Saturday, July 20, 2019

GMR to Peacock Saddle, Felt Great!

What a nice day! I did get up at 5:15 to go ride my bike today, that is amazing ha ha! Ended up riding to Peacock Saddle today. 13 miles up and 3,018 ft of gain. Last couple of weeks have been hell on me going up GMR. But wanting to get back into shape, what better way to do it then just go out and jump on GMR?

Well since I am on local bike forums any longer, I can say that wussies will make excuses as to why they can't do GMR. Blabber mouths on the forum but shit their pants when you invite them. So I have a chance to ride without Gina so I will take advantage of it. Since she goes to spend time with her remaining only son at the dialysis center on Saturdays, I'm doing GMR! I used to do it fairly often before Gina started consistently riding with me.

Believe me, after all the stuff we have been through lately, several deaths in the family, kids with strokes, heart attacks, you name it, I haven't had much of a chance to ride the way I want to ride. heck, even Gina riding with me has slowed me down years ago. I used to ride to the village like nothing. Sure Gina went to the village a couple times but like many other roads, it scares me to have her out there. She descends pretty well but one little mistake at 30 MPH, she's going to get hurt and she only has one remaining kidney. I think about that plenty now after watching 4 people in our family suffer on dialysis, 3 have passed away.

So anyway, I don't think I'd take her on GMR any more. Just worries me but since "I" have a chance to do it, I'm going to do GMR!

Why do I bring up the wussies?  Some dip shit on a cycling forum, a local would always say something stupid about our rides. Of course Gina would kick the shit out of him on the Santa Ana Trail if he had the balls to ride with us, but he won't. But the same guy would always be Mr. Tough Guy on the forums. Always something sarcastic to say about our riding the trail. It was not TOUGH enough for him. But of course Gina was averaging 17.5 on the 44 miler and this wuss was averaging like 13 MPH. I invited him several times to ride with Gina but he always had an excuse.

How much of PUSS is this guy? Well, he and his wife parked a car at the coast on a super windy day. They headed to Green River in their car and tried to ride to the coast to set a decent average. Of course it didn't work, the dude is a wuss, his mouth a  bigger muscle than his quads ha ha!

But he goes on and on and always seems to say something sarcastic. When I call him out on it, he says, I'm sorry, that's not what I meant. Always finds a way to weasel out of it. So anyway, he had been running his mouth so I invited him to do GMR "WITH GINA"! Gina is always the last one up so I told him he would have no problem. But the wuss made 100 excuses. He had a concussion, the doc told him not to do rides like GMR for a while. Of course a year later, he's still blaming the doc. But yet, he boasts about playing co ed softball and taking out the female catcher at home plate to win the game. A little exaggeration of course because I can not remember the exact stories of his awesomeness playing softball with girls in the D league!

Me? I'm out of shape, I haven't been up there much in years. My legs don't push me up the mountain like they used to. Everybody is going to pass me right now. OK really, I suck right now  ha ha! But I will say, Mr. Beanz is not a Pussy like that forum member!

Ron (Pinoybenter) saw me on SART one day. He asked if I had been up GMR, NO. He said if I was looking to get back into shape, do GMR. It will get me there vs riding the trail. Yeah he is right! Now I have a chance to do GMR, I'm doing it! I don't freaking make excuses. I went out there 3 weeks ago. In the heat, last week 105 high. You start to remember the little secrets of GMR rides. START early to avoid the heat. I only made it up 5 miles that day. I sucked but I was out there the next week. I made it to the shack with 2 stops. I still sucked ha ha but I made it! But hey Ron, I'm up there again!

Today I went up there with a plan to make the shack non stop. I don't know how many times I have done the village non stop but that was then, this is now! But today I made it non stop as planned! I go there, didn't set any speed records but that was not the plan. I made it non stop, felt great and even decided to go to Peacock Saddle. I was shocked that it seemed easier than I remember. But I still had to ride back and those who know the road, know there is some climbing on the way back. That short little steep climb back up to the shack always gets me. Today, I don't know what happened. I climbed that sucker no problem. The entire return was much easier than I remember. I just used a little patients and did it!

Made me think of that forum wuss! You can sit there, make excuses, think of reasons why you should NEVER TRY or you can just get out there and do it!

The legs felt much better today. Once home I have to climb stairs up to our room. First week I thought I was going to throw up climbing the stairs when I got home ha ha!

Today, my third week, I got home, walked up the stairs and felt some good muscle in my legs. They didn't burn, I had to reach down to touch them to find out why. All I felt were some solid quads  ha ha! How often do you do a climbing ride and feel fatigue after the ride? Pretty often I have to say but today was a trip. All I felt was some solid muscle. They might deflate like balloons by midnight for now, I'm feeling pretty dang good!

The other thing is the heat. Another forum big mouth, Pam! Years ago we were talking about doing Ride Around the Bear on the forums. We mentioned Onyx Summit and the increase of temps felt by many participants. I didn't feel it much myself any of the 4 times I did it, but I was in better shape.

Pam starts flapping her gums. Talking about how it is not hot over here blah blah blah! She rode GIANT mountains in Georgia in temps that made Onyx Summit feel like a freezer, blah blah blah!

So after all the flapping, I invited her to do GMR with Gina and Alyce. We had a nice little thing going with some women of age. Like fine wine! But Pam is a sour grape ha ha! Gina is maybe 4 years younger than Pam. Alyce maybe 1 or 2. Another woman maybe a year older than Pam. I invited her to be nice after all the talk of how hard core she is. I should have known when she mentioned crushing some 13 year kid around Back Bay. But she did buy a custom bike, top of the line , way overpriced if you ask me, but that's because I'm pretty much poor ha ha! Anyway, Dura Ace, fancy gearing, whatever!

I invited her as the gals were doing GMR every weekend for about 3 months.

Believe it or not, Big Mouth Pam says it's too hot! OK wait! You ride in the South, 547 degrees but 85-90 is too hot for you here in California??? OK so we start earlier to beat the heat. Early start, avoid the sun by the shade of the mountain. Oh no, it's too HOT! You're kidding me!

So what? I wait a few months and the temp drops to 65. Pam, would you and your flapping gums like to come and ride with Gina and the girls? No.

You'' never guess what her response was! Maybe  you will knowing she's a big mouth gum flapper, it' too cold!

Holy crap! Anyway, the moral of the story is, some people talk a lot of shit and some people actually ride when they get a chance.

Like I said, I suck right now, need to lose weight, need to ride more, need to improve. All the things that might go wrong and stop me? Screw them! I'm riding till I get better, no excuses. If I get faster, great. If I don't great, I am still doing GMR and have some balls.

You other wussies, you better stick with the coed softball leagues. The dude who wouldn't ride with Gina, you might want to ask if they'll let you compete in and all female league ha ha! No excuses bitch!

                         The Shack! Hey, I don't see any of those gum flapping forum members  ha ha!

I'm here, again!

My turnaround today!


Looking down on east Fork

Next two are the same pic, but one zoomed in as I caught a cyclist descending one of the switchbacks. :-P

Yes, we park way down there! ;-)

Friday, July 19, 2019

I Actually Got Paid to Take Pics

Friends have been telling me that I need to go into the pic business. Lately I've had quite a few people ask me to manipulate, correct, or even take pics. I took the baseball pics and actually got about $50 of free meals from our favorite joint. The waiters there asked me to take pics a few times, each time getting more and more out of the meals, can't argue with that!

I posted on facebook that I was going to make it a business, get paid for my time. I spend 10+ hours at times editing and touching up pics. I see plenty of photographers online posting some sucky pictures.  Some good one, sweet pics of sunsets, cars, cities, but when it comes to people, I've seen and know a few that are paid photographers who just snap the pic and charge the customer.

Heck, one gal showed me some pics she took during an engagement shoot. Pretty bad! I edited a couple with permission to show her the benefits of using her program properly (Lightroom). She said it was too much work and she just wanted to take the pic and then take her money. Gee! I can't do that even if it's a pic I take just for the fun of it. I can't imagine charging somebody for a pic then handing them a pos picture. Just not me!

So I edited the pics for her. Lightened up the faces so one could see their faces. enhanced the crap colored water to blue, the sky to pretty. Some other stuff and she was impressed. Then she asked me if she could send the pics I edited to her customer. Sure! They deserve it I think.

So then she asked me if I would mind editing all her pics for her that she takes at photo shoots. Uhhhh no! Unless I get half the money. In my opinion, taking the pics is the easy part if you know how to focus, which she didn't. Really funny thing is that she took a college course in photography. But yet she couldn't set up her camera properly. I feel sorry for her customers.

Saddest part I think is that she said she wanted to do as little work as possible but collect her pay. Wow!

I do pics for fun and if they don't look good, I feel bad.  I use a point and shoot on my bike rides and I think I have gotten much better shots than many of the photographers I have seen. A relative who has a $2000 camera showed me his website, paid pro photographer. I almost laughed.

He told me I need the $2000 camera like he had. Umm, I saw your pics and no I don't need a $2000 camera. I just need to know how to focus properly and edit pics to look nice. No that junk you pull out of your camera while using auto and semi auto settings.

WTF spends $2,000 for a nice camera but doesn't learn how to use it, then opens a business taking crap pics cause you can't use the settings properly? I use FULL MANUAL settings. They say the camera is smart but you are smarter. Make the camera do what you want it to do, not what IT want's to do!

So after experimenting with the camera the first few days, I realized I needed to go full manual. Surprises me that EVERY photographer I have had a chance to chat with, uses a semi auto setting. I'm sorry but no!

That is just me though! I have met several photographers and have not chatted with them about their settings so I do not mean every photographer does this because there are some awesome photographers. I am simply saying the photographers I have chatted with about photography. There are plenty of awesome photographers on Instagram.

So anyway, I have spent hours editing pics taken at family functions. Editing pics by request for funerals, and just in general old pics.

I also have the aunt that knows I take my camera to family events just to snap pics for my own sake. You know the aunt who asks for a pic of her with her daughter. OK no problem! But then she says she wants a pic with her son, the three of them, one with her father, one with her mother, one with her brother, one with the group, one with the baby daddy!

Sorry but I am not your personal photographer. I take a few pics of things I like, edit them to please myself and learn. I'm not running a photo booth! You want pics, bring your own camera!

So I mentioned I was starting a business to make a little money for my time. Like I said, I can spend 10 or more hours on editing the pics I take. If I shoot pics, I end up taking 150 or more. Sorting through, ending up with 60 edited pics, will take me 10+ hours to finish them off. I use 3 different programs and many times, one or two of the programs more than once.

Few people have said they like my style so if I started a business, they would be happy to pay for some pics. My cousin's daughter was my first customer. After her pics were finished, I got another customer, a friend of hers who saw the pics on facebook. Another potential customer for a sport event. But did get another person asking for anniversary pics and Christmas pics. OK, we can do that!

These were some of the pics I took for my cousin's daughter, their 5th anniversary. I took 170 pics, Gave them 62 edited pics and all 170 of the original unedited in case they wanted to fiddle with the files. Plus I through in a pic video.

All for $100. I figure for a couple, engagement pics, anniversary pics etc, that is a fair price for my time considering it is a hobby for now.

One group of 20 people asked me for a price. With all the individual sittings they want as well as group pics, they said another photographer wanted $500. No editing. I saw her work and it's a bit shabby. Lots of sun spots on subjects, lot of washed out backgrounds. I can't do that, hate sun spots on faces, shoulders etc. I quoted them a price of $300, edited and a video. They thought it was too much.

OK, pay some self appointed pro photographer $500 for crap, no video or me $300, and it's too much? BYE! I'm not stupid. I think they wanted a quote of $50. That doesn't even pay for my gas to get to the photoshoot seeing as they wanted it in Yorba Linda at a paid parking park. Pfft!


SO anyway,. some of the pics. 62 edited pics, 170 originals, 3 pic videos (experimenting which looked better so I gave them all 3)....I think I will offer 30 edited images. I did 62 this time just experimenting with time requirements.

I like this format the best but it shrinks the pics too small and they look blurry in the video.

But this may be better as the pics show more but get cut off a bit. From scratch style I made.

This one shows the pics but I don't like the way the pics just sit there motionless. I have to look thru the options to see which shows best.

Few of the pics. I tell you, women are harder to edit because of all the makeup and fly away hair in their faces. :-P

Different stuff too, black and white with little color. I do these things after I am done with the pics just for entertainment. They like it.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Gina SART Sunday

Just a nice 32 miler with Gina. Increased her mileage by 6 miles over last week so I slowed the pace a bit giving her time to settle back into form ha ha! Nice sunny day, dark at the coast then hot on the way back but Gina did well. On the return, Tony and Thai joined us and rolled back to their exit on our tail. Lucky guys live only 5 or 6 miles from the coast so they didn't have to ride in the hot sun ha ha!

I waited so long I actually forgot what happened that day. If I remember correctly, Bad Bob stopped by for a visit. Always good to see him, good chattin'!

Jose's bike.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Fat Bastard on GMR

So I wore my Fat Bastard jersey again on GMR ha ha! Started much earlier today, 8:15 vs last week's 11:15. Temp was 70 when I started today but the first 4 miles there was no shade. Thought the temp was cool it still felt hot. Logging in my data after the ride, Garmin said average 88 and high of 105. Wow, did get warm but thankfully as Mat says, after 4 miles up to Newman's Point, 80% of it is shaded. That was the benefit I needed vs last week with NO shade. I did make it up to the shack today. The final mile seemed to cool off thankfully. Not cool but not quite as hot ha ha!

On the way up I saw a chick and a dude roll by me like I was standing still. OK so most do right now ha ha seeing I haven't done much climbing, riding, or dieting.  But anyway, these riders go by and the gal says don't pass me or I'll attack you. The dude says he is just trying not to get "chicked". They roll away pretty fast.

After they roll by, I see a couple other guys with the same team jersey. I think she left them in the dust. But then I see her and the dude roll down. I keep going but a little later she rolls by me again! Wow, she is moving pretty fast, this time with 2 dudes. As she rolls by she shouts,"YOU AREN'T A FAT BASTARD!!!" ha ha ha! I told her I must be because I just got "chicked" twice by the same chick! :-P

Feeling much better than last week but yeah it was hot after a couple miles of riding in the sun. Air isn't hot but the sun beating down on a rider is. But I do remember there is shade after the 4 mile mark. How much I don't remember but makes sense as the sun is on that side of the mountain as I can see.

But just as I approach the 4 mile mark, I see GMR and Mat rolling down the mountain. This time they both turn around and stop for a chat. At this point I had been debating on whether or not to take a break. Glad they stopped me because that made up my mind for me and I will say, I needed it ha ha!

We chat then Mat says to take a look back down toward the parking area. He says that is why we get tired. True! It is a long way down but at that moment, I couldn't look. I think I was slumped over my bike gasping for air ha ha!

But hey, I felt better today and I did take another 2 minutes or so at Newman's Point just to relax my legs. But the point is I made it today vs last week when I was feeling pretty beat. Though I was determined not to say uncle today, I was going to make it. Though I don't feel that strong right now, Mat says I bring strong legs to GMR. Again I don't feel strong but something must be. Not setting any records but making it up GMR is a good thing. And the legs can only get stronger for riding the trail and wind. And since Gina has been spending Saturday's with her son at the dialysis center, I figure I can make the best of this op and ride GMR on Saturdays! ;-)

Must have been hot today as well. Did see a few riders but not many. The parking areas were pretty empty so hey, getting on GMR is a darn good thing!

                                                                      GMR and Mat

She is so tiny! She was standing on the bank above me and still she is barely shoulder height. :-P

I made it to the shack so hey, I'm taking my Fat Bastard pic!

I ran out of water, it was hot but once I collected my marbles at the shack, I could smile again!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Cycling Video Saturday SART

 As Mentioned, Gina is a strong woman, physically and mentally/. Got a good chance to meet up with her friend Aimee this weekend for a ride. Really tough times like Mat said, been hit over and over but still getting up. If you know what Gina has been going through with her 2 sons over the past 2 or more years. More like 18 years and kidney problems.

Well it was good to get Gina back out there. 2nd ride since her son passed and many think I am crazy to get her back on the bike. But hey, cycling is good for the soul. Probably why she has been able to make it through what she has been through lately.

And tell me, talking to great friends soother her emotions, crying with her, talking with her and sharing their experiences doesn't help. Some friends we know have experienced the same heartache so it's great for Gina to talk with her friends once again.

Got some good cycling people out there! Thanks for being great friends to Gina, Dixie, Aimee and even Bad Bob. Guys really helped her. I really don't care if you like me but seeing you guys again really helps when you guys chat with her.

So anyway, a nice steady ride, 26 miles 15.9 average speed.

She's back on the bike.  Little slo mo section is Jose R. and his buddies rolling by.

Sunday, July 7, 2019


26 miles 15.9 average speed. Nice to get Gina back on the bike again. 2nd ride since her son passed away and today happened to be the 2 month anniversary of his death so she was rather sensitive. On the way to the trail she started crying and apologized. It's OK Honey, cry, you need to cry to get it out.  Soon we would meet Amiee at the parking area and again she would cry. First time she has seen Aimee since Chris passed so I expected it. Aimee has been too sweet with Gina since it happened, as a matter of fact, long before. So I knew she would but I figure it's good to get it all out for now. Can't expect her not to cry but hey, if she gets on the bike, I'm good!

Mike ended up meeting us at the start, I think he was doing 60 from Green River. He rode with us to the coast. A bit breezy but much better than the last few weeks imo. Mike hung out a bit at the beach but headed back early while we remained. I know Gina enjoys Aimee's company and though I don't like Gina hanging around with Aimee much, I thought it would be good for her! Ha ha ha just kidding Aimee! She views the blog once in a while so I thought I would mess with her ha ha! She has been a really good friend to Gina through the hard time! Even sent her a few gifts to cheer her up. Enough to put a smile on Gina's face over the thought of it. Mine too Aimme! ;-)

But then Bad Bob shows up and again, the first time seeing Gina so she gets sensitive again. Of course again I think it's good for her to cry and get it all out. Last time it was Dixie couple weeks back. It's all good! So Bad Bob has a pretty good chat with us all had some laughs, I talked about jerk faces ha ha and actually got my bit of letting it out too ha ha! Good to talk to someone who knows what you're talking about ha ha! Oh and the talk about RBF ha ha ha! Resting Bitch Face! Thank God I married Gina, so sweet, I don't have to deal with RBF here!

But then we head back and Gina is feeling good. I think we had a nice tailwind for once. Very enjoyable and though we were just cruising, I figure a nice 16.0 average speed. But as we get further inland, it gets warmer and Gina gets more tired. About 2 miles from the finish I see 15.9 on my Garmin and thinking 16.0 will be our final and I'd be real happy with that figuring Gina hasn't been on the bike much at all.

But she starts really sweating, looking pretty worked over and the speed drops a bit. Dang it! just my personal goal but happy she held the 15.9, next time! :-P

Overall a good ride and good company. :-)

                                                                         Starting out!

Gina's good friend Aimee. She doesn't like me much but she really likes Gina.

Almost done!

My Cranky Old Bastard jersey. I love this one! :-P

Bob and his gal arrive, oh wait, he just happened to show up in the pic.

Confidence. I have to give her credit. Something sexy about most women and I'm sure somebody will enjoy this!

Saturday, July 6, 2019

GMR for 2,000 Please

Well actually it was a GMR fail but it wasn't! I think only the second time in my life I didn't make it to the shack. I climbed up 5 miles but man I started way too late and it was freaking hot. How do the hipsters say it now, it was HOT AF!!!!

I noticed the temp at 4 miles up was 91 degrees. I started after 11 and I should have known better. But the time I got up to the 5 mile point, it was 93. One of those days you are not breathing real hard, you don't feel tired but your body just feels like it doesn't want to move. I stopped took a few pics figuring maybe my legs would recover and loosen up. Nope! I took a few pics, got back on the bike and it was like I hadn't stopped at all. I actually remounted and restarted 3 times before I said screw it! Each time was like misery.

Meh, so I sucked today. Been there done that! I remember back in 2009, I started out to the shack and got to the 4 mile point. Something just wasn't right so I turned back. Some may think this a fail but it's actually a smart thing to do imo. If you push yourself too hard, you're going to get sick or something bad is about to happen. That day I went home feeling sad but 3 days later, I rode to the village. Amazing how the body works.

So though I didn't make it today, I will consider it a victory because on the way down, I decided that being at 1650 feet, I would turn around, head back up and make it an even 2,000 ft.

Well OK, I ended up with 2018 feet over the 14 miles. When you feel beat down but can find it somewhere deep inside to turn and head back up, that's a victory. Mat and I were just talking about that at the start. Us guys are strong. Some days after time off we might suck once or maybe even twice, but we always come back! That is the strength, accept defeat them fight harder next time. We cyclist suck at time, we all do, but hey, we are here, riding, climbing the mountain, and not at home working out our fingers on the  TV remote.

I know Gina and I have been hindered by a hundred things lately but I won't use that as an excuse. Cycling hasn't been the same but only one way to get it back, RIDE! I told Mat that I had not been feeling my old strong self on the bike lately so what other way to build strength and stamina???? RIDE GMR!!!!

I will say it is quite different from the trail. I could have easily done 40 there today. But GMR, trying to do 6 was tough today ha ha!

I won't use little riding as an excuse, but I will say in this heat, GMR is tough. Figure even when it is hot, I see on my Strava about 100 fly bys, tons of riders!

But today on my Strava GMR ride, I saw only 20 other riders out there. So though it was tough today, another victory getting out there and doing GMR at all!

2,000 ft, 13 miles, I'm good with it for today!

This was my second time up at about mile 2. I wanted a pic with that road in the background. After this is when I thought to myself, at least 2,000 ft you big baby ha ha!

Mat, always something good to say! Hopefully I see him more often as I plan to do GMR more often on Saturdays. Gina's plan is to spend Saturdays with her younger son while he does dialysis at the center. Then she'll ride on Sundays. So hopefully I get to chat with Mat a little more. Always a good time with Mat.

The famous GMR Blogger!

Matt, GMR, and Mr. GMR heading down GMR.

5 miles up, legs were shot from the heat. Just wouldn't move so I stopped to take pics thinking they would recover. Nope! 

There is a thread in a cycling forum I frequent. "Post your bike by a gate" thread. What better gate than that to GMR?! This will go in the forum thread! ;-)

Mat took this pic! He actually knows how to take a pic. Most people cut the frame right at the head or squeeze the subject in so there is no room to edit. Not only is Mat a cool dude, he knows how to take a pic ha ha!