Monday, November 29, 2010

Try something new: Dirty Du!

Next to cyclocross, there are a few more things which can be tons of fun (and challenging) as part of any off-season. For example, a off-road duathlon like Jack and Adams puts on every year out at Rocky Hill Ranch near Smithville: the Dirty Du!

Thanks to Robert I had a nice MTB to ride around for a bit and Adam "guided" me through the singletracks of Rocky Hill Ranch on a pre-ride a few days before the race. As a "roadie", I've never been out there before but I can tell you that you miss a lot by not going out there and spending a couple of laps on the MTB. Tons of good, fast, semi-technical trails through a mostly thick forest.

The 2x5K off-road up "Fat Chuck's Revenge" are obviously the hardest task of the whole things - at least when you're not a real runner. Like cyclocross, the time on the MTB is pretty intense and fun, but comparing to the road you have to make so many quick decisions on where to go, brake, pedal, lift, balance etc. in such short amount of time that you're "always on the move". Wes and Tommy F came out, too so we lined up with about 150 others to take on two 5K's and the 12mile loop on the MTB. After coming out 5th or 6th from the run I quickly got on the Cannondale Scalpel and tried not to lose too much time on Jason from MJ's and Andy Lee, the eventual winner and former MTB-pro. I was still leaping behind Jason and Andy but passed a few "quick" runners and was in third coming into T2. Unfortunately, one of "those runners" was Lance Parker and he ran me down pretty good - putting 2+minutes into me within 2.5K. But I heard he's fast, so that's okay ;-) Desiree Ficker ran the 2nd run quite fast, too and with Eric Hess she had a great teammate for the team relay which they won by minutes ahead of 2nd place.

Thanks again to Jack Murray and Jack & Adam's for giving me the opportunity to try out that duathlon thing on dirt!

running up Fat Chuck's revenge

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cyclocross Fun

What do you do when off-season training becomes boring? You add some bits of intensity to it. In this example, cyclocross. I've done a few races over the last few winters and it never gets old. I know I'll never be "great" at it but you can learn tons of stuff in every race and get better quickly. Besides, it gives you 60min of great, High Intensity Training, with tons and tons of micro-intervals, sprints, etc.

The first time (and for long time last time) I raced a CX bike was back in the mid-or late nineties and it was on a Diamant (oldest German bicycle manufacturer) steel frame with out clipless pedals and down-tube shifters. It must have weight 25lbs or something because I didn't like it at all.

But nowadays it's much more fun (Texas weather helps - of course, too) and thanks to some good people in the industry I have some sponsors which support me for the Texas CX races. Specifically, Sean & Charles at ROL Wheels and Sol & team at Austin Bikes! Check out the ROL Carbon 38mm tubular wheels here - solid, affordable, carbon tubular wheels at 1190grams/set. Built in Austin by Austin Bikes' very own Sam Frost. A bombproof wheelset for off-road fun.

photo KGS Bikes

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Stories from India (भारत) - Bicycles in India

coconut bicycle

commuter bicycle

banana leave bicycle

silk production (cocoon) carrying bicycle

tricked out Durga Puja festival bicycle