Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Busy, working and racing

The rig that got me through the TT in style.
The portion of the 10acres of the home we stayed at for the race weekend. The kids could care less that we were gone racing...
Euan's Guru Crono complete with matching TT helmet. The bike is done, raced, and 11seconds below his goal TT for that race. 15:19 for 6.6 miles in the hills. Good for 3rd in his race. Nice job!

I hope to have some pics to post up very soon. But lately its been, work, eat,work, sleep, work, ride/race, repeat. Things in the shop are moving along. A Guru display has arrived along with a Retul and rotating fit stand. Time to really open and get to doing what I do best...bike fitting.

Up to now though I have had fun racing and riding. I did my first stage race in 4 years which really was highlighted by having my daughter out there with me along with some other kids of my team mates. The fun was racing the Guru Praemio. A full titanium rig. I had been road racing the Geneo and done well on it and love that bike. But I gotta test and feel. (its tough I know)
Well, the bike was a little heavier due mostly to using Shimano 7800 DuraAce instead of the Sram Red that is on the Geneo. One thing that I like about getting the Praemio from Guru is they can use different tubing to tune the ride they way the rider wants it. So of course...I got it beefy. Larger down tube, thicker chain stays, yeah...its a beast and I LOVED IT! What a ride. Since my first bike was aluminum and forever struggling to get to the ultimate with carbon, I was hesitant to want to race metal again. Sure, there are plenty of people who trust metal over carbon but the feel of carbon in a race is pretty nice. I have loved the Praemio on the road in fast rides and such, but racing it made me fall in love with it. Plus on the chipseal roads often found here in Texas racing, the ti does seem to be more forgiving than my Geneo would have.
I also raced the Merus (ti tt bike) in the time trial and loved it there too. Titanium is super nice and great for those who like to ride the trainer for alot of work outs, who are rough on thier stuff, don't like to clean thier bikes, or often lay them down in wrecks and don't ever want to worry about it and basically just want to have one bike that you will never get ride of.
While the Geneo is up till crit season is in full swing I race the Praemio again this past weekend out near Austin with the Edge tubulars and new Schwable Durano tires. Last race was on the Fulcrums. The bike weighed in right at 15lbs...nice! Even nicer is Rob Van Manda is a pretty flat course. I rolled the first lap and followed the pack, then when Aimee (one of the girls on the team supporting that weekend) yelled at me for being on the back, I moved up next lap and started to have fun. FINALLY it was flat and not windy! I came through the feed zone on the front and not a photographer in sight. Aimee did not even have hers. AAAAGGGGHHH!!!!!
Oh well, so the bike was solid, Ti is super race worth, even in the age of carbon everything.
Another good find was the new tubulars I was rolling. I came into a corner in a descent on the front WAY too hot and thought I was gonna slide right out. Instead I dug on the Duranos that I glued Friday night and came out of the corner gapping everyone else. Wow...not bad. Seems I found some new tubies to be racing.

Now its back to work. Lonestar Tri Weekend is upon us and all the triathletes need to get thier bikes race ready. The fun never ends....

Friday, March 20, 2009

End of a crazy week and beginning of a great weekend.

The all nighter bike...

Below: Guru Merus, ready to race/ridden for this first time trial. Finally I barely had time to do it.

TGIF!!!! I think. The weekend is upon us and I am up at 11:30 pm blogging when I have my first stage race to race this weekend in 4 years. Which means that since I am supposed to be getting up at 5:30 tomorrow morning to get ready for a 7:40am roll out...I should probably be asleep.
This race will be a bit different than the other 3 I have done already this season, its the firsts one I will get more than 3 hours of sleep the night before and won't have to drive 3 hours in the morning to get there. I am about 20 minutes away thanks to my team mate Andrew Strong. Plus I have my daughter with me for the weekend as well as some other kids here so she is good and I will not be missed at all while racing in the morning. I have 5 teammates with me in the 3 stage race this weekend which makes it even more fun! This weekend is one of the perks of the way I run Shama Cycles, schedule out every thing to be done before or after an viola, I have a weekend off to race.

What led up to me laying in this amazing bed in this super nice "weekend home" is down side of owning your own business. If there is such a thing in a high end bike shop. LOL
Suddenly everyone wanting their bikes for the weekend. For example, a friend of mine ordered a complete DuraAce 7900 grouppo and other parts last week. Should have been in Wednesday but instead they came in Thursday. So at8pm Thursday night I got a bike with old DuraAce and I left the shop at 4:30am Friday morning with bike that was 1lb and 2oz lighter down to 16.07lbs.
Fun and amazing but I was exhausted and slept till 8:45 when I was awakened by a customer on his way to the shop. OMG this sucks. Tired as can be I made it over there and worked till 5:30pm...time to get my daughter and our stuff and head to Fayetteville! Of course I worked on 5 bikes today which was only a tapper from how I was earlier in the week. But I was able to build myself a time trial bike. A Guru Merus. More on that to come.
For now I am fading and need sosme resest.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A weekend of riding in cold wet Houston

The Saturday ride...I am back left, Jeff is cold back right, Andrew is good left, and Gary is staying as warm as can be.
Above: Post charity ride breakfast at the Pearland IHOP. They were not down with egg whites and no butter there.
Below: Myself on the left and Steve on the right. As you can see above he is still wearing his kit like a good Shama Cycles faithful. I know how to push myself and my business but this guy puts me to shame sometimes...what am I talking about...almost all the time. LOVE THAT GUY!!!

In the midst of the horrible weekend weather of cold and rain I was able to sneak in two rides with out getting rained on. Good training and good hard miles with friends. You can't really complain about that. I rode the Ti Guru Praemio (which with the new HED Ardenesse wheels I am trying out weighs 15lbs) both days as I think I might race it in the stage race this coming weekend. Just to further get the feel for my customers as to help selecting whether they should do ti or carbon. Yes, its a tough job but someone has to do it. ;-)
Points that stand out from the rides?
Saturday was a pretty good 50 miles. Parts were easy, then parts were fast. There were 4 team mates on the ride so we did hill repeats Houston style by going back and forth over this series of 4 overpasses team style. LOL It was great. We were thinking of riding longer as we headed close to the park but we felt a couple rain drops and the cold was settling in. So we packed it in for the day.
I went to the shop at 11 am and went home at 2am. That whole work thing gets int eh way sometimes of quality napping and recovery time.
Sunday morning I was up at 6:20 am to meet up with Steve and his lovely wife Evelyn to head down to the Great Escape MS150 charity ride. No clue of what mileage or anything. We met up with another friend/hammerhead down there and we knock out 7omiles with a vengeance. Matter of fact...I think we won that ride. LOL I know what you are thinking, but of the 70mile groups, we caught the "leaders" at mile 30 something which was tough cause we started like 10 minutes after the ride got underway. We knew this cause we finally stopped at a rest stop after that and asked who all had been through. We were the first ones to roll through is what we were told. I ate like 4 cookies in celebration of having the lead. Only to watch the two guys we just passed roll on by and take the lead away from us. But oh what fun cause we had a "carrot" again. We rolled back out and the three of us taking turns made quick time and caught the two and kept it rolling. By this time we had already started to run into riders out on the shorter routes and kept it safe as we sounded like a broken record with the whole "ON YOUR LEFT" business.
Towards the end of the ride I was REALLY CRACKING! Maybe I didn't eat enough cookies...or maybe I ate too many...but I was trashed and was so ready to be done. Finally the school was in sight and I could dismount. Proud of my riding and happy to have missed the rain...it was time for IHOP!!! Which was great...till I went to stand up from the table...my legs...oh my poor legs. Did I break them? Why aren't they working? What is this pain? ahhhh nothing like a good Check Spellingweekend of hard riding. Which at 12am Wednesday morning I am still feeling. Gotta love it!!!!

New life into an older Crono

Not everyone can always have the latest greatest in this tough economic landscape. LOL I don't think my business is a good reflection of our times but still sometimes we have to show some moderation. Here is a perfect example. Guru Crono, circa 2006 with full Dura Ace and an old Profile Designs one piece bar and Fizik saddle. Now its 2009 and there is absolutely nothing wrong with the frame and the design is the same and its a perfect fit...sop what to do when you are wanting to spend money in anticipation of your Stimulus Check???? (forgive the political humor)
I am glad you ask...
Zipp aero bars, the very adjustable 3 peice set up, we picked the base bar, clip ons, and S bend extensions. VERY light and SUPER stiff for big guys or guys who like to rip on the front of thier rig. The bars are held on by a KCNC TI Pro stem. CNC machined for strength while being lightweight. Plus the simple graphics on a black stem work with the bike well.
For now we are trying out the Blackwell fork, we will see if it stays on or not.
The saddle was upgraded to a Selle Italia carbon shelf that has a water bottle holder built into it. Nice and aero for the short stuff! Then we rocked the Rotor Agilis Crankset with a SABB ceramic bottom bracket and a set of 54/42 aero Qrings. This lightened up the drivetrain while freeing up the spin of the cranks. Which now has the chain spinning through ceramic pulley wheels in a pimped out Dura Ace rear D that is now 20grams lighter from the tune kit for it that is anodized in red for some flare. The whole thing is cabled together with Nokon cables, white with some black an red in there. Oh yeah, and just to tie in the white on this mostly black rig we up graded the brakes to TRP 950SLs in white. We dropped justs over 2lbs off this bike and made it spin more efficiently...not to mention the looks.
This weekend is the true test...Fayetteville Stage Race. Oh yeah...I have to build up a TT bike for myself this weekend still. Whats the old saying about new bikes in races...well...even if I am still cabling it Friday...I am still racing a new TT bike on Saturday. Just the question is do I build a Merus or a Crono???

Finally finished with the ULTIMATE CRONO

Ok, this has been quite the project but its done. Last week I received the the Zipp Vuma Crono crankset and a 54/42 at that! Also in yesterday was the Giro Advantage 2 helmet we pursuaded Guru to paint to match the bike. I mean we went this far with it, we might as well go all the way.
Tonight I caught Euan at the park and got a pic of him with the helmet. Wow oh wow oh wow!
I rode the bike a bit myself...my goodness that freaking crank is stiff! I mean two or three hard pedal strokes and you look down wondering what that is...you feel it right away. And of course trying to follow Euan at 31 mph in his 54/13 just plain sucks! Everyone who sees this bike loves it...and then quickly hates it since its now that much harder to keep up with this guy. Yes, he is wearing the kit that is not of Shama Cycles. I pride myself on being able to take care of all racers of all teams, roadies and triathletes alike. It speaks to the uniquiness of what I am able to do at Shama Cycles. Not that other shops can't do this kind of work, just its hard to be able to accept everyday work and still do work on this level of bikes or take the time to do it. Mind you, I don't have hybrids or kids bikes here at all...there is good business there and good people and riders, but you have to stick to what you do best and this is it for me. There is nothing like the pride I have from being at the park, a ride, or where ever and I see a bike I have worked on and see the looks it gets...not to mention the smile on the face of the rider. Again, I love what I do and I get to do what I love.
See ya on the road...

St.Patty's Day, teammates, and I need to blog more!

Well today is St. Patty's Day and in good fun of the day we like to enjoy ourselves a bit. In amongst quite a few bikes stacked up waiting for my touch I was able to stop and take time with a team mate and friend as she cleans her rig for some testing in Austin tomorrow by her coach David Wenger of Source Endurance. Laura Meicha, aka Lowda, is a former State Crit and Time Trial Champ as well as season points winner as she has moved her way up to a Cat 2 road racer.
While she might sound wicked fast and scarey to ride with for he pain she can cause you...mostly you will just get dropped while catching your breath...from laughing so hard. I have never met a woman racer with a lighter sense of humor when it comes to racing and riding.
So in keeping true to how we roll...she is at the shop cleaning her bike and the only thing in her work apron is a Shiner bottle. Gotta love it!
Happy St. Patrick's Dat to ya!

Lots of bikes to post and get caught up on, but by 1am when I get home, I am usually too tired to blog. They will come soon though.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Guru Venio pinked out

Pink detail on the look pedals...

Pink hoods...love it!

Of course the matching pink stem cap...Shama Cycles baby!
What an upgrade. From where she was at on the bike she was on. Mostly her husband would keep up with her and sometimes drop her. I sold him is current bike about a year ago which is a very nice bike. But now...the tables are turned. They were at the Gator Ride as well this past weekend for her first big ride on the bike. She was very excited. She was dropping her husband and the only thing that seemed to sooth his conscience was knowing that at least that the money he spent on her anniversary, birthday, Christmas, Hanuka, st Patrick's day, Presidents Day, and what ever else he thinks he can through in there present...was money well spent. Today he dropped off his bike for a tune up and some updates. hahaha LOVE IT!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Zipp Vuma Crono crankset

These cranks have been teasing us for some time now. Finally Zipp is shipping them and I have one of the first ones in my hot little hands. Just amazing looking and I can't wait to install them. Of course my customer for them was out riding and I met up with him at the park and he happened to be on the bike we are putting them on. So on the side of the road we are opening up a box from Zipp and out comes this amazing crank that is just stunning...
We held it up to the bike and wow it looked like another wheel it was so huge. See this is a 54/42...the big man rings. And I bet it will be done proud!
Needless to say he is excited to get these installed so he met me at Panera Bread while I was eating my post ride sandwich to drop off the bike. So now now coming will be the pics of the Crono finally completed. Soon...very soon.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A charity ride through my daughters eyes

Team mate extraordinaire Helen Tarr and myself on the ferry early into the ride.

Dacree was refueling on the ferry to keep her energy up. This was the best part of the ride for me...we were moving and I was not dying.

Dacree's view for most of 60plus miles. Not a bad one really. LOL

She turned around and got a shot of Helen. Wow its surprising some of the shots she got.

We had to stop in between rest stops cause Dacree did not have to use it at any rest stop.

Not sure about everyone else, but I started riding and living for charity rides in between my triathlons. The challenge of passing people on hybrids and mountain bikes was oh so rewarding. Then one gets into road racing and the snobbery increases dramatically. As an elitist Cat 4 road racer, charity rides are not always on the menu since we are so much faster and need fast rides on the weekend with other fast racers. Fast being the key word there. hahaha Getting out of the ridiculous mind set of a racer and back to my roots was easy this weekend. I had my daughter this weekend and wanted to ride really bad. So I had some friends who were doing the Gator Ride (I know the common participant out there called it a race...sheesh) which is a MS150 warm up ride. No problem, closed roads, rest stops, lots of rides, protected lanes and perfect weather makes for the best chance to put in some long miles safely with my daughter in tow.

Now since I am so awesome and so strong on the bike and I have a matching kit that I race in...even shoe covers that are white...this would be no problem. I would still OWN that ride pulling my daughter. So I began trash talking to some friends starting Thursday. Just to make sure they knew how bad I was gonna make them hurt and that maybe they should just stay home that day.

So I find myself up at 5am getting it all together to go out on this little spin. Skipping ahead to the roll out. I start off and immediately I am wanting to advance my position and running the yellow line to do it. My friends Helen and Chris join me for the spin as well. THANK GOD THEY DID! We quickly get warmed up and hit the first little incline coming up to the big bridge of the day. I just knew that I would kill that hill on a charity ride...about 2/3s of the way up...the bridge killed me. Small ring and I just have to keep going. The top just never seemed to come. Then I figured after that its cake. I get to pass the people that passed me on the way up as it flattens out. Funny the looks you get when you are going over 20mph pulling nearly 80lbs behind you. I was drilling it just for the shock value of passing people like that...even though it was tough...I am a PRO CAT 4...this is cake! Yeah...that lasted about 20 miles if that. Then came the cross winds and the head winds. With my two teammates I was able to make due of the head winds while drafting off of Helen and Chris...but those crosswinds...OUCH!!! Here I am...on a custom titanium Guru Praemio with DuraAce, race wheels, ceramic bearings and so on and let a cross wind come and catch that rear trailer and it was TORTURE!!! I quickly felt bad for Helen and Chris and if it were not for me needing them. See the first part of the ride was great tale wind. The middle was a lot cross wind and we finished with head wind.Every bit of each pedal stroke required force and a lot of it. Finally we finished...I was in pain and could not believe I did not give up...cause I sure wanted too. Amazingly my daughter was great the whole time. She got a nap in and used up a Barbie camera on the ride. I am pretty sure I might have passed more than I got passed, though if it was the other way around I would not admit it. haha

I will have to do another one soon...but with out my daughter in tow...that will be shorter rides from here on out.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Freshening up a Specialized.

Coming from a Specialized Concept Store I know alot of people with Specialized bikes and rode one myself. One friend of mine rolled in his rig last week to help make it more Special. So we have started a process of adding some thing extra in the looks department as well as performance. First step was the Nokon cables. White and black.The shifting improved and the looks are a plenty.