Monday, March 31, 2008

Belterra and some things.

Second week back on the bike and my first "real" race back. Solid training, nothing to really write home about. I have been capping my rides at about 3 hrs and picking up the tempo a little bit. I still don't want to over do it just yet. I jumped in the Tuesday night ride out south of town, which is always fast. Since Ft. Davis is just around the corner, I have been getting out on my Scott Plasma time trial bike a couple of times a week. It feels fast, and even if I don't set a course record, at least I'll look kinda cool with our Advantage helmets thanks to Giro and our Zipp wheels flying down the road. I'm pumped. Right now I think Tristan will be the GC guy out there. He is riding super strong, and is a good pure climber to have on your team. I also did the Thursday night driveway crit last week. After watching Don, the boss, destroy his "c" race companions in his second ever USCF race. I was just thinking, I can't disappoint. When in reality, I was going to be very happy just to hang in and cover stuff. Mission accomplished. Barry and Carlos got into a break that ended up lapping the field. Every time I looked across the course to the break, Barry would be at the front turning his giant 54t chain ring in anger.
Once the break lapped our main field, I sat up and pulled out and witnessed Barry out sprint John Korioth and Stefan to keep the KOD jersey in the TX Tough family. Hopefully he wont lose it between now and Thursday in his truck or bedroom. We'll see.
The legs have been getting a lot better. Still not much fitness to be seen out of me. Just kinda "going through the motions", as Christian always tells me.
Belterra was kinda cool. Not nearly as challenging of a course that they have had in years past, but still fun. With the fast downhill toward the finish, a break staying away was going to be next to impossible. We all did a good job of covering moves and getting in all the breaks. Tristan got in a move halfway through the race with Stefan and Willis that looked threatening. However, after Willis had a mechanical issue on the hill, the 2 remaining were just cruising waiting for the group to catch them. On the last lap, Stefan launched yet another ferocious  attack on the hill and no one followed him. Like I said, an end result in anything other than a field sprint was unlikely, but if anyone were going to change that, it were going to be him. Stefan is not a sprinter and will never take his chance in a field sprint. I saw him up the road, and stomped on the pedals to get across to him at the top of the climb. Keep in mind that my fitness level is rather low, so you can imagine once I latched onto his wheel, I was cashed. We soon got caught and just jumped back into the pack. A few other small attacks from people who aren't sprinters tried their chances, but nothing doing. I tried to back to the front on the downhill to help out Barry with the lead out, but again, not happening. Barry set up the train nicely with Carlos and Tyler on his wheel. Somewhere between the downhill and finish, a certain SuperSquadra rider boss hogs his way into Tyler, trying to shut down the lead out. With about 150 meters to go Tyler takes over the sprint, which 9 times out of 10 are wins for him. On this occasion, (which is also his first race back as well since his crash nearly a month ago), the SuperSquadra rider had his way with him. Pushing him over into the curb, forcing T. Jewell to stop pedaling all together. Squadra took the win, then Boyd (who is riding like a bad ass), and Rob Kane had a surprise 3rd place. I was impressed with that result out of him. He is kinda old. :)
Tyler had to settle for 4th after an arguably sheisty sprint. All you can do is learn from your mistakes though. Maybe next time he'll throw some bows and be a bit more aggressive. Carlos and Will got 5th and 6th, and I limped in with the pack feeling like a small child. 
More steady training and Mineral Wells next weekend. Good race, and good preparation for Ft. Davis. Hopefully Stefan won't have his way with me again this year. Although, 2nd to him is usually not too shabby.

On another note, Bryan Fawley represented TX Tough at the NORBA National in Fontana California. You have to hear the story from him, but long story short. A disappointing cross country, nicely rebounded with a 19th in the pro short track. He'll take that all day.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Back to Training

My first week back since I crashed and I have ridden on average 2 hrs everyday. With no major re-accuring pain. I have been taking the week pretty light. Wednesday, Tyler, Carlos and myself rode out to Lockhart. The wind was pretty burly coming back home. Carlos some how managed to break his chain in Creedmore. Thus ending our "quality" training for the day. Tyler and i pushed him all the back to Slaughter and 35. It doesn't sound that bad, but considering we aren't anywhere close to 100%, it was quite a hard task. We thought we would be smart and cut through the construction sight straight back to 35. Bad idea. We had totally forgot that it rained pretty hard a couple of days prior. So every mile or so we would have to cross a patch of straight mud. With no by passes.  By the time we got to 35, Our shoes were pretty caked with pebbles and mud. Good thing I had to change my cleats anyways. 
Yesterday was the Thursday night crit out at the driveway. The course is awesome, and will be even better once the entire thing is finished. Will took the win and brought the KOD jersey back to the family.
Tyler was given the ok to ride outside by the doctor. I think he will also race Belterra next weekend. It has been a hard couple of weeks for us missing out on all the action. We are definitely exited to get back in the swing of things and get out and mix things up a bit.
Thanks again to everyone that checked up on us and were there to support us.
We can not say thank you enough to all of our sponsors for being there for us and doing so many great things for the team. Geoff Godsey, Barry Lee, and Todd Reed have done everything in there power to make it all happen. Huge thanks to Doug Looney of Scott Bikes, as well as the nice people at Zipp and SRAM.  Thanks to Liz at Hotel San Jose and our title sponsor, TX Tough. The new website is up and running, so be sure to check that out. 
Remember to donate! The first leg of  TX Tough is September 13th.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

2 Long Weeks.

Yesterday was the first day to be back on the bike in a little over 2 weeks since my crash. My knee is still a little sore but nothing that time won't heal. Hopefully. I still have to do a few sessions of physical therapy, but I can tell my leg is feeling better and better every day. I only rode for 1.5 hrs. but I don't want to over due it just yet. I will probably do 2 hr rides all week. 
I got back to Austin on Saturday and finished unpacking my room at our team house. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done (washer, dryer, refrigerator etc.), but it will get there sometime. Now were all in the house, except for Tyler that stays there sometimes.
I got my bike fixed and the handle bars replaced. They were broken in half straight thru. No salvaging those bars. Im just happy to be back on the road, and am looking forward to Belterra in 2 weeks.
Fayetteville was last weekend.  Alex Boyd made the race his bitch by soloing the first road race and getting 2nd in the tt and last road race. Tx Tough only had 4 starters. Tristan got sick and Bryan went to Waco for the mountain bike race (which he won by over 2 minutes). Carlos was our top finisher in 14th overall. then Dan and Will were right behind in the top 20 as well.
Not great, but we'll take it.
Tyler is getting better and is riding more and more. Still not sure if he will race Belterra but hopefully he can.
Maybe we will all be fast by then.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Just checking in after the weekends racing. Obviously I did not join in on the dirt road racing festivities. However, Tristan, Bryan, and Carlos did an awesome job representing for TX Tough nonetheless.
Tunis Roubaix was one of my personal favorite races. Not too far from home in College Station. usually a pretty selective race and not the best road conditions. Tristan and Bryan proved why they are 2 of the best mountain bikers and all around cyclists in the state by going 1-2. Thanks to a big effort put in by Carlos and Dan Opdyke who still finished 5th and 7th respectively (I believe).
After the race, Tristan, Bryan, and Carlos hopped in the truck with Barry and drove a few hrs. east to Louisiana for Rouge Roubaix. I have never had the opportunity to do this race (usually overlapping Lago Vista), but I had heard good thing. Similar to Tunis the day prior, the course called for a few big gravel road sections. With basically the entire cash purse going to the top 3, a good result was crucial. Of course the team didn't disappoint. At the finish of the 100+ mile race, Carlos won the field sprint for 2nd with Bryan and Tristan right behind in the same front group in 6th and 10th. The winner soloed the last 25 miles. From what I hear, there were about 100 starters and the field split into several groups.
Tyler and I are getting better. I should be back on the bike in a week. Tyler is already back on the bike but he probably shouldn't be. Were trying to talk him into taking some time off since he slipped a disc in his back. Fayetteville is this weekend and once again I will not be attending. Instead, I will be going back home to the new team house on Windsor and finish unpacking. We have some guys that are on pretty good form right now, or at least fast enough to win anyways. Fayetteville always has a solid turn out and being a stage race adds some extra difficulty. I'm sure the Team will have no problem delivering the goods yet again.
I have very high expectations for the year, not only for myself but the team as a whole also. Being one of the full time guys on the team I find it my responsibility to get results for the team, or at least do my part to get someone on the Team to get results. Since I have missed the past 2 weeks of racing, and will have missed the 3 weeks of racing by the time I'm back on the bike, the rest of the guys have done an awesome job of stepping up. Primarily Bryan and Tristan. I can not really praise them enough. They have had a very strong showing in the early season races.
Good Job to everyone for getting it done.
It's going to be a good year.

I will be able to post pictures and stuff once I get back home and on my computer.
Check race reports from Tunis and Rouge Roubaix at Tristan's blogspot and Bryan's website.

Friday, March 7, 2008

See, what had happend was..

I would just like to fill people in on the recent incident Tyler and myself had with a deer this past weekend at Lago Vista. At least the people that don't already know.
Well first of all, it is true. We were taken out by a deer while on the bike. Whats even crazier is that it was on two separate occasions.
On Friday before the race, I had been moving into the new team house all day and hadn't been able to get a ride in yet. Since it was the day before a race it wasn't supposed to be a hard or long ride. Just a little spin to stay loose. After I made my last trip to the house with a load of stuff I loaded my bike and busted ass out to Lago ahead of the rest of my team to get some sort of ride in before it got dark. That was mistake number 1. When I was driving in I saw probably dozens of venison scampering across the roads. I was riding a loop of the course and half way through my ride I saw a small pack of deer. Probably 6-8 of them. The first thing that crossed my mind was, how stupid do you have to be to get hit by a deer? Apparently not very. I was descending down one of the final hills before the finish at around 35-40. I wasn't gettin it by any means but it was fast enough to feel a chilly breeze. As I'm going down the hill I see a lone deer running straight for me. Before I could react the deer was right in front of me and the only place I could go was where the deer was going to be. I hit my brakes and plowed right into the hip of the deer. According to the Moritz guys that were close behind me I slid down the hill probably 100 meters before hitting a decorative boulder on the golf course head first. Luckily I stayed concious the whole time and the ambulance was there in no time. To cut the length of this story down, I was out of Brackenridge Hospital by 11:30 with 4 stitches in my face and 2 in my knee. I also had a slight nick in my patella that kept me from walking or bending my leg. Its been 1 week off the bike so far, and according to Dr. Barber, my orthopedist in Plano, One week of physical therapy and I should be good to go. I'll be missing 3 weeks of racing (LagoVista- Fayetteville). Look for my come back at Belterra.
As for Tyler, I'm not sure of his condition. I talk to him daily and get all the updates and he seems to be in high spirits. According to him both of our bikes are in need of some work. He also has road rash in 9 different places on his body. Especially his back. He cracked his elbow and tweaked his spine a little bit. He isn't sure of the severity of his spinal injury but he still isn't able to walk comfortably. Hopefully he will be back at it soon and his injuries aren't any worse than expected. We were both pretty lucky to escape with relatively minor injuries.
If you haven't already, read Veggie's take on the incident.

Thanks for all the thoughts and support.

The New THSJ.

The beginning of the season has started and this post is a little late.
A few big races have come and gone, including Pace Bend weekend and the Primavera at Lago Vista. There are a lot of stacked teams for '08. Velossimo is bigger and faster than ever and HealthCoach has added some horsepower and could be a threat this year. Same with the always strong Mercy squad. They proved they are back and ready to race by winning both days at Lago this year. Good Job to Mat Ankney and Stefan.
As for Team Hotel San Jose; we are totally revamped for this season. Adding new sponsors and several new, strong, experienced riders. We kicked off the season shaking off the cob webs with New Braunfuls, Castroville, and Valley of the Sun. Tyler scored a win in the crit at New Braunfuls, but other than that our results have been solid yet disappointing. A few top 10s at Castroville and Walburg and some decent top 5s at Lago Vista from Bryan Fawley and our newest seasoned Vet, Brian Sheedy. We had a huge win at Valley of the Sun in the Pro,1 road race with Tristan out sprinting Dave Clinger uphill. No one was more deserving of the win than him. Willy Ross put his wirey skills to work in the crit scoring a 4th against Rock Racing.
A strong start by most teams standards still isn't quite what we were looking for to start the season. With Fayetteville 2 weeks away, the team will be missing half of the core riders. This past weekend both myself (Andrew) and T. Jewell were taken out by a deer at Lago. Our injuries aren't too bad, but we are going to have to sit a few weeks out. I Missed the entire Lago weekend and will miss Tunis, Rouge Roubaix, and Fayetteville. Hopefully making my return the weekend of Belterra. Tyler will probably be the same, maybe longer. He is still questionable.
Along with our injuries, our Fayetteville roster will be a little hindered with Sheedy back home in North Carolina and Fawley opting out to do the mountain bike race in Waco. Luckily Tristan is riding like a man child and Carlos, Geoff, and Nick are all coming into form.
Look for strong performances out of us this year. Its only just begun. Pretty soon our team will be healthy and working like the dominate team we are used to being.
Look for periodic updates from Tristan and Nick. The team website should be up and running soon also so be sure to check that out in the next week or so.
The 2008 Tx Tough roster:
Barry Lee
Geoff Godsey
Brian Sheedy
Carlos Vargas
Nick Keirnan
Brett Crosby
Andrew Dahlheim
Tyler Jewell
Tristan Uhl
Bryan Fawley
Will Ross
Chopper Kincaid
Dan Opdyke
Andy Wilson