Well, its about 3 weeks since I arrived here in Southern California!! Thus far it has been FANTASTIC! Its been great living with Chase and “Killer” Dave!!!
You can see why he is called “Killer Dave”. This one on a Sunday and it wasn’t even dark yet, he was fired up from watching the football. But really is a gentle giant and I am sure his lovely girlfriend Erica next to him can attest to that!
Chase moved out here from Jersey 8 years ago and this is the most quality time we have had together since then so its been great sharing a few beers after a long day, catching up on life!!! It has also been wonderful to be here for our other mate Scott as the day before I arrived, Scott’s father passed away suddenly…Bobby Jones, you will be missed by many, may you rest in peace!!!
The weather couldn’t be any better, as nearly every day its in the 70′s and sunny…Well…except for today as we had our first rain since I have been here, but it was just a few showers…Its pretty much like I’m in camp in that my day start with a cycle to the pool, breakfast, and then more training. I am feeling much stronger than this time last year and with the amount of volume and quality I am putting I am really looking forward to continued improvements this year!
We live in a nice quite section of Costa Mesa, its primarily a Mexican American neighborhood, or maybe more Mexican than American, but they’re working on the American part so its all good. During the mornings and evenings the streets are bustling with kids coming and going. Most walk, ride a bike, or a skateboard to school. Its quite a breath of fresh air to see this as I thought this form of transportation amongst the youth, the human engine that is, had died in this country. School gets out around 3p.m., you don’t even need a watch, all you need to do is liesten for the sound of children playing. They usually settle down around dusk, which is right around 5:30 this time of year. This is a pleasant energy we have here on Joann St and one that reminds me of the neighborhood I grew up in. And another American past time I thought had been lost, kids playing outside…I guess the weather has something to do with it or maybe its the economic climate in our neighborhood, either way its great to see so many kids running around having fun with something as simple as soccer ball, rather than sitting inside staring at a computer screen or television.
The riding here in Orange County is pretty good but just up the coast in the Santa Monica Mountains, it is way better! I have tried getting up there every other week or so. My first weekend here, Sugar, took me up there and we had a great 5 hour ride with lots of climbing.
This photo is from my favorite climb there. It starts right on the Pacific Coast Hwy and goes up 15km..
The running is great here in the Newport/Costa Mesa area. It takes me 3 minutes to run to the dirt trails, which then go on and on for miles. I can run East to the mountains or in just 2 miles get to the beach. We have a nice track just across the street from us but I have opted to do my track work at The University of California, Irvine as its about a 30min cycle ride away so I like to get the work in before and after each session to keep with the them of being in camp.
This is a great park which is right across the street from the pool. It has lots of dirt trails and hills so I like to run here for my long run to get the hill work in, then run home along the coast.
This past weekend I made a trip south to San Diego to ride Mount Palomar. It just so happened that an old friend of mine, Chris Gebhardt and his mate Mike Llerandi were in town from back for a little training trip themselves so we hooked up with Sugar and he took us on a great ride. Chris owns his own business back in NY/NJ and is my brother’s Sugoi Sales Rep, thanks to him, he got me on my first bike 4 years ago, and that QR has been since passed along to one of our social project athletes in the Philippines.
Here we are on top of Mount Palomar, 5200 ft up. It was a bit chilly up there!!!
Mike loved this sign on top of Mt. Palomar
As I mentioned in my last blog, this trip was a bit of reckon trip to see if I might like to live out here some day..Well, my original plan was to stay for a month but I changed my flight to stay another 2 weeks. So I’d say, I like it here. Why go back east to the snow if I can stay here and keep the petal to the metal?