Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What's up World?!

I always seem to neglect writing on this thing, but I promise I will try and do better...maybe one update a week, who knows.

Anyway, some cool bike riding has occurred since my last post. A few of the Memorial Park crits ended up being pretty good for me, with the finale being the best. I have been working on my road skeelz this summer and finally was able to get into a worthwhile breakaway. 20 minutes in a group of four riders went off the front. As the pack was strung out in hot pursuit, I attacked them and was able to connect with the leaders about 20 seconds up the road. We worked very well together fending off the pack and with about three laps to go, the peloton had given up. I managed to get 3rd in the sprint, which was pretty satisfying for me.

I also took part in the team time trial a month or so ago. Although we didn't have the best result, it was fun to rock a disc wheel and aero helmet for once! Enough said about that.

Us Houstonian's have been lucky to have some warm-up mountain bike races for the fall series. YettiCross ( hosted the "Battle on the Brazos" mountain bike races at Stephen F. Austin state park. The course was rippin' fast with a GREAT turn out. I finally think I'm getting the hang of the mountain bike scene. I can definitely see an improvement on my handling skills just in the last few weeks.

Soon to come, today actually, are the YettiCross Cyclocross races being held at Stude Park. I haven't raced much CX in my day, but I plan to hit up some of the local and state races this year. Good times for all!

Other than that, not much going on except for job hunting.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Update, finally

Well folks, I haven't really been keeping up with my blog now that I have a twitter account. I'm addicted! Not too much has been going on since graduation. I have been doing some of the Memorial Park crit's to test some race strategies and work on my fitness for the fall, working at the shop with big KD, training some with the Comardo-kid, and other various things.

I just realized I never updated on the Memorial weekend crits in Dallas, but they were fun. Some of the most intense crit's I have done, but also the most enjoyable. Great events, and I had a few good placings as well.

Some other good things that have happened are my two trips to San Antonio with Morgan, one for fun, one for a wedding. Both were good times. Heading out west makes me really enjoy Texas.

Yesterday, I finally got to see my beloved Cadets. It's great to still feel welcomed and a part of such a great organization. The maroon and gold is definitely in my blood forever. The corps is playing and moving ALOT, but I know they will be the best in the end, whether or not the scores say so. Needless to say, I miss being with them in the summer...oh well, great things don't always last forever I suppose.

Well, I guess that's all for now until my next post. Not too much racing going on until the end of the year, but maybe one day I'll win one of the Wednesday night crits, that would be cool...til next time!

Monday, May 18, 2009

School, bikes, SLEEP

Several things have happened since my last post. A few races and most importantly, graduated from the University of Houston! I'm not sure how I feel about being done, other than relief. It all came to an end much faster than I expect. I did attend my graduation ceremony, even though it was boring and they mispronounced my FIRST name. I guess I'm a Frenchman named Breeon. It was nice to see all my family and old friends at my post ceremony party. I'll post more after on this matter once I get settled into real life.

In the midst of finals week and semester projects, I also attempted the mountain bike race out in Coldspring, TX. The start was typical and I was feeling excellent, but was caught up in the game and blew my legs to smithereens. So, that was that. Mountain biking hurts.

This past weekend there were two crits I attended, first was the Houston Metro Crit. This was my first road event in quite some time and just wanted to keep my bike up right, but things went better than expected. The course had 10 turns in a .9 mile loop. I definitely enjoyed the turns. Although it took me awhile to accustomed to racing at speed and cornering in a pack, I felt good. There were some attacks, but no one was able to get anything going so I just played it safe. On the last lap I knew I needed to position myself so I began to move up. With 4 turns to go the pace significantly increased and the guy in front of me sat up creating a nice gap. The 2nd to last straight away was approaching quick and I knew I needed to be in a top spot going into the final 90 degree turn so I went into the turn at full speed and came out 2nd about 5 or so bike lengths behind Tom from He threw down a good sprint and rode in for the win with me in 2nd. Later in the day Mitch decided to kill everyone and lap the field in the P/1/2/3 race...ridiculous. He also woke up at 5am to help me get ready for my race. Thanks for that homey.

Sunday was the Houston Grand Crit, put on by Bike Barn. The event was awesome, as it is every year. My race was first at 8am. I was feeling confident from the day before and lined up with 105 other Lycra clad individuals and waited for the start. As soon as the whistle blew, the game was on and as expected, the crashes came with a vengeance. I managed to avoid all of them by staying near the front, but it was still squirrely being in there with that many guys. The race really wasn't that eventful so I prepared myself for the end. I positioned myself on the 4th wheel coming into the final 1000 meters, but before I knew it, I was boxed in. I was really hoping to help give my teammate, Jason Danvir, a good leadout or sprint in myself, but it was not to be. I kept the pace steady and cruised in about 30th place. All in all a good weekend and no crashes.

For now, I am busying myself with small projects that I have been putting off due to school. I've been trying to rest, relax, and ride as much as possible. Mitch and I will also be heading up to the DFW area for the Memorial weekend crits on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. It will definitely be a good time. That's all for now, brush your teeth.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Whole Lot of Stuff, I think

Let's see, what has happened since my fun trip to the hospital? I think a few things have so I will try and write about them.

So, a few weeks ago I was talked into doing another marathon distance mountain bike race. It sounded good at the time. So, me and the Stick packed our things and headed out to Oden, Arkansas (population 200) for the Ouachita Challenge a 60 mile off road race. Not much to really mention on the drive up there, other than the 8 hour commute wasn't all that bad. We took the scenic route through small towns, which turned out to be more enjoyable than expected.

We arrived at our cabin around 2-3pm Saturday and immediately got ready for a preride. Andrew knew some of the trails in the surrounding area so we set out on a 1 hr adventure. The trails were in pretty good shape, but I was certainly feeling the drive because my legs were stiff. After our ride, we met up with the people we were renting the cabin from and unloaded our things. Soon after, we headed to the registration area to check in and eat our free spaghetti. We chatted with fellow racers and before we knew it, it was time for bed.

We woke up early Sunday morning around 5am to get loaded up and fed before our 60 mile ride of pain. To our surprise it was fairly warm out, which was exciting. Unfortunately, our hopes and dreams of great weather would soon be shattered as a storm rolled in, bringing rain, wind, and cold. We kitted up and headed to the start with hundreds of other racers. Eventually, after a long wait, the start was happening and people were already trying to tear one anothers legs off. I tried to keep myself under control, because I had no idea what I was getting myself in to. Andrew and I had planned on staying together to help one another out, but that plan was soon thwarted when I had my first of six flats. Andrew stopped, but I told him to ride on, hoping I'd see him again. The next two hours proved to be a very trying time. Every few minutes, I would get a flat or my tire would start leaking air. I was on and off the bike so much I had a tough time settling into a consistent tempo, so I wasn't feeling that great. The mental battle was raging in my head, but before I knew it, my legs opened up and I felt like I could ride my bike...finally. I began picking up the pace, trying to reel in as many guys as I could, but I was already set back quite a bit, so I just rode my own speed. The most comical thing about the race to me was that the further you got into the race, the more climbing and more difficult terrain there was. I even had to dismount and wade through a river. So, things were starting to get tough. Some sections were even unrideable, by me at least.

I had already decided in my head that Andrew was so far in front of me, that I would never see him again, and I would have to hear how bad he spanked me on our 8 hr drive home, but he was struck with some bad luck and had a major flat. It was somewhat motivating to be riding with someone you know again. We came out of the woods together and onto the last 8 mile dirt road and Andrew laid down the hammer on the flats picking up a few spots here and there. I tried my best to support by pacing him back up on the climbs. We probably picked up 5-7 spots so in the end we finished 45th and 46th out of 200 some riders, both with a time of 6hours and 25mins, I believe. It was a long day on the bike.

One thing that I have been thinking about lately is how difficult it is to be a cyclist in Houston. Good routes are in short supply so I think it really goes to show how dedicated much of the Houston area cyclists are. Now, I'd love to have epic riding like there is in California or Colorado, but I have to say I enjoy riding my bike in Houston. Maybe it's just a good excuse for me as to why I'm so slow, ha.

Anyway, I think that covers anything substantial I had to say. The end of the semester is getting closer and I am starting to feel the pressure, which is never good and the MS-150 has been making the bike shop a nightmare at times. Oh well, I will prevail.

PS. Happy Easter

Monday, March 30, 2009 the Hospital

After last weekends beating at Fayetteville, I was more than ready to get back on the dirt. Fortunately for me, the next race on the list was in Warda, TX at Bluff Creek Ranch. A short 90 minute drive. The Saturday before the race, I threw on my new warranty replacement wheel from Stan's (props to them for a quick turn around) and prepped my bike. Although I worked all day Saturday, I managed to get everything dialed in a ready to go with very little stress.

After work, I headed over to Morgan's parents house to celebrate her Dad's birthday. The food was excellent and the times were good. A few hours later, I went over to Mr. Comardo's residence since he was racing on Sunday too. We loaded up and headed to my place soon to find Marshall on the edge of his seat watching the US vs. El Salvador soccer game. Good thing I showed up, because USA tied it up shortly after my arrival. The Dynamo game was on after the USA game, but I had to pack so I missed it. Go team!

Anyway, the plan was to leave at 8am, getting us there in just enough to register, get our bike costumes on, and warm-up. All went smoothly until the warm-up. Unfortunately, Mitch's bike was acting up and eventually forced him to pull out of the race. A definite bummer because he is in great form. Now, for my race report...

I made sure I got a good warm-up beforehand because I tend to neglect this crucial pre-race ritual. I felt fresh and pretty snappy so I was in high hopes. The race started as riders began jockeying for position. As we entered the single track I was right in the mix of it. My legs felt good, I was in control of myself, and was riding at a comfortable speed. My only complaint was that I had not ridden trails in quite some time so my handling skills were not up to snuff on the first lap. Other than that, lap 1 was a success, on to lap 2. As I entered the trees for the second time, I was feeling smooth and relaxed, ready to pick up the pace. I was caught behind some guys who were struggling so I tried to pass them. Unfortunately, I was not aggressive enough and lost a few minutes riding too slow. Once we were out of the thickets, I opened it up and tried to bridge up to the riders in front of me. I was feeling great! I passed one more rider right before Gas Pass, a speedy downhill section, and was flying all the way to the 90 degree turn. I roosted the turn and began bombing down hill. Using my prior experience from BMX I began cruising over the rollers. As I approached the final and largest roller I tried to hop over it for a clean and clear landing, but as a I pulled up on the bars, they rotated in the stem and my rear wheel hit the lip of the hump sending me flying over the bars onto my head. I hit the ground hard crushing my helmet and leaving me in the fetal position. Fortunately, I crashed at the feet of one of my buddies from Bike Sport, Jack Gutweiller and he sprang into action. I took me about 10 minutes to collect myself and get my bike rideable again until I was off. I was riding on pure adrenaline trying to make up for lost time. The 3rd lap went great, but as the 4th was approaching I began to feel the aches and pains from my encounter with the dirt. I was not about to DNF so I pressed on, catching two guys in my class ahead of me. As soon as I crossed the line, I hopped off my bike and took a seat on the ground. Soon enough, I was being examined by the EMT's which eventually led to a trip to the emergency room. After getting my brain, neck, and back scanned, I was released with no signs of major injury. Thank God for helmets. All in all, I was fairly pleased with my race. My fitness was definitely there and I know I could have placed well if I hadn't nearly died.
A big thanks goes out to my family and especially Morgan for taking care of me. Morgan went above and beyond yesterday and today to make sure I was comfortable and safe, so thanks! Another thanks/congratulations goes to the big stick Andrew for checking on me during and after his race. He also ended up 6th overall in a very fast cat 1 field. Plus, he rode 45 miles off road the day prior.

This coming week will be focused on my recovery for the Ouachita Challenge. I'm pretty sure I'll be 100 percent by the time Sunday rolls around, so it should be a good time. I am also excited because I get to install my new Chris King bottom bracket. Hopefully, it will give me some extra fitness.

That's all for now, tune in next time.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring No-Break

Last week was supposed to be the highly anticipated Spring Break. A time where college students are able to enjoy the warm weather and get some much needed rest. Unfortunately, that was none to be had by this guy. I ended up working more than I had wanted to, but the shop definitely needed the extra help. Kyle, the owner, was short handed so I figured I'd try to pitch in while I could. I also had to be at school some to work on a big project for my advertising campaigns class. It wasn't too bad being there, but actually getting to school was the tough part.
St. Patrick's Day took place during this hiatus from school, so Mitch, Marshall, Ari, Morgan, and myself set out to celebrate our Irish roots. We ended up at no other than Kenneally's Irish Pub, a favorite of mine. Sporting our green, we discover that a few other people have decided to visit the local pub few I mean about 3000. None the less, we try to have a good time. In short, all I can say is I think I was poisoned by my beloved Newcastle. You wouldn't think such a delectable golden beverage would ever treat you wrong, but it most certainly did. Marshall and I both were sick the next day and it wasn't from drinking too much. I should have drank water.
The "highlight" of my break, and I use that term loosely, was the Fayetteville Stage Race on Saturday and Sunday. Maybe I was a bit over confident going into the weekend, but it was good to get some much needed high intensity work and extra miles into the legs. I feel as if I have been working fairly hard to obtain my cycling goals this year, but it's hard not to want to dominate everyone all the time. There are some who can, but they are hard to come by.

The Saturday road race was fairly tame, and with 93 Cat 4 pro's it was hard to make a move anywhere. Several times I contemplated violating the yellow line rule (a safety rule that condenses the peloton into one lane of traffic) but decided I didn't want to get hit by a car or nailed with a time penalty, so I sat in... boring... The next event for the day was the individual time trial. This event separates the men from the boys and I assumed I would be able to rip it up. Much to my disappointment, I didn't. Now, I have a million excuses for why I didn't live up to my expectations, but in the end I was not the fastest man. Oh well, many lessons were learned and I still had Sunday left to make things happen. As the morning of the race rolls around, I get my sexy bike costume on and head to the start. The first lap of three is pretty mellow as everyone gets a feel for the race, but once lap two starts, the attacks come. Unfortunately, I am one of those who attacked, and being the high priority target I am (sarcasm) was reeled back in after a short stint out front. It was looking like it was going to be another day for a pack finish as the peloton would not let anyone go, so I sat in and tried to make it to the end. Now, I consider myself a pretty strong rider for how green I am to the sport, but one thing I did not take into account this weekend was the surging involved with road racing. It was brutal. I did manage to hang in until the finish so all in all it was a good training race and I didn't get crash. I can't say that I am stoked about my results, but I have to think long term and what my pre-season goals where. None of which included road racing.

Oh ya, congrats to Mitch for being in the P1/2 break for 70 miles on Sunday and killing the time trial. There were some big time pro's in his race, but he managed to equalize with them and end up 7th in the GC. Another congrats to Kyle Johnson for his victory at Cameron Park. Now cat up jerk!

One cool thing I did try out this weekend was the Normatec MVP ( recovery agent. Shaun Taylor, an endurance freak and Sugar Cycles athlete, picked up this machine not too long ago and let some of the roadies use it. I must say I was skeptical at first, but my post race fatigue was significantly reduced. A cool product for sure that will certainly help Shaun in his quest for glory at the BC Bike Race. Good luck to him.

My next road event will be the Houston Grand Crit, but until then I have much more time on the dirt to enjoy. The next two weekends I have an XC race out at Bluff Creek Ranch in Warda, TX and then the Ouachita Challenge, a 60 mile mountain bike race in Arkansas. Both of which I am looking forward to.

This concludes our program, have a nice day.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Random Happenings

The bad weather has finally passed and the sun is out. Good timing for Spring Break! I also have been granted time off so I can do the Fayetteville Stage Race. Now, I just have to build up a time trial bike and get some race wheels. I hope my fitness is good, but I am confident.

In other news, this campaigns project for school is annoying. In two months I won't have to deal with so many things I care so little about. Like I've said before, I am not an academic.

Oh, I finally bought new tennis shoes after 5 years. My New Balances had seen better days so I picked up some new Zoot Advantage running shoes. Pretty slick I must say. I am not a runner, but its nice to have some kicks that are lightweight and have some support. Zoot says they are made specifically so you don't have to wear socks with them which I don't normally do, but its nice to have options. I also don't have to tie them which is another plus.

Another awesome thing I have discovered is the latest and greatest in drink technology. DRANK! This beverage has some excellent qualities.

1. It tastes like grape soda
2. It mellows you out like a cold brew, but is non-alcoholic
3. It wears off quickly, so there are no lingering effects.

Now it's probably not healthy in any regard, but I can't argue with something so tasty.

That's all for now people. Stay classy