Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pace Bend

I have a test in two hours and a bunch of design work due tomorrow - time to write a blog. (Note that this means I'll have pictures of architecture stuff to put up soon!)

Last weekend was Walburg/Pace Bend.
After 6 years in a row of not finishing Walburg, I decided that there was no reason to continue the streak. As per usual (and despite the opposing forecast) Walburg was rainy and cold and after talking to everyone that went I decided that skipping out was definitely a good call.
Sunday rolled around and once again Barry Lee managed to get the Gods on his side and the temperature was up in the mid 70s by time I got to the park. (It's snowing today for comparison of how crazy out of place that weather was.)

(Cue some more people coming over and asking me how to do things on the test.)
(Cue me using some more parenthesis.)

I rolled up to the park, got my number, scrounged up some pins, aired up the Zipps, put my kit on at some point in time, filled my bottles, warmed up a little and headed off to staging to sit around and completely negate the half hour warm up I had just done. Talked to a bunch of people I haven't seen in forever, laughed at the people that still pin their numbers on upside down, and then the race started and I did some more of the same.
We had 62 miles to race, and for most of it I just chilled in the pack and either caught up with the people I don't see in the off season or made fun of the sketchy riders, Alberto Contador wannabe, guy with only one rear brake pad, guy that kept talking to himself, guy riding a TT frame, etc etc etc. Not to say we weren't going fast or anything, I was just feeling really good (it's easy to tell when people weren't talking back to me). I did bridge up to a break one time because it looked like it might be going somewhere, but it wasn't.
When we hit two laps to go (they're 6.2 miles each) (that's ten laps total, before you have to go and do the math yourself) (parenthesis) I headed up to the front of the pack where everyone was trying to get someone else to go chase down the guy who off the front by himself. I guess the general consensus was that he would get tired and come back on his own, because no one did anything resembling chasing him down.
We got down to the last two or three miles and he was only maybe 100 feet in front of us, and after some yelling at each other to go catch him, Will finally decided to take care of the problem and bridged up. So then it was the two of them maybe 100 feet in front of us. And they stayed there.
We got down to the last mile of the race or so and finally broke into the part where everyone gets all sketchy and close to each other trying to be at the front. I had memories of last year when half the pack went down in the last corner and decided that I was going to avoid that this year, since it would probably happen again. With about (sudden unit change OMG) 300 meters to go, right before the final bend, I got a chance and jumped off the front of the pack.
I was closing the gap on Will and the other guy fast and knew I would beat them to the finish easy enough, and about that time Shane (Chad's little brother) came flying by me. There was no way I was going to be able to do anything about that, so I just kept going and hoped no one else was coming that fast. There was some noise behind me, but it was only one guy (although looking at pictures everyone else was a lot closer than I thought at the time) and he didn't have quite enough to get by me before the finish (I'm very happy the race wasn't ten feet longer).
Yes, you read that right, no one else came by me - yes, that does mean I got 2nd place! No, I still have never won a road race... Yes, I'm more than happy with 2nd, I really wasn't expecting that out of myself.

Play by play of the last 100 meters. Courtesy of Joseph's dad.

Also, it was Brandon's first ever weekend of road racing. He did pretty good. And he better write something about it.
Also, someone I know did her first ever duathlon this weekend. She did pretty good. (And she better write something about it, too.)
Also, (parenthesis).

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I felt really good riding last weekend, which motivated me to sign up for the Pace Bend race on Sunday. I've done alright at this one in the past, so, I'm feelin' it. Besides, I need a reason to take the Zipps out of the closet again... I don't think they've seen the light of day since I was in Colorado. The finish line better not be somewhere stupid again this year, like 100 meters after a corner or on a downhill. Come on guys, you had it right three years ago.

In studio-land we're getting into the beginning of actual designing for the semester. Short of a piece of paper with some criss-crossy lines on it though, I don't really have anything worth posting pictures of. Maybe next week. I think there's some stuff of some sort due sometime around then.
Oh, and I checked out a book from the library about parking garages. It was published in the 50s. Meaning 1) all the cars in the pictures are also from the 50s, and thus awesome and 2) theres some goofy designing going on, but it's so cool at the same time! Like a parking garage completely enclosed in glass! I can't come up with any reason for that other than "well, I suppose it was built in '57..." Seems like the type of thing they'd do back then.

As for general life, there's not too much going on. Not having anything else to do Sunday, I went to a concert at Emo's Inside (meaning it was really small) for the first time in a while. Saw Jeff the Brotherhood and Screaming Females. It was pretty good.
Killswitch Engage is coming to Stubb's next week, but I can't decide if I want to drop $30 for the ticket or not...
I'm about to find an envelope for the purposes of this. I'm kinda excited to see how that turns out.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dirty Dozen

I haven't done this race in a long time. Since I was 16, I think. For a while there me and Andrew would do it every year, and considering our combined age was about half that of the teams we were racing against, we did alright. Got second on a team with our Dads once...

This year I got invited to be on a 4 person co-ed team, with Kim, one of the ladies that races in my mom's class and two other guys about my age, Ricky and Daniel. Our team was aptly named 'Three Cubs and a Cougar.'
All last week was rainy and nasty, I think Lance said something about the Seattle weather in Austin on his Twitter, but I heard Warda didn't get hit as bad, so there was hope.

Somehow Friday afternoon I managed to talk my mom into coming down and racing the 6 hour version. (I'm sure she'll post something about it.) So waaaaay too early Saturday morning we got up and headed out to the race. There was mud around and places out in the parking field were kind of mushy, but other places were completely dry, so I was still holding out hope the course would be in good shape.

The team had decided I was starting, since I would probably have the fastest lap times and could get us a nice early lead, hopefully. Which meant I got to do the run too! My favorite... Wooooo... It wasn't terrible though, no one was in any big hurry, so I got to the bikes around 15th and passed all the way up to 3rd before we even hit singletrack. Right before diving into the trees, Kevin Koen and some other guy I recognized, but couldn't put a name with, came by me, making them the only people to pass me the entire day! I followed them around for a while, but eventually they got away and I didn't see anyone else until the end of my second lap (we were doing two at a time - they were short) when I started catching people still finishing their first lap.

I tagged Daniel to head out and sat down for a nice two hour nap before it was my turn again. Repeat for a total of 12 hours. Well, almost. I had our first two 'night' laps - it didn't really start getting dark until half way through the second one, and before Daniel went out, he apparently asked everyone to talk me into doing an extra so he would only have to do one lap in the dark. I was already dressed and muddy, so I acquiesced and sat around and watched other people put better lights on my bike and helmet until he came back through.

At this point we were far enough in the lead that 2nd place couldn't catch us as long as we did the last lap, so I took it as more or less a victory stroll, although looking at the results it was only 5 minutes slower than my average lap time, and it was at night, so I must've been going faster than I thought...

In the end the team got 20 laps, putting us in a three-way tie for 2nd most laps of any team! (And we were only 5 minutes away from being able to do 21, which would've tied for the most, but I don't think we'd have gone out again.) We won the 4 person coed, and would've gotten 2nd in 4 person open! If that doesn't say enough, the team was great, I'd race with them again any time!

Here's some picture links:
I need to start wearing these socks more.
Nope, not muddy at all...