Ouch Ouch and More Ouch

•February 8, 2012 • 2 Comments

“Pain is temporary, pride is forever.”  Ok, got it.  How about in relation to kidney stones???  I think I’ll gladly pass on the pride for pain bargain on this one.  Nonetheless, I thought I’d show you my trophy.  Yes, there it is in all it’s glory.  I’ve had kidney stones in the past, but never one this size that didn’t have to be broken up prior to passing it.  Hopefully, none of you out there will ever have to deal with these nasty things, they are terrible.

In keeping on with the topic of pain, I’ll tell you about my recent trip to Red’s in Louisiana to teach a cycle trainer class.  I teach a spin trainer class every Tuesday & Thursday here in my hometown, but Red asked me to make a trip to his mega gym complex to torture the locals.  My trainer classes are known to be pretty brutal, but hey, “Pain is temporary, pride is forever” right?  I enjoyed teaching the class, and seeing my good friend Mark Miller while there for a few days.

We had a local mountain bike race here at Faulkner Park which had a good turnout.  Faulkner is a great, simple to follow, and hard to get lost mountain bike trail set here in Tyler, TX.  Congrats to one of my Cobb Riders, Nevada Thomason for taking the cake.  Nevada is a great mountain bike racer, and someone you should keep an eye out for if you see him on the trails sometime.  Weather was perfect, people were friendly, and the race went well.  Congrats to all the riders who put out a good effort!


A Gran New Year

•January 10, 2012 • 4 Comments

No that is not mispelled, I meant Gran…Gran Turismo that is.  I got this pc game for christmas and haven’t put it down since.  This is no ordinary car racing game where you can “plug and play.”  It takes much more involvement than I expected.  You have to tune your car, change the tires, balance things, and upgrade this & that if you want to win.  Winning may be a long way down the road for me, because I’ve first got to learn how to stay on the road!  Finishing each race is challenging enough.  I’m pretty car savvy, so I should be seeing that checkered flag in no time.

I had to take a small road trip recently to Kentwood, LA, and ran across quite an interesting establishment named “Nyla’s burger basket.”  I was told by the locals that Britney Spears frequents this fine dining when she is in town.  It was all news to me, but I’m sure if Britney eats it, then it must be healthy.  GrEaT bUrGeRs AnD fRiEs!!  If you ever find yourself in Kentwood, you can stop and eat at Nyla’s burger basket and say you are on Britney’s diet.  I sure am.

My good buddy Mark Miller, who owns Precisions Bikes, www.precisionbikes.com,  and Geaux Run, www.geauxrun.com,  in Louisiana, are always sending product back and forth to each other.  I decided to send him a sample of a shirt my designer, Jeff Waskowiak, is working on that we had mocked up locally.  The design is a skeleton composed of all sorts of bike parts such as chainrings, water bottles, pedals, seats, etc.  The mock up is not too pretty, as the design needs to be enlarged, but we just wanted to see what it looked like on a shirt.

I’ve started fitting riders again on a limited basis this year.  Here are a few before and after photos of a few riders we had in recently.  Terra Castro, terracastro.blogsport.com , member of Team Luna, was  a pleasure to work with, as well as Michelle Truesdale Leblanc, owner and coach at www.outrivalracing.com .   Best of luck to both of you in 2012!

At Year’s End

•December 27, 2011 • 2 Comments

In my last post, I promised some interesting pics from my recent trip to Taiwan.  It’s not my first trip here, but each trip is always different from the previous one.  Having two buddies along with me this year made the trip much more enjoyable, thanks Robert & Robbie for tagging along.

I have some good news, I found my new tri bike for 2012.  As you can see from the photo, I will be turning heads with my unique style.   I should easily break all of my bike PR’s on this after a few custom modifications 🙂  Now I just have to figure out my positioning on this chopper, and work up a custom paint job.

In Taiwan, you will come across a lot of people on two wheels.  It seems to be the best way for the quick get around on their busy streets.  It can be comical to see such large mobs of people on scooters, especially when they double up riders on a small one.  Maybe I’ll carry a green flag with me on my next trip to give them a proper start to their race at each intersection.

My main mission on this trip was to make sure everything was in order for another successful year of business.  We made several stops at various factories on our trip. These factories are most of the time in the middle of “the woods” and a rough road to get there, but each one is very interesting to visit.  I snapped a photo in one of the factories that was building bike frames.

There’s no better way to stretch out after a long plane ride from Taiwan than to go for a nice morning trail run.  Faulkner park here in Tyler, Tx has a great 1 mile gravel loop, and plenty of mountain bike trails to keep you treading along for hours.  Great sunshine + cool crisp weather = a great run.

Well, 2011 is almost at its close.  Christmas came and went, and it was a great time.  I hope everyone had a good holiday with their friends and family.  I guess we all have new years to look forward to now.  I’m sure i’ll spend most of my down time working towards accomplishing a few projects I have going in my shop.    Looking back, 2011 had many exciting endeavors, and I have many things to look forward to in 2012.  Happy new years to everyone!

Turkey Trot & Eat a Lot

•November 29, 2011 • Leave a Comment

     There’s only one way to describe how I feel right now…flexible!  And you thought I was going to say stuffed.  Keep reading, that comes later.  Thanks to my “hottie pilate” instructor, Robert and I endured yet another session of old-man pilates.  Of course, we all know this weeks session was of utmost importance due to the Thanksgiving holiday being on Thursday.  I have to keep an eye on my figure you know; I’m still a young guy, or so I think in my head.

Continuing on with the exercise rant, I’ve started up my infamous Tuesday/Thursday indoor trainer classes.  The first night turned out a big crowd, but I quickly turned their smiles into grins as we jumped into the tough workout.  It’s great to have a big age range of riders show up.  It just goes to show that the sport of Cycling/Triathlon can be enjoyed for an entire lifetime.

Ok one more little section and then I’ll move on to how much I ate on Thanksgiving.  Ginger and I took a quick trip to Hodges Gardens in Louisiana to meet up with some friends.  This wasn’t our first time here, but the simple beauty strikes me as new every time I see it.  The trip was a success, and I’m sure we’ll head back there sometime soon.

     Now…the moment you have all been wading through my words for…how much I ate.  If this was a crime scene, does this photo count as evidence?  Simply put, I don’t think I was that bad, but tell that to my stomach.   If you only knew the whole story; I’m heading to Taiwan for business the day after Thanksgiving.  One last stuffing of home cooked meals will hopefully carry me through a week’s worth of stringy noodles and sushi.  I’m bringing my amigo Robbie along, who is interested in clothing fabrication.  Having him see first hand the various textile factories in Taiwan will be a great learning experience for him.  I’ll have some interesting photos from Taiwan I’ll put up on my next post.  Each trip I take there is always full of unexpected excitement.


Black, Blue, and Breezy

•November 15, 2011 • Leave a Comment

It’s been a while since my last update, but I’ve come up with a solution to my lack of posts.  I’ve decided to hire my own full time crew of paparazzi.  That way, everything I say or do will automatically be blasted on the internet for all to see.  I told them all to expect a steady paycheck, so long as they shot me from my good side.  Well, the truth is that I simply forget to post on here.  But this just may be the last time you every 
here me say, “It’s been a while,” so you just stay tuned because I think I feel a little change rolling in with all these cooler Texas temperatures.

As fans of endurance sports, we all know about this little tiny race that happens every year in Kona Hawaii called the Ironman World Championships.  It’s been a few years since I last attended the race, so this year I decided to make the trip with my wife Ginger and stay a few weeks.  Kona is a beautiful place with sunshine, clear water, and some pretty cool lava rocks.  Despite the somewhat lengthy plane ride, the trip was great.  We rented a condo that was right off the run course; that way, all we had to do was step off our front porch to see the racers.  Some of the top contenders ran by so fast I barely had time to snap a photo but I managed to capture a good one of Craig Alexander on his way to victory, and a new Kona course record.

Shortly after I returned home from Kona, I made a trip up to Ohio to give a talk to a Tri Club.  While I was there, I made a stop at America’s Packard Museum.  I had a good time wandering around looking at their collection.  This red one seemed to grab my attention.  My paparazzi assured me that red was definitely my color.

I managed to have a few weeks downtime after Ohio before I headed off with a small crew to the Texas A&M wind tunnel for a long day of research.  The day started out a little rough due to the electricity going out in the hotel sometime during the night.  It’s a little disappointing to go to bed promised a hearty breakfast spread in the morning, only waking to find your options have dwindled down tap water and packaged muffins, but we all had some laughs and made the best of it.  My paparazzi assured me it would make for some good media buzz.  Did I mention how hard it is to pack your bag when all you have to see with is the light from your cell phone?  Gladly, the wind tunnel had plenty of electricity to churn the massive propeller blades and allow my team to accomplish a full day of research.  Let’s just say this venture was a “numbing success.”  The tunnel air was exceptionally cold this trip; so I felt a little bad for the tri clothing clad riders we kept running tests on in the tunnel.  The good thing is once you get cold enough you pretty much go numb, so I’m sure they didn’t feel too much.

Pro Ironman racer Amy Marsh of Team TBB, who has had a great year in 2011,  stopped by with her husband Brandon so I could check up on her fit.  I decided to put her in the tunnel for some testing and see if she could take the cold like a “pro.”  I know a top pro racer like Amy is already mentally tough, so I’m sure she just took it as just another day in the life of a professional.

Death By Computer

•August 21, 2011 • 2 Comments

I haven’t posted for a couple of months, partially my fault and mostly the computer devils at work. First, I broke my phone that had all my pictures and stuff in it. When I went to get a replacement, the sweet girl said “oh just sync it” and all your stuff will be replaced. Well, “sinking it” is what had caused my problem but it turns out that I was supposed to have backed it up on my computer.  That, of course, would have been the computer that ate it’s hard drive that very day, it had ALL of my “stuff” on it so no could do, on the Syncing process. As I wandered hopelessly through the isles of the computer store, I was reassured that I was not completely part of the new generation. Yeah, I could pick out a new computer but they all had this new thing called Windows 7, I decided to maybe go to the dark side and look at a Mac but the $3000.00 entry was not that appealing. I suffered for a day and got a new system that has much speed and memory, enough hard drive to hold all the world’s knowledge and slots on the front for memory cards.  Luckily for me, I had installed a remote hard drive on my old computer so after a couple of days I have been able to retrieve some of my old files. Then, my shop computer that I use for my fittings went out. I simply could not believe it, I was cursed but now, all of my computers are on Windows 7  and hopefully this week we be less computer eventful.

   We planted some Sunflowers again this year, unfortunately we didn’t do it quite early enough.  We have had a few come up but since it’s been over 100 degrees here for over 60 straight days and we now are on a water restriction plan, the Sunflowers along with everything else in the yard are suffering. Did I mention that it has been really HOT here.  I never thought I would experience this kind of weather in East Texas, it usually get’s over 100 degrees a few times during the summer but this has been crazy.

  I continue to really love my Chevy Volt.  I never, ever, would have dreamed that I would like a car that wasn’t some kind of hot rod or that at least I could work on it if I wanted to but this car is so great.  I got a 240 volt charger for it, I mounted it in the ceiling right above the car and it has turned out to be very convieniant. The 240 charger keeps the battery filled up about 4 times faster than the standard charging system that comes with the car.  I have just over 4800 miles on the car so far and I am averaging 87mpg’s. Of course as you get more envolved in the electric car world, you become psycho about things that use up your battery. It still turns out that my bicycle get’s much better milage but till that thermometer goes down some I’ll stick with the car.

I don’t have anymore pictures because of my synking failure which is sad, I went to Utah for a week for a bike show and it was very beautiful there.  I also went to Waco and raced in the TriWaco triathlon, it was a great race venue but a very hot day.  Busy times are just ahead but I have a new camera, a new phone, several new computers and renewed hope that I will survive in this electronic world.

Old Again

•June 28, 2011 • 2 Comments

I was discussing my Blog or rather someone was telling me about it and I came to realise that I post quick photo’s on my Facebook and then I tend to forget about my Blog.  I enjoy writing on this Blog, I just look up sometimes and realise that it’s been a few weeks. But, to catch you up on some of my going ons, I’ll give you some juicy details.

   I’ve had my Chevy Volt now for about 6 weeks and I have to say that for me, it’s a great car. The more you drive it, the more you become possessed about running on electricity and not buying gas, it’s a fun game.  I shot a short video for my local dealer, http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid846300556001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAAwnfF72E~,gXvstjMBNsD6eZzchGm7TK8jzDXGHgnQ&bctid=975075850001  

it was fun.  I am going to do my first road trip in the Volt this weekend so I’ll know a lot more about that very soon.

     Last week we had a 3 hour slot car race. We devided up into teams of two  and had a total of nine teams.  Had a couple of drivers in from Houston, Dallas, and Waxahatchie, it was a long hot afternoon.  After 5 hrs. of 103 degree heat everyone was pretty tired but it was a fun afternoon.   I ran well but had to leave early so my overall score kinda’ sucked, maybe next time.

    Yes, it was that time of year again, another birthday came around just for a quick reality check.  Ginger got me this diet chocolate cake with huge strawberrys on top, I got my ice cream just right and it went down well. I usually try to have some kind birthday ride so our friend Nona came over from Shreveport and we all went riding and swimming. It was windy so I decided not to ride my age in miles, eating pancakes seemed like a better idea.  Then on Tuesday night, I had my Birthday social ride from Elite bikes.  We had about 75 people show up in the 101 degree heat, it was a great ride though.  Afterwards we cooked hotdogs and assorted things, had lot’s to drink and snack on so I hope everyone had a lot of fun, I appreciated the company tonight.

   Robert and I went to Kansas to do the 70.3 race there, it was a long but educational trip. I had not swam in my wetsuit at all before the race and on race morning, it was white capping and very rough water. I started the swim pretty well but about half way I began to realise that I was extremely tired, swimming against the shoulder tightness of my wetsuit was taking a much bigger toll on me than I had thought it would. I had to side stroke the last couple of hundred yards as my right arm would only drag along side of me, when I got out of the water I was completely exhausted. So I decided not to do the bike or run, a hard descission at the time but I believe it was the smart thing to do.  I need a lot more work on my shoulder after my Rotator cuff surgery to regain some strength, a quick slap of reality helped that descission.   All of my other training is coming along well though.  I’m back to doing Pilates, it’s amazing how pitiful I am at that but the girls are fun so I suppose i’ll keep going.  My riding is finally starting to come back a little, Cento is treating me well and I am trying to be worthy of that ride.

  My next tri adventure will be the Waco Olympic race in July, should be another fun race day.

An Electrifying Experience

•May 22, 2011 • Leave a Comment

   I had been traveling for almost two months straight and I was so far behind in my training that I was all but starting over. The last thing I wanted to do was go on another trip but Ironman Texas was in the Woodlands, just 2.5 hrs. away and I wanted to go see what that was all about.  Ginger and I loaded up Friday and went to The Woodlands and fortunately for us, her brother lives there and was about 2 minutes from the race course.  Saturday morning came and we and about 6000 of our closest friends went to watch the swim start, it was the usual Ironman mass start so chaos was the norm. The Pro’s left at 6:50 then the age groupers started at 7am, it was just getting light.  Toward the end of the swim, the competitors all had to swim down a canal, it was great for us spectators as we could lean out over the swimmers as they came through.  Great for checking technique and the canal was only about 3 feet deep so as racers goggles would get knocked off they could just stand up and fix them.  In the end, One of my racers Eneko Llanas of Spain won the race riding one of our SHC saddles, atta’ boy.

During the week that I’ve been back, I took a couple of days to work on the Corvette project.  I have gotten the A arms powder coated and put in new bushings, got new shocks and took the brake calipers apart to get 10 – 15 years of bad goop out of them. They were nasty but I soaked them for several days and they soon were clean as new.  I decided to paint them red, not really the correct color for this model car but I liked it so now they are done.  Next week I hope to start the reassymbling process so I can be cruising this summer.

  I decided to take the plunge, I was weak, I hate buying gasoline , so I bought a new Chevy Volt. A few years ago I traded my SUV for a Kia Tuner car, that was fun and I enjoyed the car. I changed the springs, the shocks, the sway bars, the intake, the exhaust, the seats and had some good times with my Tuner car. But it only got about 32mpg’s and once you start the quest for better millage, a Volt seems like it might work out pretty good.  It’s faster than my Kia, ton’s quiter and for the first 93 miles that I’ve driven it, it has not used one drop of gasoline.  I recharge it at night and I think the recharging will cost about 75 cents a time, it will be fun to watch and learn more about the electric world. I sort of know a lot about electric motors from my slot car racing but for now I plan to leave the hood closed. After all, I’m a bicycle guy and I’m trying to do something green for the earth.

I’ve just got a couple of weeks of training time before I head to Kansas for the 70.3 race there, I’m pretty sure the run will be an ugly afternoon.  I’ve done two 60 mile rides and should have time for two more, I’ve been swimming some but those running legs seem elusive right now.

More Traveling

•April 21, 2011 • 1 Comment

   The Spring time is always a very busy time for me, the race season is starting, everyone wants to get faster and I need to travel a lot to visit dealers and suppliers. My trip to Thailand was much fun but makes for a long plane ride, touring the Taipae show was interesting but it’s not like being at home.  

I got home and immediately had to go spend a couple of days testing at the Texas A&M wind tunnel. That’s not complete torture however, you only learn more by testing more and this session continued that theme.  I had some track racers in for testing and a new group from Canada wanting to learn more. My good friend Nathan helped me shoot some video that came out pretty good, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3QaF4Yefig  you can follow this link hopefully. On this video there are a couple of real cool things to see. One thing is that while this rider is pedaling, his leg position is causing the smoke exiting his helmet to act differently, I had never seen this before. Another thing is that for most riders I try to get the chest air to exit fast over the riders hips to help draw air through the chest but this rider was more compacted or barrel chested and the air would not go as I wanted.  By working on knee width while pedaling and lowering the front end more with the use of shorter cranks, his aero drag got much better but the chest air eneded up exiting between his legs. I guess I’ll have to go back and do more testing, it’s an endless battle.

   I returned home, it was a very beautiful day so I decided to go for a little bike ride.  I’ve ridden about twice since November so I start out on a 60 mile loop going to Jacksonville and Frankston, points south and through a very hilly section.  I would have done better fighting Indians, the hills killed me, you could have bought my bike for $.50 about mile 45, I pressesd on and made it but I’ve got a lot of training to do to catch up with the locals.

    I was home for two days before heading out for the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California. It’s one of the craziest things I’ve attended in a long time, 4 days of bike rides, races and Expo.  All day long, starting on Thursday, there are Road races, Mountain bike races, Down Hill races, TT races, Circuit races, BMX races, skills competitions and demo rides, along with two Grand Fondo tours on Saturday. Over 7000 bike racers were on hand, over 45,000 people were camping and riding and hanging out.   The downhill ended almost in front of my Expo tent, those cat’s were plenty fast as they raced “dual slolam” down a pretty steep hillside.  There were riders everywhere all day long, it was fun but it was a ton of work.

I returned home on Monday planning to get a little rest but I had one of my racers needing some attention.  Sam Warriner from New Zealand was here in the U.S. and needed some bike tune up before the 70.3 race in New Orleans.  She came to Tyler and spent 3 days with me while I changed everything about her bike and riding.  It required a little arguing and coaxing but I wore her down, thankfully she went on down to the Big Easy and had a great race.  It’s always nice to not ruin someone’s Pro career right at the start of the season.  Sam was very nice and fun to be with, I hope she continues to have a great season.

I’m almost done with my travels this Spring, now I need to just get through Easter and get on a steady diet of training, Kansas is coming up very quickly.

Travelin’ Times

•March 21, 2011 • Leave a Comment

As I’m sitting here trying to catch up on my Blog, I’m suffering from some serious jet lag that makes concentrating pretty hard.  So, if this wanders some please bare with me.   This year my Cobb Cycling company is the sponsor of  Team TBB, a very highly ranked Tri team based out of Singapor. Just last year they won or placed top three in over 26 Ironman races and the team members just won the 70.3 race in Singapor this past weekend.  I flew to Thailand to help the riders find the best seat for themselves, to work on their positions some and meet everybody at their annual training camp.  The 8 week camp was held in Krabi, on the western shores of Thailand.  I stayed at the same Hotel as the racers so I could work with them more easily, I never could quite pronounce the name of this Hotel but I do know it was 72 steps up to my room on the fourth floor. It was nice but a little third world, no hot water, you couldn’t wear shoes inside the building, a religous rule thing, and oh yeah, it was 105 degrees outside during the day.  Just outside my Hotel was a Elephant area, I’m talking 100 feet or so and everyday the Elephants would walk by the Hotel on their way to graze in the forrest for awhile.  You could pet them, feed them and ride them, they were pretty nice but it looks like a lot more up keep than a dog.  Another thing that was different was that  there were Monkeys hanging around and they would sit on your table when you were eating.  The Monkeys were from the local Monestary just a few yards away, everything like cows, dogs, monkeys, mosquitos,  it seemed, were some type of religous symbol and it all intermingled with the humans that were intruding on the area.  And why was the camp held there you might ask? well, about 2 blocks away there was a great 50 meter pool and a nice rubber coated running track and the roads were just great to ride and run on. Large shoulders and light traffic made for a good training  location.   I met Brett Sutton, the renouned tri coach that seems to make people go really fast. He was very kind to me and tolerated all of my questions and other things I did that were probably inconvienant.  The team members were all just great people, you can go to the Team TBB web site and read a list of who is who and all of their accomplishments, they are a very talented bunch.  One of the racers, Rebecca “Bec” Keat out of Australia has been using my saddles for years.  I had never actually met her, turns out she’s hot, talented, taller than I am, and just a great person, it’s always fun to meet someone you have worked with and put a face with the mental image.   On the fourth day of my visit, we all got on this charter boat and went Island hoping.  The plan was to get some photo’s at a beach and have a relaxing day.  It all went well, I got to swim in the ocean and get a quick and rude reminder that I swim slow and all those racers swim like Dolphins.  I had read a good bit about the country before I left, it is truley beautiful there but I’m not sure the beauty offsets the 22 hour plane ride. I had a great time and want to thank all the team for putting up with me.

Then it was back to Taiwan, the Taipae International bike show was going on at the same time so I spent a day wandering up and down those isles.  There were hundreds of new bikes, pretty colors and fast accessories, it shoukld be a good year coming up.   I finally made my way back to Texas though, I’ll just be here two days before I head out for a few days of wind tunnel testing.  Then I go back to California for a Slowtwitch camp, those are fun but a lot of work.  Somewhere pretty soon I have to start really training, It’s only about 82 days to my first race in Kansas so time is getting short.