Monday, June 08, 2009

2009 Santa Barbara Bike Fest (perfect weekend!)

ok... this post could have the most photos in a single post and they kind of tell the story of the weekend. so i will try to keep the writing short... if possible.

saturday morning beth and i hit the road for huntington beach to meet up with ryan and sarah before heading to santa barbara. it was pretty uneventful trip and we were all suited up for a pre-ride at ellings park by 130pm.

the course was tough and relentless. it was a 5.5 mile loop with 800+ ft of climbing per lap. there were some pretty technical descents and plenty of steep climbs. i was kind of nervous with beth and sarah out there riding with us but they charged it. they rode 2 laps with me and ryan and did a great job. ryan and i headed for one more lap and pushed the pace a bit. i was feeling pretty good, even after a big week of training.

after riding we headed for our hotel which was probably the bad part of the weekend. it was UCSB's graduation weekend so all the hotels in the area were booked, had two night minimums, or were WAY over priced. even the holiday inn express was $300+ a night. so we snagged some rooms at the fiesta inn. total dump. read the reviews on yelp. enough said about that.

we had a solid pre-race meal at a killer place off state st. called Silver Greens. perfect healthy meal before a race.

sunday morning in SB.

we were up pretty early sunday morning and had full day of racing on tap. beth and sarah raced at 9am, ryan at 11am, and me at 130pm. we hit a killer local market for some breakkie and coffee and the were on the road.

Ryan and I helped Beth and Sarah get ready for their race and then they headed off to warm up.

ready to do work.

soon enough it was time for both of them to roll up to the start line of their first mountain bike race. ryan and I were like proud, nervous parents as we watched them go to the front on the opening climb. the we cruised over and watched them both nail the final technical, switchback descent. they were killing it. i was so stoked when i saw beth blowing some by some dudes that started before near the end of the lap!

Beth... she loves it!

Beth totally impressed me and won her AG and finished as the second woman overall in the beginner class... and on a tough ass course. Sarah dominated too coming third in the AG group.

Beth finishing strong... and holding of a guy who was trying desperately not to get chicked. he did!

Owning the podium! I made them raise their arms.

my champ.

then it was time for ryan's race and he killed it too. after some bottle mix ups he held on for 2nd in the Cat 2 25-29 division.


then it was time for me and the rest of the Cat 1 and Pros to race. it was kind of weird starting so late in the day (130pm). I suited up and did 3/4 of a lap as a warm up and was feeling pretty good.

ready to go.

the field for my category (Cat 1 30-34) was pretty small in comparison to the others but they were all fast and guys that I have been battling with (and for most part getting my butt kicked by) all season. even though we are all pretty competitive with each other after the gun goes of it's always mellow and camaraderie before and after the races is awesome. that is why i fell in love with xterra racing and then this year the mountain bike race scene. the guy that really epitomizes this is Matt Perry. The dude is fast and has been kicking my ass all over southern california this year. he won counting coup, the idyllwild spring challenge, and it seems that i only see him at the start line in the US Cup series and then he's gone. he's having a great year and I am stoked for him but more stoked to see how good of a guy he is. he races hard, pushes himself to his limits, and is always smiling after the races.... just a good dude.

so for the race... i lined up next to matt and waited for the others to join us. this was matt's home course so I knew he was the man to "try" to hang with. all season i have been struggling with my starts and i was hoping to have a better one on sunday. didn't happen. i was off the back in the first 100 yards but then worked my way back into 4th through the first climb before we hit the the technical, single track descent.

i rode really well on the fast descent but lost my bottle. my nutrition plan for the race was to start with a bottle of calories and kill it during the first 2 laps (sub 30 min laps) and then beth was going to hand be another bottle of the electolyte drink at the start of lap 3 and i was going to take the gel i had in my jersey. so i knew no one would be waiting to give me a bottle at the end of lap 1. by the last major descent of lap 1 i had worked myself momentarily into 2nd place and then headed for more single track. luckily beth was sitting right there. i yelled to her that i needed a bottle! she was on it and bolted back to the truck to get my bottle. by the time i got to the start/finish/feed zone she was waiting with my bottle. i was stoked.

at this point i was back in third but made a move ride after the feed zone to go back into 2nd before we hit the single track climb... and dropped the hammer! I got a solid gap and caught up to Matt who was leading the race. As soon as we hit the fireroad climb i made another move and got a way. I hit the technical single track descent for the second time and this time i was leading my race so I went for it and nailed it! some of the best riding i have done in a race.

heading out on the final lap.

now i was riding scared. i knew it was matt's home course and the other guys were all fast so I just didn't let up. i passed through the feedzone again a got another bottle from beth and a gel from ryan so my nutrition was back on track. i just kept pushing myself to go harder and faster and my lead kept growing. I felt like was getting stronger with each progressing lap. I was able to hold on for the win and couldn't believe how good i felt.

me, marcos in 2nd. and matt in 3rd.

it was hands down the best MTB race i have been able to put together and couldn't be happier with it! All riding and Trevor's coaching is working!

the race.
1:47 (bout 4 mins up from second place)
21.66 miles (4 laps)
3959 ft of climbing

after the race we hung out for the awards, and a couple of firestone drafts (they sponsored the event, gotta love it!), and then hit the road. i couldn't be more stoked about the how the weekend played out. we all made the podium and just had a great time. i can't wait to do this again.

more photos!

we all made the podium! loving it!

Beth always comes through... during the race... and more importantly post race.

chatting with Marcos (2nd place). another good dude.

team tall.

team small.


Jaakko Hiekkaranta said...


you guys are amazing!

GZ said...

Okay - the photo of you heading out on the final lap is one of those shots that begs a caption contest.

You know what I really dig? I dig that I have been reading these posts for nearly two years - and they just keep coming. Bikes, run, sweat, beer, blood, great food, love, life. Way to be!

J.P. Patrick said...

You're both BADASS!! Congrats! Looked like a kill weekend. Man, I need to get a new mountain bike!!

runninggunner said...

Awesome Work. Way to Kill it!

SanDiegoPJ said...

Helluva race man, congrats on putting it together! Same to the lady, is there anything that girl can't do?

Stephanie said... small. Too funny.

MJ said...

Great job! 4 for 4 on the podium - very impressive.

Chilling solo for 4 minutes on the other side of the finish line must have been pretty awesome...

That bikini girl on the final lap photo looks pretty starstruck... I think you've got a new fan.

Ryan Weeger said...

Of course you couldnt have done any of that without your bikini clad cheerleader up on the hill there, nice. The team shots are pretty classic too, and so true about stoked proud parents when the girls were racing. Get your halo hat out now...

Ryan Denner said...

team tall, and team small. thats f'n hilarious!

congrats on the race dude - 1st place holla!

SB is so pimp up there!

Nikee Pomper said...

Great Job this weekend! Love the picture of Beth double fisting.

Benson said...

Holy crap, that is freak'n awesome!
All you guys are the greatest.

What about the bikini babe on the trail?

FatDad said...

Killin it! Nice work man.

Jessi said...

Silver Greens! I worked there in college! Glad to hear they are still in business.

Shan said...

Loved the "Team Tall/Team Small" - either way you knock it, y'all podiumed! Awesome!!!

Congrats to Beth on killing her first MTB race, of many in the future, I'm sure...

Keep it up!

Matt said...

how about a pic of you and fw standing next to the weegers.

nice racing/drinking and that yeti shirt is the shit.

Cliff said...


Woohoo. You and Beth both made it to podium. Amazing...

Slater Fletcher said...

Awesome RR and congrats on the TOP finish! So cool to hear about all of you dominating the race!