Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Let's Change "DNF" to "Yeah-But"

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DNF. Those are three letters that make most ultra-cyclists cringe, well they make me cringe anyway. Did Not Finish: always bothers me to be sure, although I’m not exactly sure why. DNF is that thought that hides in the back of the mind and creeps to the forefront as the miles pass. “God, I feel like shit, I sure hope I can finish this thing…” I was thinking that we should ban the acronym from our cycling thought patterns and substitute, “Yeah-But” instead. Why? DNF is too much like death, it permeates the mind with the thought of a finale with no meaning. Kind of like the end of a person’s life where no one remembers the person’s journey.

My view of ultra-cycling has always been to finish the ride, and luckily, I have finished everyone of my attempts except one…well two, if you count the one I did not pay for. I say, “finish the ride” because most of us mere mortals participate in these things for the adventure and not the competition per se. There are a few who have either the natural ability or unlimited time to train for competition; I have neither, so I opt for the adventure and a little inward self-competition.

Before exploring “Yeah-But”, let’s take a deeper look at DNF for a second. Here’s my take on why DNF is so daunting and hard to deal with. I remember way back as a kid I went to see the movie “Patton.” I remember his speech to the troops before going into battle, and I remember one portion of that speech in particular. The character, General George Patton said, “…Americans love a winner, and will not tolerate a loser…” He went on and on about the “fastest runner”, “highest jumper”, etc, etc…, that and host of other shit I can’t remember. But, that particular part of his speech always stuck in my brain for some odd reason. So, I guess it is that “American” ethic thing that drives us to not DNF.

Perhaps part of the DNF aversion can be attributed to the way we were raised. “You better finish that meal, there are starving children in Africa that would love that food, ya know!” Or perhaps, “you have to finish your homework before you can go out and play.” Then there was one of my favorites, “Don’t start something you can’t finish!” What the fuck was that supposed to mean anyway? If I didn’t finish peeing in the toilet, did that make me a failure of some sort, or a loser who Americans won’t tolerate? Well, having said all of that, I think you get my point. Most people don’t want the stigma of DNF on them: a badge of “L” for loser, or “F” for failure as it were.

Oh, one other thing about DNF and then we’ll move on to Yeah-But. Ever notice how people react when you tell them that you “lost”, or notice their reaction when you tell them you DNF’d? It is one of those somewhat false-empathetic responses, their eyes shift slightly away from looking at you and they say something like: “oh, you’ll do a lot better next time…maybe you need to train harder”, or, “that’s too bad man, what happened to you out there?” Followed shortly thereafter, by a complete change in subject. Again, this is only my observation. I’m sure someone will get their panties in a wad and say something like, “hey not everybody is like that.” Well, sure…no shit Sherlock. So, ok, let’s move onto Yeah-But.

I really like “Yeah-But” much better than “DNF”, or Did Not Finish. Why? Say it to yourself, “yeah-but.” What goes through your mind? Aaaah, there is more to the story right? There is a tale to be told. The thought, “tell me more” comes to the forefront right? The “yeah” part acknowledges the finality of “DNF”, but the “but” part says: there is a story here that needs to be told. Peoples’ attention is focused on the explanation, and the vivid storyboard formed by the words that describe the adventure, vice the finality of the moment.

“Yeah-but” also stymies the quick branding of one as a, “loser or failure.” Think about it for a second. If you want to hear more about the adventure, you are much less likely to jump to an immediate opinion. Something like this, “yeah it really sucked out there and I didn’t finish, but I had the best ride of my life…my legs were strong for the first 100 miles, my nutrition was spot on; and you should have seen how beautiful it was out there, it was like riding through Western Europe in the spring…flowers blooming…the air was fresh and clean…sun warming my face…totally awesome dude, you shoulda been there!” So whatya say?, let’s change “DNF” to “Yeah-But.”

A few Yeah-Buts:

Death Valley Double Attempt, 2003

Little Miss Sunshine's Fixed Gear 508 Attempt

Nightmare to Remember

One of my personal favs:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

San Diego "Almost" Century



Aaaah San Diego. What a place. Sunshine, tons of beach, and lots of places to cycle. We, Miz Bobbie and I, decided to join the cycling fun down here by participating in the San Diego Century. I had already heard about this ride, but didn’t know too many details before plunking down the entry fees. The website did a pretty good job of letting me know what to expect, but I must say, I was a little surprised at the level of difficulty we experienced.

First off, great organization! We waddled our way through the registration process without a hitch, collected our packets and were on our way within a few minutes. The only snag was the endless waiver paperwork required. It appears that California lawyers are certainly secure in their employment because not only did we have to fill out waiver paperwork for the event organizers, we were required to fill out waiver paperwork for the county of San Diego and surrounding areas. Geez, does anybody do anything without lawyers anymore? I know, that was a dumb question.

We had a great “warm up” ride on Friday before the event cruising through Oceanside and Carlsbad beach venues and neighborhoods. Exploring by bicycle has to be the greatest way to see things. You can stop when you want, go where want, and take as long as you want. And…you can go places that most cars can’t go…what a treat! The weather here was just awesome as well. Partly cloudy skies, light winds, and temps in the upper 60’s to low 70’s. So, we were hoping for the same on event day.

I’m the early riser in the family while Miz Bobbie prefers to take the long route when waking up in the morning. I figured if we get up by 0530, we could hop in the car and be ready to roll by 0700, our planned departure time. As expected the weather was cloudy and cool with a slight sea breeze; standard for this area and time of the year. We actually get ready and roll out uneventfully by 0710. I say uneventfully because this event like most others I’ve attended let’s people roll out during a time window. Frankly, I kind of miss the mass starts because of all the excitement that seems to be generated from the synergy of everyone massing together at once. I guess it’s the lawyers again, who knows.

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The first part of the ride covers a lot of east San Diego back country giving way to tree covered rolling roads that are lightly travelled, well at least at this time of morning. Some smartass and two of his buddies roll up beside us and say, “hey, when is the rain supposed to start?” Shit-eatin’ grin accompanies the rhetorical question. Well, Miz Bobbie, being who she is says, “Rain? What rain?” Smartass and his two buddies just roll ahead with shit-eaten’ grins on their faces. Me, my thought was: “assholes.” I assuage Miz Bobbie’s rain fears by assuring her that there is no rain in the forecast. She says, “well if it rains, I’m done…get me cab!”

I won’t bore you with a detailed description of every food product served at the rest stops but they did have: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Gatorade, trail-mix, an assortment of energy bars, pretzels, bananas, and water! Let’s not forget about the water. Oh and one interesting common theme at each rest stop: they were all in church parking lots — Church of God, Church of the Nativity, Crosspointe Baptist Church, and Church of the Nativity again. For awhile, I was expecting the Pope, or at least some Bishop clad in a red robe to come over and flip holy water on us from a stick or something. I didn’t know if the volunteers were all church members, so I made sure I didn’t ask someone to: “hey, cut me a piece of that fuckin’ banana will ya?”

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If you divide this ride into quarters, I’d have to say that the first quarter and last quarter are more suburban to rural riding; whereas, the middle two quarters are mostly suburban with a little urban thrown in. What that translates into is a whole lot of stoplights, and I mean a whole lot. I must have unclipped a thousand times on this ride. I didn’t keep track of how long we waited for each light to change, but I can say this, it was a butt load. I found all this rather annoying, but overall the scenery, and just being California in general, made up for it.

I’m not big on route markings because some route organizers mark the pavement with spray paint and over the years, this stuff just doesn’t seem to go away. In fact, I’ve found myself on several occasions following route markings from previous year’s rides, or some other ride using a similar route. So, normally I only use the route slip for navigation to avoid this kind of problem. On this ride, the ride organizers were a bit clever in their marking. They used these triangle stanchions with large yellow arrows pointing to the correct turn direction. So, I thought, “hey, I’ll just put this route slip in my pocket ‘cause I don’t really need it with all these cool direction arrows.” Mistake number one: You see, there was no arrow pointing to the 67 mile turn off, so we ended up on the 100 mile route for about 15 miles before realizing it. As we climbed hill after hill heading east, I finally realized something was up. So, I sprinted ahead to the guy in front of us and asked, “hey man are you on the 100 mile route, or 67 mile route?” He said, “I’m on the 100 miler and the turnaround is just up ahead.” Me: “shit!” Him: “well, you might as well commit to the 100 miler ‘cause you are just about at the turnaround.” Mistake number two: telling Miz Bobbie we were on the wrong route. Ooops. She was not happy as her lower back was giving her fits all morning. Fortunately for us, however, it was all downhill back to the 67 mile turn off.

Rolling out the last 20 miles or so, Miz Bobbie is pretty well spent and in a lot of lower back pain, so her fun meter was pegged, and she was not having a particularly good time. To make things worse, the wind started picking up and was in our face. She kept dropping off my wheel so I slowed down to let her catch up. As she did so, I turned around and shouted, “Can you stay on my wheel?” Well, she interprets my loud voice as yelling and only hears: “…stay on my wheel.” Mistake number three. All mayhem ensues and she starts a female tirade that would rival any major onslaught throughout history. “Stop yelling at me! Just get out of here! Leave me alone…I’ll ride my own pace…and find my own way back!!” Me, I’m totally confused. I try to calm her down and convince her that I wasn’t yelling and all I was doing was asking her a question. Silence… All you can hear now is the wind.

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We finally hit the beach and the venue is just awesome. I guess Miz Bobbie is enjoying things now because she’s talking to me again. We make the turn into Cardiff by the Sea and see a huge hill in front of us. Oh shit. Miz Bobbie says to me, “what fucking moron put a hill like that at the end of a ride like this?” Well, we see one of those huge turn arrows up ahead and luckily it is only halfway up the hill, so life wasn’t quite as bad we thought. It is a mile to go, we have a tailwind and flat it’s as a board, so I put Miz Bobbie on point and follow her wheel all the way in. She’s happy and I finally do something right today.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Dante's View - Redefining Epic



The word “Epic” is probably a bit overused to describe the experience of completing a challenging bike ride. But, having said that, I think I’ll go ahead and use the word to describe our century-plus ride to Dante’s View in Death Valley recently because it fits.

I tried once before to finish this ride, and as I look back on it now with a critical eye, I probably wouldn’t have finished it anyway even if I had kept going, as I had left everything “out there” prior the epic portion, the last 13 miles. So not wanting to “DNF” this time around, I set out to conquer this monster once and for all. Actually, the first 100 miles doesn’t require a herculean effort, it’s the last 13 that jumps up and hops on your back like a 500 pound gorilla.

We always seem to start these events early in the morning when it is cold outside. This day was no exception. However, the difference this time was that we started in 40 degree weather and not 20 degree weather, as we have done on previous occasions. Sheer genius on our parts!

The fast guys left us “seasoned” veterans behind on the first climb, much to my delight personally, as I was not looking forward to a slug-fest this early on. I did that on my first attempt and that’s probably the reason I never made it all the way up to the summit at Dante’s View. So, up we went to the top of our first challenge for the day: Mt. Potosi, a ten mile grind that basically got steeper with every mile.

The art of climbing is kind of, “The search for the Holy Grail”, in my mind. There is no making it look easy, or “dancing on the pedals” as some describe it. Climbing mountains is just plain hard work and your search for the perfect “technique” changes every time. There are some things you can always count on, however. Your breathing starts to become rapid, you can feel your heart beating faster and harder; you start to sweat no matter how cool it gets on the way up; and if you are lucky like me, you can feel the sweat working its way down the crack of your ass! That nice rhythmic song playing so joyfully in your head turns into four-letter words repeating with every pedal stroke. The key, I have found, boils down to one thing: focus. Just focus and get into a pedaling rhythm and stay there, to get there. Sounds pretty simple, right?


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Road Angel Jen and Driver Shortbus

Our gracious ride hosts, Jen and Paul (a.k.a. Shortbus, or Salty) met us at the top with a surprising, and most welcome assortment of refreshments. It’s great to have cycling friends who don’t mind giving up their whole day to support everyone else. Thanks guys! You where true “road angels!” Exchanging pleasantries and downing a few refreshments, we pressed ahead to our next destination: Pahrump, Nevada. NDOT was even nice enough to have paved our way with a brand spankin-new shoulder along Hwy 160—those gambling taxes payoff now and again! This stretch was an exhilarating downhill pleasure and I think the slowest speed I saw for the next 10-15 miles was 28 mph!--definitely payback for all the expended effort getting up and over Potosí.


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The Road to Pahrump

Pahrump, Nevada…let’s see…the most awesome town in America if you are into brothels, gambling, and dirt, lots and lots of dirt! That’s really all I can say about it. If it weren’t the only way to Death Valley from Vegas, I probably wouldn’t have gone there. You just gotta see it, to believe it!


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Kinda says it all, doesn't it?

Leaving Pahrump and heading west is like riding to the coast of California (without the lush, green countryside), then riding straight out to sea, except there is no water, only this barren flatland that is, or once was, a vast sea bed--a rather eerie experience, indeed. Luckily, on this day, very little wind accompanied us to Pahrump and beyond. I say lucky because when the wind blows out here, there is nothing to stop it, slow it down, or divert its path. When Mr. Wind finds his fancy to accompany you on your ride, he can be your best friend or your most hated enemy, and my experience has been that he is your most hated enemy 8 out of 10 times, especially if you choose a southwesterly path.


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Our penultimate rest stop of the day occurred at Death Valley Junction, famously known as it houses the world-renown Armargosa Springs Opera House and Hotel. Check it out, it has a pretty interesting history. Jen and Shortbus were waiting off the side of the road with another incredible assortment of refreshments. Of which, we eagerly took part. At this point, it is a 1% - 2% climb for about 10 miles, or so, to the beginning of the “epic” part.


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Seasoned Veteran: Dr. Dog

We were teased by a bomber downhill run to the left turn that takes you up to Dante’s View. Remember what I said about Mr. Wind? Well, he decided to join us at this point. And like I said, he decided to take us on as a dead-in-the-face headwind. How nice. Making the left turn and starting the climb we were greeted by the standard, “Dante’s View 13 miles” sign and about a half-mile later we were greeted with another sign: “Last one-quarter mile 15%.” Nice again! Us seasoned veterans vowed to stay together for the climb but as fate would have it, we separated a bit and fell into our own rhythm. About 5 miles of the last 13 is anywhere from 3% - 6%, not bad. What made it difficult on this day was Mr. Wind. He was just plain annoying! There’s just something really annoying about hearing the wind whip through you helmet for 2 solid hours.

Halfway up the grade changes to 8% - 10%, and in some spots reaches 12% as the road meanders and cuts its way through the mountain. This is the epic part. Epic because we were already 105+ miles into the ride and we were being all we could be at 6-7 mph going uphill into a headwind. I had experienced this part before from the window of a SAG vehicle, but I had no idea how hard this climb would be from the seat of a bicycle. Out of gears and short on energy, I stomped as best I could in my 36 x 27. I kept thinking: “You should have gone with the 34 x 27, you dumb shit!”


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The Sign Didn't Lie!

The epic of the epic came when I climbed up out of the road cut-out and made the turn towards the summit. As I approached the first of many turns, I heard a cowbell and people shouting something at the top. It was all I could do to hear them above the sound of my panting and the whipping noise of the wind. Looking to my right and seeing nothing but rocks and dirt, I raised my head up, looked at the tiny dots that were people peering down at me, and said to myself, “oh shit!” Yep, it’s a fucking wall and it’s a steep one! Rounding the first turn, I said to myself in a half-assed attempt at thinking positive, “Well, at least I have a tailwind now. Bully!”

The really steep bits of these meandering climbs are always in the turns, so I decided to attack those while standing and then try to recover on the straight stretches. That worked pretty well until I got to the last quarter mile. My ass never touched the saddle for the rest of the climb. The cowbell got louder and louder so I knew I was getting close. The last turn into the parking lot of the summit was absolute heaven and there was an angel walking towards me with a beer! That was the best beer I’ve ever had.

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Fast Guys on the left, seasoned Veterans on the right

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

We Plan Fun Rides and then We Do Them

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Our new slogan, "We plan fun rides and then do them" is most apropos for our latest bicycle excursion. I say "our" because I include myself in this little merry band of adventurous cycling friends. I actually didn't come up with the slogan, I just stole it for the title of this blog entry. I have to give the credit to Cynthia, or Cyn, as she is known to her friends. Frankly, it all fits with Cyn because she can find the fun in just about any bike ride. As a case in point, this ride was formally known as the "Nipton Loop", named primarily for the middle point of the ride, Nipton California, which oh by the way, is a little oasis hole-in-the-ground smack dab in the middle of the Mojave preserve. If you ever wondered where the hell "the middle of nowhere" is, it is Nipton, California. Cyn renamed the ride "The Mad Creek" ride. You see we're gonna stop at the 100 mile point and have Gyros at the Mad Creek restaurant in Stateline, Nevada: Yum, Yum! Well, as it turned out, they were in fact, "yum, yum!"

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"The Kid"

The one thing that I have learned about living here is the indisputable fact that one can never count on the actual weather being anything like what is forecast. Usually this time of year brings pleasant temperatures, clear skies, and little, to no wind. What we've had lately has been an extraordinary mixture of: cold temperatures, rain, and bizarre, strong winds. So, when the forecast called for a reeeeeeeally nice day, we, or I especially, showed a bit of skepticism. As things turned out though, the day started a bit on the nipply side, but ended quite nicely: temps in the 70's, clear with some high cloud, and very little wind.a very nice bonus.

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The Downhill run into Nipton

I showed up first at Saxby's followed shortly thereafter by a guy named Stephen. I noticed he was quite young (22 to be exact) and was sporting one of the local race kits. My first thought was, "great, a hammerhead, this is gonna be fun." Stephen voiced his excitement to me that this, "is the longest ride I've ever done." Well, after that statement some of my fears abated but not all. Tracy rolls up, followed by Al and Shelly, who was then followed by Loon, aka Scott. Just a little about Scott here. This guy is a true locomotive on a bicycle. He is the former Canadian Time Trial Champion, Furnace Creek 508 Veteran (several times), RAAM (Race Across America) Veteran, HooDoo 500 veteran, and all around way-strong dude on a bicycle. As things go, Scott is a true gentlemen on a bike, but if you throw down the hammer, you better be able to pick it back up again, because Scott will give you everything you ask for and more, that's for sure. As we all commented on the ride ahead and the expected weather, some of us peeled off few layers as it was agreed that we were a bit "over" dressed given the day's forecast. Turns out that I sure could have used that vest for an hour or so...damn it was cold!

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Scott a.k.a. "Loon"

We blasted (literally) out of the parking lot about 15 minutes late and my first thought was, "man I sure hope we don't try to keep up this pace for the whole ride, after all, we still have 126 more miles to ride." We let the ponies run as we took the turnoff down towards Searchlight on a bomber downhill of about 5 miles. As predicted, the inversion layer caught us and trapped all that wonderful "cold" air near the surface of a try lake bed that joins the highway. Loon and Stephen had long left us by this point but we finally come upon them trying to fix a "tubular clincher." For those not in the know, a tubular clincher is actually a tube and a tire, all in one. If you can't repair it, you are screwed. Many attempts by Scott to pump air into this thing finally resulted in success, and we at long last get going. Then "bang!" our second flat of the day. Not even 20 miles in and Cyn blows a tire big time. That's two! I look at my watch and think, "This is gonna be a long day." Well, we get that fixed and about 3 miles later on a small but rather long climb, I hear "twaaaaang" look down, and see Scott's rear wheel wobbling severely from side to side. I get Scott's attention, we stop, and both say, "oh shit." Turns out he popped a spoke, and on further determination we discover that he actually cracked the rim! Scott decides he is a "mort", calls momma for a ride and sends me on my way to catch the group. I finally catch up and we cruise uneventfully into the booming metropolis of Searchlight, Nevada. On the way in, I say to the group, "you watch, Scott (Loon) will get a new wheel and catch us before we get to Nipton!" Looks of disbelief that say, "ya think? Na no way!"

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Shellie chows down on her Nipton pickle

Searchlight, Nevada is one of those, "ya gotta be shittin' me" kind of places. I've been there twice, both times on a bicycle, and my reaction is always the same. It is a giant freakin' trailer park with a fast food restaurant or two stuck in the middle of the treeless desert. I guess they used to mine stuff there way back when because there are all these abandon mine shafts "eye-sores" all over the place, accompanied by an endless array of trailer homes, and not the nice ones either. We all grabbed some liquids and fuel from the local "stop and rob", shoot a few hero photos and discover, you guessed it, another flat. Seems that Shellie's rear tire shit-the-bed slowly on the way in, and finally died peacefully while we were all rejuvenating. Al does his now famous, "I can name that tire change in 30 seconds" routine and we leave Searchlight behind or so we thought. You see, Shellie has some of those 3-gazillion dollar, super deep-dish carbon wheels and her tire decided it didn't like the way it was situated on the rim. Looking like a rugby scrum we all lean over the wheel saying, "oh my, what's wrong. I can't find the problem." Well, we finally determine that the tube inside the tire is not "seated" properly around the rim. We then proceeded to prove ourselves right by going through 3-4 CO2 cartridges in attempt to fix the problem. Somebody says, "hey how many bike shops are there in Searchlight?" Cause we all know there aren't any in Nipton! (looks of impending doom shroud our faces) Well you guessed it, there are ZERO bike shops anywhere on our route! The closest one is in Boulder City, 50 miles back where we just came from. Great Boy Scouts all of us, eh? So, after getting all this mess sorted out, Shellie's tire fixed, etcetera, we take stock of our repair supplies and decide to continue the adventure. Swords drawn, we mount our steeds and shout, "On to Nipton!"

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On the road to Nipton, California!

Stephen, appropriately nicknamed by the group as: "The Kid" decides he is gonna try drafting a semi-trailer that has somehow managed the turn towards Nipton at the same time as our group. So, off goes The Kid down the long ribbon of road to the horizon. About ten minutes later, we finally catch up to him, regroup and proceed westward. The Kid, looking like a worn out Cheetah who just missed his prey, leads us on what seems like the Battan Death March to our much awaited descent into Nipton. Since there's not much to look at except mangled asphalt, Joshua trees, and dirt, you just lose yourself in your own thoughts, put your head down and grind your way onward. To the contrary, the descent into Nipton is quite a rush really. I'm not sure how long it is, but hauling ass at 30+ miles an hour seemed to go on for a really long time. I thought to myself, "man there sure is a whole lot of nothin' out here!" One can literally see the entire Mojave preserve, bordering mountain ranges on all horizons, as well as the two tiny dots that are casinos forming an oasis at the California/Nevada border. We aren't in Nipton but for a few minutes when, you guessed it, Loon rolls in. I said, "see I told you guys he'd be here!" Looks of disbelief all around. Nipton isn't much to write home about, but it does provide a nice respite after 67 miles, and the "stop and rob" has these really huge pickles you can buy (that is if you are into eating pickles on a bike ride). Just like in an movie or something, you pull one out of this really big jar and eat it! Nipton also marks the "half-way" point of the ride so that fact always is a morale booster on these long rides. On just about all of our stops, we all seemed to leave together, but inevitably the major group fractions into a few smaller ones. This one being no exception, Loon and The Kid took off on a battle for "King of the Mountains" points while the rest of us settled into a nice semi-aerobic climb to our final turn towards Vegas.

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Yeah, I sure could use some of that lottery money!

Several miles and minutes later, we met Loon who was waiting patiently for us at the top of the climb...sans The Kid. This was really a pretty cool spot. To the east you could see the expanse of the terrain just covered, cut only by a small ribbon of road you were just on. To the north was
I-15 leading to first, Stateline, Nevada then followed by Jean, Nevada, both large gambling oasis out in the middle of nowhere. Turning north on I-15 towards Stateline was a lot like bombing down a toboggan run on a bicycle. What was equally amazing was the fact that you were going so fast that the cars passing you to your left didn't look like they were going that much faster than you!

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The View from Nowhere, actually I-15 and Nipton Exit looking towards Vegas.

Aaaaaah finally, the Mad Creek restaurant! Man were we hungry, especially me. This place was amazing. You can get just about any kind of Gyro at this place. I settled on the Veggie burger because a big 'ole hunk of meat in any form just didn't sound all that good to me. Cynthia and the rest of thegroup chowed down like big dogs, especially Loon...man can that guy eat! What also amazed us when traveling down I-15 on a Sunday was how many Californians there were heading south back to LA. The parking lots at Stateline were jammed, and south bound I-15 was moving at a snail's pace.It's a damned good thing we were on bicycles heading north.

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Cyn at the Mad Creek

The rest of the ride was rather uneventful with one exception. The Kid decided to "attack" the peloton at the 110 mile point! He looked back kinda like Lance Armstong, except the kid had one of those, "I dare ya" smiles on his face and just takes off. Remember what I said about Loon and the hammer earlier? Loon looked at me, I shook my head and off we went to the races! We got into this friggin' rolling paceline at 30 miles an hour into the wind for the next 15 minutes. Al and I pedaled our asses off just to stay on Loon's wheel. I'm muttered cuss words under my breath the whole way back and kept thinking, "can't we just end this ride with a little civility...Nooooo...we have to race...shit!