Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Wrapped in all of the excitement that is mountain biking is this little thing that can bring any racer to pit the best of their skills against another. Bets, as they are called, bring about the fiercest of competition, even from mildest mannered and most well-behaved among civilized society.

Don't get me wrong, however, mountain bike racers are in now way "civilized" and rumor has it that some don't even know how to go to the bathroom inside.

I bring this up because Kyle's dad, Alan, made a bet with me for the last race, at Waco. I did successfully have a faster time than he, and thus won this.

On a side note: I don't want it to seem like I am saying I'm better than Alan, he has a lot more experience than I. I do look forward to further instances where Alan and I pit our own "best-of-our bests" in an all out, leg-deystroying, singletrack-dominating private contest, aka "a bet". I just wanted to make note of this bet since both Kyle and Kathy, Kyle's mom were wondering about it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Waco Race

Well last weekend Lauren, Kyle and I went to Waco for the mountain bike race. I was excited about this race since I was my one year anniversary of mountain bike racing and the race had also been rescheduled so I could do it. I wasn't sure how I was going to do after not having ridden as much as I would have liked to prepare and I was about mid way through a cold. My fork is also out so I was lucky enough to get to ride Sol's sweet bike (Orbea Alma, sweet bike)

We went up to the race on saturday to pre-ride and it was an interesting trip. I didn't really get any sleep the night before after Lauren was up all night coughing and then getting up early to go see Lauren's horses before leaving, so I was pretty dang tired. I did get some sleep on the way up, briefly waking up to see Temple (which Kyle and I renamed Tabernacle on the way home). The pre-ride was great and the course seemed to be good although I thought I might be sick.

Race morning came early since the sport class a.k.a. Cat 2 started at nine in the morning. I was a little unsure how I felt before the race but that time before the race still gets me for some reason. Oh well. The first lap I started a little fast and the legs weren't feeling to great so I had to back off a little and recover a bit and then get ready to go hard the next lap. The plan worked pretty good I guess, I did make up a couple of spots on the second lap and finished in ninth. That's not too bad for my first race in Sport.

Congrats to Kyle for winning his expert race!!

I think I'm starting to feel a little better from this cold so hopefully Warda goes better next weekend.

I guess I'll get some pictures up from my trip to New Mexico one of these days...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spring Break!!!

Spring Break for me officially started on Thursday at 11 in the morning. This sounds amazing, right? Well, it's not as great as it may seem. My spring break involves a four day trip to west Texas/New Mexico followed by exciting work and writing of the thesis. It's all good except I actually wish I weren't going on this field trip so I could do more work on the thesis which I really want to get finished.

I'm missing out on this:

For this:

There is one upside, however, I got to go to the super cool 37 month anniversary party at Austinbikes. Austinbikes is a great bike shop with some great people and random parties rock so their party was destined to be sweet. They had beer and it was great to hang out with people and meet some people I have heard a lot about but just never really met.

On a positive note: Due to the stupid rain that has "plagued" Austin during the latter part of this week, which seriously made me not excited about riding, the Waco race has been postponed until next weekend which means I can do it!! I am excited about this, probably more than I would normally be, because it marks my one year anniversary of mountain bike racing. I don't know how well I will do but I'm aiming to do pretty well, maybe win, maybe not get stitches this time.

On another note: I took my wheel into Bicycle Sport Shop today to see if I needed the bearings replaced and to my surprise one of the bearings had sort of popped loose and they didn't need to be replaced at all, yay!

Happy Pi day by the way! I unfortunately didn't get any real pie today, I did have pizza, but I think I will celebrate Pi day upon returning from the west.

On a different biking note: We, Lauren and I, noticed a group of BMXers riding around near 29th street today. We not only saw them once but twice. It brought me back to the movie ET:

Except replace all sweatshirts in that picture by black hoodies that are too small.

Yeah, I need to go sleep, Peace Out!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Trying out a photo post

So I thought I would try to put a picture on here and this will be the post for today. I just did the Mas O Menos race in Terlingua, TX, a long ways out in the middle of nowhere and near Big Bend National Park. There was a photographer, or group thereof, and they captured some pretty good pictures of me while racing.

The characteristic of this race is that 1) it's a race in the middle of the desert, in the middle of nowhere and 2) there is a really big climb, about 1200 vertical feet in around 5 miles.

Working up the Tres Cuevas

It was a pretty sweet climb

I don't think the Tres Cuevas was the worst climb but once on the top there are rollers that seemed to kill me. The best part is coming down to the finish

This is the end downhill to the finish and it was great knowing the finish was close. I definitely need to do the full marathon next year (100km) instead of just the half marathon. It was a pretty good race all around and I'm definitely going out early to pre-ride the course next year. This year I was out on the course pretty much blind to knowing anything about the course and there were a couple of times where I missed the trail and ended up losing time which sucks because I was less than 5 minutes out of first.
On a side note: I sold my old road bike yesterday, I'm glad I don't have to worry about that anymore but I think I might miss the Cannondale. Oh well...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Hipster Poser

I was just out with Lauren and Joshua and we went to a yogurt place, which is pretty good, but then on the way home we were lucky enough to see the new fad that is soon going to sweep the nation, then the world... HIPSTER POSER. Now you don't actually have to be a hipster, fixed gear endowed and all, but you can actually have just a single speed with the cliche deep-Vs and bullhorn handle bars. Now the hipster generation will likely deny all acknowledgement of this new wave of sure fire coolness which will no doubt detract from their own coolness and potentially threaten all of which they stand for... which is ... ... ...

Potentially more exciting, the hipster poser poser, this generation of coolness will actually revert back to the original coolness that the hipsters currently provide yet they won't actually realize or give credit to this current trend which will lead to the unocstructed forgetting of the coolest hipsters of all and the ones that launched, undoubtedly, the greatest fixed-gear movement of all time... until the hipster poser posers arrive.

On a side note: the yogurt places around town the are actually like soft-serve wonderlands are quite amazing as anything deemed "soft-serve wonderlands" would be.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The fork problem

Well I guess I just got a plagued fork on my mountain bike. The first time I went night riding with Kyle and the third time I was on the bike I blew the seals out of my fork and I had to take it in to get it replaced or rebuilt under warranty. After that, I rode for a while until last weekend when I went down to Rocky Hill with Dave. 45 miles later I was dead and finally done. It's amazing what those energy gels actually do for you when you are riding a long time. Anyways, I got done and then it came to my realization that my fork was leaking oil so now I have to take it back in and have them rewarranty the fork. It could be worse, I guess I am getting a new fork out of the deal. I hope the new one is good to go.

On a side note: When Dave and I got done riding we noticed a very large cloud of smoke to the east of where we were and wondered what was burning down. Well apparently it was a large portion of Bastrop and the surrounding area. It was pretty crazy and impressive to see. While on the phone with Lauren this conversation took place while trying to explain that Hwy 71 was closed and I couldn't go to the barn with her.

Me: Yeah there's a huge fire and the highway is closed. I bet you can see the smoke.
Lauren: Well I can't really see anything but a big cloud.
Me: You mean the long streaky one coming out of the ground?
Lauren: Yeah
Me: That's smoke from the fire Lauren...
Lauren: Oh, well I guess I can see it then.

That might not be the exact words but they are pretty close.

Well I need to take that bike in to the shop.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Why it's hard to write a thesis

I am in the final semester of my graduate career (unless for some crazy reason I decide to go back for a Ph.D) and thus I am writing up all of the research I've done and trying to finish some final tests so I can focus solely on writing and finishing up. My goal is to finish May 22nd, graduation, so I can go home and race bikes this summer and just hang out in beautiful Wisconsin. I want to do this before I go to Houston and begin working for an untold amount of time. So the reasons writing is difficult are numerous, perhaps a list will work best. So:

1) The weather is beautiful outside and I want to be out there

2) I really want to ride my bike, pretty much everyday if I could

3) I like to race my bicycle and without riding I will surely get my ass kicked, even though I'm doing much better than I started last year

4) Sequence Stratigraphy labs take entirely too much time and they don't really make a lot of sense

5) I got an email that I haven't filled out my time sheets at the Bureau since November and now I'm gonna have to go up there and fill out those time sheets so I don't get into trouble

6) The internet has a lot of fun things on it

So, I'm sure there are many more than that since new things come up every time I sit down and try to write.

Alright, back to work then . . .

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The first ever entry

Lauren inspired me to do this because I lead an extremely exciting life . . .

Lauren is my girlfriend and she lives with me. She likes to watch hockey and ride horsies. I'm making her into a mountain bike racer but she doesn't know it yet. Since I've known her she's acquired three bikes, the last one being a mountian bike. I'm glad she got it. She likes to fix broken horses and other, smaller, four-legged beasts.

This is just a basis for knowing Lauren because I might mention her in subsequent entries.

Well I'm pretty tired, I'll try to keep this up to date.