Sunday, February 10, 2008

HAWAII-2008-Haleakala, 10,023'

I spent so much time getting travel bike together (eg. 2 days before leaving I figure I'll want to take the chain off so buy and learn how to use Connex links), I really didn't pay attention to the original goal of the trip--riding up Halakala on Maui. Otherwise I certainly would have not left glove liners and knee warms at home for the downhill--and maybe rethought riding with a loaded fanny pack pressing on bladder, coupled with extra hydration meant lots of "tree" stops. At least I read the good story on the Chain Reaction site, and we planned to start the ride in Paia--at 0', clear across the island.

At first glance Haleakala doesn't look impressive as you don't see a majestic peak like Mt. Shasta or Mt. Diablo--as it goes clear into the clouds. But it takes up the whole South of Maui and looks like the Oakland Hills on steroid, a massive wall across the island
We were staying at lower dot to the left and planning to ride to the distant peak of Haleakala, dot on the right, hidden by clouds.

little bit of a pain taking apart-transporting-and then rebuilding my bike (@ 1 1/2 hours each-50 lb suitcase) for one ride but on the other hand Mike scrambled for an ill fitting rental and we later heard from another Club member who rode Haleakala on a badly fitted rental bike.

Stayed in a place with tiny rooms which would have been a dive in Northern California but was charming in Maui. Here prices were on steroids, a CO2 cartridge (screw in, 16g) was $10, as they have to boat them in. I wanted to stoke up on carbs so a bagel in a coffee shop caught my eye--nothing on it-- $3.50. Mauiflation. Paia is a nice oceanfront town with a main road running though it, kind of like Tomalas with more things to do and a lot warmer. Luckily soon found some locally baked (and reasonably priced) pumpkin bread, and later for dinner ate pizza baked in an open wood oven with the friendliest waitresses ever.

Haleakala from Paia--it is so big it looks real close, but it is at the other end of Maui, @14 miles away

Next morning we are psyched to start and are ready to go @7:10. Well I'm psyched to go. The sky is black over the left side of Haleakala, blue over the right side. Mike is still on India time and he says he isn't going if it is raining, and looks like he has little energy for the 10,000' climb. But he is a long distance bulldog so I just want to get him started.

The beginning of the ride is the toughest as from ground 0' you immediately start climbing.

Nothing bad, the whole ride is a constant 3-6%, but it seems like we were closer to the upper range at the beginning on tight legs. About every 2 minutes a car would pass on the road through ag land with a narrow shoulder. I was also worried about rain--but it seemed like the sky was getting a little clearer as we pressed on. I'm also po'd that my cyclocomputer died--but the road is marked with altitude markings, and this way I could just keep Mike's pace without trying to stay at a certain MPH. . Not to many turns on the ride, but aware that the Chain Reaction owner got lost we make sure we make a right in Hanamu, where traffic picks up a bit.

Mike is also unusually quiet, until a local come by, she is cycling to the base of Haleakala. There is a solid pack of white clouds about 5,000' up, so I stop and take loads of photos while Mike and local woman push on. Road is again quiet with the occasional car--but we have a good shoulder. .

3000' From the Chain Reaction site we are aware that no water is readily available so we stop at the Kula Marketplace, very nice place with local food and crafts, to get an extra water bottle to carry up. We are now at about 3,000' and haven't entered the park yet--this is where local woman turns around..

At about 3,000' looking back from where we started

4000' In a little while, at mile 14 of constant climbing, we get to the turn into the park, which indicates that summit is 22 miles away. Shoulder ends but now traffic really lessons--maybe a passing car every 10 minutes. Still clear so I stop often to get more shots of where we had been. One time the quiet is punctuated by something we'd see a few times--raincoat clad full facemask helmet tourists who were vanned to a higher elevation coasting downhill on cheap mountain bikes.

At about 4,000'("X" to right is where we started) --we haven't hit the first cloud level yet, and 6,000' to go.

Another pack of aliens coming down.
5000'-6000' We start passing thru layer of dreary, dark, stagnant clouds and it gets cooler very fast. I switch on blinking rear helmet light. Luckily once we pass through the clouds it is again sunny. Strange though--we've passed through cloud layers plenty of times on Mt. Diablo, but looking up--at about 9,000' , there is a second cloud layer of fast moving white clouds.
6500' Pay station--even $5 for bikes. Nice and sunny and you can see the endless switchbacks towards the top, 3500' more feet of climbing and 11 miles to the summit--with summit encased in white puffballs.

Mike at 6,500' we passed through one dark cloud layer, a second white layer waits for us at the top.
8,000 Time to stop and put back on our vests. 7 miles to go. It has been getting colder and colder--not only the 3 degrees you lose every 1,000'. The switchbacks are getting shorter and shorter so we are hitting the South side facing the Coast more and more--and every time we come around a blast of cold air is there to great us. Mike affected by the altitude, though I think he is more affected by being in India 3 days ago. I notice that i have to take long-slower breaths but altitude not really a problem.
Two STRANGE THINGS. Clouds that look like dry ice vapor and being blown across the road. And there is no vegetation--it looks like moonscape.
Road never gets steep--the ever changing wind is just annoying. Luckily close to here there is a visitors center and bathroom, which is a chance to get out of the cold wind. A few people congratulate us for riding to the top, but I really don't want to hear it as we aren't there yet. Gusts are so heavy Mike's bike blows over when he sets it near a rail.

Fast moving clouds come up the side of the volcano behind me
9,000'-Now clouds are shooting up the side of the Volcano closest to the ocean and zooming across the road in front of us. Can't see much as cottonball layer is on all sides--though we are in the sun. I like to stand when climbing, which is usually counterproductive in the wind--but a few times I catch a tailwind and zoom 1/4' mile until the wind shifts again. Soon there a sign says "Summit 2 miles."

Within 2 miles of the top the clouds fly over the road. Where did the trees go???

Mike in the distance close to the summit with clouds behind him and the moon between us.,
10,023'-Now you can finally see the summit. The road kicks up a little but nothing bad. Still no vegetation, still have to negotiate the ever changing wind, still no view except for white clouds. See a small observation shed at the summit-man, I'll be happy to get in there. Ride up the ramp with visitors applauding congratulating us, they can't believe we rode to the top. It took us almost 7 hours--a real snail of a time but goal was to get to the top and sightsee and we had lots of long stops and Kodak moments. Celebrate by eating another delicious Cliff Bar--shouldn't there be steak waiting for us!. I start emptying out my fanny pack of clothes for the trip down, realizing I didn't bring enough. (eg no knee warmers or buff, no glove liners though I scored some surgical gloves.)

Traditional photo from 10,023'-a few Diablo Cyclist clubmates had photos taken years earlier from exact the spot.

Crappy photo taken of red crater--but it was so cold and windy I didn't even want to walk a few more feet to take photo over the rails.
I am finally hurting I AM FREEZING IN HAWAII !!!--the first 2,000' of altitude loss is no fun. Severe cross wind and my being cold has me shaking. We only saw one rider all day going up--he was wearing a tri-top, now going down he is wearing a garbage bag. I get to the $$$ station where Mike is waiting for me and flop to the ground--ranger comes out to see what is wrong. Nothing, I just want to lay on the asphalt to warm up my back. Mike assures me it is not that cold but I don't trust him, I'm not a happy camper until I get some hot coffee at the Kalu Market.
From then on it is just a fast ride, with tailwind, back to Paia. Mike almost gets wiped out by a dog on an extendo-leash 1/2 mile from from Paia. Final stats-a little less than 7 hours to the top of Haleakala, around 2 hours on the return trip.

All of a sudden riding in Hawaii is over, as next day we'd fly back to Honolulu, and the next day I'd fly home. Back to the friendly Flatbead Company Pizza cafe--then spent 1 1/2 hours breaking down the Jamis-Rex-S & S Travel Bike on the patio of the Lodge, under a dim 50 watt bulb. Yeah, I wish it was faster putting together and taking apart the bike--I figure I should get it down to an hour, and even with a regular suitcase it is heavy and a bit of a pain to lug around. Ideally the rental option is the way to go but as Mike and Tom (another Triple Crown clubmate) found that lots of times you get stuck with an ill fitting bike. Forget a full sized travel bike--super unwieldy in a huge case, and apart from airlines surcharges, cabs and commuter buses had additional fees for them. Shit--on the way home United tried to surcharge my suitcase though it is regulation size and 50 lbs exactly. One clerk started ranting that as a bike is in there (stupid me-I answered honestly), THEY CHARGE. Had to wait for another clerk who examined the suitcase as I pointed out all there is are pipes. No surcharge--but to avoid the hassle she said next time say it is "bicycle wheels."

I'm with Jamis S&S Bike by one of another small beach in Oahu,
Jamis Bike in front of the quirky Nalu Kai Lodge on Maui.Jamis, with stock 105 parts worked out well and after I fine tuned (which I should have done right away) derailleur shifted great., and I should have gotten a new odomoter. I covered the couplings with rubber tubing and lizard skins to keep out grime, which worked nicely. Connex links worked great for taking off the chain. I didn't like the strange shaped ergo bars, but my mantra is that as I got bike for it's fair component package for virtually free, I wasn't going to upgrade anything (except the saddle.) And great that bike fitted me really well. Next time I just have to get a bigger carry on bag for the shoes and helmet.
Postscript: The ride UP Halleakala was great as it is sooo strange and different than anything else ever done, and going uphill lets you savior the nuances. We were surprised to see the downhill tour companies (thought they were banned after a few bike deaths) and apparently the tour directors tell their flock to say witty things like "you are going the wrong way," which we heard often and seems to be an often repeated remark according to other web recaps. Funny how perspective differs. One guy, Tom Adams, aka CrazyBikeGuy, writes after doing the downhill tour, "We passed a few dedicated riders who were biking to the top on road bikes. It didn't look like fun...This (the downhill) is a fun ride, with great views, and you don't have to be a cyclist to enjoy it. I don't think I had to pedal more than a few times in the whole trip." At the other end of the spectrum is Mike Jacoubowsky of Chain Reaction Bicycle. He writes "heading downhill with trail-a- bikes in tow? Not my idea of a good time! The descent, I'd later discover, is almost mind numbing in length. In a way it is easier going up than down." I agree with Mike.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

HAWAII-2008-Double Metric & Around Oahu

Started off like a good idea that just mushroomed and took on a sense of urgency while everything got delayed. Didn't have a real vacation last year while wife went to Mexico, oldest daughter to Europe (a few times) and youngest to Hawaii. Wanted to have a bike ready to go off and travel--Western Canada?, Flanders?, Maui?, back to Italy? but availability of a bike renting is always spotty, and don't want to lug around a huge bike box--which gets $$surcharged by the airlines$$ and is difficult to get to and from the airport. The Bike Friday mini wheeled bikes look goofy, but are seemingly easy to use--and while our woman long distance champ and boyfriend like their Bike Friday's, the did say at the club xmas party that they are squirley, especially on the descent. Great. Ritchey was another option but their bike now fits in a 64" suitcase, 2" over what you get surcharged with, and though suitcase is free it is soft sided.

Another idiosyncratic option, S&S Couplings that split the frame in half and then fit in a regular (albeit the LARGEST regular) suitcase. Couplings invented by a machine shop in Sacramento, and one of the few handfuls of builders who uses it, Rex Cycling, is also in Sacramento; Rex was one of the first builders to use them and he is on of the few that will retrofit an existing steel bike with S&S Couplings. .

Getting a custom steel bike (S&S Couplings mostly for steel bikes) with S&S Couplings is $$expensive$$, and while Rex Bikes look great--I didn't want to spend $$$ on a travel bike. Shit--for 1/2 a day I had a delusion that I should get a Colnago Master Light and retrofit it with S&S Couplings. No, if I get either bike I don't want it chopped up. Actually the best option would have been to retrofit my GT but the seat stays that join the top tube IN FRONT of the seat tube prevent it from being retrofitted--the S&S coupling on the seat tube goes right where the seat stays come in.

Meanwhile CA Mike, who finished building Kaiser Modesto last year and then ran out of projects suddenly had an opportunity to work in Hawaii--and started wondering if I'd come over and we could climb the largest mountain on Maui.

Started thinking about where I could get a moderately priced bike to retrofit. Most companies have gone to Carbon and Aluminum--I was really surprised when Bianchi no longer made a steel bike Other companies made steel bikes but had pipe tubing frames and lousy components that weighted 25 lbs.

Good steel bikes are now the province of small framebuilders, but getting one from them entailed a wait, and costly components rapidly escalating the cost of a frame. Wheres the big companies buy components en masse and basically give them away on their frame. And as stated before--chopping a great bike in half to stuff in a suitcase isn't what I would want to do with a great bike.

As luck would have it a Sports Basement store (mostly camping, biking, running, swimming) opened next to where we start our club rides from--and I love Sports Basement. Previously, going to it with its collection of camping, cycling and running gear entailed a special trip to San Francisco. Doubly lucky as the guy who built my American Classic wheels (great rear wheel), Ryan, turned up as the manager of their bike shop. Meanwhile they were blowing out last year's Jamis' which make a mid level bike with decent components, at a $$$ near an entry level bike, and I really like my Jamis fixed gear and how it fit (sizing similar.).

Only trouble--NO closeout bikes in my size--the hunt went on for a month as manager searched in the system. No luck. So we had to jump on a 2008 model, which differed with a compact frameset (more room for sizing error) and blue instead of red. Both changes I like. But the bike was slow to arrive.

Meanwhile Super Bowl weekend, which was first brought up as the time to go to Hawaii, quickly passed. I kept putting trip back later and later--and once bike came in it would take 1/2 a week to strip, 3 weeks to get retrofitted by Rex Cycling, 1/2 a week to be put back together, and 1 week for me to feel comfortable taking apart the bike and packing it and then putting it back together. As it turned out I only had one week where I stayed up to 2am each night figuring out what to do--wish I had 3 weeks, but...

Rex Cycling in downtown Sacramento in the building that time forgot (no doubt the train right behind it saved it from modern redevelopment)

at Sports Basement after frame was retrofitted with S&S Couplings--check out the nifty paint job around the couplings (couplings came out great--I went low budget)

it takes time but it all goes in a suitcase-honest

As it turned out, when finally found a good week to go to Hawaii with new S&S Coupling bike, my friend California Mike had to go on a business trip in India for half the time. He graciously let me use his oceanside condo and touted a really great cycling club-race team, Tradewind Cyling Club, to ride with on the weekend, and usually start nearby in Waikiki. Of course day before I left Tradewind indicates that they are going on one of their longest rides of the year, a 95 miler up and back on the east coast (windward side) of Oahu. BUT, they are not starting in Honolulu but at a college 15-20 miles away which is OVER the hills surrounding the North of Honolulu. And the ride starts at 7:00 AM.

I really want to do this ride but how the F am I going to find the start the morning after I come in. As I'd find out not many usable road options in Hawaii. I could either go around Diamondhead and hug the Coast--but that would be a 30-35 mile ride to the start. Or I could climb over the Northern Honolulu Hills on the Pali Highway which has a bypass detour and necessitates riding through some tunnels. Additionally I could count on getting lost, with me being phonetically challenged (and lazy) and most of the streets and roads are long K--- words, Kalakaua to Kapahula to Kalanianaole to Kahekili. Good times. Yeah--leaving at 5:30 in the dark in a strange place--didn't think I had a chance but had to try as sounded like a good ride and I'd be missing our clubs 120 miler on mines Road--which traditionally starts the new cycling season..

So Friday night was 2 hours of setting up the bike, studying some maps, and then 4 hours of sleep.
(March 2008) Oahu Double Metric

Going through Honolulu at 5:30 was surreal--riding soon to be busy streets that were now deserted. In the dark I really had no idea where I was. Some streets were one way so I had to circle around to the Pali Highway, which took me through hotpants (hooker) row." Finally on the Pali, which climbs right away but has a nice shoulder,. Unfortunately my shifting was off and my chain kept slipping gears---not the greatest for a nighttime climb. At one point I got off the relatively well lit Pali Highway and took the bypass--which was perfectly DARK as I creeped uphill through houses while hearing strange animal noises. This was spooky--luckily I had a 1 watt helmet light. Finally back on the Pali and at the top--and I wasn't going downhill in the dark-so hung out at the lookout.

Jamis S&S bike ready for Oahu overlooking the Ala Moana marina.

To the deserted Pali Lookout right before dawn--I hung around as wasn't going downhill until the sun came out

Oh yeah--at 6:30 AM the Hawaii weather is so comfortable that I didn't feel a bit cold in just a jersey and vest--no arm warmers needed. That's 6:30 AM.

Sun peaks out and fast downhill through some tunnels that would prevent me from coming back this way (uphill through a road tunnel with no shoulder not a great idea)

Met up with Tradewind Cycling Team and glad I rode with them as we went down the Oahu East Coast before doing a nice inland Pineapple Hill loop. Some riders didn't plan to do the whole loop, so they could go swimming instead, and after 115 miles I was pleasantly surprised that the group leader hung around for me so he could drive me back to Honolulu--thus my avoiding a 30+ mile trip along the ocean. Group leader could have been DC's Jack long lost brother--only 3 scheduled stops and for less than 10 minutes each time.

Learned alot quickly about Oahu cycling. Not too many road alternatives to cycle on and the roads are heavy with traffic. (one of the reasons for Tradewinds 7:00 start) Roads have shoulders that quickly disappear when one of the plentiful bridges over canals appear. Extra hazard when passing many of the small beaches--with bikini clad surfers flipping their boards out of their vehicles and/or doing u-turns on the road where they are parked. Plenty of glass on the shoulders. Was told that over the years road biking had lost its popularity and is a poor cousin to swimming and running--jeeze, it seems like everyone runs on Oahu. On the other hand weather, while it got warm which I wasn't used to (first time with no tee shirt-knee warmers all year), always stayed very comfortable, passed loads of scenic spots, and traffic lessened on Pineapple Hill away from the water. Only thing that marred the ride was my gear kept slipping (jolt through the legs) when on a climb--but luckily not many climbs.l
I'm at Tradewind turn around on Wayward Coast.

Next day did a 55 miler with Tradewinds Cycling Team past Diamonhead and onto the circular coast route I would have needed to take the day before if I didn't get a lift back. Club knew where all the traffic hot spots/ disappearing shoulders were--so took many detours/ back roads that I tried to remember. Lowlight was when I was b.s'ing with a rider who used to live in Walnut Creek and a chicken came flying out of the brush-slammed into his handlebars, then ricochets into my leg and then into my wheel. No accident but guys in the back kept telling me I need to look at my wheel, which I didn't want to do--afraid to see the blood and guts. Finally looked--there was just a huge clump of feathers in my axle. Coffee with Club afterwards-feels weird I wouldn't ride with them again.

When weekend was over I did a couple of solo rides. I kept hearing about this hard a Tantalus Climb in a rain forest overlooking Honolulu--and that 30 minutes was a good benchmark for climbing the 4.5 miles. First time I went around a took loads of photos; while we have many much steeper grades we regularly ride on in NorCal, my gears are still slipping despite many barrel adjustments by the shifters. I figured if I did the loop again I'd try to time trial, and despite a heavy bike (+5 lbs than my Litespeed), with excess crap needed for when I tour, and with slipping gears, I was happily surprised when I finished in 24:55.
View of Honolulu from Tantalus rainforest

Then I made sure my average speed would be about 8mph as I cycled up to the Punchbowl Military Cemetery and walked the bike around the crater while thinking about my dad. After that it was cycling down to the unique Hawaii State Capitol building and Iolani Palace where the kings and queens of Hawaii lived until the United States helped get rid of them on behalf of "economic" (rich) interests.

Next day I went back along the oceanfront along the eastern coast trying to remember the Tradewinds route/ detours--wanting to do at least a metric century. I wound up in nondescript Kailua which had a nice health shake shop and small public beach I relaxed under a palm tree on. But WOW--they had a Long's Drugs that almost had normal prices--items in Waikiki were 2-3x what I usually expected..

Me climbing up to Makapuu Overlook Cruddy photo taken with Mike's I phone

Came back from metric and pleasantly surprised as Mike back a little early from his trip to the land of dirt--India. So next day we went did half of the metric Coast route to Makapuu Point so he could get a warmed up ride for our Haleakala adventure.

Mike at Makapuu Point. Mini photos from around Honolulu and Ohau.

Friday, February 1, 2008


Winters been a bitch. Bad cold around Xmas lasted almost to MLK day. Then it started raining, and raining. Trying to get a cheap travel bike together, game plan was to get a cheap steel bike and get S&S couplings put in but bike shop is dicking around getting Jamis in my size, and not to many off the shelve steel options left. Now to late to have ready for trip to Hawaii where Mike is building a hospital. Did make a few good purchases:

1) OVERSIZED BIKE SHOES--In winter use sock liners and lightweight ski socks--in regular shoes there is no room and feet sweat and get cold. Bought a pair of Time shoes on Bike Nashbar Clearance-1 size larger than normal--and works great.
2) FOX MINIMAL CUSHIONED SKI SOCKS--Used to not to protect my calves but with these on in 40 degree weather feel great as legs fully covered.
3) VELOCE BRAKES FOR FIXED GEAR--Really like the way the Campy brakes look--and the Campy Record brakes on my Litespeed were such a BIG improvement over the temperamental Zero Gravities, I put a pair of black Veloces on the fixed gear.
4) REAR WHEEL ODOMETER FOR TRAINING BIKE--Time goes by much faster--and better workout when you are trying to keep a speed up as opposed to aimlessly pedaling,
5) 3 WATT MINI LED FLASHLIGHT. With piece of velcro and heavy duty pony tail tie can easily loop this light on any of my bikes. Within 2 years there will be LED lights that are the equivalent of 10 watts, that last for 8 hours, for less than $100.

Otherwise trying to get closer to 145 lbs than 155 lbs, which is getting harder and harder. Since turning 50 I've been pretty good with a daily exercise scheme and have up this pace this year--300 crunches a day (can't get rid of the belly), 300 hamstring curls with light weights, 70 leg curls with heavier weights, 150 calf raises with light weights, and @ 2x a week go balls out on the trainer for an hour. Hopefully this work will pay off in not suffering on the Terrible Two, which was easy in 2005 and a killer in 2006 (mercifully daughters graduation in 2007.)

Great quote from Craig the other day, the self appointed (everyone is self appointed) club historian of the Diablo Cyclists. "We take the cycling seriously but don't take ourselves seriously." He's spot on--that is why I love this club so much.


Early pseudo-spring weather for 3 day "Nixon (and other Presidents) Birthday" weekend and got in some nice rides-punishing as done back to back to back. On Sat. Diablo Cyclists did 60 miles of the Oakland hills, 4,200+ feet of climbing., and as usual someone always pushing the pace. Next day (ex-CA now HA) Mike, Ward, Donna and I did Mines Road at a relaxed pace, surprised that the out and back climb up Mines wasn't jammed with cyclists--no doubt many watching the Tour of California start. We all went past the Junction for a turnaround--the guys even going out another couple of miles, where we then said wow--what fun taking it easy for once where we then went balls out to catch back to Donna at the Junction, which was holding a NASCAR fan convention. 70 miles, 4,2000+ feet of climbing.

Donna wants to do the Davis Double this year, and she is putting in lots of time in the gym--but now needs to go on longer rides than she can in East County. We go to Mines Road on a beautiful day and meet up with Ward and Hawaii (formerly California) Mike. We see a big group at the beginning of the day but much to my surprise not many cyclists on the road--maybe they are all out at the Tour of California Prologue. We all go about 3 miles past the Junction (which Donna has never seen) and then the guys go on another mile or so before we paceline back to Donna. Beautiful day for a ride.

(1) Ansel Ward Adams-dares to cycle with a good camera which I don't do (mine actually had film in it from last year.) (2)) Donna on the long but gradual climb which is wide open. (3) Mike leading the charge on the uphill after one of the scenic water crossings--unfortunately the water is right on the road.

Next day another great Diablo Cyclist metric--we rode out to Coleman Valley, the big climb of the day for the Tour of California Stage racers, which is now a more important event when the greatest cyclists of the last 5 years-- Boonen, Betinni and Cancellara are all in the field. Last year we froze our a## off waiting on the top of Coleman and then it was a clusterfuck getting down, this year we rode back on the race course ahead of the field--planning to see the finish in Santa Rosa. Cool seeing course markings, fans ringing cowbells when we went by, course markings until we got to 20k to go and a policeman said that racers about a half hour behind us. Oh shitty. But in reality we were much much closer and they were really 1-1 1/2 hours behind us. So after another fast paced 60 mile, 4,200+ ride where Joe and Stephan attacked and attacked, it was great to rest, wave the Flanders flag, and see the pelaton roar by 3x though downtown; only Betinni in his gleaming World Champion jersey could be made out. Nice little expo-best booth by Rock Racing with their banned riders including Tyler Hamilton (what guts when he completed TdF with a broken collarbone) signing autographed posters.

(above)Post ride for us, now we are in downtown Santa Rosa and going to see the race. (below) Rock Racing's Tyler Hamilton and Oscar Sevilla.

(above) Stage 1 in Santa Rosa-Betinni sitting 6th, (below) Stage 3 up Sierra Road--how fast do you think Betinni did it in? (Sierra photo by Ward)