Month: April 2008

Sea Otter Addendum

I (Maureen) wanted to chime in on the Sea Otter report to give a shout out to our wonderful sponsors. We really enjoyed visiting with all of you that had booths this year. It was awesome to have a home base at the Marin tent and meet the Marin family (Mark V. we missed you!). We were perfectly situated 2 doors down from GU, and Brooke went above and beyond the call of duty by setting us up with the newest product ROCTANE (the Blueberry Pomegranate flavor is tasty!). Just across the way were ESI Grips and WTB, and down the street was Vanderkitten with their awesome souped-up scooter. And we watched Clayton dominate the World Championships of Tire Skidding at the Hayes tent. It was non-stop entertainment!
My personal favorite, however, was the Kinetic Koffee booth with Mark and Joel. I was psyched to meet the guys that roast the best beans I’ve ever had. And I’m a serious coffee snob. I really enjoyed learning the difference between the Espresso and French roasts. These guys set us up with our morning java fixes and several pounds of beans for the coming weeks. Thank you! I can’t wait to tour the roastery this summer.
Of course the best part of our experience was delivering 6-packs of Great White to our sponsors. Walking through the venue loaded down with beer was one serious ice-breaker! Thanks Lost Coast!!
Finally, I wanted to say thank you to the Wind Goddess of Sea Otter, who taught us all a painful lesson about just how ridiculous a headwind and crosswind can be. On my training ride yesterday, I noticed the usual winds at the top of the Berkeley Hills are peanuts compared to what I felt at Sea Otter. Now that we’ve experienced the worst case, everything else will be “easy peasy lemon squeezy” as my li’l cousin Jacqueline likes to say.
Next up for several of us is the Shasta-Lemurian, a NorCal classic going off this Saturday.
Ride on!


My name is Brian Astell and this is my chance to tell the sea utters story through my eyes. It is a magical story missing only one ingredient, Amon Pease, who could not make it. we missed you man.
Becca and I drove down to sea utter weaving in and out out of the thick traffic. The sea utter title was at stake. Registration was a breeze which was awesome. We pre-rode the super windy course and I was feeling good. We went to my friend Emile’s house and that was cool. Emma, Tsering and Maureen showed up at Emile’s and we joked and went to bed. Saturday was short track day. Tsering had a ruff day, he tweaked his back, but finished strong. Not quite sure what place he finished because results are yet to be posted. Maureen killed it for her race she ended up 15th beating out some of the fastest girls in the universe. I had a less than satifying race…I’m not too sure were I ended up but it wasn’t with the top 12 guys who didn’t get pulled, yikes, congrats to those fast guys. One day Trebon, I will attack you and Sam at the same time and mark my word, it will feel like you are getting sucked backwards by an alien spaceship. Anyways, back to the blog.
I go to sleep early in the hotel we got in Salinas. Just before we went to bed we watched some south park which just happened to be about my arch nemesis, the internet. Sunday we woke up early, packed up quick and drove 100miles an hour to sea utter to feed Tsering. Tsering unfortunately, with his tweaked back got through one lap and had to call it a day. He didn’t want to injure himself too early in the season. Emma had a great race and ended up 5th! The single track got pretty plugged up in her race right off the bat and there was a lot of position switching out on the course towards the end, and some chick punked her in the finishing sprint, but it was a close one. Don’t worry Emma I put that chick on my list. Maureen again killed it out there placing 16th for pro women- damn that girls on fire! Is it hot in here? Is anyone else hot? My race went pretty well. I ended up in 36th-I always want to go faster so I am very rarely completely satisfied with how my race went. Next time Miguel! I have to say that I was amazed with the support from all our sponsors, especially Marin bikes. All the guys there were super helpful at the tent and made getting any last minute work on my bike a breeze- I had a full parts swap done as well as linkage on my Quad XC changed up, Rob was on it! I also had a ton of fun going around handing out FREE Great White beer to the sponsors and alcoholics all around the venue (just kidding alkies). The beer was a big hit; everyone loved it and there were many inquiries about purchasing our race jerseys. All this excitement in one extended weekend, Man I love Sea Utters! More pics here!

Napa Valley Dirt Classic 08

Team Lost Coast Brewery members Tsering, Maureen, Amon and I (Emma) wrapped up another great day of racing at the Napa Valley Dirt Classic (NVDC) this Sunday! The NVDC race has been around for 15 years now and is a true NorCal classic- flat power sections, twisty singletrack, rocky rollers, and an epic singletrack climb at the end make the out-and-back 20 mile course both fun and challenging.

Amon headed to the race from Oakland where he had just picked up his lovely friend Melissa who lives in Salt Lake from the airport. Tsering, Mo, and I cruised up to the race bright and early from Berkeley and got there super early for once! We showed up with about 2 hours until race time and leisurely registered, got into our kits, stared at our beautiful Marin bikes, and had time for an hour long warm-up. The three of us all had planned to train through Napa Valley per the suggestion of our gracious coach, John Royson, who has been a huge help to Tsering, Mo, and I with implementing and reviewing our training for the season. On Saturday, the three of us did a 3 1/2 hour long road ride in the East Bay with some efforts and were therefore feeling a little beat during Sunday’s race. Or at least Mo and I were, Tsering seemed to find some extra juice in his legs and he had a killer race, riding in the middle of a stacked pro/semi-pro race and finishing ahead of many of his competitors for a strong 15th place. He also beat his course record by 8 minutes and snuck by Amon on one of the last climbs who finished one or two spots behind Tman.

Maureen’s race consisted of slowly moving up through the pro field after a painful start. The pro women’s field was stacked this year with some pro roadie girls coming out to do some speed work as well as the usual fast NorCal chicks and Joy who made the trip from SoCal to ride at her Alma Mater course. Maureen was hurting from Saturday’s ride and her tough week of riding, and fell off the pace at the start of the race, hanging out at the back of the field, unable to get her HR up. Gradually however, she suffered through the pain and started to gain spots during the 2nd half of the race, working her way up to an impressive 3rd place podium spot not far off the leaders! She also knocked 10 mins off her record from last year! She shared the podium with Sarah from Ventana and her roommate, pro roadie Stacy Marple. That’s one fast apartment in Oakland! What are they putting in their Quinoa!?
My race was extremely painful. My legs were dead and my heart seemed to have erectile dysfunction- I couldn’t get it up! I suffered on the flats as pretty much all of the massive expert womens field passed me and was riding on my own, off the pace for about 80% of the race. I had fun duking it out with some sport men who caught up to me, but the race was only really exciting about 1/2 of the way through the epic singletrack climb when I started to see the rear end of another expert lady. I tucked in and started to grind, eventually passing her. I had a second wind on the climb, and managed to keep on gaining spots. Somehow, I was able to ride the steep climbs while most of the girls were pushing their bikes. Over the course of the last climb, I somehow caught and passed 5 girls! It hurt, but it was motivating. On the last little flat, I got passed back by Specialized rider Teshia, who finished 10 secs ahead of me for 2nd place. putting me in 3rd. I was pretty stoaked that I managed to surge on the last climb enough to go from OTB to 3rd place following a long week of training and knock of 6mins from last year’s time.

After the race, we hung out in the 82 degree heat, cheered for the podiums, scored some energy food in the “raffle”, and then headed into St Helena to eat some sandwiches and drink some delicious Great White Beer with Amon and Melissa and Stacy and Jiro.
It was an awesome day with lots of sunshine, an impressive turnout, and some killer fast racing. Now it’s time to rest up for the Otter. Till then, ride on 🙂 -Emma

Nova National

Last weekend the team traveled all the way to Fountain Hills, AZ. for the second Norba National Series race of the season. Brian wasn’t able to make the trip so it was Emma, Maureen, Tsering and I that all piled into my little two door GTI on Thursday afternoon for the twelve hour drive. Luckily we were able to take a four hour rest just after midnight at my Mom’s house a little past the half-way point near Palm Springs.

I had to be the alarm clock for the team and wake everyone up super early so we could get to registration by 11:45. This is why it pays to pre-register! We rolled up into the parking lot at the race venue, with about an hour to spare, and received many jovial glances and comments as we all piled out of the little two door “clown” car. Team LCB doing our part to reduce our carbon footprints!

After getting registered we drove up the hill and set up camp and kitted up for the Super D pre-ride. Now this Super D is not the trophy winner of Super D courses, but considering that there is not a whole lot to work with at this venue, it is as close to a S.D. course as McDowell MTN. Park has. I started off first a bit after 4pm and rallied down the single-track, sand-wash, fire-road course to place 46th out of a large Pro mens field. Maureen was off next and scorched the dirt with her fast time to place 34th. Next up Tsering (aka T-bird) flew down the course to place 32nd. Emma was off just before dusk and raced during the cooling evening to place 4th. We all went back to camp and were pleasantly surprised to be invited to dinner by our newly arrived campsite-mates, Chad, Wendy, and Robert Herber in Chad and Wendy’s opulent motorhome.

Saturday morning brought many a bird song from the desert and we all woke up in our palatial tent rested and ready for the short track coming up in the early afternoon. After breakfast we kitted up and rolled down the Super D course to the venue then all went out on a pre-ride lap of the XC course. We ended up riding for over two and a half hours and by the end the Arizona sun was working it’s draining magic on the crew so we all scurried into the shade to get out of the mid-day heat. Up first for the Short Track (STXC) was Tsering ‘T-bird’ Alleyne. He had a good race even though he knocked bars with a fellow racer and placed 31st. Maureen was up next and let me just say that Mo was ready to go as she started out strong and then just kept getting stronger as she picked off the Pro womens field methodically during the twenty-eight minute race to finish an astonishing 25th! I finished off the day of racing for the team in the Men’s Pro field. Staged toward the back I powered hard into the first corner and knocked elbows and bars with riders on either side of me, yelling “get some!” to those around me as we all tried to stay upright and survive the madness that is the first corner. I rode as hard as the legs and lungs would go and finished 48th. Thanks to Matt and Clayton at Hayes for loaning me a rear wheel for the weekend as I had an Easton wheel and could not find a spoke to replace the one that snapped.

We all were starving by the end of the day and lucky for us Maureen had a friend she wanted to meet up with for dinner. We all drove into Fountain Hills and ate at Mama’s italian/mexican restaurant. We met Sarah and her mom Sallie and enjoyed our meals and conversation thoroughly. What made it even better was that Sallie paid for everyone! Thanks alot!!

Sunday brought the penultimate stage of the weekend. The Cross Country race is a super fun swooping, rocky roller coaster ride through the desert. Emma and Tsering started out early in the morning and beat the heat of the day. I was lucky enough to be there feeder for the day and watched them go by having great races. Emma rolled through the finish line after completing two challenging laps and dropped the hammer on one of her competitors in the last few miles to finish a super strong 2nd place!! Tsering rolled in a little while later finishing a grueling three laps and finished 33rd in the stacked Semi-pro mens field! Maureen was up next at 11 and actually raced during the hottest part of the day, I think because the she was riding so fast it scorched the desert. She is definitely having a stellar start to her pro career with a 20th place finish. I was off last again and had a challenging race. I got caught up in the crash at the start, then slowly picked my way back up the field on the first lap. I struggled with a very tight back and I slowed considerably on the second lap but was able to recover to make up a few spots on the last lap to finish 52nd.

Shortly after the race finish we packed up the clown car, headed to Tempe for dinner with Sarah and made our way west to my mom’s place, then on to Berkley in the early morning hours on Monday, stocked with a killer sack lunch for the team made by my Mom, to get the crew back to school on time.

Check out lots more pictures here and here!


Fontana was the first NMBS series race this year and it was the first big event for our team. We rolled out the new kits, bikes, helmets, and gear so we could show up looking the part. Thanks a whole lot to Mark at Marin for making a lot of that possible! The first race of the weekend was the Expert and Semi-pro XC 8am on saturday morning. Emma and I were not so stoaked on commuting 40 mins. from our planned host housing to an 8am start. Lucky for us Alex from Marin bikes let us crash the floor of his sweet hotel room. Apparently Ontario has the most awsome business suite hotel rooms. Bright and early the next morning the Semi-pro race started. The start was fast and furious, but I managed to get up the hill in the top 15. A few back and forths in the first lap had me still in the top 15 coming through the first lap. Fearing under-hydrating I drank way too much water on top of a late and unsettled breakfast which led to some major stomach pains in the second lap and I dropped off the pace. After slowing down the intake I was able to regain a few spots and finish a strong 23rd in the XC. In Emma’s XC she had a strong start following the first place girl up the hill. After an attack by the Polish wonder who shocked the whole field, it became a race for second between Emma, Corina, and Lisa. Corina surged on the singletrack climb and kept just enough time on Emma and Lisa to be just out of reach most of the race. Emma and Lisa battled back and forth for the 3rd spot until Emma attacked in the middle of the last lap solidly keeping Lisa off her wheel. Emma finished a great 3rd place finish only 16 seconds back of Corina in 2nd and with Lisa only 10 seconds behind her. It was a tight race with a good finish for Team LCB. Thanks to the awsome feeds provided by Maureen during the Semi-pro and expert races! Next up was Maureen for her first Pro NMBS XC race. She had little expectations for how she was going to perform and was almost convinced she would get pulled by the 80% rule. Coming through for the first lap little Pro-Mo was riding solid and well ahead of most of the other ne0-pro girls. She looked good and seemed to gain some confidence when she made it through lap 2 without Geogia Gould in sight. Having started at the very back of the 50-some rider field made every place hard to get and when Mo came accross the line in 33rd for her first pro start, she was stoaked to have had a solid race. She got the full pro treatment with a towel and a cold bottle awaiting her at the finish. She finished well ahead of her competition from previous years and even beat some experienced girls as well. Good Job Mo Mo!! The Men’s Pro XC was next with our two new boys lining up for an NMBS for the first time in a few years, which meant sitting behind 90-something of the nations fastest and counting to 10 before you could even make a pedal stroke after Geoff Kabush was already off the line. Both Amon and Brian looked good on the start and had made up considerable places from the first lap. Brain and Amon.. or Braimon as we like to call them both got good feeds and were sitting about mid-pack after lap one. Amon was clearly having way to much fun, smiling the entire time as he suffered through each lap. Brain seemed to have fire under his ass as he continued to plow through the field in the second lap moving up another few places. As the leaders steamed on, Amon was pulled before his last lap and placed a hard-earned 65th out of 90. Brain continued his hard charge toward the front of the race to finish 41st in his first NMBS of the year. A solid day of racing for our Pro boys out there and we were really proud of both of them. On Sunday Maureen and I raced short track and Emma and Momo raced Super D. I arrived late for my short track and hopped on the line with very brief warm up so my finish was a less then spectacular 21st. Momo had a solid first short track barley getting lapped by the leaders on their last lap for a 29th place finish. In the Super D Emma rocked her way down the hill for a second place finish behind Corina. Maureen then shocked the pro field with a solid 6th place in her first Pro Super D. Way to go Mo! One spot off the podium in Pro! Thanks to all our great sponsors for the help that got us to the first NMBS!.. Special thanks to Marin, Gu, Manitou/Hayes, Kinetic Koffee, ESI Grips, and WTB for having our bikes ready to race and our bodies amped to do it!
More pictures from the race can be found here: (don’t have to be a member to view).

Brian Astell beats Liam Killeen at Lake Sonoma Race!

On March 22nd, Team Lost Coast Brewery members Amon Pease and Brian Astell headed to Lake Sonoma to do a local warm up race in anticipation of the NMBS race to be held in Fontana the following weekend. Turns out a buch of other professionals had that idea because the pro men’s field was stacked! Brian and Amon battled it out on their Marin bikes and after a fast, hard race, Brian ended up in 4th place, beating Liam Killeen by 5 seconds! Yes, I mean the Liam Killeen, winner of the Sea Otter Classic and Commonwealth Games gold medalist! Amon also had a great race, coming in 9th in the packed field.
What a way to start out the season guys!

1.Max Plaxton- 1:33:21
2.Chris Sneddon- 1:35:15
3.Barry Wicks- 1:35:42
4.Brian Astell- 1:37:19
5.Liam Killeen- 1:37:24