Deflated for a Moment, But Moving ONWARD

It was that slow motion, Project X vibe where the monkeys are jacked with radiation.  The moment when I looked at my Kuat 4 banger bike rack and realized the unthinkable was in fact, fact.  Where there were three bikes, there was now only one.  My kryptonite cable and padlock on the ground next to my car.


Never trust a big butt and a smile. 

Slowly, you start to process the loss.  The violation.  Anger meets sadness, and it takes you to your knees.  In a daze.  Call police.  Call insurance.  Beat yourself up for being stupid enough to leave the bikes on the back of the car.  Feel sorry for yourself.  Boo hoo.  Wasted energy.  Pull yourself together.  Angela’s sweet Niner Air 9 was gone.  My sweet Salsa Cutthroat was gone.

For about 5 seconds, ok maybe 10 – I actually pondered “pulling out” from the Tour Divide.  I’d been dialing in the Cutty and my Tour Divide “rig” for months (as the blogs leading to this one can attest).   I’d just been riding the Tour De Los Padres with that bike and kit, and now it was gone.  In a blink, lot’s of $$ and time and prep were gone.  For 5-10 seconds, so were my hopes and dreams of completing the Tour Divide this Summer.  Maybe it’s just not meant to be?


The last photo I took of the Cutty before it was stolen.  17-Mile Drive.

No way.  Screw that.  I hate that “meant to be” line of bullshit, and thank gosh the 10 seconds were up.  Nothing is meant to be.  We choose our path and make it be.  In under three minutes (that’s how long it took according to the surveillance footage), two douchebags walked away with our bikes and my complete bikepacking kit.  I have my wife and my kids and my family and my friends and my health and some decent fitness and NOTHING is gonna keep me from fulfilling this goal and this dream.  This is but a minor setback.  Mental training.  Nobody can steal your resolve or motivation or your heart or your soul.  So that’s good.

I feel sorry for the lost souls that took our bikes.  They are forever cursed.  I’m surrounded by blessings.  So much goodness that I often feel I don’t deserve.  Two amazing children and an amazing wife that remind me every morning when I wake up and I’m reborn that I must not waste this life.

So, here we are.  I’ve got six weeks to get a new steed and re-build my kit from scratch.  Unfortunately, Salsa Cutthroat’s are very popular and are sold through.  My awesome Salsa and QBP reps already started scouring the dealer network, trying to find one for me when I got the best text EVER.  My friend Brahm, who’s family owns CycleQuest in San Diego hit me up.  “My dad’s got a medium Apex 1 build on the floor.  Do you want it?”  YES!!  “Ok.  I’m in San Diego, and will be coming back to Mammoth on Wednesday, I’ll bring it up”.  Are you fricking kiddding me?  Not only did Brahm stoke me with the bike, but he’s bringing it up to Mammoth as well?  Cloud Nine!!


The girls like how KC named his bike, Sushi.  So, we decided to name this bike.  Meet “Sunny”, short for “Sunrise”.  My new companion for the Tour Divide.

My dynamo hub is sold out everywhere.  Shey, from kLite USA, graciously offered up the one he uses to test his lights/harnesses… tomorrow he’ll be sending me out my new wiring/harness/power supply/switch and the hub!! Score.  Brian / Siren Bikes had one Fred Bar left – he’s shipping it out!!  Everything’s coming together!!  I’ve already begun ordering the rest of the parts and bits, and so far the only thing that’s troublesome is my Syntace C3 Aerobars.  No longer available at any distributors, and I’m having trouble finding them anywhere online.  I really love those aerobars, they fit me perfectly… I’ll keep looking before I give in to replacing them with different ones.


You can always count on Panda Express to lift the spirits!

Anyhoo.  Life is good.  I drink champagne with kings and queens.  I’ve got other bikes to ride in the mean time.  All the Facebook and Instagram comments from friends and family have been fantastic – motivating and hilarious.  I’ll be putting in an insurance claim today.  I have a high $5k deductible on my homeowners policy.  I’ve added it up, and our losses are around $13k.  Crazy, right?  The bikes account for about 1/2 and the other half is my bikepacking kit.  I never took the time to add it all up before, but when you see it laid out in a spreadsheet, it’s pretty crazy… to see how every little thing adds up… a tent here, a sleeping bag there, a pump, a spot tracker, a puffy jacket, waterproof gloves, blah blah.  Oh well.  I’ll just have to work hard and earn more money.  Beats going the millenial route and trying to get everyone else to pay for my mistakes/setbacks.  GoFundMeNOT. 

Here’s the list of stuff that was stolen, in case you’re curious:

Complete Bike: 2018 Salsa Cutthroat Silver Fade / Force 1 Medium
Complete Bike: 2018 Niner Air 9 1 Star Build 27.5+ Black/Blue Small
Bike Components/Upgrades to Salsa Cutthroat
Crankset : Sram XX1 Eagle GXP 170mm (order from Hawley)
Chainring: Absolute Black 32T Oval GXP Direct Mount
Stem: Niner RDO 90mm
Handlebars: Easton EC70 AX 44cm
Aerobars: Syntace C3 Medium
Rims: Nox Teocalli Carbon (26mm int width)
Front Hub: SP 8x Dynamo 15×100
Rear Hub: Industry Nine 12×142 XD Driver
Spokes: DT Swiss Competition 2.0/1.8 Black
Nipples: DT Swiss Alloy Blue and Purple
Cassette: Sram 10-42T 11spd XG-1195
Cassette Modification: Wolftooth GCX 46T Cog
Tubeless Sealant for Tires: Orange Seal
Tubeles Tape for Tires: Stans 25mm
Tubeless Valve Stems: Origin8 Gray (2)
Tires: Continental Trail King 29×2.4 w/ ProTection Apex
Bar End Plugs: Hope Grip Doctor Blue
Bar Tape: Lizard Skins DSP 2.5mm (2)
Bar Gel: Fizik
Saddle: Fizik Gobi M3 K:ium Rails
Seatpost: Syntace P6 Carbon Hi Flex 27.2x400mm
Pedals: Crank Brothers Eggbeater 3
Bottle Cages: Salsa Nickless (3)
Bags / Storage / Mounts:
Accessory Mount: Siren Fred Bar
Accessory Mount: Bar Fly Universal Mount (for Garmin eTrex) x 2
Handlebar: Salsa EXP Cradle – 460g
Dry Bag: Outdoor Research UltraLite Dry Sack 10L Blue
Seat Bag: Revelate Vischacha
Frame Bag: Salsa EXP Cutthroat
Top Tube: Salsa EXP
Top Tube: Revelate Jerry Can
Accessory: Revelate Mountain Feed Bag (2)
Accessory: Revelate Spocket (Pack for Spot Tracker)
Accessory: Specialized KEG Storage Bottle
Accessory: Backcountry Research Tulbag
Light Mount: TwoFish Flashlight Mount for LD22
Light – Handlebar: Fenix LD22
Light – Handlebar: Exposure Revo Dynamo – custom kLite cable
Light Mount: Exposure Handlebar Bracket
Light – Helmet: Exposure Joystick MK12 Purple
Light – Rear Blinky: PDW Aether Demon USB
Dynamo Charger: Sinewave Revolution (custom wired by K-Lite)
Dynamo Top Cap Charging Switch: K-Lite
GPS Tracker: Spot Gen 3
Cable: iPhone charging cable
Cable: USB Splitter
MP3 Player: iPod Shuffle
Leash: Garmin eTrex 30x Quick Release Lanyard
Tools / Maintenance
Chain Tool: Park CT-5 Chain Tool
Multi-Tool: Crank Brothers Multi 10
Tire Levers: Park Tire TL-4 (2)
Chain Lube: Dumonde Tech Regular 4oz
Multi-Tool: Leatherman Squirt PS-4
Pump: Lezyne HV Micro Floor Pump
Sealant: 2oz Stans Liquid
Spoke Wrench: Park SW-0
Valve Core Tool: Stans
Valve Adaptor: Presta to Schrader
Genuine Innovations Elite CO2 Chuck
C02 Cartridge: GI 20g Threaded
Valve Stem w/ Removable Core: Stans
Removable Valve Core: Stans (2)
Cleats: Crank Bros. Set
Chain Master Link: Sram 11spd (2)
Brake Pads: Sram HRD Metal (2)
Tire Plug Tool: GI
Tire Plugs: GI “Side of Bacon”
Patch Kit: Park Vulcanizing
Patch Kit: Park Glueless
Tire Boots: Park Kit (3)
Derailleur Hanger: Salsa #687
Spare Tube: 29″ Presta w/ Rem Core
Short Sleeve Baselayer: Smartwool Merino 150 SS
Gloves: Pearl Izumi PRO WXB
Socks: Swiftwick Pursuit Four
Arm Warmers: Pearl Izumi
Sleep Kit
Tent: Big Agnes Fly Creek HV1 Platinum Tent
Ground Sheet: Big Agnes Fly Creek HV1 Footprint
Bivy: Montbell UL Sleeping Bag Cover
Sleeping Bag: MontBell Spiral Down Thermal Blanket 50 deg
Inflatable Pillow – Sea To Summit Aeros Premium Regular
First Aid Kit: Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight 0.9
Water Filter: Sawyer Squeeze Mini
Water Bladder: Playpus 1L Soft Bottle
Kryptonite 7’x10mm Cable (broken)
Kuat NV Core – Rear wheel strap (broken in theft)
Chamois Cream: Chamois Butt’r 9ml Packet (2)
Sunscreen: Dermatone 1oz Tube
Lip Balm: Dermatone 0.15oz Tube
Fire Starter: AMK Fire Lite
Fire Starter: AMK Tinder Quick






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