Well I did my last big ride yesterday 41 miles with about 4800ft of climbing. The weather looks like its going rain during the stagecoach 400. So that means a change of gear I am bringing. So rain jacket is must and rain pants. I will be bringing tent instead of a bivy. Several people have ITT the new stagecoach 400 route now with fast times. One also did it and scratched. Getting a little antsy. So today i am work tonight I will do a little foam rolling. Tomorrow do after work road ride if rain stops if not trainer. Tuesday last shakedown ride of the gear and bike I will be riding. I will trying to get at least 8hrs of sleep a night. Rest thursday and go to prerace meeting and eat with the charity we rised money for and go to bed. Friday morning drive up Idyllwild, ca from my house. just a quick 30 minute drive. unload meet at the starting line. easy right. maybe for some. anyway here is the tracker if you want to watch on my journey. http://trackleaders.com/stagecoach16
Feeling much better now went on some training rides near my house. Almost back to normal. Stagecoach 400 is 11 days and wake up. I am going to do the best I can. Anyway here is the tracker link. http://trackleaders.com/stagecoach16
Well I have been getting ready to do stagecoach 400 but I have been sick and its been some bad weather. Hope I am ready enough for the stagecoach. I am bettter prepared and have more knowledge and I am riding a different bike.
its been getting hot around here. It been in low 90’s and over a 100 someday s. It makes it hard to go out and ride. It my long week of work this week. It still hot out after work and I don’t do well in the heat but I don’t do well in cold either due my aliments. I am suppose to go on another bikepacking trip this Friday with some buddy’s. But it looks like life is going to get in the way. I have some pool stuff to take of and the only time I have to do is the day of the trip. So I was think I might ride up later to meet up with them. But the other problem is I have something to the next day so I would have to get up early blaze home so I can get to the other thing.
A few weeks ago I was suppose to go out with a few buddies for an overnighter S24O (sub 24 hour overnight) bikepacking trip but the rainy weather mucked it up and we had to cancel it. We postponed until the following Friday and as luck would have it, my honey do’s/ errands ran into overtime and I had to forfeit. Of course, being the die-hard friend I am, the itch was still there so I started looking around and came across Topanga Canyon Bicycle shop. On top of selling the bikes and equipment for bikepacking, they do a lot of cool bike rides and bikepacking stuff. I was checking out there site found a cool patch they sell, Unpredict Your Journey. They also go out on Wednesdays for for some bikepacking, Unpredict Your Wednesday, and with shop folk and patrons alike on an impromptu bikepacking adventure somewhere. I thought that was awesome and it inspired to do get me some of those patches to put on my frame bag and Unpredict My Wednesday!
Of course, after Googling Topanga Canyon, it was only a short 113 miles away and it wouldn’t be that feasible to trek over that way and be on time for the meetup, especially in Southern California traffic on a weekday. But I had Wednesday off and the afternoon was free from any chores or honey-dos, so I decided to go ahead and Unpredict My Wednesday.
After lunchtime, I packed up my gear, turned on my mp3 player and I was out the door to my intended destination, Idyllwild. I’ve rode the area several times and know of many camping areas but I left home without a plan other than to ride. I figured that being middle of the week, yellow post sites at Black Mountain or Thomas Mountain would be an easy catch so I figured that would be an amazing place to journey to. Starting with a surface ride of about 10 miles before the control road up the mountain, the weather was mild but starting to heat up. As the temperature slowly began to increase, my core began to increase and I started to think, ‘what the heck am doing?’ I never start a ride so late in the day because of this very reason and I don’t need to prove anything to anybody. But being the bull-headed man my wife claims that I am, there was no turning back for a Barnett.
I begin my incline on the control road and knew it was going to be about a six mile climb to get into Idyllwild. My first 10 road miles were hot, so no telling how much warmer to mountain miles were going to heat up. I stopped a few times in shade rested every once in while an encouraging breeze would blow by. Finally, I came around a familiar corner and knew that it was about three miles to town. To keep my mind occupied on anything other than the heat, I switched my GPS to map mode to display the newly installed California Trail Map. I was getting an education in what the actual trail names were, which was interesting. As I stopped for another break and to eat something somewhere around Alvin Meadows area and decided to check the time. I figured I was moving at a good speed but damn, was I ever so wrong. It was five o’clock and it had already taken me five hours to get where I was and I knew I still had a ways to go and I was getting tired. I thought I would even stop by the Hub bike shop in town and say hello to Brendan and Mary, but that wasn’t going to happen now. Downing the last bottle of Tailwind, I finally made it into town.
First stop was the ranger station in hopes they had fire permits outside. As my luck has it, they too were off on Wednesdays! So I made my way back down to the local gas station to get restocked. I filled my water bottles and drank a Rockstar hydration drink, ate a Lara Bar and my tried and true pepperoni stick. As I was sitting there it eating my Lara Bar, circling around defeat and pride, an interesting, almost transient looking older lady was walking my way with a curious look on her face. When she got close enough to realize her err, said stated that she thought I was John Candy, the larger-than-life comedian. It couldn’t have been the likes of Brad Pitt or Channing Tatum but an overweight, middle-aged dead man. However, thinking back, maybe she was being cordial and told me to enjoy my candy bar. But at the time, it was kicking me while I was down.
Daylight was burning fast and sunset was just within arm’s reach. I was not going to make to Black Mountain unless I rode in the dark and I wasn’t up for that because I was beat. The sun had baked me and I was feeling a bit delirious. So I decided to see if I could make to Thomas Mountain. I began to make my way to May Valley. I’ve rode it so many time in the past and it was never as steep as it was in this moment. Then, it dawned on me, all the other times I’ve made this journey to May Valley, I drove my trusty car and parked in town so I was fresh and eager. That climb to May Valley was a bear and took me a lot longer than normal. By the time I got to the top of the climb, it was around 7 PM and less than an hour of light. Since things hadn’t swayed too much in my favor thus far, I decided I would forgo Thomas Mountain and hit the Apple Canyon yellow posts.
As I roll into the area, I notice the first spot is occupied and pushed forward to the next site. Alas! First things first, find a spot that is level to setup my tent and pull out sleep bag to let it fluff up. Dinnertime! I pulled my Mountain House beef stew and started to heat up two cups of water. I cracked open the Pepsi I got from the gas station earlier and munched on another Lara bar while waiting for my water to boil and thought of John Candy and laughed. I went to add my water to my freeze dried packet of food and nearly forgot to pull out that little packet that keeps the food safe but oddly will poison you if you eat it. I poured the water into bag and let if sit for 10 minutes. It was long 10 minutes and accommodations weren’t very cozy but at least the food was warm and filling.
It was time to call it a day. I brought out my luxury item, my Big Agnes sleep pad. Once it was inflated, I situated my fluffed up sleeping bag on top. I made one last sweep at camp and locked up my Precious to the picnic table, positioned in her highest gears. The coast was clear, so last pee of the day and out of nowhere, some guy driving by with his trailer in tow shining his bright headlights on me, yells out the his window, “Howdy Camper!”. Lucky I was only doing number one otherwise, a whole other story would have ensued.
Normally, I’m out like a light and sleep like a rock but this journey have been totally unpredicted and I seemed to revert back to a scared little nine year old. I lay there, wide awake and hear every snapping twig, blowing branch and singing cricket when suddenly, a loud screeching moan. Like a wounded deer or maybe a moose in heat. It finally either succumbed to its injuries or reached completion and then it was the cows’ turn. Once I was able to get out of my head, I drifted off to sleep only to be awoken by the sound of alien space craft right out my door. All those movies I’ve watched truly were real! Laying there like a scared little schoolgirl, I finally found my balls to look outside. Of course, I must be armed. I grab my all around tool-knife and zip open my door, toss the flap back and peered out ready for combat, all in one fell swoop. Nothing! No alien space craft. No bulbous type figure with a glowing fingertip. Just darkness. My mind was really baked from the days ride and once I convinced myself, there were no extra-terrestrials out for me, I secured my tent, put away my weapon and relaxed back into sleep.
I had been sleep for a while now when again, out of nowhere comes this bright spot light gleaming into my tent. My first thought is the Howdy Camper dude messing with me. I’ve had enough of this crap for one night and this poor idiot is going to get the short end of the stick once my fuse is blown. A little sketched out and more pissed off that my mind is alive with imagination for the very first time, I have this image of Deliverance and banjos begin to play loudly in my head. I pull out my trusty weapon and make note that maybe I should invent a small, lightweight weapon that is bike pack worthy and have this very image as my marketing scheme. Again, I zip open the tent, throw the door open, and appear ready to pounce. This time, there was something there. A big, bright, full moon casting its light over me and my crazy, tired, sunbaked ass. I decided I would go pee while all the excitement has gotten the best of me. Barefoot and walking to the bush, I get a cramp. So here I am, half naked, freaked out from all the screaming wildlife, alien activity and camper pranks, hopping around trying to clench my noodle so I don’t pee myself and work out the cramp. This is most definitely Unpredict Your Wednesday!
For whatever was left of the sleeping hours, I was finally able to embrace them with no further interruptions. As 5:30 AM rolls around, I woke up and couldn’t get my stuff packed quick enough. It was time to go home and home was still 35 miles away. It was a beautiful morning to be pedaling out on the open road, watching a few cars buzz by and think that poor guy is probably on his way to work while I’m soaking in the pure serenity of nature. I decided to go home by way of Jim Truck Trail. While it was a few extra miles, it was less climbing and remembering the previous day I had, I opted not to climb quite as much. On my way, I passed by a few locals walking and exchange greetings. It’s refreshing how spirits can be lifted by simply enjoying the outdoors with the simplest of means. Once I reached the peak of Jim Truck Trail, I snapped a few pictures and texted my wife.
It was time to hit some nice downhill single track.
I got home around lunchtime to be greeted by my greatest fans, the boys. I was able unload my gear, upload my ride to Strava, shower, jump into some clean clothes and relax. My recliner had missed me because she didn’t let me leave her warm embrace until dinnertime. Reminiscing over the crazy 24 hours I just had was intriguing. It was exciting, challenging, terrifying, mostly fun and definitely unpredicted!
Well I have been wanting to do this for awhile now. I was going to do this this year and I decided not too since I had been sick. But a few my friends talked me into. so I have been trying to train for it the best I can. I have been getting my bike ready too at the same time. I have most the gear only one more piece to finish it off and few more piece for my bike. I have done a least 1/3 of the route in last couple years and road most the areas. So I kind of have idea what I am getting into. I have month and five days until I go on this insane event. Getting a little worried about it though. Its alot miles. I hope I have the mental ability to complete it in the the 5 days and not have to get DNF. Short work week this week so I am going to do some back to back long rides.
Hello all I have signed up for the Julian Death March mountain bike race. Its going to be tough there is 2 races 50 mile 6800 feet of climbing and a 62 one with alot more climbing. I have been training for this for the last 6 weeks and I still have about 10 more weeks to go. I was very optimistic doing this. Now I’m not sure. At first I was I can do this. Now after my training and doing my first big mountain bike training ride. I hope I can just make the cut off times and finish in the allotted time. So here is how it has been going I have been doing a training plan that I purchased for the Leadville 100 mountain bike race. I have used it before in preparation for a 12 hour race series I did. It worked out good. But this time around I have been following much more closely and taking it more seriously. It seems like I’m getting worse but that could be that I’m riding more and weight training. But when I look at my rides I’m improving. Just not like I thought I was. but its good anyway. It also could be the riders I ride with. I have been in the back of the pack on most group rides. But I thought I would start to catch up. They just keep getting fast as I do. I’m waiting for them to get level out. Ok 10 weeks till the big race. Alright Let me tell about my big ride yesterday. It started out at zero dark thirty. I rode to my friend leonards house and I got there about 5am. We were done 6 1/2 hrs later only doing 44 miles with 3400 ft of climbing. I need to do double that in climbing and go 6 more miles. In the same amount of time or faster. I’m pretty sure I can do the 6 more miles not so sure about another 3400ft of climbing. At least I know where I’m at now. Last day of training this week. 2hrs of zone 2 training after I go to work for 12hrs. Not fun but I got to get my riding in. Tomorrow a day off from riding. But I still have strength training( squats, bench, bent rows). During the first 3 weeks I would ride on my day off. Now I don’t even think about riding. I look forward to not riding. Days off are good! Well until next time. Maybe in few days. I keep forgetting i’m doing this.
Well I’m down to 266 lbs today. Half the weight I gained off from when I fell off the wagon. Last night I did the Stronger Iron workout for the first time. It was easy and hard at the same time some stuff I could do and other stuff I had to do the modified moves. I also went on 1.5 mile walk on my lunch break. After the Iron workout I did day 9 of the 30 day Ab challenge. I don’t know if it was hard because of the Iron workout or if its just getting tougher. But I almost didn’t complete it. Today is Friday for me. I got three days off. Today is big workout day. I will doing a walk at lunch. After work its Stronglift 5X5 weight training after that Stronger workout and after that I will be doing Fabulous Flat Abs workout for the 30 day Ab challenge workout. Last week when I did the Fabulous Flat Abs workout it kind of kick my butt. Hopefully today its easier. So tomorrow I’m going to try to get a mountain bike ride in. Its been a week since I have been a bike. I’m doing all this other workouts for two reasons 1. lose the extra pounds. 2. So I can ride fast on my bike. I wonder if anybody reads what I’m writing here?
Wow this tough. I had relapse this weekend. Went to Hawaiian festival. Couldn’t resist and it was just down hill from there. But I got back on track Monday. But for some reason I gained 10 lbs with just two day of not doing this. Weird! Anyway last week I also started Stronglift 5×5 weight training and livestrong 30 day ab challenge. Yesterday I started Livestrong stronger workout program. I will see how it goes. I did go on a 33 mile mountain bike ride with 7000ft of climbing. It took me 7hrs to do.