and Ada Bike Shop where I could stop in on my way to Udell.

But then the perfect plan wasn't so perfect any more....

There were big storms in Orlando and Miami and our 4 pm flight was delayed until 5:30. Then we sat on the Tarmac for another hour until we were cleared to land in Miami. Once we got to Miami, the flight to LA was delayed since they had to fix the engine....

Well...to make an exhausting and long story short... We finally arrived in LA around 3:30 AM Thursday morning. The cat smelled so bad... almost 19 hours in that bag. He's finally recovered.

Our luggage didn't arrive and we called Delta to change the 11:30 AM ticket hoping to receive the luggage some time during the day. The only option would be to catch the redeye at 11:30 PM to arrive 10:30 AM in Grand Rapids on Friday. That meant almost 3 nights without sleep and a bet that the bikes and my gear might arrive that day. I couldn't have made the breakfast and at least one shop visit.

I knew this was a hard race and I needed sleep and my gear. I just had to give it up and say enough. It has been a very difficult few months getting ready for the move and now with the plan not so perfect any more, I had to give in.

I know many people spent hours of their time organizing the visits, the bike, and the race. I'm very sorry I couldn't make it and I hope you understand. But, I know there are other races in MI this year and the Lumberjack next year and I hope to make it up to you!

Now I'm back to my old stomping grounds and the San Gabriel mountains! You know I'm happy about that! I'm feeling more confident about my training and hope to be back to normal for the next race. I can tell it's been a while since I trained in the mountains and my legs haven't had the training they need but I still have the next half of the season.

So, now we finally have internet but it's sporadic. I will post again soon once we get more organized.

Peace,

Tinker

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Maybe in 10 or 20 years

Yep, that's when I think I'll be ready. Or maybe even past that.

I've received a lot of emails lately from mostly guys in their late 30s, 40s, and 50s that are racing mountain bikes and they tell me what an inspiration I am for them.

That is what inspires me.

It gives me fuel to keep on racing and do what I love so much. I did the Trans Alp race in 2004 which is a 7 day stage race in the most amazing German, Austrian, and Swiss Alps. I'd love to race there again but it was one of the hardest races I've ever been in. It was also the first time I raced in a Master's category. That was the most competitive age group I ever raced. I mean that of course most of the races I've done have been difficult, but the Master's category is a different beast. These guys give all they have to win and it's tough.

At this age, it's hard but not like I can't handle it. It's good to have the competition to keep and stay focused. If I went into it thinking it wouldn't be that bad then someone like Nat or Chris would show up and make it interesting. You've got to have that...keep it interesting. We are all going to the events for the same reason. To get the good competition and to have the opportunity to race another year.

Endurance is still a relative newcomer in the sport of mountain biking. It will take some time to attract the big dinero, but with the different series that started up in the last few years, it's got a lot of promise to get some good following. The focus has been on XC for a long time but this is a great next up-comer. We could use some good support.

OK - so back to the reason for this rant....I'm not thinking about retiring any time soon. I think I'll race till I die and my wife told me I'll live a long long time. Probably into my 90's.

I can see it now. 'There goes Tinker - the guy is 87 years old and still pedaling! He's on his 14th lap already!'

I'll have to turn up my hearing aid so I can hear the cheers.

So my goal is that I want to set an example to race mountain bikes as long as I can at a professional level and retire at a normal age. I want to show that you can make a lifetime career of it. Ned is the only guy that is ahead of me and he's set a fantastic example.

I want to do this as long as I can. Heck, I'm hoping to keep up with Joshua when he grows up. And I want to show that you can enjoy doing this sport and it will keep you healthy and young. And it's not all about racing but it's about being outside on the bike. I love the way it feels to be out there with everyone else that is having fun doing what they love the most.

I want to get a kick about being a professional cyclist longer than anyone.

Enjoy it as long as you can.

Peace,

Tinker

Friday, May 18, 2007

Wham, Bam, Thank You Carbon Rush

Wham, Bam, Thank You Carbon Rush
Posted on May 9, 2007 9:08:25 PM

It's the choice of season professional Tinker Juarez when it comes to long hours in the saddle over rough terrain. Jamie Whitmore's had phenomenal success on it racing Super D and will be her bike of choice to contest the XTERRA World Championship. Now Bike magazine states riders looking to ride fast and long, the Carbon Rush Team is one of the meanest machines on the market.

Read on to see what else the staff had to say after a long term "beat down"

"The bike climbs and accelerates like a true race thoroughbred with alarming responsiveness and tremendous speed"

"The Carbon Rush feels light and snappy without any of the twitchiness you'd expect from a race bike"

"The Rush is incredibly responsive when carving turns at speed"

"The Carbon Rush Team is a testament to Cannondale's race heritage. It's a meld of space-age materials and innovative design work that creates a bike with more than four inches of travel while maintaining the weight of a hardtail"



To find out where you can test ride a Carbon Rush check our schedule here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Tour of the Unknown Coast

THE TOUR OF THE UNKNOWN COAST : Riding in a postcard

I like Humboldt County out in Northern California . I’d been there twice for the 12 Hours of Humboldt and once for the Bigfoot Classic mountain bike race. Those huge redwood trees and awesome scenery—you gotta see them to understand. So when Vic from Team Bigfoot invited me to come and do a hundred mile road that people call “ California ’s toughest century,” I jumped at the chance. “Ten thousand feet of climbing?” I said, “Sounds great!”

Vic had told me to bring riding clothes for all weather conditions. “It can be foggy or sunny, wet or dry, cold or warm, all in the same day.” I understood the moment I arrived. In Florida it had been in the 80’s, but it was in the 50’s, moist and overcast when I got off the plane at the Eureka/Arcata airport. I’m not used to cold!

The day before the event was a Cannondale shop visit. The Cannondale Demo center was there and they took me for a mountain bike ride in the Arcata Community Forest . I’d ridden there at the 12 Hours of Humboldt, but on different trails they took me on. There was this hike-a-bike and since I hadn’t brought mountain bike shoes I was riding with road pedals and shoes. So there I was duck-walking up this section, trying not to fall or break my road cleats.

The next morning was the Tour of the Unknown Coast . It’s in a little farm town called Ferndale that’s right out of an old movie. Sheriff Andy Taylor and Opie would be right at home in Ferndale . It was cold and overcast and the local riders were saying it was likely to stay that way. I ate and got ready for the 7am start time, thinking that I had plenty of time, when I heard Vic on the loud speaker calling “Tinker! Tinker!” It was 7:01 and 473 other riders were on the starting line waiting on me. Woops!

The route started flat, so the lead pack was moving when we hit the first of the small climbs. Then we onto the “Avenue of the Giants,” a stretch of road where you’re riding under huge redwoods trees. Most are like 200 feet tall and they tell me that there are a few 300-footers in there.
Incredible.

I’d been talking with local rider John “Fuzzy” Mylne in the pack. He’s a single-speed rider that I’ve met at different endurance events where he’s been doing really well. About 45 miles out we start up a climb and Fuzzy tells me that the climb goes on for nine miles. I figured that was a good time to test myself so I stood up and powered for a while then sat down and got into a good climbing rhythm.


After a few minutes I looked back and didn’t see anybody. I felt good and was keeping a pace that I knew I could sustain. Nine miles later it was over the top and into a fun descent through some amazing scenery that looks like something you’d see on a postcard. You could see for miles. Other than a farm house here or there the only thing man-made you see is the road. At the bottom was a tiny little town and as I passed the firehouse the firemen blew a siren. The next several miles was rolling terrain and still, hardly anything out there. Just untouched hillsides with maybe a few cows or sheep.

Finally I reached the ocean and the wind. Vic had told me about the headwind there and that one really windy year Mike Pigg the triathlete could barely go 6 miles an hour. Thankfully the wind wasn’t that bad. I was able to keep 16mph. Then I saw “The Wall,” a mile long climb that has sections of 23% grade. Yeah, just what I like! I made it up the first pitch and went into a switch-back section, looked back down at the road along the coast and didn’t see anyone.


Once you get over the wall you drop back down into this little valley, and then climb back out over what they call “The Endless Hills.” They named it right. Each switchback looks like it’s going to be the top of the ridge. But once you get to it you see the next one, and the next one, and the next one. I kept up my rhythm and was practically getting a stiff neck from looking back down looking for other riders. Nope. Just me.

Finally I reached the top—and the fog piled up over the other side of the ridge. It was only eight miles to the finish and was anxious to get out of the cold. A guy pulled alongside on a motorcycle to tell me to be careful, that the fog was thick almost all the way back. Vic had warned me about the final descent, that there were decreasing radius turns, potholes and a dirt section. The locals know this section and can really haul, but I played it safe.


Finally I made it to the final flat straight to the finish line. It was a great ride for me. I’ve always admired those guys in the Tour de France or the Giro who do big, long solo breaks like that. My time was five hours and twenty-eight minutes. The record is something like 30 minutes faster, but Vic said that was set in a year that had a tailwind along the ocean.

The ride was over but not my day. I had some kids to meet. I’d been contacted by a Sacramento Police sergeant who runs a mountain bike program for high school and middle-school kids. The program’s focus is to keep kids out of gangs. That really hits home with me ‘cause a lot of kids from my school got into that kind of trouble. The sergeant had asked if I could visit the kids in Sacramento , but with my busy schedule it would have been hard to do. So Vic invited the sergeant to bring the kids to the Tour of the Unknown Coast , comped them their entries, campsite and meals.



I spent about an hour with them answering questions and signing autographs. The bikes the kids use mostly came from the police as unclaimed property. Some are donated and they’ve managed to scrounge parts from all over. I’m going to go through my garage and box up some of my old stuff for them. Seeing the excitement on their faces when they talked about riding and racing was real inspiring, so I’m glad to help them.

So it was a good day for me. I had a good ride. got to test my fitness, met some great people. That’s it for now. It’s time to focus on the rest of my season.

Thanks for reading.
TJ

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Payson Showdown

I've been on the road now four weekends in a row and didn't get time to write up the Payson race but here is a news clip from the Cannondale Global News page about my win at the Stampede last weekend.


Mike Hershauer, owner of Focus Cyclery was there with his crew supporting me and took these photos. Focus had a nice set up which made it a lot more comfortable since it got so cold. Thanks Mike!


I also wanted to thank the guys from Focus and Chris Malloni from Cannondale for such great support and Dan Basinski for putting the race together. It was an awesome venue.


The town was super convenient to the Fairgrounds and even though Mom Rose didn't get to gamble much at the Casino, we'd like to go back next year and try again.

For the second weekend in a row, Tinker Juarez and Nat Ross battled it out, this time at the Payson Stampede 24 Hour Mountain Bike Challenge May 5-6, 2007 in Payson, AZ. As evening set in, so did cold temperatures and rain. Juarez and Ross kept close watch on each other for a good part of the race. As the evening went on and despite bone chilling temperatures, Juarez felt good on his Cannondale Scapel and established a strong lead after Ross flatted.

Ross wasn't able to recover the time while Juarez persevered on winning the elite solo men's category with 25 laps in 21 hours.

Juarez said "I had it in my mind to race to win without killing myself. After Natt had a flat and lost the time, I put my head down and kept going. My Scalpel and Kenda tires were the perfect combination for this course and without making any mistakes, or mechanical issue's, we were able to bring home the win. That was one really tough workout".
Here is a news article on Cyclingnews.com:
http://www.cyclingnews.com/mtb/?id=2007/may07/paysonstampede07

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Eureka Reporter - Tour of the Unknown Coast Article

Not so unknown
by Bryan DeMain, 5/10/2007

While Vic Armijo of Team Bigfoot refers to Saturday’s cycling event as “our little backyard race,” the 29th annual Tour of the Unknown Coast isn’t so little.With “up-until-the-race registration,” and good weather, Armijo and event coordinators are expecting nearly 1,000 participants.And some of those participants are big names in the cycling community.While Lance Armstrong came, saw and conquered many years ago, the Ferndale Fairgrounds will play host to race legends Tinker Juarez and Jacquie Phelan this weekend.For Juarez, who is a two-time U.S. Olympian and seven-time U.S. champion, this will be his fourth visit to Humboldt County, but this time around he’s expecting this one to be his most rewarding.Sgt. Charles Husted from the Sacramento Police Department’s School Resource Unit will travel with a youth mountain biking program, which is designed to keep youths off the street and away from gang activity, to meet Juarez.“The program’s goal really hit home with me,” Juarez said in a news release. “There was a lot of gang activity in my home town.”Juarez will spend time with the group from Sacramento following the race.“They’re very excited,” Armijo said. “They really had their fingers crossed to meet this guy, who has really become a hero in their eyes.”Juarez is well known for his community service and using his name for outreach programs.“That’s the type of thing he’s known for,” Armijo said. “He’s not just athlete, he’s an ambassador for the sport in every meaning of the word.”Phelan, a three-time U.S. champion and pioneer for women’s mountain biking, will give a women’s bicycle skills clinic on Sunday at the Fairgrounds. Saturday will feature five events, including 100-mile, 100-kilometer, 50-mile, 20-mile and 10-mile races.With gas prices soaring and many of the riders expected to come from out of the area, free camping is available at the fairgrounds. “There’s plenty of room and that makes the trip affordable,” Armijo said. “It’s better than paying a hundred bucks for a hotel room. This way you can wake up, eat a prepared breakfast and walk to the start line.”Registration forms can be picked up at sponsor and local supporter Adventure’s Edge in Arcata.

For more information, phone Team Bigfoot at 707-845-6117.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Drag race to the finish

After the plague went through the house again this past week, I headed back up to Tennesssee for the inaugral Dirt Sweat and Gears 12 Hour Race in Fayetteville. Guess having a baby in day care will do it.

I got treated super nice. Steve picked me up from the airport and we swung by the Bicycle Works bike shop before he dropped me off at the hotel. We picked up a few things and got my wheel worked on. Then I relaxed at the hotel for a while. I needed time to get healthy. I went for a spin on the road and my legs felt achy and I felt terrible. That night I slept about 9 hours and I really needed it.


Friday at the course I rode a lap and felt better than I did on Thursday and the track was great. I knew it would be difficult since there was about 1200 feet of climbing per lap and it would be fast. A hard race for sure.


Had a meet and greet at the track at 5 that evening, grabbed dinner on the way back to the room and went to the pharmacy and picked up something for the cold. The pharmacist joked and said something about a big prescription problem there, but I had no idea what he was talking about until later. I just wanted to get to bed early and try and rest for the race.

Race day morning I had real good pancakes at the track. The race started with a short dragster run. At least this one I didn't have to wear a sack! And I got on the bike in the top 10. Nat and Josh were first and second. There was a mile loop at the start so I could see what was going on and by the time we got to the single track I got up to about 5th place.

Then I ran over something on the trail. I didn't see it, but heard the air leaking out. I was in third when it happened about 20 min into the race. Dannabbit. I only had one tube and I needed two. Rob Lichtenwalner stopped and gave me his tube. Someone else gave me a quick fill. I don't know who that guy was but I want to tell them THANK YOU.

When I got finished with the lap I was 9 minutes back . I had to stop though to replenish my tubes and fills and have to admit I was discouraged but it was the start and there was still time. I kept up good speed and after about 5 hours into the race I finally made it up to about 4th place. No one else ahead of me had mechanicals and it was fast. Being all single track, it was tough to get back up there.

Then I started pacing my self. I worked hard to get up to that position and I figured I had to pace my self and recover and the leaders were still 15 minutes ahead. Then, I worked my way up to 3rd place and for about 3 hours rode for 3rd hoping to hold on.

When it was near the end, I heard Josh was hurting and thinking he was not going out for another lap. They told me he was 10 minutes ahead so I gave it my best go at it.

I crossed the finish 3 minutes behind Josh. Then they told me he had really been 15 minutes ahead. That was cruel but I think I did my best lap time all day on that last lap and now I can say it feels good!

It was a good strong finish with my fastest lap at the end. I'm happy my fitness it getting better as the season gets going. And even though I felt terrible all week, I managed to pull off a good finish. Results are posted on ride424.com.

I was pleased.

The race was well put together. Real professional and I'd recommend anyone wanting to do a 12 hour to go next year. They had awesome prizes and sponsors. They even gave away bikes! Great town, great people, and great location!

Guess I'll have to check for flea bitten rats around our house, too!

I pirated some of these pics from Jeff Kerkove's photo album but he's got more.

http://picasaweb.google.com/kerkovej Thanks Jeff!