Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cool Bike Stuff Review # 3 - Oakley Jawbone

Thanks to Oakley and my "part-time" teammate KC Crosby we get to play with some nice toys from time to time. This is time it's yet another lengthy awaited release of super-shades - the Jawbone! Nationally still on back-order, we were lucky to try them out at some Driveway's, the Memorial Day races and Tulsa Tough. I love them! As always, you put them on and they simply fit perfectly. No matter if it's Crozzy's face, Tyler's head or my nose - they fit all around!

I got to wear the Jawbone with a Polished Black Frame and Positive Red Iridium Polarized lenses. Not only do the shades look good but taking a look through the lenses is like watching HD TV on a 64" screen. The light transmission of only 18% is great for sunny Texas days as it let's just enough sun into your eyes to keep you focused on the objects ahead - in this case: riders a few inches away from me). The Iridium® coating tunes the contrast a bit and makes for an amazing view. The objects are sharp, clear, and very much in focus. I would almost put my camera lens behind those lenses to snap a picture. On top of that, a polarized filter reduces glare reflected off surfaces like pavement or asphalt so you are always aware what's going on around you when going 30mph, 400W or a HR of 180bpm. The view is still crisp clear.

The probably most advanced technology in those shades is Oakley's new SWITCHLOCK™ Technology for an interchangeable lens design that helps you keep up with changing light conditions and maximize performance in any environment. Two quick snaps and you got your lenses out and two more quick snaps and you can put your spare lenses in. No more worrying about breaking lenses or chippin' the paint off the frame.

The Jawbone tested runs at $250, comes with a extra set of Persimmon lenses for Twilight Crit racing and is available at Pre-order yours now to get your Game on and make KC happy ;-)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

DFW Weekend

After Gila, Joe Martin and a little time off the focus shifted towards the traditional Memorial Day Crits in DFW. We (Tyler and I) did the Driveway as a warm-up and things felt good, as I was able to "exercise" (to quote Crosby) to a 2nd place but still, the engine was not working as well as in previous training crits. Oh well, that's why it's a weekly crit after all.

Photo by Willis' iPhone

In both races, Saturday's Glickman Crit and Sunday's GS Tenzing Crit, I did not feel like being able to win so I rode more out of "instinct" and just tried to "race" and work as hard as I could to pull off something for the team. Chad and I were able to make a few $$$ in primes both days but fell short with a 2nd place (Cagle again) on Saturday and missed out on the winning break on Sunday. Duh! Stuff happens.

For Monday's State Criterium Champs I felt okay, but knew that it would be super hard to avoid a field sprint and get into a lucky break. So I raced again based on instinct and saw an opportunity in the first lap where Barry Lee and A. Gonzalez from Metro joined me quick. Knowing they would catch us anyways I tried to find a balance between over-cooking myself and going too slow. Well, it latest for about 45minutes and I could contribute to the team's winnings while my TxTough boys kept it easy at the front of the field. After I was caught I settled into the field and waited for the end - which would be all Chad's mission. He did great once again, but caught leading it out from the last turn and Carlos Vargas of THSJ nipped him by a few inches on the line. So close. Oh well, onward to Tulsa Tough which will be a notch harder than the last 3 days.
Photo by Lee McDaniel Photography

Here's an article from the local Ft. Worth Star-Telegram about the race.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Joe Martin

Prologue: Last year I did a 9:10 to place 33rd, this year a 9:12 to place 88th! Wow, I must have missed something or did the quality of the P/1 really improved so much over one year? Anyways, that was not a good start but a 10min effort like that was just not in the legs today.

Century + 10: Friday's stage was probably the slowest 110miles I've ever done racing. It started fast and I (+Mat) tried really hard to get into "the break" in the first hour but nothing would go. Finally, it went and I was back in the pack :-( Anyhow, we started to go SLOW. I think we dropped only one rider over Mt. Gaylor this time...Almost 5:20hr into the stage Chad found my wheel and I did an all-out effort to pull him next to the OUCH and Colavita-trains. I had no legs for the final so I "dropped him off" and took it easy around the last few turns while he finished 7th, being best amateur once again!

Fastest 92miles ever: After our granny-ride yesterday some people thought it's time to add some speed to this race and we actually "raced" - all day. I was sitting 30th wheel and could notice all the aggressive riding the first time, the 2nd time, and the 3rd time up the little feed zone hill. Bissell definitively threw everything they had at Landis & Co. and it was fun to have an actual bike race instead a controlled, tactical "cruise" where the "real" racing would get neglected. 28mph avg speed sounds more like a crit to me but still 100guys made it into a mad dash to the final line after 92miles of racing. I tried my luck at first but only managed mid-pack in 32nd.

Crit: Some say it's the hardest Crit you do all year, I say it's definitely close to that. Only Chad and I were left from our original squad of five. I've done that race 3 times now and every time the leading team would ride tempo all day at the front. Not the "tempo" you think, more like NormPower of 360W for 90minutes. I found my place in the group and just followed wheels. Some wheel you wanna follow for sure is that of Huffy, might not always look the safest but he gets around the peloton pretty quick (and eventually finishing 5th). After getting a glimpse of what it feels like to be off the front I quickly settled back in the pack and finished it out in 30th place. The last 10 times up that B@# of a start/finish hill I barely had my eyes open and was always VERY close to pull the plug - but I couldn't.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

more Gila

Stage 3's Time Trial did not go as well...I had a solid warm-up and ended up doing a very similar time like last year but that only got me 83rd place this year whereas I finished 32nd with that in '08. Weird! Oh well, Mike did amazing again and was the 2nd best Amateur, "only" finishing 3:23 behind stage winner & new course-record holder Levi.

The Stage 4 Criterium is something I was looking forward to. Racing a NRC Crit at 6000Ft is a bit different (=harder) then "cruising" around the Wilson Historic District at the Matrix Challenge but it went fine. After 3 stages not everyone wants to go super hard so that's what helped me a bit. 15minutes in I made a move on the backside climb and Tim J. of OUCH came along with me. It hurt, he doesn't go slow at all, either! They announced a $100 prime so it was motivation enough to keep digging deep and I got it....but quickly realized that - in order not to fall off my bike - I need to go "back" to the field. So I did and finished - almost - safely in the bunch. I got held up in the Crit with that 1 1/2 lap-to-go crash where I needed to unclip and get straight back onto the road was able to make contact with the front group and finished the day out in 25th.

...hurting for the $ during the P/1 Crit

You love it or you hate it - the "Gila Monster" or Stage 5 with 9300ft of climbing over 107miles. Mike was sitting top 30 in GC and was looking to move up towards Top 20 so he needed all the help he could get. After a few scary early crashed (which both required medical helicopter assistance) the field "calmed down" a bit and we were cruising along the valley towards the first of 3 major climbs. 7miles, just pure gradual climbing. I made it somehow, so did maybe 50 other guys. The descent afterwards was a bit sketchy as always but at least no one seriously crashed like last year. One more time I went back to the car and loaded up on bottles and gels for Mike before we reached the U-Turn at the Cliff Dwellings Visitor Center and headed back up - a Cat. 1 climb now. After nearly 70miles of racing that's where my body said "Stop" and I just rode my own rhythm. The last few climbs I rode in smaller groups and solo towards the line. Thanks to the Dave Bolch for the water bottle and the gels! Ended up 66th while Mike got 21st on the day. Travis and Travis finished the day, too so it was a solid day & Tour for our little team among the big powerhouses like Mellow Johnny's ;-)

made by Kristina Quinn