Fooled me once

I thought today was going to be an easy day and was feeling good about that since, I had almost no time in the saddle this week. @VeloTutor’s wife was visiting from Texas and we were going to give her a nice friendly spin to show her what great guys Bobby had joined.

Alas, being from Texas they decided that the low 40s was a little too chilly for their blood. They did; however, come to Ryan Bros Coffee to meet every one and wish us a good ride. Also meeting us at Ryan Bros was @awkowal, Tony, his friend Juan and Erik Sjogren, of the Carbon Militia. He didn’t ride with us this time as he is still recovering from being hit by, you guessed it, an F150.He did introduce two of his friends, Jeff (yes another one and yes he climbs well) and Rat (that’s the name he introduced himself with but his real name is Andre Ratso Villa). These guys were strong and it was great fun to have them along. Thanks for joining us guys hope you can join us again.

This left us with an opportunity to reroute the ride.Luckily, Palomar was out because the snow level was very low and that means lots of people going up to see the snow with no experience driving in those conditions.Plus none of us had chains for our tires.

We, Jeff, decided the Half-Century route would give us some fantastics views today. He was exactly right, check out the Flckr link. What can I say it was cold, it was hot and we climbed and climbed as the route demands. We stopped in Rainbow and all of us old guys watched in wonder as Juan devoured a caramel apple covered with white chocolate and drizzled with milk chocolate. Yeah I did get a good look at it. Oh, to be young and skinny again.

That brings up a point, we had four new riders today and all of them dropped me on every climb.When are some other old fat guys going to join us so I have a chance to give up my Lanterne Rouge status.

So you already guessed I was last up the Champagne climb and was able to partially redeem myself on the Deer Springs / Twin Oaks run in to the finish. We hung out at Ryan Bros for quite a while reliving the ride and wondering how we managed two loops of this ride just last September. We also talked Tour and doping and other things. It was a very good day.

Thanks to everyone who rode today for a great ride and special thanks to everyone for waiting for me once again on the climbs.


Co-Captain Ben Wojcik




Dual Post – Palomar Mountain Two Ways & Torrey in the Mist

Palomar Mountain Two Ways

On February 5th 2011, World Nutella Day BTW, Bike Crave hosted a tweet-up ride to do two of the main grades of Palomar Mountain. From all accounts it was a rousing success! They has eight riders; @bikecrave, @cyclefilm, @rideescapade, @aviattorr, @VeloTutor, @gman92069, @distractionMgmt and visiting from his cave in the Mountains @cyclepath55.

What a group, never been glad to be at a memorial before this day; way too fast for me. They met at Rincon Casino as usual and then climbed South Grade, at this point some went to the observatory and then descended South Grade making it Palomar Mountain 1 way. I would definitely have been with this group. The others descended East Grade and then turned back up the same way. Big drop back down South Grade, apparently the switchbacks are not sufficiently sharp enough nor steep enough for Markus to need brakes. He told me today that Palomar was a no brake descent, huh??

Photos of the Palomar Two Ways here: Click

Torrey in the Mist

Bike Crave scheduled a recovery ride for the day after the Palomar Two Ways, I thought it was perfect since I didn’t ride Palomar I would be fresh and they would be tired and sore; in other words, about even. Here is how Jeff described it in the Twtvite:

Targeted 9 a.m. roll-out from Caffe Positano in Rancho Santa Fe. Take in some lovely rollers of RSF before heading            over to the coast and checking the surf along 101. Soft pedaling after a solid day on Palomar Mountain. Approx 3              hours in the saddle for this Sunday excursion.

You will notice words like “soft pedaling” thrown in there but I can’t recall ever actually doing any soft pedaling.

Another great turn out; @bikecrave, @cyclefilm, @rideescapade, @VeloTutor, @distractionMgmt, @fittecheric and @oneonfire -Tony DiLorenzo an amazing rider who’s fitness is remarkable. We met in the lovely village of Rancho Santa Fe at Caffe Positano. Another great little local coffee spot, bring cash or head down the street to the ATM cause they don’t take debit cards as Eric and I found out on our first trip and Bobby Griffith found out today.

As soon as we started I knew that it wasn’t going to be pleasant. With Jeff Rowe along and the turn up three witches I knew we were headed for  the dreaded Zumaque. Half a mile at 9.5% average gradient, not pleasant for a Clydesdale like me.

Then we had a nice cruise back to the coast. We stopped on Manchester Ave for water and food after meeting James Stout and losing Jeff Rowe to family time. Here Jeff Bean let us know that we had been too frisky and that meant we would have to ride Torrey Pines inside. He also said we would paceline it south but I tried to disrupt that as much as possible so I would have some strength left to do the climb. I was not effective!

We stopped at the bottom of Torrey to fill bottles and empty bladders. What isn’t that somewhat poetic?? Anyway Jeff decided our relationship was at the partially open door peeing stage so I told him that I felt that it would then be OK for me to openly break wind. We’re progressing nicely toward swapping bibs.

What can I say, I climbed the inside faster than last time at a higher wattage and lower heart rate. They still had to wait for me at the top. Markus was on his way back with oxygen but I met him only a hundred yards of so from the top. I bombed down Torrey like always but this time Jeff sprinted after my attack and held my wheel all the way down. That is our favorite part of the ride.

We headed down 56 and up El Camino and then back out San Dieguito and eventually back up to the village for coffee and talk.

I couldn’t have thought of a better way or better people to kick-off Super Sunday with. Thanks guys!


Photos of Torrey in the Mist: Click

Tour de Cure Kick Off Party

WOW! I was blown away by the turnout for the pre-party training ride. During the briefing it appeared there were 30 riders in the parking lot, but as we rolled it became apparent the number was closer to 50.

The weather couldn’t have been better, OK, maybe it could have been just a few degrees warmer. In light of the cyclone approaching Northern Australia and the ‘killer’ storm fore-casted for most of the country it seems petty to complain that it was sixty-eight degrees and it would have been nicer if it were seventy.

So we rode through Pacific Beach to the La Jolla Cove, stopped for a water, food and nature break before returning on a more coastal but slightly hillier route to Phil’s BBQ.

The party was already going with the ADA and KPRI giving away some great door prizes when I returned with the broom-wagon. The atmosphere was electric, the bar was open and soon the food was served. Can’t ever complain about the food served at Phil’s it is after all a San Diego landmark. A short program ensued with Kaitlin sharing her moving diabetes story and more swag given away including a 30″ Sony 3-D TV with a home theater system and tickets to the Eric Clapton show.

Again this was the best Kick-Off party in my three-year relationship with the Tour de Cure.

Additionally;  six riders signed up for Team Red including a couple who are already giving me a run for my fundraising dollar.  I will attribute this increase in membership to the snazzy jerseys that Raelynn and I were wearing on the training ride. Probably more her than I but I’ll still claim some responsibility for recruitment.

I have added a new set to Flickr!, so check them out.