Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tx. State, Warda, and Other General Stuff

You can tell I was busy last week because I only posted on this thing twice...
But that doesn't really matter, because the number of hours I spent in studio doesn't make good blog material. Neither does talking about a ride on the rollers. Or maybe I'm just assuming that... I don't know that I've ever read a blog about riding on the rollers, it might be the best thing since sliced bread.
Going off on another tangent, I sure am glad nothing better than sliced bread has ever been thought of, because I can't imagine how confusing it would be if we ever had to change that saying.

It's the best thing since apple sauce!
It's the best thing since pre-cooked lasagna!
It's the best thing since non dairy coffee creamer!
It's the best thing since deep fried chicken skin!

See, just not the same thing...

And now, lets jump back to the original topic...


Since I did write about the little bit of interesting stuff that happened last week, and nothing else worth writing about (or so I seem to think) happened since then, I'll write about my weekend! (You're going to thank me for limiting what I'm putting in here, its long enough as it is...)

Friday night Joseph called me and told me not to wait for him if he didn't call me by 6:00 the next morning to tell me he was on his way to get me. I said I would call him instead. He put the limit at 5 times.
Surprisingly, the first time I called he was already awake and actually ended up having to wait for me while I carried all my crap down to his car.
That doesn't really have to so with anything, but I figured I would throw it in since it was completely opposite of how those phone calls typically go...

The first race of the morning was a short ~1.5k time trial.
Up an 18% grade hill.

Along with JT, Michael, and Sean (the other UT As) I went and ride around a bit ans called it a warm up. Then we had some pre race donuts* and went to the start line. I went a little too hard up to the hill, and I think it caught up to at the top, but I still had the second fastest time of any UT rider (one of the guys racing Cs beat me!) and ended up placing 8th.

*Clearly we were trying to win the P12 state championship road race. Or maybe we're just cooler than the other teams and don't mind having a little side of fun along with our racing.

After lunch it was time to head to the Tx. State campus for our crit. Sometime during the day, the wind had decided to pick up, and was probably up to about 25mph by time we were racing. We did another group warm up, had some more donuts, and headed off to the start line again.
The course was hard. The way the wind was blowing made a downhill the slowest part of the course (yeah, it was blowing that hard...) and for the rest of it, my average speed was probably around 23mph. Including the corner with a ditch running through it.
I felt alright, but still got dropped pretty early, and rode around by myself for about 30 minutes before getting pulled. I beat people though, so I do suppose everything is good.

I headed back home, had some dinner, went to studio, slept, and got up again pretty early to drive out to the middle of nowhere Warda for some mountain bike racing action!
After racing the day before, I had no idea what to expect. During my warm up though, I actually felt surprisingly good well, and that just confused me even more about how I should approach the race.
I started off pretty easy, and by about half way through the first lap got to the front of the pack and started working on the bridge up to the four or so guys already up the trail. I could tell I wasn't quite all there, because I just wasn't catching up as easily as I thought I should be able to. But by about the same point on the third lap, I was ahead of everyone but Chris (the guy who beat me at Bar H).
Unfortunately, I think I worked a bit too hard getting there, and on the fourth lap my race changed from trying to catch Chris into a struggle to stay ahead of everyone else. It was going good until the last couple miles (where the only hills on the course are). I had nothing left for the climbs, and Eric caught up to me. He was barely going faster than me (I think), and didn't come by.
It was going to be sprint finish. And it was. After we were done, no one could tell us who had won, and I'm still not sure how the officials decided, but they gave it to him... By 1/100 of a second.

That put me in third. Chris beat us by about 4.5 minutes! (He must've been mad at me for beating him at Waco.) Overall though, I was very happy with the race. I don't think I'll be doing any more multiple-race race-weekends this spring though.

Go go pictures!



Thursday, March 26, 2009

I need to go buy some paper.

I rode my mountain bike yesterday.
Currently I am bored and not doing the work I should be.
I took a test this morning.
It rained on me on my way to studio last night.

5 points to whoever gets those in the right order.

This weekend will be an interesting test of how I'm riding right now. After hearing that my name is now "Sandbag Johnson" from a more than a few people, which apparently is a name you get after you do good in two races; at least the "Sandbag" part, I think. If your last name is, say, "Smith," (go go commas!) you probably won't get the "Johnson" part. Of course, there is no science behind this, so I may be mistaken.

And...Back on topic...
Saturday I'll be doing the first day of the Texas State collegiate road race, and Sunday I'll be doing the Warda mountain bike race.
With two races the day before, who knows what I'll be able to do at Warda. Hopefully I can live up to my new name!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring Break, vol. 3

Well, I had been planning on going to an Explosions in the Sky concert Saturday night, and was quite excited about it, but then it had to go and be all rainy in Waco Texas two weeks ago, and the Cameron Park race got bumped back to this weekend.
As bummed as I was about missing my show, I had been uber excited about this race, and really wanted to do good at it, so I changed my plans and went to Waco for the weekend.

It was a good choice.

I got an alright start (better than I normally do) and went into the singletrack around 8th place. About two miles in, the trail opened up into jeep road and I got around a few people, and kept the higher pace when the trail changed back to singletrack. About half way through the lap I caught up to first and second (Will), and sat on them for a while. Eventually the guy in first started to pull away, and after a quick discussion of "strategy," Will let me by to go chase him down.
I caught up right at the start of lap 2 and followed his wheel for a couple miles before deciding it was a good time to try and make something happen. I went around, but was never able to open up a very big gap, maybe 50 feet or so at the most. Near the end of the lap, he caught back up, and I was starting to think I was in some serious trouble...
Coming through the start finish for lap 3, I offered the lead back, but he was content sitting on my wheel, so I just kept cruising at a pretty good pace. Little gaps would open here or there, but he was generally right on me. Then, I suddenly felt really good.
I took an opportunity to pick the pace up again while making a pass, and while at first I thought he was covering me pretty good, it didn't take too long for the gap to open back up. Next thing I know, I pass about 6 more lapped riders, and my competition is nowhere to be seen! I actually started thinking that I had it in the bag, but then came to the conclusion that the race wasn't over yet, and thinking like might end up costing... me... it. (Yay, awesome grammar!
I kept the pace pretty steady, but made sure to ride the descents a little more cautious than I had been (which was probably good seeing as how I had scared myself a few times on the earlier laps).
The finish came soon enough, and basking in all the glory, I rode right past the people taking the timing chips, and got yelled at for not stopping and giving it to them.

It's been quite a while since my last win, hopefully this is a sign of something good.

Oh, funny story, for about 5 minutes on the second lap, I had "Jizz in my Pants" stuck in my head...

Pictures to come as soon as they're on the interwebz.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring break 2.5

I just got back from The ARC Angels. They were good. I didn't realize it, but their drummer and bassist used to play with Stevie Ray Vaughn!

I'm getting up in the morning and heading to Waco for the Cameron Park race (which got pushed back from last weekend). While I am really looking forward to this race, I am also disappointed that I'm going to have to miss tomorrow's concert, Explosions in the Sky...

If you happen to be in Austin at 8:00 tomorrow night, go see them. If not, drive to Austin and go see them. Then tell me about it. k thnkx.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring Break Part 2 (The Zoo and SXSW)

So, nothing else too exciting happened in Dallas, except for a random trip to the zoo! I (we) hadn't been there in as long as we could remember, and upon seeing it was only $10, decided it was time to go again.

Unfortunately, they wouldn't let me into the crocodile pit to wrestle them so I had to settle for the statue instead...

I was going to head back to Austin yesterday and see a Valient Thorr concert, but the AJ said something about cooking steak and potatoes, and I decided to stay home for one more day.
That left me with driving back this morning, and I got here with enough time to go for a pretty good ride with Brandon before the concert on todays schedule, Cold War Kids. They were quite good. (Heres some crappy AWESOME cell phone video to prove it!)

I just realized DEVO is actually playing a concert tomorrow, but its a 21+ show... I'll settle for ARC Angel instead.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring Break So Far

I got some good riding in over the weekend, about 50 miles Saturday and about 30 miles yesterday. Mix that with going to see Watchmen (finally) and a little staying out late with people most nights and Spring Break is going pretty good. I think I'm going to see Last House on the Left tonight. Yep.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Spring break pretty much started tonight for me. I had a class this morning that I really contemplated skipping, but after meeting Chris for donuts this morning, I was already awake and couldn't think of anything better to do between 9:30 and 11:00. After that I hung out and made cookies. Then I (boo) had another class from 7-8:00 at night. It was pretty clear that no one wanted to be there (which is why we got out at 8:30... Its supposed to go to 10:00). After that I met Joseph and Sophia and we went to the Austinbikes Rainy Thursday Night Month-Late 3rd Birthday Party Awesomefest. It was good fun.

Anyway, the point of all that is that I don't have class tomorrow.

Which means as of a while ago...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Tunis (Play by Play)

I think I may have made an intelligent decision skipping the road race - out of everyone I talked to, I only heard of one person who didn't get a flat. Assuming it doesn't violate some random rule, I'm really thinking about putting a rear derailleur and road cassette on the singlespeed and racing on it next year.
The crit was a different story though... It was on real pavement!
Going into this, I was a little worried about how I would fare. It was my "first" A race in a collegiate road event, and even though the field was small, it was pretty stacked. From the start everything was going good. Real early (second or third lap, maybe) a break of four went, with two MSU riders, one A+M rider, and Jordan from UT. With all the big schools represented, and only TCEH

without a rider up the road, we had no problem letting them go and sitting on the TCEH guys that tried to bridge up. At least until the break was about to lap us... With that added motivation, we all picked it up a bit, but they caught us anyway and the pace slowed back down a little.
Not wanting any part of this, Michael Carey performed the (patent pending) Scott Veggeberg Pack Splitting Maneuver and suddenly the largest group on the road had 3 people in it.
Heres a diagram of proper SVPSM technique:

I jumped into a group with Chad and Jordan (both up a lap) and an MSU guy. After a lap or so, Jordan signaled for me to attack, and figuring that there was a pretty well chance that he would be getting a better finish than me, I heeded the command. Soon after that he jumped as well, and upon catching me, I aided as much as I could in his (successful) effort to bridge to the next group up the road.
That took pretty much everything out of me, and I rolled around by myself for another 15 minutes or so, blocking non-UT people here and there. With five minutes/about 4 laps to go, I got pulled. Jordan ended up second though, so in the end, it was a good race for the team.
On the way back, me and Jacob stopped at Dairy Queen, and upon realizing we could have gotten "Spooner" action figures, we regretted not ordering kids meals...

Cliff Notes version:
Teamwork = Jordan gets 2nd place. I got pulled right at the end.

Friday, March 6, 2009

I did something!!

I spent pretty much all day in studio yesterday. Like, 2pm-2am. But I got mucho stuff done. So much that Judy told me I didn't have to stay for class today and could go home and sleep! I ended up staying and doing more work.
Anywho, after class today, I actually got a chance to go home and do something there besides go to bed for the first time in almost two weeks!
Then I went for a short ride. Then I went to Chris' Lasagna Party.
Only thing on the schedule today that didn't happen was going to see Watchmen. I hear its good, so I'll try to fit it in the schedule for tomorrow.

In other news, check out the new kit I've been piecing together!
(Donations of gloves and/or knee/leg warmers to finish this off would be awesome!!)

Good luck to everyone doing the Tunis Roubaix road race tomorrow! See you at the crit.
(I hear the whole course is supposed to be ridable by race time.)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thinking (scary, huh)

The following post is going to be complete stream of consciousness. I'll try to stay on topic and not be too confusing. No promises though.

Know what I miss? Being able to decided when I want to go on a bike ride based on the weather. Oh, today is cold? I'm going to stay inside. No thanks, I don't care to ride the trainer. Today is warm, pleasant, sunny, I think I'm going to go for a ride. I have work to do tonight, I guess it will be a short ride. But now, I need to do a long ride today, too bad its like 30 degrees outside. Or its raining or whatever. Unfortunately? I enjoy the results of basing my riding on the day of the week or when I'm racing and whatnot. Guess I'll stick with it.
(And breathe)
Is it weird that I can pretty much not study for tests ever, save for like a 30 minute freak out study session right before it, and still do good in almost all cases? I think it is, and I think everyone that knows about my study habits thinks so too, because they all study all the time and I think thats weird but whatever.
Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be

And, end stream of consciousness. (Because my train of thought just got to the final stop of the day a little ahead of schedule.) Thank you for listening.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Bar H

I had heard it was going to be cold for the race this weekend, but I wasn't expecting 23 degrees...
Anywho, with it being that cold outside, I decided to call my warm up the ride to the start line. I spent a little too much time sitting in the car before heading over too, and ended up on the back row of people. That isn't too bad in itself, but coupled with the guy in front of me missing his peddle, I ended up with a pretty not good start. I was sitting towards the back for the first ten minutes or so (which is mostly jeep road), but when we got to the first climb and the people in front of me started jumping off of their bikes to push up it, I decided it was time to do something about where I was sitting in the group.
I cut some people off going up the first hill, and noticed there were still a bunch of people in front of me, so I started working on passing them too. And who would have guessed it, there were more people in front of them.
I had no idea what place I was riding in, but I was feeling good, so I just kept looking for more people to pass. All the way up until about three miles to go, I had a pretty steady flow of people going from in front of me to behind me. At that point though, I caught a friend who wasn't in my race, although I thought he was at the time, and spent the last couple miles trying to chase him down.
All in all, I ended up second (woo!), only 13 seconds out of first... I don't know if I could have made that up if I had known there was only one more guy to catch, but whatever, nothing I can do about it now. Hopefully I can have a slightly better repeat of this in two weeks at Cameron Park.