Andrew McNaughton s a name probably unfamiliar to many of you. If it’s not, your name is probably Brad Kearns. If you know who Andrew is and your name isn’t Brad Kearns, then you probably know Andrew as the guy who won Wildflower a whole bunch of times back in the early days of triathlon. If you are Brad Kearns, you probably know Andrew as the neon-wearing maniac who made you ride from Conejo Valley to Antelope Valley for “fun.” To me, Andrew is the guy who set the times to beat on pretty much every climb in the Santa Monica Mountains. Yerba Buena. Stunt. Piuma. And Rock Store, the object of my current quest.
Rock Store gas pumps to fire hydrant. Seems simple enough. It’s about 4km including the run in from the pumps until it then kicks up at about 7% grade. Eleven minutes and thirty five seconds. That’s the target. And it remains a target. I’d like to blame it on the wind. Or leaving my extra heavy saddle bag on. Or slow rolling training tires. But the truth is that the ghost is just really fast. And that makes it all the more fun to chase. And that’s what keeps me going up and up those climbs.