Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ruston, Louisiana that is

Last weekend was the fourth race of the Fall TMBRA series in Ruston, LA. It was a long drive (five and a half hours) but Lauren and Westley (a high school kid) picked me up at work so we could head up from there. It was a good trip but long.

This race was a little different from most races as there was a short track and time trial on Saturday and the typical cross country race on Sunday. I haven't ever done a time trial on either the road or the mountain (No special bikes or cool pictures of BA mountain bike time trials) bike so I didn't really know what to expect.

SIDE NOTE: I've also never tried a tandem time trial, I'm gonna have to ask Lauren if she's into that kind of thing.

The short track race was the first race on Saturday but I didn't do it because it didn't count for the Cat 2 GC and it costed more money. The time trial was pretty much what I expected it to be, a painfest. I downed a GU and some drink right before I started which may not have been a good idea. Oh well. The race was pretty good. The first guy I caught was nice and got off the trail for me right before a slippery corner which I slid out in losing a couple second for sure. The second guy I caught was not so nice and he didn't let me by even though I was considerably faster than he. He did proceed to stall out on a switchback leading up to the finish making me stop and costing me a few more seconds. In the end I got second a mere six seconds out of first.
Here's some TT pics:

Racing, intensely

The cross country race was on Sunday and I was really looking for a win. I started out pretty fast trying to stay at the front and was feeling pretty sore from the TT and probably a little sore still from the 24 hour race but feeling alright. We stayed with the whole field for a while and then three of us (James, Josh, and I) started pulling away. I went back in forth from second to first to third and when I pulled back into second James took off. Neither Josh or I could respond and James built a decent lead. Josh and I took turns pulling until Josh tore off his derailleur. This happened at a good time for me since I looked back and saw a couple guys from our class closing in. I picked up the pace a little and held everyone off for second.
Here's a XC photo:

I ended up second overall in the GC to James but it was enough to solidify a win for the series. Yay!! I am not going to race the last race now but Lauren is so I'll get some updates.

Lauren did tear it up at Ruston, too:
She looks awfully perky though for racing. Game face Lauren!!
The awesome pictures are from KarmaBiker!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

24 hours, whew!

It was a fast weekend and a hard fought battle. We stayed in La Grange on Friday night so we were closer to the race on Saturday. The race started at noon on Saturday so we had to be out there around 10 for the pre-race meeting and to get set-up for the race. I also had to meet the rest of the team since it was a last minute team that got put together. The three guys on the team are all from San Antonio: Steve, Simon, and Micah.

Steve was the team captain

Simon is a professional trainer, triathlete, and nutritionist

Micah was the first time racer who had never ridden Rocky Hill Ranch

Simon was the first rider out for us and he did well. Steve was out number 2, I rode number 3, and Micah was number 4. We ran a lap schedule of 1,2,1,2,3,4,3,4. I think this gives more rest than running 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4.

Like last year, I thought I pushed it too hard on my first lap and wasn't feeling too great but I put down a 58 minute lap, fastest lap for the whole team. Second lap was good (1:01:32). My second lap was at dusk so I got to see a sweet view of a really good, orange sunset as I was cresting the last sorta big climb on the course, sweet. Night laps of 1:03 and 1:06 were pretty good night laps I thought. Since there were no overall standings we didn't really know how we were doing beyond knowing that we were in the top three. I figured we were in third due to some slow night laps. Thinking it was my last lap of the race I pushed it as hard as I could and threw down a 1:00 lap. Simon went out and was going to take the last lap but when he came in he told me to go. Great . . .

Thinking we were close to the team in front of us I hammered it as hard as I could to try to catch him but I couldn't, even with a 1:03 lap.

Turns out we weren't very close to the first place team but we did end up in second, not bad for a last minute team, especially with a first-time racer.

I felt pretty sick the rest of the day and really tired. At least this year there wasn't anyone yelling "Go Racer!" all night.
Here's some pics:
Going out on the second lap . . .
20 hours later,

Coming in at the finish, sorry, no mid-race photos

Not feeling so well, little cramping going on

Looking good with the team

MMMMMM! Pickle Juice!!

The team, our team name was 'The Justice League'. From left, Steve, Micah, Simon, Me.
The massage last night felt really good and definitely helped with the recovery.
Thanks to Lauren for sort of being support and getting off the cot so I could try to sleep a little.
Thanks also to Teresa and Cecilia for making the trip out so the doggies could play and y'all could hang out a little.

Friday, October 16, 2009


We did hit up bingo again last night, no luck though...

After some ups and downs I've found a team for the 24 Hours of Rocky Hill! First I started off on a four-person expert team then one of the dude's was having a baby. He was out. Then someone wanted to race solo. He's out. Then I was going to race as a Duo with my buddy Joshua but then he got the flu and we both decided the race after the flu. So I was teamless about a week ago then a guy contacted me about doing the race on his team. RIGHT ON!! So now I'm racing on a 4-man senior sport team. Woohoo! 24 hour race!

It starts tomorrow by the way, hopefully Rocky Hill has dried out a little and the weather is looking perfect.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Yeah, Bingo!

Last Thursday was an off-day for me so I wasn't really sure what I was going to do since I don't get too many. Well that question was answered for me when my friend asked if Lauren and I wanted to go play bingo. Hell Yes!!

I wasn't really sure what to expect since thoughts of bingo typically bring about visions of suspender and bow-tie clad gents and dames with hair curlers still in place. Well, that was pretty much the case. There were quite a few younger folks, however, doubtlessly lured in by the cheap beer and popcorn.

The actual playing of bingo was relatively relaxing as the mono-toned gentleman calling the numbers had a very soothing voice. There was a raucous bunch of girls next to us who had clearly consumed more than just beer. I also found the pace of the game to be quick and somewhat frustrating:

Notice the dude in the back with a Texas hat on, way to go buddy!
I clearly once thought I was going to win! Hope dashed when some jerk in the back got bingo before me.

Maybe next time...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Well, rained again. That pretty much sums up the Bryan experience but I'll put it in a little better perspective. We left Houston on Saturday morning at about 11 after hitting up some book sales, garage sales, the bank, and somewhere else on the way up to Bryan (~100 miles away). Apparently the DOT decided to close down two of the three lanes on 290 which led to some serious backups and waiting in traffic. Once we got going again we noticed some ominously dark looking clouds looming on the horizon to the west and north (near Bryan) but we were hoping to beat the rain there. Approximately 10 minutes after saying, "It looks pretty light up by Bryan", torrential downpours struck. This demotivated me to pre-ride and slowed traffic considerably. We finally got to Bryan about an hour and a half later than I had wanted to but it didn't matter because the course was a real piece of muddy work so I didn't pre-ride anyways. Keeping my fingers crossed, that the rain would stop, I registered and then we headed into town for some food and later, sleep. Lauren somehow talked me into going to the Large Animal Vet Clinic at A&M, creepiest feeling ever!

About dinner time the rain started up again and, as far as I can tell, it didn't stop until about 8:30, 30 minutes before the Cat 1 race. Awesome, I thought as I peered into a couple of the large puddles we had to go through 20 feet after the start line. The course officials had shortened the course considerably after a pre-riding racer was consumed entirely by a large mud hole on the western loop, that's not actually true, but they did cut off that section of trail. The final trail length was 11 miles, "That's not too bad," I thought. Thinking I would catch some of the PSE riders coming up the final stretch before the start finish line, I waited around until I had to go get ready and warm-up. Something struck me then, "11 miles and the pros aren't even back and it's been over an hour," this could get ugly. After a good warm-up I headed to the start line. One of the race officials was saying, "Watch out when you go down the hill by the 'Slippery' sign because there is a large telephone pole at the bottom that you could crash into."

The race started slippery and fast, I got into the single-track in second and was right on the tire of first place until he slid out and off the trail on a wet bridge. Being in first, there was no one around and I didn't know how for ahead I was. Then, a rider that went to A&M caught me and apparently he had taken a mountain biking class out there so he knew every inch of the trail. We were pacing each other and then all of the sudden another rider from our class was on us and he was looking pretty strong. He got into first and I stayed with him for a while then I lost him on a short nasty muddy uphill in which the other guy passed me too. Now I was in third and I was starting to get tired. Having not pre-ridden I didn't know when to attack but this wasn't a big problem as my chain kept binding up which slowed me down quite a bit. I started to catch back up to the two in front of me and then I passed second place after he had flatted. I tried hard but I couldn't catch first. It was a tough race and I ended up in second.

Last hill, it hurt, I think my tongue is sticking out.

MuddyBike bath time, I think I dropped something...
Seu got it

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Non-Yetticross Race Update

Well the Harris County Flood Control apparently didn't want us to race again last night so the race was off. Apparently this time there were cops. Most people were out riding anyways but it was a little disappointing to have the race cancelled again.
Lauren still came out to take pictures though:

I'm winning for sure!!

This weekend is the third race in the fall TMBRA series up at Lake Bryan, hopefully it goes well!

I also got my new shoes!!! Super sweet!!! Can't wait to rock 'em!!! (Sidi Dominator 6 w/carbon soles)