Thursday, April 30, 2009

The fun part of the Coldspring ride

Laura, Jose and Wilmer, most likely with Jose cracking some jokes.

A toast!!!!
Wow...there are several wine bottles at that table....

The smarter side of the Shama Cycles team and friends.

Jose, Laura, Helen.
Yeah...they take their training VERY seriously.
I can't even type that with a straight face. LOL

This was not me that day. I stuck to the course and the pain with the other masochists. How ever, the ever insightful Chris Lockwood planned a side route and a post ride recovery eating/hydration session. I think this was the thing I should have done. I see nothing but smiles here. The only smiles that I saw was from the guys inflicting the pain when they would look at how I am doing. SICK SICK SICK! Next time, I am sticking with this crew...

Colspring, the race before the race

Above is when it was still fun,
Below is again, still went it was fun....

Stephanie catching up to Helen on a dig to the group.

This coming Saturday there is a TXBRA road race in Coldspring. Its beautiful up there and not to mention some of the hills there are the worse in the area. So of course some of the team and friends drove up there last Saturday morning to preride the course. On the drive up I began to realize this was not going to be an easy ride. When we got there...yeah...this is gonna suck. There was quite a bit of horse power already there at the parking lot and I began to worry. Did I eat right this morning (if Starbucks is wrong then I don't want to be right) did I sleep well this week (NO) have I been training well for this (no) though I did race in Austin Thursday night though I did not have a good race...oh man...this is gonna hurt. We started off just a little after everyone else but quickly put in some work in the first miles and caught on to another very strong group of riders. Great, now I am gonna have to stay with these guys as long as I can. We make the right into the wind and it just sucks. We roll up on big hill, which is the finishing hill for the race and sucked and the group began to break up. My lungs and legs began to really hurt and I try to figure out is there a number pinned to me? Is this the race? Why oh why are we going so fast up this hill. Hill after hill came and it just hurt...we get to the turn to the flatter section of the course and I am still there. I can't believe it. Two more laps come and I am still there and I really can't believe does everyone else. I mean lets be honest here...I have 20 to 50 lbs on every other guy that was riding with us and by the end of the 3rd lap we were down to only 5 guys. The three strongest ones of the day (a Cat 2 and two Cat3s) start into the 4th lap like they were finally warmed up and it was time to go. Myself and one other guy found ourselves caught about 50yards back. So we kick it up to chase on...a couple miles later and after spending a fair amount of time in my 13 and 12t cogs....I give up the chase as I just was not closing it down and I was quickly burning matches I did not even really have. So to stay true to the Shama Cycles motto, I decided to go ahead and hit that last lap with just one other rider, Mike Rossi, and finish what I started. By the time I got to the finish hill, I though for sure I would have to walk it. My legs and lungs just felt horrible. Some how I made it to the top with out falling off my bike and suddenly I became VERY greatful I am not a Cat3. I finished up my loop and even caught up to the other 3 guys who seemed to be enjoying thier ride still. At the bottom of one hill was a local bait shop. Euan MacKay, Brian Darby and Jeremy Andrews were drinking some Gatorade and talking and laughing. I consider these guys friends of mine, but at that moment I hated them!!! They looked like they just started their ride and I look like I just got ran over....on the verge of needing medical attention. They give me the typical roadie BS. "Oh man that was a tough one" "so and so was really killing it" "Oh man you are riding really well" "I hope next week is not that tough" and then my favorite. "Anyone up for another lap?" After hearing all this while chugging my Coke and refilling my bottle with some Haterade. We start again, but this time, to the cars. WhewHoo!
We roll 30ft right into a climb...AH CRAP YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME! I made it back. More miles than I will race and hopefully at a harder pace than my race. So if anything else I hope to finish with the main group. Maybe even help my team mates. If nothing else it will just be great to be out there and support my team/friends/customers out there in a tough day of racing.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Walt's second GURU, Geneo and the Retul Fitting

A big bike...17lbs for this rig with training wheels. Pretty amazing for a bike that holds a guy that is 6'3".
Deda Zero Service Corsa stem, Deda Supernatural bars, Nokon cables, TRP 960SL brakes,
Sram Red shifters front and rear D. Agilis Cranks, Qrings, and SABB ceramic bb.

Walt is a big guy and a strong cyclist...but a triathlete at heart. So of course his first bike that he got from me was a Guru Merus. Since we have made some upgrades on it and he has had faster bikes and runs ever since racing on the Merus. With his love of the bike its only natural that he would want to ride more and enjoy riding a road position as much as the tri. His old road bike begins with a C and ends with an O. So this is easy.
Since he is a triathlete and we know his tri position from his first tri bike, we took that data and turned it into road measurements, complimentary to his tri position but still being able to handle well like a road bike and even do his first crit race in 3 weekends. Thus we have the Guru Geneo, super light, razor sharp handling, accelerates like you have a NOS system. We picked the parts, did a pre fitting, and finished the build. Today we did the Retul fitting and he got to spin it out in the back of the shop. When it comes to fitting bikes, there have been times I have spent hours with people trying to find the right mix of close to how they should fit the bike with out compromising too much handling or stability. But with a custom bike, a bike where each tube length is made to fit your anatomy perfectly and the stem, handlebar, crank, seatpost, saddle are all selected ahead of time to match into that perfect fitting...well then my job becomes WAY easy in this case. Almost too easy. From the prefitting we did, we moved the saddle up and forward a little once we had the Retul hooked up to compliment his tri position. Another ride outside in the back and he was home. He loved it and I loved seeing the look on his face as he made run after run back and forth. The first big ride is this Saturday as he does the Shiner Ride, 1oo miles ending at the Shiner Brewery for lots of beer and a live concert. While I am not a guy who really drinks, I know plenty of cyclists who do and this is a HUGE ride for most of them. hahaha Gotta love bikes and the calories they help us burn.

Champions Tri in Austin

Waly Yarrow sitting 3rd in his AG for the Oly race. Guru Merus got him there.
Above is Lisa Tilton McCarthy's Crono that took her to 3rd Woman Overall for the day.
Below, Trent raced in the Pro race, BRUTAL winds and competition. Trent was 7th overall there.
Trent coming home....

Lisa, Walt, myself, and Trent post race. I had 4 Gurus there that day. It was a good day to be supporting the crew and seeing everyone race.

Guru Crono with Quarq and Edge

Fred's Crono race ready for the Champions Tri in Austin. New Agilis cranks, QRings aero version, Quarq Saturn power meter, SABB ceramic bb, Tiso ceramic pulley wheels, Edge 68 rims, Tune hubs, DT Swiss aerolite wheels, and a couple other little tricks here and there.

Beautiful Italian made pulley wheels with ceramic bearings. Gold KMC chain.
We call this bike of course it gets a gold Shama Cycles stem cap.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Crono with a unique story...

The part I love most...he has a Zipp 999 race wheel set...these are for everyday training!
Why have them for training? Umm...for looks...

Well, everyone knows that guy who just rides and rides and rides. Some one who is actually really fast and just loves to ride. I know one such guy who goes by the name of Tommy Elder. Tommy has been racing triathlons since the 70s and some of us even call him Obi-Wan because he is wise in the way of triathlon. hahaha Since I have known him he has been riding an aluminum frame tri bike and has been known to do 100 miles at the Picnic Loop at Memorial Park mid week. Weekends...then its the long rides. Being the "fit critic" that I am I always would want to get him on something different and smoother. Carbon for starters. Finally through a scequence of events too long for this blog it finally happened. Tommy is now rolling on a Guru Crono custom made just for him and his measurements. Some parts are from his old bike, which is mostly the Ultegra group. Yes, I can actually work with parts you may already own. ;-)
Though the upgrade list is standard Shama style. New Ultimate stem, Nokon cables white and black, Rotor SABB ceramic bottom bracket, Tiso ceramic pulley wheels, KMC gold chain, and HED Jet 40 FR wheels. This rig like this is 17lbs. OH SO NICE! Even better is the compliments that Tommy gets on his bike now. For the first time people have told him that his position looks good...and so does the bike. Its nearly too much for words at first just look at it and as you are about to comment on one thing, you see something else. Most importantly...Tommy is a SUPER happy client/friend who is riding the nicest bike he has ever had and loves every bit of it! I love my job!

Racing the Driveway Crit on the Kirklee

Taking a flyer in the 3/4 race. Keeping gap in the turns on a 14lbs bike that carves corners like a bowie knife...
Standing up out of a corner...solid!!!
Better side note about the pic below...that is Dave McLaughlin to my left with the body art. He is usually the one who takes shots at these races...always the photographer and never the photographee. Not today. My friend Ned Frost who took these pics got him as well. Thanks Ned for these pics and thanks Dave for all the race images of past and those to come!
Every Thursday in Austin they have a race Spring through Fall. Its called the Driveway and its one of the best training races/weekly crits in Texas. I go up every once in a while to race, have fun, try some stuff, see what works. This was my first race on the Kirklee. It did me proud! Cornering is one of the bikes strong points. Front end stiffness is wonderful! I did not sprint in this race, just hard accelerations...which it handled very well. Not to mention leading up to this race, being able to ride it on some VERY crappy Texas roads, this bike is smooth. Its stiff where it needs to be and smooth where you want it. Now its just whether or not I like the Easton EC90 cranks or not. I might have to swap them with the old faithfuls, Dura Ace cranks and compare. And that is the best part of this race, I can race twice once a week and try something new each time. This bike is coming out again but next week with the Edge race wheels. OH YEAH!!!!

My latest addition!!!!

On the far left, a Praemio (titanium road) and on the far right Crono ( carbon tri)

The Guru display is in. Now I can represent Guru in all its glory. Not to mention being able have the frames that I have not built up for myself yet to hand. haha
So on the wall I have Sidero (steel road), Venio (aluminum and carbon road), Evolo (carbon road), Crono (carbon tri bike)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Kona Project

Possible sprint and quarter position
Possible half and full IM position

The heart of a bike...the frame. Tailor made to Andrew Strong's measurements and requirements. Being able to "tune" the titanium frame with specific tube selections is key for triathletes and something Guru excels at getting just right for every client of mine.
Also...the welds are beautiful!
So Andrew Strong is a friend of mine as well as an athlete I sponsor. Andrew has made it to Kona for the past two years...which has also been his first two years of competing in the Ironman distance races. So yes...he is a natural...but he also trains intensely and is VERY dedicated. Swimming is not his strong point, with 1:30+ swim times and qualifying for Kona still...yes his bike split is violent and run is vicious. The past two years he has done this on a Cervelo P3C and was wind tunnel fitted on it by John Cobb. Does it get to be any faster than this???
I believe it does. My business is based on the simple fact that fit is key. So if the bike fits better you are going to be more stable, more comfortable, and more powerful.
I am taking Andrew Strong, a man with strong Kona ambitions this year, off of what most consider to be "the fastest bike in the world" and putting him on a titanium frame that does have higher drag numbers in the wind tunnel...will he be faster?
I believe he will. This is what my business is and the proof will be in the real world...Ironman Brazil. This is his first chance to qualify for Kona. The fitting method right now will start from his current fit and then we will implement what I have learned under Dr. Andy Pruitt during my Specialized years and from Dan E's FIST method. I will be looking at everything with a Retul and Computrainer SpinScan.
Stay tuned as I put my reputation on the line for a proven athlete on a proven set up!
Soon I will have postings of the complete bike.
I look forward to seeing how this goes. Should be a fun little test!!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Riding Chappell Hill on Good Friday part 2

This is my daughter...taking pictures of herself through out the ride. Gotta love it!

My friend Steven was along for the ride as well...he rode tough on Saturday with us again.
Steve Quick and myself chillin behind the trailer...she took the picture and actually captured alot of great shots! Amazing what kids can do.
After 30+miles into the wind and hills, I could not go any more. Chris Lockwood took over...I think in a way he regretted it but at the same time loved the challenge and the pain. The last 13 miles in to the finish of Chappell Hill...well I not ashamed to say I am glad it wasn't me.

Riding Chappell Hill on Good Friday

I found out a term that best describes Shama Cycles rides...non denominational. haha We like them all from all teams and shops. I just want to ride my bike with good people and enjoy the ride!
The view my daughter had that morning...I don't mind pulling her, but never again on a hilly ride...
The Guru Praemio is the perfect bike for pulling a trailer...but take my advise...and stick to the flats....
One of the few times I have noticed Chappell Hill to be pretty.
We had a group of 20 or so out that day. Team mates and friends had a great Good Friday...sorry to those that had to work. ;-)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Lonestar Tri is over part 3

Greg Witherow's first race and only second time to ride the bike. He killed it and PR'd and proved to the race day gods that their rules do not apply to Shama Cycles bikes!
Greg is enjoying his ti Guru Merus with Ultegra SL grouppo along with HED wheels. Party on Greg!

I got Greg as a customer thanks to Walt Yarrow who also killed it out there is weekend. Funny, one of Walt's antagonists in the heavily contested Age Group competition is Brett Cole, whom he also sent me to get a Guru which is on here as well. So fortunately for me but unfortunately for Walt...he has given up his edge over the competition and leveled the playing field with his buddys. Walt still is an extremely strong cyclist...and only getting better.
John Startz is also enjoying the tri scene and today enjoyed the Aquabike. Which all triathletes should try at least once, or a relay. To be able to get out there and just hammer on the bike in a race situation is awesome!!! A good test and gauge to use in future races.