Saturday, December 20, 2008

Stolen Bike @ SMU


I'm a bit late in posting this but if you know who's bike this is then contact the SMU Police 214-768-3333. It is a Husky Powercurve Softride. It should be unusual enough to stand out in a crowd.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Musings

This was sent to Mr. Vangeli from a friend of his:

Since it's not clear if or when there might be a meeting and if I would be able to make it at that time, I thought I would pass along some of the thoughts I have had over the last couple of years and how they relate to my experiences with collegiate cycling. Now, collegiate cycling is likely to have changed quite a lot since my days (I raced with John Stenner, if that name rings any bells, and was at CU even before Tyler Hamilton), but maybe it hasn't, so I thought I'd toss these out there.


What I remember from being on a collegiate cycling team is this: we were all in college and we were all bike racers. We had fun, we put on a race, we went to other races and we had meetings. It was a good time, but it never really seemed to be all that it could be. What I've realized of late is that we were missing an important piece of the pie: Non-cyclists. I mean, it is a cycling team so it makes sense that we were all cyclists. But when you look at a 'real' cycling team (e.g. a Pro Tour team) they have all sorts of other people: directors, finance people, logistics specialists, mechanics, etc. And what better place to get these folks involved in cycling than in a college atmosphere.

My thought is that by getting these non-racers involved two things could be accomplished: First, racers could focus on the task at hand: racing. The need to be their own driver, planner, mechanic, etc. could be reduced or eliminated allowing them the time to just train and race. Second, for the non-cycling folks there is an opportunity for some 'resume building'. If someone working on an Organizational Management degree could become involved to plan out transportation, lodging, meals, etc. for the team that could be a good feather in their cap when looking for a job in the 'real' world. If someone working on a marketing or advertising degree could put together a sponsorship proposal and present it to local businesses to drum up some support for the team they could put that on their resume. Someone working on an art or graphic design degree could work up some new team kits every so often (as well as work with the advertising/sponsorship folks) to get some resume fodder for themselves. Someone working in web design/computer science could put together a great web home for the team and get a very tangible item for their resume. All of these folks - and maybe some more - could work together to put together SMU's annual race, getting the permits and sponsorship and promoting the event to the public. There are probably a number of different areas at a school like SMU that could contribute something to the program, and yet have really nothing to do with actually getting on a bike.

To me, a setup like this would seem to be win-win, with everyone getting something out of the deal. It might take a while to build up to a system like this, but I think it could be done. Something like this has the addiitonal benefit of familiarizing an entirely new group of folks with the world of cycling. These people might well go on to then either stay in cycling or become patrons of cycling at whatever company they end up because they would recognize the potential benefit of exposure in the sport.

This all might be pie in the sky, but then again it may just work. As I mentioned, perhaps you and other clubs are already doing something along these lines. I just know we weren't anywhere close to thinking this way when I was doing the college cycling thing. Think about the football team and how successful they would be if it was only the players trying to do everything. By having coaches, trainers, medical, logistics, marketing, etc., etc, they players only have to concentrate on playing (although I suppose they should concentrate on their studies, too, right?) which then helps to make them better players. And I think that by pulling people into the program that could gain some resume material it would really provide a benefit to these folks as well as the team.

Well, that's the Reader's Digest version of what's going on in my head regarding collegiate cycling. If you've got any questions or comments about all of this gibberish I'd be happy to ponder some thoughts a bit more.

Take care and maybe we'll see you out on the road one of these days.


Jeff Bauer

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sponsorship, bike racks etc

We haven't been idle these last couple of weeks. There are a couple of campus issues that we are investigating that are peripheral to the cycling club but are still important. The proliferation of bikes on campus has created over crowded bike racks where cyclists have started to spread to hand rails (which we must frown upon.)

Mike Paul at CPPO has been working with us to get more racks, as well as the bike lockers that the serious riders want. We need to evaluate placement and style of rack, so if anyone has input, let us know.

I communicated with the president of Baylor's cycling club this week to get some insight on sponsorship. For some of the really ambitious items (like team bikes) we need to grow our numbers of those that will compete and go to races. Brandon Thomas, the BU prez, said that the experience of traveling to races with teamates was a rich and rewarding ecperience. He also seems to have a shared vision of growing collegiate cycling. It seems that TCU and UNT might reappear this next year, which would be great news. I have thought about helping UTD get going (at least in guidance, I'm leary of green and orange!)

Jeff, Sam and Rob are going to visit these two potential sponsors and see what mutually benefits us, so hopefully we will have news on that front soon.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

SMU dad Tim Barrios w/ friend Tim




A shout out to Tim Barrios (Danielle's Dad,) resident of Scotsdale Az and accomplished cyclist. He is on the Trek.

Cities in turmoil

The artist who did this is a former, albeit brief, Dallas resident. Due to the cycling club's ongoing dialogue regarding bicycle commuting, I thought I would put out an Utopian vision of the future for us to discuss. Just like Dallas, which has grandiose plans of the future, Adelaide's future exists in committee and shelved urban planning. Developers have built large mixed use spaces that sit poorly placed in the fabric of the city. These projects sit near the city center like the proverbial white elephant. (See possible Dallas Convention Center Hotel)
For insight into another city's infrastructure difficulties, read
http://www.adelaidereview.com.au/features.php?subaction=showfull&id=1225685574&archive=&start_from=&ucat=16&


also visit www.thornetony.blogspot.com for more intriguing artwork

Tony helped me get an A in my Prof Van Kemper class "Anthropology of Tourism" by giving the class an evocative lecture on Tasmania! Forever in debt.

Future Adelaide, Future Dallas

Sunday, November 2, 2008

... is this thing on?! ...

So, except for being directionally deficient – hence, why today at the lake for our celebration ride, I “casually” did another lap thinking everyone was in front of me – I am also technologically deficient. I have a hard time setting my TiVo, I can’t work my wireless card in my laptop, & don’t even get me started on cell phones that have features other than flip ‘n’ dial. J But, since procrastinating on this 15 page paper due tomorrow seems much better than actually writing it, I’ve decided to enter the world of blogging. Soooo, here goes nothing.

Walker… I Mean, Weasel?... has told you about LiveStrong so now it’s my turn. First, let’s say it was a big deal I even found my way to pick up my packet on Friday afternoon at the Austin Convention center. No, I understand that Austin is a straight shot down I-35 but really, google maps suck & made me exit in North Austin so I got a nice scenic tour of Austin. Packet pick-up accomplished, I found my cousin Heather (shout out!) & headed to the casa. She was nice enough to let me bring my bike inside so I didn’t lose any sleep thinking my bike was growing legs & walking away (like it so nicely did out of my office). Saturday AM came way too early as we packed up & headed to the Capitol to start the 5K. Overall, I had a good run but Sunday made me think I will probably not do the run again. Saturday afternoon I didn’t do anything until we met up with the group at Roaring Fork (thanks again, Marci!). After filling my belly with lots of food, including a volcano brownie of sorts – maybe that’s what did me in? – back to bed. Bright & early, I only got a teeny bit lost trying to find the Omni, met up with everyone, & off we went. Once the guy parked my car in a spot I was sure it was going to sink in (note: Dodge Stratus = not off-road vehicle), I slipped on my Pony sleeves & went off to find the start. Gung ho & rearing to do 90, Jeff, Matt & myself had a pretty good start. Then came the hills. Albeit, rollers – I wasn’t the most enthused about them. However, I mustered up some energy – aka found a group to pull me back to Jeff & Matt … & off we went. When the rest stop came for the 90/65 split, I waived a fond adieu to Jeff & Matt deciding I would be better off at 65. Vlad found us & Jeremiah came rolling in a few seconds later. A new group formed & more hills we climbed. (**insert Julie Andrews singing the signature “Climb Every Mountain” from The Sound of Music -- -like I said, couldn’t insert the music here if I tried!) Towards the end, we found the rest of the 65ers, took advantage of the Powerstops & rolled into the finish.

With a cold beer in hand, I had to admit it was a great riding day. I’m already geared up for next year … and hey, I even did an extra lap to prove it!!

Pedal on and Pony up!

Monday, October 27, 2008

LIVESTRONG 2008: Part Three - The Ride

Part Three:
Upon arriving in Austin, after a pretty serious "Field of Dreams" traffic jam, Greg and I happened upon Chris Snyder in the parking area a just few feet from where we parked the Eurovan. Sheer luck, especially since we didn't know he rode for/with TeamMBA. So Greg, Chris and I headed over to the start point together. Chris signed up for the 90 mile ride, I believe, but was going to ride 65 instead because of some knee pain. When we got to the start point, he stayed with us with the 45 milers. It was nice to have him along.



As mentioned previously Greg and I switched from 90 to 45 miles due to logistics. In hindsight, we could have easily managed the 65 mile ride, as we had plenty left in the tank at the end of 45, but the 45 mile decision was right on, because Greg blew his rear cluster at mile 43 and that would have been a bummer on the 65 mile course.

We found Marci and the other TeamMBA 45 milers up ahead of us just as were being staged after the 65 milers split, so we moved up to them and said hello right before we were sent off. We left as one group in team colors. Very cool.

I must mention at this point that the Livestrong Challenge ride was the most organized, rider-friendly event I've ever been part of. Every detail made you feel important as a rider. The Powerstops are legendary: porta-potties, massage, food, bike mechanics and espresso station. Peanut butter and jelly never tasted so good! The espresso was also awesome!

The ride started out normally enough - real slow going for the first 4 miles or so, and then the climbs started and it started to spread out. Mostly nice rollers, up and down all day long, with only two climbs I would consider "burners". Everything else was pretty straightforward. It was less demanding than I thought it was going to be. I big ringed at least 75% of the climbs and was amazed that so many people were in their small rings.

The aforementioned Road Tubeless wheels and tires were superb! Apparently there was a lot of chipseal on the ride, but I didn't feel it. Those cattleguards in the road (bastards!) would have def invoked a pinch flat, or two, on my old wheelset, but the tubeless shrugged them off with ease. The wheels are also lighter than my old WH-550's, so they climbed pretty darn well. Pedal strokes easily translated into forward motion. I believe they are a significant advance in cycling technology and I highly recommend them.

The wheels climbed so good in fact, that I found myself dropping folks who appeared to be a lot fitter than myself (or they were at least lighter) on virtually every climb. And that garnered some strange looks! I even climbed one roller at 32mph, and that was surreal because there was a whole line of people spinning away on their small rings chugging up the hill. They MUST have thought I was on EPO. Greg even road up to me at one point and asked me why I was attacking all the time, and I responded that this was the way you are supposed to ride rolling hills - if you don't do them with some pace and take advantage of the momentum gained of the downhills, you will die a slow death climbing a million little hills.

Once we were over the top of the climbs, Greg, Chris and I often laid the hammer down pace-line style, with Greg doing his usual duty at the front. However, even I pulled at the front a few times, as I felt the pace dip a time or two, and I was on good form. So much for the "weasel" nickname! Chris was his usual strong self, humming along on the steel Colnago.

Over the back half of the course we really made some time. At mile 36 or so, Chris was having problems with his cable adjuster just when I started to feel good on a climb, and was starting to rev it up. I thought Greg was ahead of me by a hundred yards (he was actually behind me) so I laid the hammer down to catch "him". When I caught that dude and realized it wasn't Greg, I continued laying down the rubber, what else was I going to do? I was pushing about 28mph on the flats, just flying, passing people left and right. What can I say, I was having a good day! In fact, it was the best day I have had on the bike since my last race in 1997!

However at about mile 40, my right calf cramped (the result of driving straight through a few hours earlier - constant pressure on the accelerator). So I unbuckled my right foot from the pedal and rode one-legged for a half mile or so while I stretched out the calf. Greg and Chris caught me shortly thereafter (Greg was actually about 100 yards behind me) matching my speed on the flats.

My leg felt better the harder I rode, so we were soon back at it plugging away together towards the finish. At about mile 43 or so, Greg's rear cluster came apart. He limped home on the one gear that worked reliably and we all finished pretty much together shortly thereafter. The finish was awesome, like the end of a time trial in the Tour de France or something.

My computer indicated we did 46 miles in 2:57 with an average speed of 15.5 mile per hour. Without the obstacles of the slower masses at the start and slower folks ruining our lines on the descents, I figure we could have laid down 17.5 mph without much additional effort.

But hell, its not a race, it's a party on wheels. Who cares about time other than Lance? Next year we plan to do 90, but I tell you now, I am going to enjoy those Powerstops more! Party!



After the ride, we said our goodbyes, cleaned ourselves off, and all three of us made the pilgrimage to the Saltlick for barbecue. As advertised it was the best barbecue we have had in Texas, outpacing Main St, Bakers and Red Hot and Blue. The attention to detail on every item was excellent. We took more pictures inside the Saltlick than we did at the ride! When we were done, Greg and I said goodbye to Chris and we headed back to Dallas - mission accomplished.



I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all those who donated to my ride this year. I know times are tough and I appreciate your financial sacrifice and I hope i did you all proud. We had a heck of a time, but it was demanding physically, especially since I had to pull an all-nighter to make it to the start on time. Next year I plan to get to Austin at least a day in advance and rest before the ride - and visit the Saltlick before AND after the ride!

I believe the Austin Livestrong ride made 3.7 millions dollars this year and that is a testament to the generosity of all of you and the belief that together we can affect change.

Until next year...Livestrong!!

LIVESTRONG 2008: Part One - Fundraising

This post will be in three parts:
1. Fundraising
2. New Hoops
3. The Ride

Part One:
One of the reasons why I had never done Livestrong in the past (or any charity rides for that matter) is I am a notoriously poor fundraiser. I'm not good at it, don't enjoy it, and am aware that the folks in my sphere of influence are not the most liquid, and not in a position to donate lots of money.

However, I decided to do Livestrong this year as a tribute to my brother-in-law Benny's wife Judy, who died of cancer this year after a very brief illness. I felt so powerless as she was dying, and even more so after she passed, and I basically said "enough is enough" and decided to do something to help cancer research, so that others would not have to lose their loved ones in such a brutal manner.

The fundraising turned out to be an okay experience and I almost met my goal of $1250. (It's not too late to contribute, so if you want to help me meet my goal click here and jump in).

My advice to others who may hate fundraising? Forget it. Just jump in and do it! Whatever discomfort you may experience fundraising is nothing in comparison to what people who have cancer are going though. Man (or woman) up!! If I can do it, any yutz can.

LIVESTRONG 2008: Part Two - New Hoops

Part Two:

In anticipation of riding Livestrong, I decided to upgrade my wheels to something really nice, since my current set of Shimano 105's have over 4500 miles on them and they are getting kinda tired. After meeting a few people who were riding (and raving over) Dura Ace Road Tubeless, I decided to upgrade to this technology for my new hoops. I had been lowballing wheel auctions on ebay for about 3 months and finally got lucky the Wednesday before Livestrong. No way they would leave California on Thursday and get to Dallas by Saturday (unless I wanted to pay, like, $200 to Fed Ex - which defeats the purpose of winning a low-ball auction) so I accepted the fact that I'd have to ride my current rig and paid just $15 shipping by USPS (the seller's preference).



To my utter surprise, the wheels arrived on Saturday after my training ride! WTF!! A quick call to Performance Bike revealed they do not locally stock the Hutchinson tubeless tires required. I made a quick jaunt to my local RBM, and luckily they had them in stock, but unluckily they were $15 more expensive (full retail) per tire than Performance. No discount for riding Livestrong either.

The tires went on real easy. No problems there. I also squirted in some sealant as recommended. And they pumped up no problems either - just used my regular old pump. And they held air!! So I decided their maiden voyage had to be Livestrong, and I moved the rear cluster over from my other wheels and mounted them to my bike. I was a little nervous not having ridden these wheels at all before an important event, but I had faith in the system.

Now, in order to pay for these wheels (which cost me $750 for everything when all was said and done), I took had to take on an extra $$ gig. Unfortunately, the gig was the Saturday night before Livestrong, which meant that I'd have to do the live event, come home and prep my kit, then drive to Austin, and then ride the event (and then since Greg's wife is ready to have her baby we'd have to get our barbeque, and then immediately return to Dallas by 4:30pm).

Yikes! This meant we had to change our plans from 90 miles to 45 miles. More on that later.

So at 3:15 am, we were "south bound and down", the Eurovan loaded and the iTunes pumping out Willie Nelson's "Heartaches of a Fool".

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pez column: Winter training regimen, or old myths debunked

Toolbox: Off-season Myth Busters


by Josh Horowitz

If it works for the gang at Discovery Channel (the actual TV company, not the former cycling team), then it’s good enough for us here at Pez. Since we’re on the off-season theme, Josh has decided to tackle some of his pet peeve off-season training myths and give his perspective. The truth or old-school bahooey? Read and decide for yourself.

I can already tell you that I’m going to get some flak on this one, perhaps even from my fellow Tool Box writers. But I have some strong feelings about winter training techniques, the misconceptions and hard to die old school attitudes, and it’s time to get it out on the table.

Bear in mind, that there is more than one way to skin a cat. These are training techniques that, through my research as well 19 years of racing and training experience, I believe to be flawed. Some coaches may have found effective ways to incorporate these techniques into their training program and that is just fine, but for me there is no better way to throw away your training time than by following these outdated methods. So enough with the disclaimers, let’s get to work.

Myth #1: Riding a fixed gear improves pedaling efficiency and leg speed.

I might as well get the big one out of the way first. Fixed gear bikes are a great toy for tooling around town, cruising the beach, or propping up for all to see outside the coffee shop, but they have no place in a serious road cyclist’s training routine, unless your primary goals are riding on the velodrome. Here’s why:

• When you practice high cadence training on your road bike you are forced to recruit the muscle fibers that are necessary for quick contractions in the pattern required to keep the pedals moving. However, on a fixie, the pedals are always spinning in perfect circles at very high speeds no matter how sloppy or inefficient your stroke is. Your muscles aren’t required to act, they are really only required to react.

• Riding a fixed gear is the exact opposite of riding PowerCranks, whose advantage has been proven repeatedly on this very site. PowerCranks require your muscle fibers to fire throughout the 360 degree pedal stroke. You are required to push across the top, push down in the front, pull across the bottom and pull up in the back. Your pedal stroke may slow temporarily, but the muscular foundation becomes so solid that it only takes a few weeks of high cadence on your road bike to turn the strength you built on the PowerCranks into power.

• Compared to a fixed gear, even on a regular road bike, your muscle fibers are forced to fire in a very efficient manner. At the very least, you’ll have the experience of pushing down and, to some extent, controlling the movement throughout the pedal circle. On a fixed gear, the bike is literally doing all the work for you. You’re really not teaching your legs anything but to get tossed around at ridiculous speeds. Think about a gym member who takes indoor cycling classes which utilize a large heavy fly wheel. They may get their legs whipped around in crazy circles at a cadence of up to 140 rpm, but have you ever seen them achieve this on a real bike? Trust me, it doesn’t translate.

As a final proof, I offer you up this most recent example. Every year, I finish my season on the track. Last night I wrapped things up with the Points Race at Elite Nationals. Even though I geared up to a 50 x 14, due to the increased competition (Garmin Chipotle, Health Net, Rock Racing), I still spun out at about 150 rpm on some of the sprint laps. When I jumped back on my road bike today, however, I felt like I was chopping broccoli. My legs became so accustomed to the forced circles of the track bike that they became lazy, losing the ability to do the work themselves.

Just like with anything in cycling, skills are extremely specific. If you plan on racing on a fixed gear then it makes sense to train on one. If you plan on racing on the road, train on your road bike or, even better, do you winter base on PowerCranks, teaching your muscles to fire in absolute perfection and coordination, and then switch to your ride bike just a few weeks before race season. Save the fixie for the high school kids riding in tight jeans.

Myth #2: Small Ring Only!

As recently as four years ago, I knew coaches and riders who still adhered to this outdated winter training principle. I’m not sure how common it still is today. This is a really simple training concept - put it in the small chain ring on October 1st and don’t shift up until February 1st. Since I didn’t create this technique, and I don’t use it, I can’t tell you exactly what purpose it serves but I can take a guess and I can also tell you why it’s not such a great idea.

My guess is that it was a way for coaches to keep their riders from going too hard in the off season. The idea is that if the rider can’t go into the big ring, he won’t be tempted to hammer the group rides or participate in the club sprints. I also figure the theory is that an entire winter of high cadence, riding will result in a perfect pedal stroke by the time race season comes along.

Here’s why I disagree with this principle. Leg speed can be easily developed at any point in the season. You could even do a heavy load of leg speed training immediately before a high priority race. The reason is that it doesn’t tax your muscular system, your heart or your lungs. In essence, it is really training your brain.

What you can’t do at any point in the season is train strength. Training muscular strength will temporarily slow you down, cause fatigue and require several days of recovery. Can you think of a time of the year where quick recovery and road performance is not at all important? At what point in the season can we afford to destroy our muscles without worrying about getting hammered into the ground at the local race? I think you see where I am going here.

So if you’re my client, it’s the small chain ring that gets tossed out the window during winter training, as you’ll be pedaling at 70-75 rpm (ideally on PowerCranks) for the whole winter. Your legs will feel like blocks of cement and you’ll be struggling on the Friday coffee ride. Then, before your first race, you’ll do two weeks of high cadence and when you’re standing on the podium, I can guarantee your teammates who saw you struggling two weeks earlier will be calling for a blood test.

Myth #3: Long Slow Distance

It won’t be long before I hear the Shofar blow over the cycling club e-group as the troops are rallied to meet for the Long Slow Distance rides up the coast. I have to muffle a scream every time I see 6 hr per week weekend warriors heading out for their 3 hr long slow weekend ride.

Even if you had 45 hrs per week to ride and you plan on doing 21 day stage races, I still wouldn’t recommend this style of training. But if you only have 12 hrs per week to train and you’re wasting half of it rolling down the avenue at 16 mph, you’re losing valuable training time. As I’ve always said, you have to get the most out of every second you’re on the bike. We have another word now for LSD or Long Slow Distance. It’s called JM: Junk Miles.

Originally it was thought that since high stress training breaks down blood capillaries and since capillary density means more blood to working muscles, it is advisable to avoid any high stress training in the winter so to nurture the growth of those capillaries.
However, there’s a new concept now in European endurance training. It’s called MP: Motor Pacing!

Sounds a little more intriguing than anything with the word SLOW in it, right? The concept behind MP is that it teaches your body speed and keeps you firing at an extreme endurance intensity, just below anaerobic threshold. Essentially, it is what some call zone 3 and they do it for up to six hours a day. If you have a loving spouse who doesn’t mind driving along at 28 mph, three hrs a day, causing massive traffic jams everywhere you go, then you’re all set.

For the rest of us, you can simulate this on your own. The challenge is the focus it takes to keep the pace just right. These rides are done just above endurance pace and just below anaerobic threshold. You must concentrate the entire time to make sure you don’t go above or below. I strongly recommend doing these rides on your own with a heart rate monitor or power meter as your guide.

Here in Los Angeles, we have this amazing phenomenon. When I leave my house at 9am to head North on the PCH, there is a blessed tailwind. Then, right around noon when I grab a snack and head back, the wind magically turns around with me. The end result is six glorious hours in the saddle with an average speed of close to 25 mph. Not bad for a solo ride. You might not have anything quite like this where you live, but see if you can come up with a ride that incorporates these principles. One warning though. It is very easy to become overtrained if you spend too much time in Zone 3. Make sure you are recovered completely between workouts and keep track of your resting heart rate in the morning.

As the mercury plummets to 63 degrees here in Los Angeles, I wish you a happy start to your winter training.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Product Review: Wheelbuilder Aero Wheel Cover

All of the racing I do is in the form of either bike Time Trials or Triathlons. Both events (depending on course and conditions) lend themselves toward aerodynamic efficiency, since the focus is on individual performance rather than pack/team strategy. Without a peloton to protect you from the wind, aerodynamics can play a big role in results. Think about the difference in your effort level being on the front of a pack, versus being in the 3rd position or farther back....right, Scot?


The argument for a disc wheel is that is smooths out the airflow across the rear wheel, reducing drag. Also, in some wind angles, it can act as a sail and give a little 'push'. There's also the argument that it streamlines your wallet, thus further reducing drag....or, it could increase drag when your spouse finds out how much you spent on a *single* wheel. The drawback is that they can be tough to control in a strong crosswind....and you'll get laughed at if you use one on your next group ride.

For the State Time Trial championship race down in Pattison, TX this year, I rented a HED carbon disc wheel (for fun, and to see what kind of an benefit I might receive).















The rental ran about $100 for the week for a wheel that normally costs around $700 new. The wheel was lighter than my 60mm carbon Real Design wheel and performed well. Besides, a disc makes a cool roaring sound as you pass someone....probably sounds like 'whining' if *you* get passed while using a disc, but that's a different discussion.

I like new toys for my bike, but couldn't justify spending $700+cassette+tires on a wheel that I might use 5 or 6 times per year.

Enter the Wheelbuilder.com aero wheel cover ($100 delivered). This is basically two pieces of lens-shaped plastic that attach to a standard rear wheel, covering the spokes and creating a 'disc-effect'.














Mounting the cover takes about 10 minutes, requiring the cassette to be removed and replaced (a good opportunity to deep clean the cogs!), and small plastic bolts to be fastened around the perimeter of the cover.

Weight is a bit of a drawback with this product, as the wheel is significantly heavier than a carbon disc (like HED or Zipp), since you have the weight of the (non-carbon) cover+spokes....but still, not terrible. I've done two races with it so far and didn't feel that I was dragging an anchor up the hills. I've also ridden it in 20+ mph winds without experiencing control issues (I have other control issues, but I don't like to talk about it).

Does it make me any faster? I have no idea (but I'm going to say 'yes' since I've already bought it). Physical and environmental condition changes between 'test runs' would probably be enough to skew any empirical results. However, I believe that the mental aspect of endurance sports is significant. Waiting on the start line with a skinsuit, shaved legs, aero helmet, aerobars and a disc wheel means you've told yourself "I'm riding fast today".......and......."I hope I don't get pulled over by the local sherrif and taken to jail looking like this".


In my last time trial race, I beat the next guy by less than half a second. No, it wasn't for a podium spot, and I'm not going to say that a disc wheel gained me "X" number of seconds in that race, but it was still one place higher, and I did beat my time from the previous year by almost 5 minutes. Some of that was better training, strategy and better bike positioning, but I would also include the aero advantage too.


If you're not prepared to spend $700-$2500 on a lightweight carbon disc, the (around $100) Wheelbuilder.com aero cover is a good alternative. Look fast, feel fast, be fast.

www.wheelbuilder.com

Friday, October 17, 2008

Wednesday r(ain)ide report

Unfortunately, the roads were wet and a threat of rain caused some to pause, contemplating potential face plants and hydroplaning cars careening across the road. Because of this, we decided to cancel the ride.

I remember having a Wednesday ride start, only to get washed out before we got to 75 during last year's freakishly wet weather. We also left early one ride because of a huge thunderstorm (that Samuel and Kelly and Rob continued to ride since the cumulo nimbus skirted the lake without a drop falling), and another ride, despite constant showers, getting soaked because we could not cancel due to a guest from Maine. Kevin and I got to watch him slide out on a tight turn and fall on his keister. Enough of a warning, right there, to avoid rain! I also got swallowed on the ride home by a water covered pot hole. Remembering these incidents from just Wednesday rides was all the justification I needed.

I'm real intrigued by the Exxon/Mobil loop for our lightless winters. We will talk about the logistics of that soon enough.

Friday, October 10, 2008

GC Leader's Jersey

We talked briefly on the ride in the past about having a leader's jersey. I'd be willing to start this off by purchasing something like: https://www.velowear.com/products/1010686PRTSML.aspx (Tour of PA leader's jersey.) Basically, a leader's jersey from one of our American races and we can award it weekly and include their photo on the blog. Each person who wants to be in the running would need to chip in a small amount to the jersey fund such as $5. This money would be for purchasing the next year's jersey with the hope that we can eventually have a customized SMU Leader's jersey.

Some of my thoughts on it would be:
1. Whomever held it the most number of weeks during our Wednesday night ride season would keep it at the end of the year.
2. Simple points 3, 2, 1 for our designated sprints and climbs would be awarded.
3. Breaking road rules will result in penalties, 3 points each for such things as passing cars, running stop lights etc. (we all want to make it back in one piece).
4. Ties will be voted on at the post-ride meeting at Patterson Hall on campus.
5. While points may be deducted for unsportsman-like conduct -- good sportsman conduct will be rewarded i.e. if you push someone up the hill, changes someone's tire, help an old lady cross the street, etc.

Let me know if there is any interest.

Winter Training at Exon Mobil Loop

For those of you who don't know or have heard about this ride, I highly recommend it. If there is some interest I would be willing to carpool over there, my truck can reasonable accept three bikes just let me know who is interested. The ride starts in a week or two. Here are the details on the ride and a little history:

Exxon Mobil off Season Training Ride - so named because it is on Exxon Mobil headquarters road. (mostly considered a Metro VW team ride but actually no one owns it, is just that those who created the ride many many years ago happen to be on metro vw/fcs now)

1.2 mile loop on a 6 lane street with a garden/creek/jog trail median and 2 crossovers that serve as shortcuts if you drop and need to get back in. There is a u-turn at the top and bottom of the loop, you never hit a main road. We ride in the left hand lane. Road is pretty well lit, some ride with a light, many do not. Rear blinkie lights are a good thing.

6:15 is the time when it goes from warm-up pace to efforts.. Any ride time before 6:15 is done at a warm up pace. People come and go at will. People start leaving at 7:30, maybe usu. 8pm, some stay until 8:30. Come a couple of times and you will understand.

Word will be passed through the pack when/what we are doing that night. Sometimes it is full lap pulls for x amount of time then we go to 1/2 lap pulls. There are 2 shortcuts across the median to get back in when you drop off.

• Mon - small chainring night. Work on getting your spin back. If you need to be in your big to stay on, that is somewhat okay, but you won''t win friends getting on or going off the front in the big ring.
• Wed - big chain ring night

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=5959+LAS+COLINAS+BLVD.+irving+texas+75039&sll=32.807753,-96.871661&sspn=0.008296,0.011609&ie=UTF8&t=h&ll=32.892831,-96.945634&spn=0.01382,0.019226&z=16&layer=c&cbll=32.890861,-96.947405&panoid=P9C6AbDic8JGMw_Z0B3SGA

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Who is going to host the end of year party?

We're open to suggestions.
Kevin had us over for a pool party that rocked, any takers?

Wednesday ride report: Samuel toys with us, Jeff rides like the young Armstrong

Crepuscule looming, we left 15 minutes early on another beautiful day. Ten riders met at the flagpole, including alum David Pearson (fresh from the Dallas Toyota Triathlon, where former SMU swimmer and Olympian Laura Bennett finished 4th and Mina Pizzini, from Cox, finished first in her division. David finished 20th of 48th in his division. Chapeau to all)

Greg, Michael, Clyde, from the F/S, Kevin and David from the alumni, Caryn representing SMU families and Jeff, Sam, and Noah representing our students, all fall into a brisk pace to the lake. Samuel and Jeff (linked together in today's DC) have never been able to ride together until today. Samuel's coach told him to get some miles in, and Jeff was getting some late season confidence building by planning on thrashing everyone else.

Sam was dissing my helmet, "Did you get that from a Star Wars set?" An LAS Bionix, recently seen (2006) on Liquigas riders Di Luca and Garzelli, it wasn't a big hit in the peloton but I'm all for my unique fashion statements. Caryn thinks I should put an Alien jaw protruding from the front, but if I get any more grief, I breaking out the 1986 Bell Stratos, very RoboCop!

We top TP Hill and do not see Tony, so Jeff moves to the front and takes off. I chase (foolish and instinctual.) We were held up by a car, Caryn bridges up to us and I get to the front at our sprint point just long enough to see Jeff casually pass me and I did what I could to stay within 2-3 meters. Caryn finished 3rd.

As we regroup, we are missing Samuel, so a loop back finds him talking to a couple of Mirage riders, one of them is our own Kelly Devlin. She rode a lot with us last year but one of the Mirage coaches developed a training program for women that Kelly was the recipient of, so she now rides with the evil empires's storm troopers. We miss her on our rides, a very strong rider and we are grateful she did ride with us because she is such integral part of SMU cycling coming to fruition.

The ride up Flagpole exposed my, I thought former, confusion with left and right. Mike says right, I go left. Note to all, when Mike rides, he is the ride captain. He keeps his sanity, does not succumb to testosterone rages and calls out every single bit of road debris and traffic furniture. My problem is that I see a pretty wheel pass me by and I chase it! Ruff ruff!

Speaking of testosterone (or whatever amygdala circuitry occurs in our brain) Samuel decides to taunt Jeff with a feigned attack down the rolling hill and we take the bait, car in the way be damned. We need to have a talk about that! Sam needs no palmares to add to the resume, and Jeff can't resist beating me. Caryn was 3rd.

As they speed past the group, Michael and Caryn sniff the air to sense all of that animal energy unleashed. Michael says, "I'm going to need to get a hormone patch" Caryn, the only woman on the ride, is dismissive of this male notion of "gotta.... be.... in.... front.... despite..... no.... reason... to... be!" She is also the recipient of male angst when she effortlessly passes weekend warriors on Loving.

Jeff and Samuel decide to talk some, missing the turnoff on Ferndale, fortuitous because it allows the group to make the catch. The sensible seven (Caryn, Clyde, David, Greg, Kevin, Michael and Noah) are riding a nice tempo 'till we return to the lake. We all agreed to make the "Erykah" turn near the Bathhouse but Michael makes the executive decision to head straight since we would have had to stop to let the tri-group pass (and riding next to tri newbies always elicits squeaks of fear if you ride closer than a meter to them.) Davis said, "that's my triathlete training partners" Triathletes must be more organized than roadies, we are always looking for a moment to blow the whole thing up.

Kevin's classic move is neutralized as Jeff pulls away from the group with Sam in tow (me too.) He does a real strong attack, we get a gap, Jeff powers on for 2K and then flicks his elbow in that classic "your turn" motion and Samuel just laughs at him. I found it funny as well, because I really liked it back in 3rd position, doing no work whatsoever. Jeff then realizes that Sam is not as gullible as I am. SMU Cycling is all about the learning curve.

Here is what I remember about the young Lance, circa 1987, so strong that he would get in trouble because he worked way too hard at the wrong time. Granted, his efforts usually had me shelled out the back long before I could judge his tactics personally. As I push 50, I have a greater respect for Peter Green, whose picture is on the back wall at RBM, Campbell Road. He was the revelation on the rides we did. Tactically brilliant, and very willing to teach young riders the nuances of cycling learned from a career as a champion of the British Isles. Thirty years older than most of the fodder on the ride, and always finishing at or near the front. If only I had the ability to do the same to our young recruits.

Back to the ride, Sam and I just let Jeff slowly wither on the head of the arrow. Now Samuel's not going to do any work because it is his easy day, and I'm not going to work because I need some matches for Loving (that sounds strange in a eHarmony sort of way.)

Even though I told Caryn we would regroup at the spillway, I didn't have the snaffle-bit in tight enough on the ponies, so we had no slow-down at Winsted. We missed a turn again though, allowing the group to catch. They were all making turn signals pointing left and this tri girl locks her brakes, saying "you didn't call it out!" Don't people know that that is a common point of divergence?"

I attacked it as hard as I could (I had some matches left) and Jeff marks me rather easily, then I stick to his wheel. Unfortunately, it turns out my matches were wet, as I lead him through the second of the three hills, he sees Noah (he is on a two hill schedule) and says, "a rabbit." Little does he know that is what Kevin calls Jeff.

Jeff attacks the 3rd hill, but Noah drops his chain and Jeff passes, then cruises up with me sputtering and bouncing my rear wheel in pursuit. Another 2-3 meter failure for me. He can talk at the top, I have a heart rate that needs to be calmed, and Michael tells us, "first three do it again" No, No and No, unanimous decision. Caryn was 3rd (again.)

Caryn was paced up by this RBM guy who rode the three hills no handed! He said it was training for Italy. I could not do that, especially at that speed. The Mirage/Matrix/RBM guys, despite how cutthroat some rides are, some are really talented cyclists.

Samuel was chillin' at the water fountain, we picked him up and David, Caryn and myself were duly dropped by the group, so all discussions and city limit sign sprints were not recorded (If a sprint was won in the forest, did it make a sound?)

Check out today's paper,
www.smudailycampus.com

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Daily Campus, Thursday edition Oct 9

Look for another SMU Cycling story, if space permits.

Former MLB Player competing in the Ironman

The best quotes are below:

Conine, 42, admits his brethren are typically aerobically challenged.

“Baseball has probably the worst-conditioned athletes,” the one-time outfielder/first baseman told the Florida Sun-Sentinel. “Running around the bases four times and running down four to six baseballs is not physically taxing.”

“Lady, I'm not an athlete,” John Kruk once famously said. “I'm a professional baseball player.”

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

D Magazine story about David Feherty getting hit on his bike h

Chris, thanks for sending this link, a great story
Go to this months D Magazine...
I posted this response to the story on-line

The most important part of the story is that is humanizes a cyclist, because the problem with this culture is that we forget to respect each other. We often see how most motorists re very courteous (almost too nice, who hasn't been motioned on, only to confuse everyone) Cyclists must remember to maintain their own humanity in the face of the serious risks we must endure.
As I cycle on the streets, you observe that some motorists forget that a pedestrian, or a cyclist, or another driver is another individual, not an obstacle. A vehicle too easily isolates the driver from the environment, creating a disconnect between the excessively filtered cabin and the outside.
David's descriptions of this life threatening event would be even more cathartic to us if we could get a response from the driver who caused the accident, the infamy of being a villain in such a life affirming story.

www.usacycling.org

I know it is a small thing, but considering where we started, little things add up.

The news feed of cycling news featured on the USA Cycling web site had the DC story (that John Coleman wrote about us) featured between numerous Lance articles, Levi stories and Zabriskie's bronze at the Worlds. Quite proud to see the words "SMU Cycling" on a page that features these American cycling icons, even if is a link to our own Daily Campus. Since it was placed a few days ago, you have to scroll down the list of recently featured articles, but a few days ago we were on top!

Monday, October 6, 2008

US Open Triathlon Dallas - Race Report

Sunday 10/5 was the 2nd annual US Open Triathlon Championship. Its fun to do a race of this type for the opportunity to see firsthand the performance of nationally ranked professional atheletes. Even had a racer from the US Olympic Triathlon team.

The day started early with a 4:00am alarm to load up and head down to the American Airlines Center. This race is logistically challenging due to the fact that the bike portion is a point-to-point course, starting at Joe Pool lake in Cedar Hill and finishing at the American Airlines Center in downtown Dallas. Saturday was spent in mandatory race-briefings, packet pickup and bike checkin down in Cedar Hill.

I arrived at American Airlines Center a little before 5:00am and set up my running gear in the 2nd transition area (T2), then caught a shuttle bus down to Joe Pool lake at Cedar Hill state park. Once there, I had plenty of time to set up my first transition area (T1) with my gear for the swim and bike portion. Things are a little different with this race, in that you have to pack all of your gear before heading out to the bike course, since the race organizers pick up all the gear bags and transport them downtown to be picked up at the finish.

We watched the pro and elite racers start about 7:30am, with several of them turning in swim times of 18 to 20 minutes for 1500 meters! I hit the swim at about 8:15 (with wetsuit, since the race was wetsuit legal at 76 degrees water temp). The swim start for age-group atheletes was a time-trial start with 4 racers starting every 10 seconds...didn't end up with the 'washing machine' of arms and legs that usually results from 50+ people starting at the same time. Fortunately, the water was calm sunday morning (it was pretty choppy on saturday afternoon) which made for a smooth swim. The only trouble was sun in our eyes coming back in which made it almost impossible to see the course buoys....so I just followed the splashing in front of me and hoped for the best.

I exited the 1500 meter swim at 31:51 (I'm not a fast swimmer), and headed into transition to get on the bike. T1 took more time than I'm used to, making sure everything was packed up and ready to go. Several of us got held up exiting transition as a race volunteer motioned a delivery truck to back up across the bike course, blocking us for a minute or so.

The bike course started with a couple miles ride through the state park on some hilly, winding roads. A couple riders went down hard on one of the curves and were still lying on the pavement as I went by. (volunteers were on the scene and help was on the way, but it looked like a bad crash)....not a good sign to have a crash this early. We exited the state park on 1382 for a slow uphill against the wind. We then made our way toward downtown through a fairly hilly course. On the plus side, the entire course was coned off from traffic with great traffic control by police and volunteers. The negative of this course was poor road condition (potholes, ruts, cracks), especially as we got closer to downtown.

I tried to keep the effort on the bike in check, but pushed it as hard as the road conditions allowed (had to really keep alert on the downhill sections for potholes....they come up pretty quick at 30+ mph!). The course took us through some fairly rundown areas of town, with a nice sweeping turn at the Lew Sterrett Jail. The most memorable moment was coming across the Commerce street bridge with the downtown skyline ahead....not many opportunities to get that view on a bike!

The wind picked up toward the end of the bike course, pushing me around a little with my disc wheel...overall, not too bad, though.

Finished the 40K bike in 1:15:25 and headed out onto the Katy trail for the 10K run. Thankfully, this was a flat run course because I was fading pretty bad by about mile 4. I pushed it through and finished the run in 51:18 for a total race time of 2:44:26. 19th place out of 47 in the mens 40-44 agegroup.

In comparison, Greg Bennett (the pro winner of the race) finished in 1:46:52 for a $120,000 prize. Now all I have to do is 'shave' off an hour from my race time......

Finishing at the American Airlines center is a great venue...lots of energy, food, music...basically a big party at the completion of your race. The organizers do a great job with challenging logistics, would just be nice to find a better bike course into downtown.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Unbridled Ponies: Some musings on the group ride. The Wednesday ride report

Yesterday was a glorious day to ride, one of those brief interludes of perfect weather in Texas, after a hot summer. Jeff, Kevin, Nicky, Clyde, Michael, Noah, Jeff from Team MBA, Greg, and one of Chase Ingraham's friends, Josh (?) Caryn, myself and a recent Law grad and friend of Finney, Chris.

There was a time, before my accumulation of bikes (5), bike parts (built 5 bikes!),and apparel, (a peloton full of choices) that I could barely keep one bike on the road and a flat became a financial crisis if the tube was beyond repair or worse, the tire was finished.

My LeMond era ADR team replica jersey soon showed the ravages of the sun (and the heat of the dryer) I had a pair of blingy white and grey Lotto cycling shoes, but dismal socks. Usually one pair of cycling shorts that soon (due to the 1 oz weight Lycra from low quality mail order shorts) had that tell tale sign of poor quality, the gluteal cleft (ass crack) peering out to the wheel suckers.

A cyclist shouldn't be judged by their bike or their apparel, but by enthusiasm, willingness to suffer, and acknowledging what they need to do to improve, plus an esprit de corps with fellow cyclists. Even then a few comments are not unwelcome, like the time my early build y-foil was referred to as, "Like a Ferrari with bald tires" (which, by the way is finally finished after 8 years, it has a new Chris King headset)

That said, yesterday was very disappointing. We had a really large group that was frisky and some anticipated putting the hurt on, while other looked at surviving. The group dynamic has developed where we have a ride that can provide an enjoyable experience for most of us. We were forced to unbridle the frisky ponies so that the rest could mentor a new initiate to the club. While we did not completely succumb to the Matrix/Mirage model (leave exactly on time, wait for no one, especially people you do not know, drop anyone who falls just a bit off, sneer at last years equipment, drop the rest of the strangers, determine that if you are not on a team-you suck, complain about someone's missed shift etc.) we were not prepared (as a group) to welcome a new rider with the grace we have asked these people to join us with.

Michael Vangeli sent me a very eloquent response regarding yesterday's ride. We have had a dialogue about the goals and expectations we have regarding our group. Lee, Clyde, Greg and Rob have also communicated their opinions regarding the group ride.

A few points to consider.

We feel very strongly that since we are riding for fun (no jerseys to be awarded) that stop signs are acknowledged, stop lights to be obeyed, and general courtesy given to cars since we expect the same from them. We are not riding on a closed course and given Dallas' reputation as hazardous to bikes, we want to be as safe as possible. SMU would expect us to be safe citizens, so always wear a helmet and obey traffic rules.

That we determine that someone stays with slower riders and mentors them. Doesn't have to be the whole group, we just won't abandon anyone. Some people will never be expected to do it since they will have their own defined training agenda.

We will try to coordinate with the other SMU group, so that we have a sense of what is best for the new rider. We will try to get the two different rides to have at least some sense of common purpose and determine which ride is most suitable for new riders.

And lastly, the rides are meant to be fun, challenging, provide a sense of community at SMU and to assist in developing a competitive collegiate cycling club that competes at USAC events.

So Sam, Travis, Jeff, Nicky et al, you can continue to kick our gluteal clefts out on the roads!

For now...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

SMU cycling kit ordering routine

With the publicity and press we have received lately, Michael Vangeli and I are starting to get inundated with requests.

Here is what we will try to do for you. Leave your name, contact info (or e-mail me privately) with what you want to order and I will compile a list on the blog so that you can see the progress of the next order. When we get enough people who want an item, we will collect all the money up front, then place an order.
all prices subject to change (depending on when order is made)

SMU short sleeve jersey $75 ($65 for SMU Cycling Club i.e students)
SMU Long sleeve jersey $85 ($75)
SMU bib shorts $80 ($70)
SMU drawstring shorts $75 ($65)
SMU Winter jacket $130 ($120)
SMU arm warmers $35 ($30)
SMU skin suit $ 130 ($120)
SMU skin suit long sleeve $135 ($125)

The usual requirements are minimums of 25 of a style (25 shorts or 25 jerseys or 25 mixed with 6 of a particular style,
For example:
6 Winter jackets
6 L/ skinsuit
6 arm warmers
7 L/S jerseys

Lat year when I did an order like this, I had to compile over $5,000 dollars up front (I still owe some on that one!)

Let's hope we can track it on this site, and you can convince others to Pony Up!
Scot

Monday, September 29, 2008

Tragedy hits SMU

Anthony Mungioli, a 1980 grad of SMU, and former star of the Mustang soccer team was tragically killed this morning while commuting on his bike. The accident occured at the intersection of Greenville and Arapaho in Richardson.

Our deep felt condolences go out to his family, friends and the SMU soccer community who have lost a stalwart supporter and great friend.

Fabian clan riding together

Friday, September 26, 2008

Daily Campus discovers SMU Cycling

Check out today's Daily Campus!
Here is the story cut and pasted directly from the source.
SMU Cycling club works for a more cycling, environmentally friendly campus
John Coleman, Associate News Editor, jpcolema@smu.edu
Issue date: 9/26/08 Section:


The SMU cycling club is lobbying to make SMU and the greater Dallas community a more cyclist- friendly environment. Promoting more cyclists, they hope to ease parking conditions and the air quality in Dallas.The club began two years ago when Scot Montague, staff advisor and part founding member, was cycling in a race and saw multiple purple TCU biking jerseys and wondered why SMU did not have a club.When Montague inquired around campus he discovered that there were a number of cyclists on campus that weren't organized. Montague helped to organize the various student and faculty cyclers and even designed a jersey for the SMU team.The group consists of many different kinds of riders, some purely environmentally conscious, some preferring it to paying high fuel prices, and some loving the competitive nature of the sport, but with one common bond- a love for cycling."There are all different kinds of riders but we all come together on rides to enjoy the sport of cycling, regardless of motivation," Montague said. "It is just great to get with people that share your common passion for cycling."The faculty and staff on the team enjoy working with the students as it is a great opportunity for them to be an influence in the young riders lives."It is a great way to mentor the students," said Rob Walker, manager of the Norwick center for Media Services and cycling team member. "Even though they are often in front of us, it's hard to mentor from behind, but it really is a great opportunity to help the students."The club often gets together for Wednesday evening rides, and again on Sundays for various different ride-alongs. The club does however have competitive riders that compete on the national level. Samuel Weyand has been competing nationally by himself representing SMU at his own expense at the USA cycling National collegiate track championship and narrowly missed moving on to the next level due to scoring calculations. The hope is that fellow competitive cycler, freshman Jeff Klein, along with two other females can take a pursuit team to nationals. Pursuit cycling is the Olympic event that takes place on a circular track where the team members compete against another racer and the clock.

One of the goals of the club is to make the campus more cyclist-friendly by encouraging more students and faculty members to don the spandex in the morning rather than picking up the car keys.Greg Pulte, a BBA academic advisor and club member, rides to school every day but does not feel safe locking up his bike around campus."Ideally we could have more available bike lockers rather than racks to lock up our bikes," Pulte said. "It is so easy to steal a bike from these racks and without a safe place to store your bike, no one is going to ride to campus."Another grievance for Pulte is that biking to campus works up a sweat, and Pulte has to walk all the way to the Dedman center to shower, and pay for a membership fee to accomplish this. He feels that if showers were more readily available in buildings throughout campus, many more individuals would cycle to SMU."We would really like to encourage cycling to SMU for many reasons- it would alleviate some of the parking pressure as well as be good for the environment and air quality here in Dallas," Montague said. "As well as good for everyone' health on top of that."Walker attributed the hurdles in their way to the usual issue: money.To tackle this issue the cycling club has teamed up with the Campus Sustainability Committee whose focus is to streamline environmental moves on campus.Committee member Tiana Lightfoot said that their main focus is to target the SMU green buildings that are coming up for recertification. Every three years, green certified buildings, like SMU's Embry building, must re-meet certifications and one possibility is encouraging cycling for people that use the building. Lightfoot said teaming up with the cycling club was perfect for their effort as the club is already encouraging students and faculty to cycle rather than drive to campus.The club is exploring alternate incentive forms, such as putting the $26 a month that faculty pay for parking towards bike lockers. The cyclers that don't use the parking permit would be able to donate to the locker funds, Pulte said.Walker said that turning SMU into a cyclist-friendly campus is an ongoing process, but to anyone who decides to take up cycling, it is something that can be enjoyed for an entire lifetime."Cycling is a lifetime sport, it is something you can do as a boy and as an adult and share it with your dad if you wish the whole time," Walker said. "You can race in your 20s, 30s and now I am discovering in your 40s as well. It's really something you can enjoy almost forever."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Clyde awes all with tire changing skill!

After last week's massive showing, this week was still a good turnout. Beth and Bruce were both inundated by school responsibilities, so they opted out despite having their bikes and gear at school, ready to ride. Noah had a couple of tests that he had to study for. Jeff is also feeling the pressure of school commitments. After delivering a new jersey to Travis, we were a unified group wearing red and blue.

On University, a Suburban looked like it might take out Mike Vangeli since he was on point. No one else was threatened, so it was just the fear of witnessing calamity that spooked everyone else. Getting to the lake was without incident after that. Travis was pulling most of the way to the lake and to the sprint point. Youthful vigor means you do not have to count your matches.

I had to chase Travis and Mike and just as I was about to catch them, Mike neutralized the sprint because they came up on a car. Nearing the sprint line Travis comes around and passes me, but does not realize Kevin is coming up and neutralized or not, flies by us.

Mike chastises us again (by neccessity he does it every every week, the ride would not be complete without a transgression being addressed) and we continue on to Flagpole Hill where I wisely sit in on Travis' wheel up the climb (saving matches). Everyone gets to the top pretty much together, then we roll through the following hills where I was really proud of Kevin for his show of defiance climbing the last hill. He used the downhill to get his speed up and attacked really hard on the hill, only fading at the last 1/3 of it. Soon he will have it dialed in to get to the top with enough left to raise his arms.

Caryn was riding tempo the whole ride with Clyde and Greg, so they rode a consistent pace all evening. We had another car violate our space again, this time rolling through the street after we had the green light. A moment where the thought of a defibrilator enters your mind. A dog yelped at us, and Greg said that was scarier than when Mike was almost hit by the Suburban. Interesting. Mike might have to chastise us less often.

Mike was on point again and takes us down the road to the Bath House, and judging by everyone's body language, I think the other route is preferred (by Erykah Badu's house.) Kevin chooses to do another flyer and I had to chase, hard. So we drop most everyone else and I stuck to Kevin's wheel (to show him what a powerful advantage wheelsuckers have in a sprint.) We stop at the 7-11 and wait for Caryn, Clyde and Greg. It becomes apparent that we did not fly that much faster than they did, so we began to think that a mishap occured. We ride back toward the spillway, and here they come. It wasn't until later I found out they had a flat. We did have to wait a few minutes, but compared to our other flat tire changes, this one must have been F1 Scuderia Ferrari quality. Greg had a flat, and after they avoided a recumbant rider on one of those really low bikes, Clyde removed the tire and changed the tube in such an effortless manner, he impressed all. Sometimes the skill of a cyclist manifests itself in small things like that.

Loving? Travis stuck real close to my wheel, really close. I almost forced him to the curb before I realized he was there. Later, seeing him maneuver between us at a stop sign, there should be no worries. He was watching my line and followed right behind. When we finally passed Kevin just before the turn, he sounded frustrated. Each climb he gets farther and farther up it before being caught, nothing like progress! It is too bad that cars on the street between the hills separated Travis and myself, it would have been fun trying to chase him up the next two. He dogged it a little, and when I finally got close, he accelerated strongly and I looked at Greg (middle hill skipper!) and just had to admit defeat. We decided to go back to SMU through Lower Greenville and the M-Streets. A lot like playing Frogger, as Mike said. Abrams, Skillman, Matilda, Greenville, 75, Mockingbird are real annoying to cross!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

SMU "Vintage" Jersey


I've been working a little bit on a mock up of an SMU vintage jersey for the club. It is inspired by an American racing team's classic jersey. I'm hoping to get funding, perhaps from the SMU Alumni Association, to defray costs (hence the "AA" on the left chest panel, like the original).

I think this would be a really cool jersey for us older dudes.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Wednesday ride report

We are going to have a photo shoot every week if that is the turnout we get! Unfortunately, Tony Tillman arrived just a few seconds late, so he did not get in the picture. Bummer, since he makes the SMU kit look really sharp. We met a couple of new students who want to start racing, so we are getting the start of a team. Travis Mossy was one of the new students, and Nicky (fill in blank) from Engineering and the B-School. We even had a student on a fixie and a Discovery jersey, and I was so inundated with new faces I don't remember his name, but we will get it and let you know.

We were all a bit shocked at the great turnout, and pleased. Samuel even showed up to get in the picture (and promptly left, Wednesday is his off day.) Unlike Olympic swimmers, he did not chop off his mane to make himself more aero at Nationals. I think Rob commented on his Merckx era glasses from the picture I posted earlier. I brought a couple of spare jerseys so that we could really display our colors.

Beth Newman brought her husband, Bruce Levy out for his first ride with us. I didn't even get to say hello, with all the activity swirling around. I didn't even notice that she was in the group until we were riding. I was so used to seeing her in a "Team in Training" jersey, it threw me off to finally see her in SMU's colors. Not knowing what jersey Bruce usually wears, he fit right in.

We also welcomed Paul Escamilla, who rode with us for the first time. He is new to SMU, and is a welcome addition to the Perkins School. I hear he has an 8th grader who he rides tandem with. That alone is quite an accomplishment. He is also the author of the book "Longing for Enough in a Culture of More"

Kevin makes it to all the Wednesday rides, yet I was only able to say a few words all day to him. So many people to navigate through, and I always want to shepherd the students through the first ride. The guy on the single speed had some issues with his chain, Dallas roads caused it to pop off a few times, but to his credit he would reattach and get right back in the group. It must have been contagious, because I dropped a chain just as we got to the lake, so I wasn't going to be a player in the sprint. Caryn won it, but Rob was there, he just felt a little guilty he had to have a lane violation to get in position to win it.

Next we had a sloppy transition to Northwest Highway. You have to go from the right lane across three lanes to the left to be in the correct lane, and this guy in an Acura comes up on us a bit fast. I sprint up to his car to let him know he was travelling too fast. He argued that we were all over the road. Yes, but he still went too fast. He also claimed to be a cyclist, but his behaviour showed he was more a motorized vehicularist than a cyclist! He was also a Longhorn. Even though I spent some of my best years at UT, I'm starting to lump them in with the paper clips (OU) and the "I'll graduate with all D's" (LSU) in my list of least popular fans to run into. Our argument was primarily him saying "Dude" and I mocked his use of "Dudes" as a device to use in the discourse. We seem to have a run-in with a motorist every 4 or 5 rides.

The new guy, Travis responded quite well to my acceleration on the climb to Flagpole Hill and so did Nicky (like get to the top before me.) The student who rode the single speed had dropped his chain again, but finished the climb with the rest. Michael and Suzanne were doing a great job hanging back to ensure we all stuck together, except Mike and I were so overwhelmed with new faces, we lost Bruce, George and Rob! It took Beth a while to realize Bruce was lost. He is a strong rider but where did he go? We still are confused about that.

Michael did his best to keep us together, as did Noah. Go to http://www.ponyfans.com/ "other sports" since Noah put our picture out for all the Mustang Nation to see, plus the note to "call Scot for jerseys" I might have to ask him to help coordinate uniform sales! He is another student who is always here on the rides and if he had more time we're sure he would do a great job racing.

We survived Kevin's usual attack and then Michael told me to regroup at the 7-11, however the lure of Loving caused me to block that message out of my consciousness. I wanted to see what the new guys had and they didn't disappoint. My experience carried the day, but more than getting to the top first, my favorite moment was when Michael asked about the hill work, fully expecting me to acknowledge that Travis and Nicky beat me to the top. He was crestfallen to discover I had tricked them and wouldn't have to admit defeat (at least not this week!)

As we left the water fountain by the Boat House, we ran into another former Mustang who has been searching in vain for an SMU jersey. People, just google SMU Cycling (or TCU Cycling) and we pop up. After Tony and I tell him to look on the web site, it was just a few seconds before Tony's back tire chooses to go from 120 psi to 25 psi. After repairing it, we ride back to SMU in the dark. We even ride past Tony's house, but he has to go to SMU to get his car (he left it at school to get in the picture he didn't get in.)

Caryn pedalled at walking speed for an interminable time thinking we were going to catch up. She was in the dark blue skin suit, which at night is more stealthy than the F117's she used to work on (no, she worked on F15's and F16's)

She rode back slowly, but beat us by two minutes. Michael was very kind to stay in his office for a few minutes to make sure we got back. What an adventure! I have no idea who won the sprint at the city limit sign. Did Kevin or Michael clue anyone else about it to ensure victory?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Michael's back and he's got some stories to tell

I talked to Michael, who is fresh from the Tour of Missouri. Armed with his Daily Campus press pass, he was able to get close to the riders, photographers and journos in this major bicycle race.

Suzanne annoyed Cav by asking if he would beat Boonen if he was also at this race, since word out on the tarmac is that Cavendish is pretty cocky. So Suzanne asked the tough questions, eliciting a testy response (I just wonder what kinds of questions she would ask T.O?)

Look forward to an inside the Tour account coming soon...

TOM Stage 7 St. Louis


The final podium came as a surprise to Mr. Cavendish (Team Columbia) because for the first time since March of this year someone passed him from behind on the way to the finish line. Francesco Chicchi (Liquigas) poured on the gas leaving behind a shocked, disappointed, and perturbed Cavendish. Tyler Farrar (Garmin/Chipotle) claimed third over Ivan Dominguez (Toyota-United). Dominguez lost his lead-out man, Henk Vogels, yesterday on the road to St. Charles and he was left to fend for himself after Chris Wherry finished his turn on the front of the peloton at the 3k mark. The final podium answers the question race fans have been asking all season, “Can Cav be beat?” This was a downhill sprint to the line and even though he may have misjudged, went too early, or is tired at the end of his season – Cavendish and the Columbia train were bested on Stage 7.

Garmin/Chipotle defended Vande Velde’s yellow jersey all the way to the finish. Dominique Rollin (Toyota-United) claimed the overall KOM jersey. Of course, Mr. Cavendish did take home the sprinter’s jersey. Jeff Louder (BMC) was awarded the most aggressive rider’s jersey and Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) the best young rider’s jersey.

Nine different teams were represented in the top twenty places of the general classification at the end of the race. Team Columbia lead the teams classification with BMC and Team Sparkasse right behind them.

For such a young squad (5 of 8 were in the Best Young Rider competition), Rabobank, did well to claim stage 5 at Jefferson City. It will not be a surprise to see Boy Van Poppel, Michael Van Stayen or some of the other young riders win future stages of major races. Steven Cozza (Garmin) and Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) and the other young riders from the Tour of Missouri will certainly be riding in the front of the peloton over the coming years. Vive le Tour!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

TOM Stage 6 Herman to St. Charles


Even though the road to St. Charles started out hilly and included three KOM opportunities. All three were taken by Carlos Oyarzun (Tecos) in the break but no one in the break threatened Dominique Rollin’s KOM lead. The course flattened out toward the finish and the peloton caught the break of eleven riders. The attacks continued to come from Columbia up to the finish even with the average speed for the day being over 27 MPH. Michael Barry made a solo move a couple of miles out and was able to gain 45” but he was never quite out of sight of peloton and was soon caught.

Through the last few turns the speed surged and as the leaders pushed to the outside of the last right-hand turn yesterday’s winner, Boy Van Poppel (Rabobank) ran out of room on the road. His cyclo-cross skills gave him an option and he hopped up on to the curb riding the sidewalk for a few hundred meters before regaining a place in the peloton.

The long straight finishing stretch gave Columbia the time to position Cavendish behind Hincapie for the finishing dash. Later in the press conference Cavendish said he told George to go and he went hard but it was too early. Cavendish continued his efforts beating his next closest contender, Ivan Dominguez (Toyota-United) by a little more than a wheel at the line. Dominguez sat up 5 meters before the line realizing that Cavendish had him. Jelly Belly’s Brad Huff finished a strong third and our young pro from yesterday, Boy Van Poppel finished 8th.

Results:
1. Mark Cavendish, Team Columbia
2. Ivan Dominguez, Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team
3. Brad Huff, Jelly Belly Cycling Team
4. Michael Van Stayen, Rabobank
5. Luis Hernandez, Tecos de la Universidad Autonoma de Guadalaiara

In Sunday’s final stage Christian Vande Velde (Garman-Chipotle) will need to stay upright in the rain-slick streets of St. Louis to keep his yellow jersey from the hands of the nearest competitors: Mick Rogers (Columbia 18” back) and Svein Tuft (Symmetrics 48” back). Each of the intermediate sprint zones have a 3” time bonus for 1st place and the end of the stage has 15” for first place but it is unlikely any attempt by Tuft to take these would go unanswered by Garmin-Chipotle and even less likely he could beat all the other sprinters in the fast downhill finish.

Vande Velde said it has been a great experience for Garmin-Chipotle to take on the challenge of defending the leader’s jersey day after day, especially with the number one ranked team in the world, Team Columbia, throwing everything they could at them. Vande Velde gave an honorable mention to his young teammate Steven Cozza who labored selflessly at the front working to keep the race under control. Even Mr. Vande Velde mentioned how high the average speed was today and during the entire race. He commented on the high caliber of racing this late in the season and said he would be back next year, “If my schedule will allow.” Then he added, “It will allow.”

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Collegiate Nationals update

I have been checking the results of the event on line through
www.usacycling.org and was able to discern that the weather made for a long
and draining weekend.

It was a mixed weekend for Samuel. Sometimes the stars align in your favor
and sometimes not. The rain in Colorado Springs caused a lot of rearranging
of events so that the organizers had to shuffle and then reshuffle the
schedule. Originally scheduled for Thursday night, the Kilo was moved to
today. Sam was ready to do the kilo and then had to prep for the match
sprints instead.

I have looked at 200m times throughout the past weeks, and knew Samuel was
amongst the very fastest collegiate cyclists (top 3.) Because of the rain,
the communiqué was changed to include the top 12 only. Sam shouldn't of had
any problems, but he was only able to make the 15th fastest time. When I
talked to him, he was understandably disappointed.

The track in Colorado Springs is a 333M track, but the Superdrome is a 250M
track, so that caused some difficulty because of the lack of experience. Sam
said he had too fast of a windup and this resulted in a significantly lower
TT. Further, the rain and the schedule did not allow enough time to practice
the 200 on that track.

He was confident that if he had made it to the match sprints he would have
beat most of then in the sprint rounds, short of Daniel Espinoza, who was
the champion on the day. Matt Fox of Wichita Falls MSU did a fine job to get
third.

The kilo was Sam's last event, rather than his first. Over 70 cyclists
competed in the kilo TT and he ended up getting 12th. Samuel's PB was
previously a 1:12.67 at the Elite Qualifer, but he even exceeded his hope of
a 1:10, taking 4 seconds off of his best time, finishing with a 1:08.68.
Getting your personal best in such a big event and after a weekend of
frustration due to weather and inexperience with a larger track, we should
all be extremely proud of what he accomplished at Nationals. He has one more
year to compete, and we need to make sure that throughout the next year we
are able to send him again, and to make it even less of a financial burden
on him.

So let's "Pony up" by riding more, growing both clubs more and supporting
the Boulevard Crit initiative! Making SMU Cycling bigger and better can only
help Samuel, Noah, Lisa, Jeff, Noelle, Brent, Nicky, Travis and our other student cyclists.

Stage 5 TOM St. James to Jefferson City


Rain threatened all day but the only thing that materialized on the way to Jefferson City was a 12 man breakaway and even that faded, but held together long enough for Mr. Cavendish to re-secure the sprinter’s jersey, after Eric Baumman’s one day stint. He took the first two sprint zones without any fanfare, merely rolling through at the front. As the break approached Jefferson City, Cavendish sat up and rolled back into the peloton.

The break disintegrated before the city limits sign and the peloton thrilled the crowd with two circuits around the Capitol. Today’s stage featured only one KOM point and [even though it would not be called anything other than hilly it] the rolling hills presented constant challenges. Each roller strung the peloton out on the downhill and compressed them again on the next upslope. The finish line was also up hill.

Young Boy Van Poppel surprised the field by moving into the top ten with a teammate as they approached the 300 meter mark and pushing up and over the hill to claim the stage win. Van Poppel is the son of Jean-Paul Van Poppel, a formidable cyclist from an earlier generation. The hill may have taken something out of Cavendish as he faded to fourth. As he was sprinting for the line, Van Poppel said he thought he was going to be passed by a rider to his left so he stood up out of the saddle and powered to a stage win, the first for this lanky Dutchman.

Friday, September 12, 2008


DMM Account (not so different?)

12:57 AM CDT on Friday, September 12, 2008
MATT BAKER / The Dallas Morning News mbaker@dallasnews.com
Throughout Thursday night's TX Tough Grand Prix near Victory Park, the public address announcer called Heath Blackgrove an Australian.
By the end of the 75-minute plus five-lap criterium, Blackgrove made sure everyone knew he was from New Zealand.
Blackgrove led the final six laps and coasted to a two-and-a-half second win over Ricardo Escuela and Chad Cagle.
"That's why I got fired up – you called me an Aussie, and I'm a Kiwi," Blackgrove joked before stepping on the podium.
Blackgrove, 28, took the lead for his Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team at the 75-minute mark, leading with five laps left and winning a $1,000 prize. He expanded his lead in the next three laps to 15 seconds.
"I saw the opportunity to go for the prize," Blackgrove said. "I went for it, saw the gap, and that was it."
The field cut the lead to three seconds in the last two laps, but Blackgrove won comfortably, pumping his fist at the finish line.
Cagle finished as the top amateur rider behind Blackgrove and Escuela, a member of the Successful Living Pro Cycling team. The Tulsa, Okla. resident said he was thrilled with the result.
"There toward the end, the group surges," Cagle said. "I tried to play the surge right and find my way to the front.
"I work a 40-hour-a-week job. It was fun for me to race out here with the big boys."
More than 90 professional and elite amateur riders started the event, but as darkness fell on Victory Park, the field dwindled. Only 36 riders finished the race.
New Zealand's Heath Blackgrove won Thursday's TX Tough Grand Prix by two-and-a-half seconds.
Several hundred (there were close to a 1,000) fans lined the 1,500-meter course looping around Victory Park. As riders shot out of the fourth turn, those fans saw riders emerge from the darkness of Houston Street and burst into light from the big-screen TVs in front of the American Airlines Center.
Euless resident Nick Kiernan said he was excited to race through the streets of downtown.
"This is the greatest race I've done," Kiernan said. "Great crowd. Great course."
Victory Park will host another TX Tough event Sunday. More than 1,500 cyclists will race five different courses on a charity ride benefiting Children's Medical Center.

Texas Tough at Victory Plaza

Signor Vangeli might be in Missouri watching Toyota United, Columbia, Jittery Joe's and Garmin Chipotle, but those of us in Dallas were treated to a 1st caliber race last night with some of the same teams. One of the race announcers was 1310 "The Ticket's" Craig Miller. Strange, he sounds much more knowledgable about cycling than the couch potato sports he normally covers. I have never seen him out on the roads, but he is supposedly a very competent rider.

The course was 1500m around the W, American Airlines Center and Victory Plaza. The HD screens were a huge plus as most of the race course was covered by cameras, so the remarkable accelerations for the $250, $500 and $1000 dollar primes were impressive to watch. So was the moment I said to Caryn, "you're on TV" and she ducked away so fast it was like watching the sprint for a $1000 prime! I have seen races at Fair Park (7-11, Alfa Romeo were the big teams) and the Tour of Texas at City Hall and Flag Pole Hill in Dallas and Trinity Park in Fort Worth (Davis Phinney, Taylor's dad won, 7-11 again dominant) and this venue was top notch!

The RBM guys that we see around town mixed it up quite nicely with the national teams. Garmin's Pat McCarty (last seen helping to win the TTT at the Giro D'italia) was off the front grabbing some of the big primes. He is originally from Allen, so it was rewarding to see a rider from the Dallas area ripping off some impressive laps.

After 20 minutes of racing, a few guys were shelled out the back. A few laps would go by and you know you would have been able to hang with the group on this lap or that lap, but every lap? The guys who were never in front but able to hang around are to be lauded, because the pace on every lap was high, some laps it was Audi RS8 worthy. After 50 minutes a few more did the finger across the throat, (the universal sign for 'I'm finished, I rode like that Scot guy usually does") Some of the faces in the group, RBM, GS Tensing, and Park Place teams are guys that make us hurt on many local rides, so seeing them hurt makes it so much more intense, and puts it in perspective.

The prime laps? It is shocking to see in the middle of a race someone gaining 10-15 seconds in just 1.5 k to claim the money. The race would usually reintegrate, but crits are not only about the finish, but about the inumerable races within the race. Heath Blackgrove of Toyota United appeared to be able to go off the front whenever he wanted to, and had some able teamates such as Justin England and Ivan Stevic able to slow down the peloton when needed. About half of the field looked like they would not argue with that strategy.

Pat McCarty claimed a prime that after he passed the start/finish, the announcers couldn't remember if it was $250 or $500. That part of the race is so "side-show," and gives the riders so much more to think about than following that wheel in front of you (like strangling the announcers, who to their credit did less of the "bike race 1101 section 001" than usual)

With five laps to go Heath Blackgrove of Toyota United built a 10 - 15 second lead and we were to find out that his motivation was to get to the podium and tell the announcer that he was "Kiwi" not Australian! Awkward foot in mouth moment at the end was to follow after the kiwi reached his goal, with time to zip up and raise his arms in triumph.

During all of this, I was expecting the text message from Samuel regarding the Kilo in Colorado Springs' 7-11 Velodrome. I found out later that rains have delayed many events until today.
Expect updates as the day progresses....

I think my reporting is less polished than Michael's. I will let him cover big time races in the future!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

TOM Stage 4 Lebanon to Rolla


With Rogers (Columbia) and Tuft (Symmetrics) within a minute of the yellow jersey and George Hincapie (Columbia) only 1’03” behind, Garmin/Chipotle had a tough day in the saddle defending Mr. Vande Velde’s yellow jersey. The day took its toll on the leader and he missed the press conference due to dehydration. He was quoted as saying, “The attacks were just relentless today. Our strategy was always to keep control.”

Most of the peloton lagged 10 minutes behind and the officials kept them out of the finishing circuits until the race was decided leaving only 23 riders to contest the finish but it was already too late for most of them. Michael Barry (Columbia) made the right attack at the right time to stay away from the chasers and show that he was back on form even with the high average speed of 27 to 28 mph. He commented later that the rolling terrain, relentless climbs, and aggressive field made for tough racing and Garmin did the best job they could while Columbia kept attacking over the top of them after each break was caught. He looked fatigued, yet obviously buoyed by the stage win.

Yesterday Vande Velde mentioned, “I can’t sprint myself out of a paper bag,” and today he was just outsprinted at the line for the remaining time bonuses. Eric Baumann (Sparkasse) captured enough points (31) with his second place finish to rob Mr. Cavendish of his green jersey. Baumann’s new jersey is far from secure with Cavendish only one point behind.

Dominique Rollin solidified his lead for the KOM jersey. With only 1 KOM on the road tomorrow, Toyota United will work for a stage win Ivan Dominquez (fair weather) or Rollin himself (all-weather, as in San Luis Obispo). The incoming weather may split the field and a tough Canadian like Rollin or Tuft may thrive in those harsh conditions while Garmin keeps a weather eye out for the contenders within two minutes of the lead.

Tonight the Kilo, tomorrow the 200m and the Match Sprints

I called Samuel to see what is his program for the weekend. I asked him to text me (and if you know me, you know what an accomodation that is!) with the results of the events this weekend.

Last year Sam finished 18th in the 200m which just got him into the match sprints, and finishing 9th was a remarkable accomplishment. This year with some luck (and his hard work all year) we look forward to seing what he does against the rest of the nation.

Wednesday ride: Old broke down...new hotness

Borrowing a line from Will Smith in Men in Black 2, that is the story of the ride. From reports I have heard, Jeff Klein ripped everyone's legs (and lungs) off yesterday. Nursing a soccer injury (knee is sore from coaching Isabella's team last Tuesday and a 20 minute practice with Katarina's team on Friday. I did score two goals and assisted on another to Katarina, and then was immediately yanked for "aggressive" teaching techniques)

Kevin was waiting for us where everyone gathers at the flagpole (actually under a nearby tree.) Caryn and I had spotted Jeff just outside the Owen Art Center adjusting his front derailleur. The story is that he had been doing a ride with his dad two weekends ago and suffered a crash, the most gruesome part of it was that the following bike ran over his neck, just missing his larynx. Ouch. Bruised, but back on the bike and still riding.

As everyone was meeting, Noah rode up and we discussed the plans for a Boulevard crit next spring, so anyone who wants to start assisting in the logistics....

Off they go and I'm feeling a bit envious that I'm missing the festivities. Ask Noah and Kevin if I missed anything, though. Jeff "trained" specifically this past week to rip my legs off, so he had Caryn, Kevin and Noah as victims. I think Tony thought it was going to rain, as he was not at TP hill. The wind was at their faces going north on Lawther and the group was tucked behind Jeff. As the others peeked around and had the wind hit them in the face, a quick tuck back to the friendly confines of the peloton (such as it is.) Jeff was pulling at a good 24 mph into the wind.

Caryn did her best to stay behind Jeff during the Flagpole Hill climbs and felt pretty good that she finished only a few meters behind. No rest for the weary though, as it was then hard tempo that would have even made Vangeli hurt a little bit. He always goes to the front and rides tempo, and it usually takes a stoplight to get him to stop.

Back at the lake, Kevin chooses his escape with the regularity of a Rolex. A bit of mud just past the FDR era CCC worker statue caused the pursuit to slow a bit, and then it was full gas to chase Kevin down. Another escape, pursuit and then catch, it is becoming very "Jacky Durand" like, Kevin's escapes. Kevin's wife told me he was disappointed that he was caught, but you have to try over and over and then one day, freedom! Happiness!

All that is left is the lovely Loving Hills. Caryn said that Jeff accelerated up the first with stunning speed, then waited at the top with a "I forgot, where do we go?" The second one they climbed together (I'm thinking that the convuluted way needs more than one trip to learn the path) and then the last drag up the third. Jeff sees an SMU jersey and says, "Look, who is that?" Caryn said "someone has cheated!" a Jeff takes off after him. Caryn then finds that her nitrous bottle was empty and the turbo refused to spool up, so her valiant effort to keep up failed. At the top the three who have made it (the two chasers and the "direct route taker" see a tandem as discuss how silly most people on a tandem look, yet both Caryn and Jeff discuss how fast they can be with the right combo. Jeff's dad has threatened to violate style man's directive about jersey choices while riding a tandem, just to throw speed and power in the faces of those they speed by. Kevin's earlier efforts have cost him, so his arrival causes him to say "So did you have lunch or what?"

When Caryn got back and relayed the account of the trip, she was spent. The trip from SMU to Loving had only taken an hour. Ouch. Maybe my hurt knee will stay hurt a bit longer! Kudos to Noah and Kevin for hanging in and returning with legs and lungs still attached. And to those who read this and might get a bit scared, pain produces speed (the next time out!)

I will keep everyone posted on Samuel's trip to Colorado Springs, where the Collegiate Track Nationals are happening this weekend. We are very excited about Sam's progress on the track and hope he sends ripples of excitement throughout the weekend.

Convalescing with trepidation....