Saturday, October 24, 2015


Finally it was cool enough on Friday evening to comfortably ride my Lucky Greek 100k permanent populaire after work so that's exactly what I did. It was a warmish 80F when I started at 5:15pm but I knew it would cool down quickly after the sun set because the sky was clear. The wind was very mild for this ride - maybe 5-10 mph instead of the usual 15-20 mph. I got down on the aerobars and held a comfortable 18 mph to the end of the upper SART and still had a 17 mph average by the time I got to the Lucky Greek. One order of fries and a raspberry coke later and I was ready to turn around.

The wind was still mild on the way back so I missed my usual tailwind but still had a 16 mph average when I got back to the upper SART and finished with a 16.5 mph average. Total elapsed time for the ride was 4:07 - not my fastest but not too shabby. It was a wonderful ride.

Today I hiked five miles with Sherry and explored some new trails. One of the trails had fire hydrants along it which was a bit puzzling.

Fire hydrant in the middle of nowhere
Tried the cheese burger with blue cheese at Blondies - not too bad.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Mount Baldy

No riding this weekend. I hiked Mount Baldy for the first time. Not like those pussies that rode the ski lift up and then sauntered up the last couple of miles saying "Look at me, I'm hiking". No - Amber and I hiked up Ski Hut trail and then hiked down Devil's Backbone like it's supposed to be done. Anyway $12 for the ski lift is way too expensive.

We started with a four mile, 4000' climb. Probably the hardest four miles of hiking I've ever done. Not only is it very steep, but it's extremely technical most of the way. Some of this hike would qualify as a class one mountain climb. It was cool and we were in fog most of the way but it was pretty awesome. We had some light rain at the start but fortunately it didn't develop into anything. At the ski hut I took my first selfie and we ate some rice bars I had made the previous evening. That's my daughter ninja'ing my selfie.

Mile 2.5 The Hutts at the Ski Hut
From there it's a very strenuous two more miles to the summit where it was cool, foggy, and very windy. There are narrow trails shooting off in all directions so we got lost a couple of time and scrambled over rocks and scree until we found the main trail again. One great thing about a summit climb is that you just have to keep climbing and you're bound to get there eventually! We sheltered in the ring of rocks and ate more rice bars and a PBJ. There's a couple of chipmunks up there that I don't know what they eat. I hear they can live for six months on one dead hiker. I threw one a morsel of PBJ but it didn't seem to realize it was food. Maybe it still had some dead hiker stashed away somewhere.

Mile 4.5 Snacking at the Summit
After twenty minutes or so we headed down on the Devil's Backbone which loops around back to the start in 7.5 miles. As steep descents kill my calves I thought this would be less painful and perhaps a little safer. Descending the technical ascents we had just mastered seemed a bit iffy to me. It turned out the first mile of the Devil's Backbone descent was pretty technical too. The trail is named after a narrow ridge with a steep drop off on either side, but it turned out not to be too bad. You would have to be very careless to get into trouble there - or taking a selfie.

We quickly returned into the clouds and we saw a deer ahead so I took a couple of photographs.

Deer in the Fog
 After the first mile the trail became a fire road and the going got very easy. We were still fairly cold so when we got to the ski lodge at the top of the ski lift we decided to treat ourselves to some hot chocolate. It was really good.
Really good hot chocolate

From the ski lodge it is a very easy three miles back to the start of the ride on a wide, smooth fire road. Our total elapsed time was 6:30 with about 5:30 of moving time over a total of 11.8 miles and 4600' of climbing. I would definitely do that hike again - in about a year. On the way down Amber started talking about doing San Gorgonio. Heaven help me!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Anaheim - Oceanside 125k permanent

Yeah it was raining - so what? A little rain never hurt anyone. Amber and I rode my Anaheim - Oceanside permanent on Sunday. The climb up Santiago Canyon was quite nice with 60F weather and light to moderate rain. The descent was a little scary and Amber's disk brakes finally proved their worth. There were still a lot of cyclists but nary a biker to be seen. We got to Cook's Corner and it was so deserted we thought they were closed. The usual stalls outside were not to be seen which was a shame because both Amber and I wanted to buy new cycling glasses.

Where did all those big, tough bikers go? 
We ate our usual - Amber had the French Toast and I had a breakfast burrito. The burrito was a little bland so I put on some tabasco sauce. I normally avoid Mexican food and salsa while riding but for some reason I thought tabasco would be a good idea. I would pay later for that mistake.

We left Cook's Corner around 11am and enjoyed the long descent down to the coast under dry skies but on wet roads. It is a wonderful route and made even better by the lack of other trail users. We got to Kaylani coffee house in San Clemente thinking perhaps the worst of the weather was behind us. We actually had shadows as we rode up to the door. We drank our usual caramel and sea salt iced coffee and headed down the coast when it started raining again. When we got to Camp Pendleton the tabasco made it's presence forcefully known. Thank goodness they have portable toilets near the entrance. Ew.

It rained on and off all the way to the Oceanside so we stopped at Angelo's as long as we could. Cheese omelette, hash browns, and toast - what a great way to finish up a ride. Finally we rode the last mile to the Amtrak station. Fortunately the train wasn't too crowded so we got a seat this time; seats that were a lot damper when we got off the train than when we got on!

Friday, October 2, 2015

For the past few months I've been working on a new website for RBAs and brevet organizers to help run their events more smoothly. I have found there is a huge amount of repetitive and error-prone paperwork to create rider lists, track payments and waivers, generate brevet cards, and submit results.

I find myself endlessly cutting and pasting rider contact and emergency info, creating spreadsheets, and hard generating brevet cards. My new website is designed to streamline all of that.

The website is
the guest user email is and the guest password is "guestuser". Feel free to take a look.

The website is not ready yet - it doesn't handle permanents properly and there is a problem with the help system in Netscape Navigator, but it's been well tested in IE11, Edge, and Chrome. It also appears to work in Safari.

The website is helpful at all stages of the brevet process.
  1. Once you have added a route with its controls you can easily create an event for the route.
  2. The website supports brevets, populaires, and permanents but not fleches, arrows, or darts.
  3. Control open/close times are automatically calculated for the route and each event.
  4. Adding riders is a matter of entering their RUSA number. The name and city is pulled from the RUSA database. If you have previously added contact and emergency numbers for them  in brevetmanager that information is automatically completed for you. Couldn't be easier.
  5. You can easily print brevet cards for your riders using Adobe Reader two at a time. You can also print blank cards for day-of-the-event registrations.
  6. You can email all registered riders with last minute instructions or route changes.
  7. You can print a rider list which is useful at the start of the ride to track payments, waivers, etc and is useful during a ride in case you need to contact a rider or their emergency contact.
  8. For the end of the ride there is a special page designed for mobile devices that calculates and saves finish times and ride times at the click of a button. No more "The ride started at 5:30 and it's now 3:17 the next morning - that's how long?"
    Each event has a URL you can paste into your website to link to the event results.
  9. You can mass submit the ride results to RUSA. Yay!
  10. Each region has a URL you can paste into your website to link to the region's results for a year.
  11. Anything else you can think of that I can do.

Capturing the results of an event on a mobile device