Nelson Vails stopped by to visit my new gig.


Nelson Beasley Vails (born October 13, 1960 in Harlem New York) is a retired road and track cyclist from the United States, a professional rider from 1988 to 1995. He represented the USA at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California, where he won the silver medal in the 1000m Match Sprint, behind countryman Mark Gorski.

• 2009 Inductee to the US Bicycle Hall of Fame

• 1984 Olympics: Track – Sprint Silver, 1984

• First African-American to win an Olympic Cycling Medal

• 1985 World Championships: Tandem Sprint, Silver

• 1984, 1985, 1986 National Tandem Sprint Champion

• 1984 National Sprint Champion

• 1983 Pan American Games: Gold Medal

• 1980s and 1990s competed professionally in the 6-Day circuits in Europe and the Japanese Keirin events.

• Media Cycling commentator involved in cycling commentator for major TV networks and cycling safety programs.

• Starred with Kevin Bacon in the Columbia Pictures release of “Quicksilver”, a movie about the tough world of bicycle messengers in New York City.


Big Bear riding with Team Liquigas

This past weekend is going to be the highlight of the year for me.  I was invited to spend a little bit of time with the Cannondale folks up at Big Bear.  The Amgen Tour of California was coming to Big Bear for Stage 6.  We stayed at Edgewood Mansion the place you might remember from my Cannondale CAAD 10 review back in October of 2010.  As always I enjoy hanging out with the Cannondale reps and their supporting cast of traveling demo truck and personnel.  They are really fun people who I have become friends with and not just business partners.

But the highlight highlight (yes twice) was riding with two professional cyclists from the Liquigas pro cycling team.  The riders were Alan Maragoni (Left) and Stefano Agostini (Right).  Of course we were all riding our Cannondale EVO bikes.  Here are a few pictures.

George “Red Eyed Vireo” Vargas with Stefano Agostini and Alan Maragoni

George “Red Eyed Vireo” with Peter Sagan

Made A New Friend Today

Jeret Peterson stopped by the shop today.  I got him hooked-up on a spanking new 2010 Cannondale CAAD9 1.  Jeret is going to be in town for about a month.  He will be at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista working on strength training.  Of course with his new steed he’ll also be working on his cardio!

Don’t know Jeret Peterson?  Well I didn’t either..until TODAY.  He is a two-time Olympian Aerial competitor.  He’s a real chill guy and you’d never guess he’s a bad-ass trickster.  Check out this video and his fan page!  Let’s wish him lots of luck at Vancouver!!

Como Street Training Ride

90 miles 3,000 feet of gain. An urban ride and still averaged 20 mph for the day — that’s total time not rolling time. I’m quite proud of that.

First things first– The ride starts at 800 am NOT 830am as I have seen on some websites. I left the house at 7:26 and had to hammer out of the gate to make the meet. I was aching from yesterday’s Food Park ride. So I didn’t get the benefit of an appropriate warm up.

I got to the start at 805am and I could see the the mass of riders overflowing from the bike lane up the road. I had to make the decision then and there will I chase and totally smoke myself even if I get on? Or just let them go and do my own thing. I decided to chase because I could see a rider about a block away and the pack was at least 3 blocks ahead of him. I caught him and asked, “YOU WANNA CATCH COMO?! THEN LET’S WORK TOGETHER!”

We worked well together and we caught the main field. I thanked him for his help and he looked at me and said “there is no way I would have caught them alone no Thank you!” And just like that I had made a friend for the day LOL!

The ride was fast (my perception). I just don’t ride that hard alone. But I need the intensity this month and next. I was hanging tough and then we hit Santiago Canyon. I got dropped. I then got on with some stragglers and rode hard with them to the finish. Someday I’d like to hang in to the finish but it’s probably not likely. I’m going to have to come to terms with that when the time comes that I know I’m as fit as I can be and the pack is still going up the road away from me.

I also want to send a shout out to Jamie Paolinetti. At the end of the Como Street Ride I asked to take a picture for my son. As I mentioned yesterday my son has been watching the Hard Road DVD for about 1 1/2 years. I can’t wait to show him the pictures of both Jason Bausch and Jamie. And then totally unexpected Jamie gave me a copy of PRO isn’t that freakin’ cool? Yes it is. Thanks Jamie!!!

Jamie Paolinetti

Entire workout

Leaving home late and chasing the main field

Como Street Detail

Extra miles after Como Street


Food Park Training Ride

I had a good day on the bike. The last half of August and September is about intensity as I peak for Furnace Creek 508. I did Food Park for the first time. There were a few sketchy riders and they ran a few stops signs in the residential area. In my opinion, the right turns on red were questionable as well. I do have concerns about the overall safety of this ride. I am a huge proponent of safety on the bike. When riding alone I stop at EVERY stop sign and every light. I have an internal conflict with the way groups ride in urban areas. On one hand, I don’t want to be unsafe and on the other I don’t want to get dropped or cause a crash if I’m the only one stopping at a traffic control. I guess that’s why most weekends you can find me riding solo in the mountains.

As an Ultra cyclist I don’t ride in packs. Many of my races break up pretty early and the other races are non-drafting. I felt my pack riding skills were fine. In other words I felt comfortable and not the sketchy rider people had to yell at — “hold your line!”. My sixth sense for the flow of the pack was spot-on. I didn’t miss a thing. I ignored many attacks that I sensed wouldn’t amount to much but wasted energy.

What helped the most was marking Jason Bausch the whole ride. His experience helped me make efforts at the right times and conserve at others. Even when attacks went up the road he was steady. I learned a lot from him today.

JB was gracious enough to take a picture with me. I took the picture for my son. My not quite 5 year old son has been watching the Hard Road DVD for about 1 1/2 years. He loves the soundtrack and always remembers the roll call of the teams– Mercury seems to stick out for some reason.

After my shower and my recovery meal it was time to put on my Skins Travel and Recovery tights. I’m planning on doing Como Street tomorrow. A fast recovery and fresh legs will be necessary to keep up with those boys.


149LBS OR 67.59 kg my

7.90 w/kg for one minute a new PR.

After looking at the graph I am quite sure that my 1 min number would actually be higher than 534 depending on the situation. I remember distinctly what happened. There was an attack which I didn’t follow so I surged but backed off. Then I saw JB go and that was the right time to go. As you can see there was

an initial surge to 672 watts

then a pull back down to 240 watts

then another surge up to 885 watts with 10 sec avg at 743 watts

then the last 30 secs (when I should’ve been fading) I still put out a 553 avg.

ALSO HAD A MAX SPRINT OF 1077 WATTS OR 15.93 w/kg and a 5 sec of 995 watts or 14.72 w/kg good for mid cat four on the Power Profile chart.

Jure Robic stops by…

the shop. Team Race Across America (RAAM) starts Saturday June 17th. Come down to the start line and cheer them on. The start line is the pier in Oceanside California. I’ll be there with my son. Would it be corny to wear my RAAM finisher’s jersey?

Jure Robic has been stopping by the shop the last three years. Funny how he always remembers I did 2 person relay RAAM back in 2007. Jure is a four time winner of RAAM. I wish him luck and nice tailwind.

Here is Jure Robic’s blog

Training for Funace Creek 508 Update

Training for the 508 is coming along nicely. I have extended my commute to 45 miles each way. That’s 90 miles a day (with an 8 hour work day in between) and 270 miles for the week before the weekend starts.

Today’s commute was plagued with little annoyances. The morning started off great. I got enough sleep the night before and my legs only ached a little from the Tuesday night Criterium I do in Long Beach. One hour of high intensity effort. So less than 12 hours later on the bike again.

1. I drive 20 miles to my commute start point. I really needed to go to the restroom and didn’t have any idea where to pull over.

2. Well as I am thinking about where to pull over I realize I LEFT MY BIKE AT HOME!

3. My iPod wasn’t working yet it was fully charged

4. I had a headwind and warming up I said to myself “oh this is going to be a long ride”

5. I have four saddle sores now and they began to cause discomfort right from the start of the ride.

6. I flatted on Interstate 5 South from Las Pulgas to Harbor Drive in Oceanside. First time I have ever flatted on my commute on the 5 freeway.

But the day got better. On my way through Oceanside I ran into Steve Hegg . Then I ran into my friend Jason. We rode together and he gratefully listen to me whine about my ride. I then get to the start of the “Camp Pendleton Ride” and see some other friends Kenny Souza and John Howard.

As I’m shaking John’s hand he says “Hey Mr. Ultra Distance Cyclist!” I was stunned and humbled by his comment. I replied “John you are the the Ultra Distance Cyclist.” Then we got into a discussion of when I was doing RAAM Solo and why I didn’t participate in 2008 RAAM. It was good talking to one of the guys you started this whole crazy RAAM thing. He is really a down to earth guy.

Anyway I eventually made it to work and then the doldrums of the day began for sure. Except when Scott Tinley came in for a bike fit.

If you have read this far I am beginning my search for crew members for Furnace Creek 508. If you are interested send me a line.