I bought a bike.

You can't be sand while riding a bicycle


Setting: Car
Time: August 2014
Rockin’ – “I think we need to buy road bikes and ride in the first annual Tehachapi Gran Fondo. It is in a month. I will sign us up when we get home.”
Dan – “Well okay.”

That’s pretty much how it all started.

Since I never had actually been on a road bike, this was a stretch. Little did I know at that time, the enormity of HOW much there was to learn about buying, riding, and maintaining a road bike, much less the cost. How very naive I was.

Next, I spent a good amount of hours at Action Sports, an awesome sports shop in Bakersfield with VERY patient and knowledgable salesmen. Kerry Ryan, the owner and friend was selling a very trick, light, and used bike. I bought it on the spot.

In the midst of it all, Grant, my son (most of you know him as Silly Chili) graduated and moved home. Well… of course he joined our shenanigans and started riding a bike he bought from a friend in college.

A trio of sorts was born.

Next up, Dan bought a very nice rental bike when we visited Mammoth the next weekend. I just told him to buy the bike. Don’t think about it.

I watched a lot of You Tube “How to ride a bike” videos, rode every evening, and consulted with some very experienced and super nice local cyclists. They all were very patient.

AND discovered the app Strava (more about this later).

The next weekend found us riding 70 miles in the Mammoth High Sierra Fall Century. It was a well-organized event with open roads, friendly people, and great food at the support stations. We were hooked.

Finish line Mammoth High Sierra Fall Century & Gran Fondo
Finish line Mammoth High Sierra Fall Century & Gran Fondo

The next weekend we rode 67 miles through 5,009 vertical feet of climb and descent in our very own Tehachapi Gran Fondo. Grant decided at the last-minute to ride the full 97 miles with 7,288 vertical feet climb and descent. If you live anywhere near Tehachapi, ride a road bike, and love beautiful countryside that is a bit challenging, sign up for next year’s ride. Do it. It is a winner.

Tehachapi Gran Fondo Finish Line
Tehachapi Gran Fondo Finish Line

After actually finishing both these events without mishap or peril, our small team took on the granddaddy of rides the Bakersfield Kern Wheelmen Spooktacular. We trained and trained and trained on our mountain roads in Tehachapi, largely because the stats for the longer rides in this event are simply mind-boggling.

Grant took on the Hideous 100, 109 miles with 10,800 feet of climbing on some very narrow, steep, and windy road.  Dan and I took on the Horrible 100, 106 miles with 8,600 feet of climbing.

We not only survived well, but had fun and enjoyed friends and great food at the finish. Next year I so am doing the Hideous ride.

Riding up Lion's Trail at Kern Wheelman's Spooktacular
Riding up Lion’s Trail at Kern Wheelman’s Spooktacular


Finish line at the Spooktacular
Finish line at the Spooktacular

The first of November, we took a cruise  50 mile ride up and down the California Coast from Oceanside Pier through Encinitas and back in Bike the Coast. The night before the event, we stayed with hiker friends, Jack and Barb (aka Tequila Kid and Boo Boo). Both were part of the famous snowy PCT Class of 2011. We enjoyed great food, laughter, stories (trail of course), and sharing of our lives.

Team Tehachapi at Oceanside Pier, the start of Bike the Coast
Team Tehachapi at Oceanside Pier, the start of Bike the Coast


Cruising down Highway 1 at Bike the Coast
Cruising down Highway 1 at Bike the Coast


In 3 months time,  I managed to ride 787 miles with 61,000 feet of climbing elevation. Stats were recorded using my iPhone app Strava.
*Note: the guys beat me by just a couple hundred miles and a tad bit of elevation gain. 🙂

Now there’s more to share..but that will be for another upcoming post.


  1. Spooktacular will be terrifying this year!

  2. You have such a fun life. 🙂

  3. So I clicked on another link here and find that you’ve been mountain biking in 2011. Sometimes the road bike is a long-time coming but its a new pursuit and addictive for sure. Have fun!

  4. You were just south of my humble abode here in Central Orange County. Livin’ in SoCal is great accept for the traffic.

    Glad to see you’ve found a new way to enjoy yourself. I used to have a stable of road and mountain bikes and I was very deep into that sport; riding 200 or so miles a week and hitting lots of long rides too. I wish that I had not burned out but I did and that was a few decades ago now. Thank God I still have surfing and hiking. One thing that riding road will do for you is give you tremendous cardio health and it’ll put muscle on the legs. And if you pursue the road enough it’ll make riding a mountain bike a cinch. You’ll be able to ride right off others wheels and it’ll feel pretty cool. And I can say that each advance that you have in your bike stable will help you increase your technique and improve your skills. When I used to ride it was the higher dollar mountain bikes that really made it a pleasure and they helped to make me look good too. And having a good gruppo really helps a bunch too.

    Final note: glad to see you and your family doing this together. That’s awesome!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!

  5. Those are some impressive events and stats from your rides. Congratulations. I’ve got a road bike and a mountain bike, but I much prefer mountain biking any day. It is just so much better to be away from traffic and out in the woods.

    • Hello Jarrett,
      Both my husband and I have mountain bikes, but it seems falling off goes with the territory if going on rough terrain on single track. Dan had shoulder surgery 23 years ago after falling in a race. I think I just decided that I wanted to be healthy to hike during the summer. We just might have to try it again. I also think a better mountain bike just might be helpful. Thank you for your reminder and inspiration.

  6. So you say you can’t be sad when riding . . . maybe not sad, but I SUFFER plenty on those climbs. You are a badass chick! I trained tons before my first metric and still suffered. It seems I suffer plenty although I’ve ridden thousands of miles. Although as an endorphin junkie, I’m happy and smiling when done. I’ve only ever had one road bike and sometimes I wonder a different bike would give me wings? Cross-training is good!

    • I am such an amateur. Ah yes the SUFFER. It is a lot like climbing a mountain. You get to the top and forget about all the pain. The reward is great. If I have learning anything from all this is…CROSS-TRAINING IS KING. After all that bike riding, after climbing Mount Baldwin in September for my birthday climb, we could barely walk. It was very painful. Got to say though a light bike makes all the difference. Good to hear from you. Merry Christmas!


  7. Congrats on the bike! I used to do triathlons so I’ve done a bit of that too. 🙂 I still run and use Strava for that. A great app!


    • Hello and thank you! Six months ago if you would have asked me anything about cycling, I would have said, only crazy people ride on those narrow roads on very skinny tires. Funny how things can change quickly. I have also been using Strava for hiking, snowshoeing, and climbing. There are a ton of apps out there, but this one stuck with our family. We all have little competitions. The one new thing this year that has kept me on track with fitness is that little app.

      • That’s great! I use Gaia GPS on the trail, but it’s nice to also have it all in one like you’re doing. I found a new app call “Movescount” that goes with Suunto GPS watches, but you don’t need the watch to make it work as you can just record your track in it as you go and it makes these cool 3D movie clips of your hiking route (or biking or whatever). Actually…I have to give Wired the credit for hooking me up with this app. 🙂

  8. steve scarano

    Jeepers Creepers, Rockin’, next time you are in Oceanside give us a call!

    • Oh man I probably rode right by your home!!!!! Funny… it was my first time visiting that part of the coast and I rode right through it. Lovely area. AND very busy.
      Merry Christmas to you and your family. Think Outside starts January 23!!!!

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