The Leadville 100

lt1001THE RACE, THE MYTH, THE LEGEND

Oh, the Leadville 100. The Race Across the Sky. The Race of All Races. The Ironman of Mountain Biking, If Ironman Was at 10,000ft. The Race Even Lance Armstrong Lost Once…All of the monikers for this race that emphasize its difficulty, the awe-inspiring terrain, and its exclusivity are not hyperbole, they’re facts. They provide accurate descriptions of a race that actually lives up to its hype. Because of this, Leadville sits firmly at the top of Bucket Lists of nearly all the elite and amateur racers across the world. I know it did for me.

I had tried to get in via the lottery for the past three years and was unsuccessful. So when my team, Team Ninja, was picked this year, I was ecstatic. Yet the sense excitement was tempered with something I didn’t normally feel before race: nervousness.

lt1004Yes, the race is 104 miles on and off road. Yes, the total elevation gain is about 12,800ft. Yes, even some of the most seasoned riders have DNF’d. All of that kind of stuff doesn’t make me nervous, it actually exhilarates me. I’m an endorphin junkie and some might even say, a masochist. I love to push myself to the limit.

What did make me nervous was the fact that my training had been lackluster due to residual pain from a knee injury sustained when I got “doored” by a car in December 2012. I tried to avoid surgery by doing the whole PT thing throughout most of the 2013 race season, and even managed some descent results in the typical 20-25 mile XC races.  But the pain never went away and prohibited me from doing any kind of endurance riding. At my Doctor’s urging I finally opted for surgery in October 2013. The result of the surgery was “inconclusive”, the recovery was long, and I was impatient. I had a full 2014 race calendar, skills clinics to teach, and athletes to train! I had to ride my bike! So, essentially I tried to balance the intensity and length of my training rides with the amount of pain I could tolerate and the amount of time I had available to recover.

Normally, I would have gotten off the bike completely and just not raced. But I felt that there was too much riding on this particular event (pun intended). So, I set myself a goal time of 8.5 hrs, something I thought would be attainable even with my knee injury, and set out to make it happen.

RIDE OR BUST

Knowing that my sub-optimal fitness alone would not be enough to get me through Leadville by my goal time, I decided to do everything else in my power to better my odds: altitude acclimation, course pre-rides, nutrition and hydration strategizing, analyzing data of riders that finished around my goal time….

To acclimate for the high altitude of Leadville, I spent nearly all summer at 7,800’ at our Team Ninja cabin in Big Bear. I knew good things were happening when I would spend time down at sea level in San Diego and feel like Superman. Yay red blood cells! To give myself time to adjust to the extra 3,000+ feet of Leadville, I arrived there about 2 weeks before the race and was joined by my teammate Aaron Hauck and good friend Rhae Shaw.

Powerline Climb | Leadville 100

Powerline Climb | Leadville 100

Together, in between obsessively going over race data from prior years, the three of us broke the course down into several parts and tackled 25-35 miles per day. We got to know the climbs and technical sections pretty well. The funny thing about this course is that no one part on it’s own it particularly challenging. Even the dreaded ‘Powerline Climb’ was ride-able during our pre-rides. What makes this race so difficult is doing it all in one day, the order the sections come up – for example; Powerline climb at mile 80 and doing it all with 1600 other racers… at race pace.

Surprisingly, my knee seemed to be mostly ok on these pre-rides. And when it did begin to act up, Rhae suggested a mantra to say “if I don’t mind, it don’t matter”. The good old trick of putting mind over matter worked in practice, and I hoped it would work on race-day.

Leadville 100 Finish

Michael Whitehurst and I just after crossing the finish line.

A few days before the race, my teammate, Michael Whitehurst got to town. He was fresh off riding the Maah Daah Hey 100 MTB race in the Badlands of North Dakota. Knowing full well how difficult a 100miler is without a support crew, he agreed to be my crew chief. We planned out every aid station exchange, talked about what would be in the musettes, and made contingency plans in case he couldn’t get from one stop to another in time.

By the night before the race I had calmed that unusual nervousness a bit because I may not have had control over my fitness level and knee pain, but I felt very confident in my acclimation, course knowledge, and nutrition/hydration plan.

IT BEGINS

Leadville 100 Start Line 2014

Leadville 100 Start Line 2014

The start of this race is a mass start meaning that all 1600 racers leave the start line at the same time. I was starting in the Gold corral, lined up next to mountain bike greats including Todd Wells, Christoph Sauser, Kristian Hynek, Alban Lakata and Max Jenkins.

At 6:30am Ken Chlouber fired the gun and then we were off! I made it to the dirt road fairly quickly with no issues and drafted as much as I could. We were riding at 30+ mph on the paved descent down to the beginning of dirt road and I was hanging on easily near the front of the pack.

I continued to hold on up front for a good portion of the beginning of the race, even once we hit the dirt. Being towards the front proved to be quite important because I was able to avoid the congestion that typically happens on the first climb, St. Kevins, and the climb up to Hagerman’s Pass. Furthermore, it allowed me to take full advantage of my technical descending skills and fly down Powerline, passing several riders on the way down.

As I approached the Pipeline aid station, I checked my time splits and saw I was about 7 minutes behind schedule. I wasn’t stressed at this point because I thought that as long as I finished in sub-9 hours I’d get my gold buckle and consider the race a success. Plus, the flattest section of the course was right in front of me and I could easily make up that time before I got to the Columbine climb by working with the right group. As I powered up to latch on to a fast paceline, my knee pain, present after only the first 10 miles of the course, became more pronounced. I began to repeat my mantra at more frequent intervals.

I worked with the group until we got to the singletrack, where, once again in my element, I passed a bunch of riders. I was able to make up a minute, which left me just 6 minutes behind my 8.5 hour pace. I kept leapfrogging on to different groups, saying my mantra faster and faster as my knee pain intensified. I started to worry that it was way too early to be in this much pain because I hadn’t even hit Columbine yet! I began to back off a bit, thinking that would let the pain subside.

ENTERING THE PAIN CAVE

At Twin Lakes, my crew chief and teammate, Michael Whitehurst, was nowhere to be found. He had gotten stuck somewhere enroute. Fortunately, he had arranged to have Brigid Waterhouse (friend of the team) be there with backup bottles and food for me. Brigid and some of my teammates families quickly made sure I had every thing I needed – phenomenal support! The crowd and excitement at Twin Lakes somehow made me forget about my knee pain for a bit, and I started up the infamous Columbine climb.

The grind up Columbine is just that, a grind. It’s about 7.5 – 8 miles in length, reaches an altitude of roughly 12,400′, and has a total elevation of about 3600′. I settled into my climbing pace for a while but was eventually forced to walk a bit. It felt good to stretch out my legs, give my knee a little break, and mentally regroup. At the top, I did a quick turn round and started back down. I was fast, but careful, heading back down through the Goat trail and empathized with the hundreds of riders I saw still working their way up the climb.

GAME OVER

lt1006Once clear of the technical section on the decent and back out on the fireroad, I knew I had to get focused and throw the hammer down. I stood up, attempting to start my powerstroke and BAM! My knee gave out. I lost control of the bike for a split second and the front of it almost washed out. Explatives flowed out of my mouth as I regained control and started to soft-peddle while trying to figure out what just happened and what to do now.

This is the moment I knew for sure I wasn’t going to make in back in sub-9 hours. I was hurt and despite saying my mantra over and over, I couldn’t put any power down at all. My mind had been battling my body all day, and my body finally won. I slowly rolled into the Twin Lakes aid station where Michael quickly changed my bottles and gave me my feed. He knew I was hurting and said some encouraging words as I rolled out again.

From this point on, other than a few brief miles of company from my teammate James Vo and friend Dan McCormack (also Leadville racers), I rode on my own, with rider after rider passing me. In any other race, I would have quit for fear of making the injury worse. But this was the Leadville 100, and I’d made it that far. I thought, “If I just maintain this pace – I’ll finish in sub-11 hours and still get a buckle (just not the gold one I had planned to get).”

So, I slowly made my way through a light rain, up Powerline, by alternating between walking and riding. I again took advantage of my descending skills and bombed down Sugarloaf and Hagerman’s Pass, only to come to a grinding almost-halt on the road up to the Carter Aid Station.

At the Carter aid station my time split indicated a sub 11 hour finish. Welp, I figured that all I had to do is keep it together for another 13 miles. I finished the climb, smoked down the descent down to the bottom and onto the flat section of the gravel roads.

I picked up the pace for the last few miles of the race, determined to finish with my head held high. It was the first time in the race where I allowed myself to really power-up. As I made the final right turn up 6th, I backed off a bit and got over the final bump of a climb and then powered the final stretch to the finish. My official time was 11:01:26.

PHOENIX RISING

lt10010I had a bunch of mixed feelings after I crossed the finish line and again the next day at the awards ceremony. Yes, I was thrilled to finish the race and get a coveted Leadville Belt Buckle (silver) and I was proud of myself for pushing through the pain as much as I could, but I was also a bit embarrassed. Here I was, a trained athlete–a trained Professional athlete even—and I couldn’t make my goal time. I felt like I had let my crew chief, Michael, down because he had driven all the way from North Dakota to help me. I felt like I had let my teammates down because instead of being the rider they could rely on when in need, I, in turn, needed to rely on them. And I felt like I had let my sponsors down by not meeting the expectations I had set for myself and for them. I was so sick of being in pain and having it affect my riding, which is not just my hobby, it’s my career.

lt1002It’s taken some time away from the bike (and a lot of kind words from friends, teammates, and sponsors) for me to come to terms with my race and write this blog post. Doing so, has actually been cathartic, and has me totally amped for next year. I’ve even already started preparing for it… The biggest step I’ve taken is to get back to physical therapy, this time with an office that comes recommended as “the best.” Bryan Hill at Rehab United has me on an awesome PT and strengthening program. After only a few weeks I already feel better and can’t wait to see what happens over the coming months.

Watch out Leadville 2015! I’m coming for ya. I’ve even already got my ticket stamped—I earned a 2015 spot at the FireRoad 100 this year.

lt10011Thank you so much to my teammates and extended family Michael Whitehurst, Niccolo & Janet Salvador,  Aaron Hauck, Darryl Sykes, Scott Holland, Dan McCormack, James Vo, Rhonda Patterson-Geiszler, Rhea Shaw, Brigid Waterhouse – you guys are awesome, I really appreciate all your support.

And a GI-NOR-MOUS THANK YOU to my sponsors, Norco Bicycles, Reynolds Cycling, ESI Grips, Zumwalt’s Bicycle Center, Gaerne USA, Rudy Project, Champion System, Red Ace Organics, PowerBar, Basiclink, True North Communications, ISFitt Labs Training Systems, Sock Guy and Ninja Mountain Bike Skills — It’s a pleasure riding with you all.  Let’s kick some butt and get that gold buckle in 2015!

Heidi at Interbike 2014. #lifesize

Heidi at Interbike 2014. #lifesize

 

Most importantly, thank you to my amazing girlfriend Heidi Amundson for all her encouragement, inspiration and support on this race and everything else in our lives.  I am the luckiest guy on the planet to have Heidi in my life.ninjamountainbikeskills

Results from the August 27 Time Trial – Tri Club San Diego

tcsd_tt_photo

MEN
Place Name TT Time 3 Laps Average MPH
1 Daniel Heineck 0:25:28 29.28
2 Greg Kogut 0:26:13 28.44
3 Jason Stofleth 0:26:55 27.70
4 Sage Aronson 0:27:26 27.18
5 Tero Setola 0:27:49 26.81
6 Marcus Feldmann 0:28:04 26.57
7 Mark Caporale 0:28:07 24.62
8 Jeff Lambing 0:28:23 26.27
9 Scott Smith 0:28:36 26.07
10 Jason Ryan 0:28:43 25.97
11 Harper Vansteenhouse 0:28:57 25.76
12 Mike Plumb 0:29:07 25.61
13 Seth Graham 0:29:10 25.56
14 Jeff Fieldhack 0:29:17 25.46
15 John Sheridan 0:29:21 25.41
16 Darrell Styner 0:29:25 25.35
17 Brian Scarbrough 0:29:57 24.90
18 Jeff Johnson 0:30:22 24.55
19 Chris Manuele 0:30:30 24.45
20 Roger Leszczynski 0:30:48 24.21
21 Tim Kadel 0:30:57 24.09
22 Kent Kubo 0:31:14 23.87
23 Kai Nakamura 0:31:23 23.76
24 Brian Franano 0:31:23 23.76
25 Jame Vo 0:31:38 23.57
26 Mason Law 0:32:05 23.24
27 Justin Morey 0:32:35 22.88
28 Rick Denney 0:33:29 22.27
29 Akinori Mitani 0:33:43 22.12
30 Greg Sewell 0:34:09 21.83
31 Tom Piszkin 0:34:32 21.59
32 Michael Henry 0:34:43 21.48
33 Jack Kincaid 0:34:47 21.44
34 Jacque Harvey 0:35:01 21.29
35 Rick Summers 0:36:05 20.66
??? Chad Heath Missing Data ???
2 LAPS (KIDS)
1 Ethan Boen 0:26:38
WOMEN
1 Esther Walker 0:31:11 23.91
2 Joanna Clinch 0:31:52 23.40
3 Kristen Gross 0:32:24 23.01
4 Bessy Leszczynski 0:34:25 21.67
5 Kat Gunsur 0:35:03 21.27
6 Michelle Plotts 0:37:10 20.06
7 Julia Mahon 0:38:52 19.18
8 Crystal Cavanagh 0:40:53 18.24
9 Jean Law 0:47:07 15.83

We only have one TT left for the year …

Tri Club of San Diego Cycling Coach Richard La China
Tri Club of San Diego Cycling Coach Richard La China

What: Free Time Trial at Fiesta Island

When: 5:45pm 2014 TCSD TT Schedule

  • May 8 – Completed
  • June 18 – Completed
  • July 9 – Completed
  • 
August 27 – Completed
  • September 24

Where: Enchanted Cove parking lot at Fiesta Island

Who: Everyone is welcome!

RSVP for the next TT here: https://www.facebook.com/events/490410621061982/

Hosted by Coach Richard La China for Tri Club San Diego

Results from the July 9th Time Trial – Tri Club San Diego

Results from the July 9th Time Trial

20140709_180406 MEN

Place Name TT Time 3 Laps Average MPH
1 Thomas Ryan 0:27:50 26.79
2 Tero Setola 0:27:54 26.73
3 Jason Strach 0:28:06 26.54
4 Victor Tello 0:28:31 26.15
5 Mike Plumb 0:28:35 26.09
6 Scott Smith 0:28:40 26.01
7 Jake Jendusa 0:29:15 25.49
8 Jeff Dahlen 0:29:26 25.33
9 Will Ferris 0:29:30 25.28
10 Hugu Lepur 0:29:38 25.16
11 Mark Caporale 0:29:45 25.06
12 Sage Aronson 0:29:48 25.02
13 Kye Gilder 0:29:51 24.98
14 Seth Graham 0:29:54 24.94
15 Jeff Meyer 0:29:57 24.90
16 John Sheridan 0:29:59 24.87
17 Aaron Hauck 0:30:11 24.70
18 Tu Tran 0:30:39 24.33
19 Ray Snoke 0:30:41 24.30
20 Akinori Mitani 0:31:20 23.80
21 Jeff Johnson 0:31:26 23.72
22 Greg Smeltzer 0:31:30 23.67
23 Tim Kadel 0:31:34 23.62
24 Kai Nakamura 0:31:37 23.58
25 Mason Law 0:31:41 23.53
26 Randy Schmitz 0:32:39 22.84
27 Michael Asgian 0:33:00 22.60
28 Kent Kubo 0:33:08 22.50
29 Kevin Latin 0:33:27 22.29
30 Dan Mc Cormack 0:34:11 21.81
31 Ryan Chien 0:34:41 21.50
32 Bill Presant 0:34:41 21.50
33 Chris Powell 0:34:51 21.40
34 Trevor Spletts 0:35:15 21.15
35 Richard Haas 0:35:26 21.04
36 Patrick Charles 0:36:13 20.59
37 Chip Slack 0:36:14 20.58
WOMEN
Place Name TT Time 3 Laps Average MPH
1 Joanna Clinch 0:31:54 23.37
2 Heather Catchpole 0:32:58 22.62
3 Kat Gunsur 0:33:59 21.94
4 Bessy Leszczynski 0:34:02 21.91
5 Julia Green 0:36:36 20.37
6 Pavla Decoteua 0:36:53 20.22

Here’s the schedule for our next few TTs

Tri Club of San Diego Cycling Coach Richard La China

Tri Club of San Diego Cycling Coach Richard La China

What: Free Time Trial at Fiesta Island

When: 5:45pm

2014 TCSD TT Schedule

  • May 8 – Completed
  • June 18 – Completed
  • July 9 – Completed
  • 
August 20
  • September 24

Where: Enchanted Cove parking lot at Fiesta Island

Who: Everyone is welcome! Hosted by Coach Richard La China for Tri Club San Diego

TEAM NINJA WINS KENDA CUP SERIES

2014-06-16 03.08.36 pmThe Kenda Cup Series final was held over Father’s Day weekend in Big Bear, CA under blue skies, and near-perfect racing conditions. Team Ninja began assembling at the team cabin on Wednesday, trying to get a head start on altitude acclimation, with the majority of racers arriving Friday night or Saturday morning.

A quick head count showed that the team needed every point and even then, it might not be possible to hold on to the narrow lead Team Ninja had established for its Cat 2/3 co-ed team. Under the added pressure, Team Ninja racers responded like true champions, taking home six podium finishes and countless PRs over the weekend, sealing its place on the top step for the Cat 2/3 co-ed team, third place for the Cat 1/pro co-ed team, and overall wins in men’s and women’s Super D.

“There is so much that goes into winning a big series like this,” said Team Ninja captain Richard La China. “That’s why I am enormously proud of our team for consistently showing up and stepping up on every level. Team Ninja has worked to be a force on the race course, but also an open-hearted group of friends who support one another and help one another — it’s been an amazing season so far.”

2014-06-16 03.09.41 pmTeam Ninja is a new face on the SoCal circuit, with racers coming from San Diego, L.A. and Phoenix — some for their first seasons ever. It has a welcoming, doors-open policy, with a focus on community involvement and the promotion of the sport along with a healthy dose of excellence for good measure. The team is deeply grateful to have the support of tremendous sponsors that include Rudy Project, Power Bar, Norco Bicycles, Sock Guy, Gaerne, Basic Link, Crank Cycling, Inner Strength Fitt Labs, Zumwalt’s Bike Shop, Casiano Law, and title sponsor, Ninja Mountain Bike Skills.

With its trademark enthusiasm, Team Ninja already has its sights set on the upcoming Rim Nordic Series as well as campaigns planned at Fire Road 100, Leadvillle Trail 100 and the B.C. Bike Race. Stay tuned for more exciting news to come, and check out the Kenda Cup results below. Congratulations Team Ninja!

| Join Team Ninja | Contact Team Ninja | Team Ninja on Facebook | Team Ninja on Strava

June 15, 2014 – Big Bear Shootout #2 – Series Final

XCO Results:

Cat 1 Women 30-39 Kris Gross – 1st

Cat 2 Women 30-39 Regina Jeffries – 4th

Cat 3 Women 30-39 Paula Evenson – 2nd

Cat 3 Women 50+ Anne-Catherine Roch-Levecque – 1st

Cat 3 Men 40-44 Abe Gonzalez – 7th

Cat 3 Men 50-59 Vinny Casiano – 5th

Cat 3 Men Clydesdales 35+ Todd Young – 2nd

Endurance Results

Men 40-49 Michael Whitehurst – 16th

Men 40-49 Richard La China – DNF (mechanical)

Super D Results

Open Women 30-39 Regina Jeffries – 1st

Open Men 40-49 Richard La China – 2nd

Kenda Cup Final Series Standings

TEAM

Cat 2/3 Co-Ed Team – Overall Series CHAMPIONS

Cat 1/Pro Co-Ed Team– 3rd Place Overall

XCO

Cat 1 Women 30-39 Kris Gross – 1st

Cat 2 Women 30-39 Regina Jeffries – 7th

Cat 3 Women 30-39 Paula Evenson – 2nd

Cat 3 Women 30-39 Heidi Amundson – 5th

Cat 3 Women 40-49 Lisa Bielke – 4th

Cat 3 Women 50+ Anne-Catherine Roch-Levecque – 4th

Cat 1 Men 17-18 Evan Christenson – 11th

Cat 1 Men Singlespeed Richard La China – 8th

Cat 2 Men 19-24 Eric Fischer – 3rd

Cat 2 Men 25-29 Ray Snoke – 20th

Cat 2 Men 30-34 Ryan Brown – 3rd

Cat 2 Men 30-34 Kyle Wills – 8th

Cat 2 Men 35-39 Michael Henry – 12th

Cat 2 Men 35-39 Henry Heisler – 24th

Cat 2 Men 40-44 James Vo – 21st

Cat 2 Men 45-49 Tom Jones – 46th

Cat 3 Men 30-34 Advait Ogale – 6th

Cat 3 Men 35-30 Daniel Bergstrom – 18th

Cat 3 Men 35-30 Nelson Mozzini – 26th

Cat 3 Men 40-44 Abe Gonzalez – 5th

Cat 3 Men 40-44 Michael Whitehurst – 17th

Cat 3 Men 45-49 Jim Ritch – 18th

Cat 3 Men 45-49 Tom Jones – 22nd

Cat 3 Men 50-54 Darrell Styner – 8th

Cat 3 Men 50-54 Dan Golich – 20th

Cat 3 Men 55-50 Vinny Casiano – 10th

Cat 3 Clydesdales 35+ Todd Young – 2nd

Endurance

Men 40-49 Michael Whitehurst – 21st

Men 40-49 Richard La China – 28th

Singlespeed Men Aaron Hauck – 10th

Super D

Open Women 30-39 Regina Jeffries – 1st

Open Men 30-39 Michael Henry – 27th

Open Men 40-49 Richard La China – 1st

Open Men 40-49 Michael Whitehurst – 28th

Results from the June 18th Time Trial – Tri Club San Diego

Results from the June 18th Time Trial

Tri Club of San Diego Cycling Coach Richard La China

Fiesta Island Time Trial

 

Position Name TT Time 3 Laps Average MPH
1 Tero Setola 0:28:02 26.60
2 Darryl Sykes 0:28:11 26.46
3 Mike Plumb 0:28:22 26.29
4 Dean Sprague 0:28:51 25.85
5 Victor Tello 0:29:02 25.68
6 Peter Watson 0:29:51 24.98
7 Kye Gilder 0:30:06 24.77
8 Alex Snyder 0:30:08 24.74
9 John Sheridan 0:30:36 24.37
10 TJ Generoso 0:31:16 23.85
11 Jeff Meyer 0:31:13 23.89
12 Scott Smith 0:31:39 23.56
13 Steve Tally 0:31:59 23.31
14 Mark Tucker 0:32:04 23.25
15 Kai Nakamura 0:32:26 22.99
16 James Vo 0:32:32 22.92
17 Kris Gross 0:32:49 22.72
18 Justin Morey 0:33:04 22.55
19 Jason Abutin 0:33:09 22.49
20 Danny Mccarville 0:33:09 22.49
21 Greg Gunn 0:34:17 21.75
22 Jeremy Clark 0:34:35 21.56
23 Will Stout 0:34:39 21.52
24 Jimmy Tu 0:35:33 20.97
25 Dave Kerr 0:38:23 19.43
26 Marny Quinto 0:38:34 19.33
27 Crystal Cavanagh 0:42:27 17.57
28 Leyla Jordan 0:43:13 17.25
29 Olga Bulayeva 0:44:01 16.94
30 Jeff Moore data missing data missing

 

Here’s the schedule for our next few TTs

What: Free Time Trial at Fiesta Island

When: 5:45pm

2014 TCSD TT Schedule

  • May 8 – Completed
  • June 18 – Completed
  • July 9
  • 
August 20
  • September 24

Where: Enchanted Cove parking lot at Fiesta Island

Who: Everyone is welcome! Hosted by Coach Richard La China for Tri Club San Diego

Fiesta Island Time Trial – Hosted by Tri Club San Diego, May 7th 2014

Wow — what a great start to our 2014 Time Trial Series.   Thanks to all the folks who came out to brave the wind — it was great to see everyone!

Results from the May 7th Time Trial

Tri Club of San Diego Cycling Coach Richard La China

05/07/2014 Fiesta Island Time Trial

Place Name TT Time 3 Laps Average MPH
Jason Strauch 0:28:16 26.38
Tero Setola 0:28:58 25.74
Jeff Fieldhack 0:29:19 25.43
Jason Karavidas 0:29:28 25.30
Henry Heisler 0:29:50 24.99
Mark Caporale 0:30:32 24.42
Aaron Hauck 0:30:41 24.30
Michael Pickens 0:30:49 24.20
Ray Snoke 0:31:32 23.65
Dan Coranado 0:31:50 23.42
Tim Kadel 0:32:34 22.90
Greg Gunn 0:33:06 22.53
Kris Gross 0:33:11 22.47
Hunter Weiss 0:33:16 22.41
James Vo 0:33:19 22.38
Kai Nakamura 0:33:23 22.34
Heidi Amundson 0:33:40 22.15
Rick Denney 0:34:35 21.56
Michael Henry 0:34:39 21.52
Bill Stamos 0:35:09 21.21
Tommy Jones 0:35:18 21.12
Ryan Chien 0:36:32 20.41
Rick Summers 0:37:04 20.12
Daniele Pelessone 0:37:07 20.09
John Rey 0:37:10 20.06
Kevin Fayed 0:37:16 20.01
Patrick Charles 0:40:49 18.27
Gurujan Dourson 0:41:20 18.04
Makoto Toneri 0:42:10 17.68
Thuy Kawano 0:44:09 16.89
Crystal Cavanagh 0:44:42 16.68
Lorraine Ryglewicz 0:45:44 16.30
Nell Garrett 0:47:04 15.84
C. Jean Law 0:50:51 14.66
Steve Fink DNF DNF
Place Name TT Time 2 Laps
Ethan Boen (2 laps only, child) 0:28:52

Here’s the schedule for our next few TTs

What: Free Time Trial at Fiesta Island

When: 5:45pm

2014 Schedule

June 18
July 9
August 20
September 24

Where: Enchanted Cove parking lot at Fiesta Island

Who: Everyone is welcome! Hosted by Richard La China for Tri Club San Diego

Why You Should Hire a Cycling Coach

USA_Cycling_CoachTo be a good cyclist takes a few certain innate personality traits—determination, perseverance, drive, and a willingness to endure much physical and mental pain. To be a great cyclist, one must have all of the qualities above, as well as an intense curiosity. A great cyclist always asks, “What can I do better and how can I do it better?” Great cyclists scour their training and race data, as well as the latest books, magazines, and forums for answers that lead to real, visible results: a podium finish, a personal best, or a qualifying time. For a lucky few, this tactic works. But for most of us mere mortals, an extra ingredient is needed — a cycling coach could be the missing key.

An effective coach can provide you with three benefits: knowledge, objectivity and inspiration.

Knowledge

Experienced cycling coaches have a tremendous amount of knowledge. This can be helpful because competitive cycling is a complex sport. There are many variables that impact your success including the bike itself, bike fit, position on the bike, bike handling, year-round training regimen, diet, motivation, rest and recovery, choice of racing discipline and race selection.

A good coach can be very helpful when it comes to developing a training plan, improving your cycling skills and dealing with problems such as performance plateaus.

Objectivity

Objectivity is another benefit of coaching. A coach can objectively diagnose problems that are impacting your performance. For example, if you are struggling during the season, you may have difficulty determining the cause of the problem, but it might be clear to your coach.

Your coach might notice you’re not resting enough, or may recognize the need for a diet modification. Even more commonly, your coach may point out your expectations are unrealistic for your current stage of development. With their impartial perspectives, coaches can often discern issues athletes overlook.

Inspiration

Third, a coach can be a great source of inspiration. Never underestimate the tremendous psychological benefit an effective coach can provide. No matter how dedicated and committed you are, sooner or later, you’ll need some inspiration. Cycling is a very difficult sport and there are numerous obstacles every cyclist must face. These include injury, illness, difficult training and racing conditions, uncertainty and a lack of confidence, especially when things are not going well.

A coach can help motivate you during these difficult times and can be a source of strength, a shoulder to cry on, a sounding board and a friend. A coach will also hold you accountable. You may buy the excuses you make but a good coach never will.

If you are ready to work hard and need a coach to help guide you, encourage you, and help you reach your goals, we know that we can help you. We strongly encourge you to set an appointment with our head coach coach, Richard La China, to learn more … http://richardlachina.me/contact/

Team Ninja November Meeting Recap

11/21/2013 – 6pm Lefty’s Pizza.

leftys_pizza_ninja_cycling_team

We had an incredible turn out at our 2nd Official Team Ninja meeting – 9 new members joined Team Ninja putting our total rider count at 38 – Awesome!

Here’s a quick recap of the meeting in case you were not able to join us (or couldn’t hear me over all the Lefty’s madness)…

Review of Team Ninja Historyteam_ninja_cycling_team_jersey

Richard started a mountain bike workouts on Meetup.com at Balboa Park in 2012 because he saw there was a void. Every other sport has group workouts and now mountain biking had its own too.

The workout has been free because he sees it as a public good. Hundreds of riders have participated since its inception and there’s no end in site.

A lot of close friendships have been forged at these workouts and it was at participants demand that we created the jerseys, and at their demand that we are starting this team.

Who knew that meetup would be the beginning of something so cool. Still today, 18 or so months later, we’ve have between 25-30 people coming out week after week. If you haven’t made it out to a workout lately, join us!

Team Ninja Mission Statement

A team of like-minded cyclist working together to support each other and achieve our goals while giving back to the community and inspiring others to ride. Team Ninja is open to everyone, no matter what level rider or cycling discipline. You just need to ride a bike!

What We Have Done so Far

kids_bike_skills_imba_team_ninja

IMBA and Team Ninja join forces to put on our first ever Free Mountain Bike Kids Skills Clinic October 2013.

  1. IMBA Kids MTB Skills Clinic | Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day (24 participants)
  2. First ever USAC XC MTB race – Ninja Night Race

In the Future

  1. Kids bike skills clinic at San Diego Gran Fondo in April, 2014
  2. This is where Dan and Heidi come in… (if you have ideas, let them know)

Upcoming Cycling Events and Racers

  1. An upcoming MTB race schedule been created by Mike Henry (will be posted on the website shortly)
  2. Ray Snoke will be taking on the task of assembling a Road Race list for Socal – Thank you Ray!! (will be posted soon)
  3. Ninja Night Race – No confirmed date yet, will be announced soon — Stay tuned

Ninja Supplies

  1. New Team Ninja canopy has arrived – awesome!team_ninja_cycling_team_event_support
  2. Water coolers are here.
  3. Tables are here.
  4. (portable bike rack on order)

Sponsor Update

  1. Reference Sponsor List on website (and in Members only section)
  2. New Sponsors: Lefty’s Pizza, EZ-UP, Paul Gamache LAC – Acupuncture, Sports Medicine and Family Health

Communication

  1. Group email list. You need a Google account to participate. This is a great way for everyone to communicate about everything Ninja; team rides, community events, carpools, etc. Go here to request access: http://teamninjaelite.com/forums/
  2. Website updates (new features, check ‘em out!)
    1. Members only section (Member’s Only: Login is ******** and password is ******** (email Richard or Kristen for this information). Go to http://teamninjaelite.com/members-only/ and key it in to get more team info and learn how to access sponsors’ offers.)
    2. Classifieds (Use this to sell and buy cycling parts, gear, etc.) http://teamninjaelite.com/ninja-classifieds/
    3. Forums (This auto categorizes all group emails into forums threads for future reference, searching,etc.) You can post directly to the forums here, or by sending a group email. Go here to request access: http://teamninjaelite.com/forums/
  3. Facebook Page (Join Team Ninja | Cycling Team)

team_ninja_bib_shortsTeam Orders

  1. Rudy Project – going to be placed quarterly (Monday Dec 2)
  2. Team Ninja bib shorts, order yours on the Team website ASAP (deadline Monday Dec 2)!
  3. Socks – available online tomorrow on the team website store for $8.

Team Photos / Bios

  1. Team Portrait night at Zumwalt’s Cycle Center — December 5 (Thursday) 6pm
  2. Please send in your Rider bios to go with your photos – due by Dec 15.

Volunteer Positions

  1. Membership coordinator / communication role.
    1. James Vo will assist Richard in this role. Thank you James!
  2. Other community events (looking for a community service minded volunteer to take this position)
    1. Heidi Amundson will take on this role – Thank you Heidi!
    2. Dan Golich will assist – Thank you Dan!
  3. Rudy Project orders
    1. Michael Henry will take the lead on coordinating these orders. Thank you Michael! Expect an email from Michael soon with instructions, in the meantime – check out http://e-rudy.com to figure out what you’d like to purchase.

Positions yet to fill (let Richard know if you are interested in any of these):

  1. 
Race / Ride Result Coordinator (post results from team members on Team Ninja site and social media.)
  2. Sponsorship Coordinator – work with prospective and current sponsors for Team support, product, etc.
  3. Social Events (off the bike) Coordinator (Art galleries, concerts, movies, wine nights, etc…)

Closing Remarks

  • Thank you Lefty’s Pizza (David)!leftys_pizza
  • If you know anyone who might like to be a sponsor of the team, let Richard know.
  • Everyone is welcome to join the team (as long as you ride a bike) More info here: http://teamninjaelite.com/join-renew/
  • We have most size jerseys in stock on the Team Ninja Store. If we don’t well include yours in the next order (Dec 2)
  • If you haven’t already, order your Bib shorts in the Team Ninja Store – deadline is December 2, 2013.

Whew, you made it this far… In case your eyes glazed over some of the important dates, here they are in a list, put ‘em in your calendar now…

Item / Event Due Date / Date
Bib Shorts Orders 2-Dec
Additional Team Jersey Orders 2-Dec
Rudy Project Orders 2-Dec
New Members Sign Ups 2-Dec
Team Photos (Zumwalt’s Cycle Center) 5-Dec
Rider Bios 15-Dec

Thank you for being a part of Team Ninja – We’re really looking forward to seeing what we can do in 2014!

team_ninja_logo_cycling_team

http://teamninjaelite.com/

How to Ride a Steep Descent

by Richard La ChinaMountain Bike Steep Descent

Before you tackle any unfamiliar section of trail, take a minute to evaluate the situation. Look for what may be an obvious ‘line’ (a route that most other mountain bikes have taken). This route may not always be the most efficient choice or even the smoothest, but it’s usually the path of least overall resistance.

As you approach the descent, slow down, bring your weight forward and look over the bars down the descent. Once you’ve made your line choice, start down. Just as your front tire starts to descend, quickly and explosively, lunge your bike forward. This will bring your hips back behind the saddle and put all your weight directly on the pedals.

Make sure you’re in full Ninja (ready) position at this point: heels down, knees bent, low center of mass, elbows bent, knees out, fingers not overly tight on the grips, index finger over each brake lever, head up, eyes looking where you want to go. Relax, breathe and enjoy!

Team Ninja Meeting – November 21st, 6pm

Greetings Current and Prospective Team Ninjas Members!2013-10-29 10.47.37 am

We hope your base miles are underway or that you’re enjoying CX season and Ninja Night Races! We wanted to interrupt your regularly scheduled Ninja-ing to discuss topics outlined in the agenda below. Meeting will be November 21, 2013, 6pm at Lefty’s in Mission Hills.

Please RSVP (here) for the meeting so we know how many are coming — and let us know how many guests you are bringing.

Meeting Agenda

1) Team introduction to new members and prospective members.

• What we’ve accomplished so far as a team.

• Upcoming community events.Upcoming races (Ninja Night Race, Quick and Dirty, Racers and Chasers).

• Team Ninja jersey distribution.

• Team equipment update (tables, water coolers, tent, flags, more)

• Sponsor review (current, new, prospective).

• Group email list.

2) Team Orders:

• Rudy Project – Please have your wish list ready to go!

• Check out the “Members Only” section of teamninjaelite.com for more details. Team Ninja bib shorts – Please be ready with your size and quantity.

• Socks – how many pair would you like to order?

3) Discussion on team structure, infrastructure and organization

4) Short presentation on the “Advanced Health Directive” available through Casiano Law (If you’re interested in a AHD, plan on staying after the meeting to get things rolling with Vinny).

But wait, there’s more! We’d like to share some information that is strictly Ninjas only:

1) Member’s Only: Login is ******* and password is ******* (will give out at the meeting). Go to teamninjaelite.com/members-only/ and key it in to get more team info and learn how to access sponsors’ offers.

2) Team Ninja deadline: For USAC registration and for our sponsors’ information we need to lock in our official team roster. If you have friends who are interested in joining the team, please let them know the deadline is December 15, 2013.

Team Ninja is open to everyone, no matter what level rider or cycling discipline.   You just need to ride a bike!

If you’d like to learn more, join us at the meeting.  And if you know someone who might want to join the team, BRING ‘EM too!

3) Rider bios: Thanks to all members who responded. If you haven’t already sent yours, please send them over ASAP. Also, we’d include a couple more questions as suggested by some members. The updated Q list is below — have fun with it!

Thanks for reading, thanks for riding, and we’ll see you at the meeting on November 21.

 

Rider Bio Questionnaire:

a. Provide all of the following information:
i. Name
ii. Primary discipline
iii. Birthday
iv. Hometown
b. Choose three from the following:
i. Nickname
ii. Special talent
iii. Fav food
iv. Fav music
v. Philosophy on life
vi. Most important person
vii. Movie quote
Next, we’d like to add:
a. Instagram?
b. Twitter?
c. Strava?
d. Any other social channels?
e. Favorite Trail/Ride?
f. What do you ride?

Also, please include 1 or 2 photos of you riding!