Monday, December 29, 2008

Apparently, I love December...

The last two years have been very good to me in December. In addition to being the month we celebrate the birth of Christ by plunging into debt, I was able to get in significant amounts of riding:

2007: 655 miles
2008: 631 miles with three days to go.

For the purists, not all of these miles are outdoors. Many are trainer miles watching movies and doing Spinerval workouts.

Should be hitting the Superdrome tonight if the temperature holds, so I can take one of the IC3 youth out and get him some off-season practice. A few laps for me as well.

I did get in a very good metric ride last Friday. Good in the sense that it was much hillier than the routes I normally take, and much of it was with a 30+ mph cross or head wind. Speed was not the goal...miles and climbing were. The targeted trainer sessions made the hills much flatter than they normally are.

Cyclists to pray for: Gary and Andy.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

IC3 Junior devo

I got the pleasure of handing over an IC3 team bike to a very deserving youth that I coach last Saturday. Still need to fit him to it and go for a test ride. Can you tell how sick he is behind the smile on his face? This is the first road bike he will have ridden, being a track racer and all...

IC3 Junior Devo program

Cyclist to pray for: This kid ^^^ (Landon - health and safety on the bike)

99 things

This has nothing at all to do with being an aging cyclist...just thought it was a fun idea I saw on a friend's blog. Bold items are those I have done, Italics I can see doing someday:

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars - summer YMCA camps
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain - if riding a bike up mountain passes in Colorado counts, sure :)
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo - LOL...took 40 years to get me to lip sync in the choir
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child - Hi goofball!
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train

21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked - Huntsville, TX as a teenager with a stranded car
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill - many times. Called in "golf"
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon (Why ruin perfectly good knees?)
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run - Hit one over the fence, but it was ruled an out as it was the 4th of the game and the limit was 3. Church league softball
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors - mom was born in Fort Worth, TX, does that count?
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke - not on your life
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant - paid for coffee for the car behind me at Starbucks once
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance - after a haed on collision at 55mph in 1991
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie - saw "Necessary Roughness" being filmed in college at UNT
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business - 3NF, inc. 2001 - 2008.
58. Taken a martial arts class - jujitsu club at UNT, 2 classes.
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies - I'm not a girl, and mine are grown.
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason - I've given for no reason, but never received
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma - at least a gallon
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy - still have my BMX bike
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job- 2003, after 18 months, was told I didn't have the skills (?!?!)
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle - crashed one at 5mph in a parking lot learning to ride :)
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car - 1994 Chevy Beretta
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper - 4th grade class was interviewed. Been on radio too.
85. Read the entire Bible (working on it)
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life - hope to be part of someone's eternal salvation someday before I go home
90. Sat on a jury - 2008 - Guilty.
91. Met someone famous - soap star in my family, and raced Lance Armstrong before he was anyone, 1989 or so
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby - made one...does that count?
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Thursday, December 4, 2008

USA Cycling Coach

For my faithful reader(s)....

There's now a new image over on the right that USA Cycling's coaching program allows me to use, so I thought I should explain :)

I have been a certified Level 3 (beginner) cycling coach since early 2007, and expect to continue to be one until nobody ever asks me for cycling advice anymore.

I am not a PhD in Physiology, or a Power training expert, etc. I am a basics coach. I teach how to ride on the track without falling off. I teach the value of yelling "hole" and "car back" on group rides to newbies.

Services I offer and how much:

Junior track racing (as a helper to Suzie at the Superdrome): Free.
Junior track racing - open session: Free if I'm going anyway.

Junior road riding - Free until you get faster than me, then go hire Chris Williams or Max Miley

Adults, riding/racing - Free for members of IC3

Adults that want dedicated riding time and training programs....please hire Chris, Max, Richard Wharton, etc. These guys have proven experience taking riders to the next level. I am not building a coaching practice. I just want to get people started safely and then watch them grow.

Special note to parents:

If your kid wants to start competitive cycling, please consider the Superdrome youth development program. Track racing is one of the safest cycling forms out there. No trees, no glass, no cars. IC3 member or not, I'll help them get going both riding and racing when they are ready. Suzie Goodwin runs it, I help out when I can. The IC3 youth program in fo page is here.

Cyclist to pray for: Todd.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Just laugh...

Got a flat last night.

On the trainer.

At least it wasn't the front tire. That would have been too "Fred"....

I'll fix it tonight and try again to burn off that pecan pie...


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sometimes you park it!

After my last post, I decided to not make a run at the "Fall mini series" competition. I've sat out the first two events and just coached. I was able to fully concentrate on helping my junior athlete win his "Youth A" category with a few well-timed jumps and sprints.

I skipped last week as well, as when I got legs. Never even pulled the bike out of the truck.

When you don't even want to ride, you should certainly not race.

I may do one or two of the Saturday afternoon events in November, but purely for the workout. First or last place...don't really care.

Season is done, time to hibernate on the trainer and lose some gut.

It may be awhile before I come out of the cave to post again, so you guys take care, keep the rubber side down and your eyes to the skies.


Cyclist to pray for: All of them.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Whew....long season!!!

Man...just when I thought the season was over and I could go into "weight-loss" mode (euphamism for slowing it down), the Superdrome sucked me back in :)

Rode in the "Dollar night" and "Festival of speed" events this weekend. Shall we say I have not been doing high RPM and sprint training in quite some time. My results showed it. I'm quite sure I got last in my group on Dollar night...and got 8th out of 10 or 11 on Saturday night.


Both were fun and I got to watch a junior I am coaching improve. Results were the same as the previous week, but he rode smarter and stronger.

Even worse, the 'drome will be running a fall "endurance series" all the way through the end of November.

So my season is now 11 months long :)

Side note: the aging cyclist hits 40 tomorrow. Rub a bald head or pot belly for me, wouldja?

Cyclist to pray for: Stephen W. and family


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Well, shoot.

I've been looking forward to an event for a year now...the 12 hour race at the Texas Time Trials in Cleburne, TX. I was hoping to be able to best my personal record of 156 miles in 12 hours which I set long ago in a different (thinner/younger) body.

Last Friday's ride proved to me that there was no way I was going to be able to hit 160 miles in 12 hours, since I can't even do 2 hours without low back pain. So I dropped my expectations to doing the 6 hour event and justified that the logistics were much easier this way.

Looking at the entry form this morning, reality set in. $95 entry fee, plus a $20 late fee = $115.00 for a self-supported century. Too much. If it was supported, maybe. But I can essentially do the same thing by doing a 20 mile loop starting and ending at my Without having to drive 90 minutes to get there.

Understand this is no knock on the promoter...they have every right to charge what they want and I respect that. My job is to decide if I am willing to pay it.


So...on the flip side, I will go do 2 track races that weekend for Texas Cup points and have a good time. I may decide to do the "local 6 hour" this weekend, just to say I did it.

Aging Cyclist lesson: None of us are as young as we once were, and we have to be relistic in our goals.

Cyclist to pray for: Gabby (she just got her first new MTB)


Monday, September 8, 2008

Hazards of being responsible :)

I was hoping to get in a 6 hour ride this Saturday, doing various 20 mile loops startnig and ending at my house, which would have left me no more than 10 miles from my house at any given time. This was for two reasons: Refueling, and I was on call.

A side note about my job: I am an escalation engineer in the IT world, and am on-call every third week for 7 days, 24 hours. Then off-call for the next 2 weeks. If a "Severity A" call comes in, I have 30 minutes to be in front of a computer. "Sev B" I have 4 hours. 99% of the time, this is not a problem as Sev A calls are rare.

So Saturday I'm on my first loop, really just getting good and warm on an out and back. Went out 12 miles and turned around. 4 miles later, the phone rings and I actually hear it! Missed the actual call but dialed up the office to find out I've been hit by the 1% of the time something serious has blown up. So...back to the house. Got there in exactly 30 minutes.

An hour and a half later, problem solved so I head back out to go try to salvage some of the ride. Of course I'm completely cooled down and momentum is shot but I need the miles. Head down the road to do a 15 mile out and back (different from the previous one) that I generally do as a time trial effort. I get all the way to the far end and the phone rings again. Call the office and get voice mail. Nobody is willing to claim having called me, one dude won't even do me the coutesy of asking the guy next to him, and nobody left voice mail or sent an email. Crud. Back to the house.

Get to the house and there are two more calls I didn't hear. This time they actually left VM, and it is something I could put off a few hours. But my ride is toast.

Got in 40 miles, 2 customer issues and lots of frustration. No more calls the rest of the day.

Didn't even bother to ride Sunday.

Aging cyclist lesson: Sometimes the job gets in the way of training, but the job pays the bills and that's part of the game until you get that "Master's pro" contract ;)

Cyclist to pray for: Stephen W.


Friday, September 5, 2008

How to feel young again....

...ride with a kid.

I spent an hour riding all over the neighborhood last night with a 12 year old and his 10 year old brother. We played follow the leader, slow race, drag race, etc.

More fun than I've had on a bike in years :)

Cyclist to pray for: Landon.


Friday, August 29, 2008

Aches and pains are part of the gain

Whine, gripe, moan, complain....the hazards of pushing yourself too hard

Did the HHH race/rally on 8/23 (dropped at 40 miles, rallied my way in to the finish. Yay me for 100 miles!). I decided somewhere about mile 50 that despite how much I spent and how cool the Selle Italia SLR Gel Flow saddle sux. For me. Fine for some other dude, but my old bones need some cushion.

I picked up a Specialized Rival of the proper width (slightly wider than the the SI), and lots of cushion. Stuck in on in the parking lot Tuesday before a 35 mile hammerfest known locally as the "Popsicle ride" which implies something nice and pleasant....not so much. Be ready for 20 avg, bursts to 30. I felt good durng the ride, but the adjustments are still to come as I strained a back muscle with bad positioning.

Rode again Thursday night after lowering the saddle 1 cm, hoping to get 40 miles in. Heat got me and I abandoned my 27/33 mile loop and cut it to 22 miles. Heavy bike, aero bars, CamelBack, saddle issues, etc. Felt like I was riding a 1970s Raleigh Touring bike (which I happen to have one of for sale in my garage!) complete with fenders and a rear rack.

I'll make another small adjustment tonight (lower the nose, scoot it forward) before Saturday's Tour de Bikemart metric attempt. need to get a metric this weekend (or two), a trial run at 6 hours next weekend, another metric at the Patriot Pedal on the 13th and hopefully another metric or hundred on 9/20.

All of this preparation is for my 12 hour attempt at 160 or more miles at the Texas Time Trials on 9/27.

I might go race the Superdrome on 9/19, mainly because I have a new junior teammate that has just started his track training, and I am targeting that as his first race. Local, low key and he can watch a lot of different skill levels when he's not on the track to learn from them.

Thing to learn if you're old: Make adjustments in fit or equipment well before your event.

Cyclists to pray for: John S, Todd, Dan. All for different reasons.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Season is almost over

HHH is coming!

In preparation for my last two events of the year, I've been trying to log some serious saddle time the last week or two, and will continue up through next Tuesday.

HHH (Cat 4, 100 miles) is August 23, 7am start. I don't expect to win, place or show in this one. I'd like to still be there at 40-50 miles, since my best Cat4 performance ever is 37 miles with the pack down in Copperas Cove back in January. I've gained back up to 172 lbs, and its not all muscle. When/If I get dropped in this race, I'll find others or wait for the rally riders on team IC3 to catch up with me and roll back in to Wichita Falls with that group.

Texas Time Trials is September 27 (for me). 12 hours, see how many miles you can do. This is a 20.01 mile loop in Cleburne, TX. My goal is 160 miles, since I have previously accomplished 156 in a 12 hour event in the past (1996). Once HHH is over, the aero bars get mounted and I start the longer training. 40 milers during the week, 80-100 on the weekends.

Crits and track are pretty much out for the year unless I just need a break.

Oh, and I start seminary classes on 9/15/08, which runs into November for my first class. My son starts a new school this year (cross your fingers) and my middle child goes off to college at the same time. Lots of changes around DB house in the next months.

Cyclist to pray for: Mrs. DallasBikr - she has to put up with me and watch our daughter move off to school. And yes, she is a cyclist. She has a recumbent trike!

Ride safe,

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Where's DB?

Yes, I'm still a cyclist, and still aging :)

Lots of fun things get in the way of training...on-call duty, 100 degree weather, unexpected road trips, etc.

My middle offspring was coming back from a camp yesterday and the car she was riding in (not hers) decided to stop in the middle of nowhere. From the description, the motor seized up due to a lack of oil. So, I'm the logical person to drive from Irving to Childress, TX to home. Several hundred miles and about 7-8 hours at the end of a 7 hour work day. No..I didn't hop on the trainer to log some miles :)

This is not a complaint mind you...just part of being Mr. Dad/Father/Employee dude. If you are a teenager or young single dude reading this....get your race on now! Before you get old fat and slow! BWAHAHAHA!!!! Ok...better now ;)

I did ride Saturday morning, and a few miles on Sunday afternoon, but nothing to brag about. Am planning for a ride tonight as well.

Oh...and since I need at least one more thing to keep me from training "properly", I signed up for my first seminary class with Liberty University Online today: New Testament I. I start on September 15...after Hotter'N Hell, but before the Texas Time Trials.

Cyclist to pray for: Jennifer


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Gettin' dirty

Did a little MTB ride last night with friends from IC3, and managed to miss every tree on the LB Houston beginner loops.

Pretty tame ride, but not a bad way to change the pace up. 7 miles, easy pace, almost completely flat.

Cyclist to pray for: TW.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'm baaaaack!

Back from a full week of youth camp and a weekend of recovering :)

Before I left I raced the SPS series on Friday the smoked in every race. No details, since the 35+/Cat 4 group was left off the results for now

Tried to do the Moritz Sprints for the Texas Cup points, but after 4 hours and no communication on expected timeframe I gave up and went home having only completed the 200m time trial. In effect, this ended any hope I had of taking the Texas Cup jersey as I needed a finish every available race. 4 hours before the first match sprint ever started seems excessive to me.

Got to build the storage shed instead of racing. Benefits of being an aging cyclist :)

I did get in some riding the Saturday after I returned at the Sam Bass Challenge Fun Ride. I helped the promoter organize routes, rest stops, etc. and rode the course backwards to make sure all 17 entrants were safe. Changed 2 flats and took off for home.

Did a fellowship ride on Sunday, averaging 14mph or so. 3 flats on that ride (1 was mine). Apparently the flat bug is following me.

Doing a beginner MTB ride at LB Houston tonight on my Wal-Mart "NEXT" bike...a rusted out 5 year old junker that weighs more than my road and track bikes combined. Oughta be "fun."

Cyclist to pray for: Key. Several needs.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Raced myself out of racing shape...

An interesting phenomenon is going on with me...

I've done so much track racing, with moderate levels of success that I can't crit anymore.

Most track races for my age/skill are 30 laps or less. On our track that is just over 7 kilos at most. This would be steady state, with a few surges here and there, and at about 2 minutes per kilo, a long race is maybe 15 minutes...usually closer to 10.

At the crits the last few weeks, I've gone really strong for about.....10 minutes. And then blew up.

Chuckle. The funniest part of this is that I have ALWAYS been an endurance guy. Long rides are better, since I've never been able to sprint in any form, shape or fashion. Until the track.

And the track is the most fun I've ever had in a bike race outside of a few BMX races a million years ago.

So I have to decide what I want to be when I grow up...track racer with the ability to go really well on a short race, crit racer with the ability to sprint...corner...repeat, or long distace road/tt dude.

In any event, I'm just glad to be able to compete at any level. Thanks and praises to God for that, and the safety I've enjoyed in the racing I've done.

Cyclist to pray for: Todd L. Went down hard and mad last night at the crits. He's ok, the parts are dinged.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Busy aging cyclist

Been a few days since my last post...many things going on, and precious little riding...

I did get in some track racing at the Superdrome Friday night, taking 4th in my category out of 8 entrants. Congrats to Tom E on the upgrade to Cat 3. We'll miss having you pull us all over the track ;)

My ride in the Danish was just stupid...wound up getting 7th I think. Bad tactics cost me a much higher position, and ultimately probably a top 3 in the overall.

Did better in the scratch and Unknown Distance (17 laps), but still not great. Mike Owens rode inspired and beat me in all three races. Good for him!

No riding on Saturday, as that was the last of the Horse Country Time Trial series my team promotes for the year. Takes too much work and I generally have nothing but a nap in me afterwards. Spent my free time yesterday working on the storage building for my wife...3 hours of measuring and cutting plywood. Finance committee meeting at church, evening services...all more important to an aging cyclist than getting in a bike ride.

Hopefully I can get in some miles tonight, so I'll not be dead in the crits tomorrow.

Cyclist to pray for: Geoffery Rogers with PACC. Car vs. always wins.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Racing in the heat...

I did the Tuesday night crits this week in temps nearing 100 degrees at race time. It cooled off a bit for the A race, and then the rain dumped on them. For the B racers (including me) it was just hot.

I didn't expect to hang in very long, so I lined up at the front and played around a bit with taking pulls and small breaks. Once caught I worked on positioning, cornering, etc. Stayed in it for 18 minutes at 24.7 avg mph. before my lungs started yelling at me to back I listened to the old body and bailed out. Happy with what I was able to do, and will continue to work on these things through the remainder of the season (mid-September).

Not having the pressure of trying to accomplish a specific finish order has made the crits much more enjoyable. The more track I race, the more dull a crit gets. But...crits are great training for track endurance events. And vice versa. If you don't have a cheap road fixie or track bike, you're missing a great training tool.

Lesson for the aged cyclist:

Work on technique if you're not in it for position
Make it fun
Bail when you are really cooked
Find the positive and dwell on it

Cyclist to pray for: Michael...all sorts of health issues have his spirits up and down.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Big slacker series...

Howdy all!

As with all on call weeks, my training suffered last week.

Thursday: 2 hours, 18 miles at the track. Did a couple fo Flying 200m efforts (14.53, 14.47), and got to work pacelines with IC3 member Keila in from the NorCal spoke.

Friday: Did the Yacht club route, took my time due to heat...95+.

Saturday: Did the responsible husband thing and spent the day with family and making multiple trips to town to get the necessary stuff to put up a storage building in the backyard. Went to the movies with the family in the evening.

Sunday: Did my Historic loop avg. 17mph, 95 degrees, 15mph wind from the S. Cooked myself.

Up next: Tuesday Crits and Friday night at the Superdrome, assuming I am done with preparations for the Horse Country TT.

Cyclist to pray for: Scott Kasin - health.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Old guys just wanna have fun...

The Plano Tuesday night crit, B race has gotten a bit tedious for me, since I don't have the fitness/ability to stay in it till the end. So I decided to have a little fun and mess around.

A lap by lap recap:

Warmup. {Snore}

Whistle to start the 45 minutes
Started at the front, clipped in immediately, got to the first turn in 4th
Jumped on Kelly's wheel and got in line (4th). Look back...we have a gap 20 seconds into the race
Traded pulls for a corner or two
Came out of Turn 4, lap one, and nearly ran my breakaway companions over when they checked up.
Went flying past them on the left and dropped the tiny little hammer I carry ;)
SOLO BREAK OVER THE S/F (yelled to the officials to take a picture!)
Had a decent gap (no respect from the others)
2 riders bridged up and we started swapping pulls
They are way stronger than me...did a final pull and sat up for the pack
Swallowed up and sat there for 5 or 6 laps
Off the back, probably not the first one to get shelled
Got lapped twice, and pulled out

Felt good to make people wonder what I was up to. I'm fairly sure my blue-shirt buddies were taking odds on what lap I would blow up on, especially after my off the front antics...

Good times though. More fun than I've had out there in weeks.

Cyclist to pray for: Dan and Michelle, for non-cycling reasons.


Slow is good...makes you faster!

I got in a 14 mile slow recovery ride Sunday afternoon with a good friend, an acquaintance and a stranger. This was our monthly Fellowship Ride for IC3. Once a month, we slow down and have a purely social ride. No-drop, and everyone rides at the speed/pace of the slowest or newest rider. Gary, Karen and Andrea...thanks for the ride!

Monday I put in a Power Hour in my neighborhood. This a new deal for me, which works in well with the aging cyclist training plan. Come home from work, play with the little one, love on Mrs. Aging cyclist, have some dinner, ride hard for an hour, clean up, mess around with the youngun' again, catch some "Mole" with missus dallasbikr...all while on call for work.

My Power Hour consists of 6 laps at 90-100% around the local crit...30 minutes. Then cruise up the road for 15 minutes, and come back. Cease hard effort at 60 minutes and roll to the house.

My legs are aware I used them last night, but not complaining....should be in decent shape for the Tuesday night crits.

Cyclist to pray for: Jack...messed up his knee Sunday (not on the bike though...on the deck)


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Racing and training...2 updates for the price of one

Friday night Superdrome Points Series - 35+/Cat 4

On the schedule: Miss-n-out, 4 lap scratch, Points race (30 laps)

Miss-N-Out: I've not had any level of success in this event, other than a few "not last" placings. Got in front on the rollout and waited for Tom E. to come around. Sat on his wheel the entire race. He never pulled up, and I never pulled. Nor did I get pulled. 3rd place in the final sprint. Cool.

4 lap scratch: This was nothing more than a "Mass start flying kilo"...if you start at the back, you're toast. on Tom's wheel again and sat there, spinning like a gerbil...3rd place in the race, 2nd in my category, since uber-stud 12 year old Noah Williams was in the mix as well.

Between races: Tom works for Richardson Bike Mart, and brought out some demo ZIPP wheels. He "forced" me to put a ZIPP Disc on my bike for the points race. I didn't think about, and he didn't mention that I probably ought to switch out the front chainring to compensate for the extra weight of the disc. Oops.

Points race: Just for kicks, and to see if it sticks...I jumped on lap one and very quickly had a 1/3 to 1/2 lap lead on the "main group". I dangle out there for awhile and then David came after me by himself. He catches up and asks if we should work together. "Um...yes please?" By the time he got to me and settled in front, the pack was only 3 lengths back, and I was feeling the disc/wrong gear already. Ugh. I dropped out quickly, knowing I was toast and would be scoring no points.

Overall: 2nd, 3rd, DNF...still good enough for 2nd in the category, due to a bizarre tie-breaker rule. Another guy got 2nd, 4th and 5th in his events, but because I had a 3rd, I won the tie-breaker. Weird.

Overall...happy with the results.

Saturday training ride: only 12 hours from race to RBM training ride.

36 miler with good friend Todd K. He is still getting his form back, so we hammered with the group at 20+ half the ride and then chit-chatted the back half. Exactly what I needed to shake off the "Track legs" from last night.

Lessons from the aging cyclist:

1. Track races are mental and physical...bring your legs and your brain, know the strategy of the race, and go fast, turn left.

2. Sometimes, you back off the intensity and just ride with a buddy :)

Cyclist(s) to pray for:
Sean and Cheryl. Not really cyclists, but I'm sure they have ridden before. This is a pivotal weekend for them in many ways.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Truncated training ride

Corinth Cycling Club training ride last night...

This is a very fast training ride done every Tuesday and Thursday through the summer. 4 miles warm up, hammerfest in the middle, 4 miles cooldown (all numbers approximate). Sprint points at the end and all.

I came out last night energized and ready to roll...race wheels and all. I powered up a hill, chased a mini-break, flew a corner picking a perfect line...right through the glass. Including me there were 4 flats.

The only good things about mine are that nobody crashed, and this tire needed replacing as its the same one I cut on Sunday and was riding with a dollar bill inside it as a boot. This flat was just trach coming through. With less than 200 miles on the tire, I'm going to give it a thumbs up for "suppleness" and two thumbs down for durability. Vittoria Diamante for those that want to avoid it.

Still got in 18 miles and feel good about how I was riding until the flat. Thanks to Dan and Tim for hanging out while I fixed it up.

Track racing tonight: Miss-n-out, 4 lap scratch, points. Twice. Doing two categories to get in the miles.

Cyclist to pray for: Key.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Go faster by slowing down

Smell the roses ride last night...

Just took the bike (complete with training hoops) out for a quick hour spin last night, practiced form over speed, powered up a hill or two and finished with 17.7 mph avg. On solo rides its common for me to work really hard to get getting close without trying all that much tells me one of a few options:

1. I'm getting stronger
2. There was much less wind than normal

I'm hoping for both :)

Tip to glean: Don't go all out on every ride. This was a recovery ride from Tuesday's all out crit effort.

Cyclist to pray for: You. Or that guy you drive past on your commute in the mornings.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Race report 20080624

Tuesday night crits, Plano, TX

B race (Cat 4 men, masters Cat 3s)

I actually got in a decent warmup, with a few power intervals into the East wind on the backside to wake up the legs. 8-10 miles or so, mostly in the 15-17mph range with 22+ intervals.

I have not been training well lately, and I typically drop off the back of this race within 10-15 minutes. 10 minutes seems to be a make or break point for me. I have never been a "ramp it up to 100% NOW" sort of rider.

Tonight I was able to stick in there for 27 minutes at 25.2 mph before I just had nothing left. I got in two laps past the point my lungs and legs started barking at me, and then one more at the "encouragement" of my friend Scott Winn (thanks have more faith in my skills than I do...). After that I was toast, but happy with my performance, considering the training and heat (mid to high 90s).

Not a bad performance. Active Recovery ride tonight, who knows for tomorrow and then track racing Friday night.

Cyclist to pray for: Bill issue and closer relationship to God.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Outrunning a chew-toy

Training ride last night...I call it the "Power Hour" which is misleading, since its not a "power" session as most advanced cyclists think of it. Especially since I don't have or want a Power Meter.

This just a workout of higher intensity that takes no more than an hour from start to finish. For last night's version, I did 6 laps around my development (also known as the "Kruger Krit"). On the second lap, my neighbor's Chihuahua decided to chase me up the street at 20mph. Amazingly, this tiny little dog held pace for over 100m. I kept the pace up, as I did not want him getting caught in my spokes and suffering "Death by Neuvation", with me flipping over the bars.

I call this dog Chew Toy, because the other dog in the house is a huge beast of a mutt, with absolutely NO desire to chase cars, kids or cyclists. If he comes to see you and opens his mouth...fear not. He's about to drop a tennis ball on your shoe...nothing more.

51 minutes, 20mph avg, winds SE 12-15. Not bad for an old guy.

Races this week:

Tuesday night crits - Plano
Wednesday night crit - Ft. Worth (maybe)
Superdrome Points Series - Friday

Cyclist to pray for: Karen.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Be consistent!!

One of the best things an aging cyclist can do is to be consistent. Back in my 20s, I could change up the schedule, go harder, skip days, etc. and not suffer. Now...not so much.

Rode hard Thursday night, but took off Saturday when out of town for two reasons:
1. Needed sleep before the family reunion
2. Too hot afterwards to ride unfamiliar routes

So, 2 days off and it showed yesterday. Weak little 43 mile effort at modest intensity left me completly drained. Of course, 95 degree heat and a flat 5 miles from home didn't help any...

At least I got in a longer than normal ride. Lately, the training has been suffering, and most rides in the <30 mile range.

I'll probably go out for an hour tonight after work to get in a light speed workout before the crits tomorrow night.

Oh...and reunions make you fat. I'm up 5 pounds so far this month.

Cyclist to pray for: Rachel - crashed in Austin over the weekend from what I read on TXBRA


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Busy week...

Been a few days and a few rides since I last posted, sorry about that!

Monday - 90 minute "hard" solo ride here near home

Tuesday Crits - canceled due to off and on rain

Wednesday - TBi Crits in Ft. Worth. 1.7 mile loop, B race. Hung on for 2 or 3 laps, got dropped and then lapped with 2 to go I begged for a mercy pull from my friends in blue at the finish line. Very hot, more than mild wind. Close to 100 degrees during warmup.

Thursday - intended to get to the morning track session (off work), but decided to sleep in when I heard thunder and rain at 7:30am. Went and did the CCC Big Steamer ride. Got dropped on "the" hill the second time around. This thing gets faster every time I do it.

Tomorrow - no and travel to a family reunion.

Saturday - might get to ride out in Longview if I can find an early enough group and manage to get my lazy rear out of bed on time. Reunion starts at 10, back to the Sammons compound around 2, probably drive home that evening.

Next race: Tuesday night crits, SPS on 6/27 (no TX Cup points though)

Cyclist to pray for: Elderly dude that crashed at White Rock and is in intensive care. Name and condition unknown.

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, June 15, 2008

How to get better as a cyclist...

I am frequently asked by newer, or returning riders how to get "better."

The first step is ALWAYS...define "better."

Do you want to ride faster? Farther? Climb a hill you've never made it over? If you don't pick a goal, how can you hope to achieve it?

I'll take the above three as a start:

"I want to have a faster average speed"

A tried and true method that I have used successfully many times requires a sophisticated piece of equipment known in layman's terms as a watch. If you want to splurge about $20-$30 dollars, get a bike computer with avg speed as one of the readouts. If you are buying a computer, go ahead and get a model with a cadence function as well since you will want it later on.

Using the computer method, while riding set the display to average speed. If you currently average 13 mph, anytime you see the average dip below that, pick up the pace a little until your current speed is higher than 13. It really is that simple, but it does require focus.

Using the watch method works best when you run the same course on different days. You'll have to set a baseline by making a mental note of how long it took to get to a certain point, or complete one loop, etc. Make it a conscious effort to get to that point faster by putting in just a tad more effort.

The average speed on any given ride can vary wildly due to outside factors such as lights, stop signs, traffic, head/tailwind, etc. My personal avg speed can vary within a 2mph range depending on external factors. So when you are trying to work on average speed, try to find a route with the least obstacles to overcome.

"I want to go farther"

This one is easy, but if you do it wrong you can get in trouble.

Pick a loop. Maybe in your neighborhood, maybe the local lake or park. Somewhere that you can do 5-10 mile loops and be back to your house or car quickly if you tire out. Do not pick an "out and back" route when you are testing your distance abilities. The worst thing you can do is get too far from home and bonk. Especially if you don't have someone you can call. Getting dehydrated or heat stroke on the side of the road sucks.

If you consistently can already do 20 miles, find a 5 mile loop and do 5 instead of 4. Worst case scenario, you will not be anymore than 2.5 miles from your safety net. You may do that extra loop slower than the first, but you did them. Get to the point that all 5 are comfortable, and then move up to 6 loops. This may take a week, or several months. It varies for everyone. Conventional wisdom says to not increase distance more than 10% per week, and this assumes you ride 3-4 times per week. If you are a weekend warrior, increasing the distance can be a little harder.

"How do I become a better climber?"


It will never get easy. Some hills will, others will always be a challenge. But if you never do them, you will never be able to do them.

When you are climbing, shift to an easier gear and spin the pedals faster. Mashing a big gear uphill is just asking for high heart rates and sore knees. This is where the computer with the cadence funtion comes in. When you hit that local killer hill, switch to the cadence display and downshift. Opinions vary on whether to sit or stand while climbing. On a short hill, I say either. Medium, mostly sitting. Long hill, mostly sitting with a few 10 seconds to standing mixed in at regular intervals to relive pressure on your rear end and stretch out the muscles.

If you wind up walking a particular hill every time you try it, try to get further up the hill before you get off. Downshift as much as necessary to keep going. Don't forget to breathe :)

Getting up a hill is also largely a function of strength-to-weight ratio. If you can get stronger, it helps. If you have extra pounds, they are not helping you go up. If you can get stronger and shave unwanted pounds you WILL notice an improvement on the hills much more than on the flats.

That's all the coaching 101 for new riders I have for today.

Kevin "I don't do nutrition" Hill
USAC Level 3 certified coach

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Track: Master's Regionals 2008

I decided to do the 1st day of Master's regionals/Texas state championships for one simple reason:

Nothing better to do on a Friday night.

That may offend a few (and I'm sorry about that...), but the underlying reason is that I can't race or ride on day 2, so the sprint and TT events were out. My only choice was to jump into the Points Race (40-49) and the Team Pursuit. Or sit at home and watch TV.

How it went down:

Points race. The 30-39 and 40-49 categories were combined into one race, 12.5K (50 laps). This being age based meant all skills raced together, from Cat 1 - 4. I'm a 4, so I figured the pace to be pretty quick.

We came off the rail and the first jump was within 2 laps. It didn't take. I sat on some faster wheels to judge my own abilities for a few laps. Specifically I sat on the wheel of Mike Gacki* as long as I could given the speed and crowd. At one point everyone went high except Drew Tucker who made a jump. I went with him and we started trading pulls to see if the group would let us stay away...they did for a few laps. Effectively, we gave them rabbits to chase and they blew by right before the first points sprint bell.

I stayed in it despite being blown out the back for 23 laps. Having been lapped twice (and down 40 points as a result), I pulled out to rest up for the Team Pursuit, which was coming up next.

Team Pursuit:

4 man team trial for those that don't know the track events. 4000meters (16 laps at the Superdrome), fast as you can. 3rd front wheel across the line stops the clock. Team Matrix/RBM went first, with Mike G, Dan T, Yo and a 4th (Scott?). Full on aero gear, disc wheels, experienced legs and riders. Dan my have been riding the drops. They were smooth and polished. Dan fell off the back at some point, but since you only need to finish with three, that didn't hurt them other than not having him to share the load once every 4 laps. They wound up doing 17 laps somehow and after re-calculating, they got a corrected time of 5:14:05.

Team "Pray for Rain" - a composite team of me, Chris Williams, Mark H and Mike Owens. We cobbled this thing together at the last minute...literally. We got Mark from Houston on the team with one minute left in registration. No aero equipment, and no practice. 2 Cat 2 guys and 2 Cat 4s in their first year of racing. We started without falling over, formed our line quickly and ramped it up to 28mph. Exchanges were all smooth and everyone took a solid one lap pull throughout the event. We might have been able to spin it up even faster, if not for the 50 lap Points Race my teammates had just completed. We finished in 5:47:something.

2nd place by 33 seconds means that Matrix and their gear/experience/etc. averaged 2 seconds a lap faster than us, which I am VERY PROUD of. First effort for me in this event and I'm a silver medalist. Of course, only 2 teams entered, lol.

Good times. Learned where I stand against the big boys in the points race, and had a blast in the pursuit.

Cyclist to pray for: Karen and the kids...just cuz she is new to our group.


* Michael Gacki is probably one of the three most experienced track racers I know. He's got skills and speed and will throw down in any race, any time, and ignore the pain until after the race. He's aggressive, but so are most of the elites. Better bike handling skills than 99% of the dudes out there. This is not a man-crush...just an explanation of why he gets mentioned from time-to-time in this blog as someone I watch or compare myself to. I want to get to his speed, my style at some point. We have polar opposite personalities, but are able to respect each other despite that.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Track workout 6/12/08

Got in a nice workout tonight at the Superdrome:

30 lap warmup with Mike and Fred...17-22mph, standard 2 lap, then 1 lap pulls

solo efforts, including some "barely rolling" start kilos...1:27 and 1:26. Not bad for a first time and a 50x16 gear (not sure what that works out to)

A few more "roll around in the aerobars" laps.

We have the Master's Regionals this weekend. I signed up to get clobbered in the 40-49 yr old Points race, and am looking for teammates to do the Team Pursuit.

Why? No TX Cup points in the 35+/Cat 4, no money, no chance of winning the Points race. Why? Cuz I just want to :) I have a goal in my head to do every type of track race the Superdrome offers within 2 years. Year one is just about over...

Cyclist to pray for: Greg "Brass Knuckle" clobbered by a car head-on yesterday. Sore but no major injuries. Bike is a "crumpet" (his term, not mine)


More grown-up stuff blocks training...

Hello to both of my loyal readers! ;)

Among the things that take away (correctly) from the training time of an aging cyclist:

...and now jury duty.

I spent Monday - Wednesday this week in a federal criminal white-collar trial. Hard to ride when you have to drive an hour each way, sit in a jury-box/jury room and then be on-call for work when you get home.

I got in a 20 mile heat-fest on Sunday afternoon, and a 30 minute hard paced crit practice around the neighborhood on Tuesday after both sides rested their case earlier than expected.

I'll head to the track tonight to try out doing some kilo work for the first time. Got the road aero clip-ons mounted last night and ready to roll. Ought to be interesting as I've never done a true standing-start kilo effort before.

No racing this weekend, as its Master's Regionals only, and I'm not fast enough to hang with a Mike Gacki, Frank, Uncle Joe, etc. Michael Owens I can hang with, so maybe... beloved son's birthday party is Saturday at 1:30. WAY more important than a bike race, hands down.

Cyclist to pray for: Tom Boonen...even the elites face troubles and tough decisions.


Saturday, June 7, 2008

Mortiz Spints #3

Hey Carroll! Thanks for coming out boss...what an unexpected and very cool surprise!

A recap of the nights sprints:

I've only done two match sprints...ever. Both in the same night against the same guy, and lost them both.

Tonight was a no points, tiny prizes sprint night. I only came out to get more experience in order to do well in the July TX cup sprints...same sponsor, but there are points on the line next time.

For this one, we listed all racers in order by 200m time trial time...I was second to last among the 12 adults. I went out at an effort of somewhere between sandbag and blow up the legs. Honest effort, but I didn't kill it or drill it.

This put me in the 'C' group...3rd of 4 (each group has 4 riders). We raced in a round robin fashion, so you are guaranteed to race at least 4 times.

Race 1 - me vs. Lindsay...her first track sprint. She had the lead position and took off from the gun, effectively giving me a wheel to sit on for two laps, so I did. Came around her on the last lap and rode to my first sprint victory. I suspected she had no strategy or knowledge of sprinting, so I offered some tips post-race, and she was happy to take them.

Race 2- me vs. David Woolcock. David was fastest TT effort in our group, and I've been racing him in crits and track for two years. We are reasonably well matched. I had the "back" position, and jumped on the last lap, holding him off at the line by "not much". I'm now

Race 3 - me vs. Glen. I was pretty sure David had beaten Glen pretty soundly when they raced so I had a decent shot at it. Again, I had the behind position, and managed to either come around or dive low to get ahead and just drilled it to the line for the win. 3-0.

The next thing they do is take the top 2 finishers (me and David) and set us up in a best 2 of 3 for 1st and 2nd place. 3rd and 4th get a one race match for the "bronze" (if there were actual medals).

So...Race 4 - I'm in the back yet again (this is all coin toss luck), and just watching David as we go progressively faster. At some point we started sprinting (I've already forgotten how it played out), full bore, and may have been the closest finish of the night. I got beat by mere inches. 3-1 overall, 0-1 in the gold medal round.

Race 5 - win or go home. I'm leading out. I'm riding the red line, which technically leaves the sprinters lane open, but my bars are hanging into it, making it a less than desirable choice for the back rider. I'm watching...I'm watching....there he goes! He jumps me around the start/finish with 1 to go. I react...we're sprinting through one and two, me in the lane, him on the outside...and passing me. On the back stretch I tried to get my legs to spin faster and hold him on the outside and they responded with something along the lines of "siddown fool!". I sat up and watched him sprint off to the first place overall and the $25 prize that went with it. My prize money went to the Superdrome Youth Devo fund. They still need it more than I do.

Great racing. My biggest mistake of the night was grabbing my 50T chainring instead of the 49T I meant to grab, so I was running a slightly higher gear than necessary for the wind conditions (south wind, 20mph). This was only in the final rounds, not the early ones.

Recovery ride intensity, cuz the legs are toast with jelly :)

Cyclist to pray for: Andrew F.


Friday, June 6, 2008

Texas Cup track standings

The current rankings for the Texas Cup Track points have been updated. For the Master's 35+/Cat 4 category:

1st Jim May GS Tenzing 62
2nd Kurt Bickel Joes Pro Bikes 59
3rd Kevin Hill International Christian Cycling Club 56
4th Carl Hentschel GS Tenzing 48
5th Michael Owens 44
6th Kenneth Maclean GS Tenzing 40
7th Edwin Buck Colavita Racing Inc. 39
7th Steven Bigby Team Spincycle 39
9th Robson Strange GS Tenzing 38

My stated goal at the beginning of the season was to shoot for a top 3 in this category at the end of the year. Being behind Jim and Kurt is nothing to be sad about :)

The next TX Cup events on the track are one of the SPS nights, and July Moritz Sprint.

I'm wondering if its possible to win the category without making a trip to Houston? They have 5 nights of sprinting and TT that award D1 points...4 of the 5 still to come. No other events. Superdrome still has 4 more cup events that I know of, including the two above.

Fun stuff, this "go fast, turn left" thing :)

Cyclist to pray for: Mike...knee issues and a hernia...season over before it really got started :(


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Not trying THAT again...

I knew it wasn't likely to end well, but to help out I accepted an offer to officiate the Tuesday Night Crit. I was allowed to race the B race, with the condition that I pull out with three laps to go and be ready to score the finish.

Given that I'm rarely still in it with three to go...sure, why not?

Warmed up reasonably well and stopped in time to get the C race and Juniors going. Scored them and got a quick change from official's gear to race gear and grabbed the bike.

45 minutes since warmup, hurried stuff from finish and clothing change, plus huge south winds caused me to be more ineffective than usual. 10 minutes and out. Mentally I was never in the race.

So...either race or officiate...not both.

And train better. Nothing new there.

I *might* get to train some tomorrow, but my ladies are out of town so its just me and the boy. I'll see if he wants to come to track practice in the morning, or hang with my mom tomorrow night.

Next race will likely be the Moritz Sprints on Saturday night. I may get some miles in Saturday morning, but have a b-day party to attend for my nephew at noon.

Cyclist to pray for: G.Lake


Monday, June 2, 2008

base miles

Part of what keeps an aging cyclist trained is base miles. Actually true for any cyclist, but moreso for us old guys.

I've been at the track so much, my base has gone the way of the dodo, so I got in 43 miles on Friday and 38 yesterday. Not staggering numbers by anyone's definition and would get me dropped in any road race, but still better than a 30 minute crit effort.

Headed into the heat and wind around noon both days and nearly bonked both days. Drained all my fluids in the 95 degree heat with SSE winds into the low 20s. Had to stop at Sonic for some refills. Hopefully as I get acclimated, this will be less of an issue.

Heavy bike mode, plus a camelback. I ought to be flying this Tuesday night :)

Cyclist to pray for: Todd W.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Training 05/29/08

Training ride with CCC...the "Big Steamer" steries...

The only thing this club ride is missing is an entry fee and a number :)

Its a race, with a neutral rollout, a windup, several hill climbs, attacks, re-groups, points and a jersey at the end of the series to the points leader.

You get point for top 3 spots at the "visitor parking" sign in front of City Hall.

I have zero points thus far, as I am not a sprinter. I have won a couple of imaginary KOM points though ;)

19.7 mph for 24 miles, including the warmup and cool-down miles. Probably 24 or so most of the hard part.

Good group of guys. Safe and steady for the most part, and they rotate at the front.

Cyclist to pray for: Peggy in California...bad track wreck.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Personal Best

Set a new personal best for my Historic loop...27 miles even at 18.13 mph avg. Doesn't sound like much, but there are some "harder than they look" hills and I was on the heavy training hoops.

I'm pleased with my effort...91 degrees to start, sweat everywhere. 3 bottles, all empty at the end.

CCC Big Steamer tomorrow night (probably)


no race last night

The weather was cruddy enough (rain) that I decided the crits would be called off, so I mentally checked out of race mode and into a trainer session. Then I got an email request to officiate if the crits didn't get called. Sure...wyh not, its gonna rain anyway...

Then they got called off.

Then they were back on.

So I headed off to Plano to go spend 3 hours watching numbers fly by.

Not a drop of rain, and the sun came out for the A & B races.

No miles at all last night. I'll try to get a ride in tonight, and maybe do the CCC Big Steamer series tomorrow. Friday off, Saturday maybe I ride in the afternoon after Graduation festivities are over.

Cyclist to pray for: Key.


Monday, May 26, 2008

State crits, Cat4

Today's race proved to me that I am not Cat 4 ready yet, and need to go back to training instead of racing. Tuesday nighters will continue as they are good training. But the big ones are just too much for now. Perhaps next year :)

No races currently on the schedule as "Next" other than the Plano Tuesday nighter.

Need to start getting the longer rides in in preparation for the Texas Time Trial 12 hour race in September. Pure endurance ride, where I hope to hit 160 miles to better my PB of 156 miles set in 1996.

Cyclist to pray for: Eddie and Todd, who took each other out on a training ride recently.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Track racing on speed

Big deal at the 'drome...back to back to back racing. So I did Cat 4 and 35+/Cat 4 just for the extra suffering ;)

The Cat 4 was interesting. I was using it as a warmup and test of the gears. I even told my fellow racers I was just fooling around. Did a few jumps, tried to lap them in the unknown distance and sat up with half a lap lead. I actually tried in the Miss-N-Out for a couple of get experience paying attention to what was happening, and to not be messing around with a full speed race.

The important thing for me was to NOT take away any TX cup points from the guys that are chasing them in the Cat 4 category. I got 6/6/4, which should be good for last place. Mission accomplished.

The 35+/Cat 4 was odd. Scratch race I don't really remember that well, but I know I sat up in mid race. Legs must have just not been there.

In the Unknown Distance, three got off the front so Mike Owens and I traded half-lap pulls to keep close. They dropped a guy, we dropped Mike and then I dropped the guy we caught, so I got 3rd, but got scored 4th. Hmm.

Miss-n-out. 2 laps, then pull a rider, 'cept I got pulled on the first lap. They knew they messed up, and should have gone to a non-pulling lap so I could catch back on, but nope. I got last place, when I had a legitimate shot at a 3rd or 4th. No way I was winning with Tom Ernst in the race.

6/4/6 in the 35+/Cat 4 category "officially". I'm trying to let it go :) The hard part is that I've been looking forward to and training for this race for a month.

Oh well.

State crits idea what to do tomorrow or Sunday. Maybe some miles tomorrow night with a recovery ride Sunday. Tomorrow morning I'll have "track legs" and have other more important business to attend to.

Cyclist to pray for: Richard W. to our spoke.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Training ride...solo

Last night was a drag due to bad training (or no training...)

So with a hard track effort coming up Friday and a big Crit on Monday, I've been a little wishy-washy on when to go hard vs. recover this week.

Put in a solid 37 miles tonight, solo into the wind out and hammer back. My quads are sore, which is what I was looking for.

Off tomorrow, then race Friday.

Medium effort with a few intervals locally on Saturday, recovery ride Sunday.

That should leave me ready for the State Champ crit, Cat 4 on Monday.

Or not...we'll see.

Cyclist to pray for: Dan "Big Daddy" Apgar


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

How NOT to train for a crit

1. Race yourself silly at the track on Friday
2. Sit on your rear for three days
3. Warm up with no focus.

Yep...three days off gets you exactly the results you would expect: OTB in about 12 minutes of a 45 minute crit. 25.2 avg when I gave up.

Starting to think this is about me again....someone kick me please :)

Cyclist to pray for: Joe Lacour...hurt himself pretty bad at the track Saturday.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Friday night racing 5/16

Superdrome Points Series, Frisco, TX

I had the brilliant idea of racing two categories tonight at the track, since I won't be riding on things :)

The question then became which category to add? Of course I do the 35+/Cat4 (old rookie) class, but do I add Masters 30+ or regular Cat 4? The difference is all older guys or younger, fresher legs to compete against.

Then I remembered that guys with the experience and skill of Michael Gacki, Geoff Godsey, etc. race in the 30+. So I entered the Cat4.

6 races in one night...super ouch.

The night got off to a really rough start as Andrew Armstrong and a kid got together on the apron at pretty high speeds and went down hard. The kid was really shaken up, but I didn't see or hear of any real damage to him. Andrew got some pretty good road/track rash, but nothing seemed broken. He went off to the hospital just to be safe (very smart move). His sweet Cervelo has a cracked top tube though...which suck to kill a bike like that during practice.

Back to racing...

My night's schedule went like this:

Race 1
8 lap scratch (35+)
small break
8 lap scratch (cat 4)

Race 2
10 lap snowball (35+)
small break
2 lap Miss-N-Out (Cat 4)

Race 3
32 lap scratch (35+)
NO break
40 lap scratch (cat 4)

The scratch races were uneventful in race 1. I could have positioned better, and I could have been worse.

I got some points in the Snowball, which almost always puts you in the top 4 or 5, as some guys can never get to the front and you have a large group tied at 0 points. If you have even 1 you are ahead of all of them.

The Miss-N-Out was a mess...guys weren't pulling out, we got neutralized, etc. This is the disadvantage of Cat 4...some folks didn't know what to do, and a lot of times just couldn't hear the announcers calling numbers to drop off. I got caught in this group, as I mentally went stoopid and didn't realize I was at the back when I got pulled...good thing Gacki was in turn three calling my name. That helped. Got 6th of 13.

Hung in ok on the 32 lap scratch, probably a top half finish. Immediately to the rail for the 40 lapper in the cat 4, but only made it about halfway before I was falling back and sprinting every couple of laps just to stay on. I decided there was no longer any benefit to staying in it and pulled myself. I'm not chasing any points in Cat 4, and was out of any money (which I give back to the 'drome anyway).

35+ had Tom Ernst in it, and his hypnotic disk wheel...pushed the pace all night, which makes for a really good workout.

Cat 4 had Josh from Kansas and a kid from Tulsa...both fast and full of energy. Cody Holland did really well in the 40 lap race, hanging on for 38 laps. Very nice for a 16 year old.

A great night of racing, and Saturday is a day off the bike. If I ride at all, it will be with my son and his friend who is spending the weekend with us.

Next races: Tuesday night crits, Friday night Texas Cup race: "Track racing on speed" and the State Criterium Championship on Memorial day

Cyclist to pray for: Andrew, and the kid that went down with him.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Yay!!! More crit practice...

To paraphrase a local coach: The desire to succeed is useless without the will to prepare properly.

So, off I go to crit practice tonight. No other way to prep for a big crit (State, Memorial day) than to practice intervals and cornering.

Hopefully some of my IC3 brothers will be able to come. If not, I'll jump in some PACC wheels and roll with them.

Looking at:

20 minute warmup
10 minute steady state
5x2 min intervals, 4 minute break
10 minute steady state
Cooldown for howver many minutes are left

2 hours total.

This is also good track prep. I might be going to either the SPS Friday night races, or the Moritz sprints, or both this weekend. Depends on the home stuff.

Cyclist to pray for: Eddie.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Bad week, good week, mediocre week...

What I lack in results, I make up for in a lack of consistency.

But! I have a positive attitude. I'm positive this is fun :)

Off the back in 25 minutes tonight in the B race, avg 24.9 mph. Did I ride too hard last night? Not hard enough? Bad warmup? Who really knows.

Nonetheless, I shall return to race again another day.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Didn't have it tonight

Good thing is was just a training ride...

Took off for a 2 hour ride, got bored and turned it into an 80 minute, 24 mile ride. Knee acted up a bit at first, but I got over it. 2 days off makes one sluggish

I pre-registered for the "Track racing on speed" event on 5/23. Am already registered for the State crits as well. I'm actually looking more forward to the track deal than state, but state is a cool course, very technical and rough if its raining on the next to last corner...


Not riding makes you strong?

Its a rare weekend indeed that the aging cyclist takes off Saturday AND Sunday when the weather is decent. I haven't been on a bike since Friday at the track.

Saturday was Horse Country and hanging with the middle child. Sunday was church and Mother's day...obvious priorities.

So tonight I'll go out and try to get in a couple of hours with some intervals, hoping to be in good shape for the Tuesday night crits. Shooting for a goal of "not lapped" this week after last weeks very good performance.

Cyclist to pray for: Gary.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

23 years ago...

...I won a bike race (BMX).

Last night at the Superdrome I won the Masters 35+/Cat 4 category in the Friday night Points series race.

That's a long time between wins...

There were 5 or 6 of us and our category didn't make so they combined us with the regular cat 4s. I stayed as close to the front as I could, figuring that would make some good finishes since they we were racing together but being scored separately. I was right.

Our events were:

4 lap Danish
20 lap scratch
29 lap Unknown Distance

All fun, and I learned about a gear choice I really like last night (but you don't get to know which one!)

Good times, low key event, good way to clear the head since I've been doing promoter duties all week for the Horse Country Time Trial.

Rider(s) to pray for: All of our racers that came out today...prayers of thanks are always appropriate.


Thursday, May 8, 2008


ok...that was a little painful, but in a good way...

I set the bike up with the heavy wheels, but left the aerobars in the truck and headed to the Plano crit course for some steady state work and a few intervals.

Little did I know I would be doing 5 2 minute intervals with Glen and Josh from PACC. Glen is a monster, and as steady a wheel as I've ever been behind. Being behind is the only way I could keep up. We were doing basically fast lap/slow lap (2 min on/4 min off) intervals. Ugh. Maxed my HR at a practice!

After that I got into just cruising around 18-20 for a number of laps, until I'd been at it for 90 minutes at split for the house.

Sore legs, happy brain.

Cyclist to pray for: Brian A. Newest member of IC3 North Texas!


5/6/08 - crit practice

Next race of a "non-training or track" variety is the Texas State Championship Crit, Cat 4 on Memorial Day in Fort Worth.

So the goal is to get prepped for a pack finish. In line with this, I have 5 days of crit practice to go. Tuesday nights at the FDM crit series in Plano and Thursday nights on the same course, but just practicing and getting in cornering/drafting work on the heavy bike.

So...I'll be in Plano tonight doing the "roundy-round" as a local racer/coach like to call it. 4:30 - 6:00...come on out if you are a local.

Cyclist to pray for: Jerry. Continued recovery from knee surgery.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tonight's crit...

I didn't get killed :)

I did get lapped, but I was in it for 38 minutes at over 25mph avg. Best I've ever done.

Someone ahead of me let a 4 or 5 bike length gap form with 3 to go, so I went around and bridged up to the pack (more than likely dragging 20 guys with me). The effort took everything I had, but was worth it to know I was able to do it!

I was maxed, 193 bpm HR and couldn't breathe so I pulled out and backed way off. Got caught by the pack on their last lap and got oout of the way in a hurry.

Pack skills...a very experienced rider I know and respect pulled an interesting move from behind me. He moved up next to me, hooked my bars and slid back, dragging along my hip as he went...then yelled something unintelligible at me. Dude...I was in your line :)

Last year, that would have freaked me out to the back of the pack. This year, common sense prevailed.

I'm very pleased with my effort tonight.

Next race is either the SPS series at the track Friday night, or next Tuesday's crit. The Horse Country TT is Saturday.

Cyclist to pray for today: The guy in my club under spiritual attack by the world and the devil himself.


Plano crits, 5/6/08

Yep, I'm feeling frisky enough and the knee is solid enough to go mix it up for 30 minutes. Sadly, the race is 50 minutes, so we'll see how that works out ;)

My crit goals for the B race this year mirror my goals for the C race last year:

In order:
Don't get killed (so far so good)
Finish (so far so good, except for one flat with 5 to go)
Don't get lapped (met this on 4/1/08)
Finish within sight of lead pack (1/4 lap?)
Pack Finish
Top 10

Not sure if its even reasonable to think I can get from OTB to top 10 in one season, thus the intermediate goals.

Will update tonight/tomorrow with results, assuming its not a rainout.

Cyclist to pray for: Erin. Focus and success in all areas.


Monday, May 5, 2008

Creak, creak, creak...

That creaking, popping and groaning you hear off in the distance is the sound of an aging cyclist the Monday after an MS150.

Pushed way to hard on day one of the Frisco to Ft. Worth MS150 into the wind. Team IC3 started way at the back, so spent the first 20 miles fighting slower traffic and moto-marshalls trying to herd us onto the shoulder with their bikes.

My knees were hurting frmo day 1 mile 40 and never stopped. Ice last night helped quite a bit and I am moving around ok today.

I am "questionable" for the Tuesday crit series...partly due to the knees and partly due to spending all day Sunday in Zone 1. Zero intensity except for a couple of the climbs (which I did really well on for me.)

We have the Horse Country TT this weekend, so no Saturday ride for me...

Cyclist to pray for: The guy that got careflighted on Day 1 of the MS150.


Friday, May 2, 2008

Big Steamer 5/1/08

As planned, I hit the Corinth Cycling Club "Big Steamer" ride last night. Did 13 miles of low intensity warmup on the heavy bike. Was doing ok until the 2nd time up a certain hill, into the wind. Let just a little gap form on this ride, and you are dropped.

I still got in 30 miles at low/high intensity, so not a bad ride. Would have liked to stay on longer, but the legs just couldn't get me there with the bike setup as is (aeros, Armadillos, seatbag, etc.). In race mode I can hang...

Nothing today, and tomorrow the MS150 rolls out at 7am

Please pray with me for Craig today. Physical healing specifically...


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wednesday, 4/30

No miles today...too windy and I'm on call and tired :)

Looking forward to tomorrow. Will probably go hit the Big Steamer series with Corinth Cycling. Top speeds hit the low 30s on that ride...will do a few miles warmup before we get rolling so I'm good and warm.

Happy birthday Brother Tyler!


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Nice try though...

I didn't get the hoped for metric today, but I did get in a good time on my 27 mile "Historic" loop, so named because one stretch of about a mile is on a street named Historic. Not a bad route...very few dogs (2), a couple of climbs just big enough to get your attention, a lake, some trees and not all that many cars.

Came in just 28 seconds off a personal best 18mph avg, with a South wind that increased from 10 to 24 mph while I was out there. Heavy bike mode too


Heavy bike: Specialized Roubaix Comp, Shimano Wheels with Armadillo tires (420g each) and clip on Profile AirStryke bars, seat bag with tube, air, lever and about $5 in loose change.

Race bike: Same Specialized, but with Neuvation M28Aero wheels, sub 200g tires, no seat bag, no aero-bars and only one bottle if in a crit.

Makes a difference, especially the wheel/tire combo.

So...did this help prep me for a race? Probably not. But my next race is a week off and I have the Frisco to Ft. Worth MS150 this weekend, done as a buddy ride with the IC3 guys. Should be getting in 27 miles or more Wednesday and Thursday as well...

Texas Cup update: I'm 4th overall in the 35+/Cat 4, track standings :)

Rider to pray for today: Tyler

Ride Fast, Finish Strong, outrun the dogs...


Monday, April 28, 2008

Life gets in the way

As an aging cyclist, sometimes I and the other rookie geezers ;) have to put aside or away the training plans and do non-cycling things.

My plan for today was to work from home, take son to school, get in a 60 miler at 10, clean up, pick up son, do more work, relax.


Work started yesterday at 3pm with a customer's website down. Waited until about 1am this morning for the restores to be complete. Blackberry not working properly, I didn't get started on what I needed to until after 6am. Took son to school...clothes, lunch and everything! Back to the house..conference with people in Dallas, Denmark and Jerusalem. Fix part of problem. Now its noon. No 60 miler in my day...need to leave at 2:30 to pick up son. Sigh. Maybe I'll get on the trainer tonight, unless another call comes in :)

Try for a 60 tomorrow? Maybe...

Cyclist to pray for today: Bill in Georgia. For good health.

That is all...


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Moritz Sprint Series

I've never done a Match Sprint before....

So I took a 4 hour clinic taught by former Elite racer and one time 200M TT record holder Jeff Labauve. I learned quite a bit about slingshots, razors and how the 200m tt is done for seeding the racers. Did not learn or have a chance to practice how the actual sprint itself is run. Oh well.

At 5:30, we started the seeding process, which involved having all 29 racers do a Flying 200M TT. For those not familiar with track racing, they give you a push onto the track on the back side and you have 3.5 laps to go. Only the last 200 meters count...the rest is just windup. I did mine in 14.3 seconds, having never gone below 15 before (all practice. This was the first real one).

Since there were only two racers in the 35+/Cat 4 category, Mike and I were set for a best 2 of 3 night.

In the first race, I drew the "down track" position, which is the leadout position. I had watched a few of the earlier masters races to get a feel for how they run. 3 laps, be in front at the end. I lead us out and kept an almost constant watch on Mike. I saw and heard him jump, but my reaction was too slow and he beat me to the line by a large margin.

In the second race, I was in the uptrack or follow position which is definitely my preference for drafting and strategy reasons. At 1.5 laps to go, as Mike was turning his head to look over his right shoulder, I jumped to his left. He was riding the blue line (mid track) and we were in turn 2, so I had plenty of room and gravity on my side. Apparently I got a decent gap on him initially as he had to get out of the saddle to start chasing. We did a 1.5 lap drag race to the end and I lost by half a wheel (even have the finish line camera picture to prove it)

So...2 and out, but I learned a lot and had a good time. Got 2nd place, $20 in prize money and 2nd place Texas cup points, which should put me in 3rd place in my category.

No riding today, hopefully a couple of long rides Monday and Tuesday to finish up prepping for the MS150 next weekend.

Cyclist to pray for today: Pat M.


Friday, April 25, 2008

Solo practice 4/24

I spent a good bit of time trying to decide where to ride last night...solo near the house or go ride with Corinth Cycling Club and their Big Steamer points series (just because there is no entry fee doesn't mean its not a race).

Solo training into the wind with heavy wheels and no aerobars won out...primarily because I didn't want to load up the bike and drive to Corinth after just having driven from Las Colinas to Aubrey.

I did my Historic loop in 1:37, with the last two miles into an increasingly difficult headwind. Still not a bad ride, considering my back is still sore from the company golf tournament on Wednesday.

Was originally thinking about heading back down to the lake and back to make it a 40+ ride, but fatigue and family nixed that idea. This is the decision all of us aging cyclists make...long rides, or family time.

No riding today, so I can be fresh for the Sprint class at the Superdrome tomorrow and the Moritz Sprints tomorrow night.

Feel free to comment on any of these posts...negative or inflamatory comments will be removed :)


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Crits 4/22

Not the result I was hoping for tonight...dropped at 13 minutes and lapped twice after that. But better than last week's first lap drop and puke on the way home from the virus that went rampaging through the family.

The B race has consistently been averaging 25.5 at the point I get dropped (or flats), which is more than fast enough to win the C race. 2 mph over what I was struggling to do last year.

You never get better if you don't challenge this case by trying to hang with riders that are clearly stronger than me...for now ;)

Why did I get dropped? I was riding ok, back half of the pack and they just rolled away from me. Not sure if I slowed down or they sped up, but I had no legs to catch them. I jumped on each time they came around (at the back of course), and the yo-yo effect just killed me. I'm not strong enough to be in the front 10-15 guys without being dangerous at this point.

Perhaps the track racing this weekend had both the positive effect of improving my spin and the negative of not being even close to the time/distance of a 50 minute crit? A long track race for a Cat 4 is 30 laps...less than 5 miles.

Either way, I was not even in the race (pulled myself at 3 to go) when the 5 or 6 rider crash happened at the end in turn 3. Got a fire truck and an ambulance called out for that one...

Goofy Pic by Ryan Lange

Next up: C0mpany golf tourney tomorrow, long? training ride somewhere (CCC?)Thursday, off day Friday, Sprint class/Moritz track sprints Saturday, and the Family Cycling Day at FBC McKinney Sunday

Riders to pray for today: M.G. and Reed. Feel free to join me...God knows what they need :)


Serious recovery ride

I'm told recovery rides should be very Zone 1 or 2.

So, I took my kid for a ride around the block last night. Him on his 16" single-speed complete with training wheels, coaster brake and bell. Me on my 1987 Free Agent BMX bike, complete with rust.

His winter and early spring training have really paid off (being on a tag-a-long behind my Wal-Mart MTB...), as he made it all .7 miles around the block including the uphill of our street (<1% grade..).

Last year, I would have walked beside him. He's faster now :)

Crits tonight...oughta be slightly faster ;)


Monday, April 21, 2008

Now THAT was fun...

Spent the weekend racing and watching at the Matrix Track Cup at the Superdrome in Frisco.

Raced in the 35+/Cat4 category (age and skill level combined for us old rookies), with 13 other entrants.

Saturday, 8th of 14 in the omnium (Scratch, points race, points race)

Sunday, 4th of 10? in the omnium (Scratch, Melting Snowball, Houston Tempo), including a 3rd place in a 3 lap scratch. My best result since the BMX days.

I earned 25 Texas cup points for my efforts, which puts me in 5th place in the category overall.

This track thing is every bit as much mental as physical. I took away spots from other guys in Sunday's Melting Snowball simply by passing those who sat up with 2 to go. They knew they weren't going to get any points, but apparently forgot that finish order determined the tie-breaker of all the zero point scorers :)

Sometimes age comes in handy!

next up...the FDM Tuesday night crits, B race.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Prep work today

Tomorrow is day one of the highly anticipated Matrix Track Cup...

Today I will do a slow metric on the road bike to get my base in. Tried to get a crit practice session going last night but three of the five racers on the team couldn't make it. Michael did, and we had just enough time to warmup and lay down some timed two lap efforts so I could get a baseline for him (2:11 standing start and 2:18 lap 2 is pretty quick for a guy that's never raced).

Then it rained and I was already starting to feel the effects of the stomach virus that put me in bed for 24 hours earlier in the week.

So today I roll slow and long...making sure I stay hydrated and caloried up properly.

Nice having the day off :)


Thursday, April 17, 2008

2008 Matrix Track Cup

Next up on the race schedule:
April 19-20

I'm entered in the 35+/Cat 4 category both days. This is a D1 level event for the Texas Cup competition, which I am unofficially chasing a decent standing in. Consistent decent finishes here will get you a good position, as not everyone can hit all the races. I have no intention of traveling to Houston, so I need to hit all the local races at the SuperDrome.

4 lap scratch
20 lap points race
30 lap points

3 lap Scratch
8 lap 'melting snowball'
20 lap 'Houston tempo'

ouch. Sunday is gonna hurt.

Monday off, crit Tuesday. Recent history has proven that track racing or training on the road fixie is fantastic training for crits...


races 2006 to April 2008

Raced a bunch of crits, 1 masters only TT, a few road races and one stage race and 4 times on the track.

Best results:
7th place of 20+ in the Fort Worth, TX Wednesday night crit series
Road: Have yet to not get dropped.
Stage: Finished the first 2 stages within the time cutoff, but well off the pace, DNF the final stage
Track: 6th of 14 in the 35+/Cat 4 category (omnium) once in April 2008
Time Trial: Dead last...masters classes are full of former Cat1 - 3 racers.

Upgraded from Cat 5 to 4 in October 2007 to force myself to train harder.

My best race ever was the Tinbutt in 1996. UMCA 12 hour time trial...156 miles.

While this does not sound terribly impressive, I have gone from getting dropped in the Plano, TX Tuesday night crit series 'C' race to getting dropped late in the 'B' race. My times/avg. speed this year would have won every C race last year. That's pretty cool.

Short version of 2 years of racing history :)


Welcome to anyone that cares to read the ramblings of a (racing age) 40 year old cyclist that is trying to play a 20 year old's game...

I started riding road bikes in 1987. Started racing in 2007. I'm trying to see how much of that 20 year gap I can make disappear...

Why the gap? I had no idea of how to fit a bike in 1987 and the pedals I had caused me knee pain after 20 miles on every ride, so I never tried to go any further. I thought I just had a bad knee. The sad thing is that I never asked anyone for help. Until 1996.

Fast forward to a set of used Shimano SPDs after a LBS ride from Richardson BikeMart where it took me forever to clip in from every stop and I got dropped at every light.

Instant relief.

My wife and I split that year, which took me off the bike for the next 8 years (got re-married to a different wife and had kids during that time as well)

So...youngest kid is now at the age I don't need to be there all the time and I can do some more fitness type riding. I go hard all the time. Going at less than the max is painful for me.

200 lbs in 2000, 160 as I type this. 150 is the goal.

My motivation to train is my team: the International Christian Cycling Club. Yup...I ride and race to glorify God. This is why I can still smile at the end of a race I took last place in, or DNF'd. Because its not about me.

My goal...become a competitive Cat 4 on the road. Cat 3 takes too much training time. Would like to be Cat 3 on the track someday. Fantasy goal of being competitive in any Master's Nationals competition someday. 2009 at the absolute soonest.

Follow along as I have good races and bad, smart moves and the random ID10T moments :)