Reflections on the Year – 2022


Another year of riding. Another year of life!

Slowly, many of the events that disappeared in 2020 started to come back in 2021, and even more in 2022 as some of those old ones resurfaced. Some never did. But whether or not there were events, I rode. Above all, it was another year of living. Another year of life.


Events that have become regular on my schedule disappeared this year. The Livestrong Challenge, after a two-year hiatus, returned but on the same date as Phil’s Cookie Gran Fondo so I could not attend. Sadly, I had no involvement with the Texas4000. The Ride to Conquer Cancer (Richmond, Va.) and the Alpine Loop Gran Fondo (Harrisonburg, Va.), but closed this year, and are uncertain whether they will return in 2023. And I think my annual Somerset to Punxsutawney (Pa.) rides are all in the past.

(In no particular order)

  • Pan-Florida Challenge
  • After ‘while Crocodile
  • Searching for Aurora Teagarden
  • A New Ferry Ride
  • Maryland Cycling Classic
  • Sea Gull Century
  • Hanging with Mr. Miller
  • Phil’s Cookie Gran Fondo
  • No Longer Worst

10. PAN-FLORIDA CHALLENGE. In March I went to Fort Myers, Fla. for a two-day cancer ride. On Saturday we rode 100 miles from Fort Myers to Sebring. On Sunday we rode 105 miles from Sebring to Tampa. All of it was into a headwind. I was very anxious to see how I would do with back-to-back centuries in late winter. And I passed the test.


9. AFTER ‘WHILE CROCODILE (only because I’ve used See You Later Alligator before). After the Pan-Florida Challenge, I met a 75-year-old friend and we rode in Shark Valley in the Everglades among the alligators. I love this ride. Not so sure that she did.

Just my friend

8. SEARCHING FOR AURORA TEAGARDEN. After I rode the Glimcher Keystone MS ride in State College, Pa. I drove to Montour Falls (near Watkins Glen), New York. In this Hallmark-looking town in the Finger Lakes, I was looking for the main street with a waterfall cascading down the hillside at the end of the street. This is the setting for the Hallmark Channel’s Aurora Teagarden series. I found the town. I found the street. But no waterfall. It was dry. But I had a wonderful 45-mile ride topped off by meeting some Lowmaster cousins for the first time.

On that hillside is supposed to be a waterfall

7. A NEW FERRY. Every good ride needs a ferry and I didn’t have one since the parties were still fighting over Historic White’s Ferry in Leesburg, Va. / Poolesville, Md. But I went to Maryland’s Eastern Shore and found one near St. Michael’s / Easton. The Bellevue-Oxford Ferry crosses the Tred Avon River and is absolutely delightful. In all, I made five trips to ride the ferry.

The Talbot, Bellevue, Md.

6. MARYLAND CYCLING CLASSIC. The first UCI race in North America came to Baltimore County and I was a course marshal. I pre-rode the course in northern Baltimore County two days prior and ran into EF-Education First. I also got to chalk a message on the pavement for Toms Skuijins.

Magnus Cort-Neilsen gives me a thumbs up as the team rolls by

5. SEA GULL CENTURY. I was riding along minding my own business for 90 miles even thinking this would be my last Sea Gull Century. Then I passed a young lady who was struggling to finish her first century. For the next 45 minutes, I had a purpose and that was to see her cross the finish line. Up to that point, the ride was somewhat boring then all of a sudden it had a purpose. The best rides don’t all have the fastest speeds or the longest distance. Sometimes it’s the unexpected things that make a ride great.

The Finish

4. HANING WITH MR. MILLER I had gone to Phil’s Cookie Gran Fondo and purposely decided that on Saturday I would not ride with the fast kids but save some energy for Sunday. Our group went 30 minutes later, I picked up a goathead or two and flatted, and then just turned around. Being the first one back for lunch gave me the chance to chat with NBA Hall of Fame player, Reggie Miller. (He said don’t call him “Mr. Miller.”)

Barry and Reggie Miller

3. PHIL’S FONDO. After a three-year hiatus, I was able to go to California, thinking it may be my last time. But I am always treated so nicely there and I had a ton of PRs on all the climbs. Even hitched my ride to the World Tour Pro when Rick Zabel went by pulling six other riders.

Mulholland Drive – The rider farthest up the road on the left is pro rider Rick Zabel

2. NO LONGER WORST. After Phil’s Fondo I drove to Santa Barbara looking for Gilbraltor Road. It was in 2018 that I finished dead last in the Hillclimb Worlds (I do have my reasons). I was able to ride up the climb in one hour, taking a whopping 12 minutes off my performance from four years ago.

1. MWARBH. There is nothing to compare. And after almost 10 years off I came back for a second time in two years, this time with my granddaughters. So very special.

This is the hardest bicycle climb in the world. And having my daughter and granddaughters dressed as chickens – priceless.

Hi Chickens!!! MWARBH


I rode 1,098 straight days of at least 10 miles. That streak ended on January 3 with a foot of snow. But it freed me up so that I didn’t ride just to keep the streak going because I rode in truly miserable conditions the past three years just to keep the streak going.

A foot of snow on January 3


On August 22, I took my grandson, Aiden to Williamsport, Pa. to watch the Little League World Series. It was an incredible day that was better than any day on the bike.

Aiden, in blue, watching Japan and Latin America (Nicaragua)


On November 19, “riding” a new streak since I hadn’t missed a day since August 22, I was traveling from South Carolina to Florida. I hoped to ride somewhere but planned to meet John Andre and his family for dinner. I ran out of time. We went straight to dinner which was at the Garden in the Land Pavillion at EPCOT in Walt Disney World.

A surprise visit to EPCOT


I gave up a day of riding to drive to Pittsburgh with my daughter and two grandsons to watch the Steelers play.


My Trek Pilot, which was destined for the landfill with a cracked chain stay, came back to life. I paid Ruckus Composites, in Portland, Oregon, for carbon repair, and rode 2,100 miles since I got it back.

Old bike and it made it up Mt. Washington again


Annabelle’s bike was dangerous so when we returned from New Hampshire we went to the Bike Lane in Reston and got her a Trek FX.


I was enjoying riding with a group called the Old Cranks out of Warrenton, Va. But I didn’t like to drive to their start location opting instead to ride in. Twice I rode 15 miles to make the 10:00 a.m. departure time only to discover they rolled out at 9:55 a.m. And yes, I had responded that I would be there. I stopped riding with them because someone doesn’t know what a published start time means.


While in Santa Monica at an In-N-Out Burger, I paid a 12-year-old one dollar to watch my bike while I went in and ordered. (His dad was with him.)

I gave him one dollar to watch my bike


Not the sound, but the biometric tracker. I started wearing the Whoop band and am geeking out on the data it provides. Notably is my recovery score. Almost always, on the day of a big event, I wake up with a recovery score in the red and I still don’t know why. The morning of the Mount Washington Hillclimb my recovery score was 8%. Yikes!

8% Whoop



My 1100-day (actually 1,098) streak was broken on January 3 with a foot of snow. Without a streak to continue it kept me from purposely riding in freezing rain or late at night when I couldn’t otherwise ride. It meant I didn’t ride every day, in fact, I missed 25 days in all. Assume those were horrible weather days and would have been mostly 10-mile days that’s still 250 miles I left out there. But probably more.


I still rode when it was cold. Just not as far as in the past.

The Reflecting Pool, Washington, D.C.


Jeremy Powers is a former cyclocross champion and now spokesman for the Whoop Band. After riding up Mt. Washington he looked at my Whoop Band and told me that I was wearing it wrong. He then took it off me and fixed the strap for a neater look. My bad.

Phil Gaimon and Jeremy Powers soaking their legs in the Peabody River after the hillclimb


In June I flatted near the Manassas Airport. A sliver of metal was protruding from the tire and I had no way to extract it and thus repair the flat. A man stopped, saw what I needed, and in 10 minutes returned with his Leatherman tool. And he gave it to me. Not lent. But gave.

This is not a cheap tool. On Amazon, the price is $181.


Me. Riding in a group on the Pan-Florida Challenge a rider had a flat. While the entire group rolled on I decided to stop and help. The rider was on a borrowed bike and did not know how to change a flat. Once I got him rolling he told me he was riding a metric century and since he was almost halfway, he was turning around leaving me to ride solo to catch the group that I was in but was now 10 minutes up the road. He had SAG support phone number. I should have just left him call in for assistance.

Caught the group as they were rolling out from the next rest stop


In the Pan-Florida Challenge, I was stuck in a group that was going slower than I wanted. I told the group I was going to bridge up to the next group which I could barely see about a half mile ahead. It took me 11 minutes to close the gap and catch on. Their group of six became my group of seven but finished with only four. But it sure was fun catching them and seeing their faces when they realize a rider from the slow group behind caught them.

Jumping on the back of the group


In October I wanted to listen to Whoop and back off a little when my recovery was in the red zone. I switched my Wahoo to display kilometers and removed Strava Love Segments so speed would not be an issue. And I haven’t switched back. The advantages are I am no longer fixated on keeping a certain speed or traveling a certain distance. (I used to always finish with .00 miles.) The disadvantages are that I no longer know how fast to pace myself when I’m riding with others. I just ride.


Although I have talked about my rear Garmin Varia light for a couple of years, it wasn’t until October that I read a review where a user paired his unit to a friend’s computer on a group ride. So on a ride with Tim, I took his Wahoo and paired it to my unit so he could get the same display that I was. After one ride of seeing the display, he went to REI and bought his own later that day.


Foster’s Grille – Manassas, Va. With outdoor seating and bike parking next to the train station, along with employees who know me by name, this place is the best. They added Coke Zero to their soft drinks this year too. Pro Tip: Mondays they offer a senior discount.

Fosters Grille, Manassas


Scottish Highlands Creamery, Oxford, Maryland. Perfectly positioned near the end of a 60-mile ride on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and right after a great ferry ride. A single includes two scoops. But check operating hours. One day I rode there and it was closed.

A proper way to finish 125 miles


Moo-Thru, Remington, Virginia. Often the focal point of a Remington ride. Actually, it is always the focal point of a Remington ride.

Moo Thru, Remington. Va.


This very hilly ride in central Florida is horrible if you don’t like hills or, officially, “only horrible if you miss it.” Or this year, horrible to ride in it. The weather forecast of rain “later in the day” was woefully off. I cut my ride short to 45 miles, got back to the hotel to relax and watched the rain come down. The temperature never got above 55 degrees and I didn’t feel like getting my bike and my shoes soaked.

Back to the hotel


A mileage goal isn’t usually my goal but I first achieved 10,000 miles in 2019. I did it again in 2020 and 2021 so that became my goal this year too. But because I didn’t ride every day it just seemed harder to reach 10,000 miles. And in some ways, that made it more rewarding.


When I am on a solo ride, I connect my phone to an Outdoor Tech Buckshot 2.0 speaker on my handlebars. I can listen to music and if loud enough, others can hear me coming on the trail. I have a Sirius XM subscription. My favorite: Yacht Rock although the 50s and 60s music do well too and always Christmas tunes during the season. Cost: Around $30.


Frederick County, Maryland, became one of my favorite places to ride with three covered bridges near Thurmont plus the haunted Sachs Bridge in Gettysburg.

Sachs Bridge


I never thought I would compete for a KOM on the Mapledale Climb but in November I had a good ride and saw I was within reach of a KOM. I had been 9th but finished second that day. Then I saw the profile of the person who held the title – Mighty Mouse. I’m not a fan of people who hide behind fake screen names and there was something about seeing Mighty Mouse that told me I had to claim the crown. And I did.


Domane – 5,884
Pilot – 2,232
Checkpoint – 1,953

The Domane got almost 60% of my miles but the Pilot came back online in late June. Since then the Domane was ridden for 3,029 miles or 58% of my road miles while the Pilot gave me 2,232 miles. The Checkpoint is used for gravel (rare), trails (rare), and bad weather.


In 2020 I was happy when I took four KOM segments. Then last year I somehow took 121. (Don’t ask.) I never expected to take more than a handful in 2022 but Strava said I took 42. Wow! I’ll take them.

The fastest ride was a solo ride. Loop
The fastest walk was getting to EPCOT on time
The longest ride here was Sebring to Tampa, Fla., the second of two 100-mile rides.
On October 8 I rode 125 miles but it was broken into three rides
I don’t know how Strava selected these
My favorite is any pictures of the chickens at MWARBH


DISTANCE – 10,070 (16,206 km) miles. It was my fourth time over 10,000 miles and my fourth consecutive year.

From RideWithGPS

There is a slight difference between the two tracking programs, Strava and RideWithGPS (10,068 vs 10,071) despite the same files being uploaded to both. I don’t worry about the minor discrepancy.


WEIGHT: 178 (just a little bit up from the end of last year)


I have no goals. Safe riding. Happy riding.

Hillclimb Worlds Redemption Tour


Four years ago, retired pro cyclist, Phil Gaimon, invited me to race in the Hillclimb Worlds Championship in Santa Barbara. “It will be fun,” he said. I went but knew everything was against me.

Pacific Ocean – West Cabrillo Blvd, Santa Barbara, Calif.

Earlier in 2018, I had a memory-loss head injury. I had a knee replacement. And I was carrying way too many pounds. If that wasn’t bad enough, I rode two of southern California’s toughest climbs, Palomar Mountain and Mount Baldy, the previous two days. I had no legs left.

Two riders climbing Gibraltar Road

What happened that day was that I finished dead last in the world. We went in waves by age group although these were individual time trials. I got dropped by my group before reaching the base of the climb. So I truly was racing the clock.

Gibraltar Road

I think had I stayed with my group I may have been able to win a 2-up sprint at the end. But it doesn’t matter. I am the world’s worst hill climber.

Today was not the ideal day to attempt a do-over but it was the only day I had. I left the Hampton Inn and Suites Hotel in Agoura Hills precisely at sunrise and drove to Santa Barbara. It was farther than I thought but had always been my plan to ride here no matter what. So I would make it happen.

Hang gliders just chilling

It was a beautiful sunny day although a little on the cool side. I wore arm warmers at the start knowing they would be coming off. And I had a technology failure. I’m not sure how it transpired but it did.

I needed to do two things before this trip. The first was to find the hillclimb segment on Strava from four years ago and “star” it so that it would show up in my Live Segments on Wahoo when I rode. The second was to “pin” the route so that the route would show up. Alternatively, I could create one from scratch.

Gibraltar Road

I do not remember doing the former. But I did find the route and edited it to remove two miles of riding back and forth in Santa Barbara. And then I needed to sync this with my Wahoo, which I did around midnight before leaving for LA. I think.

The Pier in Santa Barbara

Actually, I thought I synced this and checked to see that it was there. When I reached Santa Barbara I turned on my Wahoo and did not see the route. And I certainly did not remember the turns we took from the oceanfront to the start of the climb.

However, on my Wahoo app on my phone, the route was there. I don’t know why or how it’s on the app but not on the Wahoo computer itself. So I looked at the map and tried to remember the turns I needed. This would be a mistake.

Gibraltar Road
Rattlesnake Canyon Park

Some did look familiar to me. But every canyon road looks the same after a while and I was climbing. But it didn’t feel right. I stopped. I tried to find out where I was and could see that I was not on the right road. I went back down, turned, and thought I was on the right road until I came to the intersection of Coyote Road and Mountain Road. It wasn’t right.

Gibraltar Road (for real – here’s a sign)

I had to ride back DOWN Mountain Road to get to the start of the climb. But it was a pretty road. Along the way, I passed a house that I didn’t really notice. I noticed the mailbox. It was a piece of art – a cyclist with deliveries in the rear. I would learn this house was owned for 20 years by comedian Steve Martin.

This was Steve Martin’s house for 20 years

I got to the start of the climb and thoughts about abandoning the day came over me. I did not have all day to ride because I would have to return the rental car by 2:00 p.m. in El Segundo.

“Delivery in the rear,” Mailbox sculpture in front of Steve Martin’s house

Without a map, I was playing in my mind how I could time the climb. I knew that I could ride it and once it’s uploaded to Strava the data will be there. But I would like to know how I was doing.

I decided that I would make it a Lap. And then I could display Lap data which would include time and distance. I would switch to kilometers knowing it was a 10 km ride. And I would have to average 6:00 per kilometer to finish in 60 minutes.

Gibraltar Road
Rattlesnake Canyon Park

My time, which got me dead last in the Hillclimb Worlds, was 1:12 (one hour and 12 minutes). I wanted not only to beat it but beat it by enough that it would be clear it was not the worst time in the world.

And thus I started. Whether it’s a canyon road or a cliff road, it sure is pretty. To my surprise, the Live Segment popped up so I would not have to resort to a mishmash display of lap data.

Hang gliding from near the top

The Live Segment data displayed includes distance remaining (10.0 km), time elapsed, prior best time (1:12:23), time ahead or behind, and provides an ETA for the pace one is riding. Just to punish you, it also displays a graphical representation of the entire climb that is color-coded by section depending on the steepness. (Avoid the red)

Gibraltar Road

Almost from the start, I was ahead of my pace. I expected that. Then I started to focus on the ETA. The first time I looked I was on a 58:00 pace. Good, I wanted to continue that. Based on my experience over the weekend at Phil’s Fondo, I seem to improve more significantly on the lesser grades. When the road really gets steep, the 2022 Barry does not seem significantly better than the 2018 Barry. I could see the second half was steeper than the first.

In fact, I went through the first five kilometers in 28 minutes and I knew that double that was 56. Yet my ETA had slipped to 1:00. It also knew there was real pain ahead.

Hang gliders in flight

I gave it my all. My bike was a little clunky. Shifting wasn’t right since I landed at LAX and rebuilt the bike. I did not have access to a pump. Normally that would be OK but since my Saturday flat was refilled with CO2, it bleeds faster. My tire was low. And I did not have perfect rolling resistance as my rear brake rotor was out of true and rubbing.

The last kilometer seems to be the steepest. My ETA was showing 1:00:30 and I was getting it down to 1:00:10. I was watching the countdown to 0 meters remaining and it came and went. It was -4 then -20 and so on. I’m not sure when the climb ended and if it ever displayed my final time. I was deprived of seeing PR displayed on the screen.

It would not be until I finished the ride and uploaded it that I saw the “official” Strava time. And Strava time is official whereas Wahoo time is not (although it is usually the same).

But screw the disappointment of not breaking one hour. I shaved off 12 minutes. That’s huge. But I wasn’t even close to the best of the day. It looks like five of us rode and I was 4th. But all are younger and I’m doing OK for tackling this climb.

Hillclimb Worlds – Proud to wear these socks (now)

In terms of speed, at Hillclimb Worlds, I averaged 5.1 mph. Today was 6.0 mph. That’s 18% faster (than a turtle). But 18%!!! I’m happy.

TIME: 1:00
WEIGHT: 177 lbs.



And a word about the logistics of this trip. I wanted to minimize car rental costs which I did in two ways. First, I did not rent at LAX. The additional fees heaped on the rental cost are best borne by business travelers. Go offsite somewhere.

I rented offsite at Enterprise Car Rental in El Segundo. I avoided the LAX fees. Many places allow you to return vehicles to a different location. Three years ago, Enterprise charged $100 to return the car to LAX. I didn’t even inquire this time.

I arrived Thursday but didn’t need a car until Friday when I drove to Agoura Hills. I made my reservation for 2:00 p.m. Friday returning on Monday at 2:00 p.m. A three-day rental was enough.

LAX shuttle to the hotel

I took a free shuttle from the airport to the Hilton Garden Inn – El Segundo. On Friday I went for a long bike ride (70 miles) and finished at Enterprise Car Rental. I put the bike in the car, drove back to the hotel, and picked up my stuff.

The car was inadequate based on its description as a midsize SUV. It would not hold my bike and my bike case. I asked and the staff (Marissa, actually) at the HGI, told me that I could check it there. I also asked if when I return if I could take their shuttle and they said of course.

Jeep Compass – A “midsize” SUV

I returned the car today at 2:00 p.m. and the Enterprise staff took me back to the hotel. I picked up my bike case, tore down and packed my bike, then took their 4:00 shuttle to LAX. Keep in mind I stayed there on Thursday only, having to stay in Agoura Hills, Friday through Monday.

Bike packed and ready to fly

So a 3-day car rental. No additional shuttle charges to or from hotels. I am quite pleased with how that worked out.

Phil’s Fondo


I was out the door of the hotel shortly after sunrise for the six-mile ride to the start of Phil’s Cookie Gran Fondo. I watched the Chocolate Chip route depart at 8:00 a.m. then got in the back of the line for the Sugar Cookie route when Reggie Miller rolled up. I asked him how he was feeling and he said OK. He had a stiff back yesterday and was walking gingerly. Frankie Andreau called for more riders to go to the front. Reggie went up front. I stayed in the back. 

VeloFix – Before rolling out I paid $10 to true a front rotor

We had a neutral rollout with a police escort for three miles. There were a number of riders up ahead. Even though we stayed together to the Westlake Blvd climb, I never saw Reggie again. Imagine that, a world-class athlete 10 years younger than me and I never caught him.

The Chocolate Chip route rolling out

I had no goals planned. Like I have for the past two-plus weeks, I did not display speed or distance. That was not a goal. Stopping at the rest stops was. This was a ride to enjoy. Take it slow if you must, And eat cookies. Lots of cookies.

Good Morning Thousand Oaks!

At the first rest stop, I ate a cookie. The second one came on Pacific Coast Highway and was much too close to the first one. But I stopped and had a cookie. The third one I rode by without stopping. 

Rest stop #1 – Sponsored by UCLA Cycling Club

I was pretty happy that I went over the Westlake Blvd climb in record time (PR). I wasn’t watching speed but Wahoo was displaying Strava Live Segments. I lowered my time by four minutes. 

Descending Mulholland

I was hopeful on PCH I could beat my prior time on a flat stretch. But that was set with a tailwind three years ago and today there was a stiff head or cross headwind. I was losing time on a segment which I wasn’t going to finish because we would turn to Potrero Road before the end of the segment.

View of the Pacific Ocean from Mulholland

A small group went by and it was the only draft I would take all day. There were six riders being led by a guy in an Israel Premier Tech kit. A pro kit by itself doesn’t mean that much as they are available for anyone to purchase. 

Mulholland Drive – The rider farthest up the road on the left is Rick Zabel

The rider was young and strong. I thought we might be trading pulls but he was nose in the wind all out and we were hanging on. It was glorious. 

Rest stop #2 – on PCH

After 4-5 miles he pulled off as we began the approach to Potrero climb. I pulled alongside side of him and thanked him for the monster pull. 

Cookies at Rest #2

As the group pulled away to attack the climb I was next to rider #101. We both remarked on how strong that rider was. As I was reaching the top of Potrero I saw the Israel rider headed back down the road. I remarked that he was probably going to ride it a second time. And I think he did. 

The Cookiemobile would lead us out on the ride

It turned out that was a pro. Rick Zabel who rides for Israel Premier Tech. I also saw him going back up Mulholland as I was descending. And he passed us on the descent on Mulholland. It all makes sense now. 

Rest stop #4 at the top of Potrero

Potrero Road is a beast. I hit the first ramp with a PR then had a mile and a half of a false flat (actually 2-3%) before the real climb began. It’s tough. Some people were walking. One guy broke his chain and had no choice but to walk. Another was paperboying so dramatically that he almost got hit by an oncoming truck. 

Riding on the PCH

Although I had a PR on Potrero, it wasn’t nearly as much as on the other climbs. I think the lesser grades I pulled back more time. But at 16% grade, I creep. I wasn’t going to pull back time on the steepest section. Or perhaps, this year we hit Westlake early and Potrero late in the ride. In the past Potrero was at Mile 8 and Westlake around Mile 20 so maybe I was fresher in the past.

Waiting for coffee at the start

At the top of Potrero Road, I stopped at the Rest Stop. Half of a cookie was enough. Plus a banana. The finish was just 12 miles away. 

A cookie on PCH

But first, three more Live Segments. The longest was an 8-minute effort in which I shaved off one minute. That was followed by two smaller climbs. Then finally it was downhill or flat, flat and windy, to the finish. 

Scary in Ventura County


PR-Westlake Blvd Climb – 18:35 (Old 23:26) Today: 313/451 All-time: 4214/7108
PR-Potrero Grade – 18:06 (Old 18:52). Today: 214/432 Age 44/105 All-time: 3905/6704


I took almost five minutes off the Westlake Climb but only 46 seconds of Potrero. Yet today I was only in the top 31% while on Potrero I was above the line (top 51%). I am thinking Potrero is so steep in its upper pitches that it didn’t matter how much I weighed – I was going to go slow,. But the weight difference in three years paid big dividends on Westlake.


PR-Phil’s Cookie Fondo Westlake – 15:47 (Old 19:35) Today: 307/459
Potrero Wall – 10:12 (PR – 10:02). This was surprising. Hmm

Pizza chefs

PR-Potrero Final Ramp – 3:56 (Old 4:02). This section is 0.27 miles at 14% grade. I’m going to go slow no matter what. Or fall over. Today 199/430 Age 45/106

DISTANCE: 59.6 miles
AVERAGE: 14.9 mph
WEIGHT: 177 lbs
COOKIES: 2.5 (plus one more at lunch)

It's Phil's Fondo. It was a good ride with lots of cookies.
At the silent auction, I was the high bidder on an ELEMNT Roam

Hanging with Mr. Miller


My plan was simple although I blew it yesterday. Today I would ride the shorter of the two routes offered for Phil’s Cookie Gran Fondo. I was already in a huge deficit by accidentally riding 70 miles yesterday.

Riders gathered at Whizen Plaza

I left the Hampton Inn Agoura Hills hotel and rode the mile and a half to the Whizen Plaza. Retired pro, Frankie Andreau, was the emcee getting the rides started. The 45-mile “Chocolate Chip Cookie” ride would leave at 9:00 a.m. while the 35-mile “Sugar Cookie” ride would depart at 9:30 a.m. While 35 miles doesn’t seem like much, these have some big climbs in them. In this case, there was 4,500′ of gain over 35 miles.

Phil Gaimon and Reggie Miller lead the riders out

At the start, there were only about 20 of us remaining for the Sugar Cookie route. Almost everyone went with the first group. Frankie asked how many first-timers there were and more than half raised their hands. But I knew from my ride four years ago not to do the longer route to have something left for tomorrow.

The Cookie Car

We rolled out and followed the “Cookie” car for two miles until it pulled off. We were in a group although it was splitting up as the roads turned up. I did not want to ride in the front of the group but it was the pace I was comfortable at. So there I was in the front group of nine when we came to rest stop One. While some were debating whether to stop I knew we must get a chocolate chip cookie.

Rest stop one – Cookies!

We stopped and I got a chocolate chip cookie. I split a banana with another rider and was debating whether to roll out with the group again and let them go. That decision was made for me. I got my bike off the rack and the rear tire was flat. A quick inspection and I found a goathead in the tire.

Goathead. An invasive species normally in grasses – not on the road.

There were still three riders behind me as one had a triple flat – also goatheads. They stopped at the rest stop and saw me. But they left before I was finished. I thought they might wait for me but two of the riders, Razzle Dazzle, were clearly together, and I think the third one was too. So they were a unit and I can see that they may not have even thought about waiting for the last rider on course.

Cookies. Why we ride.

Decision made. The CO2 gave me enough air to continue but I did not want to ride the route without a spare and another CO2 cartridge. I told the guy at the rest stop that I was turning around. He seemed surprised but I was comfortable with that decision. I just wanted to get back, and get a new tube and CO2.

Mulholland at Malibu Creek Park. I caught and passed the rider in blue.

I held my breath. On the descents, the bike did not handle well. The squishy tire required me to brake more than I wanted to. But I came to the Mulholland climb I had done before a couple of times. And this time I was more than one minute ahead of my PR, even with a soft tire. That alone made the ride wonderful.

Barry with Frankie Andreau

Arriving back, I was first. Well, I didn’t complete the miles anyone else did. I got a new tube and CO2 from VeloFix. I grabbed lunch and sat with Frankie Andreau. Reggie Miller, the former US Olympian and NBA All-Star joined us. It was fun meeting Reggie. I called him Mr. Miller and he corrected me – “please call me Reggie.” I guess I was hanging with Reggie.

Barry and Reggie Miller

DISTANCE: 22.4 miles
SPEED: 14.5 mph

Chickens on the Loose! – MWARBH 2022


This is the hardest hill climb in America. Change my mind.

Last year I sucked. It was a “comeback” after seven years off and it was awful. I could not end my years of mediocrity on that sour note.

The drive out to the MWARBH on White Mountain Highway.
My stomach always starts to churn when I see Mt. Washington out in the distance.

In 2020 my Trek Pilot had a broken chain stay and was basically totaled by the warranty department at Trek. It was my climbing bike for seven previous races, 2008-2014. So last year I rode its replacement, my aluminum Trek Checkpoint gravel bike. It was heavy, and although it may have matched the gearing of the Pilot, it didn’t feel that way. Actually, it didn’t match the gearing exactly either.

Pre-ride warm-ups are also important

After hanging in my garage for two years and destined for the landfill, I decided I would repair the Pilot. Sure, the cost may have been more than the bike was worth but it has been a special bike to me. I sent the frame to Ruckus Composites in Portland, Oregon, and then had Tom Szeide at the Bike Lane in Reston, restore it to its original parts. And I signed up for the Hillclimb. Again.

I got my bike back and everything was on plan but then an awful thing happened. I stepped on the scales. Actually, that wasn’t awful. What was awful was looking down at the scales. It was June 1. And I weighed 200 pounds.

Early morning at the base of MWARBH

I don’t know what happened. I had been so diligent about watching my weight since I lost 50 pounds in 2020. But I felt so good that I quit watching believing that a change in lifestyle meant I would never gain weight again. And apparently, I was gaining. Well, not apparently, I had gained back much of the weight.

The event tents at the MWARBH

There was no way I could race this climb as a Clydesdale. I had two months to lose 30 pounds. I wasn’t just in the Clydesdale category. If they had a plus I was Clydesdale+

And I did. It wasn’t easy and many may suggest that it was too much weight to lose in too short of time. But damn, am I proud of myself.

View from the parking lot at the Glen House

Ashley and Bryan agreed to come to Mt. Washington with me. Ashley first made the trip with me in 2007 when the race was canceled. Then she and Bryan came with me in 2008. And she came again in 2014. So this was her fourth trip to the mountain. But I really wanted my granddaughters there. There’s something very special about a grandfather being proud of his granddaughters and hopefully, granddaughters being proud of their grandfather.

After looking at our options we settled on Ashley and Bryan driving their Kia Telluride. I put my Yakima roof rack on their car. I would have preferred to drive my car but my Ford Transit Connect does not have side rails that support my Yakima rack. I had to hurry to REI and buy 56″ crossbars since the 48″ bars I used on my RAV4 were a little short.

Installing new crossbars

I will say there is something special about a bike on the roof of a car. I love the look but normally prefer to keep the bike inside the car. We just didn’t have enough room for a party of five plus a bike in either of our cars.

Ready for New Hampshire

The MWARBH requires you to have a ride down. To encourage carpooling they waive the toll road fee for the vehicle and driver if you take two riders down the mountain. So I logged into a special site the MWARBH had created and posted that we had a spot. Bruce McDonald from Whitestown, Indiana, clicked on our carpool and added himself.

MWARBH Ride Down Match List

Bruce and I exchanged a couple of text messages hoping to meet at registration yesterday but our paths would not cross. Instead, we met today at 7:15 am in the registration tent. This would be his tenth ride up the mountain. I knew I would like him because when we met he was wearing a Steelers knit cap.

With two rider tickets in hand, Ashley and Bryan sat in the line of cars waiting to go up to the summit. All along, the race announcer was making comments that anyone still in the parking area is late, seemingly oblivious that the line was the queue and it wasn’t moving because they were collecting passenger tolls at the booth.

Riders (mostly) during the singing of the National Anthem

Unlike prior years, I decided not to go out and ride on White Mountain Highway as a warmup ride. I don’t think I would benefit from a pre-race ride of 2-4 miles. Instead, I stayed in the parking area. I was riding in the grass when Phil Gaimon rode by and called out my name. It’s pretty impressive when the race favorite knows your name and gives you a shout out.

First Wave of Riders – Phil Gaimon is closest to the camera in the front row

After watching the first two waves depart, in five-minute increments, I went across the bridge and the White Mountain Highway up to the parking lot of the Glen House. I wouldn’t call this a warm-up as much as simply pedaling off nervous energy. It was easier pedaling than just sitting around.

No longer says there is a mile section of dirt road

It was 8:51 when I left the parking lot and coasted downhill to the bridge and starting line. I started last in the last wave. The start cannon went off at 8:55.

Wave 2 racing past the Toll Booth

It was a warm day and I quickly was sweating profusely. I settled into my rhythm if such a thing existed. Perhaps if the road maintained a 12% grade a rhythm could be found. But it is more of an undulating climb usually between 10-15%.

Climbing on the lower section of MWARBH – Steeper (much) than it looks.

Quickly, those who were going to go faster went ahead on the flat section by the toll house which lasts about 250 meters. I was ahead of a few. Having started last and passed some riders, once we started climbing there weren’t going to be many to come past me.

Warm up at the Glen House

I started catching some from our wave as I went farther up the road. One guy had pulled over and was throwing up. I thought about him around Mile Six because a medical “Gator” when by headed to the summit with a bike on the back, and presumably, a rider inside. If you can’t continue and you’ve climbed even a mile or two, they will probably take you up to meet your ride because they won’t let you ride down.

There were a number of riders paperboying on the climb which was unsafe and annoying. One rider swung wide then turned back towards me and almost t-boned me. That would not have been cool.

Even with sweaty hands, I was able to take a few pictures. Very few.

I took two bottles of electrolytes. One pack of energy chews. And one bottle of the Hot Shot (to prevent cramping). I went through them all by Mile 4. It was warm if not hot and by Mile 3 a cooler breeze was moving in through the tree line. I actually welcomed a headwind if it was cool.

My live segments on Strava showed I was on pace for 1:58. That’s 12 minutes off what I was doing 12 years ago so I guess I was losing a minute per year. I had hoped to break two hours and certainly beat last year’s time of 2:05. I maintained that pace for the entire climb and would come in about 1:58.

Around Mile 6.5, I shifted and was quickly pedaling nothing. The chain had dropped and without forward momentum, you go backward. Quickly. I started to fall over and was able to quickly grab the brakes. Somehow I was able to unclip and put a foot down preventing me from falling hard on the granite.

The pros and Top Notch riders lined up at the start at MWARBH

I took my bike and stepped off the road onto some rocks and sandy soil. This part is way above the tree line. The chain was off the rear derailleur between the cassette and the spokes. I tried manually putting it in place and turned the cranks by hand. It came off again. I lost two minutes getting it back in place. To get restarted on the 15% grade I walked my bike to the other side and then clipped in by rolling it across the road before turning up the mountain. I glanced at my Wahoo and saw my new ETA was around 2:01. Well, I wouldn’t beat two hours but still would be better than last year.

Two minutes and eight seconds lost to a dropped chain. Plus momentum.

That wasn’t the only mechanical I had today. Early in the ride, I noticed my right cleat was loose. I wondered what would happen if the whole shoe fell apart. Of course, that wouldn’t happen but the cleat could fall off and the ride would be over. It held together enough but clearly, I was losing some power because of it.

Mile 7 – Yes, I took this while climbing

Back on course my quadriceps really hurt. They weren’t yet to the point of a twinge where I knew that cramping was coming. But they were hurting. I needed to alter my pace towards the finish but was afraid to shift. I found my gear and was afraid to shift from it.

I came to the finishing straight and Bruce was on the left side. My first thought was he must have been here a while as he went off in the first group. He ran with me and pointed out the chickens (my family). I waved to them as I went by.

Chickens on the course

The finishing climb is a beast. Twenty-two percent. Unlike 2008 when I knew I’d fall over (but didn’t) I just said the pain is temporary. I heard my name called along with “Woodbridge, Virginia and Rooster Racing.” I was home. I made it.

Made it

Across the finish line, two volunteers asked if I needed help. I didn’t. A young girl handed me a medal. Before COVID they would put the medal over your head. Today it was an outstretched arm. Another volunteer gave me a blanket. At 62° it was too warm to need a blanket. I handed it to Bryan.

This was a big relief to me. There are different people running the event in the past as the rider guide, which used to be a church bulletin, said there would be medals for the top three age group finishers. I’m not much into participation medals except for this event. Everyone who finishes deserves a medal. I didn’t know if I would get a medal or blanket. I am so glad I got both.

I spotted the Mount Washington Summit sign at the true summit. I wanted a family photo. There’s no real trail there – just big rocks. And I needed help on some of the rocks because my quads had no power left in them. The line for a summit photo was probably 45 minutes. And when we were finished with our photos they were just starting to open the auto road to go back down.

Bruce joined us for the ride down. As an aside he said he used to be a golf pro. And he and Bryan instantly connected. And started making plans for next year.

Three of the parking lots at the summit

At the base lot at the Auto Road, we parked and went to check out the activities. I changed out of the completely soaked kit in the porta-john then went to pick up my Hart’s Turkey Farm dinner. A staple of this event for years has been the community Hart’s Turkey Dinner. Held in the big tent, it featured a couple of slices of turkey, mashed potatoes, salad, rolls, and dessert. I bought extra meal tickets for my crew in the past as we all enjoyed it.

In 2020 the event was canceled. Last year it came back but without the turkey dinner. This year it was back in a limited form. I thought the dinner was to go but the tent was set up with lots of seating and people were eating in the tent. A group was playing on stage and the podiums were set up to award places to the fast people.

I picked up my lunch. It had a small turkey sandwich that did not have much turkey on it. The bun was a standard hamburger roll. There looked to be a side of salsa (I did not try it). There was an apple and a brownie. The drinks were from a refrigerator and were Pepsi products. I had a beer ticket that I gave to Bryan to sample.

I found Phil Gaimon and he introduced me to Jeremy Powers. Jeremy is “Mr. Whoop” and immediately fixed my Whoop band as I was wearing it wrong. Phil did a quick interview with me.

Phil and I met in 2009. His memory of that day and my memory of that day differ greatly although he is probably correct. I had gone to the mountain with the permission of Dr. Hrant Semerjian to delay my cancer treatment. Phil remembers me telling him that I didn’t think I would be back in 2010 because, you know, cancer.

Phil and Barry

Did I say that? Maybe. Cancer makes you think about your immortality and it makes you feel like you’re dying. I was in a dark place when I was diagnosed and I don’t remember what I told people. But I may have said that.

I said goodbye to Phil and Jeremy and we headed out toward our destination of New London, Connecticut. My ninth MWARBH was now behind me.

Phil and Jeremy chilling the legs in the Peabody River

There was a race and what a race. Phil Gaimon took a Strava KOM but not a course record because Strava did not exist in the doping era. He won by seven seconds over Erik Levinsohn. That may have been the closest finish ever.

Bruce McDonald and Barry looking for the chickens

Courtney Nelson won the women’s division.

My data show that I lost two minutes and eight seconds due to the dropped chain. Realistically, it was closer to four minutes. The 2:08 was downtime but I had to get going on a very steep incline. And I had lost the momentum I had.

After the race

I was elated that I made my ninth climb but disappointed I didn’t do better. When I finally looked at the results I see I still had better times than 80 riders. The dropped chain cost me as many as 13 places. The loose cleat probably cost that and more due to the loss of power.

Looks like I finished 303 out of 383 finishers. Since we started in waves and I was in the last (6th) wave, it never felt like I was ahead of 80 riders.

At the top, we met a unicyclist. From the 703 no less (Falls Church). I have been beaten by them before. But with no people running the race they did not put the unicyclist in the last wave but was in his age group. So I never saw him before or during the race. Only our timing shows that my time was better. Not bragging. It was just interesting to note.

I was disappointed that there were no event posters for the riders this year. I have a poster from every rave I’ve done. Until this year. I was told they will have them next year.

Hi Chickens!!! MWARBH

The event photographer, Joe Viger, does a great job. They had some killer shots of me taken last year from the top of the last climb looking down the 22% ramp. This year they captured me with my chickens, so that was cool – but I am smiling instead of popping all my veins.

DISTANCE: 7.9 miles
WEIGHT: 173 pounds (est.)

Little Miami Scenic Trail


The Little Miami Scenic Trail runs from Cincinnati to Springfield, Ohio. It is a 78-mile paved rail-trail and is a “destination” trail, i.e., one that you would travel to just to ride. I had ridden on parts of it before. But I had never ridden the entire length. I decided it was time to ride the entire trail.

Little Miami River – Yellow Springs

I had ridden with a friend, Bob Berberich, twice previously and I would meet him somewhere. I went to Springfield, Ohio, and stayed at the Fairfield Inn and Suites. I had scouted out restaurants in Springfield beforehand and knew they did not have a Skyline Chili but Columbus had five locations. Before arriving in Springfield, I stopped in Pinkerington for my carbo-loading.

Spaghetti, chili, and a pound of cheddar

It was 6:00 p.m. when I arrived in Pinkerington at the Skyline Chilli restaurant. Perhaps foolishly, I went for a large four-way figuring I would need all the calories I could get. It was a bit much.

This unmarked intersection is the start/finish in Springfield, Ohio

I checked into the Fairfield Inn and Suites. Very nice staff and I informed them what I was planning to do – bike to Cincinnati. They figured that might take me five days. Needless to say, they were a bit surprised and impressed when I said I would be back tomorrow. I had called ahead and asked about leaving my car for a day and they said that would be fine.

Ghost town in Springfield

Most hotels are not fully staffed to resume serving breakfast and this was no exception. However, they had oatmeal and that was enough. I also grabbed a couple Nutri-Grain bars for my pockets to fuel me on my ride.

Train station in Yellow Springs

I am not into bike-packing. I have no paniers or racks on my bike. I don’t want the extra weight. I would travel as minimal as I could. But that would mean a small backpack.


In my small backpack, I would carry a change of clothes (shorts/t-shirt/underwear), deodorant and toothbrush, a clean cycling kit for tomorrow, and flip-flops. Sunscreen. Even then, maybe that was too much.

Caboose at Morrow

It was 69º when I rolled out at 7:52 a.m. Sunny. I had mapped out the route using RideWithGPS and sending it to my Wahoo computer unit. Of course, that would be super easy once on the trail. But the first four miles would be on city streets. Two were “main drags” while the rest were residential streets.

The Miami Trailyard – a very nice outdoor cafe in Miamiville

I came to the northern terminus of the trail. It was not marked – I just happened to know it was there. I jumped on it and went 50 meters and it was closed. Detour. The detour did not last long, also 50-60 meters and then I jumped on the trail again. This time for good. I had ridden this section before and recognized where I was.

The trail in Morrow

Once south of Springfield the trail is mostly forested with a heavy tree canopy covering the entire trail. Although not recommended, one could probably get away without applying sunscreen because of the shade.

Directional sign in Loveland

The first 20 miles to Xenia are on a wide asphalt trail. It could safely accommodate riders 2×2 in each direction. The pavement was good with barely any sections with uproots on the trail.

Little Miami River at Morrow

In this section are two towns. The first, Yellow Springs, is 10 miles from Springfield. The second is the city of Xenia at 20 miles.

Covered Bridge at Yellow Springs

In Xenia, the trail goes right through the downtown area (which is very nice). On my way south I missed the trail crossing to the other side where it became a dedicated bike lane. Somehow I did not see the bright green crosswalk.

Downtown Xenia

All trails, and there are many here in “Trail City,” lead to Xenia and Xenia Station. What a beautiful old station here. While it is great for cyclists it is sort of sad to think these trails were train tracks and were the lifeblood of this community.


The route south of Xenia starts by entering Little Miami State Park. Here the trail becomes narrower and a little rougher. There are some rooted sections as well.

At grade railroad crossing in Loveland

Except for one lonely mile marker left behind by the railroad, there were no markers on the side of the trail. But there were large painted mile markers every half-mile. And all distances seem to be the distance from Xenia.

The only railroad mile maker remaining – Waynesville

I had planned to meet Bob for lunch at Kings Mill and was having problems finding distance charts. Finally, at Corwin, there was an information board with mile markers. (I cannot find the map online.)

Detour on the trail north of Loveland. But one could get their bike through there safely.

I saw Corwin was MM 14 and that Kings Mill was 36. With 22 miles to go, I texted Bob and told him I’d be in at 11:45 a.m. And I got there at 11:45 although I underestimated the climb and distance from the mile marker to the restaurant since my calculation was to the trail head.

Lunch – Buffalo Wings and Rings, Kings Mill

After lunch, and the temperature was up to the low 90s, I went back to the trail expecting another 20 miles or so to go. I passed through Loveland, which is probably the nicest trail town here (Mile 40).

Todd Fork

I came to a river crossing of the Little Miami and saw some “kids” (who were probably 18-year-olds, so adults, no?) at the end of the bridge. Some were crawling over the railing.

Crossing the Little Miami – notice the kids at the far end climbing down (Loveland)

I went to the end and talked to a couple of the kids. They were scaling the fence then carefully climbing down the trestle to a girder. From there they would carefully edge their way out on the girder to the middle of the bridge and jump perhaps 30 feet into the river. Collectively, they’re braver than smart.

Carefully crawling out on the girders – Loveland, Ohio

The last miles went fairly fast. I passed the Milton Trailhead and went down to Newton where I exited. The trail appears to officially end about a quarter or half-mile farther but I was exiting.

Interstate-71 – Oregonia

A family on four bikes was taking a wide turn into my lane so I moved over and greeted them. The mother/wife replied, “I like your cookies.” Not sure a woman ever told me that before. (I was wearing a Phil Gaimon “cookies” kit.)

Trails End – The Bridge from the trail over the Little Miami River.

It was five more miles to the hotel on Round Bottom Road. This was the only sketchy part of the ride. I would describe it as part country and part residential although that’s not quite accurate. Maybe a mix of light industry and country. And busier than a country road should be. With no shoulder, I was not comfortable riding this road.

Cyclists in Morror

I checked into the Tru by Hilton Hotel which was near the Interstate. The restaurants were too far to walk so I continued to ride. Quaker Steak and Lube had outdoor seating so I chose that. The one problem was their outdoor seating was smoking. C’mon Quaker Steak – you can do better. I sat outside braving the occasional smoke because that’s where my bike was.

Tru by Hilton – Milford

In the morning I scrounged for oatmeal as the breakfast offering was scarce. I filled my water bottles at their water cooler which had the worst tasting water from a cooler I ever had. I suspect it wasn’t an actual cooler with bottled water but had a direct line to the hotel water which was pretty awful. Of course, I never tasted the water and didn’t discover this until 10 miles into my ride.

Loveland, Ohio

It was 74º when I rolled out on Tuesday morning. Very pleasant. I took South Milford Road into Milford passing by a nice retirement community and beautiful homes on Mound Street.

The Junction – Milford, Ohio

I came to the edge of downtown which looked really nice but I was right across the Little Miami from the trailhead and just went to the trail.

Milford Trailhead from the parking lot

It was a lovely morning as I went north. I was 22 miles from the trailhead at South Lebanon and met Erin T. at the trailhead. With 54 miles to travel, I would backtrack my route from yesterday with two exceptions.

South Lebanon

The first deviation came in Xenia, the Town of Trails. Erin was out of water and I wasn’t drinking mine. I brought a measured amount of ScratchLabs drink mix for one bottle and I could not taste it as I drank. The taste of the water was enough to keep me from drinking and I needed to be drinking.

Sand sculpture in Xenia

We went into a Speedway gas station/convenience store. With temperatures in the 90s, Erin took her bottles to the ice dispenser on the soda machine (or here I guess it’s the “pop” machine). I went to the cooler and bought a gallon of water for $1.99. The small bottles were $1.49 each. We went outside, filled our bottles with cold water. I had dumped out my hotel water. I then gave away half-gallon of water to a passing customer.

Train station in Morrow

The other deviation would be a stop at Young’s Dairy Farm. I did not have a big breakfast at the hotel and did not find packaged bars at breakfast to fill my pockets. I was hungry. I was hoping Erin would want to stop for lunch and we came to a pizza place (two, actually) in Yellow Springs. But she wanted to keep going.

Young’s Dairy Farm, Yellow Springs

At least three times I have been told to be sure to stop at Young’s. So this time I did. We saw a sign and turned on West Jackson Road. A man on a three-wheel recumbent bike had turned on the road ahead of us and it gave us a feeling that this road was safe if he would ride on it. Young’s was almost one mile away. And it is worth a stop. It was very busy but if I get back here again I will be stopping.

Young’s Dairy Farm

Back on the road, we stayed on Ohio 68 rather than backtrack to the trail. I knew they would intersect although I was surprised at the distance which was 3.5 miles. But they did come back together. We then had four miles through Springfield back to my parked van at the Fairfield Inn and Suites.

Barry at Yellow Springs. Photo Credit: Erin T

Bottom line. This is definitely a destination trail. Almost 80 miles of paved bliss. Out and back in two days was a great ride.

Reflections on the Year – 2019

I rode on New Years Day because everyone rides on New Years Day, no matter what. But it was nice enough to ride on January 2 so I rode. And it was then I thought why not ride every day? Ten miles minimum. Outside. The 10 miles would be in honor of my 10-year Cancerversary this year. It would give me a reason to ride – no matter what. And I would ride at least 100 miles per week as well. The final part of this was to ride 10,000 miles. That would be a big ask. I twice reached 8,000 miles (but never 7,000). I reasoned there were some things I could do more than just riding 10 miles every day. In my big mileage years, I would often ride around 265 days. For those 100 days that I didn’t ride, I would be adding 1,000 miles just by riding 10 miles per day. Maybe I could do this. And on December 21, I went over 10,000 for the year, finishing with 10,150. I rode on New Years Day because everyone rides on New Years Day, no matter what. But it was nice enough to ride on January 2 so I rode. And it was then I thought why not ride every day? Ten miles minimum. Outside. The 10 miles would be in honor of my 10-year Cancerversary this year. It would give me a reason to ride – no matter what. And I would ride at least 100 miles per week as well. The final part of this was to ride 10,000 miles. That would be a big ask. I twice reached 8,000 miles (but never 7,000). I reasoned there were some things I could do more than just riding 10 miles every day. In my big mileage years, I would often ride around 265 days. For those 100 days that I didn’t ride, I would be adding 1,000 miles just by riding 10 miles per day. Maybe I could do this. And on December 21, I went over 10,000 for the year, finishing with 10,150.


With 365 days of riding how does one narrow it down to 10 highlights? Let’s go by month.
  • JANUARY – I rode in Ligonier and Somerset, Pa. in cold and snow. And one crash. In Ligonier, it was cold and crusty. In Somerset, I ended up in a church parking lot during snow squalls, finishing after dark. Both those days were on a mountain bike. And during a snowstorm in Virginia, rather than stay in the safe, plowed, neighborhood, I went into Montclair. While the main streets were plowed, Holleydale Dr. was not. Wanting to do a loop I decided to ride in some fresh tire tracks. Until they ended in a driveway. On a downhill. Crashes in the snow on asphalt hurts too. Even on a mountain bike.
W&OD Bridge, Reston, Va.
  • FEBRUARY – Just cold and more snow. Having ridden 480 miles in January my goal was to hit 1,000 miles by the end of February, I made it. But I couldn’t lose sight of the fact that 1,000 miles in two months put me on pace for just 6,000 for the year.
WMRR near Hancock, Md.
  • MARCH was better. My mileage was 723 miles. But even then, at 1700 miles in three months I was on pace for 6,800 miles. Doubt was beginning to creep in.
  • APRIL brought warmer weather and a trip to Florida. I drove and met the family at Club Med in Port St. Lucie. I got in 30-mile rides each day including one 50-mile day.
Pier Titusville Fla.
  • With Spring fully in place, I rode 1000 miles in MAY, the first of five months in which I hit the 1000 mile mark. It was also the first test of riding every day even while traveling. I flew to Austin on May 31 then drove to Killeen. I built the bike then went for a ride, finishing at dusk.
  • JUNE began with the Atlas Ride to support the Texas 4000. Then a trip to Europe. I returned sick and illness prevented a second straight 1,000-mile month (934) as I slogged through seven days doing just the minimum ten miles.
Texas 4000
  • JULY brought the MS-150 ride in State College and an 1100-mile month.
Woodland Ave Punxsutawney
  • AUGUST included a trip to Ohio and Indiana and a 1200-mile month
  • In SEPTEMBER I found a new cancer ride in Richmond and went back to the Alpine Loop Gran Fondo
  • OCTOBER was a California trip and more challenges to ride every day. After riding on Monday morning, I took the redeye home, and as soon as I landed and there was daylight, I took my second bike out and rode since the Domane was still in the shipping case.
  • NOVEMBER included a disappointing trip to Florida (weather). I had hoped to have 9,000 miles by the end of October leaving 1,000 miles for November and December. I was just short of 9,000 but knew I could finish strong.
  • DECEMBER was my lowest month but I was positioned where it didn’t have to be a big mileage month. Bad weather and illness slowed me but on December 21 I crossed the 10,000-mile threshold.
MECHANICALS I had a few, but too few to whine about.
  • In Virginia, the rear derailleur popped off the Domane on the W&OD. I walked a mile and Tom, from The Bike Lane, came and got me.
  • In Texas, the rear derailleur on my Domane quit working while I was on the 50-mile Atlas Ride. A wire had been pinched and shorted out (my fault on rebuild) but I was stuck in one gear for the ride.
  • In Pennsylvania, the rear derailleur cable broke on my Pilot while on the MS-150 ride. I was stuck in the hardest gear but only walked up two mountains.
  • In California, the front derailleur (Di2) of the Domane sheared off a piece and I had to ride both days of the Cookie Gran Fondo without shifting the front derailleur.
AND FLATS I had seven flats in 10,000 miles. My road kit includes a CO2 cartridge and I managed to use just one of those repairing seven flats
  • In January, in a very cold DC (and I didn’t want to mess with changing a flat), Alan Ruof gave me a ride to my car and I was able to repair the flat in my house.
  • In March in a cold rain, I flatted one mile from my house. I walked home and repaired the flat in my house.
Flat – March 21
  • In September I suffered two flats on the Abandoned Turnpike in Pa. I was eight miles from nowhere. I repaired one with the one CO2 I had. I rode the other flat back to the car.
  • In October, on the Pacific Coast Highway, I flatted. A woman had pulled over to wait for her family and I borrowed a floor pump from her to fix my flat.
  • In December, on the W&OD, I had completed a ride but noticed a flat when I got to my daughter’s house. I repaired it there. The next day on the W&OD I flatted one-mile from my car. I walked back to the car then changed the flat at home.
With seven flats I only had to change two on the road. The one on Pacific Coast Highway and the one on the Abandonded Turnpike. That’s not a bad track record. No whining.


HANGING WITH THE PROS I had chances to ride with current and retired pro cyclists. In Europe, I rode with Andy and Frank Schleck and Jens Voigt. Back in the States, I rode with Jeremiah Bishop, Ben King (almost), and Phil Gaimon. KEEPING UP WITH A TRACK STAR In Finland, I hooked up with a very young Astrid Snall, a track and triathlon champion.
SPEED AWARD On August 14, riding near Ligonier, Pa., I went 52 mph (83 kph) down Darlington Road towards Rector.
Top Speed 2019
BEST SWAG Phil Gaimon’s Cookie Gran Fondo had a cookie mussette Ben King’s Home Roads RVA had a neck gaiter. Got an insulated water bottle from the Horrible Hundred. But the one thing I use almost daily – a reusable shopping back from the Climb to Conquer Cancer. A TRIP I FINALLY REMEMBER Having woken up in Ohio on May 16, 2018 with no memory of being there, I went back to Ohio and rode with Paul Sullenberger, the retired police officer who found me unconscious on the Great Miami River Trail. This time I remembered the ride.
Paul and Barry
BEST COUPLE I met Andrew and Stacey near the end of the Sea Gull Century. They were doing their first every Metric Century BEST GROUP RIDE Every day in Luxembourg with the Roosters. We rode in twos, close to the rider in front of us. No one was sketchy (ok, maybe one but not calling that person out here) and we felt safe at 15, 20, 30 mph. WORST GROUP RIDE On July 9 I met up with a group from Bull Run Cycles in Manassas. There were about 60 cyclists of varying abilities. My three attempts to have a conversation with anyone went nowhere. Having just returned from Europe and riding with Jens Voigt and the Brothers Schleck, I saw a rider with a Team CSC jersey. I tried to drop their names but he had never heard of them – even though that was the team they raced with before Leopard. There were riders crossing wheels, stopping without warning, and just riding erratically. I bailed before it was over and won’t jump in with that group again. BEST MEAL Cookie Gran Fondo. At Phil Gaimon’s Cookie Gran Fondo, some of the best chefs in L.A. brought in their creations. In addition to the chocolate chip cookies, you won’t find better food on a ride than this. Honorable Mention: The Alpine Loop Gran Fondo (Jeremiah Bishop)., Harrisonburg, Va. Ride Director, Erin Bishop does an outstanding job with a post-ride catered meal.
WORST MEAL While eating at an outdoor restaurant in Luxembourg City, Frank Schleck found a spider in his salad.
Shortly after this photo was taken, Frank was given a salad with a spider in it
OH FRANCE, I HARDLY KNEW YE Riding in France four times previously, it existed for me as the perfect place to ride. No road rage and even the dogs don’t bark at you. While on our Luxembourg-France ride in June, a car went by horn blazing. And a dog barked at us. France, I hardly knew ye. Now France is just a place (actually it’s not, it’s just not perfect anymore). WORST DIRECTIONS Arriving at the Hilton Airport in Frankfort, and needing a place to ride to “ride every day,” I asked three people at the front desk where to ride. I was told we were at an airport and one couldn’t ride. Yet I could see a bike path 10 floors below my room. I found the bike path. BIGGEST LOGISTICAL CHALLENGE – I Zurich. On Mon. June 24, I would leave at 10:00 a.m., scheduled to arrive Philadelphia at 2:30, depart at 6:00, arrive DCA at 7:30, then be home by 9:00 p.m. (dark), if lucky. But the Zurich Airport Hotel had some “rental” bikes which were free to guests. I departed the hotel at 6:05 a.m. with no clue where I was going but rode 10.4 miles. Philadelphia had bad weather, my flight was delayed three times and my bike stayed on the place in DC after they unloaded all the luggage. They had to get a special crew out to the plane to get my bike. But at least I got my ride done in Switzerland. BIGGEST LOGISTICAL CHALLENGE – II On June 6 I rode in the morning before my 4:30 flight to Iceland connecting to Helsinki. I arrived in Helsinki on June 7, rented a car and drove to Forssa. I was building the bike when Laura Vainio came home around 4:00 p.m. and we visited and went to dinner. It was almost 9:00 p.m. before I started on a 13-mile exploration of Forssa. BIGGEST LOGISTICAL CHALLENGE – III Returning from California, I rode the morning of Monday, October 28, along the beaches of Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach. I took the redeye (departing at 10:00 p.m. PST). The flight was only four hours and it arrived IAD before 6:00 a.m. I waited at baggage for my Domane but had brought my Trek Pilot in the car. Once I got my bike from luggage, I grabbed a quick breakfast then jumped on my Pilot rode 20 miles on the W&OD. And I almost fell asleep on the drive home. WORST CRASH There was one, on snow. I was on treated streets until I came to Holleyside Dr. in Montclair. Wanting to do a loop instead of an out and back. I thought I would follow some fresh tire tracks in the snow. Downhill. They ended in a driveway. I went straight. I went down. Ouch.
Holleyside Drive yuck
DOLORES! At Phil Gaimon’s Cookie Gran Fondo I head a voice then recognized the actress as Susan Walters. She has many acting credits but I only know her a the girl Jerry Seinfeld is dating but he doesn’t remember her name and is too embarrassed to ask her. SHUT UP LEGS! I went to Luxembourg expecting to ride with Frank Schleck. But on the last night we were there who would show up but Jens Voigt. I got to ride with the Jensie! BEST ICE CREAM RIDE In Finland, 12-year-old, Olivia, and I went for a ride to downtown Forssa for ice cream.
We asked if they took credit cards (they said yes), we ordered, we ate, we went to pay and none of my credit cards would work. But we went to an ATM, got cash, went back and settled up. And the ice cream was delish!
MOST OVER OFFICIOUS PERSON In May, I was on my normal go-to route through Montclair which means going through the school parking lot at Henderson Elementary, dismounting and walking up 10 stairs to the upper drop-off area. This is to avoid the upper section and uphill portion of Waterway Drive which gets busy. It was about 8:45 a.m. and the drive up to the school was crowded with parents illegally parked in the fire lane, all on their cell phones. I went past them to the sidewalk and dismounted. The principal of the school, Suzanne Bevins, came over and confronted me. She asked me not to ride there “for your own safety.” I thought her concern was 500 elementary students and not one cyclist. It seemed clear that she was worried about an older male wearing Lycra being near the kids. I asked her if it was illegal for me to walk up those stairs and she conceded it was not. I thanked her for her concern for my safety, maybe a bit sarcastically, but assured her that avoiding those caffeinated drivers using Waterway Drive was much more dangerous than me walking through the school grounds. For what it’s worth, I don’t believe for one second she was concerned about my safety. I do believe I believe I was targeted because I am an older man on the grounds with elementary students. A man in Lycra. BEST OVERTIME When my rear derailleur quit working on the Atlas Ride near Austin, I scrambled late on Saturday to find an open bike shop for repair so I could ride on Sunday. I found Bicycle Shop on N. Palmer Ave. Sam Jaffe worked on the bike to diagnose it, find a part (didn’t have it but improvised), and stayed overtime to get the bike running again.
Sam Jaffe at Bicycle Shop in Austin
RIDING BAREBACK I did not find my hand pump for my treat to Europe so through when I hit the ground in Finland my plan was to find a bike shop and buy a CO2 cartridge. Forssa had a bike shop that was closed weekends and was mostly a hardware store. I visited friends twice to use their floor pumps. I rode through Finland, Germany, Luxembourg, Holland, Franc,e Belgium, and Switzerland without an air source for my tires in case of emergency. I made it but do not recommend it. THE WAY YOU DO IT In California, I visited a bike shop to top off my tires. I then bought a CO2 cartridge from them. Although I had a flat while on the Cookie Gran Fondo, where I pulled over I found a woman with a floor pump in her car. I did not need to go to my C02. And when I tore down the bike at Enterprise Rent A Car in El Segundo, I gave my cartridge to the manager who was a cyclist. BEST BIKE PURCHASE On my way to Florida, I stopped at an REI in Jacksonville. I had a 25% off one item coupon and found the Wahoo Bike Computer I had been looking at. She read the fine print (I couldn’t read it) and said it was not good on items with GPS. Then she smiled and rang it up anyway. ROYAL ORDER OF THE IRON CROTCH My local cycling club, Potomac Pedalers Touring Club, has an award, which may be tongue in cheek, but it is called the Iron Crotch Award. This recognition goes to anyone who rides 5,000 miles in a year. And I qualified. Twice. To qualify, I had to submit a simple questionnaire.
  • TOTAL MILES: 10,150
  • LONGEST RIDE – Sea Gull Century — 104
  • Date on which 5,000 was achieved (1) – July 11 – Just a loop around home.
  • Date on which 5,000 was achieved (2) – July 15 – I thought I went over 5,000 on July 11 but there were a couple of rides that were counted twice. I had to recalibrate and actually went over 5,000 on a 34-mile ride I call the “Manassas Loop.”
  • Most miles in a Month — 1211 (August)
  • Most miles in a week — 334 – July 15- 21, included the MS-150 in Pennsylvania
  • Number of Zero mile weeks – None
  • Number of 100 mile days – One
  • Most interesting story – That’s sort of what this blog post is about

California Dreamin


Having just returned from California from the Phil Gaimon Cookie Gran Fondo weekend, I need to revisit my planning – for next time, you know.

What went right – what went wrong.

All in all, it was a great trip.

Bike packed in Thule case

In 2019 I am celebrating my 10-year Cancversary and will ride 10 miles (at least) every day. That affected the flights that I could take. If I fly out early it has to be real early so I have time to ride when I arrive. Or I can ride in the morning and travel late – but that one isn’t for me.

Barry and Ernie Rodriguez

I left home by 4:30 a.m. for Washington-Dulles. I parked in the long-term Economy lot and was still at my gate by 5:43 a.m. – two hours before scheduled take-off.

In Terminal B is a Five Guys that served breakfast sandwiches. I had the bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich. And it was good.

The flight arrived LAX on-time. My only checked bag was my bike and despite the luggage arriving at Terminal 6, mine was an Oversized bag and arrived in Terminal 4 at the Oversize Baggage.

Building the bike at the hotel

I took the hotel shuttle to the Fairfield Inn and Suites – El Segundo. Arrived by noon. No room was ready but I built my bike in the pool area (only a few funny looks). I jumped on my bike and visited – In-N-Out Burger which was right next door. Then I rode west – towards the ocean.

El Segundo at the beach
Bike path El Segundo

I had texted Robert Hess and he offered to pick me up at the hotel for a ride. I told him I already found the bike path and could ride to meet him. That was better. We met close to Manhattan Beach then rode north towards (but not to) Venice Beach. We found a straight section used for KOMs and both went moderately fast.

Manhattan Beach
Bike Path in Hermosa Beach
Robert and Barry

RIGHT: By taking the hotel shuttle from the airport I avoided one day of car rental charges.

RIGHT: By renting in El Segundo, I avoided the LAX fees on rental cars. In addition, a much higher rate.

I drove to Thousand Oaks where I stayed at the TownePlace Suites by Marriott. I was going to stay at the official hotel of the Fondo, the Hyatt, but the rooms were $60/night more.

TownePlace Suites by Marriott, Thousand Oaks. The pool wasn’t so nice.

I was 10 miles from the venue on Saturday and decided to ride there instead of drive. That also made my decision to choose the 40-mile ride over the 50-mile ride.

The official Cookiemobile

One problem was I was riding directly into a low sun on Thousand Oaks Blvd. Even with two rear lights, I was worried about the traffic seeing me.

The hotel was only about 15 miles from Sunday’s venue so I could not complain. Plus it was very close to an In-N-Out Burger and a Chili’s.

I was initially going to ride in Santa Barbara on Monday but decided to ride again in Manhattan Beach. I did not explore the southern end of the trail before and I could save a day’s rental charge.

RIGHT: By getting the car back before 11 a.m. I would have three days’ rental and not four.

Wildfire on the 101

One problem was there were wildfires including one I went by one Hwy 101. Waze found a better way but that meant hundreds of drivers all used the same side streets. I got in a little late but within tolerance.

Wildfire on the 101

Once packed, their driver took me back over to the Fairfield Suites where I boarded the Fairfield airport shuttle, the one that dropped me there four days earlier. I don’t know if this was cool or not but when I checked out on Friday I asked Scott Trexler at the hotel and he said it would be no problem. Of course, he wasn’t working when I returned.

Near Manhattan Beach

I rode south to Redondo Beach then one last time to In-N-Out Burger. I went back to the car rental location where I had left my luggage. I think they were more bemused than annoyed that I tore down the bike in their office and packed it in the case.

At the airport, I found a restaurant and watched the Steelers-Dolphins on Monday Night Football (Steelers won 27-14). About one hour later I boarded the redeye flight to Dulles.

Watching the Steelers at LAX

Arriving Dulles, I had to figure out where my bike would arrive. It came in on the Oversize Baggage belt. It has come down the regular belt before (ugh) so I have to figure out by airport where it will arrive.

I went back to my car in the Economy lot then to Chick-Fil-A, Ashburn, for breakfast before getting the Trek Pilot out for a ride on the W&OD. I had packed the Domane for California but also brought the Pilot and left it in the car. It was on its side covered by a blanket in the car. Then when arriving back, rather than trying to rebuild my Domane, I could just jump on the Pilot and ride.

After riding and dropping the Domane at the bike shop (broken front derailleur), I found myself fighting drowsiness on the 30-mile trip home. That redeye took it out of me but was necessary if I was to ride today. The other option on American was 10:30 a.m. arriving at 6:30 p.m. It would be hard to ride in the morning, tear down the bike, and get to the airport on time. And it arrived too late for an evening ride.

I am comfortable with almost all the decisions I made for this trip. I like the hotel shuttle and the first night near the airport. It worked out renting off-site. And getting back to the hotel. Keep this in mind if I do this one again.

Everyone is Walking


This was Phil’s Cookie Gran Fondo and I had decided to ride the 50-mile “Sugar Cookie” route. I was to meet Anthony Venida and waited at the starting chute with Robert Hess who was riding the family route which departed a little later.

Entrance between two hangers. Start/Finish is on the other side.

I didn’t see Anthony and let everyone roll through ahead of me before starting last. Once on course, I received a text from Anthony that he started with the “Chocolate Chip” route as some of his friends were riding the 80-mile route.

Start/Finish line

I rolled out, although I could not go fast, and the first seven miles were pancake flat. I was chatting with a rider wearing a Mont Ventoux jersey. Although much younger than me, I still had to secretly question his equipment when I saw it looked like his lowest gear was about a 17t cassette. I was running 32t.

“Are you OK?” – “Yes, just getting pictures of peppers”

The climb, which I remembered as a three-mile climb, had a much different profile than I remembered. The first 1/3 mile kicks up and then it appears to level off. It’s still a climb but much more gradual for the next two miles. And then, it whacks you in the face full force.

Cookies everywhere

My friend, with the Ventoux jersey, sat on my wheel and I didn’t mind. As we got to the wall, there were people pushing their bikes. And they were all over the place. The road kicked up – more than 15% (and maybe 20%). I was counting but lost track of the walkers but was over 100.

He had passed me on the climb – until he had to walk too


Part of me wanted to join them. And I wondered what I would have done had this been a normal Sunday ride with nobody watching. But they were watching. And I kept climbing although it was a real effort.

West Protero Road in Lake Sherwood

When I reached the summit, I turned around to look for Mr. Ventoux. He was nowhere to be found. It would have taken a super-human effort to push his gear up that climb. I don’t know when he got off to walk.

FAll horse farms up here – Lake Sherwood

There was a second intermediate climb of two miles which was also considerable. The Fondo made no mention of it, maybe because it wasn’t a timed KOM. It was also on Pretero Road, two miles after the summit of the first climb. At the bottom of the second hill, I stopped and visited the VeloFix mechanic who was finishing up changing a tire for a woman. We mentioned the climb on Pretero Road and he said, “everybody is walking up that hill.”

Mulholland Road

Although there was a rest stop at the base of the last climb, I did not stop because it was a rest stop at the base of a climb. The time off the bike would cause lactic acid to build up and my climbing would be crap. More crap than usual, that is.

Mulholland Road – this is nice!

I continued past and started up the climb of Westlake Blvd. This one was tough with sections of the lower portion pushing 20% grade. About one mile up it gets easier – 10-12% grade.

Westlake is particularly steep at the bottom portion and very windy. As we would discover, owners of fast cars love driving this road on Sunday mornings. It was almost a constant din of revved engines and occasional squealed tires.

Pacific Coast Highway (PCH)

At the top, we transitioned onto Mulholland Highway for a trip to the ocean. The road was closed to vehicles as much reconstruction is going on due to fires one year ago. Not having a big ring available because my front derailleur had failed yesterday meant that I gave up some speed here although it wouldn’t hurt me much. That would come later.

This woman, walking away, had stopped and I borrowed a floor pump from her to change my flat.
This woman had a floor pump which I could use


My recollection of Mulholland before today was that it was downhill the entire way. That is not true. There are some uphill sections even while the road trends downhill. Once on Pacific Coast Highway, I was treated to a delight – a tail wind. It was here that I would really miss my big ring.

Lunch inside an airport hanger
Lunch inside an airport hanger

I was quickly out pedaling my gears. Oh how I needed the big ring to take advantage of the wind. Instead, I was spinning and getting passed by others. And then I flatted. As it happened, I pulled over on the Pacific Coast Highway next to a woman who was running SAG for her family. She had a floor pump which made it easier to change. And asked for my used tube so her husband could repair it. Deal.

Barry Sherry, Phil Gaimon, Anthony Venida

Anthony texted me. Although he had finished 30 minutes (or more) earlier, he had come back to an intersection to ride in with me. Robert met us and we all enjoyed a delicious gourmet cycling lunch.

This is not just your typical cycling lunch. There were chefs from L.A. competing with their dishes. This is the best ever. Superb.

Robert Hess, Barry Sherry, Phil Gaimon, and Anthony Venida


Phil’s Sugar Cookie


Last year I came for the weekend and rode the longer route (Chocolate Chip Cookie) on Saturday. Having done that route, it made sense to try the other route this year, the Sugar Cookie.

The official car of the Cookie Gran Fondo

I stayed at a Homewood Suites in Thousand Oak and mapped out a route to bike to registration. It was 10 miles door-to-door so I would be adding 20 miles to the “40-mile” Sugar Cookie route. I think 55 miles the day before the Gran Fondo would be enough.

Phil Gaimon as Cookie Monster

The temperature was great but there was one issue. I was riding into a low rising sun. At times I had to shield my eyes to see. That was not a problem for me but I also worried that there may be drivers fighting the sun and may not see me on the road. I was nervous.

Barry and Phil’s Mom

Phil Gaimon met me at registration and have me a warm greeting. He made it a point to introduce me to his mother.

Barry and Susan Walters

After Phil’s group rolled out, we had 30 minutes before our group was ready to depart. I heard a voice – that voice – and I recognized it from Seinfeld. It was Susan Walters, who played the girlfriend that Jerry never knew her name – DOLORES! Susan was trying to take a selfie with friends and I offered to take a photo for her. And then I got a selfie (not really, one of her friends took our photo).

Barry and Anthony Venida

Before we rolled out, Anthony Venida, came in with some friends of his. They would be riding tomorrow. But I have known Anthony for six years and it was good to see him again. He also was recovering from a traumatic brain injury earlier in the year. But instead of being found unconscious next to a river, he went all-canyon and went over a cliff. He truly is a lucky young man.

Cookies on the ride

I thought I might ride with Susan’s group but they rolled out about 10 minutes before our official time. I never saw them on the road.

The views…

Once on the road, the route started out similar to what I rode last year. Out a canyon road and then an eight-mile climb up a pretty tough mountain. There is 4600′ of climb in just 37 miles. This is not an easy ride. After the climb, it was a short loop and back to start.

Phil Gaimon and Barry

On my descent, I tried to get in the big ring and get some real speed going. But the bike did not want to shift. My computer told me I was in the big ring but my eyes and my legs told me I wasn’t. I stopped and determined that a piece in the derailleur that lifts the chain had sheared off. I figured, and confirmed this with the VeloFix van, this is not a simple fix but a part replacement would be necessary. But not for this weekend. I would be out of luck for the rest of the weekend.

Frankie Andreu

On my return trip I never could get some good speed going. I was a slow-poke going back.

Frankie Andreu and Barry

Back at the site, we had a great lunch. I also chatted a little bit with Frankie Andreu, who also doubled as Phil’s race announcer.

At the evening Gala

I bought some items at the merchandise tent, left the items (on purpose) and my wallet (not on purpose) to be picked up later this evening at the VIP Gala. There’s a bigger ride tomorrow.

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