Saturday, September 25, 2010

Conquer The Coast

After only a half-way satisfying-result last week in Laredo, Carlos, Sheri and I went down to Corpus Christi for the Conquer the Coast Criterium. Smaller race in a huge parking lot. Unfortunately, they don't have the cool downtown/hilly course from 2 years back but nevertheless it was lots of fun and some exciting racing. After the Women showed the 35+ 4/5 Masters how to win a sprint (Rheannon won, Sheri 3rd), we lined up for the P/123 75minute race - at 9:30pm! Alcala & Co. were at the start again but this time we got the better of them when Wally Groda (BikeBarn) and I rode away and ended up lapping the field 35minutes in. After Carlos pulled the same thing solo Wally and I went again and gained another lap on what was left of the field. Rather than sprinting against a fellow non-sprinter I decided to go for it with 3 laps to go and solo'd in for the win with Wally in 2nd and Carlos in 3rd.

Thanks to promoter Craig Hottell who found us a great hotel - the V Boutique - in Corpus on 701 N. Water Street. A very stylish, and nice place in downtown CC owned by a Vietnamese family including an in-house Vietnamese restaurant. If you're ever in CC, check it out.

Part two of city review is the Aqua Java coffee shop on William St/Water St. Great place for breakfast with (huge) $2.89 sandwiches and all kinds of sweets including a variety of coffees from around the world.
isolated thunderstorms over I-35

room at the "V Boutique" hotel

Aqua Java got plenty of coffee in the house...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Best Weekly the country?

If you've never attended the Thursday Night Driveway Crits in Austin, you better make your way down. Last race is October 21st. Awesome crowds, tough races with big fields, and lots of great people. All thanks to Andrew Willis & Crew at Holland Racing!

tight finish with Wenger, yours truly, and Tyler Jewell (1st) last Thursday night. Photo by DCM Photography.


I haven't been there for a few years so when the opportunity came up I jumped on it and headed to Vegas early Monday morning. Never been to the Dirt Demo on Mo/Tue so that was a nice change from things - riding bikes at 3000ft in Boulder City, checking out some new gear, talking to folks and seeing old friends.

I took a few pictures and put them up here in that Picasa slideshow:

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Racing in Laredo

After TxTough on Thursday night we decided to drive down 3 1/2 hrs on I-35 to Laredo, only a stone throw away from Mexico. On a regular basis you'd drive 3+hrs up to Dallas on I-35 but going South on I-35 is pretty sweet - no traffic and instead of DFW you end up (almost) in Mexico.

There was a race called Laredo International Cycling Classic and a few locals asked me to come down there and race. Basically it was Carlos and I vs. Mexico since Alcala & Co. showed up in full force. This was a non-sanction USAC event so you don't need a license to race. Sheri did the Women's race and finished 4th - that's what Jerry Bueno and I saw at least. The "officials" gave her 5th, though. Go figure...

It was raining the whole day and a half we were down there. Some roads around the city were partly flooded and the 3.5mile circuit (10 times for 35miles total) had a plenty of water on it. But nevertheless we started with maybe 15 guys in the Open race. After a few laps Carlos was up the road with Hugo Hector and another guy. I was stuck with Alcala and 3 other "amigos", although they were not really friendly...After I punctured in the pouring rain it took me 20minutes to catch back up with the four guys since they obviously hit the acceleration button after I was gone. None of the dudes would work with me so I just covered every single of their attacks until they realized they wouldn't go anywhere today. In the meantime, the 3rd guiy in Carlos' lead group flatted and I was convinced CV had the win in the bag for us.

In the final sprint for 3rd I was on the right wheel (Alcala) but we drifted a bit too far right and the giant finish banner along with the officials standing on the road(!) made it a bit unsafe so I ended up 4th. End they actually gave me fourth place, too :-) Hugo Hector ended up beating Carlos in a tight finish for 1st so we had to be content with the $600 for 2nd place. Still, a good day considering the conditions.

We stayed in a nice hotel in South Laredo, 100yards away from the Rio Grande and "The Bridge" - the border to Mexcio. The hotel "La Posada" is a good place to stay if you ever down there and their restaurant is inexpensive and has some good American & Mexican cuisine.

giant dragonfly caught on camera

view from hotel (note: the flag on the Mexican site is at least 5 times bigger than the US flag on the Texas site)

the issues in Mexico are headlining the news in the local papers