Tag Archives: year in review

2019 Was Rough … Let’s Look Forward to 2020

The year 2019 was a punch in the gut.  It was a year which saw the passing of my Dad, who was 94 (or 92, whichever record you believe in).  Dad was a paper son, so who knows when he was really born.  It doesn’t matter at this point … all that matters is he led a good life, and both he, and my mom, raised 3 excellent kids (myself included).  We had to spend couple of months, going back and forth from the Bay Area to LA for visits, until eventually he died of complications.  That was a really rough way to start the year.

Meanwhile, at work, I was punched in the gut again.  This time, my group suffered by having it downsized .. in other words, lay offs.  We had a staff of 5, and now it’s 2 .. and we morphed into another group.  We had 3 in California, but now it’s just me.  This is a big change, and instead of having a group, I know work like a remote person.  Now I know how hard it is to be working remotely (even though we are kind of corporate headquarters).

Oh, this new group we morphed into … I have to train myself on a new product, and since I am the lead on my own product, I didn’t have the luxury to fly out for hands on training .. so I had to learn from videos and powerpoint slides.  This is extremely difficult, when you have a product that is extremely complex.  I don’t know how this will turn out for me … all I can say is, I seem to have respect from others in the company … I mean, I did spend 21 years of my life with this place.

This also means that I am on call every other weekend, because of the short staff, and the challenges of getting everyone up to speed, limits my flexibility with weekends off.  That also means I don’t get to go biking as much, and training for those long doubles are suffering.  I actually had to cancel two events, because of the on call rotation.  I just hope it gets better in 2020.  I’m not ready to look for another job yet, but I just hope the situation improves (not just from a work perspective, but from my own personal livelihood).

Despite not having time to train, I have decided to sign up for another double .. Solvang Double, in the 3rd week of March.  I will strive for this, and it will force me to squeeze whatever time I have to train (even if it means spending 3 hours riding in the dark till 11 pm then sleep.  I just need to do this.

Anyhow, here’s to a happy 2020, and let’s see what that brings us.  And I don’t even want to talk politics at all .. too depressing.

Hopefully 2016 Will Be a Good Year

New Year’s Eve, and everyone is doing their New Year’s Resolution.  Of course, when I think about it, it’s usually about cycling … Well, I was going to do another Triple Crown for 2015, but that really turned bad.

In March, I had my bad crash … and on my precious Volagi.  I still don’t know what happened, and there were no witnesses.  Ironically, I had my Go Pro with me, but it wasn’t turned on.  Lot of good that did.  I think I hit the brakes so hard that I sheared the fork.


In the end, it was determined the frame was totaled … so I got a replacement frame, a Volagi Liscio 2, and while I was at it, might as well upgrade the disc brakes too, to hydraulic.  That was nice, going from mechanical to hydraulic … what a difference!


Getting back into shape was tough … I spent about 2 months off, due to cracked ribs, so those grandiose plans of a triple crown were nix’d right away. My plan was to do Solvang, then DMD (to complete it this time) … Plans scrapped.

My plans were re-focused to commuting as much as I can via bike. I was able to get myself in shape to at least to Bike to Work day, and that was awesome. I actually volunteered with SVBC to get all the material and goodies together, and that was a lot of fun.

I then got back into Photography, and bought an Olympic micro 4/3 camera, and loved it. I’m by no means a very artful photographer, but it’s nice to go back and fiddle with the equipment again, and this time taking advantage of the digital advances. I found out, right away, that I have a love for the scenes that nature provides us, especially sunrise and sunsets.

Throughout the year I continued on with my bike commutes, and carrying my camera with me … yes, it’s bulky, but more compact than other digital SLR cameras out there.

The year didn’t go without a couple of extra falls .. I took a spill in the parking lot of my complex, going probably 5 mph … then, another as I was negotiating a hairpin on the bike path.  Needless to say, it was not a healthy year for me, to the point where I just want to stay upright.

Still, I was able to get respectable mileage for the year …. For the year, I got 6,205 miles.  [Revised] I got 251,528 feet of climbing for the year (according to the Strava Android app … why can’t the desktop site have that?)  That’s not bad, considering I had a bunch of time off the bike, and still sustained > 6000 miles for the year.  Commute miles do add up.


So what am I looking forward to in 2016?  Well, a lot of it depends on if I buckle to the pressure, and sign up for the Death Ride, in July.  I’d like to pursue more into digital photography, but a lot of that will depend on what I do cycling-wise.

Happy New Years everyone!  Oh, and keep the rubber side down … and I mean it!

Farewell 2014

Wow, what happened to the past year?  It’s already time to say goodbye to 2014?  It seemed like just yesterday, where I was getting ready for DMD.  I used Solvang Spring Double as a training ride … what?  Then, I did DMD, and they were really tough conditions, and it became too much for me, and I ended up DNF’ing it, only going 159 miles before SAG’ing it.

Then, on the way back from a ride, I didn’t realize how fast I was going, and I rear ended a tandem, taking both of us down, and took me out for 6 weeks, suffering a rib injury.

Ever since then, my fitness was not quite the same, so I then decided to just commute to work every day.  No centuries, no doubles for the rest of the year.  Instead, I just enjoyed weekend rides, without any training agenda.

Despite all of this, I ended up with quite a bit of mileage over the year.  I ended up with 7004 miles.  I guess all those commute miles do add up.

So will I do DMD this year?  I have no idea … but I guess I should just start training up for it again, just like I did last year.  I’m just hoping I have remnants of the fitness I had last year.  If I do, then I’ll go ahead and go for it.

Anyhow, Happy New Years everyone.

2013 is Over Already?

Is it really New Year’s Eve already?  Gee, time sure flies by.  Looking back, I rally didn’t sign any goals for myself, so I didn’t really prepare for any set of events.  As a result, I didn’t do any doubles, so I was what you might say as normal?

Now I did do a couple if organized rides.  First was l’etape du California … That was a tough one.  We actually ride the same route that the pro’s raced on Stage 7 of Tour of California.  At least I wasn’t the last one to finish.  The second was Santa Cruz Mountain Challenge.  I call that my local Death Ride.

This year, I also decided to be a commuter maniac.  I didn’t keep track, but I think I was able to commute 90% of the days.  It definitely was a different type of riding, and I also did a weekly night ride with the local meet up group.  That definitely helped accumulate the mileage.

Here are the totals


So what’s up for 2014? Well I’m seeing a goal of completing DMD, Devils Mountain Double, 206 miles, and 18,000 feet climbing. What am I getting myself into?

2009 Year in Review

It’s New Year’s Eve, and time to do the ritual … re-cap on the last 365 days of 2009.  Gee, time sure flies by, and just to think it seemed like only yesterday.  The year started off really well.  I had a lot of PTO time to spend, so I had the usual new year’s and day after off, and then I took another week off, and took advantage of that by doing a bunch of rides.  So I immediately got a head start on mileage and climbing, and that was cool.

I was really fortunate that my friend Lynn, who is a pretty key volunteer for the Tour of California, had an extra spot for a traveling Course Marshall.  This is one of the most coveted volunteer positions for the entire event, and I got in.  Woohoo.  This meant I got to hop in and out of those speeding vans, followed the race from the prologue, all the way to the end in Escondido.  This was an experience I will never forget, despite the fact that it rained, and rained hard the first half of the tour, and we were all soakin’ wet from it.  The only other thing was we couldn’t really enjoy the race, since we were working it.  Oh well, I guess you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

Bunch of my friends also were planning on doing Davis Double, and we were going to have a big showing there.  So in preparations for that, I scheduled to do Primavera Century in April, and Wine Country Double Metric in May, as warm ups.  Primavera was fine, and went without issues, but Wine Country was wet and raining.  I was riding it with Pete, and we basically did portions of all the rides … 50, 100, 200k, and even the 25 miler.  It was fun, it was silly, and it was wet.  I wasn’t really riding that well, and was really glad to be over with it.  In the back of my mind, with this being only 120 miles (really less than that),  I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be ready for Davis.  No sense in worrying about it now.

Ah, then Davis comes around.  We had a fairly good sized BF contingent, so it was going pretty good.  Then, get a flat, and there went my paceline.  It ended up being a really hot day, temps in the triple digits.  Cobb Mountain really took a lot out of me.  It was steep, and wide open, with no shades.  It kept going on and on … ice socks were the order of the day.  When I got to Resurrection, and had no energy left, and I hear the temp there was 105 F.  This was at mile 125, or something like that.  I got to the top, at mile 136, and decided to sag it in.  My first DNF.  It was so hot, we had scenes like the pic below:

After DNF’ing Davis, I set my sights next on Eastern Sierra, in June.  Getting there was an adventure itself, as every route we took was greeted with road closures, due to snow over the pass.  In the end, we took a long detour, going via Lake Tahoe, before finally reaching Mammoth.  Then, due to inclement weather, they had to change the route, so our initial plans of getting a 1 hour early start at 4 am was not possible.  Then, on the modified route, we headed south, and we ended up with rain, sleet, and snow.  When it started snowing, I turned back, especially when I saw a bunch of other riders turn back.  I sagged it in, DNF’ing another double century ride.  What is it with me and inclement weather on these double century rides?  After DNF’ing this, I decided no more double centuries for this year.

The failed double centuries would be the bookmark … not the highlight … but the distinguishing event of the year for me.  In addition to this, I ended up buying an IRO Fixie from Henry.  I call it Vader …. all black.  It’s a 43×16, and little did I know how tight the gearing is.  I was just happy to ride a fixie, and I then used this as my primary commute bike to work.  After continuing to commute with this, I started to get stronger and stronger, and my hill climbing started to improve.  Eventually, the weight started coming off.  Suddenly, just out of a whim, I decided to weigh myself.  I had lost about 15 lbs since the last time I weighed myself.  Wow!

This fitness seemed to carry over with me through the end of the year.  I started getting lots of complements about my form and fitness, and I thought the first couple were just good friends saying kind words, but then everybody started saying this.  I thought, wow, maybe I am getting better.  I felt really flattered when Marco was mentioning how strong I was … then, what really clued me in was I was climbing with the big boys … Ramon, Donald, and I wasn’t dying.

One of the most memorable rides this year was a ride that Marco led, going over both sides of Hamilton.  It ended up being a 95 mile ride, with about 13,000 feet climbing.  Little did we know it was their training ride for Everest Challenge, which was to be the following week.  It was an amazing ride, which featured Quimby, Kinkaid (a road not many people go on, and very smooth pavement), to the top of Hamilton, down the other side to a dive restaurant called the Junction, then climb back up Hamilton, then back to the cars.  I am still amazed that I even finished that ride.


Right in the middle of all of this, our friends Marco and Ruth got married.  It was such a happy day, to see these two get married … and what was cool was they rode the tandem from the church to the reception at Huddard Park, which is still a bit of a climb … and they were even doing that in a pseudo- black and white outfit.  Yes, we did sacrifice a day from riding, but it was well worth it to see two of our best friends get hitched.  Once again, Marco and Ruth, congradulations.

Another of our friends, Michael, became a father this year.  It was one of the best kept secrets, and none of us had any clue.  I guess it came pretty suddenly for him too.  But what was interesting here was he actually has done more riding than we have since he has become a father.  Kings Mountain, OLH, and Page Mill, all in the same day … he’ll do that in a heartbeat.

Of course, I’ve also done my normal visits down to Southern California.  One of my favorite rides down there is Chantry Flats, and one time, my friend Mary took me up to the helicopter pad.  Not too many people know about this, but it’s a nice extra climb giving you a view of the valley.  It’s pretty awesome:

So thanks for looking back at 2009 along with me.  It was a pretty interesting year, and 2010 will probably have just as many twists and turns.  I’m already starting it off with a bang by changing product groups at work, so 2010 should be interesting.

Happy New Year everyone.