Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New this year

What is the best thing about working at a bike shop? The great deals we get on bikes. What is the worst thing about working at a bike shop? Being tempted by the great deals we get on bikes.

First, I needed a bike with gears. I have been using the Soho S on the road for the last 3 years, but it has its limits. So I ordered the Trek PDX, then switched the drivetrain to Shimano Deore.

A few weeks ago Trek was selling last year's Districts REALLY cheap. So the Soho S has been replaced.

Monday, May 16, 2011

12 Hour Race Report

The last two years The Goatheads have sent a team to the 12 hour race put on by Angry Cow Adventures. This year we were going to go with a four man team. Last Friday, the day before the race, my last teammate had to pull out of the event. Decision time, do I go and compete in the solo category? Do I not go at all? Do I enter the six hour event? My wife encouraged me to give the 12 hour race a shot, if I don’t make it all 12 hours – who cares.
I then set out making an eating schedule and getting supplies ready. More hours of riding meant more food and more drink. Mrs. Professor helped me get food ready, but I really needed/wanted a pit boss. You know, somebody to hand me clothes or food near the start/finish line. My 71 year old dad volunteered for the job. He is amazing!
I had to work at The Trek Store (72nd and Giles) during the day. However, Miah let me leave early so I could get to Wagon Train early enough to set up. Before I left, one of our mechanics tuned up the shifting on my bike. It worked great for the entire event. Yes, this is a plug for our service department, but I am telling you Paul (aka turbo) is amazing. If you have issues with your bike he can fix it.
After getting to Hickman and setting up camp, I gave my dad a list with times I wanted certain food/drinks. At the start line I noticed the field was A LOT smaller. I later heard there were 28 no-shows. This included the “12 hour king” – Lucas Marshall. As the gun went off we ran towards our bikes. I was one of the first to the bikes, and went into the single track in 4th place. One of the guys ahead of me was Ryan from Flatwater Cycling. He was a fellow 12 hour solo guy. I figured I would never see him again the way he (and two others) shot away.
I hooked up with about five 6 hour competitors and we took turns leading laps and setting a good pace. But was I going to fast? I had never done a 12 hour race before and didn’t know how I should pace myself. I didn’t feel like I was red-lining it, so I figured I would just keep going until the body said no. At 8:00 my dad met me at the start finish area with a new bottle and some food. I also threw on a long sleeve base layer at this stop.
About an hour later I turned on the lights, now the fun was going to begin. About 9:30ish I came upon Ryan. He was riding good but trying to pace himself. We rode about a 1.5 laps together and then I pulled away. It was about 10:30 and I was actually in the lead! Also, the laps were starting to pile on. At 11:30 I was in front and had done 13 laps. My goal was 20, so I was thinking that maybe 22 was possible. I just didn’t know what would happen after about 2:00 AM.
About 11:30, my virtual cheering section showed up. Lumpy, J.A., and Mrs. Professor started sending me texts to see how I was doing and encourage me. That was a real boost. I only answered them during my food breaks I took every hour(after 2 laps).
During one of my breaks Ryan passed me. I couldn’t do anything about that, I needed to stop and eat/rest. At about 12:30ish, the wheels started to come off the bus. Finishing laps was starting to get hard, and I didn’t feel mentally alert. So when I came through at about 1:40 it was time for a food stop. I made a tactical decision. I needed a long break. So, I was going to spend 20 minutes in my car eating and just gathering my senses. I ate a Cliff Bar and downed a Monster energy drink. Traded some texts with JA (more on that later) and my wife. At 2:00 AM my break was over and I headed back out onto the trail. That was all I needed. The next thing I knew it was 3:00 and I was at 19 laps. Ryan was still ahead of me, but not by much.
I chased him for the next 2 hours, but could not catch him. I kept hoping he would crack, but he was STRONG. I came through the start/finish area at 5:05, only 25 minutes until the last lap cut-off. I felt dead and did not want to start another lap. I was not going to catch Ryan, so why ride? Then I found out that 3rd place was only half a lap behind me. I thought, “I can’t ride anymore, if he gets in before 5:30 and does another lap – I can live with 3rd place. Wait a minute, I didn’t chase Ryan all night just to get third place.” So I headed out on lap 24. I came back around with 50 seconds to spare, I could have actually done a 25th lap. However, Ryan was un-catchable and 2nd place was locked up. WOW, I had not intentions of doing that many laps nor did I expect to get second.
I have to say, the support I got from my wife was huge. She was really excited for me when I decided to do the 12 hour event. She wanted to do anything she could to help. My dad was really amazing. There he was at my first few pit stops with everything I asked for. My fellow Goatheads were (as always) great. First there was A.B. making me laugh with a great FB comment. Lumpy gave me some nice encouragement through his texts. J.A., it was great to get back to the car every hour after mid-night and see you encouragement.
Sorry for this marathon of a post. Saturday went-off better than I could have predicted or imagined.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

2011 Racing Schedule

After some long discussions and some negiotations with promoters I think Team Goathead has put together our racing season. I know that Goathead Nation has been waiting anxiously for this announcement. The season is going to be packed, but as always - it is subject to change.

May 14th - 12 Hour Race @ Wagon Train

June 11th - Plattsmouth Sprint Tri

August 13th - Xterra B.O.L.T. @ Branched Oak

We look forward to your continued support as we continue to chase the upper levels of mediocrity.