Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bike The Bend charity ride

Originally uploaded by shamacycles
My longest ride yet...60 miles. This is about my 7th ride in my come back and so far so good. I have to admit I was a bit nervous....I even broke out the race wheels just to grab every advantage I could for fear of my lack of fitness and length of the ride. Starting off everyone (mostly team members) was pretty nice....they kept looking back to make sure I was there (for fear if they dropped me I would knock them off the team haha) and doing ok. For the first 30 minutes it was a slow roll and passing people and having some latch on. Finally we picked up two guys who wouldn't pull and were VERY twitchy in the line. Needless to say I was overcautious and getting a bit irritated. But I would have to think its bad form for me to be the jerk to say what everyone was thinking. After all we were all there at one time. So after one turn on to another road Eric took off...I couldn't help myself and with total disregard to my lack of fitness I launched out of the group (from the back) and chased....I caught him and even stayed on his wheel...then the rest of the group came and we started the pace that I knew would come when you do a charity ride with racers....OMG my lungs and legs were screaming but my pride would not let me quit. Finally we hit another turn in the road and we slowed down for a regrouping. Of course we looked around saw that we lost some....oops so sorry. Then it kicked up again...and OH MAN did it ever. Every long hard effort put in by what ever Shama Monster was on the front put me in the red and I had to REALLY work hard to stay on. We hit our first stop for a reload of food and drink and ran into more FOPs. Its so great to see everyone that I have become so accustomed to ride with and see...that I missed in these past 3 months. Finally in the last 6 miles with more FOPs in the mix Eric threw out a MAJOR attack. I was on the front at the time taking a VERY ill timed pull. When I saw no one really follow I though we would just slowly chase him back down....but that didn't happen. Two went off...then another two...then three. CRAP! I am blown...but I took off anyway thinking (that's what I get for thinking) that I can chase on. I get closer slowly to a well formed group of Chase 1 after the big guy. Laura was on my wheel so I had extra incentive to act tough and make it. You ever get with in 20 feet of the group but just can't close it down and trying not to totally implode only finally slow up and the group still stay the same distance from you meaning that they slowed up just as you did. AAAAHHHHGGGGG!!!!! Oh...but whats this? My free ride (Laura) jumps off my wheel and right up to the group no problem. DOUBLE AAAAHHHHGGGG!!!!!! So now I should just fall back to the main group behinf. But I don't...ether I will pick up who ever gets dropped or some one will catch up to me. After about a mile I look back and see a lone figure. Who is it....whats his name??? Its Lisa (soon to be Yarrow) coming. That is right! A GIRL! Out of a pack of guys! I was so proud of my little triathlete. I waited up and then gave her my wheel and I pulled with all I could to get us back to the school with out being caught by those chasing. We stayed away and came in just after the ones we were chasing. Of course Lisa's first comment being the pure triathlete that she is "WOW its so easy when you can draft....what an amazing difference...I could hold on at 25 26 no problem" Me? i was just happy I made it and on a pretty tough day. Everyone seemed a bit worked so I was very happy with my day.
I think we all ride or race and we all look back on our rides and get down on ourselves for different things on the ride that we didn't like or didn't perform well enough on or what ever it is. We all do it. Well that ride...I was all smiles. I got dropped and chick'd and all that...yet still I was SUPER HAPPY with my ride. I loved and cherished every second of it. What a great day! I love my team and friends and riding. So grateful to be able to do it all again.

Next up...Thanksgiving Day 70 miles. Black Friday Century from Shama Cycles. Saturday is another 60 miles. Lets see if I make it....

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I am riding once again!

Downtown Houston, Veterans Day Parade. I thought it was for me at first! haha
Are these ALL WHITE bibshorts or am I shortless and this is my tan line?

All right...so if you have been following my blog, or on Facebook, or happen to be in my shop in the past 3 months you would have found out that I had a life changing wreck in a race back in August. I fractured my C7 and my life and everything in it came to a screeching halt! I lived...I had some titanium installed in my neck and started my road to recovery. Since my business has grown so rapidly I can't believe it. The interior of the shop looks totally different, I have retail racks and more shelving for more inventory. I added 2 more frame lines to be able to offer 4 of the finest frames made in the world. I added more FOPs and/or team mates on the road and triathlon. I got engaged as well. I know right...she said YES to a guy in a neck brace...sober! haha
Also what has come from this is the start of a foundation to help other cyclist who have been injured while riding or racing who are without insurance. Look for more to come from the C7 Foundation. Overall its been an amazing 3 months...just missing one thing...riding a bike. This past Wednesday I saw Dr. Johnson who looked at my Xray and said that my C7 and C6 were fusing nicely and I am cleared to ride. OH YEAH!!!!! So what did I do? Well that morning in antisipation for this ride I gave myself a good leg shave with a new blade. ahhhhh....
This was I was ready to head to the shop and grab my Praemio and go for a ride! Now I am sure most of you would have been fine with being off the road cause you would have just been on a trainer. But I HATE and I mean HATE the trainer! It was only the week before I got on an eliptical and spin bike just to make sure I did not totally pass out on my first ride back. I pull up to the shop and who is there...Lowda! (Laura Meichan) It was her day off and she came down to ride with me. This was special cause Laura was one of the ones who was there for Joy and myself while I was in the hospital. I put on some lycra for the first time since my race night and got all ready to go. I strapped on my new Bont shoes and clipped into my new Time pedals with a new Lazer helmet on my head replacing the Lazer helmet that cracked in 7 places from the wreck and pushed those first pedal strokes on my Guru. (shameless product advertising) I was home...rolling with the wind blowing across my hairless legs. Laura and I made our way to Memorial Park for a couple loops and we stopped at the accident sight. Reflection you may say? No...I was looking to see if my prescription inserts were still there...they flew out of my glasses and I haven't found them yet. haha! Then Laura and I rolled into downtown via Allen Parkway. I swear there was some wind out there and Laura was letting me half wheel her the whole way in to help build my ego...she is so sweet. Even though I was getting blasted she was on her easy ride per her coach. We got into down town and saw my friend Mike Junco the bike cop and Mike Adrion. All enjoyin the day. I forgot how great it was to ride and see friends you know on the way. LOVE IT! We head back to the shop and I swear we had head wind the whole way back. ARG!!!! The next morning I wake up at 6am to meet Trent for a typical route though he made me ride the full 1.5hrs in the small chain ring...of course we did a seated sprint at one point...he won. ARG!!!! haha Still it was fun to be able to ride with the guy who got me into road racing in the first place for my second ride. Not bad...I wasn't really tired or anything so lets see how Saturday goes. Oh man...Saturday. I am not gonna lie, I was worried. 3 hours was the plan and with a group of friends/racers. I knew the pace would not be high and we are into off season base miles anyway but still I was worried. Would I last? Would get those pains you get as a new cyclist? Would I handle riding in a pack again or would I freak out with post wreck flashbacks??? Overall...I did great! I was surprised. I rode in the pack fine, drafted fine, cadence good, accelerations good. On the way back I started gaining some confidence and took a pull on a faster return pace due to time limits on the other three I was riding with. BIG MISTAKE! You know how you first start riding and you get in with a group and you are feeling good and you think you can go faster and that you are better than them and that you are single handedly going to show this peleton what pain really is? Oh yeah...I did that. I did that to a fast age group triathlete and two road racers...one being a Cat 3. So while Pete Neubig (long time friend and new Shama Cycles team member) was on the front pulling very well I moved up along side him, blew him a kiss and started my pull with the pace being a notch higher. We roll up on a light at the base of an overpass and I am winded and happy for the break the red light provides. I turn around and ask Pete how badass I am with requesting the speed of my amazing pull. 24mph he says...my world crumbles as I was sure I was feeling the pain of 29mph. What is that you ask? No bike computer? No power meter? No...not on this bike and not right now. I don't need to know how bad I suck or awesome I am not. I just need to ride and get my feel back and build up my base again. So the light turns green and we take off....up that steep mountainish overpass and I am quickly dropped...the price is being paid for my earlier misjudged effort. By the time they slowed down and I caught up I quickly let Pete know I will be more than happy to draft the rest of the ride and appreciate his superior form and free ride he is providing. Oh man...I made the biggest rookie move there is and I of all people should know better. Just shows...I lost some form and some sense. At the end of the day I was with great guys and had a great ride and while I might give my self grief and say I am fatter and slower...I am actually very happy with my lack of form for fear it couldv'e been worse. I wasn't sore and I wasn't tired. I did take Sunday off...still I feel great.
I am pumped, I am motivated and I am BACK!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ironstar Half Ironman 2009

Ironstar 2009 037
Originally uploaded by shamacycles
My first Half Ironman was this race the first year they had it. I will save you all from the pictures of myself at that race...for I did it on a road bike converted to a "tri bike" myself and I fitted myself on it. OMG I laugh at myself for that now...but I think we have all been there....and maybe some of us still are. So this race has a special place in my heart and I love that its still going. This year finally they were back at the newly remodeled Lago Vista Resort. Where all Transitions, start and finish occurred. GREAT for spectating. I hope the new venue will help this race continue to grow as it has one of the prettiest bike legs around.
Taking advantage of my last weekend of not being able to ride I got up early on a Sunday morning trying to figure out why I told anyone I would be there taking pictures of them at the race that morning. It always sounds better a week earlier...but at 6am when its not your ride or race...it takes alot to get there. But once there...its a blast! I drove the course yelling VENGA to all my FOPs out there and if I saw some one struggling I would shout words of encouragement to them as well.
It was fun watching the race...seeing the stories unfold and such.
The FOPs (Friends of Philip) represented well with AG placings and top bike splits as always. But the most fun I think for all was being able to finally pack in their season on a high note.