New to 2018 — Bike Racing

For a variety of reasons ??? namely time and curiosity ??? I have decided to give bike racing a go this year. Triathlon is a great sport and I???d love to have a calendar full of them, but it???s just not realistic at this point in my life (9 month old baby!). In fact, towards the end of last year I had pretty much resigned the idea of doing any racing of any sort in 2018, but then I won the KOM challenge at Phil???s Fondo, surprised myself week in and week out on the Simi Ride, and set a couple KOM???s on former Amgen Tour of California segments??(Aliso Canyon from Stage 7 of the 2014 tour and Norwegian Grade from Stage 8 of 2011), which all get me thinking?????maybe I can do some bike racing?!

Of the three sports that make up a triathlon, there is no doubt that cycling takes up the most time. So why not stick to swimming or running you ask? I generally work a ???4-40??? work week, which means 10 hour days Monday through Thursday and Friday off. I have very little time for any training during the work week, and with my background, I can???t skip four days of swimming in a row and expect to build any form. Running is similar, in that it rewards consistency in training. With my running background, I know I won???t be setting any new PR???s without a serious focus on consistent, high mileage run training. With cycling, however, I can pack in the hours as a typical weekend warrior and, it appears thus far, with pretty good results. And of the three sports, you can have the most fun as a ???pretty good??? cyclist, vs. being a pretty good swimmer or pretty good runner.

Cat 5 Hero

For those of you that??aren???t familiar with the USA Cycling system, it is broken into categories: beginning with ???Cat??? 5 through 1 (and then technically there are pro categories beyond that). Each race is divided by categories (though they often combine two or three categories for smaller events), so you only compete with cyclists that are, in theory, at a similar level to you ??? everyone can have a competitive experience, from novice to expert. Everyone starts out as a 5, regardless of their background. In order to upgrade from 4 to 3, 3 to 2 and 2 to 1, you have to accumulate points by finishing well at races. To upgrade from 5 to 4, however, you have to complete TEN races. Ten! It doesn???t matter how well you place, so long as you do the ten races.

On Sunday I competed in my fifth race as a cat 5 (I did two races on a whim in 2016 and two more in 2017) at the Ontario ???Ice Breaker??? Criterium. Cat 5 crits are infamous for crashes, as you might imagine with lots of inexperienced riders taking approximately 100 turns together. I kept near the front, until the last 5 laps where I broke away and rode to the finish solo.

360 W for 9 minutes did the trick

I honestly feel I don’t really belong in cat 5 (some of peers feel the same way, apparently — see below) and I’m anxious to upgrade soon. This Sunday I will be at the Dominguez Hills CBR to get some more experience and move one step closer to cat 4.

Haters gonna hate

Team Simple Green

At one of Neil Shirley’s “4 Days to Fitness” rides around New Year’s, I met Jason Francia who rides for Team Simple Green. I told him I was interested in doing more racing and he said I should look into joining Team Simple Green. I have only been a member for a few days now, so perhaps I will have more to share on the team dynamic in the near future, but I am excited to have some mentors in cycling and to have a team to be accountable to again. I will be rocking the bright green at the race this weekend!

It’s still a bit too soon to say what I am hoping to achieve in my cycling racing. For now I’m just happy to be racing and training with a bit more purpose again.

Volunteering with Tree People

Now that I am living and training in Beverly Hills, I have been exploring lots of new places to ride and run. One of the first spots I checked out was Franklin Canyon Park. Franklin Canyon is just north of Sunset Blvd, where Coldwater Canyon and Beverly Dr split and head into the Santa Monica Mountains. (Fun fact: At the bottom of Franklin Canyon is Coldwater Canyon Park, where I proposed to Mo in February!) It??is one of my favorite routes to get up to Mulholland, which is the main artery through the Santa Monica Mountains, as it is too narrow and slow for commuters compared to Coldwater Canyon, Laurel Canyon, etc., making it nice and quiet.

logoOn one of my adventures up to Mulholland, I noticed a sign at the intersection of Franklin Canyon, Mulholland and Coldwater Canyon, for “Tree People.” This was back in the summer, and I probably had a couple hours of riding on my mind, so I just gave it a glance and didn’t think much of it. Just last week, however, I gave it a second look and decided to look it up:

TreePeople is a nonprofit organization that is growing a ??green and climate-resilient Los Angeles, one with enough tree canopy, healthy soil, and clean local water in even our most urban neighborhoods.

Interesting. I began reading the website, discovering??they are really into things like capturing rain water, reducing watershed into the ocean, and reforesting brushfire burn areas. How cool! I took a look at their calendar of events, and saw they have a variety of events every week. I was inspired by Paul Mitchell’s #GivingIsMyStyle campaign, and a few minutes later I was registering for an event on Sunday and asking some of my friends if they were interested in joining me.

Angeles Forest Restoration

23051516733_dd6211b14b_oMy friend Spencer Marcus and I carpooled from LA up into the Angeles Crest National Forest to the Chilao Campground off Highway 2. There was a group of maybe about 30 Tree People workers and other volunteers. We had a short orientation before we set off to plant our own trees. We were told this area, along with 160,000 acres, was burned in the??2009 Station Fire. Wildfires in the area are natural and a part of the life cycle of the ecosystem, but the Station Fire was caused by arson and burned so hot that basically all the undergrowth as well as big, tall trees were completely wiped out.??Tree People is helping to get the area back to healthy growth with events like this one.

Our task was to plant Coulter pine trees. We were instructed to find a pre-marked location, dig a hole, create a berm, plant a seedling, water it, and finally lay down some mulch for protection. They stressed “quality over quantity.”??Spencer and I managed to plant five of the best pine tree seedlings you have ever seen!

We were out there for just a few hours, but Spencer and I agreed that the little work we did??felt good!??Not all of the trees we planted will make it, and the ones that do won’t really be grown for many years. Before we left, however, the Tree People organizers told us the impact our work will have, especially to the generations ahead.

If you are interested in doing some volunteer work, or just being outside and enjoying Los Angeles’s natural playground!, I encourage you to look at Tree People’s calendar of events. And if you do volunteer at Tree People, or anywhere else, tell your friends on social media using #GivingIsMyStyle. Paul Mitchell will donate $1 for every Tweet and Instagram with that hash tag toward a variety of charities, and hopefully you will inspire someone else to volunteer or give back, as well!

Paul Mitchell’s Tea Tree & Reforest’Action

Green Take Over Social Media Badge 3For those of you that missed my recent social media postings and still like to follow me exclusively through my website, I wanted to tell you about a??GREEN??initiative from my newest sponsor, Paul Mitchell.??Paul Mitchell is probably best known for being a leader in the beauty industry with it’s premium brands and products, like Awapuhi, Tea Tree, their men’s line MITCH, Pro Tools, etc. But when you look beyond the great products, you will find an even better company that has shown over it’s history that successful companies can be run??the right way.

  • In 1980, Paul Mitchell became the first professional beauty company to announce they do not conduct or endorse animal testing, and never will.
  • In 1983, co-founders Paul Mitchell and John Paul Dejoria purchased land in Hawaii. This is now home to a solar-powered, off-grid farm. All of the awapuhi used in their products is grown and harvested from this farm.
  • “Success unshared is failure.” Co-founder John Paul Dejoria is now just as famous for his philanthropy as his business success. #GivingIsMyStyle is the face of Paul Mitchell’s culture of giving.

Paul Mitchell is now asking its customers to help them give back, with the support of Reforest’Action, by planting trees in Guatemala and Peru to support rainforest conservation and reforestation in those areas. Paul Mitchell is hoping to plant??500,000 trees by the end of 2016. The month of April is “Earth Month,” and you can help in the #GreenTakeover by visiting using code: SPORTATREE.

Interbike Part 2

Have you ever tried selling yourself? On Thursday I was in Las Vegas, Nevada doing just that. No, I was not looking for a place to sleep by selling myself on the strip to the highest bidder; I was selling myself in a much more professional manner. I spent the day walking up and down the floor of Interbike at the Sands Convention Center selling myself to potential future sponsors.

Mark Cavendish, a familiar face in a sea of strangers

My first thought was that this shouldn’t be so hard. I have interviewed for a job or position in which I had to make the employer believe that I would be an asset to their company — that I add value. But those experiences were different in that 1) I had already filled out an application so the employer knew who I was and 2) they were actively looking for a position that needed to be filled. In this case neither were true. Every single person I saw at Interbike — with the exception of Jordan Rapp (with whom I shared a delicious lunch with), Colleen Quindlen with Trigger Point Therapy, and fellow collegiate recruit Baily Kuestermeyer — was a stranger. These potential sponsors had neither heard of me before nor were they, as far as I know, looking for a new triathlete to bare their brand across his chest. Needless to say I had an uphill battle.

But battle I did! With my coach’s help, we selected a few brands that we thought I would be a good fit with. I approached each of them with a resume and gave them my spiel: I’m Jason Pedersen and I will be racing my first season as a professional triathlete… Some were more interested than others. I had long conversations with some, while others just gave me their business card and a “shoot me an email.” But one common theme throughout was that NONE OF THEM BIT ME! Imagine that?

So I returned to Flagstaff Thursday evening, with a bunch of contacts and some hope that I won’t be going through 2012 alone financially.

Are you interested in financing a dream?

While I’m on the subject, I figure I should make an official statement that I am looking for sponsorships for 2012 and beyond as I look toward 2016. Aside from being a good looking, witty and incredibly popular young man, I plan on putting up more great results in 2012. Don’t you want your company’s logo atop the podiums?

Please send me an email at jason at (or direct message me via twitter) if you answered yes to that question.

Interbike Part 1

Las Vegas, Nevada. I have been here quite a few times before, but this will be my first time in Sin City alone and on business. This week is Interbike – International Bike Expo. I am here thanks to my coach Ian Murray with Triathlon Training Series to look for future sponsorships. As anyone that has done just one triathlon knows, this is an expensive sport. And while I have great support from my family, coaches and training partners, there is more to it than that. When I finish my masters degree in May, I will be an unemployed, overly educated dreamer. I am hoping that I will find a few folks tomorrow that are interested in investing in such a person.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. I will be patrolling the HUGE convention space with some resumes in hand (which I just noticed have a typo for my 5k PR… I promise I’m faster than that!), a USA Triathlon “Collegiate Recruit” polo, and hopefully a not-so-dorky looking smile.

Hi, I’m Jason Pedersen. Would you be interested in giving me that bike?

I will let you know how that one goes over.