Friday, April 25, 2008

Great White Shark Attack!

When you swim in the ocean you never can totally get the possibility of a shark attack out of your mind. A few times I have been totally freaked out in the water when I saw a nearby Seal or Dolphin. Last week some friends of mine saw a humpback whale. I don't think I'll be swimming in the ocean for a few weeks.

SOLANA BEACH, Calif. - A shark believed to be a great white killed a 66-year-old swimmer with a single, giant bite across both legs Friday as the man trained with a group of triathletes, authorities and witnesses said.

Dave Martin, a retired veterinarian from Solana Beach, was attacked at San Diego County's Tide Beach around 7 a.m., authorities and family friend Rob Hill said.

Martin was taken to a lifeguard station for emergency treatment but was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a statement on the Solana Beach city Web site. His injuries crossed both thighs, San Diego County sheriff's Sgt. Randy Webb said in a news release.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography shark expert Richard Rosenblatt says the shark was probably a great white between 12 and 17 feet long.

"It looks like the shark came up, bit him, and swam away," said Dismas Abelman, the Solana Beach deputy fire chief.

There was a single bite across both of Martin's legs, Abelman said.

The attack took place about 150 yards offshore. Several swimmers wearing wetsuits were in a group when the shark attacked, lifeguard Craig Miller said. Two swimmers were about 20 yards ahead of the man when they heard him scream for help. They turned around and dragged him back to shore.

For more of this article click here.

Fortunately Shark attacks are rare in Southern California. The last attack in So. Cal. dates back to 2004. Most Shark attacks in California are in Northern California where there are plenty of seals and sea lions to snack on.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Conquering the Big Tujunga Loop

Yesterday, I was up before dawn on my way to Angeles Crest for an epic ride. I road with the LA Tri Club up Angeles Crest to Clear Creak. Then we went north down Angeles Forest Highway. This is the route along which the final stage of the Tour of California took place this year (going in the opposite direction). There is a dark tunnel along the route and I am glad I had my blinkers, because it would be really easy to be taken out by a car in the dark. I heard that in the Tour there was a serious bike crash in this tunnel.

Then we turned onto Upper Big Tujunga. This was the best part of the route. There was some beautiful rollers along a pleasant forested stream. It was nice to have the rollers because when you ride in this area it is usually just up, up, up. There were two serious climbs though. They were not too long, but very steep. I was putting out 250 watts and it seemed like I was barely moving. Here is a elevation profile of the route.

On the way down I got a flat on my rear wheel. This is my second flat on the Angeles Crest Highway, were I never had a flat all last year. It seems that there is more rocks and gravel on the sides of the roads, perhaps because of the recent rains. It took me a while to fix the flat because it has been so long since I last used my CO2 inflator that I forgot how to use it. I finally figured out how to get it to work, but I could not inflate the tire to full pressure because I had used some of the CO2 to just get the tube partially inflated so I could install it. I had another CO2 cartridge, but I always like to have one in reserve in case I get another flat. I guess it would be smart to have small a backup pump for the time where you run out of CO2. Either that, or just hope you can beg a Co2 cartridge off another ride zipping by.

The total distance for the ride was just over 47 miles with over 5000 feet of vertical climbing. It took almost 5 hours to complete. Here is a Google Earth map.

Strangely enough I'm not that sore yet today.

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