Monday, October 26, 2009

Its kinda like a commercial

Before the next (final?) installment of the Nationals saga, heres a quick update from the weekend:

Me and Joseph had pretty much nothing to do, so we took up a good chunk of both days going around and piecing together our costumes for the forthcoming event known as Halloween. What they are, I'm not allowed to say, but they will be awesome. Well worth the little under a week wait until I post pictures.

And we decided it was time to get more junk for the walls in our apartment. This time we went the 'high art' route though. More specifically, the home-made high art route.

My contribution:

Josephs aren't quite finished yet:

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Collegiate MTB Nationals (Part Two)

Saturday morning we got up early and headed down to the village to watch the start of the girls races. We stuck around to watch them come through one of the most technical spots on the course and then headed back to the condo for some breakfast. And sitting around. And eventually getting ready to go race ourselves.

A little warm up, and we got into the staging area and waited for call up. Which they managed to really f... screw up. They called up all of the conference champions to the front row. But then, instead of going through all of the schools in order of national rankings and having them send one person up and repeating until everyone was on the line, they just picked all the big name schools and went through them. Then called everyone else up. So, instead of getting a second row spot, I got a 6th row spot.

Somehow though, everyone got out of my way both on the start through the village and up the first gravel road climb. By time we hit the singletrack I was already top 30 or at least really close to it. And then I passed some more people. Suddenly, I saw Chad in front of me, and I was gaining pretty fast. On a climb. Don't ask me.

I went by Chad, but pretty soon he passed me back, and we settled into a little group that was going about the right pace. For the rest of the first lap and the second lap I went back and forth with Chad a few times, but we were always close to each other.

Starting the third lap though, two of the guys in our little group started picking up the pace. I was feeling good and went with them. It wasn't long before we couldn't see anyone else we had been with. Then they started slowing down, so I went around and started looking for more guys in front of me. But I couldn't find any of them. The whole fourth lap I might have seen three other people. But, I was still passing [most*] them, so, I'll take it.

*One of the maybe five people that passed me the whole race came by about two miles from the end...

I wasn't exactly sure of where I was sitting in the race, but I knew I was doing pretty good. My goal had been top 20, and I ended up 22nd. Not quite, but I'll take that too. Especially when we realized I was the first finisher from a school not located in a mountainous area!

Part 3: Short Track, pictures, and more coming soon!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Collegiate MTB Nationals (Part One)

About this time last year, I got an [unexpected] invitation to the 2008 collegiate mountain bike national championships. It was too short notice to put together travel plans to North Carolina for a weekend. So I decided I would just go this year.

So, the day after I got back from Marfa, I packed a different bag and drove to Dallas. The next morning I met up with the A+M team, loaded my bag and bike into their van and tried to forget that I was going to be stuck in it for the next 34 hours as well...

Way too long of a car drive later, we made it to the Northstar at Tahoe resort in Truckee, California.

We unpacked into the condo, and after deciding we all wanted to ride, sat/laid down and took naps. Then we got some sandwiches. Then we went out for a ride. The course wasn't completely marked yet, so we rode the first couple miles before we couldn't figure out where to go, and then just explored some of the various trails. They were all pretty much awesome.

We got back to the condo and had some homemade chili and watched freeride videos and all decided we wanted to ride around 10:00 the next morning before passing out again.

Thursday we all woke up and were riding by about 1:00 in the afternoon...
The course was completely marked this time, so we got to see the whole thing. We started pretty much straight uphill, and climbed 800 feet. Broken up by a 3 second downhill section. It was a mix of wide singletrack and jeep road, with a few technical spots. There were very few spots where passing wouldn't be possible. At the top of the climb, we made a corner and started heading back down. The first section of descent was really flow-y with bermed corners and a few tabletop jumps. There was a short flat to slightly uphill section, then more of the same descent before we dumped out onto a ~40 mile an hour straight down dirt road with a right hand corner covered in loose gravel at the bottom to transition into the last short (read: maybe 100 vertical feet) climb on the course. Then it was downhill to the finish! This time though, there was some pretty technical rocky sections mixed in.

We headed back to the condo, showered, went through registration, and headed to the racers meeting, where they told us the trail was in such good condition they were bumping us up from 3 laps (22.5 miles) to 4 laps (30 miles) for the cross country the next day...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

El Cosmico

The Trans-Pecos Festival of Music and Love.

Pictures will say more than words about this one. Taken by me unless otherwise noted.

Driving to marfa

Architecture in progress

Finished project

@Siobhan Ray

@Siobhan Ray

@Melissa Berry

Ben Kweller

Other projects

@Melissa Berry

@Melissa Berry

@Vicky Ho

Went for a ride

Dan Deacon

Heartless Bastards


@Melissa Berry

@Melissa Berry

@Sam Turner

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Livin the Life

Even with having to get studio stuff finalized for Marfa this weekend, which is going to be awesome, by the way, the last few days have been pretty awesome.
If you recall my last post, the Collegiate Conference championships were last weekend at Bar H. Saturday the weather was awesome for the time trial and short track, both of which I got 2nd to Chad in.

(race pics courtesy of Mr. Haga)

Nothing much to say about the TT, but the STXC was kind of interesting. After riding a lap of the course, I decided that I was going to race it on my singlespeed, which I had brought with the intention of using if the course was muddy. Surprisingly, racing it turned out to be a pretty good idea. I was following Chad around pretty easily, and and not having the option of an easier gear, I forced myself to not be able to slow down. Except when I slid out in some sand and hit the ground. That slowed me down quite a bit. Shane and Steve got by me, and Chad used the opportunity to take off. I got back by the other two, but Chad was gone...
(Notice the sweet socks)

Then it started raining.

And it didn't stop raining.
Sunday morning, we all gathered up and looked at the conference points, and came to the conclusion that whether no one raced or everyone raced, nothing could change in the points. But if any one person in the top 5 raced, they would pass the person ahead of them, making it an all or nothing kind of deal. Me, Drew, Shane, and Chad were all fine with not racing. Steve on the other hand...
Anyway, I think a picture says more than I could write (Steve is the one smiling, go figure):

I will say that the race was actually kinda fun, as much as I wouldn't have minded not doing it, it was pretty good. Helps that I won (!), but you know, haven't had a real mud race in a while either...

Then I drove back to Austin, through lots of traffic, including I35 being completely closed down once... For a broken down semi... On the shoulder...

And got back in time to take a shower and make it down to Stubb's for Ghostland Obsvervatory!

Monday and Tuesday were a lot of getting everything finalized for Marfa, and besides packing up the cars, we're good to go (throw in little hand gesture from that Taco Bell commercial here)!
Then Tuesday night I hit up a Trivium concert with JT and Logan!

Added to the collection too!

And... tomorrow is the start of my week long vacation to Marfa and then Lake Tahoe!

Livin the life

'Handlebars' Flobots

Friday, October 2, 2009

Heres a rundown of my next (little more than) two weeks:

Tonight: Drive to Dallas
Tomorrow: Drive to Bar H; time trial and short track; SCCCC meeting
Sunday: Cross Country; Drive back to Austin; Ghostland Observatory concert
Monday: Project for construction; project for studio
Tuesday: See Monday; class; (maybe) Dirt Derby; (maybe) Trivium Concert
Wednesday: Studio project
Thursday: Studio Project
Friday: Drive to Marfa; assemble project for studio; El Cosmico
Saturday: El Cosmico
Sunday: Disassemble studio project; drive back to Austin
Monday: Pack for the next week; (maybe) drive to College Station
Tuesday: Start driving to Lake Tahoe with A+M Cycling Team
Wednesday: Finish drive to Lake Tahoe
Thursday: Preride collegiate National Championship cross country course
Friday: (Maybe) Collegiate National Championship short track; enjoy the ambiance
Sunday: Enjoy the ambiance
Monday: Start driving back to Texas
Tuesday: Finish drive to Austin

Then I get to catch up on all of the class and studio I'll have missed, but theres a good chance this is the only chance I'll get to go, so it'll be worth it. I'm excited.

In other news, after Marfa, I never want to have anything to do with plastic bags ever again.

'Run Chicken Run' The Felice Brothers