Thursday, December 9, 2010


I got some rollers tonight, they are effin' sweet, I even rode for the first half hour ever and didn't fall off! Good times to be had on the good ole rollers.

Work has been pretty crazy lately. I've been working on a pretty big project the sorta finished up last Friday and before that it was 10 - 11 hour days. I did get all of my work done though.

I also recently finished building the fully rigid single speed. An Orbea Lanza frame with a Niner carbon fork. I took it for a good ride last weekend and it work surprisingly well. I was anticipating a couple of adjustments that would need to be made but overall it's an awesome ride.

For Thanksgiving Lauren's parents came down. Lauren and I entertained them and had Thanksgiving at my mansion. I was debating just making a traditional turkey but then I came to my senses and decided a Turducken was in order. Let me just say the Turducken was absolutely delicious!!

Then we went to the fine arts museum so I thought I was at least attempt to look the part:

Lauren just finished her first semester of Vet school today!! Congrats!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A delayed report about that

24 hour race is better than no report at all.

On October 23rd - 24th the annual 24 hours of Rocky Hill took place. I had decided about a month before to do the race since my racing travel buddy/support had a test and this race was much closer than Ruston, LA. The team consisted of three of us from last year (Steve, Simon and me) and a new racer, Vanessa. We raced 3 - 4 person Open Coed. Here is the tale:

Friday night before the race was filled with eager anticipation and last minute preparation. Slightly apprehensive about how I would do after racing the weekend before I just took it easy and relaxed most of the evening occasionally checking the weather report. I went to bed pretty early to try to get ahead on the sleep deficit that was inevitable.

Saturday morning I got up pretty early so I could eat a big breakfast, pack, get gas, and then get Starbucks on the way to the race. Looming dark gray clouds filled the sky as I drove west toward Smithville. Worries of muddy singletrack filled my mind as I passed through a pretty good rain storm but soon I was out of the rain to find relatively dry road. Finally, I pulled in to Rocky Hill and found the team. After the obligatory hellos and introductions I got the bike ready to go and then we convinced Vanessa to go first, Thank God! I really didn't want to do the Le Mans around the rocky drive way. The race started at noon and Vanessa threw down a pretty good lap. I was second and I had a little time to make up so I went after it. I pushed it pretty hard on the early climbs and felt it the rest of the lap. About 3/4 the way through the lap the ominous gray clouds decided it was time to pee on Brandon, and everyone else on the course, about the time I hit the only rocky/potentially slippery decent on the course. Since I was trying to haul ass I went down, pretty hard. No big injuries so I got back on and continued mashing pedals. The only victim of the crash was the buckle on my left shoe. Got back and had enough time to drink some water, refill the water bottles, duct-tape my shoe to my foot, and then go out again. The second lap felt pretty good and I set my fastest lap of the day, no crashes.

I got a good break while Simon and Steve took their turns on course. We had about a 1 lap lead when I started my third lap. I didn't go quite as hard on my third and fourth laps since we did have a lead but still had a couple of good night laps. I held under an hour both laps. After my fourth lap our lead continued to grow. I believe we were around 2 laps up when I got done. I was quite tired so I might be wrong. After some food and water I climbed into my car to get some much needed rest. In a blink of an eye it was time to get up again and get ready to ride. I wasn't planning on doing a third night lap so I hadn't charged my light and just prayed it had enough to make it an hour.

Our lead was pretty good so I decided to do and 'easy' lap, I even had time to stop on the course for a much needed bathroom break. Around my time mark I decided to try to beat an hour. Unfortunately, I hit 1:00:32, should've held the pee I guess. Oh well, the legs were starting to feel it a bit on the last lap so I was just focused on finishing without crashing. When I got in we were up around 4 laps so I said I was done no matter what the teammates said. Then I took the best feeling shower ever and just chilled while Simon and Steve finished the race. We were up 5 laps when Steve was out on his last lap so Simon decided to call it so we could pack up camp and get otta there in a reasonable time.

I decided to take off around 11:15 since the awards weren't going to be until 2 and I was struggling to not fall asleep sitting in my chair. A large mocha frappuccino did the trick to get me back to Houston where I could finally pass out.

The race was great, Terra Firma Promo did a great job organizing the race and the Redbarn Timing system worked great!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010


or should I say Hurtsville. Last weekend was the race up at Huntsville State Park. The course is pretty non-technical and fast and there really is nowhere to recover at all. I felt a little sore going into the race after I participated in a charity softball tournament on Friday.

Softball Tournament, our team was decent but we did end up losing all three games we played. In the first game I hit a double and a home run. In the second game I had a single. In the last game I moved to play second base and participated in the only double play our team had all day. It was a lot of fun to participate in and I'll likely do it next year, as long as it's not before the Huntsville race.

I went up to pre-ride on Saturday and met up with Lauren there. We hung out for a bit after the ride and then headed back to College Station for the night and to watch the Texas/Nebraska and Wisconsin/Ohio State games. Both the Horns and the Badgers won so that was definitely a great college football weekend. Still perplexing though how Ohio State is ranked higher than the Badgers.

The race started at nine on Sunday so that meant an early morning for Lauren and me. My legs definitely felt a little sore Sunday morning so I warmed up quite thoroughly. The race started fast and just kept going fast. I was definitely struggling to hold speed. I ended up fifth which isn't too bad but I should have been more rested for the race. Then I got to hang out with Lauren for a while.

Now it's recover time before the 24 hours of Rocky Hill this weekend.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


That's kinda how my knee and shoulder feel right now after last night.

Last night I thought it would be a good idea to work on my night riding skills so I geared up and rode on down to Memorial Park. The ride down was good and the temperature was nice. The night was clear and I thought it was a great night for riding. The singletrack was good and I was feeling good until about 2 miles into the ride when I clipped a tree with my handlebars and bit it bad. Apparently when I clipped the tree my front wheel must have been off the ground and when I landed it must have been almost sideways. I heard the bead on the tire break as I was sailing over the handle bars and then the bike landed on top of me. I'm sure the crash was pretty awesome to watch. The I got up and realized I bent the wheel pretty good:

I picked myself up and walked my poor bike out to the entrance to Memorial Park and waited until my friend Josh arrived to pick me up. On my walk out I noticed my leg was a little sore and then I felt the large bump on my knee, from the handlebars? It was pretty sore by the time I got home so I just chilled and hung out with Josh for a bit.

This morning the knee was pretty sore but it feels considerably better now. The shoulder feels alright too. The wheel should be ok, the hub and spokes are all intact so hopefully I only need to replace the rim. Maybe a couple days off would be good too . . .

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I had a great time

last weekend going up to visit Lauren after a good ride on Saturday morning. The ride was definitely good, I hadn't been to sure about how the power training was working but I set five new personal bests and still felt pretty good after the ride. Then I headed up to College Station to hit up Spoons, er I mean Lauren! Lauren was studying up for some tests she has this week. Then we headed out to her professor's house for some bitchin' fajitas and sweet tea. This was only after the Longhorns sucked it up against UCLA.

Sunday I travelled down to Rocky Hill to ride with Dave and Joshua. Joshua helped to get me started mountain biking and training and Dave is a crazy randonneur. Definitely some good and fast riding. The riding was good prep for the upcoming 24-hour race out there on the 23rd and 24th of October, I love that race. On the way home I found out that the Kolache place no serves some great bacon cheeseburgers. Apparently I dropped an onion in my car though because it smelled richly of cheeseburger Monday morning.

I'm not sure I approve of the earlier and earlier nights, makes for some interesting riding. Fun night mountain biking though.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Since then

then being Camp Eagle, I have been pretty busy. Work has been busy as I have been given more responsibility, I suppose that's a good thing. Outside of work has been pretty busy too. Two weekends ago I went up to Lauren's and hung out with her. I did some Paydirt, volunteer trail work for the Spring TMBRA series, and then went riding. I thought it would be good to ride the trail since there is a duathlon up there in a couple weeks that I am tentatively committed to. The ride was good until I got to the back part of the loop where I discovered my cleat was loose and I couldn't get my multi-tool into the screws. I kept riding and once I got into the wooded area I noticed a disgusting high density of spider webs spanning the trail. Not only were there webs but there were bunches of spiders too, including crab-looking spiders and orb spiders. Orb spiders eat finches, see below:

Just the sight of the spiders brought me back to an encounter I had another big spider, banana spider, during a past climbing trip, see below:

I was quite disturbed by the spiders everywhere to the point I crashed because I didn't want to go through the huge web engulfing the entire trail with a big spider in the middle. It was at that point that I got onto the open trail and avoided the uncleared single track for the rest of the day. Then I rode back into college station and got some yogurt with Lauren and went to the bike shop to fix my shoe. On Sunday Lauren and I went out to ride the horses and then got some frozen yogurt and I headed up to Austin to ride with a friend. We rode Walnut under nearly perfect trail conditions, good times. I miss Austin. I was in Austin for a recruiting event at UT Austin, had a good time, saw some friends, and recruited many. Then back to work.

Fast forward one weekend to last weekend, Lauren came down from CS. We didn't really do anything which was kinda nice and relaxing.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Camp Eagle 2010.2

The race morning was good. Some good brefackst then a nice morning ride and finally some warm up. Some a couple of old friends during the warm-up and the dude that crashed and got medflighted back to Kerrville. He turned out ok and apparently just had a concussion, sweet ride home from the race though, pricey too. The start of the race was good and fast. I hung with Patrick for a little while and then took off. I was in either fifth or sixth so I knew I had some people to catch. My first lap on the South loop was ugly, I climbed very poorly and definitely lost some time. The North loop was good, the second pass at the South loop was much better, the climb felt good and I passed one guy in my class. The Cat 2's were out on course so I was passing a bunch of them which made it somewhat tricky to tell who I was racing. I thought I had passed another guy in my race and when I got in I was placed third. The race felt good and the legs still felt pretty good after the race. Apparently someone in my class had come in and they had missed them so I ended up fourth. Oh well, still felt pretty good.

After the race I went down to a friend's cabin down in Leakey (pronounced Lakey) which was about 45 miles away or so. When I got there we had some food and then travelled on down to the creek to put our feet in the water. It felt pretty dang good. Later in the evening we took a tour of the community on the golf cart and we saw some pretty big deer. Since Ben, my buddy, and his wife were getting up super early and going to a run I decided to get up and head on back to Houston. I got back to Houston around 10:30 and got some things done around the house.

It was a good Labor Day weekend.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Camp Eagle 2010

Last weekend was the first race of the TMBRA fall series. I was pretty excited about the race since I hadn't raced since the end of May and I'd been putting in a bunch of training miles. I also switched to training with a power meter about a month ago so this was the first test to see how that was going. Camp Eagle is a pretty technical course with some tough uphills and some technical descents.

I left work a bit early on Friday with hopes of beating the bad drivers out of Houston, I was doing pretty well until I got to the edge of Houston where five lanes of freely flowing traffic condensed into a two lane creep of winter molasses. Once I got far enough out of town traffic finally picked up and I headed to Buc-E's to get some jerky, I also got Lauren a present but I cannot post what it is since I have not given it to her yet. I arrived in San Antonio a little after 9 to stay with my friend Steve who I did the 24 hours of Rock Hill with last year and who is going to marry Lauren and I. It was great to catch up with Steve and meet his family!

Saturday morning I got up and had breakfast with Steve and family and then headed out to Camp Eagle. Two hours further West from San Antonio I arrived at Camp Eagle but not until I saw two deer-like animals fighting in one of the large ranches on the side of the road. I met up with Kathy and Alan and then went for a pre-ride of the south loop. The course was good and I felt pretty good so I tried not to overdo it. There is much more climbing at the Camp than in all of Houston combined. Then Alan, Kathy, and I headed in to Kerrville for some steak and a good night's sleep.

The race was Sunday, I'll write about that tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

This past week

has been pretty boring I suppose. I went back to my normal job after three weeks of training. I also put on some training miles. I worked on my mountain bike and got everything honed in again. Good times.

Lauren came down last weekend and we hung out for a while and then our new friend from Canada (Josh) came over and we all went and got some new cowboy boots. Awesome!! Then we all put on said boots and went to my other friend's birthday party/housewarming party. It was Teresa's B-day and her birthday is actually today so . . . HAPPY BIRTHDAY T!!!!

First race of the Fall TMBRA series is this weekend at Camp Eagle. I hope all the training pays off.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I'm pretty sure...

I've never heard it thunder for as long as I am hearing right now. I'm pretty sure it's been going at it for about 50 minutes straight. Guess I'll go for that run a bit later tonight.

I finished up with training on Friday after three long weeks of 8 hour lectures. The class was pretty good, we learned how to drill wells and evaluate formations. I learned a lot and my team won the final well-planning exercise. We got a "sweet" clock for winning, now I can tell what time it is. I wish it were time to go running but the continuous thunder is up to 53 minutes.

Lauren and I had a pretty good weekend. I went up to CS to see her on Saturday and we went to one of her classmates' house for a Slip N' Slide party. Lot's of fun but the Slip N' Slide was a little rough. We also saw a huge spider which was apparently an orb spider. It was huge, we threw some grasshoppers into it's web too, pretty sweet.

Sunday we got up and went riding at Lake Bryan for a couple of hours, good times, it was dang hot though. After eating some lunch and taking a good nap Lauren and I went and got some frozen yogurt. It was delicious. We were going to ride the horses but when we went to get yogurt the thermometer on the truck said 121 degrees, it only went down to 107 on the way to the yogurt shop so we scrapped riding the horses for going out and just brushing them.

Lauren started Veterinary school today, sweet.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Memorial Park Crit #2

Last week Lauren inspired my to do the Memorial Park Crit so I was excited and this and did it. It was hot and I wasn't sure how the race would go. After a good warm-up I lined up and away we went. I was a little apprehensive because there was a pretty good sized crash the last time I did this race. The group seemed to be much safer this time though and the race went well. I typically use these races as a workout so I wasn't too worried about saving myself to the end. I attacked about half way into the race but it was covered pretty quickly. Then I worked on sitting in the pack for a bit to recover which also went well. Coming down to the final lap I was feeling pretty good but, unfortunately, I went a little too early for the finish. I finished around 11th or so. It was a pretty fun race all in all.

Here's some pics:


Somewhere in the race
Lauren and I went down to Galveston to spend a day on the beach yesterday. It was quite a bit of fun. Seu had a great time swimming in the Gulf. After a drink and some sweet potato fries we headed back to Houston. Once we got home we realized the old sunscreen Lauren had wasn't so good anymore and we both had some interesting sunburn.

Monday, August 9, 2010


We set a date for the wedding. We are going to get married on June 11th, 2011. The wedding is going to be at Saint Croix Vineyards near Stillwater, MN. The reception is going to be at the Water Street Inn in Stillwater.

Last weekend we went to White Linen Night in the Heights. It was also Lauren's Birthday on Saturday so that was part of the celebration. It was a great night with ample hangin' with friends and drinks.

Here is a picture of L and I:

Here is a guy with a sweet bike with some huge wheels, puts the 29er to shame.

Here are a couple of pictures from Lauren's sister's wedding:

On another note, the TMBRA fall racing series starts in a little less than a month. SWEET!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

What I've been up to lately

Since I've been back in Texas I've been very busy. First and foremost I moved out of the two-bedroom house Lauren and I were living into a smaller two-bedroom garage apartment. I like the new place quite a bit, it's much more my size since it's just going to be me there but there is still plenty of room for Lauren and Seu. I have my own little yard that is all fenced in and a spot to park inside the fence. I will post pictures sooner or later. The inside of the house is pretty sweet too. There are two bedrooms, a decent sized bathroom, a decent sized kitchen attached to the living area, and a utility room with washer and dryer.

I've also been trying to get back into cycling shape. After almost a month of little to no riding my conditioning was noticeably down. I am coming around though, I went for a 75 mile ride this morning. I've also been learning to train with a PowerTap. It's pretty cool so far, it feels like I've been getting more out of the rides.

Last weekend Lauren and I travelled to Seattle (or near Seattle) for Lauren's sister's wedding. We weren't sure what to expect as the weather in Seattle can be questionable at any time and neither of us had been to a Jewish wedding with a large contingent of Russian people. It was a great experience. The weather was great, everybody we met was really cool, and the ceremony was awesome. It was great to see a different style of wedding and to see the associated traditions. On Saturday, the day before the wedding, we took a large group hike of family and friends from Cougar Falls to Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park. The hike was great. We gained 2,700 vertical feet in approximately 3 - 3.5 miles. Then we headed back to Houston on Monday to go back to work and school.

Work has been super busy getting all caught up on what I missed while I was out and getting ready to go to a training class for the next three weeks.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Dad

So I haven't written a blog in quite a while and a large part of that reason is because I've been in Wisconsin spending time with my Dad. Last year my Dad was diagnosed with cancer and after a tough round of chemo we thought he had beat it. In February he returned to Wisconsin with some medical issues to leard that the cancer had returned. He went through another round of chemo but this time things weren't as promising. He did respond to chemo the second time around. My Dad passed away on July 8th.

I'll never forget all of the things my Dad did for me and taught me through the years. He was a great guy who was always willing to help someone out and had the ability to make anyone laugh. I'm glad I had the opportunity to spend as much time with him as I did. I will always remember the positive person he was and I wish I had more time with him.

My Dad and I at the race in Ruston, La on October 25th, 2009.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Juan Pelota

The Juan Pelota ranch was pretty sweet. The race and the weather were not so much. Lauren, Seu, and I arrive at around noon on Saturday to catch the start of the Pro race. It was effin' hot. We met up with Kathy and headed to the super-sweet, shaded viewing area to watch the pro race. It was a good spot for sure, especially after landscaping a bit so my chair was level and after the sun moved behind that tree branch. The pros were definitely pretty fast. We had a couple Texans do pretty well in the race too so that was sweet. We didn't sit around for the finish because it was like a sauna but a little drier but still like a sauna. We headed back to town to stay at the same sweet hotel we stayed at the weekend before and hung out for a while until dinner. We hit up Texas Land and Cattle for dinner and it was delicious. Post dinner Lauren and I were headed back to the hotel when she decided she wanted some ice cream. We stopped at the Exxon down the road from the hotel. After buying some ice cream, water, and a couple of lottery tickets we walked out only to see some dude getting guns pulled on him by the cops. I quickly realized the guns were also pointed in our general direction so I quickly grabbed Lauren and scooted off to the side. At first I thought the dude was getting busted for driving a convertible Volkswagon Beetle, who does that? Turns out the dude was doin' a little drug dealing. It was pretty sweet to see the cops bust him and pull out a pretty good sized bag of white powder, not totally sure what it was, that's probably a good thing. Then we went back to the hotel and you . . . know . . . scratched lottery tickets. I bought five dollars worth of tickets, two-two dollar tickets and one-one dollar ticket. We scratched the two dollar tickets first, I didn't win anything on mine, Lauren won five dollars on hers so she let me scratch the one dollar ticket and I won thirty dollars. Not bad for a five dollar investment.


The race was on Sunday which is normal and I got out and ready early. I warmed up pretty good and was feeling pretty good when I headed to the start. I hadn't ever ridden the course so I wasn't sure how it would go. The race started pretty fast and with the heat I knew I wouldn't last too long if I tried to keep it up. I was doing pretty good, about mid pack and recovering from the start and starting to feel pretty good. Then I went over a little descent and my front tire hit the one rock that was sticking up and I briefly popped the bead on my tire and I went down pretty hard. After getting up and giving my bike and then myself a once over I noticed my tire wasn't totally flat. I decided to try riding very gently. It didn't work, I soon flatted and I was left to walk it in. It was a nice hot hike to the start/finish area but I did get to cheer on all the other racers along the way, they looked pretty overheated. It was the first time I had a mechanical and couldn't finish so I wasn't terribly upset and after seeing how most people felt after the race I suppose this was the race to crash/flat out of. I still managed a fifth place in the series.

In other news, I started a new position at work this week. I will be working closely with geologists both supporting them and helping them with their work. It should be pretty interesting, I will be learning a lot and meeting some pretty cool people. I will have more details after I've been there a little while.

Monday, May 31, 2010

A week home

Ryan's bike is sweet so I got out and rode as much as I could to take advantage of the elevation in Wisconsin. A couple of good hill climbing days was definitely good.

While I was home I also went arrowhead hunting a couple of times. The first time I went I didn't really find anything but the second time I went was much more spectacular. At the undisclosed location I went to I first found a Durst style point, pretty characteristic of the area. Then I decided to look one other place quick and found the best point I have ever found. The point I found is a Clovis point, one of the oldest styles of arrowhead in the US. Mine wasn't quite as big as the one in the photo and was made out of chert. There are no visible imperfections on the point I found and I'll likely never find anything that nice again. Phillipe, the local artifact expert, was pretty excited about the point and I thank him for the display case!! Check out Wollersheim Winery if you are in the South-Central Wisconsin.

It was a great early Birthday present since my birthday was the next day!!

Since my Dad and I and a good friend of ours all have the same birthday we decided to go out for dinner since we all were home for once. It was a great time, I got to see a bunch of friends and family so it was definitely a good trip home.

During this time Lauren was out in Colorado for her Brother's (Buddy) graduation.

I am definitely planning a trip back home for sometime this summer to escape the intense heat of Houston during the summer.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Last week or so

In preparation for the Rocky Hill race Lauren and I went out to Rocky Hill a couple of weeks ago. I was excited just to get out to Rocky Hill. I love that place!! We met up with Alan and Kathy and Scott and Paul and Chris and went out to pre-ride the loop. It was nice to be able to ride nice and easy with some good friends. Unfortunately I forgot to wear my sweatband and I was stuck in my glasses due to an eye infection. The ride was great though. I learned stuff too:

Alan is really good at rocketing off jumps in downhill sections

Alan tends to pick pretty good lines through technical sections

I can keep up with Alan better than I think I used to would have been able to

Alan occasionally picks really bad lines around things

I had a lot of fun riding with them and look forward to more riding in the near future. After the ride we headed into Smithville for some good food at a restaurant with a name that I can't remember right now. Sure was good. Then Lauren and I went and rode the horses for a while.

I didn't actually end up racing Rocky Hill because my Dad has some health issues going on so I went home to spend some time with him and help him get some stuff done. It was a cold and rainy first two and a half days in Wisconsin. Some good thunderstorms rolled through the second night I was home successfully taking out the phones. I also didn't get any cell phone reception so the contact information I left for my co-workers wasn't too useful. Eventually the weather turned nice around Thursday (May 13th for reference) and I met up with Ryan for a pre-race ride. I was on his extra, sweet mountain bike so I tried my best to keep up with him. The wind definitely was a bitch too.

I'll write more later, time to finish weed whackin' the yard.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Solavaca Part Deux

So we sat around on Saturday waiting for the race course to open up and finally about 2:30, as I recall, the course was finally opened to preriding. The course was sweet, I went out with Lauren and Jen and then we met up with Claire. We were taking a pretty easy pace and about 8 miles later we were back. Packed up our crap and then headed in to town to shower before dinner. Mmmm Italian with some BYOW (Bring Your Own Wine).

The race was Sunday morning and we were the first group off behind the Pros starting at 8:30. I wasn't sure how it would go since I hadn't raced in about a month and a half but I was feeling pretty strong. The first lap was rough, I think I went out a little hard and didn't get into a rhythm for a while. The second lap was feeling pretty good and I started feeling better and about 6 miles into the second lap I saw someone in my race. "Sweet, I can catch him," I thought. So I rode the third lap with what I thought was better technique but I couldn't catch the guy in front of me. I finished fourth, out of four. It was a tough race, I need to race more often.

Couple o' pics:

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Solavaca Part One

The second to the last race I did was two weekends ago in Glen Rose, TX. It was a pretty good drive so we headed up Friday after work. Besides the water smelling like sulfur and the pancake batter being bad on Saturday the hotel was great. Saturday I got up early and cleaned up the bike a little before going out to preride, a nice relaxing morning was good.

We got out to the race course and found out that it had rained and the course wouldn't be open until 1 0'clock. Bummer, so we did what all cool people do, we went garage saling. We headed to a couple that were back towards town a ways and Lauren got a pair of shoes, the only sweet score of the day. On the way back to the ranch (race course) we took a little detour down a little back road only to find out there was water crossing the road in pretty serious fashion.

The first water crossing was pretty wide but also pretty shallow and after a short examination of the local geology we forded the river. We did not caulk the wagon and float it across and we lost no oxen. A ways up the road there was a little more serious water crossing. Serious to the point the road was closed. After wandering around a bit and deciding it was about time to go I walked over a little bank only to see a 3.5 foot copperhead swimming in the water. It caught me by surprise and Lauren too, even after I was like, "Lauren check out this bitchin' snake!!".


Water Crossing #1

Water Crossing #2

Copperhead, Lauren would not pose with the snake so I had no scale. It was about 3.5 feet long.

Monday, April 12, 2010

All that Jazz...

In New Orleans of course. That is where Lauren and I went to visit my Mom and Bob a couple of weeks ago. They were in NO for an Ace convention so we thought it would be worthwhile to make the 7 hour drive down to see them. The night we got into town we went to a benefit dinner/concert thing, it was great. The dinner was being held at the Mardi Gras museum. Picture this: every Mardi Gras float including many larger than life figures crafted out of something, plaster? All you can eat food and beer was good too, and the live music was great. After some dinner and a few beers we headed back to the hotel and then we all ventured on down to Bourbon Street (it looked just like that). We traveled to a couple of different places, saw some very interesting people, and ended up chilling and listening to some Jazz at a less crazy bar before heading on back to the hotel.

On Saturday Lauren, Mom, and I walked down to Jackson Square and the French Market. I got a sweet hat, we had some delicious food, and we got a little sun. It was quite a bit of walking around especially on the legs after running stairs but it was good to see more of New Orleans. Saturday night we all went to the convention center to help pack up some things to help Bob out. Pretty busy evening and the feet were still tired. Had a bunch of beef jerky and combos, mmmm. Then we headed back to the hotel, not a very eventful evening as everyone was pretty exhausted. We did get to see a guy get busted for falling asleep in the bar/restaurant at the hotel though. Sweet. When we got back to our hotel and were falling asleep the stupid people on our floor were being super loud and stupid, that went on for a little while and apparently I wasn't the only one annoyed because all of the sudden I heard 'N-O-P-D Open up!' I slept soundly for the rest of the night.

Sunday morning we met at a little cafe for breakfast and then headed up Royal Street to check out some shops. Apparently there was a road food festival going on with some pretty dang delicious looking food, too bad we had already eaten breakfast. Then we headed back to the hotel and Lauren and I headed back towards Houston.

It was a great trip and a nice weekend away from Houston. I will post some sweet pictures soon.

On a side note: The next door lady causes a stir in the neighborhood by having a little fire in her back yard. All I heard was "!! Are you back there? The neighbors are all out here and we all think your house is on fire!!" Then Lauren and I noticed like 8 cop cars and fire truck out front. Interesting.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Past due race update

Three weeks ago now was the Comfort race. I had never ridden Comfort so I didn't really know what to expect. I had heard technical, bumpy, rough, hilly, and hard. Sounds like a good place to race. I hadn't know this race was an omnium until I looked it up the Monday before the race, it was then I figured the race was going to be hard. There was a short track and time trial on Saturday followed by the Cross Country race on Sunday. This means I didn't have a chance to pre-ride any of the course except for the time trial part. Oh well I suppose...

The short track race was tough to say the least. The course was fast with some loose dirt/sand/gravel and one loose corner. I hung with the pack for a couple of laps then the race started to spread out. The last couple of laps were tough, the legs weren't happy but I did finish.

The time trial was later in the day so I went and chilled for a while to let the legs recover a bit. My time trial was pretty late in the order so I had a while to eat and cool off and then warm up again. I started second in our group for the time trial hoping to catch the front guy, Luke, but he's fast and I never caught him. I ended up third out of four in the TT so I'm happy I beat one dude.

A great steak dinner that night ensued...mmm

Sunday was the cross country race and the legs were feeling a bit worn. Since most of the guys in the field didn't do the omnium race I figured I was going to get wiped pretty good. That was pretty much the case. I held with the group for a while and then they pulled away. It definitely didn't help that I had never ridden the course. Oh well, I know what it will be like for next year now. The first loop had a bunch of climbing with some technical/rough rocky sections at the top. When I went through the feed zone I was feeling alright but that feeling was short lived as I got into the slow, long uphills in the second half of the course. I was struggling along on the second half feeling some cramps trying to set it so I drank and ate. I changed my mindset from racing to finishing and rode it out to the end. On the whole the race was tough. I did end up getting 3rd in Omnium so I won some money, Woohoo, first ever money won from racing! I also didn't feel quite as dead after the race so hopefully the conditioning is coming around.

Oh yeah and we saw the Kerrville Fighting Antlers. I think it should be the Fightin' Antlers but oh well.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Piece #2

I was very unmotivated to ride today but I did. The weather is nice so the ride was good once I actually got out there. I was kind of just meandering around through the route I normally do and I did a couple of laps at Memorial. I was surprised because several cars actually gave me the right of way which is nice because typically they wait awkwardly and then I go and they go at the same time and they almost run me over. Some lady on a bike also told me I looked "profesh" so she let me by, I think she mistook me for someone fast. Other than the ride it's a pretty lazy day. Lauren is watching some stupid show about models or something on Lifetime, lame.

Yesterday was a good mountain bike ride and I discovered some crazy trails at Memorial, borderline unrideable but I tried anyways. Maybe it would be a good paydirt effort to get them into shape. While I was out riding Lauren chopped 9 inches of her hair off and she's gonna donate it to Locks of Love.

I'm not sure what else I was going to write, I while ago Lauren and I saw this snail crossing the sidewalk so I took a picture:

and we took a picture of the inside of Seu's mouth: and we volunteered at an animal rescue (Friends for life)and we ended up feeding ferrets, odd little animals:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Warda '10

Last weekend was the Warda race and it was the first race for me as a Cat 1 racer. The weather was great and the trails were in great condition. It was nice to not have to get up super early on Sunday morning to make a 9 o'clock race time, 11 is much better. As normal the start of the race was a long open section until the single track, this was only true for Cat 2's, Cat 3's, and the Single Speeders. Thanks to all those Cat 2's that were still on the course that got us a shorter start. The raced started fast, kinda like I expected it would so I was set on not blowing up right away. I made it to the single track and I think I was in last place but I passed a couple of people but that was pretty much all I passed. The race was long and fast and I wasn't really sure what to expect. On the third lap out of four I felt a slight twinge of a cramp in my calf so I pounded some water and took it easy for a bit. The legs felt fine the rest of the lap. The fourth lap consisted primarily of staving off the cramps until the finish. I did succeed but the legs were pretty sore afterwards. No thanks to the neutral water feed that didn't really exist, could have used that. Oh well, I got 7th and I'm happy with that for a first Cat 1 race.

This weekend I also bought another Orbea Lanza from a friend of ours, I'm going to turn it into a single speed eventually. The conversion to a single speed might have to wait though until I pick up my Gary Fisher Cronus that I am apparently getting even though I was pretty much convinced the UT team wasn't going to order for me. Sweet!

Some Race Pics:

Other things that occurred:

Lauren got into Vet school at Texas A&M!! Yay for vet school! Boo for A&M!! She is excited and will likely start in late June taking an Anatomy class before the real thing begins.

Seu got to meet a cow, Longhorn none the less:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

This will have to come in pieces (1)

Most Important First:

Last weekend was the first and second time I have ever road raced. The Walburg race was on Saturday and Kyle's prediction of cold and rain were correct. The race went pretty well, probably went out a little too hard but overall it felt like it should I suppose. I was at the front right away and soon after the start I settled in to the pack. The race was faster than I thought it would be but I hung with the pack until the end. I slowed down for a near crash near the end and the front of the group got away a little but I finished without crashing (my goal). I don't know for sure where I placed, I've been guessing around 30th out of 50 so I'll just go with that. It was a darn good training ride too.

The Pace Bend race was on Sunday and I was hoping the weather would be a little better. The start was good and I was hanging in the pack until some tard barn decided to run into me. I decided it wasn't worth crashing and went off the road. I didn't have to stop and I got back on the road but the pack had gotten away a little. I worked hard and eventually caught up to the pack and started recovering a little just as some guys about 20 feet (6.15 meters) ahead of me crashed going around a corner. Yay, off the back again. I worked hard to keep the pack at a manageable distance but they soon started to pull away and I was done. I finished the race 23rd out of 30 I think. It was a little frustrating, I see how that race could be fun but oh well I didn't crash. The weather did get better right after our race. Congratulations to Kyle for getting 2nd!!

Mountain bike racing is definitely way better and that begins with the Warda race this weekend!!

Other random things that have happened lately:

Neighbors down the street moved:

Seu met a chicken:
More to come...

Friday, February 12, 2010

I'm gonna write a blog this weekend...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


It seems I am always falling behind on these things. Oh well. Since my last post not too much new has gone on. I did make the trip home when I learned my Grandfather had passed away. It was a tough couple of days but somehow I actually rested a little.

When I was home I got to go snowshoeing up by my house and it was amazing. The snow was deep and there is a good cliff area that always has some sweet icicles forming. I will soon post some pictures I took when I was there.

Training for racing season is well underway and the miles are adding up. I did get a PowerTap wheel. It's pretty bad ass.

We might move to a different house and here is why: The owner of the house we live in now has decided to come home from Australia. They decided they wanted to move back into the house we live in now. They offered us two months rent if we could move out by February 1st. Well, then the landlord said they weren't interested anymore in moving back in, until today. So now they want to offer 1.5 months rent less $100 dollars for some application fee. I think they better up that offer a little if they seriously want us to move.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year, new blog

Last week was New Years and Lauren and I ended up hanging out with our friends Teresa and Cecilia and watching fireworks from the roof of their apartment building. It was pretty sweet, the whole horizon was exploding with little firework shows and every once in a while there was a great big one. Other than that I rode for about four and a half hours on New Years day, 2 hours on the road followed by 2.5 hours on the mountain bike. It had been way too long off of the mountain bike but it felt great to get back on. I think I also nearly killed Westley, a 16 year old I think I've helped get into mountain bike racing.

Here is a picture of the snow creation we fashioned:
Notice the crowd of little worshiper snow people. The theme god-figure was the giver of noses, notice the happy little snowman on the steps coming down with a nose and the little worshiper at the "feet" of the god-figure. The god-figure also has a "nose" in his hands but you can't really see it.
On Saturday, Jan. 2nd Lauren and I went to the first Saturday of the month activities and walked into this old junk pile between two buildings where a guy was selling things. I saw this sweet little sign and was gonna buy it but the guy wanted 5 bucks, a little too much.