Thursday, December 31, 2015

Christmas in Altadena

Mary and I visited my Mom in Altadena for Christmas. Although the weather was fairly cool by southern California standards, the air felt pleasantly mild to us.

Christmas morning we took a walk in Mom's neighborhood. Apparently Santa had a rough night.

Perhaps the kids left him something stronger than cookies and milk.

Near Mom's house there is a great little trail leading down to Mallard Canyon.

The first section of the trail sees very light traffic, so the canyon has a pleasantly wild feel.

These chairs are ideally placed for soaking up the serenity.

A bit further up are some wonderful old cabins.

Continuing up is the beautiful Mallard waterfall.

There dry winters have kept the creek's flow low allowing a nice hanging garden to flourish. 

San Gabriel granite! Not as solid as Sierra granite, but solid enough for folks to put up a few climbing routes!

Nice to hike from Mom's front door!

We enjoyed Christmas with Mom tremendously. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Chicken Wing

I woke up feeling pretty flummoxed. Snow totals on Mammoth Mountain were upwards of 36" with a ton of wind and widespread avalanches, but June Mountain only reported 2". Without any sort of plan I packed my touring gear and my resort skis and headed up 395. 

There appeared to be no new snow along 395 anywhere! I got to Deadman summit and figured I could stretch the legs, maybe head back to White Wing and generally check out the scene.

Glad I did! After skinning in for fifteen minutes or so the coverage improved markedly and the snow was still pretty cold and light in most places. I followed a well thought skin track right on up to the summit! 

When it's clear the summit provides some sweet views. North toward Mono Lake.

Northwest and the hulk of Mt Wood.

East with Obsidian Dome and Long Valley.

The glades skied real well. I enjoyed two solid runs before heading back to Bishop for work.

What a pleasant surprise.
It pays to go!

Lakes Basin Skiing

I like the transition from cyclocross to skiing. The pressure to get good results, the training, the hectic traveling is over and it's time to reconnect with the mountains and my good buddy Steve.

Usually by the end of cross season (early to mid December) the skiing is pretty decent and this year is no exception.

We headed up Coldwater Creek near Blue Crag and Sky Meadow. Lake Mary and Mammoth Mountain in the sun.

We found real nice skiing in the glades up there.

We managed to put in three good runs before heading home.

Skiing is fun. Very fun.

Nevada State Championships

For the last race of the season Chris, Anne P, Ben and I headed up to Reno for the Nevada State Championships. No, we are not Nevada residents The race is open to all, but us Cali folks just can't be Champs.

I felt like a champ though. Got a great start, kept the pedal to the floor, and won by a comfortable margin despite getting a flat tire and changing bikes.

Ran the steps with authority.

Making a pass.


Top step! 45+Bs

Chris raced at the same time as me, but in the younger age group. He had just got this sweet jersey from his in-laws. Looking good!

Battling with his game face on.

He and the Reno Wheelman dude went back and forth the whole race.

The Reno dude won. Chris second.

Next up was Anne P racing Women's B. It was her first "organized" cross race ever. Boyfriend Ben gets the same shot, different angle.

Anne rallied to second in her category. Didn't get a podium shot as we were cheering Ben by then.

Ben raced the 35+As. We were eager to see how well he'd do since he's been killing us all at the local races.

Got a great start, looked to have a lock on second, then ended up with a flat and had to settle for third.

Really admired how hard he rode.

Gotta say, it was great great fun racing, cheering, and hanging out with this crew. Looking forward to cross season next year!

Big thanks to the Sagebrush CX guys for putting on a solid race too.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Owens Valley Cyclocross Finale

Our Owens Valley Cyclocross finale was held at the venerable Wye Road Venue. A lack of any recent rain the otherwise hard course absolutely brutal.

The run up was rideable for a change though.

Ben crests the little wall.

Several fat tire riders showed up for the race and were pretty darn competitive. The right tool?

Nemo and Chris battle for second.

While Ben rode away. Again!

My race could have been better. My lower back seized up with two laps to go and could only manage about 80% power. Feeling pretty good before that though.

A fine apres ride gathering erased all disappointment. Racing and hanging with friends is the best!

SoCal Cross Turkey Trot

I've been too busy racing, working, goofing off and not busy enough keeping up the blog.

The weekend after thanksgiving I raced down in Glendale at the SoCal Cross Turkey Trot. 

Getting focused before the start.

Maybe not focused enough though as I had perhaps my worst start ever. Not only could I not clip in, my foot slipped completely off the pedal! 

The course wasn't real conducive to passing so I took one too many risks trying to move up quickly and found myself tangled in tape.

I enjoy this course a lot. Plenty of turning and good ups, downs and swoops.

I did manage to regroup and ride solidly the rest of the race finishing 10th out of 27 in my category. The result was a little disappointing, but thems the breaks.

Afterwards Mary and Bristle rocked the doggy cross!

Saja and Soul were the class of the field.

Good fun all around.