Thursday, July 31, 2008

California State Masters Track Championships at San Diego Velodrome

Hi all! State Masters Track Championships happened this past weekend with great memories and accomplishments! Arden Arindaeng racing for South Bay Wheelmen competed in the 40-44 age group Match Sprints during the day and followed by Team Sprints later in the afternoon. His Flying 200 meter Time Trial for the Match Sprint seeding didn’t turn out that fast and was not of importance since there were only 8 people who registered which automatically made them all qualified for the event. He closely won the quarter finals against a stocky muscle-built sprinter Michael Hulse but lost in the semifinals against Eric Manuel, this year's overall winner of the Bob Hansing Memorial Series 40+ Category. This meant competing for 3rd place which happened to be against Tony Zaldua, Wilson Blas’ teammate. Arden was so happy to win this race convincingly for the Bronze Medal! Here's a few pictures at the starting line: (top) against Eric, next photo against Tony Zaldua. The third picture was the Match Sprints awards.

Later in the day, Eric Manuel, Paul Avila, and Arden signed up for the team sprints and they named their team “Team Effort”. It was a hard 3 lap sprint as they only lost half a second to the second place team and a second from the fastest team! Arden was the 2nd sprinter in their arrangement. Not bad since they didn’t have a chance to practice together! Here's a pic of the Team Sprints awards. Next is Arden just showing off the 2 bronze medals he won.

The whole Meatheads and a few South Bay Wheelmen where there Saturday and Sunday, competing and raking up the medals. It was hectic at first and busy throughout the day. But they had a great time and even joked around. Overall, it was a good experience and a weekend to be cherished especially that his wife Trelly was there for the inspiration and his much needed assistance. She also took pictures and videos!

Here's the trophy from Encino Velodrome's Bob Hansing Memorial Series together with the State Masters Medals...

You can check more pics at

Next in the agenda is the upcoming ADT Championships and then at San Jose, California for the Masters Nationals Track Championships. Wish him luck!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mount Wilson Ride Report 7-26-08

Another awesome summer sufferfest ride. This time to Mt. Wilson. Approx. 57 miles and around 6500ft of climbing. Some have trekked up to Mt. Wilson via same route, and others conquered it for the first time knowing there will be food provided at the end. We had two choices, either go the long route, from Angeles Crest Hwy to Angeles Forest, to Upper Big Tujunga to Red Box to Mt. Wilson or the short route, Angeles Crest Hwy to Red Box to Mt. Wilson. Legstrong even printed out the route sheet and showed a few riders the route. Someone asked, "So where are we climbing?" We looked at the sheet and EVERY TURN WAS A CLIMB. We where laughing so hard. Once we started riding, Jess aka SpeedyBagal would sprint to the front just to take pictures and videos of us riding or climbing. With his burst of speed, he was riding like he was on EPO. He kept stopping and going. Thanks Jess.

I rode with Abe Agimat aka Kumander for the first couple miles. Before the Crown Valley climb, he kept saying to me, "We are going to have our breakfast now." I said, " Oh no, this is just our first morning cup of coffee, a teaser before breakfast. Breakfast is along Angeles Crest Hwy and Angeles Forest. Toasted bread is after doing Upper Big Tujunga". Ya, we were TOASTED all right, after climbing upper Big Tujunga. I even ran out of water. Thank goodness most of the riders stopped at the End of the climb to rest and I was able to bumb off water/heed from Ryan and also Francis during the climb.

All refueled at RedBox before the climb to Mt. Wilson. A few took off their bike shoes, a few laying down to rest, a few just stretching out their sore muscles like myself, and a few had a daze look on their faces knowing we still had 5 more miles to climb. Once pottybreak was over, we all trickled our way up to Mt. Wilson. A few stayed behind because they were TOASTED and most had their one last CAFFEINE LOAD or V8 and were ready to go again.

Once we got to Mt. Wilson, we saw the Los Brutos riders, who did the short route. Adobo Kuya Ricky was also at Mt. Wilson. Unfortunately he was 1 hour late and had to take the short route as well. The SMOG view of LA was awesome but not as spectacular as the Gigantic Antenna Towers. Why else would you climb Mt. Wilson? answer: to take pictures by the ENORMOUS ANTENNA TOWERS. There were a few riders missing who trekked ahead. To find out later back at RedBox, Legstrong, Wilson, Timothy and Mandy climbed extra and were underneath the Gigantic Towers. Awesome job guys.
The descend back on Angeles Crest Hwy to the park was Fast, Furious and Sweet like Fresh Strawberries on Pancakes. Once you start eating them, a minute later, they're long gone. Riders at the front pack had NO FEARs of going furiously fast. I mean FFFAAASSSSSTTTT.. Like they didn't have their strawberry pancake and fasted all day and can't wait to eat.
Everyone made it safely back to the park. Quickly racked up their bikes, freshened up a bit, and off to the park table to do some more attacking. Attacking the Pizza, Buffalo Wings and Cold Refreshing Drinks. Thanks Francis for providing the food and drinks. Once again, Great Brutal Ride, Awesome Riders, and Delicious PostRide Lunch.


Monday, July 21, 2008

July 19 Duarte and Liberty Riders meeting half way and riding as one

That was a great scenic ride. Weather was perfect.

Six Duarte Boys did something new, by getting on the Rio Hondo bike trail from Myrtle Ave on Monrovia/El Monte. It connects to the L.A. River Bike trail. Meanwhile, 14 Liberty Park Riders did something new too, turning NORTH on PCH toward Long Beach (instead of the usual South toward Newport) to meet up with the Duarte Boys.

Liberty rider Jonas was our navigator in the morning. He wanted us to avoid riding on the supposively sandy bike path in Long Beach. So we rode along where most people would drive when they want to go site seeing.
Took a few pictures at the Aquarium.
Then headed towards the LA River Bike Path Trail to meet up with the Duarte Boys. Not much riders nor pedestrians on this bike path. 8 miles later we met up with the Duarte Boys- MangEl, Francis, Kuya Ricky, Mandy, Victor and Manny.

Then the big 20-person group raced south to Long Beach. It was a fast pace.

We regrouped by the Aquarium of Pacific.
We chitchat for a bit and headed back toward LongBeach. Aaron also caught up with us from Liberty Park.

Either the Testosterones were brewing all around or everyone was on EPO.. The speed picked up from 18-26mph..Roy was pulling with headwind. All I remember was I attacked on an upcoming hill,Francis shouting DARNA!! got on the side of Roy and was neck to neck with him on the climb while both of us off our saddles.. Then I found myself in the front of Roy gasping for thin air, looked at my garmin and HR showed over 200bpm.. Slowed down to recover while everyone pass me like I was standing still BooHoo.

We regrouped and took a few pics at the Aquarium of the Pacific. It was much safer riding on the bike path along the beach. It wasn't sandy as originally thought it would be, but you couldn't go much fast than 17mph. Scenic route through Belmont Shores and to Downtown SealBeach for Coffee Break.
Then we all met up again at Liberty.

That's where Ricky realized his helmet strap wasn't buckled. We all know the helmet is no use, unless it's strapped.

Need help with that Rickyboy?

Thanks for the great ride..

Awesome job Duarte time we will all do the Duarte LOOP route.. Until the next ride to MT. WILSON...Keep on riding and climbing..


Monday, July 14, 2008

"Rider Up!"

That's the usual courtesy "safety call" to cyclists in the back on the narrow San Gabriel river bike path.

Riders yell those words to alert trailing cyclists of "oncoming traffic."

On July 12th, a certain club with red- white- and blue kits slowly went up the north-bound lane of the SG bike trail.

If you were on the receiving end of this, you would have had to endure two minutes worth of riders calling "Rider up!" That's how long the group was. Fortunately the pace was a stroll in the park.

It was just a regular monthly picnic ride. But it was the biggest attendance yet. Perhaps 50 cyclists showed up. (More than 40 cyclists were there in the morning to start. Another 10 or so members showed up later.)

What a sight to behold. 50 riders in a glorious red- white- and- blue line along the SG bike trail.

We've come a long way, baby.

Congratulations to the founding members. We are standing on your shoulders, and carrying your torch forward.

By an informal count we now have 80 active members, based on visual observation of cyclists who show up at regular rides, as well as members who regularly post in Yahoo messages, and people who paid dues (which is still well short of 80, but somehow the club sustains its activities with vibrancy). Although the Yahoo board has a listing of over 200 members, that includes dormant users, guests from other clubs or out of town, and users with duplicate IDs.

If you were not there on this day, at least you can see the photos. The vibe was simply electric. In the morning as people began trickling into Liberty Park, the parking lot was awash in a sea of vivid red- white- and- blue AdoboVelo jerseys.

They came from all over: Duarte. Orange County. San Diego. Southbay. Los Angeles. Moorpark. Liberty Park-area. And so on. Everyone was chatting, joking, and catching up. Old and new faces were there.

We had a group photo. Then the ride started. The first natural waiting point was at the entrance to Beverly Blvd, Mile # 12 from Libert Park. We stopped to gather up the group, which by now had splintered.

There is an unspoken truth: Riders come in different levels. All are welcome. Group A riders always get there first. Group B ("bagal") and Group C ("culelat") riders arrive later. The A's wait up for the B's and C's. At the start of Bevely Blv, the B's and C's were told to proceed, to give them a much needed head-start. The A's eventually caught up with them when the road turnd vertical at Turnbull Canyon. 50 AdoboVelo riders filled up the mountain road.

In Hacienda Heights we went on to scale the steep one-mile Punta-del-Este (10%-16% gradient). On the return trip, the 7-11 store on the corner of Haciena Blvd got a lot of business. We estimate that in a span of 15 minutes we purchased the equivalent of 8 gallons of sports drinks or plain water.

Now for a little historical perspective: Four or 5 years ago, a few riders had begun to ride together. They were from all over metro L.A., but they would bump into each other at the San Gabriel River bike trail, or PCF, or the Carson criterium. For a couple of years they rode without club colors. Finally, they yearned for a common jersey, a common identity, an organization. They wanted to fly under their own colors.

The needed ingredients immediately fell into place. There was a sufficient number of regular and dedicated riders. There was the internet: They set up a Yahoo group board. They needed a name. They bounced around many ideas. We almost became name SCIGA ("Southern California something-something"). The acronym spelled out a Pinoy word that means the neighborhood bully. It was on the verge of become official. Suddenly, out of nowehere, someone suggested AdoboVelo. It was a natural. Like wildfire it was adopted without resistance. Finally, the uniform was produced. That, along with the Yahoo board and the regular rides, made it feel like a club.

We've come a long way.

Here's how you can help to sustain the club and keep it vibrant and fun:
  • Continue to be nice and courteous, as you've always been, to fellow members and the general public on the bike trail. We are all ambassadors of goodwill. The good name of AdoboVelo is all we have.
  • Don't be shy. Post comments on Yahoo board or Shoutbox. We need your input and encouragement. The more we hear from you, the easier to encourage new members, and solicit future sponsorship.
  • Membership dues help to defray expenses for the picnic , Tour de Francis, and other activities. Thankfully many volunteers again and again donate food, gasoline, cash, and time. Your dues will help. It's $50 annually, to sustain a vibrant club friendly vibes. If you're only an occassional rider, you can pay a prorated fee of 50% of the $50. Honesty basis. Please contact Treasurer RYAN or Asst. Treasurer ABE "Agimat" if you want to settle your dues.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The biggest Fil-Am Cycling Club now has an official website!

ADOBO Velo, the biggest Fil-Am Cycling Club in Southern California, now has an official website, Prior to this day that domain name (which Vice-President Edgar Uyan reserved at his expense 2 years ago) was merely pointed to ADOBO Velo's vibrant discussion group in Yahoo Group.

The new website has been in "research and development" since it was mentioned "off-the-cuff" last February. A casual search for volunteer experts followed. A group of enthusiastic members who cared about this fun club then spent hours of free personal time and labor on the PC at night or at work doing trial-and-error web-creation, making banners, and digging though old Yahoo group posts, pictures, and files. It has been an incredible growth experience for them.

They knew what the club needed. It was the same things that they individually needed themselves when looking at the Yahoo group page.

Members always had frequently asked questions (FAQs). Add that to the new website.

Newbies wanted to know the routes. And we needed to encourage them. So add maps and photos to the website.

The club issues awards/recognitions at its events (Christmas Party, TdF). Add that to the website too.

There were various club affiliations, announcements, and more. Add that too.

Often we could feel we had outgrown Yahoo Group's features. But we cannot retire that (not yet). The Yahoo group still serves us very well because it’s our interactive communications line with one another. We have a lot of information saved there, and it will still serve the members with information we all need. The Yahoo group page is still a good place to post, as space is not limited. The lists and databases are still needed. We have a good amount of precious photos, links to websites we find helpful, files that we cannot just delete yet. The building of ADOBO Velo’s website wouldn’t be possible if we didn’t use our Yahoo Group! So to our Pioneers: Mike, Ben, and Charles to name a few, we are standing on your shoulders.

I remember that we just would ride together looking for an identity and organization. We needed a way to communicate easily (so we signed up in Yahoo groups), and we needed to display our colors (so we created the Adobovelo jersey/shorts kit). Now in just over 3 years, we are now recognized by other cycling clubs here in the States and in the Philippines. So in behalf of the members of the ADOBO Velos, I salute all of you for establishing this unique club, you know you’ve come a long way!

To transition into our new creation, it will be selfish not to recognize and thank the members who spent their personal time in this new venture. First of all, I would like to thank Mandy for researching available products and stumbling upon Google’s free website product, for trial-and-error in learning it, the countless hours he logged to create page after page, filling up the site with information, links, pictures, stories, article. Yet you won't see his name in credits. Do not forget about the Tour de Francis Blogspot he created a while back. Next, thanks to Manny Amit for the ideas, research and trials he also did. Doesn’t that make you feel good about having him as our member? Both Manny and Mandy also used their pro cameras to capture those precious moments! Not for nothing, Manny is an Art Director of Los Angeles’ famous news program... ABC7 News and he was able to help us to his full extent, for free! Next, thanks to Rosalie Kneebone (Cyclist of the Year recepient) for her countless inputs, help, and editing. If not for her, this website will only be from a manly point of view. So that balanced it out, for the good! And thanks to our recently installed Vice-President Egay, who was always there for suggestions, and was the premier thinker of this endeavor. To continue on, there's a lot more members who assisted one way or the other and if I missed mentioning your name, my apologies but thank you very much to these great people as this was a remarkable team effort!

Without our members, and the synergy we had even before the inception of ADOBO Velo, no one would have envisioned getting to this point. Back then we only wanted a jersey.

So there you are, visit Give us your feedback when you have a chance and let the others know about our new thing.

- Arden Arindaeng

Monday, July 7, 2008

Rosalie's Alaska Adventure

What a busy eventful week of Jun28-July4.. Came back Saturday afternoon from 65 degrees temp in Alaska to 95 degrees in Burbank Airport. From a very mellow laid back town to the hustle and bustle of city suburban life in California. The weather was from cold on/off rain, to sunny and partly cloudy. Everything and everyone were slow in Alaska. Didn't see much folks using cell phones, No helmet laws for motorcycles and road cyclist. Most everyone drove a Subaru station wagon 4wheel drive with racks either it be a bike, skiis, kayak, canoe rack or storage compartment on the rack. Alaskan folks are either by the water wearing a fishing gear and brown rubber high boots or working in the city wearing casual REI hiking type outfit with Keen Sandals or Crocs shoes. Even the restaurant's food preparation was slow.. No big rush unless you're a cruise ship tourist on a very limited time. 18 hours of day light and less than 6 hours of night and it doesn't get fully dark either. There were so many filipinos who lives and work in Juneau. . Too bad they don't have Chow King or Goldilucks..If they did, they could only make it big during the summer seasons. Businesses during Winter time slows down dramatically or closed during winter seasons.

Did you all know that our ancestors were in Alaska since 1931. Yup..I took a picture of a picture I saw in Safeway Market. Rizal Celebration Dec.30,1931.

There's so many activities to do, so many places to see in Alaska. I hiked, kayaked, attempted to go fishing for salmon and halibut but came out empty handed (skunked) cause I don't know how to fish. Motored on a motorboat to Shelter Island and Whale watching on the way there. Did Zipline Adventure (ziplining from tree to tree) on a cable line while sitting on a harnest by the ski lifts in Douglas Island and River Rafted in Haines. Also went Beer tasting at the Alaskan Brewing Co.
Kayaking around Auke Bay

Going to the Cabin at Shelter Island

A Group of Whales came very close to the other boat

Overnight Stay at a Cabin on Shelter Island

View from the Cabin
Spectacular view next day

Ziplining tree to tree on Douglas Island

And there I go WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Watch this VIDEO

Rode around Juneau and Douglas Island for 3 days on a 25lb touring bike. Mind you I did not bring with me Gels nor Protein Bars. I brought with me in a shoe box (tied on a bike rack behind my saddle) during my bike excursion/expedition a peanut butter jelly sandwich as my protein bar, pineapple juice as my gel, beef jerky, cut up watermelons as my fignutons and wheat thin crackers and survived all 3days. That was so awesome. o On the 3rd day I decided the last minute to ride up EagleCrest Ski lift in Douglas Island,50 miles round trip. During the climb, I pretended I was going up Mt.Baldy by myself. Good thing, I wasn't scared at all on those 3 days I rode alone. Because of the breathtaking view of the glaziers, ocean, mountains with snow caps,the forest and bald eagle watching, you forget you're by yourself. It was peaceful, beautiful and spectacular.
If you plan on vacationing to Alaska, best season to go is Summertime.


On my way to EagleCrest Ski Lift on Douglas Island.. The sign says Hills but the picture of the Truck is going down hill but I was actually climbing up to the lift..

Made it to the Ski Lift


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Rosalie gone fishing in Alaska

On June 29 Rosalie K. posted this report on Yahoo groups

CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who did the GRAND TOUR.

I'm writing from the NORTH POLE, ALASKA!!! Great Time, William and Rhey! Sub 12hours! EXCELLENT! How did Francis do on his triple doing the TRIPLE Century?

Keep COOL everyone. Wished I brought the warm weather with me cuz' I'm freezing my A-- off. Temps in the mid40s to high 55 degrees. I forgot my disposable chemical body warmers.

Yesterday, while hiking on a paved trail, I encountered (actually 15 ft away) a black bear climbing up a tree. WHEWWW. Forget Pepper Spray. Need BEAR SPRAY!

Saw a BEAVER making a dam and a hughe PORCUPINE climbing up a tree as well.

Kayaked all day today and saw lots of SALMON jumping out of the water and SEALS chasing after them. Also saw a few WHALES in the ocean.

MONDAY... Fishing for Halibut and Salmon..

TUESDAY... Biking all day north of Juneau.

WEDNESDAY... Biking half a day south of Juneau..

That's it for now.. I'll keep in touch during the middle of this week. Can't believe the sun is still up and it's already 11PM Pacific time, 10PM Alaska time.


Arden's ride w/ MMCC June 29 San Diego

Two days following his brutal keirin training, Arden had a “social” ride with our good friends from MMCC.

His lungs were still burning a day after, the night when Pacquiao won a title fight. Saturday, he arrived at the meeting place at 7AM, almost everyone was ready! The route was flavor # 3, one of their best routes:

  • Del Dios / Pomerado Road,
  • 45 miles, Level 4
  • Open roads, big rolling hills, perfect rest area
  • Mira Mesa to El Camino, via Del Dios
  • Return via Pomerado / Scripps

After about 10 miles into the ride, Ness unfortunately broke his chain. Agent Al and Raffy rode back and got the chain reconnected in a short time!

Then on the 2-mile climb on Del Dios, Raffy came from far behind, passed Arden, and caught the leader!

Arden lost count on the number of hills. No wonder those MMCC Orange Boys do well in the TdFs. They are mountain goats.

They had to go on the Freeway to cross a bridge. When they got close to Mira Mesa, most of them went their own ways to go straight home. That ride was almost 50 miles and 4 hours total.

At one time Arden clocked 46 MPH on one of the descents. And near the end of the ride, during a furious downhill his front wheel oscillated badly while braking hard and pads where screeching. Throughout the route, they would tell Arden what's on the next turn, which helped him tremendously.

They were very interested on our routes, Tour de Francis, weekend rides, and curious about track racing. Arden told them they are always welcome to ride with us. They also asked Arden to relay to Adobos the open invitation to their rides too! And finally, Arden got to visit Sammy’s home before heading back! “Thanks to Sammy and MMCC!” wrote Arden in his post.

(Material provided by Arden. Edited by MG)

Arden's Keirin Training, June 28 San Diego

Japanese love to bet on sports. In 1948 they were rebuilding their country after the war. They liked the American invention of greyhound racing, in which the dogs chase a mechanical rabbit around a race track. But greyhounds were expensive in the period after the war. Besides, the Japanese did not know how to train them yet. But one thing they had in abundance right after the war were unemployed men. So, someone had the bright idea to put them into bicycles and race them.

So in place of greyhound dogs, they used Japanese cyclists, and in place of a mechanical rabbit they used a motorcycle pacer. And so was invented the cycling event of keirinas a betting sport, in 1948.

It’s a cycling race held in a velodrome, in which cyclists chase a motorcycle until it drops off, then the cyclists race on their own.

The course is 2KM long (about 1.3 mile). The motor pacer goes at speeds of 30- 33 MPH, then peels off with 1/3 distance remaining (about half a mile), and the cyclists race at speeds of 35-44 mph.

Velodrome is French for cycling oval; Modern ovals are indoors, wood-floored, and have inward-sloping turns to allow faster speeds. In the olden days they were simply converted horse-race tracks or track-and-field tracks with cement surfaces and un-sloped (and therefore dangerous) turns.

Arden ventured out of town again in the last week of June 2008 to do some keirin training at the San Diego Velodrome. This rough velodrome is 83 meters longer than LA's velodrome (photo at leftt). The training was harder than a spinning class beyond imagination. Arden not only “ran out of gas”, but “blew out his engine”. Arden says his “whole upper body was screaming for air, but the coach told me to get it to the finish line. Somehow I did”.

Now he knows what those greyhound dogs feel.

Then after the kierin training, the next day he rode with the great folks of MMCC (Mira Mesa Cycling Club) up Del Dios.

The keirin training has 3 sets, all paced by a motorcycle.

The first set is the slowest, a “3-lap” sprint (done twice, with a slight recovery in between).

The second set is faster, a “2-lap” sprint (also done twice).

Finally, the third set is the fastest, with a wicked and violent one-lap sprint (also done twice).

All sets have “flying starts”, meaning, the rider gets behind the motor pacer who sets a pace that’s progressively faster than the previous lap.

This was Arden’s first time doing this type of interval. He was sort of was out of sync, but nevertheless survived the first and second sets.

The third set was a different story. He thought would recover enough for it, but no. Before the start of the third set he was still light-headed, dizzy, and nauseated. “I think I was feeling worn out from the whole day of packing and travel “, was his excuse. Anyway, like a zombie he forged ahead, got on his bike, and reasoned that this suffering would be over in less than 15 minutes. “Nothing to worry about!”, he thought.

Remember, it’s a 1-lap sprint, which he has to do twice (with a short recovery in between).

He finished the first sprint strong.

But in the second sprint, he was in the wrong area of the track, so he had to spend extra energy to get behind the motorbike who must be going 30MPH. With a third of a lap remaining, he BLEW OUT!

His upper body was screaming for air, but he managed to obey the coach’s orders to get his ass to the finish line. Arden recounts that he was “dizzy as hell and really wanted to throw up. Maybe I was ready to black out! But no worries, I recovered somehow. “

He got a good laugh from his coach Mark and his other 2 trainees, Kevin and Shawn. “I tell you that gave me a new meaning of threshold! “ says Arden.


(Material provided by Arden on Yahoo groups. Edited by MG)

Kapatid "Arnold Irving" asked in Yahoo groups on July 2:
"Arden, Maybe being behind the motorbike, you're inhaling the fumes. and it's in doors. so no fresh air. Just a thought. But hang in there."

Arden replied: "Kapatid, Yes, there were fumes from the motorbike. And it was loud. And the velodrome in San Diego is outdoors. The combination of it being a whole day affair, and at the velodrome in the sun, was too much to take.

The Omnium they have is on the 12th. I'll make it a point to be there the day before, and sleep at my relatives house. With that, I'll be fresh for the race! Thanks Arnold!

There's a race this Saturday at Encino and I had no choice but to show up, race hard and earn the trophy! Wish me luck!

Adobol-Dobol Adventures of William and Rhey JUNE 29

This is an adventure for Rhey Abad (a “virgin” double-century rider) and William "Legstrong" Aligue (a virgin “again”, hahaha). (Map)

And it's going well. At the lunch stop, neophyte Rhey and 2nd-timer William are still feeling strong. They have a meal of burrito with beans, and ice cold Coca-Cola, and they’re ready to “rock-and-roll.”

In the usual organized century bike ride, the Lunch Stop is traditionally at mile 50, the half-way point of the ride. Now, imagine yourself rolling into the lunch-stop, and your computer says you’ve so far covered 117 miles ! Yup, that’s right, you’re only half way through the ride, and already you’ve traveled over 100 miles, and you have almost that much again to go.

Grand Tour Double Century

For comparison: the double "metric" century (124 miles)

Rhey and William are still feeling strong.

Everything is relative.

At the very top of the sport of cycling, the pros vie for the biggest prize of all, the Tour de France. Then there’s us, the wanna-bes who have the same same equipment as the pros, and are stylin' like the pros, and even ride the same routes ridden by the pros. But we can’t compete at their level. Instead, we “race within ourselves”. Sometimes we race other riders in weekend rides. But mostly, we just constantly try to outdo our own “personal bests”.

At the level of recreational bike clubs (like AdoboVelo), the point is not whom you can beat (although that’s fun to do when you can manage to do it).

Frankly, whatever level you are, you can always
find someone whom you can beat, as well as someone else who can beat you. So the point is, to outdo yourself, to "compete withing yourself", to do something you’ve never done before, or do something faster than you've ever done yourself. (Nevermind if someone else has done it, and or done it faster than you, that’s their business.)

With this mind-set, even the fastest man in the club must beat his own time, even if he always beats everyone. And even the slowest one, always beaten by everyone, can claim victory if it was his own personal best time, or if it was something he had never done before.

Everything is relative.

A little perspective helps: Tour de France pros are specimens of fitness and natural ability beyond comprehension. An average/ordinary person is fit enough to generate 150 watts of power an hour on a bicycle, and can maintain that output for maybe 4-6 hours. (How puny is that? That’s just enough to light a light-bulb.) While still fresh, that ordinary rider can spike his power output to 200 watts by sprinting, but he can only keep that up for 10-15 seconds. Then he’s wasted. Those who have additional disadvantages, like asthma, high heart-rate, low red-blood count, small lung capacity, will produce less watts and will fatigue more quickly.

In comparison, a Tour de France pro cyclist can generate 300 watts of power per hour, and maintain that output for 6 hours. And he will still have enough juice at the end of the race, to spike it to 350-400 watts in the final 5 minutes, and 475 watts in the final 10-second sprint. (Wow. That’s enough to provide power to an electric blender for 10 seconds.) The exploits of ordinary people pale in comparison. But the ordinary person who achieved something for the first time at great preparation and effort, like a double century, has done an extraordinary exploit.

Everything is relative.

Which brings us to the adventures of Willam and Rhey. (Francis, Jaimer, and Richard, and Jesse also did this event. But William provided material for this write-up.)

The day had started very early for these hardy riders.

While most of the population of California were soundly asleep, William and Rhey got up from bed at 2:15 AM, and arrived at the starting line in Malibu at 3:40 AM, with Francis Marlon Ignacio just a few minutes behind. The double-century ride is an event that must start early, at 4:30 AM, way before sunrise. Francis is considering doing the 300-miler; He does not have to decide until he gets to mile # 140.

They have trained during the winter months, and ratcheted up their training in the closing weeks.

Now they are up in the early morning limbering up. This is what it takes.

Three other AdoboVelo riders will arrive at the starting line only later because they are doing a shorter (but still very challenging) ride, the hilly double-metric (200 KM, or 124 miles, with a lot of climbing): El Presidente Jesse Santamaria, Jaimer Rodriguez, and Richard Dones.

The riders are given 24 oz. insulated water bottles for free by the race organizers Los Angeles Wheelmen. They have a few photos snapped, and they start to roll at 4:30 AM.

It's dark, but all of them have front/rear lights and reflectors (as required by the race organizers). In this early morning in June, the weather is perfect, a little chilly but tolerable. They have wind-vests and arm/leg armers on, which can be easily removed and stored in the pockets later.

The ride sets off from the Malibu Performing Arts Center, just off PCH on Stuart Ranch Rd.

Immediately they encounter some climbing just a quarter mile from the start. Later, after about 3 miles of riding, a tandem passes them at a fast speed. Francis suggests"Hey William, do you want to follow them?"

"Nah- uh”, William replies, shaking his head. “No, They are too fast". But Francis is a wily veteran of countless dozen double-centuries, triple-centuries, and quintiple-centuries (yup, 500 miles in one go). He knows the drill. He knows the best strategy for finishing a very long ride in good time and in good shape. And he can judge William’s and Rhey’s fitness. He can see they’re ready. So Francis convinces them to just follow the tandem. They did. For almost 30 miles they “sucked wheel” behind the tandem. It was the best advice. They covered a lot of distance very quickly “without doing any work”.

Without doing any work?” What does that mean? If you’re not a cyclist, you must be wondering, how can it not be work to cover 30 miles distance on a bicycle on rolling terrain. It’s work, no matter what. In truth, when cyclists say they “didn’t do any work”, that is only relatively speaking.

It just means they stayed behind another cyclist’s wheel to take advantage of a vacuum-like area, called a “draft”, created by the front rider at high speeds.

The draft reduces air-friction for the trailing rider, and in turn reduces physical exertion by a significant 20% to 30%. The front-rider, in the meantime, expends a lot of energy to “break” the air.

Mile 35 is their first stop. They get off their bikes and do their rest-stop tasks in a hectic pace, like preparing the kids for school in the morning. A quick bathroom break. A quick refill of water bottles. A quick grab of electrolyte pills. And just like that, off they go, back to the ride.

At Mile 45, they hit the hardest climb, Potrero. This is a 1.5 mile climb, with gradients of 10% - 12% at the beginning, then 16%, and finally 18% just before the crest.

(For reference comparison, Punta Del Este in Hacienda Heights is 16%, Crown/Starlight Drive in La Canada/Flintridge is 16%, Balcom Cyn is 18% - 20%, and Fargo St in Los Angeles is 32%)

“Whoooh, what a climb”, William thought, “but we made it.” After the hill, they were cruising at Moorpark, when Rhey got a flat tire, his first of many.

At Mile 70, their second stop, they had a small piece of banana, and a cookie. They roll as soon as they fill up their bottles.

At Mile 90, another long climb at Grimes Canyon, but followed with a rewarding 5-miles descent. Up to this point, all of them (Francis, William, and Rhey) are still in good shape. The weather is still cooperative, their warmers and vests are still on.

They must be wondering about their fellow Adobos doing the metric double, Jesse, Jaimer, and Richard.

At mile 106, they start to climb Dennison, an 8 mile gradual climb just before the lunch stop. They struggle for the firs time, doing only 6 MPH going up the hill. The sun is up. “This seems like a never ending climb”, William is thinking.

Finally, they reach the aformentioned lunch stop at Mile 117. Burrito with beans. Slice of ham. Ice cold Coca-Cola. Then they roll again.

A little later, William starts to feel a resurgence of energy. They push a little harder to make up for that lost time on the Dennison 8 mile climb.

Their fourth stop is at Mile 140 at Rincon. On the way to there they were doing 25 to 29 MPH. At the stop is where Francis must decide whether to just do the 200, or continue on and complete the 300. He’s feeling strong up to this point. He’s a veteran. He knows his body, and he knows the course. He decides he can do the 300 miler.

Rhey and William head back home. Their ride is 2/3’s completed, while Francis is only half done. He forges forward.

Everthing is relative.

From this point, Rhey and William are still feeling strong: Most of the time they are doing 25- 28 mph with a tailwind, all the way to Port Hueneme, their last stop at Mile 165. But 5 miles before then, Rhey gets another flat. He pumps some air and nurses his bike to the rest stop. We fix the flat there. Rhey is so hungry, he has soup and bagel at this station.

At mile 175, they get on the PCH once again. It is 25 miles from the finish, and they are still in good shape. They try to push it to 28 to 30 mph, all the way until mile 190 . This is when they encounter big rollers at Malibu. There’s a 5% climb that “feels like a 15% climb” , William says to himself. But they were able to stay in the saddle.

At mile 198, as they pass in right in front of the great lawn of Pepperdine University, all of a sudden William hears a loud yell: "YES! We made it" screams Rhey. Two more miles later, they make the final left turn into Malibu Canyon Rd.

There’s one last 8% climb, a short one. William attacks herewith an all-out sprint.

Surprise, surprise, Rhey stays right on William’s wheel. They cross the finish line with a “riding time” of 11 hrs, 54 min, and total elapsed time of 13 hrs, 48 mins. Total distance, 201 miles.

At the finish line, there was Chicken BBQ served, and some more freebies from L.A. Wheelmen.

William posted this: “Again thank you all for your support. We were able to finish this ride because of your advice, training, knowledge, skills, and experience that you shared with us.

Francis completed his first triple Century for this year. El Prez Jesse Santa Maria, Jaimer Rodriguez, and Richard Dones completed the Double metric ride.

Rhey phoned Arden to tell him how happy he was after doing his first double century. He was amazed how he had the energy to finish up the ride. Arden remembers the first time he saw Rhey ride at the Carson crit only 2 winters ago. Now Rhey’s strength and endurance have vastly improved, Arden says. Two Saturdays ago before the ride, when they rode to Dana Point to train, Arden noticed how agile Rhey was and how Richard paced the ride. They were more relaxed and always ready to jump and sprint

(Material provided by William on Yahoo groups. Edited by MG)