Wednesday, April 29, 2009


There's going to be something about the UT race weekend here eventually.
That is all.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Comfort Pictures

And for your viewing pleasure:

Me digging tree bark out of my knee!
But you have to click... Because, you never know, but there might be someone out there who doesn't want to see it...

Thanks to KarmaBiker for the photos!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

MJ Special

I just went to the $starbucks before class, and ordered my new usual, a Zebra Mocha. If it isn't obvious, that's a mocha made with regular and white chocolate.
The guy called back "got a grande Micheal Jackson Special!"

Monday, April 20, 2009

Comfort Weekend

How to start...
Like that, I guess.

Unlike the typical TMBRA race, Comfort also had a short track and time trial on Saturday. These didn't count for series points, but race payout was based on all three. Not being one to pass up a chance at making some money, I signed up for the omnium my mom signed me up for the omnium.

I couldn't tell how I felt warming up for the short track, but knowing how those races go, I took off from the start with one other guy, and after a couple laps we had a bit of a gap. The pace started to die down though, and Eric caught up to us. The three of us rode around for the next few laps just fast enough that no one else could start to close the gap. With 3 to go, Eric attacked, and we chased him down about half way through the 2 to go lap.
Next thing I know, it's just me and Eric. (After the race, the other told us he blew up, hard.) Eric attacked again right at the start of the last lap and got a little ahead. With some helpful jeering from the side of the trail, I reeled him back in, and even though we made an agreement not to get in any more sprints after Warda, we were looking at a sprint finish. This time I just edged him out though and got the win!

After a couple hours of sitting around, watching other races, etc etc, it was TT time. My previous time trial experiences have all left me having conserved too much energy for the end of the race, so this time I made an effort to take off a bit harder than I normally would. There were a couple times I started to think I had gone off too fast and was starting to slow down, but I just kept telling myself that it was only a ~15 minute race, and I was fine.
Eric had started 30 seconds in front of me, and towards the end I started to see him on the trail. I would look where he was and try to count how many seconds it took me to get there. When I kept coming out with 10-15, I knew I was in good shape. I never actually caught him, but even after hitting some rough rocks about 100 meters from the finish line that made me drop my chain and threw both my feet out of the pedals (right in front of everyone, of course) I finished with the gap smaller than the start split. No one else beat Eric, giving me a second win for the day.

Jump ahead to Sunday morning, and it's Get Ready for the XC Time! I warmed up with Wheel, and after a little my legs actually started feeling not too bad. I headed to the start line, and did the usual routine of sit around and wait for them to get ready to start us. We took off and I didn't go too hard, but stayed with the group.
I got into the single track in 5th, and after maybe four miles had passed up to 2nd. Eric was up the trail nowhere to be seen, so the rest of the race was categorized as chase him down time. Nothing too exciting happened for the next about 15 miles, then I started to see Eric up ahead of me.
I got close enough that he was only one switchback ahead of me. Of course that meant he knew I was there, and picked it up again... I caught up to Wheel (who was having a bad race in PSE) and drafted off him through a headwind section and the gap to Eric was starting to close, until I ran into a tree.

My shoulder hit the tree so hard that I couldn't lift my arm for the rest of the day, but after I picked up my sunglasses (which kept traveling forward when I abruptly stopped) I manned up got back to the chase.
Will had slowed down when he saw I wasn't on him any more, but when he saw I wasn't hurt (too bad) we took off again! Unfortunately, the tree took enough time out of me that I was never able to catch Eric for a sprint finish... And he ended up taking the race by about 10 seconds. Though, after nearly winning both races the day before, he did kind of have it coming.

2nd was good enough to give me the omnium though, so I got to take home a cowbell and some sweet money!
Bad news though: After the race, when I had already sat down and started to ice my shoulder, someone came up and asked about the weird scratch on my bike. I didn't know what they were talking about, so I got up to look. There wasn't actually a scratch, but there was a crack about 3/4 of the way around my top tube...

Pictures as soon as I have access to them, both of the race and the bike. Maybe even some bonus shots of me digging tree bark out of my knee with a pocket knife!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Adventures in Upper Middle Class Austin

In lieu of my original riding plans for the day getting getting canceled, I decided to go mountain biking, and not really feeling like going to any of the regular choices, I thought I would go on an adventure and try out a trail that I had heard of, but never been to before.
This trail is located, crazily enough, in the middle of a neighborhood, and there are some unwritten rules that if you know where it is, you aren't supposed to tell other people, because eventually the riff-raff will get the information, and the HOA will get tired of them and close the trails... Soooooo, if you know what trail I'm talking about, you either already know where it is, or you want me to take you there (I might, just ask). If you don't know what trail it is, don't worry about it, you probably don't want to ride there anyway.

I got to a parking area, which probably wasn't the optimal place to park, but I knew the neighborhood was off limits, so it was good enough for a first visit.

Then I had a mile or so road ride to the actual trail head, which took me a bit of time to find. The road itself was already not a very easy ride.

The picture doesn't look like much, but on the way back to my car later, I snagged a picture of this sign at the top. Yeah.

After I actually found the trail, it wasn't too hard to follow, but it was quite difficult in all other aspects...
There were a lot of rocks, but not unlike the greenbelt, there were only three or so spots that weren't easily ridable. Such as this type of stuff:

The hardest thing though was the climbing. If you weren't going uphill on this trail, you were going downhill and getting ready to go right back up again. And while this did make for some sweet places on the trail:

It also made the trail REALLY HARD.
Overall rating though, on a scale of 13 to Q, with the square root of 6 being the highest, I give it an I'll definitely be back.
Possibly the coolest spot on the trail:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Architecture-y Update

The bridge that I mentioned las week ended holding roughly 210 pounds. It weighed about 2, so I would say that it did okay. I do have pictures. They'll be up as soon as I actually have my laptop, camera, and camera cable all in the same place at the same time. Which will hopefully be soon.

In other (studio) news, my project is starting to turn into something! Take a look see for yourself!

Monday, April 6, 2009

"Like a Real Sandbagger"

Yesterday was the 2nd annual race at Reimer's Ranch, about an hour west of Austin. Unless you count the time it takes to get through the entry gate, then its about an hour fifteen away... Luckily, I had finagled my VIP parking pass out of the park rangers on Saturday (which is a whole story by itself. Maybe I'll write about it later this week.) and only had to wait for the people in front of me to convince the rangers that they were there for the race. Unlike like year, they believed that the VIP pass was real, and let me continue through without any incident.

Blah blah blah, getting dressed, warm up, etc.

The race started, and I jumped on Chris' (the guy who's winning the series) wheel, and was feeling just as good as I do at the start of any race. About ten minutes in though, I realized my legs were feeling a lot more sluggish than normal. I assumed I just hadn't gotten a good enough warm up and backed off a little, thinking as soon as I started feeling better I would just bridge back up to Chris.
The only problem was that my legs never got going. About half way through the first lap, Eric and some guy none of us had ever seen before caught up to me, and I started riding with them. At the beginning of the second lap, the random guy attacked, but eventually we caught back up.
We were coming up on a big headwind section, and I was in the lead. Thinking I would be smart I pulled over and let them get in front of me so I could draft. Then I got a cedar branch stuck between my crank and frame and I went down. Of course,I couldn't catch back up and had to ride into the headwind by myself anyway...
The whole third lap was a chase to see if I could catch those two, but the gap never got any smaller. Then I crashed again. In the same spot.
I rode to the finish with the leaders of the 30-39 group, who caught me not too long after the second crash, and came in 4th, a solid 4.5 minutes ahead of 5th (Wilder; who in all reality would have caught me if he hadn't flatted half way through the third lap).

All we could figure my "bad race" with a "pretty good result" could mean is that I raced like a real sandbagger. Since (I guess) you aren't supposed to do good/decent if you don't feel good.
Don't worry guys, I'll move up in the fall!

Oh yeah, I won a trackstand competition too! Got a sweet floor pump!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Ze Bridge

In Construction we've been learning about various bridge type things, and got assigned an assignment to design a bridge. We're limited to material choices of wood, chipboard, string and glue.
It's due today, so me and the guy I'm working working with met last night to start. We talked about it for a while, and decided on an approach that will probably make them rewrite the assignment for next year - instead of using glue as a means of holding pieces together, we decided to cast some trusses out of epoxy.

I forgot to bring my camera with me for the process of building everything last night, and I don;t have it with me now either to get one of the finished project. I will, however, bring it with me tonight when we test it out (and hopefully it will be one of the ones thats strong enough that people have to start standing on it before it breaks), and get some pictures then!

While you're waiting, here is a pretty sweet song to keep you entertained! LINK