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The Lone Wolf Jumps on the Podium at Cal Aggie Criterium 35+ 4

CJ Wolf attacking for the win. Photo: Alex Chiu Photography
CJ Wolf attacking for the win. Photo: Alex Chiu Photography

The ridiculous things we do to capture upgrade points.Driving three hours round trip to Sacramento for a 40 min crit.

It was a full field of 75 riders and to make a long story short, with one lap to go I was in 4th place with about 500 meters to go and the front few guys started to slow so the decision was to go or wait. I knew it was early but if I waited I ran the risk of getting swarmed so I elected for glory. There was a technical turn with about 250 to go and I had a good gap off the front and could see the promise land. I hit the gas coming out of the turn but got passed with about 5 meters to go and I thought I could hold on for 2nd but got nipped at the finish. Was hoping for the win but satisfied with a podium and more importantly earned a few points.
Desperately seeking Cat 3,
CJ Wolf

Video curtesy of Greg Price. Happy that CJ did not ride like that.

Congrats CJ for a great podium finish! This is how true ThirstyBears race.
Congrats CJ for a great podium finish! This is how true ThirstyBears race.

New ThirstyBear team rider Jason Grefrath takes on Cal Aggie Criterium 35+ 123 and Finish 5th

Jason Grefrath makes the run for the podium. Photo: Alex Chiu Photography
Jason Grefrath makes the run for the podium. Photo: Alex Chiu Photography

Photo: Alex Chiu Photography

Quick update.. always a fun “dust-off”, Cal Aggie is usually the first race of the season for me. Rolling out solo for Thirsty Bear, my new San Remo skinsuit felt fast, even sitting still.

With just me, I played this race differently than if I had teammates. I was trying to get breaks going off the front, but not doing any work on the front. Nick Theobald, Safeway, had several attacks as I also did. Nothing strong was sticking. The field let breaks with unknown riders (Rio Strada & such) roll off the front, but the legitimate strong-man breaks were pulled back rather quickly (bummed.)

I was resigned to staying towards the front at the end and placing as high as I could at the end in a bunch sprint. I came through the final chicane and motored up the right-hand side, passing a bunch of riders (I was about 10th wheel off the turn) and nipped a former teammate for 5th place at the line. Best placing for me at Cal Aggie and a perfect day and venue for a race.

Chuck Hutchinson (Marc Pro), Chris Espy (Specialized), Jeff Galland (Zipz), Dave Albrecht (Zipz), and me were the top 5.

Coast Ride 2014. 375 Miles in 3 days. Epic!


Some truely “Thirsty”Bears after a very long ride!
The Coast Ride is an annual 3-day ride that starts in San Francisco and finishes in Santa Barbara. The ride cruises down the gorgeous California coast pretty much all on highway 1 wherever possible. It takes place on Martin Luther King’s birthday weekend and this year the weather and scenery were once again amazing.
This year we had the largest ThirstyBear group ever: Ken Gallardo, Chris Phipps, Jan Weissenberger, Duane Coughlan, Gardie Jackson, Eric Lagier, Paul Dyrwal, Aaron Long, Richard Bolt, Max Thompson, Chris Lundy and Jenny Wong. Holger Steinbach and Oddvar Kaarboe joined us for the first 90 miles of day 1. We all converged on Sports Basement in the Presidio, which stepped up to offer a start location when the Golden Gate Bridge park rangers said the ride had gotten too big to start there any longer (Hooray for Sports Basement!). Despite a chill in the air (it was January after all!), the clear sky, gorgeous sunrise and promise of a fun weekend of riding had smiles on everyone’s faces.  Just before the 8 AM departure, the peloton of over 150 riders gathered on the grass for a group picture and then we were off! Let the adventure begin!

Day 1 starts with a leisurely tour of the San Francisco coastline at Ocean Beach followed by the climb up to Daly City and fast winding descent into Pacifica. From Pacifica we climbed up to the new Devil’s Slide tunnel and slowly ramped up the pace of the group heading into Half Moon Bay. South of Half Moon Bay we enjoyed a nice cross tailwind breeze and more beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean. Max flatted about 10 miles before we reached the lunch stop at Davenport so it was all for one and one for all team time trial before lunch.

After lunch, more rollers and scenic vistas took us into Santa Cruz and then Capitola where Holger and Oddvar split off to head for home while we motored along the back roads into Aptos. The strawberry fields south of Aptos greeted us with their familiar fragrance (in January no less!) and we were all stripped down to shorts and short sleeves and working on our tan lines. Some bumpy roads and a little fun in the crosswinds before we found ourselves back on Highway 1 headed into Moss Landing at 29 MPH. Just south of Moss Landing we got off the highway and onto the bike path for the final 10 miles into Seaside. Once showered and refreshed, we Bears went off in search of food and beverages and, thanks to Jan for his research, enjoyed a nice dinner at the Fishwife Seafood Cafe.

Day 2 rolls out of Seaside at 7 AM since we have the most climbing on tap for today. Once again it was TTT time when Eric flatted about 2 miles into the ride on the bike path. We were actually quite happy with this situation since we liked having the team together and rode with a nice smooth pace through Monterey and Carmel before embarking on the scenic Hwy 1 through Big Sur. Our morning was rudely interrupted by the CHP going by at Warp 12 and we hoped there hadn’t been a Coast Ride related accident. We came upon the scene about 30 minutes later – a car had gone over the guardrail at the Bixby Bridge earlier that morning and dropped over 400 feet to the ocean below. The ocean had nearly swept it away and we found out later than one occupant survived and was flown to San Jose Medical Center.

That was the only sad note of an otherwise spectacular day. There was plenty of suffering through the hills of Big Sur but our pain was quickly forgotten and replaced with memories of incredible vistas, sunshine and smiles. Aaron stole away and was the first to arrive at lunch and Paul, Ken and Gardie snuck into the early break but were reeled in by the team and we rolled into Morro Bay with plenty of time to shower and then watch the 49er playoff game. We even managed to take over the TV room at Dorn’s Original Breakers Cafe when the fools at Rose’s Landing screwed up our reservation. Their loss – we had our own private big screen and a great group of teammates and friends to enjoy the food and drink and 49ers win!

Some serious recovery thanks to Max and his compression pants. They work wonders.!!

The morning of Day 3 we wondered if somehow we’d been transported to Alaska while we slept. The first hour of the ride was absolutely frigid (and once again Eric flatted, in a shady spot no less!) so the toasty warm Black Horse Coffee House in San Luis Obispo was a welcome defrost. We met up with Matt Carinio and a couple other riders here and cruised south into Pismo Beach with them. After our quick stop in the bustling metropolis of Guadalupe (where Jan took the town sign sprint) we continued south into Vandenberg and then lunch in Lompoc (where Gardie thoughtfully found another Subway and ordered sandwiches for everyone!).

The final miles went by fairly quickly once we’d conquered the long fast climb out of Lompoc. From the final KOM it was downhill or mostly flat to the 101 and where we covered the 20 miles of freeway shoulder at a brisk pace. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief to reach the Santa Barbara exit and it was practically a promenade into town where we were greeted by our good friend Randall Tinney, who’d been unable to join us for the whole ride due to illness.

“All smiles” Lundy, Special guest Eduardo, “Smooth rider” Paul, “Powertrain” Ken, “Every city sign is a sprint” Jan, “Big deck” Duane & “Captain Crunch” Phipps.
Showers, beers and mexican food were the reward after today’s ride and then it was time to load up the rental cars and return to the Bay Area. Another Coast Ride in the memory banks and the legs! Looking forward to the next one!

Many thanks to: Susie, Chris & Maciek for great SAG support!

Thanks to our great Coast Ride sponsors:
Achieve Performance Training & Coaching, Chamois Butter, Zealios skincare, GU gels, Hint water, Muscle Milk, Nature’s Bakery Fig bars, Osmo Nutrition, Sports Basement, Strava, ZEGO bars, Zico, Coconut water, 18 Rabbits bars

Special Thanks to: Scott Witthoff for organizing an amazing Coast Ride!!

See you at next years Coast Ride!
Ken & Eric

ThirstyBear Cycling sweeps the podium at the San Bruno Hill Climb 2014

3 Strong Bears on the podium – Chris, Hans & Dan – Congratulations
3 Strong Bears on the podium – Chris, Hans & Dan – Congratulations



Greg racing for the finish!
Greg racing for the finish!
Piers burning the last matches
Piers burning the last matches

Photo courtesy of David Cheung. Click for more pictures from the race

Men 35+ 1/2/3 Race Report by Greg McQuaid

With Phipps racing in the 45+ field for the first time, a bunch of other strong 45+ guys seized the opportunity and decided to race with the 35+ youngsters instead!

The field was stacked with Kevin Metcalfe, Dan Martin and Nick Theobald definitely being the guys to watch. Piers and I planned to conserve as much as possible for the first two-thirds, figuring about 10 strong guys would still be around with 1K to go.

And that’s pretty much what ended up happening. We knew Dan Martin would go at some point but thought it would probably be earlier. Instead he launched a blistering attack that nobody could match. With Dan’s teammate Nick just following wheels, Scott Bromstead, Piers and I tried to give chase to no avail. With 500m to go the field had completely shattered and we limped across the line with me in 4th and Piers in 6th.

Afterwards Piers and I played a game of coulda, shoulda, woulda but ultimatly its hard to complain with a good hard race and sub 16min times. It was January 1st after all…onwards and upwards to 2014!



Super woman Tanya flyes to the finish!!


Tanya’s great start of 2014 season winning at San bruno Hill Climb.


Women Cat 3/4  Elite

1. Tanya Fredricks

9. Leila Cavanaugh


Men  35+ Cat 1/2/3

4. Greg McQuaid
6. Piers (Batman) Barry – missing his Robin…which would have made all the difference 😉

Men  45+ Cat 1/2/3

1. Chris Phipps
2. Hans Gouwens
3. Dan Quirk – Great start for our new team member at Thirstybear Cycling.
6. Gardie Jackson

Men  55+ Cat 1/2/3

8th – Alan Roberts

Overall results click here


San Bruno Hill Climb Strava Segment:


Here’s what the race looked like from Chris Phipps point of view via Google Glass. (Race start is 5:35 into the video)
Chris chasing his own shadow
Chris chasing his own shadow
Google glass borrowed from Mateo at Strava.
Thanks to PenVelo for organizing an epic race!