Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cooper Crit, Little 500 & Austin Flyers Chipotle Burrito Ride

Cooper Crit

My team and I went up to Mc Kinney, Texas last weekend for the Toyota-sponsored Cooper Crit. The course was a lot of fun with its 9 turns and brand new, grippy concrete. The heat cooked us to a crisp over the 75 minutes of racing, but we still ended up all getting in the top 10. Joseph rode off with 5th and John and I sprinted in for 8th and 6th.

Afterward, I played around on Josh from Rol's 26er BMX bike. That thing is so much fun. I think I'm gonna' go hang out at the Walnut Creek pump track and hi-jack it the next time he's out there.

Little 500
The next day, my other team (The Sativa Rollers) and I attended the Rapha/Mellow Johnny's Little 500 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Breaking Away. The dream team that I had somehow put together consisted of: Scottish BMX World Champ and Austin Chronicle Award-winning Photographer–Sandy Carson, Two-time Arkansas Freestyle Bicycle Moto-Cross Champion/Peddler Bike Shop Owner/Father of Two–AJ Camp, 13-time X-Games Gold and Triple Gold Medalist Super-freestyle Trampoline Razor Scooter Champ–Aaron Ross, and myself.

We have been training for months for this event and it all payed off. After practicing our transitions at night with no lights, we knew once we were able to do them in the daylight on an actual race track that we'd be a force to be reckoned with. The team rode fantastically throughout the day and in true BMX fashion, the 500 mile race ended in a field sprint with myself taking the victory.

The Sativa Rollers send a big "Thanks" to all that showed up to cheer us with their cowbells, water splashes, and apple hand-ups. Without your support, this race could not have been won. I'd also like to send a special thanks to one lovely Ms. Kate Sherwin for helping the Sativa Rollers maintain their lead throughout the last 50 laps. She has been awarded the "HIGHest" Award for her smooth, strong efforts.

Celebrating victory


Aaron Ross is the boss

Andrew Willis of Holland Racing

Patrick Newell documents the scene

Jesse Slate

Patrick Newell


Andrew Willis

Austin Flyers Burrito Ride
Who wouldn't ride their bike for a free Chipotle burrito and free beer? Well, over 300 people couldn't resist the temptation so they headed southeast from Austin together for 15-mile, 35-mile, and 60-mile rides. My long-lost Mexican brother and I felt the need to tame the herd as we approached the outskirts of town. In order to keep the attacks at a minimum and to keep the ride as smooth and as safe as possible, we moved rode on the front, side-by-side, to keep the pace high for the next 40 miles. It turned out to be a great, mostly cloudy day for July standards. Oh, and the burritos were scrumptuous as usual. I washed mine down with a Berry Long Ride Smoothy from The Bicycle Sport Shop's coffee bar. I can't wait for next year's ride!.. or I guess I could just go eat a burrito and a smoothy after every ride... hmmmm...


More than 300 deep cruising down S. 1st

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Tour of Lawrence

Saturday's Crit was super fast, had a couple of technical turns, and a long back straight into a headwind. Photo courtesy of Craig Sparks

I'm in Lawrence, KS this July 4th weekend for the inaugural Tour of Lawrence. It started Friday night with 200m Street Sprints, then a downtown crit on Saturday, and a very hilly circuit race today on the picturesque KU campus. The weather has been so comfortable compared to Austin and it definitely made the racing pretty painless yesterday.

Street Sprints:
Basically, we were drag racing on bicycles. They took the top 8 times from the first qualifying round and placed them into a brackets based on category (Pro/Cat 1, Cat 2, Cat 3, and Cat 4/5). Then, the Pro/Cat 1 winner raced against the Cat 4/5 winner and the Cat 2 winner raced against the 4/5 winner. The winners of each of those rounds then raced each other to decide 1st and 2nd and the losers raced for 3rd and 4th.

I qualified, sharing the fastest time of the night with Nick Coil (Cat 1). My eighth-finals opponent was a no-show, so I got a bye-run, then my quarter, semi, and finals were pretty easy. Meanwhile, Josh Carter (Cat 1 winner) was battling the fastest guys over and over again before having to race against my semi-fresh legs. I tried stalling before staging to give him a little more time to recover, but he just rolled right up and staged. He got a really good jump on me at the start, but once we hit the halfway point, I dug as deep as I could and shifted into an extra gear hoping to get one more shot of acceleration before crossing the line. Somehow it worked and I walked away with a chunk of cash and bragging rights that I once beat renowned sprinter, Josh Carter.

Saturday's Crit:
This race was so darn fast, but somehow only let one break get away with only a few laps to go. Some of the larger teams didn't help keep the pace high enough in the last two laps, so Heath Blackgrove won with Stefan Rothe right on his tail. Then, about a second later, the field came through with a massive pack-sprint. Bryan Fawley got 8th and I picked up 7th.

There was definitely room for improvement in the last lap, but considering that we were in the middle of complete chaos, we're pretty happy with our results. Only one rider went down because he blew out his rear tire which is pretty amazing considering 75 of us were hitting all those turns with so much speed.

Photo courtesy of Craig Sparks