Monday, May 28, 2007


Finish Line!!


Hello adoring fans....

On Friday we went out to the race site and setup our campsite. Eric lent us his family sized tent, his 10x10 pop up canopy, and his folding table. I went out for pre-ride of the course while Christie and Abigael walked around and took in the circus that is 24 hour mountain bike racing. When I got back I picked up my race packet and timing chip. We taped off an area, battened down the hatches and went to Eric's house to eat dinner and sleep in a warm dry place. We had dinner with Eric, his new girlfriend Melissa, and Jason and Emily Kinley.

Our fun little camping/pit area

My first 24 hour race ended Sunday at 12pm with me in 26th outta 30 places. I completed 8 laps for a total of 117.6 miles and a totals "wheels rolling" time of 10 hours and 48 minutes. I did complete one of my goals for this race which was riding at least 100 miles. What I did not complete was riding 100 "CONSECUTIVE" miles (in prep for the Cream Puff). Now to talk about the reason why I did not complete said goal...

Coming in to the pits after my first lap!

When I pre-rode the course Friday night I noticed a slight strain/pain in my left Achilles tendon (heel) but I just put it off as soreness from the previous weeks pain which turned out to be a huge knot in my left calf muscle. I came back to Eric Ewing's house and iced it all evening. On Saturday it still felt tight so I stretched as best as I could and put "Icy/Hot" on the sore heel, thanks to the RCR boys!! The race started at noon with a LeMans (running) style start. I had no idea the run was up a hill and through the woods and then back to the bikes!!! It was not the best way to start a race when I have a hard time walking let alone running and the jog put me in the pain hole right off the bat! I should have just walked the "run" but I jogged and I don't think it did my Achilles any good because as soon as I started riding I could feel pain in my heel. I found a sweet spot with out stretch it or straining my heel and rode on. I completed my first 14.7 mile lap in about 1:13 with a 20 minute transition I went back out for lap number two and then I was going to take a break during the heat of the day. I should have stopped with one lap under my belt. The heat hit me like a 2x4 and I started cramping worse than I have ever cramped before! I didn't think I would make it back to our pit/camp area and when I did I fell into the chair knowing I had just complete one of the longest 14.7 miles of my life!! I just sat there and drank water and swallowed Hammer Nutrition Endurolyte pills, downed bottle after bottle of Hammer Heed, iced my screaming ankle/heel, and took a nap. Christie, my AWESOME pit crew, was outstanding with her support!! She fetched fresh water, filled/mixed bottles of electrolights, got ice for me, and entertain the kid!! She is the best support crew I could have asked for!! After about 3 1/2 to 4 hours I felt like a human being again instead of a human (dried-up) bean! So I decided to give it a go again around 6:30pm.

Yes, I rode the entire race on a fully RIGID Mt Bike!!!

This time out I felt great, hydrated, and strong. Although my heel still hurt like crazy I knew I could ride on and push through the pain. I turned on my light system from AY UP! lights and BOY WAS I AMAZED!!! I had more than enough light at night. The LED system out shown all lights except the craziest HID "stadium" lights that were more than too much light! I would recommend the Ay Up! light system to anyone looking for a light weight LONG lasting bright lighting system. I raced the entire race with my lights already mounted on my helmet and bike, that is how light they are!!! I completed three laps from about 6:30 till about 10:30 with small pit stops to refill Heed bottles, hydration bladders, and re-lube the chain n' wipe down the bike. After coming in from 44.2 miles I needed to eat food! I decided to wait (no more pizza was left) for the midnight chicken wing feed and after eating I got sleepy and realized that if I went out for another lap it would be unsafe, so I went to sleep! I really regret not getting out on the trail more that night! It was not too cold and the conditions were perfect for night riding... Oh well next year!!

Abigael, Christie, and I feel asleep on the big inflatable mattress in the tent together and my alarm went off at 3am and I promptly fell back asleep and then woke up in a start at 4:30am! Oh crap! an hour and a half?!! I had really wished to get up in time to ride at least one more night lap, to give the Ay Up!s at least one more lap, and then catch the sunrise at 5 am. Oh well! I got up and got ready to go. I left the made up water bottle of Heed on the table as well as any gels and food. My ASS hurt so bad when I sat back down on my saddle I thought I would wake the entire camp with a scream of pain!! But I got comfortable and soon all was well again in the nether regions... I was able to watch the sunrise while out on the trail! I came back to the "pit" and my crew was still asleep so I pitted myself and went out for lap number 7.

While I was out riding all I could think about was the pancake breakfast that was going on back at camp and was I going to miss it??!!! I had wanted pizza earlier that night and they had run out by the time I got in from my laps!! I had no way to contact Christie or Eric to tell them to save me a plate! When I came back to the pit again the family was awake and I was screaming for pancakes!! I rushed Christie and Abigael down to eat fresh hot blueberry pancakes! We ate pancakes with Jason and Emily Kinsley (from Hammer Nutrition) and Eric. I decided to attempt an eighth lap and rode off into the quickly warming up morning. While out on the 8th and final lap the heat turned up and I knew I was, D-U-N, done! I also felt a sharp shooting pain in my left heel/Achilles tendon right at the start of the lap and made the call to continue on and it soon passed to a dull ache.

Throughout the race I received TONS of support and help from the boys in the Viking Sport (raced as Team Speedy Reedy) camp and the Recycled Cycles camp. Ryan Vanderloop, fellow Viking Sport teammate, was riding on a 4 person team and helped with ankle support... And of course there is "the bianchi" master mechanic and athletic supporter!!! Thanks guys for everything!! I do believe the hoots and hollers as I started my laps kept me going as well as the J.B.!!!!

I also met quite a few people at the race. Doug Walsh is from the Seattle area and he is a fellow 29er rider! He ripped up the course in the Men's Solo and placed 7th! Francis (Fran) Bach is from Colorado and he and his girlfriend drove all the way to Spokane to do this race. I kept telling myself he looked familiar and then it hit me! I briefly met Fran and his twin brother in Colorado at the 24 hr Kona Global series race I helped Eric time in Winterpark last September. Fran was racing in the Men's Solo Singlespeed division and did rather well. He also has a Black Sheep Ti MTB I took a picture to show the difference between his 26" wheel and my 29" wheel! Our neighbors across the race course where Moishe (Mo) and Lindsay Lettvin and there daughter Amelia. Abigael and Amelia became fast friend s despite the 18 month age gap and played like crazy in the dirt! Mo raced in the Men's Solo Singlespeed div as well. Mo did well until he developed some narly blisters on his hands and then called his race placing 6th! Jason and Emily Kinsley mentioned about are old friends of Eric's from Spokane. Jason reps for Hammer Nutrion and his wife Emily, woh is 20 weeks pregnant, does as well. Jason raced in the Men's Solo Singlespeed and was kicking ass until he ran into some health issues and had to pull out placing 7th in the singlespeed div. I had met Jason once before at the same 24 hr race in Colorado as I met Fran.

Two Black Sheep Ti Highlights
My geared 29er on the left and Fran's painted singlespeed 26er on the right

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


So for some reason (I think Abigael gave it to me) I have come down with a horrible cold!! I had the chills and aches last night and despite Tylenol I had a fever of 101.4F and when I woke up this morning my temp was 101.6F!!!!! I haven't thrown up or had diarrhea just the miserable achy fever. Abigael had it on Sunday all day and was fine by the evening so I am praying this will go away before we leave tomorrow for Spokane!! I have one last PT session before I leave for the 24 hour MT Bike race. I received a kick ass phone call yesterday from Scott Taylor the promoter of the Cascade Cream Puff 100, I AM IN!! Here is the email I got today:
"Congratulations, your in!
You are registered for the CCP.
Eventually you will see your name on the official site as a registered racer.
Please use the CCP website for contact: . I'm spamming everyone because individual e-mails take so much time.
I'm looking forward to meeting each of you this July.
More to come later.

I hope I am not in over my head with that one! My goal is to just finish!!! (PS More prayers needed for that one too!!) Unfortunately I can't even begin to think about riding a bike right now as my body rejects itself!

On another note we made an offer on another house last night. This house is located at S Junett St. Tacoma, WA. There is a brand new elementary school with a middle school attached 4 blocks north at the end of S Junett St. and another Elementary school located a few blocks south. The yard is nice and big fully fenced in with four big fruit bearing trees, apple, plum, pear, and cherry. There are two detached garages in the back one could be used as a Brandon bike shed!! The house itself is about 1300 sft 3+ bedroom 1.5 bath built in 1908 (yes old but updated). There are many neat nooks and crannies with wood floors in the front room and dining room. There is a big bedroom up stairs with a bonus room that runs the length of the house that could be a play room/guest room/office/family room... The price was right at $209,999 and the neighbors had nothing but good things to say about the neighborhood.

I just got a call from our best friend Wes Duncan from NC that his baby boy Samuel was born around 3am Tuesday morning!! He was 21" long and over 9lbs with a FULL head of hair (Wes said they had to comb it for his newborn picture!!) . God bless Wes, Crystal, and their new baby boy Samuel! Crystal was in labor for over 19 hours and the boy was almost a week late!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Our crazy week...

So this past week included an amazing birthday party for our now big THREE year old Abigael, hosting family and friends for said birthday party, looking at houses down in Tacoma, finding "THE" house, placing an offer in less than 12 hours on said house, waiting two days only to find out that we got beat out by a cash only offer!, and working out an extremely sharp pain in my left Achilles tendon! So we are totally drained! Unfortunately we are back to the drawing board looking for a house. We are going back down to Tacoma tonight to look at a few more houses. (May have found one??? S. Junett St) We were VERY disappointed to find out we did not get our offer accepted. The house had it all! The yard was to die for, it backed up to a park and was at the end of a dead end street. I don't think the hard part is finding the right house it is finding the right house in the right neighborhood!! With two young kids we really need to find the house that has a great big yard and is in a safe 'n not very busy place. This was the house we place the offer on 6139 S Ainswoth Ave. The leg is feeling SOOoooo much better after Dr. John at my PT office worked over my leg and found a huge knot in my calf. I feel great, a little sore still, but feeling like I can race this weekend in Spokane at the 24 hour race. I wanted to THANK both of our parents for helping not only us out with the buying of our house but for investing in Abigael's and the baby's future!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

First night back on the track at Marymoor Velodrome!!

Last night was the first night of pre-season racing for the 2007 track racing season at Marymoor Velodrome. This was also my first night back on a track bike since my accident on August 5th, 2005. It was also the first time I have had a chance to ride my new DeSalvo Custom Cycles track bike. During pre-season racing there are three catergories; A (Cat. 1-3), B (Cat 3-4), and C's (Cat 4-5's and some women). There were no Cat C's so they gave the Cat. 4's a chance to race for upgrade points! I self-seeded into the Cat. B race, consisting of a few top juniors and a few Cat. 3's, there were 5 total racers for the night in the B's. The A's were a bigger field but consiting mostly of Cat. 1/2's and way beyond my intry level coming back into racing. Since it was a big deal for me to be back on the track racing in over a season and a half Christie and the whole family came out to watch me race. Since it is Abigael's birthday weekend all of our North Carolina and Los Angeles relatives are in town. Jose and Sharon were also out at the track with Jose racing in the Cat. 4's and Sharon on Arlo duty. The Cat. B's raced a 10 lap scratch race, a 3x3 points race, and finally a 4x5 points race. Overall I felt strong and healthy on the bike. I was able to arrive early enough to get registered and warm-up on the track for about 30 minutes. During the 10-lap scratch race, which consists of riding for 9-laps and the getting the bell with one lap to go and sprinting for 1st thru 4th place, one of the juniors took off the front and stayed out front to take first while I threw down the mad sprint for 2nd place. In the 3x3 race, which is a sprint every 3-laps for points 3, 2, and 1 three sprints total, I took the first sprint and came third in the second sprint and blew up trying for the third sprint. And finally in the 4x5 points race, which is the same as the 3x3 just four sprints every 5-laps for 20 laps total, I took the first sprint, came in second in the second sprint, and came in second in the final sprint. I felt like I could recover faster from my sprints than I used to be able to and could hang onto the pack easier than in the past. I know I only race with four other racers and it will be different when I am racing fellow Cat. 3's but man it felt SOOoooo good to be back on the track. In the end I found out that I won the Cat. B omnium for the night with a total of 15 points!!! WOW I can't believe that talk about a self confidence boost!! Of course pre-season racing does not count for anything (no upgrade points) but it is great training and will help me re-familliarize myself with the track. Christie had her camera out and took a ton (143) of pictures of me, Jose, and the family. She took some really great action shots! I also got to meet one of my Viking Sport Seattle teammates, Richard Juntunen, he was seeded in the A's so we couldn't race together but I believe he is a Cat. 3 so we will be racing together through the season! The one major bummer I learned last night is that due to turnout the MVA changed to catergories this year so that there are no more Master A and B's there is only a Master's 35+ catergory on Wednesday now, I am racing age 34 this year, so I will only be able to race Cat. 3's on Friday nights. I had planned to concentrate on rebuilding my legs and racing ability in the Master B's as opposed to racing against the younger healthy Cat. 3's.... Oh Well!! Thank you to all that came out and cheered me on last night it ment the world to me! I saw Matt Bianchi and his girlfriend Jodi, Sharon and Jose, and even Bernie Hayden came out to watch as well as all of my in-laws and my dad and uncle!! I foresee amazing things for this year's racing season!! Watch out 3's here I come and I can still spin it up in turn three!!!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Gone ridin' with my daddy!

Saturday started off early picking up my friend Sean Wellnitz and packing the kid, bikes and food in the car and heading east. We arrived at the Cedar Creek trail head at 9:15am. By the time we got everything setup, hooked up, packed and situated we were finally on the trail by 9:50am later than I wanted but glad to be riding none the less. Abigael was having a blast riding along in the sidecar trailer and of course after about 3 miles she had to go potty. Now I have avoided letting her go potty in the woods just because if she knows she can it would be the only way she would want to go, but when ya gotta go ya gotta go!! She only had to tinkle and soon we were off again. Abigael sang and looked out and generally had a very good time. At mile 10 we finally made it to one of the "primitive" campsites on the trail and gave Abigael a chance to get out and stretch her legs and go potty in a proper (very clean!!) pit toilet. We took a few minute break and let Abigael run around and play in the gravel. Sean was feeling great considering he was riding my only other mountain bike a fully rigid steel single speed 29er the Raleigh XXIX. Sean was having a blast and loving his first ever MTB ride! We gave Abigael the choice to keep riding up the hill (towards the tunnel @ 8.5 more miles) or turn back to the car (for a 20 mile total) she said, "Keep riding up the hill!" So we loaded up and kept plugging away east. About mile 13 or 14 I started feel really weak and very hungry so I downed a Hammer gel and a water bottle of Perpetuem (liquid calories!!) and it got me through the rest of the way up to the tunnel. Abigael proceeded to nod off from the avalanche shed to the tunnel in a bouncy uncomfortable looking slumber! As we approached the avalanche shed, about 1.5 mile before the tunnel, I told Sean how far we were away and he took off like a rocket. He is very strong on the bike thanks to riding the urban assualt bike to work everyday!! When we got to the tunnel we met a few mt bikers coming out of the tunnel and they said the east end was still locked and the road still snowed in so Sean and I decided not to add 4.5 miles thru the tunnel and back to our trip and we sat down for lunch. W ate lunch from about 12:45 till about 1:30. We had a small smorgishborg of food from PBJs to bananas, almonds to Oreos, and a little flask Crown for Sean and I. Abigael ate some lunch and ran around throwing rocks into the trail side stream. We topped out at 19.1 miles and before we left I took Abigael about 500 meters into the tunnel and she loved it!! On the way back Abigael sang and talked to me.

She knew when to cover up with her blanket and when to just hang out. She "tried" to color some with her water safe coloring pads, but no luck there though too bumpy. She desperately wanted to collect some rocks (the rocks over the trestles were reddish/pink) for her mommy and daddy so we stopped to get a few of those. She marveled at the waterfalls and loved looking down at the raging glacial flows under the super high trestles!! When we arrived back at the car we had ridden for 38 miles and almost 3 and a half hours of ride time!! Abigael and Sean both held up like champs.
Saturday night, actually Sunday morning, I got up at 1am and drove out to Woodinville to meet Kevin Axt and a few other mt. bikers to do a night ride and be on the trail when the time and date met a momentous occasion, at 02:03:04 05/06/07!!! The one and only time it would ever do this!! Pretty cool and as Kevin watch alarm sounded we snapped a few pics and continued riding. We put in 5.1 tight twist single track night miles in about 56 minutes and at 3am I headed home. On a "bright" note my Ay Up! lights performed BEAUTIFULLY and they were just as bright as the HID lights a few of the other guys had!! I am totally sold and even the guys were impressed!! (Pictures ARE HERE!!!!!)
Sunday morning we got up and went down to Tacoma and met our Realtor, Debra Truelove, to look at a few houses. Most of the houses were a disappointment and we realized it would take some research and time to find the right one!! But on a positive note we received pre-approval from USAA bank for a $250,000 home loan!!! So we are on our way to finding a home of our own!!!
I also found out that I have a 50/50 chance of getting into the Cascade Cream Puff 100 in July. The "Puff" as it's known is one of the toughest hundies around and the only hundie in the Pacific Northwest. I feel like I am ready to attempt this race even though I will be riding to complete vs. racing it! I will have the 24hr race and the 50 mile Test of Endurance under my belt before the Puff to determine whether I will be fit enough and physically able to complete/compete in the Puff!!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Feelin good

I raced the Wednesday Night World Championship mtb race last night and had a blast! It was raining, muddy, and cold but a total blast!! I once again raced sport class but this time I did NOT get passed/lapped by the expert racers like I have in the past. I have slowly been feeling better and better during my races. I started out slow and soon realized, after everyone passed me going into the single track, that my legs felt good and lungs didn't feel like they were going to explode! So I started picking people off one by one slowly coming up from the rear passing tons of other sport racers in the corners or on the straighter faster parts of the course. I soon fell in behind another racer and followed him through lap number 4 and 5 and when I heard we had one lap to go I made my move and left him in my dust (mud) and finished in 56 min 59 sec 10.2 miles averaged 11.7 MPH!! I even got a complement from Dale Knapp one of the local (old timer) pros. After the race I started talking with a few people again about hosting an endurance event in Washington state. Dale said it needed to be done and I even perked Wick's (Stiff Wick Productions) interest as the promoter.... Stay tuned!

On another totally cool note I received my new lighting system yesterday from Ay Up! lighting based out of Australia. First immediate impression came when I picked up the package and it weighed next to nothing! Wow upon opening the box I was over whelmed with the contents the Andrew, the owner, included. A handful of promotional Ay Up! bracelets and then the kit! All neatly rolled up. The kit unfurled to reveal two light heads, one blue ano the other gunmetal ano, FOUR mini lupps batteries with neoprene carry cases, TWO lupra lupps larger batteries and cases, handlebar mount, helmet mount, charger, 110v ac adaptor, a 12v car dc adaptor, extension connector, and this is all rolled up in a burrito like neoprene sausage about 3 1/2 in around and 12 in long!! More review to come as well as pictures!! I will really put it to the test during the upcoming 24hr race in Spokane.