Thursday, November 27, 2008

Last race of the year (?), Turkey Trot & Post-Turkey Day Ride

The Copperas Cove Classic on January 19 was my first race of the year 2008. Finally, the season/year came to an end for me (at least on U.S. soil) on November 23 when I headed to Ft. Worth for two cyclocross races.
Saturday's Broken Films CX in Trinity Park was very technical, lots of loose turns and a nice run-up. I had a few almost crashes and someone else's blood on my shin (!?) after the race. It was definitively challenging for a "roadie" like me. I still managed to get 6th but was well-off from the Top3 which was taken by the "regulars" Fawley, Dahlheim and Comardo.
Sunday's Moritz Cowtown CX was already much better in terms of "roadie-type" friendly courses. We still had to jump over barriers, run up dirt, and overcome a huge log but there were plenty of "hammer" sections where us "roadies" could make up some ground vs the true CX/MTB guys. Fawley and Dahlheim were once again out of my league but I was able to hold off the rest and finished third on the day. It was a nice finish to the year.

Today we did the traditional "Cowtown" Turkey Trot in the early morning before getting stuffed with Turkey Lunch and sweets ;-) I haven't been running lots but it went pretty smooth actually and I came in 2nd in my AG and 19th Overall with a 18:23. Average HR was 185 (!) and now my calves are very sore...

Also, if you're in the Ft. Worth area over Thanksgiving make sure to come out to the Annual Post-Turkey Day Ride on November 28, at 9am on Brushy Rd/FM 51 intersection, just south of Granbury, TX.

Click the Racin' Turkey for the Flyer or click here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hooters Cross

Spent the weekend in DFW and decided to try out the SCOTT CX bike at the Dallas cyclocross races. The "TacoEater1000" pb Hooter's went well and I won the Open race. Ft. Worth rider Justin Wallace didn't make it easy for me and finished 2nd, ahead of Mat Davis (Metro). Ex-Mercy rider and Dallas-transplant Zach Lytle put on a really good race on an awesome course just across from White Rock Lake.

Photo copyright Lee McDaniel

Sunday's race had a few more "shikanes" and true MTB guys could definitively show off their skills. I still ended up 3rd behind a CX guy from Orgeon and Dahlheim (Metro). As a reward for the consistency over the two days of racing they gave me 2 tickets for the last Cowboys game in the Texas Stadium vs. the Ravens December 20th, courtesy of Hooters!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Elections, Cyclocross and riding out West

On Tuesday Sheri and I headed Downtown to enjoy some election parties. But not before having some free Chik-fil-A and a free cup of coffee from 5-bucks as part of their "I voted" deal. We ended up at Momo's on 6th & Rio Grande and later also went over to the Driskill Hotel on 6th & Brazos which was the Democratic headquarter for the evening. It was pretty amazing and super crowded over there. Check out this video, taken while the results from California came in:

Saturday was another CX race for me, this time the last race of the Lone Star Cross Series. The course out in Del Valle was super fast and not too technical (only 2 barriers and a better-get-of-your-bike jump over a high curb). Of course, I could only aim for 2nd place as Mr. Fawley showed up...After a 45min solo "time trial" I finished 2nd and maybe 4th (?) in the Overall Series. Anyways, the payout was pretty good and thanks to Stackhouse and his sponsors EVERYONE left with a bunch of cycling swag and other goodies. Once we got our stuff Robert and I headed out for another 2hrs on our road bikes. That hurt! T. Perry's burger was the choice of post-race carbo-loading before we headed over to Mellow Johnny's to check out the Bike Swap Meet. Lots of cool but EXPENSIVE stuff for sale.

Yesterday was either going to be another CX race up in Webberville or logging in some miles on the road bike. Ended up chosing number 2 and rode at 9am from Austin Bikes out west over Fitzhugh Rd and Dripping Springs. Was good fun and somewhat easy 70miles. Need to ramp it up next weekend, though.

Monday, November 3, 2008

getting the TT bike back out for Tour de Gruene

The TOKEN Momenta was already put to sleep for the rest of the year but I decided to jump on it one more time for the Tour de Gruene TT. I've never done the race before but knew the area around the Guadalupe River and it's a need place to ride or race a bike.

We headed down Saturday early afternoon for the 4pm-ish start and it was already a big cycling mad-house by the time we got there. Amazing how one individual can inspire so many people to come out, cheer, and wave US and even big yellow flamish flags! The course was not easy by any means. It was hard to find a rhythm since you had a lot of little rises and twists in the road along with River Crossing 1 through 3 and back home again over a total of 16miles.
After a 30min warm-up in the parking lot I went off, 1minute ahead of reigning State TT champ, newly dad, and wonderman Erick Benz. He had even more pressure on his shoulders as LA rolled off just 2 minutes behind him. I think both his (EB) and my goal was "limit the damage" and not get caught. Getting caught in a TT - no matter who is passing you - give's you a huge psychological blow. Well, it worked out okay as I got to pass my 2-minute man, got very close to my one-minute guy and held off a charging EB and LA. It was one of the toughest TT's I've done for a while - there were no moments of coasting or chilling and traffic on the road made things "interesting" to say the least. That's something to think about for next year. I walked away with a win in the Under 35 category, 3rd Overall to Lance and Benz, and some pretty sore legs :-) Thanks to Will Roetzler for the invitation to ride down there and the GIANT 1 Gallon Wine Bottle! Making sure I keep on hitting my target miles/week I didn't race again in Sunday's TTT and rode 70miles easy instead on Sunday morning.

Fellow MSU student Colt Trant tried his hands in journalism and you can read his report on the weekend in Velonews here.
photo courtesy of Daniel Norton