It's All Good: Rock N' Road Cyclery, and Base Miles with the Mann

Life is pretty good right now, if I may say so. I started this blog over the weekend, in my head, climbing in the rain on Saturday. It initially started out:

3 weekends of training...3 weekends of rain.


I hope not! Lucky for me it hasn't been too bad, and it seems like the next 5-7 days should be pretty clear and nice. Just in time for all day training sessions at work with no outdoor riding!

Back to the good life... I was STOKED that Justin finally was able to get out and train with me this past weekend! 5 hours over 2 days. He was working hard all weekend on and off the bike. More on that to come.

All week we all watched the weather to see if the storm(s) would somehow miraculously disappear and allow us to train as we wished, dry and clean. Unfortunately when we woke up Saturday morning it was drizzle, the forecast was for continued rain showers all day. Honestly, I don't think there was a dry spot at all except for about a 1/4mi as we drove across Ortega Highway. Justin and I decided to find some well-draining dirt anyway, and set off for a late morning 2 hour ride.

Justin took off a minute or so before I did and I set off in search of my pace for the day (taking it nice and easy). I caught up to him about 5 or so minutes in and he hung with me for a bit, cheering me on later as he saw me up ahead.

I was pretty good early on. The drizzle continued, and while my helmet dripped water everywhere and I was soaked, I was plenty warm in my clear plastic rain jacket sauna. My feet were good in just plain wool socks. Legs were warm enough.

The rain pounded down in spots and the wind whipped and whistled and scoured the mountainside, and me, with downpour. I had a few low points where I just wanted to stop and wait for Justin and turn around. But, I told myself plenty of people train in this everyday. It was a mental training day. I got up to a break spot pretty slow, and needed around 45-50 minutes more. I knew another loop would take me at least another hour, plus time to get back to the trailhead. So, I opted to head out opposite of what I normally do and ride for 15 minutes, then come back. I wrote Justin a note in the dirt since I had no desire to pull out my DROID in the rain.

I had fun on some slow-speed tech descending, but the rain kept pouring down. I was soaked, and now my hands and feet were getting cold to boot. I made it about 6.5 minutes before turning around. Justin caught up not long after. 7 weeks off the bike and he was only about 1-2 minutes behind me. Ridiculous!

We descended together. He was having a blast. I just wanted to get dry and warm!

Once we finished up and cleaned up a bit we headed north to run some errands. Had to stop by Oakley for a Rx lens warranty for both of us and Ryan hooked us up with a 25% off card, so we were stoked and stocked up on replacements. Looking forward to a new calendar year next year so I can get another set of Rx lenses.

It was getting late, but we headed even further north to stop by Rock N' Road Cyclery in Irvine to meet Mr. Matt Ford! I am utterly excited to be riding for Rock 'N Road next year. They are a great shop full of killer Specialized products and a ton of good nutritionals. I even noticed they have the Vitargo that James and Slater are raving about! If only Luke and I could sell some organs to afford the stuff :D

In addition to new kits and bottles I also picked up a Deflect convertible jacket and Deflect gloves.

Justin decided to try his hand at training again, so joined me on Sunday for a road cruise down the "drag strip".

I was pretty happy to have Justin along all weekend, as training didn't really align for me to ride with Luke, as I have been the past few weekends. Good thing for all of us as I rode right over a huge screw (I need my Rx lenses back!) and got a massive flat. First C02 was empty, and my tube didn't hold any air. I would've been SOL! I did have a 2nd CO2 and a patch kit at least. I don't think Luke would've appreciated being my sherpa all morning, though!

Always a good time riding with my "Mann"

I'd like to throw in that the Deflect gloves worked pretty killer yesterday on the road. I've used PI Cyclone's previously for this kind of weather. My hands never got over-heated in the new gloves, and they were awesome for wind-proofing. The wind was ripping all day yesterday. I also didn't wind up taking them off. I usually do since a) I prefer road riding gloveless, but also b) when I wear cooler weather gloves my hands always are too hot. I've yet to see how waterproof the gloves are, but will definitely be trying that out at some point this winter.

I've also never had a cycling kit vest, so was excited to try that out yesterday as well. Keeps the wind off without being too warm - my favorite! I know there will be colder days where the Deflect convertible will come in handy.

So, all in all, despite the inclement weather, I had a really great weekend.

If you're in Orange County and looking for a great shop with a ton of Specialized products on hand (S-Works bikes and frames down to Comp HT's, winter gear, summer gear, helmets, shoes, gloves, tires/tubes, and a huge nutritional wall), check out one of the four Rock N' Road locations: Irvine, Anaheim Hills, Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel.

If you've got any canned goods in the cabinet that you aren't eating and are still good make sure you stop by the Irvine store next Saturday at 8 am for the 3rd Annual Hunger Ride. A few hour easy ride through the Canyon. I'm excited! I've never done a road ride in Orange County before.

I've yet to figure out how the split of the US Cup promoter's and the Pro XCT will affect my race season, but I do know it's pretty much up in the air at the moment. Definitely lots of racing locally and regionally, and who knows what else the future will hold!