Sunday, October 09, 2011

Fix Uptown Now! Octoberfest Fundraiser TODAY in Uptown

See you there!
This Sunday, October 9TH FIX UPTOWN NOW will be hosting a FUNdraiser at Fenix 5-4 on Greenleaf (next to Starbucks). A $20.00 donation to FUN will gain you entrance, a plate of German food and a pint of German beer. There will be plenty of live entertainment and the doors will be open from 12 noon to 12 midnight!
You can give us your donation at the door or through Paypal which is available on our website:

Friday, October 07, 2011

SoCal 50 race coverages by Jens Raz on

Good grief.  No wonder so many people had a tough time with the heat.  Triple digits??  That is why I went through so many bottles!!  I concur with the mandatory snow cones plead!!
Thanks Jens for the awesome coverage!!
:D big grin
Written by: Jens Raz 
Temecula is locally known for its wineries, churches and lifted trucks. One has quite a range of options when visiting here. As of the last couple of years mountain biking has been a premier reason to come to this north San Diego County city. The first weekend of October 2011 showcased some of its finest riding. Saturday the "SOCAL FAT TIRE EPIC 50 - WEST COAST MARATHON CHAMPIONSHIP" was put on by Jason and Heather Ranoa, while Sunday the Specialized Invitational US Cup and Team Big Bear XC California State Championships were being held at the Vail Lake trails. 
The course consisted of 2 laps of 24 miles each with about 2,600' of climbing per lap. The first "Damn" climb was the longest by roughly 1.5 miles. The rest was littered with shorter and punchier ones. Temperatures were another challenge altogether, reaching 108 degrees by mid morning.
If the course doesn't seem tough, the competition sure was. Tinker Juarez (Cannondale), the juggernaut who is known for his ability to race in the heat was one of the leading candidates for victory. Nate Whitman (Herbalife24) coming of a strong showing at last months Leadville with a time of 7hrs and 6minutes and his team mate Gerry Cody (Herbalife24) who stomped Leadville in 10th place with 6hrs and 51 minutes besting the likes of Tinker and Carl Decker came for one purpose only. The "Rat Pack" challenging for the win were future Pro mountain biker Joel Titius (Corona Composite Cycling Team), John Hornbeck(Simple Green /Bike Religion), Allan LaFromboise (Don's Bicycles) and Daniel Munoz (Cyclery USA) who all rounded out the contending youths.
Could the Herbalife24 duo beat Tinker?
Nate's perspective went as follows:

"At the start, the group rolled out at a fairly controlled pace, with Gerry Cody and Tinker dictating the pace.  I took a few turns at the front to stretch it out slightly so that there would be less chance of a pile-up at the first hard uphand left turn.  about 8-10 riders were able to hold the pace initially, but as soon as we hit the base of the first real climb on course, it separated out pretty quickly.  Tinker and Cody were obviously the strongest.  I was able to just hang on to their wheel through the entire first big climbing section.  Behind me, John Hornbeck and Joel Titius were wavering but almost hanging on, about 10 to 20 seconds back.  

When we started into the first twisting singletrack section, it looked like we might have a group of 3 with Tinker and Gerry and myself.  But my lack of course knowledge caused me to pop off those two.  they both know the course really well and are great bike handlers.  I had not raced at Vail Lake in over 5 years.  A few untimely bobbles and I was riding by myself 1 minute back.  

From that point, a small wash out on my part and two forks in the course with no sign markings allowed Hornbeck and Titius to come back to me.  From there, we rode together for a sizable chunk of the first lap.  I was very impressed with Titus.  He is a high school senior and was state champ in the NICA league.  This was his first pro race.  He knew the course really well and helped us keep a good pace through the singletrack.  Up ahead, I could see Gerry leading Tinker on some of the switchbacks where the course doubled over itself, and I knew they would go head to head for the win, unless something weird happened.  We were not going to catch them.  
Chasing behind, the three of us traded places leading and following several times.  Hornbeck misjudged a roller and jammed his chain shifting.  He disappeared at that point.  Titius and I decided to work together for a while, with him leading on the descents and me taking bigger pulls on the flats and longer uphill drags.  We rode in tandem the rest of the entire first 24-mile lap and made time.  At this point, the temperature was really skyrocketing.  We later heard it was 107 degrees in some places on course.  Those that managed the heat and hydrated properly got some big gaps on that didn't.
With nobody in sight behind, Titius and I rolled through the start finish to start the second lap.  I think the heat and early effort got to Joel in his first big race.  I never attacked hard, but after getting fresh bottles, I felt a second wave of energy and picked up my effort.  He slowly drifted off my wheel, and I rode the remainder of the second lap completely solo.  I was able to avoid losing more time on the leaders, and stretch my gap to those behind.  After having seen the course on round 1, I handled some of the technical sections more smoothly.  

I continued to see the dual between Cody and Tinker up the trail ahead in the fingers section of the lap.  However, at one point, I saw that Tinker had created a gap and they were now separated with about 7 miles to go.  I rode on to get 3rd, with teammate Gerry Cody taking 2nd behind Tinker for the win.  I was very happy with the result, to get on the podium with my teammate and training partner, just a step or two below the legend Tinker.  Overall it was a great race and a good day."
The #1 challenger to Tinker, Gerry Cody (Herbalife25) had this to share of his battle with the Cannondale Predator:
The race began and the lead group found itself dicing it pretty quickly as we headed out of the park, and onto the dry dusty fire road. We hit "The Damn Climb" and as I suspected, Tinker went to the front and pressed the pace. I did my best to hang with him, and not long after we started climbing we were both left with our respective teammates just behind us 30 yards or so. I knew from previous experiences that Tinker is a beast both climbing and descending, so my plan was to ride and pace with him for as long as possible. It's nice knowing that the kind hearted warrior will still talk to you in the middle of a race. We took turns at the front, and made our way through the roller coaster single track. The temperatures climbed. In fact, a friend told me that temperatures on the back stretch were in the triple digits. The water in my bottles became hot. Countless squirts, and water dunks seemed useless. While climbing up one of the steep shoots, I missed a shift and threw my chain. Tinker cleared the climb, and I scrambled up the hill on foot. He looked back one last time, and that's when it was over. There was no chance of me catching him. I was cooked. He put it down, like the great cyclist he is, hard! I came in about 4 or 5 minutes after he did and went straight to the cold shower. I sat under the nozzle, still wearing my helmet, gloves, and even glasses. Sitting there, slowly cooling myself back to life,,,,with a big smile on my face! (Side note, Snow cones should be a must at any mountain bike race!)"
 Results - Pro Men
The women's Pro race was won in a tight fight by pro triathlete and coach Lesley Patterson (Trek) over her prodigy Jessica Noyola (Focus Bicycles). Patterson took the glory by just over 2 seconds.
Racing aside, the benefits of racing at Vail Lake are the amenities. 2 pools, outside showers, warm food, snow cones multiple mechanical support (Bike Bling), the Racers and Chasers support tent and other family friendly activities to keep the better half and offspring happy for the 3.5-5 hours of suffering.
What is next? Check out for the next weekends Singlespeed "Monster Mash", Super D and  "Krosstober-fest" CX racing and more at Vail Lake!

Tour de Timor and the peace that begins with me

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Tour de Timor 2011 = An adventure of peace

When I received the invitation to participate in a mountain bike stage race in the Indonesian country of Timor-Lest last year, they offered the most generous prize amount I have seen in my whole career.  It was difficult to believe that anyone would offer $100,000 in prize money to come to Timor and race for peace and to promote good will in the country.  Yeah, right, I thought.  That was way too good to be true, and I didn't go but it was mostly because I also had other commitments here in the US and I soon forgot about it.  Then this year, the promoter contacted me again, urging me to attend this amazing event, and showed me the press and publicity from the 2010 race and proof of the payout...of course this tantalizing hunk of change was appealing!!  So I decided to do a good deed and not so much altruistically, headed to Timor for almost 3 weeks to visit with the President of Timor, participate in the country's peace ride, and race my mountain bike from September 11 to 16 on the roads exploring the entire country for 6 days, and roughed it in tents for four of them.  I had to forego the National Marathon XC race and as it turned out, the much anticipated 24 Hour solo National race less than 2 weeks after I returned.

I contacted my good friend Chris Bray of Cannondale Cannasia, who was very excited about the opportunity to travel to the remote location to participate and support me and the race.  Chris was nice enough to pack up tents, sleeping bags, mosquito nets, a battery powered fan, an extra Cannondale Scalpel, flashlights, and other assorted camping essentials.  I couldn't have asked for a better team partner for the event and he spoiled me rotten.    Neither one of us knew what we were up against, which turned out to be six days of brutal racing against some of the strongest mountain bikers and road cyclists from Australia and a handful of other athletes who didn't have to travel 23 hours.  We had a great time and had one hell of an experience!

Entering the finish after stage 2

There is more to just racing than riding your bike as fast as you can.  We learned a lot about the culture, the reasons the President of Timor put the event together, and witnessed the most spectacular support of mostly children cheering us on along the roads and especially when we entered the remote towns. We learned that there were so many children and elderly folks but not that many parents around because of the decades long independence struggle to separate from Indonesia which damaged infrastructure and displaced tens of thousands of citizens and tore apart families. 

From Wikipedia: The President, José Manuel Ramos-Horta is the President of East Timor, the second since independence from Indonesia, taking office on 20 May 2007. He is a co-recipient of the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize and a former Prime Minister, having served from 2006 until his inauguration as President after winning the 2007 East Timorese presidential election.[1] President Ramos-Horta suffered critical injuries in an assassination attempt in 2008.  He has been instrumental in building the government infrastructure and peace within the new country.  I thought he was such a great person and a role-model President.  He was so happy to have us there and treated us like royalty in his simple Presidential home, which was sensible and comfortable.

He spends a lot of time building schools, churches, and communities to foster the peace and security for the people of Timor-Leste.  He is definitely a special person and it was an honor to be invited to the the event, to be able to spend so much time with him, and to be a part of his peace mission.  I will forever be grateful for this lifetime experience.

The race was amazing and very difficult.  There were views of the volcanic mountain terrain, beautiful remote beaches, lush green tropical forest areas, and it was quite different than any other place I've been.  The ocean and beaches were spectacular but we were warned about the saltwater crocodiles.  The entire race was on the roads of Timor-Lest but we had to ride the mountain bikes because these were not paved and they were full of ruts and potholes.  They were primitive and functioned mostly to serve as thoroughfares for travel but there were very few vehicles.

My bike was a stark contrast to the primitive surroundings.  I raced my Carbon Cannondale Flash 26 with my new prototype 24SEVEN Kenda signature tires which was a perfect choice (they weigh only about 450g).  There was no way a road bike or cyclocross bike would be useful in the duration of the race and we didn't need the extra bike Chris brought. 

I had tough competition and managed to hold on to the King of the Mountain jersey for the first 3 days and finished in the top 5 for all the days except the last day when the leaders kept their overall finishes.  By the way, I really really enjoyed racing with the Australians.  They were such a nice group of people and we had  great time.  My overall finish was first place for my age group, second place for team, and fourth place overall.  But the experience gained by participating and therefore helping the people of Timor was far more important than the awards.  It was an amazing adventure.
Chris Bray of Cannasia
A monument outside the President's palace memorializing the assassination attempt

Children's Peace ride in Dilli on Saturday before the race

Chris Bray, President José Ramos-Horta , and me

A handshake with Mark Berrends the Race Director

Amazing Timorese rider who completed the entire event

Top leader group
And THANK YOU Timor-Leste for an amazing lifetime experience!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

The green and orange stuff on my gloves

Unfortunately, I had to make a really tough decision to miss the 24 hours of Colorado Springs National Solo MTB Championship this past weekend. I had the flu since I returned from the Tour de Timor two weeks ago, which was an amazing 6 day stage race in Indonesia  (I'm almost finished with that epic story...more on that later). But  I was still coughing up nasty stuff on Wednesday night before I had to leave for Colorado so I cancelled the trip. 

I just could not sit idly by knowing there were two other local important events to I packed up the family in the camper and headed to Temecula for a nice relaxing weekend of camping. Oh, and when I woke up on Saturday I decided to race the SoCal Marathon Championship race. It went well. Real well.... except for the green and orange stuff caked on my gloves and shorts...but at least I feel good and I got some special lovin in with my new hardtail carbon Cannondale Flash 29er. She was SUPER SWEET to me!   I definitely knew that I made a good decision by not trying to race a National 24 hour race. I gave it all I had but was in no shape to race again at the Kenda Cup today.  Now time for sleep.

Check out the way cool coverage from the new web based cyling TV news -  I'll work on a race story to post for this race, too. 

Rat was out there filming. What a great event! And THANK YOU URIDE!!

Peace and health,