Saturday, March 28, 2009

Live Stream of E3!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Live Stream of Milan San Remo


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wednesday Ride Report

Nicky Boulle joined us this week, a 2nd year student who rides with the Park Place team, and soon will be representing us at collegiate races. He did the Tuesday night crits the night before, and his first outing was 7th out of the 50 or so in his cat 5 race. He should cat-up pretty soon. Even though he made a lot of people hurt out on the course, it takes some time to learn that the hurt needs to be dosed out in a timely fashion. Soon he will be on the podium.

After last weeks torrential rains, today was the perfect day to ride. Chase, Nicky, Clyde, Jackie, Damiano, Don, Caryn, Greg, Rob and myself had a nice jaunt to White Rock, where we did up and backs on this day. After last year's alteration of the ride due to extensive work done to the paths at White Rock, I thought staying at the lake would be a good choice. The traffic was prohibitive to any nice tempo/sprint ups (that would be TP Hill to M-Bird) so it is hard to say who had the good legs with the desire to use them. I wish we could do the Sunnyvale ride on Wednesdays, but the traffic on US80/I30 for those few miles would be disconcerting to some of us.

Caryn had a flat commuting from her work, so she went home to get a replacement wheel only to find more issues there (missing valve stem, a forte tube that was too small for a 650 wheel, and met us at the lake. Rob and Caryn noticed some new bottom bracket issues (a weakness of FSA) but these problems were nothing like what happened just in front of Don.

On such a pretty day, there is an obvious desire to ride, but if your bike hasn't been looked at for the entire winter, please do a serious check on it to make sure nothing has loosened up. A women and two friends just got on to Lawther from TP Hill and within the first minutes, she noticed that her steering bolts were loose. She then tries to repair by shaking her front wheel (while she was still riding!) She does an ugly face planting endo.

A large group stop to check on her, and a RBM guy ask if any of us know first aid. Hmm, what to do. She is conscious and laying down but complaining that "her neck and spine hurts" Chase said that he is a lifeguard, knows CPR, but what we needed was an ambulance and a neck brace. Nicky was on the phone to the authorities, but was asked not to call. Her friend kept telling us "No ambulance" and then tries to lift her so she can stand up. We all thought that is a bad idea. She lays back down. Her friend went to get their car, and another friend was saying, "if you didn't want to ride, you should have said so" Hopefully they went to see a doctor. She might have needed a stitch in her lip also. Her bike has a buckled top tube and down tube so I left them with a "look for a replacement frame on e-bay"

Our group made it back in two groups as there was a sprint to see who was in front of us wearing the SMU jersey. The rest just rode in at our leisure.

Our ride captain, Michael Vangeli should be back next week, and we can discuss the shape of future rides.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Horse Country Time Trial

A very strong and much larger field showed up for this event than in years past. From our community, we had David Pearson (CAT 4/5) Caryn Montague (Women's open) Mina Pizzini (women's open) and Nicky Boulle (CAT 4/5).

I will let David and Nicky describe their event, it was the women's event that has caused some controversy. Mina was riding in her Mellow Johnny kit and rode like Lance, catching the half dozen or so women in front of her, winning the event and easily showing her class.

I took digital pictures at the start and finish of Mina, David, Caryn and former MSU Mustang (Midwestern State) Jennifer Purcell. We used to ride with her before she went to MSU. When the results were posted on TXBRA, she was placed in 10th, which appeared to me to be an error. Caryn finished in 18th, but her time posted was at least 30 seconds more than her computer showed. Since the camera has a time stamp, we looked at the camera and determined that David's posted time was correct, but Jen and Caryn's were inaccurate. Jen's were so far off (4+ minutes) that we think she should move from 10th to 2nd. Caryn wasn't in the money, but she should move from 18th to 16th, but who knows how accurate the other competitor's times are.

I am not indicting the organisers of the event, but it shows how difficult the logistics are for these events and the technology that could solve these problems is expensive.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Cedar Hill with a White Rhino for good measure

Two of the last three weeks we have chosen to do hill work towards Cedar Hill. Michael, Caryn and myself made it out for a chilly tide two weeks ago, where Mr. Vangeli seemed to win all the city limit signs, joyfully pointing them out as we pass them. Caryn threw down the gauntlet at the hill that leads up to the Cedar Ridge Nature Center, and easily dropping us. After we did Summit Ln. (out little Flandrian climb of 18%) Caryn and Mike missed the turn into Cedar Hill's downtown (yes, it is that small) they went a bit further and discovered a coffee shop, The White Rhino. A perfect place to reconnect when we have larger group rides down south.

Saturday was on again for a hill ride to Cedar Hill, only this time it wasn't chilly, it was quite cold. Layered with thick jerseys, jackets, neck gaitors, gloved tights and knee warmers, we were joined by Tony Tillman this week. I heard a lot of complaining as to why we were still going to do the ride, since it was sunny, 34 degrees and a north wind that was a steady 25 mph. We met on an exposed parking lot(Gospel Lighthouse Church at Illinois and Walton Walker, Loop 12.) The wind was ferocious, but when we finally started, the wind was at our back.

Michael did all the pulling, while we let the wind drive us toward Cedar Hill. A couple of hills and my aching knee was still quiet, but after the previous week's torture (where I had to really suck it up on the last couple of hills, getting way dropped by Caryn and Mike) I decided to avoid the Robin Ln/Summit Mur de Grammont. Victory one week, DNS the next. Now if I had known that Michael brought his camera and was going to download to Facebook immediately, I might have reconsidered. We did have some local wildlife attack us. This little dog actually chewed on my bootie for a second!

Michael and I waited for what seemed like a long time for Caryn and Tony. Tony had never done this climb, and we were so focused on warning him about the climb, we forgot to tell him that the brief descent was frightening the first time down. Curvy, steep, off can get to 40mph in just seconds...with a stop sign at the bottom. After both climbed it, Caryn went back up to find Tony walking down (never having done any downhill skiing, he thought better of just going down the fall line) I forgot that the first time we did it, it was 15 seconds of terror.

Two good pictures of Caryn and Tony climbing out of this crater, we then went to the White Rhino for coffee. Just like a day on the slopes, sometimes the most enjoyment is found at the lodge. We delaminated ourselves (peeled like onions...undressed) and had some really tasty coffee, courtesy of Tony. I took an out of focus picture with Mike's camera, which was on his Facebook before we finished coffee, thanks to his Blackberry.

We rode into the wind back, where Caryn heard Tony say "what are they doing?" and she said, 'City Limit signs" and he offered a parental like "Oh, right"