XXC mag V2

In case you didn't read about it elsewhere - check out the latest version of XXC Mag brought to you by Jason Mahokey!

Direct link to the e-version

Coverage includes: Cohutta 100, Cape Epic, Kokopelli Trail, Baker's Dozen, Trans Iowa, and more!

Full Weekend

All in all, it was a good weekend. Lots of fun with friends and family, and a pretty chill Memorial Day with some pool time.

Saturday Stephanie, Dan, Justin and I hit up Daley Ranch for a fast-paced 14-mi loop. The group splintered right away with Justin going on the attack before we had warmed up at all, and shortly after I followed suit. He slowed up a bit, and gapped me a few times, especially on the steeper climbs. He'd wait up, then continue with me. I knew the only climb where I could possibly keep Justin in sight was coming up, so I made it my goal to stick to him once we got there. He put a small gap on me, but I stayed within 2 bike lengths throughout the climb and was stoked! The workout was really short, but solid from an effort perspective.

My recovery wasn't stellar (a banana and half a container of Bloks, followed by about 1.5 hours of easy spinning, standing, and no food), but it was time for the Dust Bunnies beginner women's ride! I went over and met a few of the women as they congregated and a little after 10 we headed out to start a loop.

Ride leader Shalyn (taking a break from tearing up the local endurance scene!) on the right


A few of the true beginner women struggled on some of the early hills, so I suggested we head back and climb up the pavement, descend down to the Ranch House, and do a short stint on Jack Creek Meadow. We lost a few once we got back to the parking lot, but a few continued on to the Ranch House and Jack Creek Meadow, and we all wound up regrouping one final time back at the Ranch House.

It seemed like everyone had a good time, and I enjoyed pretty much my first women's only ride! It was cool to ride with others that had a much different scope of experience and I hope to head out to these rides in the future and help lead and teach!

I had to get back to the truck to get some food in me, and once we had a bite to eat we headed north to pack up for our final trek out to the desert! There was a ton of food awaiting us.

Saturday night we had a big bbq with veggies, smoked salmon, and a huge pot of quinoa. I was stoked with plenty of leftovers!

Went to bed a tad late, didn't sleep all that well, and soon enough it was up and at'em on Sunday for a full day at Hurkey Creek! I was shooting for somewhere between 3 and 5 laps. Justin wanted me to do 3 race pace laps, which would've been great. Lap 1 was an endurance paced loop to warm up. I almost think I should've just gone from the gun since the next 2 laps were tough knowing how much more fun an easier lap was ;)

I only got through 2 race pace laps, with #3 being much slower (albeit similar effort) to #2. Time to pack it in. I went back out for #4, and while I finished it out, it wasn't pretty. Got back to the truck and downed my recovery ProCharge with milk, and had my ABJ sandwich and did some hanging out. Dan had been MIA since in between laps 1 and 2, and he pulled in about 20 or so minutes after Justin and Stephanie had gone out for lap #5. Crazies!

Dan and I hung out in the shade and got in some early "recovery". Eventually it was back to the desert for more bbq and a Young's Double Chocolate Stout! Hell ya!

We got to enjoy a good bottle of Wiens, even!

I know there are quite a few racers that enjoy knocking a few back on the weekends (or even during the week), but I've found whenever I have more than half a beer or a glass of wine I wind up being totally unmotivated and generally not feeling all that great the next day. No hangovers for me over the weekend, but I don't think alcohol enjoyment is going to be on my to-do list anymore, unfortunately! Someone remind me of this on a regular basis, though, okay?

Monday we slept in a bit and then had a serious date with some pool time.

After that it was time to pack up and head back to reality! 3 of us had bikes in need of service, so it was off to the bike shops before closing and then home to watch Monday's exciting Giro d'Italia stage!!

Got back to it yesterday and today. So far this week I feel much better about how training is going than I did after Sunday's ride. Going to unwind a bit the next two days and put in some good time this weekend. Should be fun! Hopefully I'll have a few more ride photos after next weekend!

I can't believe it's Wednesday already!


Cycling in the wind brings its own challenges:sailing uphill with the wind on your back or turning a corner to go head first into a blast strong enough to send you reeling. Cycling along a high banked lane is fine and you forget it's even windy until you pass a field gate when you are suddenly pushed sideways into the hedge. The coast path to Marazion can be exciting, one way you bowl along at a rate of knots enjoying the wind surfers but the other way can be hell, head down with sand blasting into your face and sea gulls going sidewaysThe old joke "I had the wind the whole way" couldn't be truer for us cyclists.
You always know it's serious when the Scillonian creeps into the harbour and shelters against Albert Pier when she should be chugging her way over to the ScilliesThis weekend she has been in the harbour both days so there must be lots of people kicking their heels in Penzance, the ones who took out insurance smugly watching the angry seas from their hotel windows.
I decided to make the most of the wind today by opting for variety:today's ride included the north and south coasts, open moorland, valleys and little country lanes. a foolish whim, I should know better, which ever way I went the wind was either in the face or threatening to blow me sideways into the traffic. The leaves were blowing inside out, buzzards hung still and then at the flip of a feather swung sideways crossing several fields in a split second, the cotton grass danced and the skies constantly changed from leaden grey to summer blue. Coming home I pass the sign to Carfury and Ding Dongthe very names of these little settlements clinging to the side of Mulfra Hill sound of Cornish wind. I cannot imagine a still day at Carfury and they say that the bell at Ding Dong mine never stopped its ghostly clanging.
Where I live we don't have proper trees, the few that do cling to the thin soil end up surrendering to the elementsHigh in my moorland cottage I understand Ted Hughes' lines "This house has been far out at sea all night...the tent of the hills drummed and strained its guy rope...the wind flung a magpie away and a black-backed gull bent like an iron bar slowly"

Dirt cruise

Thursday's have been rough the last two weeks. Justin and I got back into the gym the week following Idyllwild Spring Challenge, and we did legs on Monday that week. So, by Thursday we were good to go for Tempo Thursday. Last week we wound up taking Thursday off. It was easy to use the excuse that we were getting in volume on the weekend, and also that we had guests coming over so needed to prep food.

This week...along comes Thursday. All day I tried to psyche myself up for an easy ride in the dirt. And, then Thursday evening comes along and where is that motivation to ride? Right out the window! We were midway through making evening plans to grocery shop and get the weekend stuff prepped when I decided that one week missing a ride was okay, two weeks was not. You skip out on something two weeks in a row and it becomes a bad habit!

So, we got kitted up and headed up the hill for a nice easy spin in the waning evening light.

Saw some familiar faces, and otherwise had an okay cruise! I kept looking at the clock, but the last 15 minutes went by fast and fun. Glad we got out there, even though it pushed back dinner and bed by a little bit!

We were kinda disappointed, though. Universal Sports wound up showing about 55 minutes of not Giro TT for the morning broadcast, so we started watching the 8-10 coverage live. Justin fell asleep around 9:20, and I shut the TV off at 9:40 or so. Didn't get to see much of the front runners. Hopefully today the coverage will be ON! :)

This weekend has some good stuff on tap, but likely not many photo ops. From here on out it's all hard weekend workouts!

Fixed Gear Wales Drawing

Jack Kirtley, doodler extraordinaire, winner of Swansea's first big game of S.K.A.T.E and head honcho of Horror Skateboards has drawn up this awesome picture for me, I'm gonna use it for spoke cards, posters and flyers to promote the site and some limited edition t-shirts. Stay Tuned...

jack kirtley fixed gear fixie wales swansea drawing skid illustration

Weekend Report

Started off the weekend right by partaking in Bike to Work Day on Friday. Put in some extra time and mileage to make up for being lazy on Thursday night. I blame Luke.


It was good news for me that we had another weekend of slower, steady long miles ahead of us! I was looking forward to getting back up to SART, and also heading out to Cuyamaca, where I've only ridden once before.

Friday night Steph and Dan came up after dinner so we could be up and on the road to Mentone in the morning. Ever since Brian turned us on to climbing up from Loch Leven that is our new starting point for SART. It's a good warm-up climb that takes place on pavement, dirt, fire road, and a bit of singletrack (overgrown fire road).

It was warm when we arrived at the trailhead, but honestly… I don't recall temps ever being all that bad. A lot of the trail is shaded, and while it wasn't a squelcher, it wasn't cool, either. Temps were just right!

Up, up, up

Taking a pic, of Stephanie about to take a pic :)


Heading out behind the PO

He'll be ridin' all over

About to descend, yay!

Fun singletrack for sure

We hadn't stopped a whole lot, but finally did at Glass Rd for a break. I hadn't taken in many calories, so it was time for one of these to get me up to South Fork!


The trail ahead

Snow in the background

Once we got up to South Fork it was time to fuel up for sure. I took in a MASSIVE amount of calories. I just could not stop eating. I figured I'd wind up with a lot of stomach issues on the way back to Angelus Oaks, but I kept eating anyway. Naturally!

Made it back to Glass Rd with no problems, and continued on. My only issue was my right foot. It was giving me a LOT of trouble wearing my old Sidi's. I used to love those shoes, and now they just generate a lot of pain and discomfort. Weird.

Stephanie as we head back down to the creek crossings

We had waited a bit at the trailhead for Luke. I had unfortunately missed his email the night before asking on start time, so I wasn't sure if he was going to show. We took off, and he had actually caught us as we hit Middle Control the first time around, before heading up to Glass Rd. He did a bit of bonus mileage!

Justin approaching the post office near the end of the day

I had been a little sad we were shortening the ride by over an hour, so I did a pretty good effort up Middle Control back to town. We sat around a bit wondering where Luke was at (he had already headed back down to Loch Leven), eating, resting… and eventually made our way down. It was less than 25 minutes to descend, and over an hour to climb! Good one.

We stopped and ate at Cuca's. The chicken burritos are seriously killer!

We got some sleep, but not enough, Saturday night, and were up early to get packed up and head out to Cuyamaca. Warm temps greeted us once again, but we loaded up and got on the trail!

Uber blue skies all day

We visited more than one park

The crew

Steph and Justin

Some fun traversing

Gorgeous views

We did some route finding with the crappy map they sell. Er rather, Dan tried to do some route finding with the crappy map :)

The steed! Watch out, he bucks around horses

Chillin' before another climb

Love the views…


One last big hill ahead… steep pavement

The best


Parting shot…

Overall, great weekend. I didn't feel very good the rest of the afternoon. Not sure if it was due to heat or nutrition or whatnot, but I felt pretty bad. Felt great this morning, but then did a gym workout, and now I'm WORKED again :) So much for regen!