Hot Rod Syndrome

^Hot Rod Syndrome from James . Part one here.

Do you have trouble riding at a steady tempo? I do. Maybe I suffer from HRS.  I think I got it from the motorcycles I’ve had. What is it? It’s the inability to resist the temptation to speed up every time you see that perfect section of road.

See Strava map here. See related video The Pain Train.

Maybe that’s why people like segments on Strava. They all seem to be the perfect time to “open it up”. And they just can’t resist! You know you should pace yourself,  but how can you not “enjoy” the little segment in front of you?  How can you not want to play? Of course, your tempo suffers as a result. It goes up and down and keeps taking you close to the edge and that, of course, is not the way to complete a long ride. Maybe that’s why I don’t like long rides.

That’s why  I like to get up front and work. If done right, you set an even steady tempo. It’s not about how fast you go, it’s about being steady and keeping everyone together. What could possibly be better to treat HRS than a solid, steady tempo? I just can’t seem to do it very well. Every curve in the road looks like the perfect place to “ramp it up”. So does every straight and every down hill. And let’s not talk about the climbs. They’re all perfect.

I’m working on it and getting better. I know that being the camera guy doesn’t help. It keeps me going forward and backward to get everyone in the video and then I move on to the next group.That takes my tempo all over the place. Maybe I should see it,  not as a syndrome, but as a quality. Something needed by the camera guy in order to get everyone in the video. I don’t know whether it’s good or bad to have this syndrome but I do know this: everywhere I look,  I see a great segment and I think, “Maybe we should speed it up just a little bit, so we can enjoy it a little more”. I may have to go slow for the rest of the ride in order to pay for it, but what the hell, it’s worth it.

“Oh Fudge!”

^Oh Fudge from James . Click on Strava for the map.

Have you ever not paid attention for just one second and had a close call? I had one of those out at Madrone a while back. I was looking back for the guy following me and when I turned back I was face to face with another drop. It wasn’t a big deal, but I was slightly off the trail and didn’t see it. My life didn’t flash before me. It’s too long and boring. But it did give me an adrenaline rush.

The trails out there are great. They’re rough and rocky and technical for my skill level. I’m usually following whoever I go with and as you can see in the video, they are no where in sight. But that’s ok. It was a perfect day with good friends. What more can you ask for? How about not going over the handle bars for starters…..

More Madrone- Madrone with a Rock or Two

All But One

^All But One from James .

This video is from our ride out to Edge Falls. We had thirteen people out for some fun. We got what we wanted. It’s great route of 53 miles and 2200 feet of hills. What made it hard, however, was the Texas heat. At the end it was 100 degrees.

What we see in this video is mile 3. I usually start at the end and move up and get everyone in the first video. It doesn’t always work out since groups can be rather large at times but with smaller groups like this, it’s usually easy.

Not this time though. My friend Sean was in front of me and I just couldn’t get in front of him before the second down hill. Sean and I have worked together in the last several rides so I may have video with him in it. I still have much video to go through, so Sean, be patient, you’re in there somewhere!

If you want to see the map click on Strava .

RWB Team Ride

^Where’s Waldo? from James . Strava

A while back I went on a ride with Team RWB out on River Road. It was a great ride of 35 miles with about 1300 ft of climbing. It took us on River Road which is always nice when there’s little traffic, and it also went on some easy rollers up by the dam. The thing about River Road is that during the summer it has very heavy traffic so it’s best to avoid it. The rest of the year, however, it’s great.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you need some climbing there are plenty of nice rollers in the area. Most of the highways have good shoulders too and if you know where to go, the quiet roads are really nice. You can click on the Strave link above if you want to see the route. Have fun out there!

 

The HEB La Vernia Ride

^Give Me Air! from James.  Strava map.

Last weekend I joined the HEB club for a 53 mile ride starting at The Den in La Vernia, Texas. A mostly flat ride, it has some great, quiet country roads that everyone enjoyed.

The video above will show you what some of the roads are like. I tried to get everyone doing the 53 miler in the video but I may have missed some. However, I still have more video to go through. Stay tuned!

Graveltopia

^Graveltopia from James . Strava map.

This is some video from our gravel ride out to Utopia. It’s called Graveltopia when they race it. We did the 60 miler, which is the whole route. It’s about 60% gravel and the paved part is mostly county roads. It does hit some highway but they have some nice rollers so it adds to the fun.

I loved the route. Traffic was very light overall and on the gravel portion we saw more boars or wild hogs than we did cars. And we only saw 4 hogs. We actually rode during a storm but we were lucky and the storm was either ahead of us or behind us. We did get some rain but it was toward the end of the ride. I should mention that there are several low water crossings on the route so if it rains they could flood and trap you between a couple. There’s also no phone service so plan ahead.

I have more video to go through so stay tuned.

 

Moving Pictures-The Eagle Ride

^Moving Pictures-Eagle Ride from James. Strava map.

Not one to post still pictures (thus, the name Moving Pictures) I’m posting this video to show some of the people that rode the Eagle Ride 40 miler. This was hosted by Team Red White and Blue with Cyclones, Team BGDB, 700c Club and Performance Bike pitching in to help. I’m sure there were other clubs that worked because I saw many different club jerseys. I also know that there were many folks that helped that are not members of any club but made this ride not only possible, but a great event.

I rode the 40 miler with some old and some new friends and had a blast. This area is mostly flat with mellow rollers so for the 40 miles we had about 750 feet of climbing. We also had a head wind going out on this out and back course.

It was raining at my house in the morning and my usual rule of thumb is that if it’s raining at my house I won’t go. But I really wanted to ride so I went anyway. Good thing I did. The day cleared up and there was no rain on the ride. Great people and great ride. Thanks to all that made it happen!

 

Wide Open Spaces

^Wide Open Spaces from James.  Strava map.

Perfect weather, wide open spaces and enough energy to play. It was a great day. It’s a nice route we haven’t done in a while. Not too hard, not too long. Something the three bears would like. Speaking of bears, we have the Bear Creek climb if we go in the right direction. There’s also Skyline, The Dam Climb, Kindersley and Summit Drive to name a few “stingers” in the area. Why haven’t we done this lately?

The video shows one of the roads with some nice rollers. The climbs are steady and the down hills fun. Most of us hit 40 mph several times. Maybe it’s time for a standard crank. Fifty would be nice. Anyway, for now 40 is a good rush.