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T H E R AC I NG PO S T

for Cycling Enthusiasts

Ready, Set, Go!

Road Season Underway Coverage Inside

April 2012

Junior Spotlight Garrison Horton

Plan Your Road Trip Calendar Page 2

R o a d R a c e s , C r i t s , T T 's

April 1 14 15 15 21-22 28-29 May 5 6 12-13 19-20 26 27 June 2 3 16-17 23 24 30 Come and Take It Crit King Racing Group Crit Rockwall Criterium University Oaks Criterium The Matrix Challenge Fort Davis Hammerfest Coldspring Road Race Houston Grand Crit Corsicana Stage Race Georgetown Grand State Crit Gary Glickman GS Tenzing Crit Tyler Road Race University Oaks Crit Mineral Wells Summer Time Trials Horse Country Time Trial University Oaks Crit State Time Trial Gonzales, TX Dallas, TX Rockwall, TX San Antonio, TX Dallas, TX Fort Davis, TX Coldspring, TX Houston, TX Corsicana, TX Georgetown, TX Dallas, TX Plano, TX Tyler, TX San Antonio, TX Mineral Wells, TX Aubrey, TX San Antonio, TX Lytle, TX

2 9 15 16 22-23

The Sprint Superdrome Dollar Nite Superdrome Point Series Speed Races at the Superdrome Juniors & Masters State Champs

Houston, TX Frisco, TX Frisco, TX Frisco, TX Frisco, TX

Mountain Bike Races

April 14-15 15 21 21 22 28-29 28-29 May 4-5 19-20 20 20 June 3 Pace Bend Race Red River Shootout Austin Rattler 100 Slobberknocker LOCOfest La Tierra Torture Cloudcroft jackhammer DORBA Dash Rocky Hill Roundup Wheeler Dealer MTB Festival Spillway Scramble Osage Mountain Bike Race Austin, TX Ardmore, OK Rocky Hill Ranch Perryville, AR Keithville, LA Santa Fe, NM Cloudcroft, NM Dallas, TX Smithville, TX Watonga, OK Norco, LA Pawhuska, OK

12 13 13 13 19 19 19 20 20 20 28 28

Columbia Muddy Buddy Austin Skeese Greets Women's Tri TriGirl Super Sprint Du Four States Tri Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas Cross Creek Ranch Kid's Tri Playtri Hidden Cove Kids Tri I Tri @ the J Oyster Racing Series Amica TexasMan Triathlon USA Paratriathlon National Champs Capital of Texas Triathlon

Austin, TX New Braunfels, TX Houston, TX Texarkana, TX The Woodlands,TX Fulshear, TX The Colony, TX Austin, TX Austin, TX Valley View, TX Austin, TX Austin, TX

To u r s & R o a d R i d e s

April 1 6-8 7 7-13 7 14 14 14 14 14 16-21 21 21-22 21 21 22 28 28 28 28 May 5 5 5 5 5 5-6 6 10-13 12 12 12 12 19 19 19 26 June 2 2 9 9 16 23 Autism Society Bike Ride Georgetown, TX Easter Hill Country Tour Kerrville, TX Tour Dallas Dallas, TX Texas Hill Country Cycling Adv. New Branufels, TX Red River Riot 2012 Muenster, TX Tour of Navidad Valley Schulenburg, TX Katy Ram Challenge Katy, TX Dam to Dam Jasper, TX Stampede on the Chisholm Trail Belton, TX Lancaster Country Ride Lancaster, TX Texas Challenge San Antonio-Arlington, TX Ride for Heroes Aledo, TX BP MS150 Houston to Austin, TX Tour de Cypress Mount Vernon, TX Tour de Vineyard Florence, TX Fiesta Wildflower San Antonio, TX Hill Country Ride for AIDS Austin, TX Red Poppy Ride Georgetown, TX Germanfest Metric Century Muenster, TX Ryder Ride Fort Worth, TX Tour de Cure Austin, TX Chainge the World Bike Ride Gilmer, TX Waggin' Trail Bike Ride Hillsboro, TX Hamilton Hill-Aceous 100 Hamilton, TX Shiner GASP Austin, TX Bike MS: Sam's Club Ride Dallas-Ft.Worth,TX Tour du Rouge Houston to New Orleans Hill Country Cycling Adventure Fredericksburg,TX Head For The Hills Cedar Hills, TX Armadillo Hill country Classic Ride Liberty Hill, TX Rolling Hills Challenge Columbus, TX Byers Bicycle Bash Byers, TX Wild Ride Richardson, TX Cross Timbers Classic Fort Worth, TX Real Ale Ride Blanco, TX Mesquite Rodeo Bike Ride Mesquite, TX Spindletop Spin Comanche Cyclone Bicycle Tour All American Bicycle Rally Tour de Pepper Tour d'Italia Cow Creek Country Classic Beaumont, TX Comanche, TX Springtown, TX Dublin, TX Italy, TX Wasahachie, TX

M i d - We e k C r i t s

April 3,10,17,24 Tuesday Night Crit Plano, TX 4,11,18,25 TBi Wednesday Night Crit Fort Worth, TX 4,11,18,25 Irving Crit Series Irving, TX 5,12,19,26 PURE Austin Driveway Series Austin, TX 5,12,19,26 KRG Thurdsay Night Crit Dallas, TX May 1,8,15,22,29 Tuesday Night Crit Plano, TX 2,9,16,23,30 TBi/TRP Wed. Night Crit Fort Worth, TX 2,9,16,23,30 Irving Crit Series Irving, TX 3,10,17,24,31 PURE Austin Driveway Series Austin, TX 3,10,17,24,31 KRG Thursday Night Crit Dallas, TX June 5,12,19,26 Tuesday Night Crit Plano, TX 6,13,20,27 TBi/TRP Wed Night Crit Fort Worth, TX 6,13,20,27 Irving Crit Series Irving, TX 7,14,21,28 KRHG Thursday Night Crit Dallas, TX 7,14,21,28 PURE Austin Driveway Series Austin, TX April 1 1 7 15 15 15 15 15 22 28 28 28 28 28 28-29 28 29 29 29 29 29 29 May 5 5 5 5 6 12 12 12 12 12

M u l t i - S p o r t & A d v. R a c e s

Memorial Hermann Ironman XTERRA Camp Eagle Triathlon Kona Eastside Triathlon Houston Kids Triathlon Life Time Indoor Tri Life Time Indoor Tri Life Time Indoor Tri Playtri King Tut Triathlon CaceMan Triathlon Windcrest Freshman Triathlon Kemah Kids Triathlon No Label Triathlon Windcrest Freshman Triathlon Mighty Mujer Women's Triathlon HITS Triathlon Series Lake Tejas Triathlon & Duathlon TX3 Triathlon Series Memorial Hermann Kemah Triathlon Tri for Humanity Trident Sports Benbrook Triathlon Cedar Park Kids Triathlon Spring Fall Classic Sprint Triathlon Tri Hillsboro Triathlon Rockin R Toobing Triathlon McKinney Kiwanis Kids Tri CB&I - The Woodlands Triathlon The Rookie Triathlon Marley's Kids Tri Hooty's Kids Tri Texas Girl Sprint Triathlon Spa Girl Tri Chase the Sundown Kids Tri Galveston, TX Rocksprings, TX Baytown,TX Houston, TX Allen, TX Houston, TX Flower Mound, TX McKinney, TX Flower Mound, TX San Antonio, TX Kemah TX Katy, TX San Antonio, TX El Paso, TX Marble Falls, TX Colmesneil, TX Kemah, TX Kemah, TX McKinney, TX Benbrook, TX Cedar Park, TX Wills Point, TX

Tr a c k R a c e s

April 6&13 Superdrome Point Series 6&27 Alkek Championship Series 7 Speed Races at the Superdrome 14 The Classic 28 The Keirin May 4 Superdrome Point Series 4,18,25 Alkek Championship Series 12-13 Matrix Track Cup 26 ATRA Speed Races June 1,8,29 Alkek Championship Series Frisco, TX Houston, TX Frisco, TX Houston, TX Houston, TX Frisco, TX Houston, TX Frisco, TX Frisco, TX Houston, TX

Hillsboro, TX New Braunfels, TX McKinney, TX The Woodlands, TX Austin, TX Lubbock, TX Decatur, TX Decatur, TX San Antonio, TX Texarkana, TX

T HE R ACING P OST

PO Box 210066, Bedford, TX 76095 817.282.2994

Andy Hollinger - Editor-in-Chief

Editor ............................................................. Jeff Garner Road Master ....................................... Richard Carter Knobby Editor ....................................Kathy Hudson ....................................Kathy Tri Editor..........................................................Steen Rose Editor..........................................................Steen Turn Left Editor........................................... Interested? Support Services............................Feed Zone Chick Services............................Feed Photographers........................... Mike Gladu ~ Mike Brooks ~ Mario Cantu ~ Lauren Hollinger ~ Lee McDaniel ~ Rhyne Rundell ~ Glennon Simmons ~ Kevin Tokarski ~ Contributors...................................... David Adams, Andrew Armstrong ~ Daniel Carruthers ~ ~ Art Exum ~ Russell, Livingston ~ Ken Maclean ~ Richard McLamore ~ Steen Rose ~ Stefan Rothe ~ Kim Jennings ~ Raachel Byus ~ Matt Davis ~ Payson McElveen Cartoonist....................................................Sadie Pudge Cartoonist....................................................Sadie Lick, Stamp, Lift...........................Baggins & Tucker Lift...........................Baggins Publisher..............................................Lauren Hollinger Publisher..............................................Lauren

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Contents

Vol. 12, No. 4 April 2012

Features

6 9 10 14 18 23 25 26 28 29 32 34 35 42 43 46 2 8 11 12 13 16 19 20 22 24 30 33 36 38 40 44 Field Fillers Domination and Subjugation Race Recap: La Primavera Cat 2/3 La Primavera 2012 Product Review: Bianchi Sempre Ultegra My First Race Lago Vista Day Two, Hit Me FCS|Rouse Dominates at Mineral Wells RR Photo Essay: Kenny Hill Autowerks Classic The Experiment: The Case For Coaching Rouge Roubaix There Is No "I" in PACC Race Recap: Pace Bend Men's Cat 2 Velocity Cycling Tour Meet Patty Collins MSU's Alexi Martinez Plan Your Road Trip RBM Event Report Tri Talk The View From Back Here B&B Mechanic's Corner Get Fit, Get Fast, Have Fun Sport Psych Talk Love Your Ride Coach Speak High School Cycling News West Texas Wind Girlfriend Rider Think!Finance ~ Mineral Wells Stage Race ~ Race Recap RBM What's New At The Shop Junior Spotlight Gear Girl

Regulars

On The Cover: FCS|Rouse Ladies on their way to the Women Open win at the Mineral Wells Stage Race Story on page 26 Photo by: Lee McDaniel

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PRECISION AT HAND

For every ride and every rider.

Inspired by and designed for pros, Zipp's Service Course line of bars, stems and seatposts set the standard as the finest lightweight aluminum componentry. The new Service Course CSL bar, with its Super Short Reach drop shape, puts control levers within easy reach. The ovalized top section forms a natural grip. The ultra-stiff and light handlebar is crafted from 7000 series aluminum. Service Course SL stems use Torx® bolts for precision torque readings and ease of adjustment. The new stealthy Beyond Black color option adds style to function. Service Course delivers the comfort, reliability, performance and fit you need.

F ield F illers

These spring days have been gorgeous, and last night was no diffenent. While enjoying our evening dinner on the back patio, Jupiter & Venus lined up in a set of celestial coordinates (a planetary conjunction). I was taken back by the beauty and the thought that these things just don't happen that often. Looking up at the night sky, it is times like this I feel so connected to God's creation and realize how small we are in this huge world. My thoughts take me back just over 9 years to the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy. That morning in Feb, 2003, Scott & I were leaving early to meet some friends for a mountain bike ride. At approximately 8am, an object entered into view from my right and streaked across the crisp, blue sky. I realized it was going way too fast to be a jet plane even though it appeared to be about that altitude. It was glaring brightly now, and particles began to break off and leave tracers in the sky behind as they shot off sideways in either direction. We both thought it was a meteor breaking apart. I also thought the glare could be the reflection off metal, so I wondered if it was a missile. The vapor trail lingered in the sky like a twisted snake long after it disappeared on the horizon toward the sun. I went on about my business loading the car. About five minutes later, I heard the loudest boom and rumble in the distance I've ever heard. It lasted for what seemed like several seconds. Now I was thinking it was a bomb, and we thought that judging by the speed it was traveling, it had hit in east Texas somewhere. I ran to the end of the street at the scenic overlook to see if I could

By Kathy Hudson

see a huge mushroom cloud, but all I saw was the vapor trail of what the object left behind. We listened to the radio on the way to our ride, but no reports of anything askew. We wondered if what we heard was the sonic boom. When we arrived at the park, another cyclist asked if we knew the space shuttle had disentigrated on re-entry. We were in disbelief that this was actually what we had seen. It was such an eerie feeling to know at that moment, the fire balls we had seen peeling off the hurling object were the pieces of tile and metal as the shuttle was ripping apart. Our hearts were saddened, as was the spirit of the group. We had a moment of silence, and then everyone, single file, disappeared into the woods on their bikes. I felt comforted to be with some longtime friends from the early days of my cycling career. Witnessing Columbia's re-entry firsthand will be forever burned into my memory, and I will always remember watching the seven astronauts tumble into the heavens without ever touching the ground. My friends and I winded through the first mile of trees. I felt so small on this earth in a sea of people that rely on those that serve our country. My thoughts drifted to Laura who was on the ride with us, and of her statement to me that she was "field filler" and that she and others competed so that those of us that raced to win could have a "field" to win over. I've thought of this often, but never found a way to understand it before. But now, it seemed obvious. I assumed everyone out there was fighting for the same thing

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- a spot on the podium and a medal around their neck. Not so. Not everyone is competitive. There are those of us that do this for fun and those of us that do it to win. But with age, comes wisdom. And as I've gotten older, I've come to realize that the entire human race is a field filler for something. If you are a beginner bike racer or an athlete of any kind, you are field filler for those more experienced. If you are winning the Texas races, you are field filler for those who compete nationally. If you compete nationally, you are filler for those who do the World Cup, who are in turn, field fillers for the Olympians. If you compete in the Olympics, you are field filler for those who are coaches, teachers, great mom & dads, or at the top of their field in their profession. Humans will always have the thirst for knowledge and the understanding of space, and for those few brave enough to leave the earth's atmosphere and travel beyond, the rest of us are merely their "field fillers". We are who they protect, and they do it with integrity, honesty, and honor. I aspire to be like those seven astronauts that died on Columbia that day. I don't mean I want to die doing what I love. I love to cycle and rock climb, but I do not wish to die careening off a mountainside on my bike or having my belay rope break while on rappel. No one wants to die, and certainly they did not. They loved what they did, but yet had the courage to do their jobs knowing the risk involved. They were unafraid to face the unknown with integrity, honesty, and honor, and able to accept the consequences. I will never be a firefighter, police officer, soldier, or astronaut, but am honored to be their field filler. I am just a blip in this world, but hope to live it (and race it) with integrity, honesty and honor, just like those that protect us do. Once again, I'll be racing in the World Championships for off-road triathlon in eight weeks, and can't wait to meet the rest of the field. I hope to be more than filler when I get there, but will enjoy the ride no matter what.

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Event Multisport Briefs: Report

Frost Yer Fanny ­ Regional Duathlon Championships

By TRP Staff

February 19, 2012 Texas Motor Speedway, Ft. Worth The rain stopped but the clouds stayed, making for a cold and humid race morning. A variety of clothing choices were on display as athletes tried to decide the best way to deal with temperatures in the low 40s and a brisk north wind. 2, 15, 2 were the distances on tap for this run-bike-run event. 2 miles at race pace it's easy to get overheated almost no matter what you wear, while 15 miles on the bike is long enough to get pretty chilly on a humid day with bikespeed wind-chill in the 30s. Stefan Rothe, a cyclist from Austin, Texas, was back to defend his win from Bronda's Du, held on the same course back in November. 2nd place David Jones, Frisco, was also back, but with a multisport season pointing to Kona he was less enthusiastic about his chances so early in the year. Since this was the regional championships the field was much bigger than in November, with about 300 more athletes, and the times reflected the increased quality of the field. The bigger field sizes also led to an additional wave at the start, and that would end up playing into the final results. Stefan was the first to finish, but both William Huffman of Colleyville and Michael Wilkinson of College Station, racing in a later wave, would top Stefan's time by 36 and 9 seconds, respectively. It was definitely a day for the pure runners, with Huffman's race best 10:03 second run making all the difference in the final result, overcoming Rothe's blistering 27mph bike average. On the women's side, D'Ann Arthur of Dallas won by 6 minutes after

a strong all around performance that was good enough for 11th overall, beating out most of the men on the day. The Texas State Championship Duathlon, The Fast & The Furious, will be April 15 at Joe Pool Lake, presented by Ironhead Race Productions. Race distances are 5k, 19mi, 5k for the championship event, and 2mi, 11mi, 2mi for the sprint distance. www.ironheadrp.com for details.

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Domination and Subjugation: Lago Vista Masters (50-60+) Races1

By Bill Shirer

Janne Hamalainen ("JH") (a Finn from Tulsa)2 simply orchestrated the Masters 50-60 races at Lago Vista. On both days, his strategy appeared to be to use the climbs to break up the field, and then get away with 2-3 riders to keep up the pace into the wind (uphill on Saturday, downhill on Sunday). His coup de grace was on the last lap to attack (on Saturday) or to threaten to attack (on Sunday). On Saturday, the first lap was easy enough, but that was it. On the second lap, a few guys jumped on the stair climbs and I went with them. I knew Lee Troy, and had worked well with him in past breaks. JH and Will Visser, a former professional triathlete, completed the group. On lap three, Lee dropped off, and Will, JH and I kept it going. Midway through the last lap, JH jumped hard and rode away for the win. His attack was crisp, sudden and peremptory. He was gone, and it was obvious that he was going to stay gone. For a while I chased Will, got kinda close and then kinda not. I got third. Sunday's race was similar to Saturday's but harder. Lap one was moderate, after which JH mentioned something to me to the effect that he/we could "work them over on the climbs." And that is exactly what happened, except that JH inflicted all the pain. On the climb sections of each lap, he continually pushed the pace and shrank the field. On the 2nd lap, the pack split. After the next lap, there were only seven left. On the following lap, four more dropped, leaving Henry Skowronek and I to ride with JH.3 On the last lap, we didn't know how much time we had on the chasers. JH suggested that if we let him take first, he would not attack us and we could work together until the finish. If we didn't concede, he'd attack as he had the day before. I readily agreed having witnessed his attack the day before. Henry also agreed. As we all know, Henry is a super strong rider, but it appeared to me that even he was hurting to hang on JH's wheel when going uphill. Henry then proffered me 2nd place. Thank you, Henry. I was in extremis for both races. My power meter reported that I raced at an "intensity factor" ("IF") of 98% on Saturday and a bit over 100% on Sunday.4 I was fortunate to have been in the break with JH on both days. I realize that he used me and two other as his pawns on both days to break up the field and get away. And I was happy to have been strong enough to have been used the way I was. After the race on the Sunday, I was gobsmacked when told that JH had won 6th in the 40+ race that finished a half hour before our race.5

1 Writing about bike racing is like "dancing about architecture." The medium simply fails to convey the experience. Unless you were actually in the race described, you can't really appreciate the race by reading about it. 2 Among his palmares: the 2009 National Road Race Champion 45-49. 3 At one point I thought to myself: "A Finn, a Pole and a Texan walk into a bar...". 4 For those of you that understand and use a power meter, I set my threshold power meter about 10-15 watts low so that it appears as if I often have heroic performances. I figure if you pay that much for the device, it ought to make you look good in one way or another, sort of like a Porsche. :) 5 I'm glad he was softened up a bit before our race.

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Race Recap:

La Primavera ~ Cat 2/3

Photo by Steve Stewart

had a strong three. As we drew closer to the finish, our chances improved. As we picked up our pace, getting anxious with the possibility of the winning break, the guys (Nate and Rob) let me pull more on the climb and cut me slack on the downhill section because of my junior gearing. Overall I felt there were three serious moves on the day, and our team was represented in each one. It could've been any one of our guys that came across the line first had any of those other moves be the one that stayed. Although it is my picture, and I am proud of it, I'm more proud to have the guys I do as teammates; nobody digs as deep as we do for each other. I want to also say that the Texas cycling community is fantastic and I'm very lucky to be a part of it. It is this community that has helped the likes of Lance Armstrong, Chann McRae, Pat McCarty and Lawson Craddock and others to the professional ranks. I would like to thank my dad/coach/director, family, and supporters, without you guys this would never have been possible. Also to the promoters and officials with ridiculous hours and stress levels. I haven't promoted or officiated yet, but I've seen it close up (and had to put out cones and haybales in the dark as well as clean up after, so I do have some insight). It is especially not possible without you guys. Finally thanks to the Lone Star Works Cycling Academy for giving me the legs and teammates strong enough to bring home the Gold at one of the biggest and longest running races in Texas. We are family, and this win was for all of us. It is my understanding that when asked to write about "how it was won", I'm to describe how the race played out. It isn't that simple, though. I was born into Texas cycling and raised on two wheels. Lago Vista is a race I attended while still in my mother's womb and nearly every year since being born. It is as historic a race as we have in Texas, going back to the Tour of Texas days. Lance, Chann, Pat, Lawson and the 7-eleven team before them have all been a part of Lago Vista. I'm also fortunate to be on one of the top junior teams anywhere, and Lago Vista was a part of our team's schedule this year. We were able to have some of our teammates from outside of Texas attend this event, which makes racing that much more fun. Racing is already fun with my Texas-based friends and teammates, but this year our director wanted us to bring the team to Texas more often instead of taking us out of state to get our kicks. For Lago Vista, like most every other race we do, our approach is to be assertive and aggressive, but do so deliberately and with increasing precision. We don't usually set up a race for a "leader" or particular rider, and Lago Vista was no exception. It was not about me. I really didn't expect my move to stick, since it was still too far from the finish with more than 40k to go. I'd been off of the front a few times already, and this move was really just one of many efforts the team made to set up what we would expect the be THE move later. Our team had been active from `go' and the field was either worn or just didn't think we'd be able to stick at that point either. But I was fortunate to have some wicked strong rid-

By Noah Williams

ers with me in the break. Once Nate Beams bridged to me, I thought we might have a chance, although slim, of making it to the finish, though I remained pessimistic. Almost two laps later, Robert Biard bridged up to us, with the field still nowhere in the rearview mirror. After that I knew that my teammates weren't going to let anything else come across without some reinforcements for the breakaway, and we already

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Tri Talk - April 2012

Cheating on your bike

How many bikes do you own? How often do you ride them? It seems like I am constantly reminding roadies that they need to dust off their time trial bikes and actually ride them if they want to perform well in an upcoming time trial. But if roadies don't ride their timed-race bikes frequently enough, triathletes ride them too frequently. Let me be as clear as I know how: you need a road bike, and you need to ride it frequently! But, I hear you protesting, I'm a triathlete, not a roadie. My training needs to be specific, you said so yourself. Yes, your training should be specific, but you should also use the right tool for the job. A bike is a tool, plain and simple. A timed-race bike is meant to go really fast in a straight line. And, you are, or should be, set up in one position and one position only ­ nose of the saddle, in the aerobars, full tuck. Any time you are not riding in that position you are better off on a road bike. You've just brought a butcher knife to the dinner table to cut your spaghetti with. Sure it will work, but it will be awkward, uncomfortable, and dangerous. Yes, dangerous. Triathlon bikes don't steer, brake, or handle uneven surfaces well. If you are riding where there are other cyclists, cars, pedestrians, or frequent stops, you'd be better off on a different bike. This means city streets, multi-use paths, and super-popular training areas. Having the right tool for the job will allow you to ride more comfortably and more safely, as well as open up new training routes and opportunities. A supported bike rally is a great way to knock out a 100mile ride, but a tri bike is a dumb thing to ride with several hundred of your cycling brethren. The Saturday morning shop ride is an excellent

By Steen Rose Head Coach - Athletes On Track [email protected]

training opportunity, but you will be persona non grata on your tri bike. Believing that you should only own, and ride, a tri bike is nonsense. This is like the triathletes that tell me that swimming any stroke other than freestyle is a waste of time. Actually no, it's not, and in fact you would benefit from it. Does it have to be a road bike? No, it can also be a mountain or cyclocross bike. Ideally you've have tri, road, and either mountain or cyclocross, but let's start small: a tri bike plus one other. When do you ride it? Any time your tri bike is in the shop, or in transit to or from a race. Any time riding a tri bike would be unsafe or uncomfortable, like around town or in busy and populated areas, any time you'll be drafting. Okay, so when do I ride my tri bike? Interval sessions indoors should be in the aerobars; long interval sessions outdoors, when it's safe to do so; long, race-prep rides out in the country solo or with a small group (just no drafting). One final bonus on having a road bike ­ spare wheels that you can train with on your timed-race bike. Rocking the 808s on every ride is lame, seriously. Have the right tool for the job; a road bike for about ½ your riding, and training wheels for about 95% of your riding. Steen Rose is the owner and Head Coach of Athletes On Track and an Elite Coach for Training Bible Coaching. He has been competing in cycling and multisport events for 16 years with 13 state titles and 3 national medals to his name. He has been coaching since 2003 and works with all ages and abilities of athletes locally, nationally, and abroad. He can be reached at [email protected]

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The View From Back Here

Finally, it's here! Milder temperatures, beautiful skies and the renewal of Daylight Savings Time are back, as if they never left. Though not as storied as the Swallows in Capistrano or the Mud Daubers in Luckenbach, the annual and awaited later sunsets certainly have an effect on cyclists. No festivals, no parties we just heave a sigh of relief that we can now enjoy our passion after 5:00 in the afternoon without worrying about darkness. As predictable as the Mud Daubers is the PBBA's weekly Wednesday afternoon ride. This outing was The View From Back Here's initiation into cycling and the commonality of cyclists, no matter our age, level of fitness, equipment or ability. We have had a blast for many years and personally look forward to many more. Having been a recreational rider rather than a rabid racer for most of my cycling life, what keeps The View From Back Here coming back to the weekly club rides? There are fellow cyclists that have known each other for ten years and never seen each other in street clothes. We meet at the bike shop, we visit, we ride, and sometimes we grab a bite to eat at Rosa's. The noticeable difference between our group and any other group of ten to fifteen customers is we don't change into street clothes. Oh, a pair of wind pants may be involved, but how "street" is that? Yet, these fellow cyclists from many different walks of life consider each other friends and even close friends. One might say that we have all acquired the habit of attending our group rides. How did this occur and how do we maintain the habit? Although I am not a smoker, I have observed a number of friends and family attempt to break the habit. I have heard some speak of the rule of sevens when it comes to breaking that habit. If you can make it seven days you have it licked for at least seven

By Russell Livingston

months. If you make it to seven months, you are more likely to be successful for seven years. The next threshold is 21 years which is of course seven times three. How does that old wives tale apply to my group habit? As this column is being written, the first of our Wednesday evening rides is now history. Since it takes seven repetitions to break a habit, shouldn't it take seven repetitions to start one? So in a matter of seven weeks we should again be in the habit of riding every Wednesday. What happens though, when that chain is broken? A business trip, a family emergency or heaven forbid a health issue may interrupt our plans.. Do we have to start over? Do we just give up and wait for next year? Perhaps we should not ponder such things and just get out and ride. That first ride of the season was remarkable. Absent were a few of the old familiar faces and present were newbies, eager to join our group and enjoy the benefits of our group. Obviously, some were more prepared than others. Being one of the more senior participants, it was not my part to cut my ride short due to a perception of fatigue or tender butt. Rather, the group decided on an extra four miles and the compliant View From Back Here tagged along promising to memorialize their youthful eagerness on the pages of The Racing Post. Breaking the old habit of recliners and television in the evenings may be more difficult than cultivating the new more favorable habit of getting up and out there. By this time though, we are all out of excuses for neglecting daily exercise. With temperatures rising and climate moderating, we will be back with that resolve usually reserved for New Year's resolutions. That is unless a few other sirens' songs do not pull me away. With West Texas withering away due to the extended drought, the old landscape has suffered. Something is going to have to be done with the disaster also known as my yard. Many years ago our son suggested concrete and that alternative is looking better as the years pass. With clear skies and warm temperatures that we know will morph into the blazing heat of June and July, the yard and weeds just may have to wait. Such "Chamber of Commerce weather" is a terrible thing to waste doing yard work. With the Permian Basin having gone through one of the more severe winters in memory, the nice weather of the past few days is even more appreciated. Aging parents, church obligations, civic obligations and the ole schedule begins to get crowded. Plus, my wife of 36 years deserves more than a passing peck on the cheek as I air up the tires for another ride. Then the words of one of the Offspring's teachers come to mind. This lady was very intense and very demanding of her student's time, after school. Her demands pretty much eliminated much of a life away from her subject and attached competitions and performances. She said, "The busy students will find a way, or they will make a decision." Therefore, we as a public are going to have to make a few decisions. Priorities will be established and goals set. We will be held accountable for the compromises made and enjoy the fruits or suffer the consequences. As a cyclist, The View From Back Here is deciding to maintain an active lifestyle. We will ride, especially those critical group rides and will strive to manage my time and be an acceptable husband, father, son, employee, citizen and columnist. Striking that delicate balance between our obligations and passions oftentimes requires thought, effort and dedication. Getting out on our bikes may provide us with the respite from pressures and give us that valuable time for introspection, meditation and creativity. Utilized thusly, stealing away for that ride can be beneficial on a multitude of levels. May everyone's springtime rides be met with clear skies, calm winds and good memories. Everyone have fun and ride safe.

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VOL.12, NO. 4

The Pavement Disco

By Jeremy Morris

Disc brakes on road bikes are on the way. No matter the side of the fence you cling to, frame manufacturers are buying in and it's only a matter of time before there are a plethora of options. There are some immediate advantages and some obvious concerns. The majority of people I run into seem to immediately think that the success of discs on mountain bikes will obviously translate to road bikes. While the tech geek inside me loves the idea, I have some concerns and I imagine the component and frame manufacturers do as well. One of the advantages of discs on the MTB is being able to trim weight off the rim, however, due to the higher pressure of road tires, this benefit doesn't translate. The main concern I have is speeds reached on a road bike are much greater than those on a MTB, and this will put a far greater responsibility on the road bike system to perform and stay cool. Somehow, the lightweight road systems will need to withstand brake fade caused by hydraulic fluid overheating. Additionally, a road bike tire/wheel combo can generate a significantly larger amount of leverage at the brake, which creates more heat. Wheel manufacturers will also be battling difficulties. Radial lacing will no longer be applicable, and they will somehow have to re-engineer all the lightweight offerings to withstand the new torsional and asymmetrical loads. While they do manufacture hydraulic rim brakes, Magura has been outspoken of their opposition to hydraulic disc brakes for road bikes. They claim that rim brakes are lighter, far more aerodynamic, and much more powerful (eluding to the fact that rim brakes use the largest rotor possible-the rim). In addition to all the challenges brought on by application, still more challenges exist in production standards and OEM. According to the brake manufacturers, almost none of the standards such as rotor flange offset, 74mm post mount, and 6 bolt flanges, will work on the road. OEM spec'ing also present challenges. Hydraulic road disc packages are more sensitive to proper setup. The road systems will be dealing with significantly more heat, and the initial bleeds must be perfect (placing more burden on the dealer to assure so) and making any changes at all will be quite a bit more work, considering most of the hoses will likely be internally routed. While I do think there is something here, I believe there will be a few years involved in getting it right. I think it can be done, I'm just not quite sure it will be as quick a transition as most seem to believe. I don't see much advantage to what will be initially available. Ill leave it to the pro's to prove me wrong.

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VOL.12, NO. 4 THE RACING POST

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Presented by

Junior 10+ 5:00pm- 15 min. C Race B Race A Race 5:25pm- 30 min. 6:05pm- 40 min. 6:55pm- 50 min.

La Primavera 2012

By Landon Beauchamp, Matrix Cycling, Dallas, TX

My grandfather was a rodeo guy, a bull rider, and he can't imagine we wear a kit. This makes my brother and I laugh. I started road cycling about a year ago. My grandfather and I talked about leaving it all on the road and doing my best - he is trying to understand cycling. This was the first time my brother and I have had the chance to race at Lago Vista. I heard it was a great course. My brother, Nicolas McRight, was racing in the Cat 4/5's. I signed up for the Cat 3/4 race and was a little anxious about the competition. This course is all about the steep hill climbs and the downhill speed - it will either be really fun or a day full of pain. Our friend, Rob Strange, warned me about all of the deer. Saturday morning, the weather was good and the field was large - this race could get challenging! Yes, the downhills were so fast. My brake pads on my bike were not working well. Crashing ran through my mind and I ended up going to the back of the pack. I finished 41St and my brake pads were gone. Tomorrow would be more challenging than today. After buying new brake pads, though, I felt better. Sunday morning, the weather didn't disappoint us. The field was smaller - I guess some guys didn't want the pain of the steep up-hills. I believed I could make the hills work to my advantage. My teammates, Sebastian and Jared, continued to encourage me during the laps. Today was so different than yesterday. I asked myself, "Do I have what it takes?" The pack seemed calmer and stayed closer together. I was having so much fun! During the last lap, a breakaway was sticking. There were three guys moving ahead of the group, but I just kept riding. At one point, I looked back at the pack to see how far behind they were. I was really in a breakaway. Do I have what it takes to win?

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Photo by Steve Stewart

Cycling is so much more than riding a bike. The bike is my instrument that I use to fly. It is hard to describe that feeling. I didn't look back. I was determined to come across the finish line first. My coach was watching and my mom, grandparents and brother would see me win on this day! After Lago Vista, my grandfather knows I left it all on the road. A special thanks to Derek A. of Comanche Racing - the cool video gave my grandfather a firsthand experience of that last lap.

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Presents

Get Fit, Get Fast, Have Fun

By Dave Appel, Director of Training and Development, Cycle Camp USA

Extraordinary Products, Extraordinary Rides

Now let's take a peek inside your saddle bag to make sure that you have the right tools. Saddle bags come in a variety of sizes and larger is definitely not better. Your saddle bag only needs to be large enough to contain the tools to help you fix a flat or make minor bike adjustments. Our number one saddle bag must-have is the Speed Lever from Crank. Bros. If you have never used this bad boy you are missing out on the most amazing flat changing tool on the market. Next, carry a tube with at least a 60mm stem. This will ensure it extends far enough through the rim to get an inflator on it. Finally, we recommend carrying any or all of these items - a gel, a dollar bill, and a Grease Monkey Wipe. Having an extra gel always comes in handy in case of a nutrition emergency plus the wrapper can be used as a tire patch. The cash can also be used as a tire patch or to purchase an emergency sugar fix. In the event you get a flat, the Grease Monkey Wipe will have your hands grease-free and smelling good in seconds, plus the wrapper also makes a good tire patch. The last items on our must-have list are water bottles and lights. Standard, non-insulated water bottles just don't cut it here in the Texas heat. Using an insulated water bottle like the Camelbak Podium Chill or the Polar Insulated Bottle will help keep your beverage of choice nice and cold. I have heard of some riders taking it a step further by freezing half a bottle of water then filling the rest with water on the day of their ride. Great idea! When it comes to lights, look for one that has multiple flash patterns and is easy to mount to your bike, such as the Planet Bike Superflash. This light has a permanent mount for your seat post or you can use the clip on the light to attach it directly to your jersey or even better, the back of your helmet. The Superflash is very bright and uses multiple flash patterns that will catch a motorist's eye better than a single flashing light. As Spring hits full bloom here in Texas, I hope your riding season is off to a great start. Now is a great time to check in on those goals you set back in January. I'd love to hear how you're doing. Shoot me an email at [email protected] See you on the road.

Welcome to this month's installment of Get Fit, Get Fast, Have Fun! Over the past few months I highlighted skills and drills to help make you more efficient on the bike. This month I decided to spend some time talking about a few must-have items that will make this season's riding better than ever. Let's start this off with the dreaded "F" word - FLAT. Some people don't even like to say the word believing that just by saying it you are more apt to get one. Superstitions aside, there are a few of things to consider before you hit the road. First and foremost, how many miles do you have on your tires? All those miles will wear down your tire walls so expect to replace them every 3,000 miles or so. And remember to rotate your tires. Rear tires wear out faster than front ones. Tire pressure can also lead to increased risk of flats. Pumping your tires up to 120 psi or more may be the "in" thing right now, but all that extra pressure leads to a higher likelihood of puncture. We recommend inflating your tires to between 90 and 100 psi. Finally, using a training tire like the Specialized Armadillo or Continental Gatorskin will give you maximum puncture protection. I personally ride The Specialized Armadillo and last year I put over 3500 miles on a set and only had one flat!

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Product Review: Bianchi Sempre Ultegra

Bianchi. For anyone who loves bikes, the mere mention of Bianchi inspires a deep reverence. Like many my age, my love of cycling and road bikes has its origins in American Flyers. I must have watched it once a week in 1985. There was just something about the image of David Marshall Grant in his cowboy hat, riding his 10 speed, that equated with freedom to a boy at my age. You could go farther and faster on a road bike than a 20" wheeled BMX bike, and I wanted one, and the one that I wanted was a Bianchi. I'd ride my BMX'er up the shop and lust after them. There was something about that celeste green paint, the Italian craftsmanship and the beautiful headbages that struck a chord. Unfortunately, my parent's appreciation for that Italian craftsmanship did not extend to their wallet and I never got my Bianchi, settling instead for a Peugeot, for no other reason than because it's emerald green paint was as close as I could get to celeste within my price range. I tell this story to provide some measure of disclosure, because let's be honest, when I had the opportunity to ride and review the Bianchi Sempre, the emotions I experienced in 1985 welled up in me, and I was thrilled to finally have this chance. That's OK, though. It's expected that this legendary heritage influence one's perception. It will your's too. The Sempre is Bianchi's second tier frameset, with the Oltre being their flagship model. The Sempre shares its race inspired geometry with the Oltre, save one feature, that being marginally longer chainstays. One thing the Sempre does not share with the Oltre is its price tag. The Oltre frameset carries with it a Pro Tour MSRP of $4,999. In comparison, the Sempre frameset comes in well below half that. The model I received for review was the Sempre Ultegra. The various grouppo equipped models are defined by the colors, and the Ultegra model is a divinely beautiful red and white. As Stefan Rothe commented on a Facebook picture I posted, Bianchi in red and Shimano is something that takes some getting used to. The red works, though, as there are just enough hints of celeste to inspire the il Tricolore. The Shimano helps bring it into an affordable price range, which is something we can all get used to. The Sempre Ultegra comes equipped with Ultegra 6700, save for house branded FSA brakes and an FSA compact BB30 crankset, an option not available from Shimano. There are plenty of nice finishing touches, too: celeste green Jagwire tube tops to protect the frame from cable wear and both black and red shifter

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By TRP Staff

hoods to suit your level of panache. Equipped with white bar tape and the red hoods, it is decidedly PRO. That's really the essence of this bike. Nothing is an afterthought; even the white brakes, seatpost and stem match the paint scheme and compliment the bike wonderfully with their touches of celeste. Equally PRO is the Sempre's ride, both in actual feel and emotion. On it's maiden voyage, a round of threshold intervals, no less, I fought the urge to do a coffee ride, instead. Not because of any lack of performance, but rather because the richness of the ride felt so opulent and so European that an espresso stop seemed only natural. I can only imagine that it would be the same sensation as driving a Ferrari ­ it begs to be taken to the track, but it's so beautiful, you just want to show it off. Let's talk ride quality, though, and I'll make this pledge to you. I promise to fully avoid the tired phrase, "laterally stiff and vertically compliant", but you must also pledge to understand what I intend when I describe the Sempre's ride as butter. Pure butter, that is. Be certain, this should invoke no sense of slop, but only one of ultimate smoothness. Indeed, the Sempre is unbelievably smooth; certainly the smoothest bike I've had the chance to ride and I have ridden several top tier models. There is not a hint of slop or flex. The huge tube junctures and BB30 bottom bracket ensure this, but the lengthened, yet beefy, chain stays and slim, flattened seat stays provide a wonderful balance. There is absolutely no loss of road feel; riding the roughest chip seal, one is aware of the road texture and can feel the bike moving over the imperfections, but all sharpness and discomfort is lost. Bunnyhop a pothole? The Sempre lands so soft, it literally feels like it has suspension. It is just that smooth. This isn't a comfort bike through. Its straight bladed fork provides snappy handling and precise cornering. On my most critical

days, I could detect a small difference in cornering and acceleration compared to my daily driver, which is rock stiff and decidedly unforgiving. The acceleration, I'm convinced, was simply an issue of perception. Riding with my Powertap, I detected no loss of power in max efforts, and as I was peaking for Lago Vista, my training included several days of sprint intervals. My training partner will attest that the Sempre sprints just fine, without lag or hesitation. Where the Sempre shines best is when the miles go long. My rock hard, ultra stiff daily driver is great, but all of the vibrations from that Texas chip seal are transmitted directly into your legs, and over the course of 40, 60, or 80 miles, this has a marked effect on your snap. A threehour ride in the endurance zone really demonstrated this difference. Sheltered from the shock and jolts, my legs remained fresh and held the power easier as the miles increased. While I didn't have the chance to race the Sempre, I am confident it would deliver me to the 200-meter mark with fresher legs than any other bike I've raced. All of this only makes sense. It's an Italian stage racer, after all, designed for comfort and long hours on the bike. It clearly holds true to the Bianchi heritage. Now for the best part. MSRP on this Italian legend is only $3149. Bianchi has really assembled a great package here. The 6700 Ultegra shifts like a dream (far more crisp than my 7800 Dura Ace), the FSA SL-K Light BB30 crank spins like butter, and the fit and finish of the frame was simply perfect. To come in this low, there are some price point items. The Fulcrum System 7 wheels, with their white spokes and touches of celeste, match the bike wonderfully, but they are a bit sluggish. Most of us will already have race day wheels, anyway. The Fulcrums are reliable, though, and outside of racing, I wouldn't feel the need to upgrade. As tested in size 55, the Sempre weighed in at about 16.25 - outstanding for this price range. When I threw on my Zipp 303's, it came in under 15 pounds, sans pedals. Definitely race worthy! The Sempre's ride is as luxurious as it's appearance ­ ride it and you will see. I felt like a hedge fund manager riding this bike, but the price is actually below comparable models from mainstream manufacturers such as Trek and Specialized. Italian for `always', the Sempre lives up to it's name and the legendary Bianchi heritage. You can find your local dealer at bianchiusa.com.

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SPORT PSYCH TALK Sometimes we think we are able to recognize our weaknesses, but how often is our subjective mind blinding us from weaknesses that are holding us back from achieving our best? The answer, unfortunately, is probably "too often". Whenever I ask an athlete to write down a list separating their current athletic and personal strengths and weaknesses, the level of introspection that they really put forth is usually quite shallow. The truth is, the human condition serves as a protection device that automatically shields us from personal aspects that may be debilitative towards our current mental and emotional status. Additionally, this same device also keeps us from moving forward in the positive development of our global self (that entity which is the culmination of who you are). I bet if you asked those closest to you what some of your personal weaknesses are, they would tell you as long as there was an understanding that negative repercussions were not going to ensue. What is the usual reaction we get when someone questions our personality or global self? Or simply provides some kind of negative criticism? For most, the natural reaction is to get defensive and say something back at the other person. It's not a comfortable feeling to be told something negative about yourself, and personally addressing negative aspects of yourself tends to create feelings of discomfort. Does that mean that you shouldn't

"Attack Your Weaknesses"

By Jason Wright M.S., Sport Psychology

[email protected]

another that is athletically related. Then, take some time to actually write in depth about each of these aspects you list out. It doesn't have to be a novel, but one of the best things about writing is that you get stuff out of your head and down on something tangible. This simple process can sometimes reveal things about yourself that you wouldn't have otherwise considered. Once you have written about each of the aspects on your two lists, look for some parallels between the two lists. Are there any aspects that appear to be linked to one another, possibly or potentially? Once you have done this, it may be best to rank them in order of importance or highest priority. Your eventual challenge is to begin to address these weaknesses one-by-one until they are no longer weaknesses and become strengths. Let me specify that this is not a short-term process. This is a life long journey. You're used to the long road, though, so take it day-by-day and hold firm to the notion that hard work in these areas of personality development will pay just as much dividend as hard work put in on the road. Also, these things might sting a bit at first, but you may begin to enjoy or welcome the pain because of the reward that is waiting on the other side. Someone once told me that success is on the other side of pain. Very fitting.

do it though? Or that you shouldn't invite it from others? I have always been one that in my own personal life has attempted to attack my weaknesses and not avoid them. I say the same thing to my students, clients, and athletes as well. That does not always mean that I am successful at such attempts, and you may likely fail in your efforts many times as well. That should not keep any of us from putting forth the attempt, though. What's one of your primary goals as an athlete? To become and do your absolute best should likely rank somewhere at the top. But have you ever considered exactly how much addressing personal weakness factors into that? Let me be clear, this is not about addressing physical weakness, although that is an obvious major component of successful competition. This is about addressing personal and characteristic weakness that are holding you back from becoming your best on levels of personality, which will subsequently allow for you to become the best competitor you could be. Challenge: Take some time out today, this week, or this month, to really sit down and reflect on what you feel are some personal weaknesses that you have that are potentially holding you back from becoming your best across all levels of your life. Start by making a list of strengths and weaknesses. I recommend making a list that is personality related and

Presented by:

Bicycles Outback Racing

p/b Jubilee Mitsubishi

T. Strong Transportation...GO GREEN, GO T STRONG The front and back of our kits proudly display, "GO T STRONG." Torrance Strong, owner of T. Strong Transportation, gives us some insight on how he merged his love of cycling into a bike messenger and courier service. Torrance not only leads bicycle swamp tours in Louisiana, he is also a League Cycling Instructor (LCI) with the League of American Bicyclists, and he supports two elite women's road racing teams in Texas. Here's the story behind the phrase, the green business model, and the vision of T. Strong Transportation. Hometown: Monroe, Louisiana Currently Lives: Dallas/Fort Worth and New Orleans What was your first memory on a bike? "Being from the projects, I was only allowed to ride on two sidewalks; the ones directly in front and behind my house. I would ride as many laps as I could in an hour, and as I passed by each door of the house, I would have to yell out, "Mommy!" so she would know I was OK." Why bikes, didn't you play linebacker in high school? "The bike equated freedom out of the house. In the 80's, I watched cycling on TV, and I was just fascinated with the bikes. There's always been a desire, but I didn't know how to express myself without an outlet. I wish I had been exposed to bike racing, and I would have loved to have gone to college on a cycling scholarship. My company has plans to get involved with local high schools to offer college cycling scholarships." What is your favorite cycling event besides the Tour de France? "Bicycle Second Line in New Orleans. The group rides directly behind a flat bed trailer that carries a live band. I've played the trumpet my whole life, so I really love listening to the music while riding outside the French Quarter." You started your delivery service as a bail bondsman? "In 1999, we had just had twins, and I was working third night shift as a bail bondsman in New Orleans. I didn't have a car, and it was too far to walk, so I started riding my bike to take the bonds over to the jail. Some guys I worked with noticed I was coming and going much faster than they were driving. It was more efficient to ride than to have to look for limited parking right outside the jail. From there, we grew and started vehicle deliveries to Baton Rouge in 2000. We now offer same day deliveries from DFW to as far as El Paso and Memphis." GO GREEN, GO T STRONG. What does it mean? "We use bike messengers in the downtown DFW and New Orleans areas to deliver contracts, time sensitive items, or even forgotten items like wallets or jewelry. We say GO GREEN, and we use bikes as an environmentally friendly mode of transportation." "I want to stress how important it is to have that M-F commitment from people, especially cyclists, who work in downtown areas to use bike messenger services to deliver same-day packages. I would like to see DFW step up and compete with the larger cities like New York and Chicago, who readily use these services to minimize downtown traffic congestion."

By Kim Jennings

You sponsor Bicycles Outback p/b Jubilee Mitsubishi and FCS/Rouse p/b Mr. Restore, two elite women's road racing teams. Why the interest in women's racing? "I like to be a part of progression, and I know that women are on the fast track right now. I want an even playing field and the men are clearly getting a higher percentage of financial support. I want to help somebody have an opportunity that I didn't have, and the ladies are a great way to get our message out." Would you recommend other companies sponsor women's teams? "I would definitely suggest it, especially if they are comparing it to the cost of conventional advertising. With the teams, you get year-round exposure, and it's not just about race day, it's every day they put on your jersey and jump on a bike. We've had a lot of positive exposure from the teams; but ultimately, it's up to us to sell ourselves and our company's vision. We want to be able to give back to the cycling community, and it's through the ladies teams we are able show this support." What's the biggest change that could help women's racing? "If more races had equal pay equal distance." How can others help with biking advocacy? "Bike Texas is a great organization and we are in the process of providing safety classes at the Fort Worth recreation centers. Be realistic with your approach. Be present, contact health fairs or hospital programs. For me, anything I can do to be a part of inspiring a child helps with the goal of putting more bikes on the road." For more information on T. Strong Transportation courier services, bicycle tours, or bike safety classes please visit http://gotstrong.com or email Torrance at [email protected]

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Coach Speak

By Steen Rose [email protected] Head Coach - Athletes On Track

Weeknight Crits: The Right Way to Get Dropped With the advent of Daylight Savings Time, the weekly crits have started for most of us, offering an excellent mid-week training and racing opportunity. Some of you will get dropped. I'd like to talk about the right way to get dropped. I started racing the Memorial Park Crit in Houston in 1997, and I got dropped plenty of times. When I moved up to the A race, I got dropped again. There's no shame in getting dropped; it's happened to all of us at least once. To me it's a badge of honor. It means you wrestled your demons and gave this racing thing a try. Or it could mean that you've decided to step up to the B Race, or maybe even to the A race. It means that you are the man in the ring that President Roosevelt lauded. No matter how you do in the race, you are lapping all the people sitting home on the sofa, right? So let's get past the idea that getting dropped and lapped is somehow shameful. It's far from glorious, but it is paying your dues, and this too shall pass. Now, let's talk about the right way to do it, so it shall pass a little faster, shall we? The rules of crit racing say that a lapped rider may re-integrate with either the break or the field, meaning you can jump back in when the come by. You can't do any work (take a pull) and you're not eligible for primes (that's when the official rings a bell and we all sprint like mad for a $2 energy bar). But you can definitely get back in the group. The surges, sprints, and corners are what make crit racing so difficult, and so much different than any other type of training or racing. You might be an elite triathlete or king of the Saturday morning shop ride, but if you're not used to the surges, you will get dropped. Inevitably, dropped riders will perform a solo time trial around they

course, trying not to get lapped (or not lapped again). This drives me crazy! The right thing to do is sit up, catch your breath, and wait for the field to come around. Try to time things so that you'll get caught not at the hardest or fastest part of the course, and jump back in. You have paid $15 for the privilege of doing a race to work on your cornering, pack riding, and surging abilities. Why would you ride around by yourself? You can do that any time, for free! Don't waste the opportunity to get better! If riding around by yourself made you a better crit racer, you wouldn't have been dropped in the first place. We get better at the things we practice. If you want to be a good crit racer; try, try again. Keep getting back in that field, and digging deep, until, one week in the not too far distant future, you'll finish with the field on the same lap. Now there is a little bit of etiquette here, for both the lappers and the lappees. If you are getting lapped, pay attention to the faster riders coming up behind you, and don't get in their way. If you are lapping someone, call out and let them know you are coming. For the riders jumping back in the pack as it comes around, do so where and when it's safe. Don't ride at the front of the group, and if you feel yourself getting tired, drift to the back so that you won't open a gap when you come off the pace. Also, it's considered polite to withdraw from the field with 5 laps to go, so as not to interfere with finish (this is also safer). To the riders in the pack, doing the lapping. Remember that you were there once, too. They paid their money and pinned on a number, and have every right to be in the field, even if they are 12 laps down. Encourage them, give them a little room, and maybe even a friendly push to help keep the pace. Steen Rose is the owner and Head Coach of Athletes On Track and an Elite Coach for Training Bible Coaching. He has been competing in cycling and multisport events for 16 years with 13 state titles and 3 national medals to his name. He has been coaching since 2003 and works with all ages and abilities of athletes locally, nationally, and abroad. He can be reached at [email protected]

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My First Race

I raced my bike for the first time on March 14, and it was a magnificent crit that Team Bicycles Inc. promoted. It was tiring, intense and hard! I had to race with group C and I'm only a 13 years old, which basically means that I raced with people who were twice my age and some a little younger. I can't say I had to race with them. Andy asked me if that is what I really wanted to do, and being over confident, I said "YA!!" It was a beautiful day, so I can't blame what I did during the race on wind or on rain. I got lapped twice, but the important thing that James keeps telling me is, "DON'T QUIT," and I didn't! I killed myself over and over again until it was 5 laps, then I pulled off the course and said I gave it my all. The coach of Athletes on Track and a well-known champion, Steen Rose, talked to me and told me that if I felt like I was going to barf, felt stomach pains, and felt like I was going to fall down, I actually tried my best! I was pushed to my limits and pushed to the point where I couldn't even breath during sprints I did from 100 meters till the finish line. I went all out on sprints and went all out when I was almost 100 meters from the finish line. I didn't start or finish with the pack, but I did try my best when I saw them coming behind me. I really couldn't have done this without the positivity from all of the Athletes on Track and Sun & Ski race team, who really told me how well I actually did. Even though I got lapped twice and didn't finish with the peloton, I did great compared to what I could have done, which would have been quitting. Racing is definitely something I plan on continuing. Racing is an amazing experience, and like I have been told many times, "you have to start somewhere" and that somewhere was where I was at the crit. I do plan on continuing racing and participating in crits in Texas! Athletes on Track and Sun & Ski are both two amazing and very strong teams in Mountain biking and Road racing. I don't know anyone who wouldn't want to race; it's so amazing and very, very fast! Just watching different groups race hurt my eyes watching. I think if you are going to start crit racing or any kind of road racing, you should start with a crit, whether it be in your age group or go big and go against racers twice your age. I went big and took a chance with going up with people who have probably been racing for many years, maybe even longer then I have been alive! They killed me, but I'm still happy I never gave up even in the worst of times during the race! Thank you Andy for putting on such a great crit! Also thank you to Athletes on Track and Sun & Ski for supporting me during and after the race.

By Chris Degenaars

High School Cycling News

www.TEXASHIGHSCHOOLCYCLING.org

Calling all Cat 2 and 3 Boys: The Best Boy in Texas is from Arkansas? Be True to Your School

With the first few weeks of Texas High School Cycling over and done, Little Rock Catholic is the team to beat. The Arkansas team, led by Zack Lavergne, has added a strong contingent of female racers to this year's roster, and they have been able to capitalize on the girls' successes in road racing and the crit. It just may be that girl racers will have the power to determine the fate of the end of year league standings. Bringing loads of crawfish with them ensured that Little Rock would be welcomed back this season. Bishop Nolan, Wichita Falls, Bishop Lynch, Texas A&M Consolidated, Jesuit, Birdville, and McKinney once again fielded racers, while students from Cinco Ranch, Joshua, Clark High School in San Antonio, as well as students from Nacogdoches and Frisco were out early in the season as first time racers. Multiple home schooled students arrived on race day ready to compete, too. Lavergne's leader's jersey fits like a glove, and although he is easy to spot in bright yellow, his attitude appears to be "If you want this jersey, come and out race me!" Will the kid from Arkansas cruise along all season or will someone - perhaps someone reading this article - decide he has enough Texas pride to give Lavergne a fight? Anyone want to prove his school has a better racer? It's still not too late! Points late in the season will be worth double. You can still catch him. Perhaps the more compelling story occurred in the girls' field. On the chilly, rainy morning of March 11, TXHSCL student-athletes competed in the Jesuit Ranger Roundup Road Race in distances from 22 miles for the beginners on up to 42 miles for the boys A division. In the middle school and high school 22-mile girls race, there was a great show of sportsmanship. Two girls had separated themselves from the race field and both were tied for the series overall lead, which would be determined by the winner of the race. With only 6 miles to the finish line, Erin Carlson from Birdville H.S. got a flat tire. Without hesitation, the other rider, Shelby Burleson from Little Rock Catholic in Arkansas, waited and actually helped Erin change the tire. Shelby opted to help her competitor and make it a fair race to the finish and overall series lead rather than continuing on when Erin had bad luck. While this type of gesture is not uncommon in bicycle racing, there is no obligation for it and there are plenty of examples of things like this not happening when they could have. This was an extraordinary gesture by a great high school competitor. In the end, the two girls sprinted to the finish line and Shelby won the race and took a narrow lead in the overall standings. After the race Erin thanked Shelby for her show of sportsmanship and Shelby said, "I didn't want to pull a Contador on her." How many cat 1-5 racers would have had the same reaction? There is still plenty of time to be part of the action in our 2012 road series. We have two more weekends of racing, including one in Wichita Falls on April 14th and 15th, and the final weekend, May 5th and 6th in Houston, which is the scholastic state championships and where the points are worth double. Be sure to come out and watch or be part of the action. More details are available at www.texashighschoolcycling.org

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Lago Vista Day Two, Hit Me

By Colton Jarisch Mercy Cycling Team

The game of Black Jack yields many different odds. The immediate House advantage is 0.5 - 8%, with the probability of hitting a natural blackjack ~4.8%. Being dealt a hand of 16 is supposedly the worst hand in the game. The odds of busting if you hit on 16 are 62%, but a dealer must stand 17 or higher, so the only way for you to win is for the dealer to bust, or take your chances on hitting. What started as an average hand with promise developed into a situation of mixed results and outcomes. I was dealt a hand of 7 when I attacked on the first lap of the 80-mile Prima Vera at Lago Vista Road Race on Sunday. 7 isn't a bad hand to draw, but not exactly the best. I wasn't planning on attacking then. But, with the field going so slow up the first steep section of the climb I just decided to ride my own pace. Tyler Jewell (Elbowz) followed me and I decided to hit on my 7, investing some energy in the move, dealing myself a 2. A few hundred meters later Andrew Gonzales (Elbowz) also joined. Hit. Dealer throws me another 2. I figured having two Elbowz guys with me would eliminate the possibility of the same organized chase that doomed me at Pace Bend. At the top of the climb we found Christian Helmig (Elbowz) chasing our group from a recently decimated group of three. Hit. Dealer throws me a 4. I'm now at 15, right on the cusp of standing and seriously flirting with the opportunity of busting. Helmig gets on and we power down the back-side increasing our advantage on the peloton. Everyone was working and rolling through nicely and efficiently. It was going to be a long day. The second lap of the day was our fastest, clocking in around 13:18. The group rolled nicely for the next 50 miles or so, a few groups coming tantalizingly close to connecting but never materializing. I knew my two Mercy Cycling teammates would do all they could to either sit on a move that bridged up to my group, or foil any attempts to do so by others. At the top of the climb with somewhere around 5 laps to go, our group saw Heath Blackgrove (Elbowz) bridging solo. Naturally, his teammates waited and, being in the situation I was in, waited as well. From here on out I just had to judge my efforts and do enough work where Elbowz wouldn't want to attack me out of the group. Blackgrove was the ace in the hole that gave this early move the power to avoid being caught, but at the same time, putting me in a bad situation, 16. The next few laps were smooth. I did not exactly know how to handle the situation and began to ponder the odds of victory. There was little, if no chance of winning. Today, I was sitting at a blackjack table facing four dealers. The odds were in not favorable to me. With less than a lap to go I heard Blackgrove and Helmig talking behind me, probably discussing how to annihilate me in the coming ~7 km climb. On the climb, I decided to hit. I was going to gamble that I could drop two of them on the climb. The dealer gave me a 3 and I am at 19. I attacked about halfway up the climb and got a gap. Heath waited with Jewell and Helmig on his wheel. I put in another dig to separate Gonzalez as much as possible. Blackgrove kept Elbowz organized and they caught me about 1.5km from the top of the climb and powered past. Gonzales caught me, and later out sprinted me to claim 4th place for his team. This was the point in the game where Elbowz drew two face cards, solidly beating my 19. Elbowz went 1-4 on the day and I gambled away a probable 4th place spot in exchange for a 5th. Elbowz had an amazing ride. They are a strong, organized, respectable team with a lot of skilled firepower. Congrats guys. I would like to personally thank the Sponsors of Mercy Elite Cycling. My first race on State wheels went amazing and the wheels were superfast. Trek Stores and Mercy Hospitals, thank you for your continued support.

7 TH A N N U A L

JUNE 2, 2012 REGISTER NOW!

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16 miles (8:00 am) 27 miles (7:30 am) 53 miles (7:30 am) 100 miles (7:00 am)

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FCS|Rouse Dominates at the Mineral Wells RR

By Rachel Byus

We were all excited about Mineral Wells, it was our first race as FCS|Rouse p/b Mr. Restore. Friday night before the race was the first time for all of us to be together and get to know each other. We'd have to wait another day to race, though. Saturday, the weather was insane and due to the crit course flooding and the drastic temperature drop, the crit and time trial were canceled. This meant a team trainer session, and Clint of Mr. Restore accompanied us, so it turned out to be a pretty fun day. We ended our day with what is now known as our normal pre-race meeting. With the first day of racing being canceled, the overall was now left only to the road race. We decided on three goals, get all of the KOM and first lap sprint points, get at least one of us off the front, and win the field sprint. On Sunday morning, we were all so stoked to race. It was great to see such a large women's field, the largest it had ever been at Mineral Wells. A few teams had multiple riders, including Bicycles Outback and Think!Finance. We wanted to race aggressively, so Mary started with the first attack of the day, shortly after the first turn. She was chased down and the race was off to a fairly quick start. We countered a few other times, first with Rachel, then Anna, then Katie. It was a good feeling to see other teams working. On about the third attack, Lauren gained a good amount of time in a very short period. When she got about 30 seconds up, we knew she was gone. Our next goal was to get someone to bridge across to her - without bringing anyone else. Katie was able do just that after motoring up a roller. This secured us the 1st and 2nd place KOM points. Now to get the last point as well. Anna and Mary picked up the pace up on the KOM hill, pulling away from the rest of the pack and getting all the points. After the pack came back together, all the girls except us, started rotating and taking turns pulling, trying to bring Lauren and Katie back. Katie and Lauren were out of sight though, which secured us more bonus points at the finish line on the first lap. Now, we began setting up the leadout for the last of the sprint points. Rachel B started the lead-out train with Anna on her wheel, and then Mary, who was our designated sprinter. Rachel W. was sweeping Mary's wheel to make sure no one was taking advantage of our train. It worked picture perfect. Mary easily won the last of the sprint points. For the second lap, we threw a couple attacks, but everything was being covered - great racing by the other teams! The second time up the KOM hill, Anna pushed the pace. Rachel B. dropped off the pack a bit,

Photo by Lee McDaniel

along with a few others. Mary noticed this and dropped back to help pull Rachel back onto the pack, with Anna and Rachel W. slowing down the pace of the pack so they didn't get away. True teammates! Mary knew Rachel B. was going to be a very important part of the lead out for the sprint finish, so her effort was well worth it. Mary and Rachel hopped back on the pack, and everything was good to go. Katie and Lauren had secured their breakaway, and Lauren took the win. Now time for another great lead out for Mary. This one was not picture perfect; we lined it up a bit different, started a little early, but were still able to capitalize on our mistakes. Anna was able pull off the field sprint win, and it turned out to be a very successful day. We were able to come in 1, 2, 3, and 5 with Lauren winning the road race and Katie winning the overall. We met all of our goals, and learned a lot about each other and how we race. It was a great way to start off our season. It was even better that there were great payouts for individual placement and the team competition. Mineral Wells is a great race to bring your whole team to and work on your team tactics.

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Photo Essay:

Kenny Hill Autowerks Classic at the Driveway

By James Hicks

I took this photo on Sunday March 11 at the Kenny Hill Autowerks Classic at the Driveway. There is some Photoshop involved to make it look the way it does. Why do I photograph bicycle racing? It combines two passions of mine cycling and photography. I do this to support Austin-area cycling. What I like about this photo is that it gives the viewer an idea of what it's like amongst the riders. It's a little dangerous sometimes because they're riding fast and literally inches away from each other (and me). Also, the photo is interesting because of who is in it. In the center of the photo is David Wenger, the 2011 USA Elite Men's National Criterium champion, resplendent in his national champion's jersey. When I photograph cycle racing, more times than not it's just luck who's in the frame and this time I lucked out.

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The Experiment: The Case for Coaching

I've been road biking for 5 years, and until now thought I had reached a point where I knew my strengths, weaknesses, and my potential in the sport. Initially I started riding to maintain some degree of health, but eventually tested myself in racing. I read a couple of books, loosely followed workouts, and casually targeted races (almost at random). Preparing for an event 3-4 weeks out was the extent of my planning. I didn't necessarily subscribe to targeting A, B, and C races or coaching for that matter. However, last month I was approached by The Racing Post about a cooperative coaching project. "Bryan, do you train with power?" I did, but to a limited extent, I kind of just winged it. I was then presented with a unique opportunity for 6 months of coaching with Source Endurance. With hesitation, I asked, "What is required of me?" Two things: 1. Write about my experience in The Racing Post 2. Race and event or ride a rally once per month I was excited, but the feeling was quickly overtaken by legitimate concerns. What was the opportunity cost? I requested a couple of days to consider the matter. You may be thinking "why so cautious?" Well, I began to realize this opportunity would require commitment, meticulous planning, and a change in my riding habits. Furthermore, it would challenge my preconceived notions about structured training. With careful thought and consultation with my wife, I agreed to take part in the experiment. Change had become inevitable. Fast forward a week and I had answered a detailed client questionnaire, followed by a thorough consultation with a staff coach from Source Endurance, and had a VO2 and threshold test scheduled at The Fitness Institute of Texas (FIT), University of Texas, Austin. A few days later, with shoes, pedals, and bibs in hand, I was greeted at the FIT Lab front door by Phil Stanforth. Phil has been working at the University for over 20 years, and has conducted performance testing for cyclist and coaches on countless occasions. We started with medical history, followed by calipers to measure body fat, and finally a ride on stationary bike that resembled something out of a mad scientist's handbook. The first test was designed to pin point my lactate threshold by taking tiny droplets of blood from the ear as I pedaled along, all the while slowly increasing resistance. Phil, under Source Endurance's scheme knew just what to prescribe, and all of it was carefully measured. We which proved where I stand, and where I wanted to go. The report was very clear and concise. Even more so was a "what if scenario" that predicted my performance given a certain weight and body fat percentage losses. This was very motivating. We also discussed everything from my race goals and common misconceptions, to work and home life. Nevertheless, I encourage each of you to take part in a performance test with consultation. It is incredibly objective and free of bias, and it will help you find yourself in the sport. It took me three separate attempts to select A, B, and C races with dates that agreed with Adam's guidelines and expectations. It wasn't unreasonable, but it required a more thoughtful approach than what I was accustomed. It was painfully obvious that until now, I totally disregarded a legitimate season plan. This in itself was an adjustment for me, never mind the actual workouts that would follow... So why has Source Endurance, The Racing Post and I embarked on such a journey? We want to test and demonstrate the following: An everyday bike rider, husband, and father of two boys - with a full time job - can realize tangible performance gains under the supervision of a professional coach who has engineered a customized, scientific, and strategic training plan. I'm confident that the previous describes many of you. Furthermore, one can safely assume that regardless of what sort of miles you log, you too ponder untapped potential. Source Endurance has taken me under their wing and will be helping me discover just that. My Coach will be analyzing my ride data with a crank based power meter, and providing consultation and guidance on a periodic basis. I will be following this plan to the best of my abilities, and reporting to you all for the next few months about my training and event experience. For now and to your disappointment I have chosen to withhold my test results for two reasons: 1. They are nothing to write home or The Racing Post about 2. It's a clever attempt to capture your attention and curiosity In the near future, I will disclose the initial and follow up performance tests results, so that we may compare and contrast. Meanwhile, you can find more information about the science of results at www.source-e.net Until then, see you on the road. Bryan Roberts, Team Bicycles Inc.

entered the second stage of the test where the resistance was increased 20 watts every minute until I could take no more. "Come on Bryan, you're doing good, keep going." However, all this slowly spiraled out of control when I started to really feel it. You know, that sensation where at any given moment you may start bleeding through your eyeballs. "Come on; give me another minute, one more minute Bryan!" Phil exclaimed. After the longest minute in recent memory on the bike, I was cooked! I was a train wreck. If stepping onto campus surrounded by 20 somethings didn't make you feel old, this test would. Phil handed me water, and casually stepped away to start crunching the numbers. Phil mentioned he would have the detailed results prepared late that evening, and would email them to my coach and I. I suddenly had this feeling like a kid hiding a bad report card. Last week Adam Mills, my personal SE coach, reviewed the results with me with great attention to detail. They were average at best. We talked about where I have been, the test itself,

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W eishtarTecLamore i n d xa s W By R c d M

Once upon a time, my favorite book was Jonathan Livingston Seagull. In first grade, I impressed (or horrified) my teacher by writing a rip-off (the polite term these days, I think, is fan fiction) substituting bats for seagulls. Apart from the onion-skin pages for the photo-sequences, what I liked most about the book was Richard Bach's descriptions of flight--and not just any flight but super-fast, barely-under-control flight: the sort of daring acrobatics that got our friend Jonathan in trouble with, and expelled by, the more cautious dumpster-diving leaders of the flock. The message wasn't lost on a first-grade rebel (although figuring out how to make a bat fly fast was a head-scratcher I think I solved by the magic of a first-grader's slim grasp of anatomy, physiology, and physics): risk-taking ain't always looked on favorably by the flock, herd, or whatever you want to call society. But what "society" deems to be "risky" isn't stable--I'd sooner whack myself in the head with a hammer than let my 8year-old ride the 1.8 miles from our house to his school (across two major streets) solo. For as much of my elementary school years as I can remember, though, I either walked or rode a bike the half-mile from my house to school (half-mile? Are you kidding me? It was only half a mile? Curse mapping software, destroyer of romantic illusions!). There was only one major street to cross--and that was an over-pass over Loop 820. The rule, if I remember correctly, was "be careful on South Drive," which left Selkirk fair game for riding like a bat out of hell (For an extra $5, the iphone edition of this article won't play Meatloaf when you read it). We (the neighborhood urchins, all of whom had bikes, although no one had a bitchin' Schwinn Varsity like me), used to do what would now be termed microburst workouts from the top of Selkirk down to the little unintentional road-hump. That "we," unfortunately, soon became a "me," because even if an Orange Krate or a Sting-ray were and are super-cool bikes, they were woefully undergeared compared to a Varsity. So, I was left to try to set imaginary speed records by myself. And then I discovered Sarita, the bowl of South Drive, and, eventually, that mythical beast of Southwest Fort Worth, Suicide Hill (which just happened to climb away from my God-mother's house, who had great stories of muscle-cars sliding backwards into the strategically-placed oak trees in her front yard). Bach's internal monoloques of that bird learning to tuck and learning to control speed and trajectory with flicks of a feather weren't hard to transfer for a somewhat introverted kid at some remove from his own "flock." I shudder to admit that I never wore a helmet. In the mid-80s, when I started riding again, apart from the utter freedom, (Mother to home-from-college-kid: "Where are you going?" Homefrom-college-kid: "South. Maybe Whiskey Flats. Maybe Godley"), the speed on those down-hills was as wonderful as ever. Descending Mt. Evans, out of Rocky Mountain National Park, and the Berthoud Pass remain great memories of speed, total focus, and just a bit of late-adolescent stupidity. If either of my sons ever decide that passing a Recreational Vehicle at 50 mph through a carved-out rock wall is a good idea, I only want to hear about it well after they've attempted it and succeeded. Those readers who know me well are scratching their heads right about now trying to reconcile these claims about my past love of descending with the total wuss I've become now. Yes, it's true. While I hope I'm not quite as bad as the gulls in Finding Nemo, I've acquired, somehow, the fear of excessive speed that confined most of Jonathan's flock to garbagetrawling. Want an example? Hollinger passed me going down Cherry Pie Hill on New Year's Day this year. I started the descent on the front, and finished absolutely last. Instead of a trophy with a number, Strava posted a graphic of a terrified chicken on that segment of my ride file. Ok, that's an exaggeration, barely. When I started racing again in 2002 I got dropped at Lago Vista on Saturday--on the downhill. At Fort Davis, I dropped myself on the first significant down-hill before the turn to Bear Mountain. I forget which pack had the added difficulty of trying to pass my scaredy-cat carcass on the descent from Mt. Locke--I think it was a chase-pack of 4s--but I distinctly remember remembering that I used to be able to descend fearlessly--and yet, every time I let it go for a little bit, the "play-it-safe, stick to dumpster-diving" impulse returned. For several years I told myself that my new ability to induce speedwobbles was caused by poor frames, or bad positioning, or poorly-ten30

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sioned wheels, or, well, it doesn't matter, because they were all bogus. Since I started riding again, I've wobbled ridiculously on Scapin, Masi, Isaac, and Specialized frames, on Rolf, Mavic, hand-built, custom-built, SRAM, Hed, and Zipp wheels, and in several different positions. It always begins the same way--with an awareness (i.e. fear) of impending danger that quickly becomes noodle arms and that peculiar feed-back loop that if you haven't experienced it, I don't want to give you ideas. And yet, I've also hit 52 mph on the Lago downhill, and somewhere around 49 or 50 on that insane descent into the whoop-de-do, if-you-missit-you're-going-into-someone's-living-room-window on the late lamented Doss Course. So, what gives? At the risk of being simple, for me, I think it's two things: 1. Having something to do more important than worrying about what happens on the descent. At Lago this year, even though my overall racing sucked, I had fun--and much of that fun related to bombing the downhills both ways. If you're concerned with maintaining position, concerned with looking out for so-and-so in the race--you simply don't have mental space to freak out about the descent. 2. Relaxing, enjoying the speed, and not turning on the "freak-out" switch. This one's way more subjective than the first point, and since none of us pay attention to the same stuff when we ride, or pay attention at the same level of awareness, what makes sense to me as an internalized understanding of what's going on will probably read like nonsense to most anyone else. But, for me, when I become afraid, I tense up, move my weight and awareness from my butt and my feet to my core, my arms, and head--which tends to unweight the rear wheel and stack the deck over the front-wheel. I think this is a recipe for instability. I'll let you know how all this turns out if I manage to conquer my wuss-wobble nemesis: Rest Stop Hill.

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Rouge Roubaix

By Jonathan Garrett

More and more I find myself best motivated by putting really cool epic events on my calendar. This year I made my first attempt at Rouge-Roubaix in Louisiana. I have always loved Paris-Roubaix. It is unanimously the queen of all spring classics and a grueling war of attrition. You must be a strong racer but you must also survive a gauntlet of obstacles. I love this kind of racing! I had heard of Rouge-Roubaix before and always thought it would be a good fit for me. We have good races here in DFW on the same weekend, but I have done the Jesuit Round-up several times, and my team (Knobbies & Slicks) was represented there, so I set off to St. Francisville, LA for a new adventure. I arrived the afternoon before, hoping to scout the last few miles of the course, but only 6 miles from the finish, the road was closed at a water crossing. It was a raging river with fallen trees and mud blocking the bridge. They had so much rain the day before that there was quite a bit of work to do just to make the course passable. The organizers of Rouge-Roubaix have done a great job capturing the spirit of Paris-Roubaix in every sense. I think Paris-Roubaix has 26 cobblestone sections, but here we could expect three long segments of gravel roads totaling about 20 miles. I rode the Masters race and it started out just about like every recent 40+ race in Texas. After a brief neutral rollout, it was single file 27 MPH all the way to the first gravel road at mile 25. I am always a slow starter and really just struggled to hold my place in line. It seemed like no time at all before we were flying up the first segment of gravel that lasted about 9 miles. I am perfectly comfortable in gravel, but that is not the same as doing it in a pack where you are unable to see anything before you hit it at full speed. It was chaos! I saw crashes, flat tires and launched water bottles everywhere. After surviving the carnage, I found myself behind a rather large pack split. I chased alone for a little while and then with two other guys, but we simply could not carry the speed of a pack up and down the constant undulations and were soon caught by the peloton. The pack was 40-50 riders strong and sitting in for a while was welcome relief. I sat in all the way to Sector Two of gravel. A quote from the website describes the first mile of Sector Two: "Some of the roads will look like they have been carpet bombed in WW II." I knew I wanted to be at the front through here, so I attacked and was able to pick my own line through the mine field of potholes that lead right onto a gravel road up a 15% grade. I spun up it on my 28 and rode the entire peloton off my wheel. At the top there were 2-3 miles of rolling hills still in gravel. I was flying along in the lead when I dropped down into a gully and saw a guy piled up in the ditch no where near his bike. I could not see what took him out so I was already slowing when my front wheel sank about 8" into deep sand. Instinctively, I went into cyclo-cross mode and dismounted to run across and hop right back on and ride away on the other side. I could hear the chaos ensue behind me but never looked back. Sector Three was a trench up 18-20% grades in loose gravel. It was so steep most were walking it. I think it takes mountain biking experience to get up this one. You need a low gear, but not so low that it spins out in the loose gravel. You also need to have the power to climb while seated because you have to keep weight on the back wheel or it will spin out from that as well. There was a harrowing washboard descent before finally hitting pavement again with about 18 miles to the finish line. I did not really want to ride it alone. By now, there was a stiff headwind, so I let the first two guys back on. We were now riding hard and had been catching riders, so we were quite motivated. One of my companions flatted at mile 96. We caught two more riders but they could not hold our wheels. They were cooked. We came to the water crossing from the day before. It had been cleared of trees and most of the mud, but the uphill side was a skating rink of slick soupy silt. I instinctively elected to ride in the grass and gravel rather than the road and made it through without really slowing down much. From here I now knew the course and rode full gas back to town. There is an 8% grade up to the finish line so I swung off to make my final companion pull through just to see if he had anything left. He had nothing and I rode away from him to finish alone, taking 15th place. That was hard work! I need to go back! Ride lots!

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Sundresses, Patio Weather, and Race Watching: Come Together By Girlfriend Rider

It's a bright, sunny day today, the temperature is somewhere in the mid-70s, and as I type this, I'm thinking it would be a great day to be....on a bike? outdoors? on a patio sipping a margarita? watching my boyfriend race his bike? Work commitments have kept me at home while Racer Boy is off racing this weekend. I've managed to carve out half an hour to get my toes polished, and it's started me thinking about sundresses. Racer Boy tells me that promoters occasionally schedule races where people can sit on a patio, sip a cool beverage, and cheer for their favorite riders. What a great way to spend an afternoon and/or an evening: just sitting outside with friends, enjoying the cool breeze of the peloton as they fly by, in my case hoping to catch site of a particularly cute boy among the other guys, and watching some amazing athletes. Spending an afternoon or evening this way is much cheaper than going to an arena to watch a pro sport, the action in exponentially faster than any minor league sport, and the average athlete, male and female, heralds a body in much better shape than most of your adult softball beer league competitors. So now I've wandered out to do a quick bit of window shopping, eyeing sundresses in the stores. Ah, sundresses in Texas. There are sundresses girls wear with high heels for a dressed up night on the town, and there are ill-fitting, frumpy sundresses I've seen women wear with disastrous, busy patterns. But I'm not talking about either of those. Let's call the ones I'm referencing patio sundresses. These patio sundresses are the ones that you can throw over a bathing suit but will also look great while you sip on a cool beverage at a restaurant or pub. They make your skin look great. They make your best parts look better. They're cool and sort of clingy and flowy. Paired with anything from flip flops to cowboy boots, most Texas girls own lots of them and wear them through September. It could be said that patio sundresses are Texas women's summer outfit of choice. I've been to a few races this season, and I've taken care to choose what I wear carefully so that Rider Boy can see me. Early in the season, I wore bright sweaters and caps. Now I'm looking through my patio sundresses hoping to find my brightest colors that flatter my figure best. Even if he doesn't always hear me cheering, he'll know where I am. I've discovered I like watching him from various spots on the crit course. Boyfriend Rider tells me that there are others who will walk the course during the race; in fact, once he realized I circled the courses, he told me that the entire peloton sometimes looks throughout the race for certain girls who walk the course backward, but I don't think he wanted to give too many details on that. One thing I have seen as the weather gets warmer is that not only do the female spectators wear sundresses, but girls who recently finished a race will quickly change into a sundress and hop in the feed zone to feed their boyfriends or male teammates. And they look SO cute! Hair pulled back, face glowing from a win or a great workout, they appear every bit as cute and sometimes cuter than the girls who haven't been out there racing. So here's to the female competitors and spectators from a girl who joins you in what has to be the easiest way to look good while staying cool. Even if we get hot and sticky out there, as long as we're riding pretty regularly, we're going to look pretty good. In a sport where the spectators can so easily see you and interact with you before, during, and after the race, you're great role models for looking good and doing it so naturally. I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to sundress season. It's going to get hot out there in a few months, and I'll be looking for ways to look cool. Cool greens and blues, hot pinks, long, medium, maybe short, solids, stripes, vivid and demure prints: I'm going to have to work hard to stand out for Race Boy.

There Is No "I" in PACC

By Corey Ray

PACC Elite Team is having great success this 2012 season. I feel it can all be attributed to the cooperative efforts of individuals coming together for a common goal. That common goal is to place one of our guys with the opportunity to perform well and, essentially, win. To do this, it starts with training, and then add team bonding, team direction, goals, emails, meetings, race prep, the race itself, and race reflection. Team dynamics and how we learn each other's communication style also has a lot to do with the performance during training and races. I feel like we as team have meshed quite well and believe in each other. Let's take Rouge Roubaix 2012 and make an example of how to approach this race from a team perspective. Rouge Roubaix is a 105 mile road race racing out of St. Francisville Louisiana. The race itself is filled with 3 sections of dirt/gravel/sandy roads totaling 25 miles with the rest being on pretty rough roads as well. One of the first things we do as a team is initiating an email string about the race. With this string, we start dialog on race tactics for the day and bring up any important info that we feel our teammates should need. For this particular race, the forecast for the day a week out was 70% chance of rain, then 60% a few days later, then 50% the night before the race. We send out who is registered and note who we feel we need to watch and what other teams will be there. We do recon on the course the day before and find that the last creek passing was covered in 20 meters of mud with a tree lying across the center of it. During this string we bring up previous experiences with the race that each of us have had but also note that each race each year is different in itself. Next, we set up a team meeting that works for each race. For Rouge, we went out to eat at Hot Tails Crawfish House the night before. We then set out to discuss how we were going to approach this race. We come up with a road captain for the day. In this case we felt like Adam and myself were going well and should not use as much energy during the race until the last dirt section where the race usually breaks up. The primary purpose of this is to openly communicate to the captain during the race so they can relay information on to other teammates. For this race, we decided that Collin and Mike would go early and try to establish a break. Throughout the race, if we have to bring things back, we decide who should do it and in what situation. If we can develop a plan before hand for the race we feel like we have a better feel for controlling the race. Before the race we use positive self talk. We put belief in each other and are willing to sacrifice any one team members result for a better team result. We prepare ourselves mentally for a race and for our individual task for the day. We help each other, if one guy is running late then we make sure they are ready when it is race time. We warm up together and rehash any questions we have about the race. Rouge Roubaix 2012 Race from PACC Elite Teams Perspective The race itself played out similar to what we thought but with a few hiccups tactically. Early on during the race Collin Davis and Mike Lalla were trying to get off the front of the race to establish an early break. The field would have none of that today as they pulled anything right back with them, letting get up the road just 30 seconds, then they would come right back. Ryan and myself then tried to establish a break with a few consecutive attacks. Again this was unsuccessful. Going into the first dirt section, Jesse would remind us that we needed to stay toward the front in preparation of the watts increasing and to stay clear of any mishaps. During this section, Ryan, Mike, and myself made the first split of the day in the dirt. Once out, there was a feed zone and we looked around to see who made it. We

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Photo by Erin Blinn

noticed that we were missing some and made note. Shorty after the feed zone Mike and myself got into a move that lasted about 20 miles or so. The group was 8 guys with us and one other team having 2 guys. I rolled up to Mike and told him the situation and sat on the back only if the other team in the break was sitting in. The break was caught and it was then time to reshuffle the deck. We threw in more attacks with Ryan going up the road with myself covering and countering many times. Going into the second dirt section 2 guys got off the front just before the Strava segment started on the second dirt section. This section had smooth roads with sandy bottom pits. Being near the front again would play a pretty significant role. I lined up on the front and started dragging out the field until I noticed I was the only one breathing hard going up the hill climb. At the top, I looked back to find Collin and Adam coming bridging up to me. I waited as we tried to begin a 3 man time trial back up to the 2 man break. At this point, we were not working hard enough and one of the guy's teammates that was up the road was on our tail. He caught; there was hesitation to work as there was a group that was catching us that had Mike and Ryan in it. Our group of 10 riders at that point had 5 PACC guys in it with 2 up the road. No one else in the group wanted to work at this point to chase them down. It was then up to us as we tried to send some across and then work a slight rotation. This was where we had our hiccup tactically which we discussed after the race. Mike at that point was directing at the front. He told Adam, and myself to sit in until the last hill/dirt section. Ryan, Collin, and Mike were working keeping the 2 men up the road in sight. The last dirt section was the toughest with the roads being in pretty rough conditions. I again started out at the very front hitting the hill hard. I had no gear left in my 23 as Adam and Ryan continued on. When I got to the top of the hill I remounted my bike and found Mike coming up the hill. He said he would wait on Collin as I pursued Ryan up the road. Taking all the risks I could to close the 30ish second gap I finally did at the end of the dirt section. Ryan had 2 guys with him when I caught then we dropped one. Meanwhile, Adam bridged up to the 2 riders up the road at the end of last dirt section as well. Ryan and myself began to work and rotate knowing Adam was up the road. We passed one guy that flatted that was up the road as he joined our group as we dropped the other tail we had. The other guy that was up the road also flatted as Adam at that point was free to time trial the rest of the way solo. Ryan and I had one other guy (Brian Toone) who did a hell of a job working the rest of the way. Brian flatted again, Ryan and myself then tried to chase up to Adam but had no luck as Brian again caught back up to us. I was cramping during the last 15 miles while Ryan would keep telling me to keep going or you can do it. Ryan would tell me when he was going to try to attach and did unsuccessfully. I would try as well but had nothing left. At this point all I could hope for was to sit on and to save enough to sprint up the hill. Adam at this point won the race. The race for 2,3,4 was on the line as Ryan led out the sprint up the hill. I followed Brian and had just enough to come around him as Ryan held off our sprint. After the race, after the festivities and food, we sat down in the hotel to discuss how the race played out. We know as a team we tend to highlight what we feel like went wrong but for this race we just wanted to acknowledge the hiccup, not working as a team to bring the 2 man break back, and focus on the celebration. This is what we race and train for. The greatest feeling is celebrating with your men after the battle. Follow PACC Elite Team at http://pacceliteteam.blogspot.com/

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Race Recap: Pace Bend Men's Cat 2

by Michael Sheehan

Going into Pace Bend, I did not really know what to expect. I had never raced any of the spring classics before, but from what I had gathered, Pace Bend was one of the first big races of the season. This time last year, I was just introducing myself to the sport of bicycle racing. In fact, one year ago that very day, I finished my first road race at the University of Texas collegiate race, while racing for Texas State University. I certainly never thought that in one year I would be a competitive cat 2 racer, but on that sunny Sunday afternoon, I was feeling very competitive. After a quick warm-up on my trainer, I rolled up to the starting line feeling fresh and confident. When the race started, it quickly became apparent that a lot of people were also feeling confident. From the gun, there was attack after attack from the front of the group. The early attacks are rarely anything to worry about, but nonetheless, I worked my way up towards the front of the field. Spurred on by the tailwind pushing us up the back section of the course, I attacked up one of the many little rolling hills. This was not a heroic move to win the day. I just wanted to find out how my legs were feeling and have a bit of fun. Although the peloton quickly brought me back, I was happy to discover that my legs felt fantastic. For the next twenty minutes or so, people continued to attack until a three-man breakaway led by Jonathan Hughes got away. Pace Bend favors breakaways, because the road is almost constantly curving. As my coach puts it, it is very easy for a break to get out of sight and out of mind, and those three leaders did just that. For about an hour, we caught only glimpses of them rounding corners far ahead of the peloton. Around mile 40, just as I was getting anxious about the breakaway's progress, I looked up and saw them struggling to crest the

Photo by Dave McLaughlin

effective chase quickly after we got away. After we were caught, the peloton slowed down a lot, allowing a few different groups of riders to go off the front. I didn't regard them as serious threats, and was too tired to do anything about it anyways. As we approached the final corner of the second to last lap, our field was neutralized as the Cat 3 race came thundering past towards the finish of their race. For what felt like an eternity, we were under the close scrutiny of the motorcycle referee. There were cat 3 racers everywhere, and most of the field including myself lost sight of the people who were in our race. When our race resumed, there was confusion as to just how many riders were up the road. All we could do was catch as many as we could on the final lap. As we rounded the final corner, we had caught all but three riders. I was about five wheels back, right behind Addison McAuley when he started his sprint. I followed his wheel and tried to come around him in the final 100 meters. I gave it everything I had, but my legs were worn out, and they just couldn't generate enough speed in the headwind. Addison must have nicked me by an inch. He raced a smart conservative race. I took a gamble with a breakaway, and in the end, I could not compete with his fresh legs. I can't be upset with a 5th place finish after one year of racing. Right now, I just need a bit more experience, and that comes with time. I owe a big thank you to my coach, my family, friends and teammates, all of who have been unbelievably supportive and integral in preparing me for such a good start to the 2012 season.

hill before the feed zone. Two laps later, the battered escapees were caught, and the reinvigorated peloton surged ahead. At mile 50, I found myself on Hunter Stewart's wheel when he put in an attack on an incline towards the end of the headwind section. I looked back and saw Matt Kessing on my wheel, followed by a big gap. Hunter, Matt and I had been in a breakaway together the previous weekend at Mineral Wells, so we knew we were all strong riders who would work well together. We glanced at each other and were all thinking the same thing: "Let's do this!" Nathaniel Beams, who was riding solo up the road, quickly latched onto our move, giving us a strong group of four. When I looked back half a lap later, I saw the peloton completely strung out and splitting in pursuit of us. After one lap in the break, we were rotating smoothly, and I was in a perfect rhythm, taking hard but sustainable pulls. Just as I was beginning to think we were in the clear, the peloton came storming up behind us seemingly out of nowhere. Although short-lived, it was a strong and capable breakaway. Unfortunately a few key riders got left in the pack, and they organized an

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Mineral Wells Stage Race Recap

By Caleb Fuchs

Mineral Wells Stage Race is a two-day three-event points based stage race located in Mineral Wells Texas. There is a six cornered .6 mile criterium with one short steep hill on Saturday morning followed by a 7 mile very hilly time trial Saturday afternoon. The Sunday road race is on a 25 mile loop that is mostly flat with one medium sized climb. I had been looking forward to the race since I raced in the Category 3 last year. It was my first Cat 3 race ever, so I raced kind of timidly, and although I flatted in the road race about 6 miles from the finish, it was a blast, and I vowed to come back next year: On my drive up from Hico, it was raining off and on, and by the time I arrived in Mineral Wells for the 60 minute Criterium, it was raining steadily. I managed to get in a few warm up laps on the course, and rolled up the the starting line already soaking wet. I thought since the weather was bad that maybe the race would start off slowly. I was wrong. The Criterium started off fast with Team PACC two Garmin Junior Development riders pushing the pace. I had gotten a bad starting position, and by somewhere around the fifth lap I found myself, my teammate Travis Kropft, and two other riders chasing the elite front group of about 15 riders. We were all taking hard pulls, but the peloton was about 15 seconds up the road and growing. At first I took the corners slowly, as the small river flowing across the road was rather unnerving, but as the gap began to grow I became more reckless and started to bomb the corners at near full speed. I felt my tires slip a little a couple of times, but for the most part the road gave a surprising amount of traction. Half an hour into the race, the gap between the peloton and our group of four was about 30 seconds and holding, but fatigue was setting in. The other two riders in our group appeared to be be completely worn out, and had pretty much stopped taking pulls. I knew the pace up front would let up soon, but I was not sure we would could hold on that long. Travis, who had been doing the lion's share of the work to hold our position, took a pull for a full lap, then dropped from our chase group. I was discouraged, but continued to slosh on. With 20 minutes left in the race, the gap began to close, and I pushed harder than ever. I could see the tail of the front group as I rounded every corner, but it seemed like the gap simply would not close. I had been hanging in "no man's land " for three full laps when I heard the sound of wet rubber on pavement to my left. One of the riders who had been in our small chase group had decided he could close the gap and was attacking! Although I had seen him at the front a handful of times, after my teammate and I had buried ourselves catching back on the front group I would have hoped he would have had the decency to at least take the two remaining riders from our group with him. I was slightly irked, and at the top of the hill I shifted into my 53X12, crouched over my bars, time trialed passed him, and made contact with the back of the peloton. I took a two lap break and tried to recover as much as I could, then moved to the front to survey the race situation. Two (NAMES?) riders were off the front, so I took a few hard pulls, but the riders were riding very strongly, and chasing I had done earlier had drained me almost completely. The gap to the two man breakaway was growing, and I settled in mid peloton for the next eight laps and excepted my fate. The sprint for third was fast, but I managed to secure eight place. It was still raining steadily at the start of the time trial, and there was a stiff North head wind. I tried to warm up on the road without getting wet, and was surprising successful, yet as I shed my waterproof jacket in the starting tent I knew I was in for a soaking. I started the time trial conservatively, and built into full time trial mode over the first mile. My legs were burning pretty badly, and it felt like I was going nowhere as I struggled to keep riding in a straight line. I passed a rider about mile 1.2, and I pushed even harder. I could feel I had overexerted myself in the criterium, but pushed on as best I could to try and salvage a placing. I passed three more riders in a group near the bottom of the last hill and began the final mile, and ascent to the finish. I think I passed a few more riders coming up the hill, but my brain was in severe oxygen deprivation by that time, and it was all I could do to concentrate on keeping up the pace. I crossed the finish line completely exhausted, and after riding around slowly while waiting for my teammates to finish, I started getting very cold. My super thin skinsuit offered very little protection from the cold wind. Alex Gibson crossed the line a few minutes later with a time similar to mine; Travis Kropft followed, and by the time he caught his breath he told Alex and I that he had just ridden a 20:04. When we saw the official times later that night we found he had beaten me by nearly 30 seconds, wining the stage. I came in third, Alex took sixth. That night the team stayed at Alex's condo near Possum Kingdom lake, and ate dinner at a Mexican restaurant. That late that evening, when the results posted online we discover that although I was the member of our team to finish the criterium, Travis' win in the time trial and two other top sixes from myself and Alex, had moved us into first place in the Team GC with a points healthy lead, and I was in second place three points behind Ryan Dromoogle. We had a long discussion of race tactics, and decided that our first priority would be the Team GC, followed my GC placing. [more about this?] The start of the road race was a little chilly, but despite cloud cover there was no rain. About ten seconds before the start of the road race someone offhandedly mentioned sighing in. I had happened to see the table on the way to the restroom, but at least ten riders were not so lucky, dropped their bikes, and sprinted for the sign in table. The whistle blew for the start, but no one moved for at least 30 seconds while we waited for everyone to get signed in. I was amazed that out of 60 riders every single one of them was enough of a sportsman to wait. The plan was for Alex to go after the KOM on the first climb, and for Kyle to cover any breakaways. The pace was pretty easy until about a mile from the first climb. Someone attacked and the race was on. Two riders were a few hundred meter off the front at the bottom of the climb, but the peloton was closing fast. Alex attacked the bottom of the climb but everyone followed, and as he started to fade a little less than minute in pretty much everyone seemed content to stay put. I

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was sitting about 20 riders back, and feeling pretty good. I knew Ryan Dromgoogle and team PACC was riding very strong this weekend, and every point would count at the finish line. I glanced behind me for anyone in a red PACC kit, then pounced on the pedals. I was feeling great and took the five point KOM easily moving into first place by two points. I glanced behind me again and saw the field had shattered, but with 60 miles remaining I was in no hurry to start a breakaway. The peloton came completely back together in the tail wind section, and I was to content to sit in midpeloton and save my energy for later in the race. Sitting in the peloton was nearly effortless, and with Kyle and Alex near the front, I did not need to worry about anyone sneaking off the front. Sometime early in the second lap Alex escaped in a breakaway with [####] other riders. This almost guaranteed us first place in the team GC, so our team had no reason to chase. The second lap was rather uneventful, and I with nothing to do but eat and drink in the peloton I was bored and eager for something to happen. Alex's gap in the breakaway stayed about 1:30 up the road. The first half of the last lap was uneventful. I was feeling fresh, and talked to Tommy Rushing, [ 787 guy who's name I cant remember, and wooly mamoth] about a break away on the last hill, and they were eager to go. I followed Tommy's wheel about three-quarters of the way up the climb then came around him, stood out of the saddle, and took a hard pull. I surveyed situation and saw the peloton was strung out behind us. The breakaway had begun. I was in a breakaway with three of the strongest time trialers in the state, and none of them were really within striking distance of my GC spot. I finished my pull and dropped down onto the saddle. My heart sank. It felt like my tire was flat, and my rim had just smacked the ground. I looked between my legs and saw my tire was almost completely flat. I hoped it was a slow leak and leaned more of my weight towards the front wheel, but within a minute or so I felt the sickening feeling of my rim on chip seal. At first I tried to ride the tire flat, but as I rounded a corner I could feel my rear wheel weaving beneath me, and knew the 10 miles to the finish was just to far to go. I panic and adrenalin surged. I looked behind me to the peloton and even further back the wheel truck. I soft pedaled and started to drift back towards the peloton. My teammate Travis was forth wheel, already at the front controlling the pace for my breakaway, and when I screamed something about having flatted he immediately offer me his bike. I pulled to the side of the road as the peloton roared past me, and I was visible shaking as Travis shoved his bike my direction. I swung my leg over and completely missed the pedal. I tried again. This time slower and tried to calm down and keep a clear head. I stepped into the pedal, and pushed off. Kyle was only few hundred meters up the road waiting to pull me back up. I stood and tried to sprint back up to speed, but as soon as my foot came up on the first stroke it popped out of the pedal and into the spokes. I jerked my foot back as fast as I could and tried again. Our pedals were not the same brand, and although I could pedal by pushing down, I could not sprint ­ or stand on the pedals at all for that matter. I caught

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up to Kyle and he immediately took a massive pull and we started to gain on the peloton. Kyle pushed hard and about three quarters of the way back to the peloton he started to fade. I passed him, yelled my gratitude into the wind, and drove on towards the peloton. I made contact with the back of the peloton and without pausing, started towards the front. I had little choice. I had to go off the front immediately, or I would loose any hope of a GC placing. I crouched over the handle bars, came around the front rider, and unleashed every watt I could muster. The peloton responded and strung out even more, but soon I was off the front, again in "no man's land" this time with one other rider. Alex was still up the road a few second, but I was gaining on him very fast, with the peloton close behind. I caught Alex about six miles from the finish, and yelled that I had had a flat, was on Travis' two-sizes-too-small bike and I could not sprint at all. Alex took a hard pull, then one of his breakaway mates. I came around for my pull, and being much less tired than they were after resting in the peloton, I

dropped the hammer. I looked behind me about a minute later and there was large gap back to Alex, and a smaller gap to the peloton. I was solo off the front. I had to go all in. I focused on being as aerodynamic as possible and pushed on toward the finish. The peloton was riding hard, but I was desperate. My breathing was rapid, and although I had not heart rate monitor, I knew I was at my max. I stole another look behind me. I was two miles from the finish, and the pack was thirty seconds behind. Adrenalin surged again. All I needed to do now was hold the fierce pace I had set. I descended the last hill and stole another glance behind me. The peloton was closing fast. I dug even deeper and drove on towards the finish. At the 1K to go marker, I looked back again. The gap was too big to close. I rode towards finish line, towards my first road race win of the year, the individual GC, and the team GC. The race was a success both for me and my team. There was excellent team work this year, highlighted by Travis' selfless bike swap. [ more conclusion]

What's New At The Shop

Specialized Shiv 2012 By Wes Currier

Specialized has done it again. They began redefining the bicycle industry with the first mass produced mountain bike back in1981, and now they have introduced the 2012 Shiv triathlon bike. This one is designed specifically for the growing triathlon market and is not a modification of a time trial bike to meet the needs of the triathlete. As such, this bike has some distinct design features that distinguish it from the rest of the market. S-Works Shiv ShimanoDi2 Shiv Comp SRAM Rival Zipp 404clincher XS-XL DT Axis 2.0 XS-XL +/-$12,700.00 +/- $3,300.00 Although the aero bar looks like it is another proprietary design, the bike uses a traditional steerer for the fork. Using ANY standard aero bar is possible, although most will use the Specialized integrated Control Tower Fit System that comes with the bike. Standard spacer heights come in 5mm, 25mm, and 50mm with two stem length positions from the same stem; 60cm and 90cm. The complete system is very aero with a fairing behind the stem to better control airflow off the bar and control cabling. Disassembling the bike for travel is very easy and convenient. The aero bar is a fully adjustable system utilizing a 4:1 ratio carbon base bar and long carbon extensions with about a 20 degree ski bend. The length, fore and aft tilt, and angle rotation of the extension is fully and easily adjustable. The extensions are standard diameter and are easily replaced with any profile or brand needed. The pads also adjust in, out, and fore and aft, although tilt is controlled by the extension mount. All adjusting bolts are accessible and the same size. The greatest difference in this bike versus others -- and what sets it apart the most ­ is the fuselage-integrated hydration system. This places the water bottle inside the downtube surrounded by a huge 4:1 aspect ratio profile optimized for crosswind riding. The downtube is a massive 110cm wide versus a more traditional and UCI legal 80cm on most other bikes. This bladder system is similar to a Camelbak with a bike specific bladder and is fillable on the fly while also being removable. The bladder will hold about 500ml or a single bottle of liquid. The port is located directly behind the rear stem fairing area on the top tube and the access cover is held in place magnetically. The drinking tube is very flexible and long enough to reach the end of the extensions. You can optimize placement with the included magnetic mount which holds the bite valve in place at your desired position. There is also a bottle mount on the seat tube if you need more hydration, although you will lose aerodynamic advantage by mounting a bottle there. The seatpost is a 3.4:1 profile and is reversible to provide 2 different fore and aft offsets. (The Expert model and below come with a single 12.5mm offset post while the rest have an additional 37.5mm offset post included.) A total of four offset positions are available in 12.5 mm increments with the two seatposts. Traditional or carbon rail seats can be easily mounted into the single bolt side clamp system while optimizing seat position up to 50mm in front of the bottom bracket. The straight seat tube allows for 200 mm of insertion so no need to cut the seatpost. This adjust-ability allows far greater seat position and hip angle tuning than other bikes currently on the market. Seatpost markings allow for precise, repeatable positioning and the rear facing clamp makes adjusting easy and accessible. The seat stays are mounted low on the frame and are smoothly flared into the seat tube. The smoothness is evident due to the rear brake being mounted beneath the bike out of the airflow. This cleans up the airflow across the seat tube and seat stays which are specifically optimized for crosswind riding. Specialized created specific seat stay airfoils to perform well in crosswinds and provide better airflow across the wheel at the same time. The traditional road bike style dropouts make changing a wheel simple. The rear brake is located behind the oversize bottom bracket and the battery mount is located behind the

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Technology Overview

Specialized started with a blank slate and determined what the "average" triathlete needed in a triathlon bike. They threw out conventional thinking and rules to design a bike for the masses instead of specific pro athletes. This created a bike that is unconventional in look and form but performs exceptionally well for its intended market (age-group triathletes). Specialized created airfoil shapes for specific areas of the bike based on what the wind did at that specific location. They then combined all the airfoils to create a complete bike that is specific to triathlons and not time trials. It has much greater performance in crosswinds and hides the traditional downtube water bottle inside the frame. This design philosophy makes the bike's downtube look bulky, but it performs well for its intended market. Specialized took numerous measurements of age-group triathletes bikes before determining the height of the front end of the bike. Based on these measurements, they increased overall height of the front end. Advanced athletes needing a greater seat-to-bar drop might need to downsize one frame size to get the required adjustability and drop.

Technology Details

Starting from the front of the bike the fork blades use a 3.4:1 ratio airfoil and are integrated into the frame very cleanly. The front and rear brakes are the same to simplify the design and were first introduced on the original Shiv TT. The side pull design leaves the cable exposed on the front brake, but not by much. They will accept wider wheels like the Zipp Firecrest without a problem. All frame sizes utilize 700c wheels.

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brake on the bottom of the left chain stay.

Conclusion

This bike addresses age-group triathletes and provides them with a very aerodynamic, crosswind optimized, triathlon specific bike. Specialized ignored the UCI rules for frame dimensions and included a hydration feature inside the downtube while optimizing the aerodynamics for crosswind riding. This along with 5 frame sizes allows almost anyone to fit this bike and enjoy the performance. Riders needing an aggressive seat to bar drop might need to size down one size as this bike is tall and designed more for improving the average riders performance than the pro athletes. Regardless of your budget, there is a Shiv available for you with all but the entry version being carbon.

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Junior Spotlight: Garrison Horton

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By TRP Staff Photo by Susan Kicey

TRP: Give us your full name and your nickname. GH: Garrison Walker Horton, otherwise known as "G, " "GMan" or as Coach calls me "GMoneyG". TRP: Where do you live and how long have you lived there? GH: I live in Katy Texas and have lived here for about four years. TRP: Do you have brothers and sisters ­ if so, who are they and what ages are they? Do they ride? GH: I have a 20 year old sister in college, I'm not even sure if she remembers how to ride a bike. TRP: Does anyone in your family race ­ if so, who and for whom at what level? GH: My mother Wendy Horton races on occasion for Northwest Cycle Club', in the women's Cat 4's. TRP: What team do you ride for and for how long? GH: I've raced for Northwest Cycle Club for about a year and a half. TRP: What were your last three events and your placing in those events? GH: I did the final Yetticross cross race , I crashed four times and probably placed last, but I had the time of my life. I also attempted to compete in the Chappel Hill Road Race which I didn't finish due to a mechanical, The last race of the season was a Texas Cup time trial event at the Alkek Velodrome. I won the U19 Cat and secured enough points to win the U19 Texas Cup Track Championship as well as Alkek Rider

of the Year in the U19 Cat( and Second Place in the Cat Men 4 division). I think it's safe to say I fare better on the track. TRP: When did you start riding? Can you tell the story? GH: I've always been on a bike. My first endurance event occurred while living in Laramie, Wyoming on a little red bike with training wheels on the newly built green belt. I was barely 3 and I rode 16 miles that day. I continued to ride for fun when we moved to Georgia often hitting the single track at Tribble Mill and the Silver Comet bike trail with my family. I started training and wearing spandex in 8th

grade. I went to the Alkek Velodrome for the Youth Cycling league run by Coach Carl Jones, just to try it out. I loved it, but once I was done, I was more tired than I believe I've ever been. TRP: When did you start racing? Why? GH: I started racing a season after I started riding, I saw how much fun my teammates were having racing and I decided to give it a go. TRP: What kind of bike do you ride? Any interesting equipment on it? GH: I ride a Cannondale Optimo cyclocross bike on the road with old Shimano Tiagra components that don't obey me. I also have my mom's

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hand-me down-Trek 1500 that is currently without a crank after someone at Junior Nationals decided they really wanted my pedals and stripped the crank. On the track I ride a gorgeous yellow and white Tiemeyer that I absolutely adore. A lot of things began to go right for me on the track when I got the Tiemeyer; the Plyometric lunges didn't hurt my performance either. TRP: Have you tried other two-wheeled sports? GH: There are other two wheeled sports? I did try BMX after our track season was over this year. I was completely stoked about the idea of BMX and our whole team attended the Pearland track on a Rider Exchange program (their juniors would later come to our track and try Velodrome racing). After an hour I had broken my left collarbone and right wrist; I want you to picture that for a moment. Yes, I had effectively broken both my arms. It did allow me to take off the prescribed two weeks Coach wanted us to take off following our track season. Let's just say had this not happened I would have raced Cross all winter and never gotten any down time. And yes, I am already back on the bike. TRP: Do you participate in other sports? GH: No, I've always been on a bike, and have never thought about trying another sport. TRP: Where do you go to school? GH: Cinco Ranch High School. TRP: What grade are you in and what's your favorite subject? GH: I'm in tenth grade and I would have to say my favorite subject is chemistry. I used all my training at the track to complete my P.E. credit. Best class ever. TRP: What do you think of school? GH: It could use a cycling club, and the walls could be a color that didn't remind me of a hospital. Otherwise school is just dandy. I think people who don't know me at school will be pretty shocked the first time they notice my smooth hairless legs. TRP: What do you see as your future ... what would you like to do after graduating from school? GH: I would like to go pro when I graduate, but it depends on how many opportunities there are for a young (handsome) track racer. I am also motivated by the collegiate racers at Alkek.

Young adults like Austin Throop, Carlton Mathis, Andrew Carlberg and Brian Hare are inspiring to watch and race with, especially my home skillet Austin, who sings during neutral laps. TRP: Do you have a job and, if so, where do you work? GH: I don't have a job. I should probably start thinking about that. I don't think I'll get very far on the 30 dollars I win on Friday nights at the track. I am currently saving my money for about 800 dollars' worth of components. TRP: How many days a week do you ride and how many hours do you put in? GH: I'm on the track every Tuesday, Thursday, and for the Friday night races, and I get in forty or fifty fast miles with the Vampire Velo's Saturday or Sunday. All in all I get in about eight hours a week. I do plyometric lunges and have started some weight training this season. The plyo's made a huge difference in my performance. TRP: Do you have a formal coach? If so, who is it and why do you have one? GH: I'm coached by Coach Carl Jones; he's been coaching me since I first started coming to the track. He is awesome and I feel really lucky to have such a great mentor. TRP: As a Junior Racer, what do you think could be done to increase the sport's popularity among young people? GH: Convince them shaving your legs and wearing spandex is cool. TRP :Tell us about your first Race? GH: My first race was a Friday night race at the track. I placed dead last, but after that I was hooked. TRP: Tell us about your worst Race? GH: My worst race would have to be the Chappel Hill Road Race; my crank arm fell off in the first ten minutes. I was so excited about this event since it's a Northwest Club run event and I had trained at Chappel Hill. It really bummed me out to see my crank arm hanging off my shoe as I descended the first hill. TRP: Tell us about your favorite Race? GH: My favorite race would be the Pacebend road race. It was also the first road race I attended. I managed to finish it after a start line mechanical and running off the road with a fellow teammate. Bad luck seems to follow me to

road races. (Could be worse though. I could be Levi Leipheimer; he had a pretty bad year). But, if you asked me about my favorite racing experience it would be attending Junior Nationals in Frisco over the summer with all my teammates. I put down an a pretty decent 200 time and finished 20th overall. Not too bad for a kid who only started racing a year and half ago. TRP: Favorite food? GH: Salad. It's delicious. I'll often eat a big bowl just like people eat popcorn. TRP: Training food? GH: Cliff Bars. Preferably of the mint chocolate variety. TRP: Other than that? GH: A delicious cocktail of blood, sweat, and tears. TRP: Okay. What are the top five on your Ipod? GH: Seven Deadly sins by Flogging Molly, Man Overboard by Blink 182, Loser by Beck, Basket Case by Green Day, and Devils Dance Floor by Flogging Molly. Flogging molly makes me go fast. TRP: What do you use as a ring-tone? GH: Vibrate. It just perks me right up. TRP: Campy or Shimano? GH: Given that I've never raced with Campy components, I'd have to go with Shimano, even though my Tiagra components don't exactly do my bidding. Perhaps I should ask for Campy components for Christmas. Like my use of alliteration? [Ed: Yes!] TRP: Favorite pro bike racer? GH: SPARTACUS! The man is a beast. When in grow up I'm going to have quads like his. TRP: Anybody you'd like to thank or mention? GH: I would like to thank Coach Carl, he's been able to get me places I never would have dreamed of going a few years ago. I also appreciate my race brethren, the Winskis. They are pretty amazing teammates, and I'm so lucky to get to race with them. The competition between us makes us all a whole lot stronger. I'm glad I can get back on the bike to ride with them in my bright purple cast, proof that I bleed (and have bled) yellow and purple for my team.

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Velocity Cycling Tours

Velocity Cycling Tours is a new cycling tour company designed for those who want a cycling vacation that is not only enjoyable, but challenging, too. For example, our Challenge tour covers 497 miles in six days. We make our home in the Hill Country, an area of Texas that I love. Cycling is what brought me here, and it's a pretty good reason for you to come here, too. While we'd love to serve you, here is a detailed description of a cycling weekend you can manage for yourself. The cycling weekend starts on Friday. You need to find a comfortable place to stay on the south side of Canyon Lake. There are two towns on the south side of the lake, Sattler and Startzville, both with plenty of places to stay. I can recommend Canyon Lakeview Resort and The Lodge at Turkey Creek, which are right on the lake. Another eclectic place on the Guadalupe River is the Tree House Lodge. If you avoid holiday weekends, you will have plenty of selection. If you want to rough it, there are also many campgrounds along the Guadalupe River and on the lake. The Saturday route is 82-miles, starting from your location on the south side of the lake. Choose a start time appropriate for the weather and sunrise. My route takes you all the way around the lake, clockwise from Startzville, towards Spring Branch, then through Fischer Store, Wimberley, and back to Startzville via Canyon City and Sattler. At the start, we ride west on FM 2673/2722 toward Startzville, and from there, head southwest on FM 3159 toward Spring Branch. You will soon face the longest climb of the day just out of Startzville. You will certainly be awake and warmed up by the time you crest this hill. Turn north onto FM 311 shortly after the hill, and then make a quick right turn, continuing north on Rebecca Creek Road. Now you will have a nice meandering shot across the northwest end of the lake until you cross the Guadalupe River. You'll enjoy panoramic views all the while. After crossing the river, there are a few turns to navigate until you pop out onto FM 306. (Right on Cypress Cove, Left on Tanglewood Trail, Left on Eagle Rock). You will be pretty happy at this point. It's a great ride. From this point, it's still quite a ways to Wimberley, and there`s only water available at Fischer Store, so if you need more fluids or nourishment, take a short detour west on 306 to the intersection with 285, where you can find a convenience store. Continue about a mile east of the Eagle Rock intersection on 306, and then turn left onto Mystic Breeze. From here until Fischer Store, there are some significant rollers along with several turns not to miss ­ a right on Vista Lakes, right on Sunrise Place, left on Astral Point, and left on North Cranes Mill Rd. Cranes Mill will take you to FM 32 and Fischer Store just a few hundred yards beyond. If you arrive at Fischer Store at the right time, you can make a brief visit to this interesting historical building. The caretaker lets me refill my water bottles and this serves as our first rest stop. Although it's called Fischer Store, there is nothing for sale here, but it's a nice place to stop. If the store is closed, there is an outside spigot alongside the building. After catching your breath and taking in a little nourishment, you're ready for the great scenic ride into Wimberley. You have two options; the shorter one along FM 32, Mail Route, John Knox, Wayside Dr, River Rd route, or the slightly longer Fischer Store Rd, Sachlleben, Wayside Dr, River Rd route. In either case, you will need a map not to get lost. Cycling via the Mail route will also require you to cross the low bridge on the Blanco River above Wimberley. Either way, this stretch is beautiful. It's a gentle downhill run with flatter hills than before. The last few miles run right alongside the Blanco River. I prefer the Fischer Store Road. It's just a great road and so scenic. Wimberley is a small town full of antique stores and plenty of shoppers on the weekend. Places to eat here include the Wimberley Pie Company and the Wimberley Cafe. However, my favorite place is The Leaning Pear, which has great healthy food and wonderful service. Once back on the bike, we backtrack across the low bridge on the Blanco River. The amount of water flowing over the bridge is unpredictable. Unless the bridge is completely dry, do not attempt to ride across. You will invariably end up on your ass, wet and with hurt pride, if nothing else. When wading the river, definitely remove your shoes and socks and walk in the tire tracks where it's least slippery. If it's really flowing and looks too dangerous to wade across, wait for a friendly passerby in a truck and ask for a lift across the river. After crossing the river, follow John Knox to the Mail Route and turn left. The Mail Route drops you off onto FM 32. Cross the highway and follow FM 3424 south to FM 306. From here, cycle southeast on FM 306 through Canyon City to the North Park road. Turn right on this road, which leads to the top of the Canyon Lake Dam. Navigate the pedestrian gate and then enjoy the scenic ride across the dam. From the south end of the dam, enjoy the nice downhill. If you still have strong legs, you might try the climb back up to the top

by TRP Staff

just for grins. At the base of the dam, turn right and follow the river road into Sattler. Depending on where you started, you could be finished. Otherwise, head on into Startzville on FM 2673/2722 to finish your ride. Enjoy the rest of your day in the lake, on the lake, or in the hammock. We typically culminate the evening with a huge feast of grilled steaks, smoked ribs, baked potatoes, salad, a huge bowl of guacamole, and plenty of red wine. There are also plenty of places to eat. If you're up for a little drive, the Grist Mill in Gruene is great. If you are there on Saturday, you should show up by 5:00pm to beat the crowd, which is sure to show up. If you still have the energy for it, the Gruene Dance Hall is just right next door, with live music daily. We make a shorter ride on Sunday, usually starting early so everyone can be heading back home by early afternoon. My favorite route is a 40-mile loop that includes the Guadalupe River Road between Canyon Lake and Gruene. Early Sunday morning is the best time to be on this scenic, winding and narrow road. You can do this ride in either direction. Starting in Startzville, we cycle southwest on FM 3159 (same as Saturday). If you want more climbing, there are two optional steep climbs less than a mile out of Startzville. These climbs are on opposite sides of FM 3159. On the right is the Heritage Estates (Sheridan Ave) climb, and directly across is the Inland Dr/Hillside Circle climb. Add one or both of these to your route for an extra challenge. Whether you make the optional climbs or not, you still can enjoy climbing the big hill. Make a left turn onto Cranes Mill Road, shortly after cresting the hill. Enjoy the Cranes Mill run all the way to Hwy 46. This is a great stretch of road. Cross 46 onto Herbelin Road, which takes you past the Dry Comal Creek Winery before looping back to 46. The winery is a beautiful place. I keep meaning to stop and sample the wine one day, but as of yet, it's still on my bucket list. Follow 46 south for a few miles to Hueco Springs Rd. Turn left onto Hueco Springs till the junction with River Road. Make a left turn onto the RR and enjoy. As I said, it's narrow, so be mindful of automobiles and be courteous. If you still have legs, there is another optional climb about a mile south of Sattler at The Summit Resort. Watch for the sign for this development, and then take Summit Drive to make the long climb to the Summit. The RR takes you all the way into Sattler. From here, you should know the way: west on FM 2673/2722 to Startzville or wherever you started your ride. You will feel terrific after this 120-mile Texas Hill Country cycling adventure. I always do. I eagerly look forward to repeating this 2-day tour over and over again. Of course, with my extensive experience in the area, I have many variations and options, which I can use to tweak the adventure to match the time of year, the weather, and the mood and fitness level of the group. When you are really up for an adventure please consider one of Velocity Cycling Tours' routes to deliver an exceptional cycling experience in the Texas hill Country. It really is the best way to take in the culture and expanse of this unique part of Texas with no worries at all. VCT's motto is `We Plan, You Pedal.' If you have 12 or more cyclists, VCT can also design a customized trip (minimum 4-days) for your group. Check out Velocity Cycling Tours website, Facebook and video. Once you've cycled the Texas Hill Country, it's hard to stay away for long.

Monthly Coaching · Coaching Consultations Threshold Testing · CompuTrainer Classes Power Meter Consultations

www.athletesontrack.com

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Meet Patty Collins

Photo by Lee McDaniel

I've always had a bicycle and my earliest memories of childhood involved riding with friends around my town in a small farm community in northwest New Jersey. Of course, this was back in the late 70s and early 80s; there were no water bottle cages or helmets. One of our favorite rides was to a place with a spring running, where we could stop for a cool drink on a summer's day, and then continue on around the farm fields on single lane roads with no yellow or white lines, just small town roads. It was the kind of place where parents didn't worry where there kids were because everyone knew each other. Not only would parents look out for kids, but if you messed up, the discipline was shared across families as well. Getting my driver's license probably put a damper on cycling, but I still always had a bike. I remember most of them; there was the red Schwinn with the banana seat and orange flagg, the Huffy Santa Fe, my first ten speed, to my first real road bike, a Panasonic my dad bought from a police auction. The price was right and it was a sweet ride. The only problem was it was a 58cm and I probably needed a 52. It didn't matter, the Panasonic got me to my first triathlon in 1989 and I don't think I've looked back. Throughout my 21 year Army career, I participated in triathlons and long bike tours, planned moves and residence around where I could bike commute, and started bike racing in 2005. I was quickly hooked and began looking for a team as I was preparing for a move to NC. Sometimes, however, life doesn't go as we plan. I moved to NC and quickly deployed to Iraq. Upon arriving home, I took up bike commuting again as it was a way to regain some lost fitness. Life was good and I was happy. Fitness was returning and races were on the calendar for fall. In July of 2006, my world took a significant turn. I was struck by an automobile while cycling to work. I was riding an orange bike, wearing a bright yellow jersey, had a red flashing light, and was doing everything right...but sometimes bad things happen. The driver wasn't on a cell phone or changing a radio station, he simply didn't see me. He was uninsured and driving a 1986 Honda Civic. I can look back on that now and say I was lucky. If he had any money and was insured, he probably would have been driving a big SUV and I wouldn't be here to tell my story. I suffered some pretty bad injuries and my carbon Aegis Trident was now in pieces. It took nearly 10 months for me to realize my injuries were not going to heal and give me a life. I wanted to resume my active lifestyle. Carbon bikes can be replaced. Non-working human parts can't...or not exactly. I elected to amputate my non-functioning left leg below the knee in the hopes a good prosthesis could help me regain my active lifestyle, including my career. On May 9, 2007, I had my left leg removed below the knee. By the 4th of July of that year I celebrated our country's independence and my own by riding my Specialized Stump Jumper around the neighborhood (with SPD pedals) for about 6 miles. I fell twice, but it didn't matter, I was on my way back to the life I had once known. I consider myself lucky and my accident and amputation to be the best thing that ever happened to me. I'm a more compassionate person. I don't take for granted how someone should act or feel in certain situations because we're all different. I also was lucky enough to learn to walk, run, and ride a bike as an adult. None of us remember learning it as kid, so learning it as an adult has made me appreciate the gift all the more. The Army has taken great care of me, pays for all of my legs, deployed me again to Afghanistan, and allows me to continue serving a country I love. They've assigned me to the Great Place of Fort Hood, and I've finally learned why everything is bigger and better in Texas. It's easily the most bike friendly place I've lived, and the cycling community is no exception. The race scene, which I'm slowly moving back into, is terrific and the community of racers, promoters, and officials has been fantastic. I look forward to racing with you all. I'll be easy to spot; I have the cool carbon leg that weighs significantly less than your real one. Shimano, Campy and SRAM can't help you there!

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pedaling on a stationary trainer. Prepare to clip out of the pedal with plenty of distance before you actually have to stop. Don't wait until you are almost at a stand still and panic. Also, make sure to practice unclipping both feet. One of the most common ways to fall is by standing around in a group halfway clipped in and turning around to talk to someone. You may suddenly find yourself doing the dreaded slow motion fall

You Deserve It

I hear it all the time. "Well, I don't race and I'm just doing this to stay in shape, so I don't really need that nice of a bike." "Those fancy bike shoes are only for serious riders; I'll never be good enough to use those." The next time you think you don't deserve the cool bike stuff, think again sister, you do qualify! Should I buy a hybrid for my first nice bike? I want to be able to do everything, especially ride with the group that goes by my office every afternoon. Hybrid bikes are great for commuting around town, but don't be swayed into buying a hybrid if you want to ride with a group for training. You will have a much easier time staying with a group ride on a true road bike versus a hybrid. A woman deserves just as fast a bike as a man. You are not below the bike! Don't let someone talk you into a hybrid just because you are new to cycling. It may save you from buying another faster bike in the near future if you expand your biking limits. TT aero bars are only for fast riders. I'll never need to use those. You will need to use them to be faster during triathlons or time trials when you are not riding in a tight group of riders. TT bars or clip on aero bars will improve your aerodynamic setup, which in turn will help increase your speed; however, they can be dangerous if not used in the proper setting. Use them for your solo events and be sure

to practice alone ahead of time to get used to the stretched out aero position. Even if you don't plan on getting down in them during a group ride, do not show up to your local road ride with aero bars on your bike. No one likes to be horned from behind in a pace line gone bad. My husband's old bike is just fine for me. We are about the same height so it should fit. Some women can benefit from a women's specific bike (note I use the word some). On average, most women have shorter torsos, smaller hands, narrower shoulders, shorter arms, wider hips, and longer legs than a man close to their same height. Besides a girly paint scheme, here are some things that can make a women's specific bike design: a shorter top tube reach, smaller handle bar width/shallower drop/shorter reach, shorter crank length, a slightly wider saddle, brake levers that can be adjusted for smaller hands, and frame materials can be altered for lighter weight riders. Use your husband's old bike to start out, but once you are serious about riding, buy your own and make sure it is customized to fit your body type and riding style. Clipless pedals intimidate me. I'm not good enough to use them! Let's face it, you will fall over the first few times you use clipless pedals. Heck, everyone does so don't be embarrassed! If possible, practice clipping in and out while

to your less dominant side that is still attached to the bike. Remember, you are good enough to go clipless and you should use them to improve your cycling. Hear that ladies? You can do it and you deserve to use the cool stuff too. Now get outside and ride your bike! This column is written especially for you ladies out there who want to know more about this quirky sport of cycling! Have a question, or an idea for a story? Tell me about it at [email protected]

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M a r k e t p l a c e

TXBRA.org

6th & 27th Alkek Championship Series 14th ~ The Classic 28th ~ The Keirin

April

TeXas Bicycle Racing Association

Contact [email protected]

Hill Country Bicycle Works

141 West Water St. Kerrville, TX 830-896-6864 702 East Main Fredericksburg, TX 830-990-2609

www.hillcountrybicycle.com

BikeTexas.org/Join

Become a member today

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MSU's Alexi Martinez

By Richard Carter

Alexi Martinez's father rode for the Mexican national team in the early 1980's but never pushed his son to race. "I always had a bicycle," said the senior business management major at Midwestern State University. "My father was in the industry and there were bikes all over the place. I started mountain biking when I was 13 and got serious with junior racing when I was 16 or 17. "My father wouldn't even tell me about racing," he said with a laugh. The two would go mountain biking. "Bicycling was just a hobby, until I got good. My junior year I won like 20 races and teams started approaching me." Martinez skipped university and signed with a pro team called Successful Living from 2006 to 2009, riding for the US national team in Europe in 2006. Near the end of his tenure, he attended junior college to do his core curriculum. Two and a half years ago, he transferred to MSU to do his degree, after hearing about MSU's ranked team from Jason Short and Alex Boyd (the latter also was on the national team in Europe). As a racing pro, Martinez specialized in criteriums, but he also enjoys road racing. In the past two Hotter `N Hell Hundreds, he finished in the crit top ten several times. One of the things he enjoyed most about MSU was working with incoming riders. "I like giving back to the kids who are learning, kind of like the people who worked with me when I was a new pro starting out." Collegiate cycling is different from pro cycling, he explained, because it's more laid back. "It's a lot more fun, because it's not just cycling. It's school too, and a lot of different things which I like." Set to graduate in spring, he will return to the O.C. to work part-time for the father's bicycle shop CYCLEPRO. "I hope to help my father grow and expand his business. I also have

Photo by Loren Eggenschwiler

Welcome to Bike Friendly Central Texas

Copperas Cove, Texas is located in the middle of miles of scenic, maintained paved roads in the foothills of the Texas Hill Country- with several routes ranging in distance from 10 miles up 100 miles.

a lot of connections in the biking industry because of my racing, so I want to pursue that on the corporate level. There are a lot of companies in southern California, and hopefully I will land in a good spot." While Martinez will continue to ride, his focus will be on developing a good career around cycling. Martinez will soon turn 26, and sometimes wishes that he'd have gotten school out of the way first to see how far he could have taken cycling as a pro. "But, I am extremely excited about graduating and going into my dad's shop with the knowledge of what I have learned in school and from my cycling experiences."

Contact the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau at 254-547-7571 or www.copperascove.com

For cycling maps, local accommodations and restaurants

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