Custom Search

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Stater Brothers Road Trip

My son and I rode our bikes to get groceries at Stater Brothers. I hope that my son sees the bike as more than just a plaything but also as a means of conveyance. We often ride our bikes on errands of short distance from our home. My hope is that it will just seem natural for him to jump on the bike and get groceries and more. I made Chicken Teriyaki crockpot style.


Thank you Nathan Sports for helping me keep my son safe with the Flash Vest.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Day Century

Brandy had the idea (crazy idea yeah I said it) of going on a Christmas Day Century on our tandem. It had been raining all night and it was drizzling in the morning. I fought the idea as much as I could. I wanted to stay home snuggle and stay dry. But she can be pretty convincing and cute.

I dragged my feet long enough and we headed out just before 12pm. There was a light drizzle as we left the warmth and security of our home. We turned south on the Pacific Coast Hwy and then up San Joaquin Hills towards Newport Coast Dr. On our descent on Newport Coast Dr the rain was coming down. So less than 15 miles into the ride we were thoroughly soaked. I was cautious descending and kept it under 30 mph. We continued south on the coast towards Dana Point and then headed inland on Golden Lantern/Moulton Pkwy. There are a ton of rollers and they get your attention on the tandem. A few more turns here and there and then we were in Santiago Canyon.

From a distance, before making the turn that committed us to Santiago Canyon, I asked Brandy "Are you sure you want to go into those dark ominous clouds" and she said yes. Santiago Canyon wasn't too bad. But as we neared Silverado Canyon I asked again if she wanted to go into the dark clouds. She left it up to me. Later she confided in me that she left the Silverado Canyon decision up to me so she could blame me later. Cute huh?

I of course was thinking if we are already out here we might as well climb Silverado Canyon. On the climb up Silverado Canyon she makes the proclamation that she is LOVING THIS RIDE! Well a few minutes later the sky opened up with very heavy rain. The downpour was brief but long and heavy enough to thoroughly soak us again. As we descended Silverado Canyon she was no longer "loving this ride" and it was time to get home.

We had a couple of things to consider though. First I was having trouble shifting the front derailuer and getting the big chain ring was very difficult. We actually stopped and I manually put the chain on the big ring. We would ride home in the big ring the last ~30 miles. Second we had to make it home before our NiteRider Minewt Dual's battery would run out. We were wet, cold, hungry and psychologically done. It was time to hammer the last 25 miles home in the dark.

We made it home without incident. It sucked but I'm glad we did it. Our first century on the tandem is done. By the way, Brandy was not aware that after being soooo cold she should not take a hot shower to warm up. The itchy feeling she got was so painful she had a little freak out. So she learned another lesson. Cool water then lukewarm then hot when thawing out. The first lesson of course was when given the option of a nice warm cozy bed on a holiday take it. It's not so glamorous to spend 7 plus hours in the rain and cold when not racing.



Sunday, December 21, 2008

Glendora Ridge Road

I rode up to Cow Canyon Saddle today. The weather was beautiful! Plenty of snow and ice on the road. Would have been a lot smarter on at least a cross bike. Oh well it was a blast.

As far as training I can't remember what my PR is for Glendora Mountain Road. So I guess I will call it sub 49 mins and try to beat that from now on.

GMR to post:
Duration: 48:13
Work: 674 kJ
TSS: 97.4 (intensity factor 1.101)
Norm Power: 242 Approx 3.4 w/kg
VI: 1.04
Pw:HR: 9.49%
Pa:HR: -7.81%
Distance: 8.356 mi

Avg 233 watts
Heart Rate 184 bpm
Cadence: 76 rpm
Speed: 10.4 mph
Pace 5:47 min/mi

Monday, December 15, 2008

If at first you don't succeed...

do it again. I did the same century I did last week. I suffered pretty bad last week and I had to go back and redeem myself. I was 22 minutes (total time) faster this week. Some of it is due to leaving the house at 4:14 am instead of 8am as I did last week. But mainly because I had better legs. It was amazing how much fitness I had lost in 8 weeks. What I am most happy with is the non-rolling time to total time is just shy of 8 mins. This route is quite urban so considering all the potential for traffic signals, I'm please with only 8 mins.

I also took the time to route it in or you can find the route sheet here. Brandy created the route and it is a pretty darn good one. Lot's of bike lanes and there are opportunities to take on extra climbs to add more gain.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Floyd at the shop

Floyd Landis stopped by today. I told him he got a raw deal! I also told him that I still believed he was clean!! He said he appreciated my sentiments. I am so excited to see him race again!!!!

My Furnace Creek 508 Videos...

I have been working on and off on videos from my 2008 Furnace Creek 508 Solo event since late October. I have run into complications with RAM on my computer. To spare you the details basically I don't have enough RAM to run Windows Movie Maker. The project runs slow and saving it to a movie isn't possible. I have split the movie into four parts. They are below and also on youtube. I'm looking forward to your comments.

Coming soon I will have the movie on my website as one whole movie and not in 4 parts.





Sunday, December 7, 2008

First Century since Furnace Creek 508

I went out for a century. I hadn't done a century since Furnace Creek 508 Oct 4. As many of you know my right thumb was fractured on Oct 30. I was off the bike for 3 weeks straight. Then I did 4 rides here and there with a total less than 150 miles in the last 3 weeks. It was not pretty but I got it done. My legs were shot around 70 miles and I had to limp home. It was 104 miles with only 5600 feet and I was pooped. Oh and I have also gained 6 lbs in the last 6 weeks.

Entire workout (137 watts):
Duration: 6:44:40 (7:03:41)
Work: 3202 kJ
TSS: 462 (intensity factor 0.843)
Norm Power: 186
VI: 1.36
Pw:HR: 15.56%
Pa:HR: -4.27%
Distance: 103.917 mi
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 697 137 watts
Heart Rate: 94 194 156 bpm
Cadence: 29 174 79 rpm
Speed: 0 40.9 16.0 mph
Pace 1:28 0:00 3:45 min/mi
Hub Torque: 0 411 68 lb-in
Crank Torque: 0 904 149 lb-in

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Tandem Ride

Brandy and I took the tandem out for a short ride. 34 miles and ~1900 feet of climbing . We did two repeats on a local 1.5 mile climb called Newport Coast Dr (1700 feet in 12 miles). We are new tandem riders and it was quite humbling to climb a 6% at about 8 mph. When I got home I realized that the 34 miles on the tandem felt harder than when I do the same route by myself. I found that interesting. Interesting because we plan on doing our first century on the bike the x-mas holiday and our first Ultra on January 3rd, the San Diego 200km Brevet. You can also find information on the event website here.

Friday, December 5, 2008

I commuted I commuted I commuted...

Yes it is the little things that make me riding my bike. This morning Brandy and I woke up at 0420. Yeah really 420. We left the house at 0500. I had a short 15 mile commute to the Irvine train station. While Brandy was getting a few extra miles before work. I rode my fixie since I still can't use my right hand for much.

Everything was going fine until I stopped to get coffee at Starbucks. When I walked in I saw a longer line than I usually see. I asked who was at the end of the line and was surprised that everyone had already ordered. It was 0608 and and I had 12 minutes to catch the train and I was only 1.5 blocks away. So I ordered my venti Americano with room. I figured I had plenty of time.

While waiting for my coffee a young lady asked me if that was my bike outside. I replied yes. Then she asked if it was "fixed" and I replied again in the affirmative. I found out her name was Heather and that she used to commute when she lived only 5 miles from work but now she has to drive up to Los Angeles. I left her my email and blog and said maybe we can ride sometime.

Meanwhile my coffee was still in the cue. I started to sweat whether I was going to catch my train. Finally my coffee was ready and I scooted down the road. Only to get within 100 yds from the train station and see the train rolling away. I panicked at first and then thought I can take the Amtrak. So I missed the 0620 Metrolink to Oceanside but the Amtrak would be at the station at 0704 and I would ride it to Solana Beach.

I was 30 minutes late for work but in the end I think it was worth it. I took a lot of video and created a little movie. It is rough with no editing and no finishing. My main goal of the "movie" is to show my appreciation for the beautiful weather and beautiful scenery that we have in Southern California. It was 50 degrees at 0500 this morning with clear skis. Just a gorgeous morning to be on my bike. We are truly blessed to live here!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Commuting and Crashing?

Tomorrow, Friday, I will commute to and from work for the first time since October 30th. I have not commuted because of a badly fractured thumb. The pain on some of my short weekend rides has just been bearable. I would like to get back on the bike real soon. My first event of the season is less than 30 days away, January 3rd. I will commute to the Irvine Train Station from Huntington Beach (~15 miles), take the train to Oceanside (~35 miles), and then ride the rest of the way to work (~15 miles).

The next segment of this post is something I fear every day, especially when commuting at night and pre-dawn hours. I pass a lot of construction zones and I am extra cautious of repairs that have been done to the road, in particular those in the bike lane. I fear going down just because a road crew was too lazy to do the job right THE FIRST TIME!

I received an email from Kam. Kam is a good friend and former teammate. While on a well established training ride, 15 years running, two cyclists were badly injured because of shoddy road work. The details are sketchy but one rider has a broken collarbone the other sustained multiple abrasions. In essence, a trench was dug out for a repair, but the patch work was less than ideal. In fact, it was downright dangerous. There is still the potential for other cyclists to be injured if they are unaware. Below is a brief description of the location.

From an email:

The location of the rut is on North Torrey Pines road heading north just
past Salk Institute.

Here is a slide show from Kam's website

Find more photos like this on The Cycling Network

Here is my concern. Motorists drive too close to the bike lane. Many times there are ruts, crevices and debris in the bike lane. As cyclists we respect and try to coexist with motorists and stay in the bike lane as much as possible. But sometimes there are things like 3" wide ruts in the bike lane and the only decision is to exit the bike lane or face certain injury. I wish there was a way to help motorists understand that our sudden and seemingly erratic swerving is simply to avoid crashing
and bodily injury. As cyclists, we take risks and make judgment calls in a fraction of a second. It is never our intention to play "chicken" with a Hunmmer!

Road crews and their employers need to be held accountable for the work they perform. Our safety depends on it!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Riding again...

Well not like before. But I have taken a few short rides. According to my surgeon I should not be riding for at least another three weeks. And even then I think he will not allow me to ride. I don't blame him it is still very painful to use my right hand. When I ride I hold my left shoulder with my right hand (the busted one).

There is actually a lot of benefit to riding this way. Firstly, I am working on my riding skills. Secondly, I am able to focus on using my core to hold my body up and straight. I ride without a lot of pressure on my left hand. Thirdly, I focus on producing all power from good pedal mechanics. Pushing and pulling up on the pedals without the aide of my hands and arms pulling on the bars. Fourthly, I am doing my climbs seated and really working on my climbing technique. You know the old saying when given lemons make lemonade!!

Here's what I have done lately:

Saturday November 22-- 55 miles with 5000 feet of climbing (with a client)
Sunday November 23---60 miles with 2000 feet of climbing coastal ride
Thanksgiving Day..27---30 miles on my Fixed Gear 49 x 16 (81.5 GI) coastal with Brandy
Sunday ..November 30---30 miles on Fixed Gear 49 x 16 (El Chart below)

Where typically I would be doing 250-300 mile weeks this time of year I am barely getting 100 per week. My first event is the SAN DIEGO BREVET SERIES 200KM ON JANUARY 3, 2009.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to all

Just an old picture that my friend Don Parker had on his Facebook. It was taken a year ago, almost exactly, on November 18, 2007. I was commuting home from Encinitas to Huntington Beach. I ran into Don going in the opposite direction and paused for a picture.

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving Day. I plan on riding but I just haven't decided where yet. Have fun eat lots and enjoy the people you spend your day with!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Furnace Creek 508 Slideshow up...

After many hours of work I have come up with an 8 minute slideshow. I am still working on the "Director's Cut" with videos, interviews and out-takes. You will find my 2008 Furnace Creek 508 slideshow here!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Trans Iowa race roster

The race roster is full for Trans Iowa. I made the list. Check out the race roster here.

Event website

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Trans-Iowa for 2009

What's Trans-Iowa? Trans Iowa is 320 miles through dirt, gravel, mud, B roads, paved roads, country roads and who knows what else. I wish I knew the elevation gain but the race director doesn't have it...yet

From what I hear, and see from the finishing results, it's a really tough Ultra race held in Iowa. The finishing results show very small numbers. Years past they have had as many as 100 starters and less than 25 from what I can see. I have t o dig a little deeper into the results.

So how did I hear about this event? I work with Andy at Ben's Cycle out of Milwaukee. I bought my Fixed Gear from Andy and many other accessories and they have always treated me right. In my conversations with Andy he tells "Hey I know you like doing crazy hard stuff you oughta check out Trans Iowa." He knows that the Fixed Gear I bought from him was used in the Furnace Creek 508.

I asked him to tell me more. The more tall tales he told of the horrible conditions the more it interested me.

The registration process has begun. The race will take place May 2-3. The race director has specific guidelines spelled out on the event blog. There are only 75 spots available and past participants get first pick.

all for now

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A little more surgery stuff...

I went in on Thursday Nov. 6th. They put a T-plate and four screws to secure the bone fragments to help them mend properly.

The good news is the hardware will lessen the time off the bike. The doc has tentively revised the time to only 6 weeks off the bike with one week down already.

The bad news is he likes to take plates out. That means that in 6 months to a year I will have to undergo another surgery to take it out and a little more down time. In true Brandy fashion, as he was telling us all of this, she blurts out "Can we wait until next October, after Furnace Creek 508?" That's my girl, always looking out for me. LOL.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Surgery went well...

Brandy here. Just wanted to let everyone know that George had surgery today and it went well. He has a nice plate and four screws. He's resting now, but I'm sure he'll be back to blogging tomorrow. :)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Pre-op appt

Brandy and I walked out of our home today and saw the wonderful and serene sight of a rainbow. It really started my day off on a positive note.

Doc Altman. This gentleman set my thumb in the ER and did my pre op this morning.

I went to my pre-op appt today with the doc that treated me on Wednesday night. We went over my vital signs, a questioaire and the risks involved. I signed my consent and I was sent on my way. I guess I'm healthy base on the blood pressure. Of course they put the cuff on as soon as you sit down from walking in from the waiting room. My pulse seems high.

I don't think it takes an experienced medical professional to see the difference between the first (bad) x-ray and the second (better).

My doc says I will be operated on by the best hand surgeon in the Southern Cal Kaiser network. I think they HAVE to say that. Imagine my discomfort after being told that I will be put under the knife of the worst hand surgeon in the network


Thursday, October 30, 2008

On My Commute....

Well, it's a sad day for me today. Last night on my commute I was attacked by some pyscho, who on top of having mental issues, was also intoxicated. Totally unprovoked and inexplicably this person began berating Brandy and I with obscenities, and was full of rage. One theme of his repertoire was his insistence that because I was Iranian that I should go back to Iraq. Do you see how disturbed this person was?

We tried multiple times to disengage with this person but to no avail. We also couldn't leave because Brandy had a flat tire, and that was why we were stopped in the first place. We couldn't "escape" this maniac's torment with Brandy's bike in it's unservicable condition. Ultimately, "pyscho" grabbed me with both hands and was about to head butt me with his freshly shaven head, consquently I HAD TO defend myself.

A scuffle ensued. The details are hazy but we were introduced to the sidewalk gracing the entrance to the 7-11. I released him but I was attacked again. Once again to the ground we went. This time we were introduced to freshly deposited oil stain in the parking lot of the aforementioned 7-11. I then released him.

On the occassion of his second release he actually lunged at Brandy. She had been frantically communicating with 911 before the first incident of grappling began. When he charged at Brandy...OMG was that a very scary millisecond! I shoved him away and stood between Brandy and him. I believe he finally realized he was crossing serious lines, and also noticed that Brandy was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher. He fled the scene on his mountain bike.

We then find out from a bystander that he IS deranged. He gave us a name and address which we provided to one of the four squad cars that responded to the emercency call. One officer even commented to another officer about a third officer's experience with "pyscho", "Oh _______ almost shot him the other night."

Now there's more bad news. In the scuffle, I suffered a dislocation and Rolando's fracture of my right thumb. I currently have cast-like splint and will require surgery to properly set my thumb.

I will have surgery on November 6, 2008. The hand specialist is recommending a permanent T plate and screws to help my body mend the multiple fractures in my thumb.

And the worse news of all....I am being told a minimum of 12 weeks off the bike!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Already thinking of next year...

Here I am barely 3 weeks from having completed my goal event of the year and I'm already thinking about next year's goals.

I have penciled in the San Diego Brevet Series. The 2009 schedule is up on my website with registration links. You can also go to the San Diego Randonneurs site and get more information.






Friday, October 17, 2008


While I was on the train with my "train buddies" one of them said:

train buddy, "You know, I took the stairs yesterday instead of the elevator."

Me, "Really?"

train buddy, "Yes, I thought about you and all your riding. You inspired me to try it."

Me, "Great! Now what are you doing for lunch today? Maybe you could do the stairs for 20 minutes and then eat your lunch in the last 10 minutes of your break."

If I can inspire one person a day to move their body towards a healthier life than I have served my purpose for the day. Now get out there and move!

all for now

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Website Updated

For those of you having trouble reading my Furnace Creek 508 Race report in the blog format I have transferred it to my website. Here is the link. Now you can read it in order. LOL!

Now the only thing missing are crew perspectives from MY CREW!! They say they're almost done. We'll see.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Now the Data Geek in me...




Friday, October 10, 2008

Stage 8 Almost Amboy to Twentynine Palms

Stage Eight: Almost Amboy to Twenty Nine Palms, 58.2 miles. Elevation Gain: 4170'.

"After you pass through the funky throw-back hamlet of Amboy (where you can not count on any services), you cross the valley and at mile 472 begin the last climb: 1500 feet in 10 miles to Sheephole Summit (Mountain Section Ten). The climb begins gradually and gets steeper near the top. The shoulder is very sandy; the crew should be careful with the vehicle. A quick descent leads to the rough road and rolling slight uphill to the finish line."

This ranks as the point of the race where I hurt the most. On the way to Baker from Shoshone was my lowest point mentally. But Amboy, for a brief moment on the Sheephole climb, was my lowest point physically. I was hot. My triceps hurt. I couldn't switch to my TT bike because my undercarriage hurt too much. I was getting a headache from dehydration. AND I was just done with this race. I did my best to push through the hurt. I sucked down a 50 oz hydration pack of plain water from Nathan Sports and was thinking that's just not enough.

Thank you to Motor Tabs for providing different flavors for my CarboPro Motor Tabs cocktail.

Amazingly in this desert landscape, I found a shrub just tall enough to crawl under. I got off of the bike, crawled underneath the shrub and folded over like a towel on a rack. I was not having fun. I sat there and tried to hide from the afternoon sun.

I then realized that would not be enough either. I resorted to ice cold water poured on my head. Brandy then began to work on my triceps, which were aching.

The next series of pictures shows what a little water, a little shade and A LOT OF LOVE AND CARING can do. Notice how I go from the depths to new highs! Thank you Brandy and crew for taking care of me. Ticia, you captured a very important moment of the race-something that Brandy and I will always reflect on as a turning point. And Jason, steady Eddie, always there. Thank you all.

The look on my face should explain that I am not happy with the current situation. On the descent off of Sheephole Summit my Nightrider MiNewt headlight was loose. The MiNewt headlight is attached to a bracket which "clamps" to your handlebar by a tiny screw. Tighten it too much and you can't rotate the light, too loose and it will eventually fall off.

The very poor condition of the roads had rattled the headlight loose and at over 45Mph per hour I was trying to hold on to the light and/or work it completely off. But you don't have access to the screw because the head of it is on the underside of the bracket. I was trying to take it off with my left hand but I needed to refuel from the climb because I had 25 miles of steady uphill towards the finish. I would put my left hand back in the drops and drink with my right hand. For some reason I only drink with my right. Don't ask me why.

Well the headlight fell off the bar and hit my spokes. LUCKILY, I was going so fast it could not get stuck in my spokes and richocheted off to the left side of the road into the bushes. Emergency procedures now. Flag the crew vehicle careening down the road behind me over 45 Mph, come to a complete stop as soon as possible, get off the road, get the crew vehicle off the road and tell the crew what has just happen. We had to stop right away or risk loosing the general area where the light was ejected. You travel huge chunks of road will traveling over 45 Mph (if you have to walk it).

Why the heck would Vireo stop on a descent when he loves descending? I tell them what happened and the world's greatest crew jumps into action. Brandy grabs the spare lights and zip ties. Jason doubles back on the road UPHILL digging in the bushes. The search is made more challenging because the light is NOT illuminating-- the battery pack is still on the bike. Ticia is instructed to grab the camera and document. Within five minutes light is found, screw tightened beyond rotating tolerance, reaffixed, crew in van and we are down the road. What a great example of teamwork 36 hours into the race!

Ahh the Finish Line

I spent 28 minutes off the bike in the final stage of the Furnace Creek 508. Added to my 2 hours 36 brings the total of off the bike time to 3 hour and 4 minutes. Not bad in 37 hours of racing. I am pleased with how little time I spent off the bike. It is a huge improvement over years past. But NEXT YEAR I would like to break 36 hours and that means I need to stay on the bike at least one more hour out of the 3 hours I spent off the bike this time.

Just for S & G's I took the 3:04 time off of my total time of 37:34.
I then computed my average speed with just 34:30 and that came out to 14.7 Mph Avg Speed. So the point here is even if you can't ride faster spend less time off the bike and you can improve your overall time significantly.