Sunday, November 4, 2012

Tour de Gruene weekend

Tour de Gruene is a fun weekend of riding and some time trials that are not sanctioned races but have had the likes of Lance Armstrong and Eddy Merckx racing the two man team time trial on Sunday in previous years and many of the regulars enjoying the Wurstfest on Saturday night then trying to TT Sunday morning. The town is beautiful and the support of the locals is amazing...then there is the along River Road is the best. The difference of these time trials is on Saturday there is AG based categories that also play into whether or not you were on a TT bike or Merckx (on your road bike) style. On Sunday its the same for the two person as well as coed teams and tandems. Its bike racing and riding at its best.

Several weeks ago Martin was looking around for a team partner and since I was already going to support my girlfriend who was also racing the two person with Amy Brown, I figured what the heck. Problem was, I had sold my Guru CR901 to a friend who had a cracked QR a week out from Vineman, and then I built up a Guru CR301 for a stage race and after those 5 miles of racing I had an offer on it and sold it as well. SO.....I had to order another 901 and used the DFU to tweak the fit some and change the geometry since my last build I have lost some lbs and ride shorter cranks which lets me stretch out a bit more. Ok, the problem was, week of the race I had no frame...till Tuesday. Wednesday I finished building it up and Brian Jones (my newly certified Retul fitter) helped me with the fit getting it dialed in and Thursday morning I rode it for 40 minutes around the picnic loop at Memorial Park. Didn't hurt but definitely NOT in shape for TTs or tris. But the bike was just too sexy not to get out and race this weekend. I set it up with my HED Stinger disc and Stinger 9 front cause you go big or go home on a TT right? Well on Friday what shows up at the shop? The brand new Mavic CXR 80 wheel set. Its a wheel tire system with a rubber lip that sits into the wheel after the tire is glued on creating what looks like a seamless smooth transition from rim to tire, taking the aerodynamics of wheel and tires to a new level. This set is not even UCI legal, thankfully I have no risk of racing UCI events. hahaha So I had to race these wheels to test them out, I mean, after all its my job to know how this stuff works right???

We had a great ride Saturday on road bikes cruising around and checking out the course. That evening we had some of the team that was out to race at a home in New Braunfels for dinner and had the best time and some pasta to get ready for what should be a fun day. Fun it was! I got out to the course start early and cruised around on the 901 getting a scone at a coffee shop and checked out the start and finish areas before getting suited up for our start. I got all pinned up and saw our number was 6 and realized they were counting backwards from like the 200s. What the heck time did he put for our start I wondered? I asked some guys with another low number and they said it was all based on estimated pace. That's when I find out Martin put us down at 26mph+ category. OMG! REALLY?!?! I am thinking like 22 is good out here on this course. Thankfully I had faith in my partner in being a good time trialist (he won his category the day before) and had faith in myself knowing I can draft well. I see him at the start and I made sure that we were going to start off moderate before kicking it in. I figured I would start so I could set a pace I am comfortable with and so I could figure my new rig and its handling. Well we are about 2 miles in and I am thinking I am going too hard and my legs hurt, thinking Martin is going to come around me I feel a bike approaching. It was our 30 second guys. WTH! Martin comes up and I ask "was I going that slow?" to which he replied NO and then he took the turn on the front. The next 10 miles were tough, I was unsure of the rig in corners, figuring out my cadence and rhythm on the rig in race mode. I pulled up next to Martin at one point and he mentioned his legs were tired (as they should be from the day before) at which point we even got passed by the guys with "1" as their number who later won with the fastest time of the entire day and beat us by 7 minutes. Instead of being bummed out by being passed I realized the class of riders we were around and used them as carrots as not to let them pull away so quickly. By the end of River Road I had new faith in my rig in corners, had found my rhythm and was ready to turn it up a bit. We still had one monster hill to climb, on which I found out I have a weird front shifting issue as it took a little bit for my chain to get to my small ring (the joys and risk of racing a new rig right away) and just took it easy up the hill. That is where Mandy and Amy took that photo above of us, in my 39/25 at 9 mph. HOLY CRAP that hill sucked! We made it in and had a nice downhill after that that I hit 41mph on in my aerobars loving it and feeling very stable even with the wind of cars passing us on the road. Our finish was kinda slow, I took it easy in the last two turns and we hit the finish shoot kinda slow too. We were both done and both pretty happy to be done. We both looked at each other as if to know it but not wanting to say it. We should have trained together on TT bikes and talked more. But hey, you don't know till you try and the next time we know we have a lot to improve on. Don't read that as a disappointment though, we averaged 24.5mph on a course with over 1000ft of climbing and I could not be happier...even though in our division which had the fastest time of the day, we were 7th and just a minute away from 4th. Overall I couldn't be happier and could not have done it with out my team mate Martin Juul. Now, I have a new fire and want to race my 901 some more....
See ya on the road....

Thursday, March 3, 2011

NAHBS 2011

NAHBS 114 by shamacycles
NAHBS 114 a photo by shamacycles on Flickr.
For the past 5 years a custom frame builder Don Walker has been putting on the North American Handmade Bike Show in different parts of the country each year. Frame makers from all over the country come together to show their craft and pride of their work. No, there are no Treks, Specialized, Cervelo, Giant, Orbea, or any big box stock bikes. What was there? Well the brands that Shama Cycles offers...Guru, Moots, Alchemy, Kirklee, and many more hand made custom frame makers. Shama Cycles went to represent Guru at the show with with the DFU (Dynamic Fit Unit) and 5 Guru dream builds at the Guru booth with Robert Pinazza from Guru. Also we brought two Alchemy bikes of ours to show at the Alchemy booth as well as the Wood Kirklee bike for the Kirklee booth. It was very flattering to be able to have bikes built up for our clients that are show worthy. It was a busy and tough 3 days but we made it through. Being able to see all the friends who drove up from Houston to Austin was great and so was being able to meet new people there and talk to them about Guru and the benefits of custom and talk about how we build these dream machines. One highlight of the show was a frame that Kirklee made for Analise Thompson which she wanted painted based on the art work of Van Gogh's Starry Night. We found the frame painter who could pull it off and got back a pure work of art. The work was so stunning that it was the most photographed frame of the show and won BEST PAINT of the entire show. With that finishing off the weekend...we left Austin on a high!

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Shama Guru CR901 at AG Nationals!

I am very proud of the bikes I build and every once in a while one will grab attention that you would not have expected. Recently I built a bike for Krista and we chose pretty wild color scheme. Black with Florescent Yellow accents. A little worried about how loud it will be and did we pick it right. Well it came in and WOW its amazing! Built up even better and a race...FORGET ABOUT IT! THIS IS ONE BAD MACHINE!!! Check out the USAT Teaser video here at about 1:20 seconds in you will see Krista and this rocket under her FLYING down the course as she blows by a guy on the right. Sure...maybe he was in the 50+ AG but still...its a hell of a pass. haha Jokes aside, its a proud moment for me to see one of my creations make a clip like this...and proud to see Krista flying the Shama colors out at such a big race. Rock on Krista!!!!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Guru Photon for Joe, a year long upgrade

JoeF Photon 012
Originally uploaded by shamacycles
Joe came to me this time last year with his stock Fuji carbon frame road bike with 105 components. He was not all that comfortable and wanted a fit. We changed up the fit some and I mentioned some upgrades to enhance the fit further. See Joe was not the standard male body type at all...or the typical cyclist body type. Joe hits the gym hard and looks more like a football player than a roadie...throw in his long legs, short torso and long arms and you have a need for some changes in a big way.
We changes the cranks, then the bar and stem and with each change he loved the improvement in his weekend rides where he found more speed and comfort. Next came new shifters, brakes, and derailluers...being geeked out over the performace of the shifting, braking and the weight he has been dropping off his Fuji he decided to get some better wheels as well. By this time we have changed everything. Everything but the frame. Finally after months of change after change and increased riding enjoyment he upgraded the frame. Guru Photon...custom made to be as tall as he needed it to be while having the perfect reach he needed. The parts list included Deda bar and stem, Zero G GSL brakes, Selle SMP Carbon Lite saddle, Sram Force shifters and derailluers, Rotor 3D cranks, SABB, and Q-Rings, Arundel cages, Hed Stinger 4 FlameRouge wheels with Schwalbe Ultremo tubulars with Nokon cables. This brought his 21lbs Fuji stock bike to a 14lbs Guru Photon bad a$$ rocket ship.
Oh, and how does it ride? Well on his first outing on the new frame when he normally would have been dropped from the attacks at 26mph and up Joe chased down one of his friends at 31mph and stayed away with him till the rest stop. Which prompted from all his friends, questions as to what has he been doing differently in his training and such. His response was...its the frame.
I loved going through this journey with him and finally completing it with an amazing finished product. The only bummer is now we are done...
Time to ride!

Guru Crono Retro fitted for internal Di2

Newest 012
Originally uploaded by shamacycles
When this rig was ordered at the end of 2008 Di2 hadn't swept the scene it got the best of Sram and other parts of the time. Now its 2010 and while the owner would love a new rig...its kinda like why? What would be different? This bike fits perfectly and has taken him to podiums in nearly every race he has entered. How do you perfect perfection? Ahhh...I love a challenge. In sprints and Olys you often run through tight turns that on such a short bike count for time. You can't always carry speed through them so you slow down on your base bars only to try to accelerate in the wrong gear...costing you precious power and seconds. Bring in the Di2! So Rich wanted to get crazy low and rail corners like a pro! We used the Pro Missile drop aero bars with the full Di2 set up with the shifters on the brake levers as well. The install was great with the cables all running perfectly through the frame and set up was a breeze...just perfect. OMG I love this stuff! We also used the Zero Gravity Gravitas brakes for when he needs to slow down giong into T2. The crank set up is my fav....Rotor 3D cranks spinning a QRing set on a Quarq power meter. We also used a Rotor SABB ceramic bottom bracket and Tiso ceramic pulley wheels to have a friction free drivetrain. First race...I watch him come out of T1 going to a flying mount and he eats it. That's right...he biffed the running mount and hit the ground. My mouth dropped looking from afar at this catastrophy. I can't believe he ruined my flawless machine. No...I didn't care how he was...I didn't care what he did to his bike....I cared what happened to my creation and the results I was looking for him to get. haha He picked up his pride and his bike and remounted. Headed down the road and was on his way. Now I am worried that with uber tech this frame is I am worried that something is off and his race will be over shortly. But what is this? He finished the bike in good time and with a blood running down from his knee and all over his Guru he finished 2nd in his Age Group. Long story short, after 6 stitches and some blood loss...he LOVES the new set up and will work on his cyclocross skills some more before his next race.
See ya on the road!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Great video for us bike lovers...

The latest...
Way too funny...though I will still not be the one gettin durty...


Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Pretty good, had to post. Its so true as one of my good friends was crashed off the road by a truck last night. Though we are pretty sure the truck saw him and was intentional.