Road Hazards

^Road Hazzards from James on Vimeo. Strava map. 

This is part two of the Sutherland Springs Charity Ride. It shows more of the roads on the 33 miler along with some of the “hazards”. The roads are great out there so by hazards, I mean some of the challenges you’ll see.

I’ll be getting some video of the 68 miler soon so stay tuned. Also, we will put together a 45 miler for those of us that want something in the middle.

One last thing, as I said before, this actually started in Stockdale but the park we used may not be open early enough. It doesn’t effect race day but for those wanting to ride it on their own, be aware. We are looking for other start points.

Sutherland Springs Charity Ride

^Sutherland Springs Charity Ride from James . Strava map.

Sunday November 26 was the Sutherland Springs Charity Ride. I put together this video to show the area where we rode. The roads were great and it was for a great cause. There were three routes, a 15, 35 and a 68 miler. It’s an area we definitely want to go back to so I’ve been studying  the maps. We will add 5 miles to the 15 and make it 20. We will keep the 35 and the 68 as they are. The 68 can be cut to 48 and capture the portion not ridden in the 35. All we need is a good starting point. The place where the Charity ride started was good but it is not open early enough for us to use. The park has another entrance and there are some other possibilities near by. Stay tuned.

As far as the Charity ride was concerned, it was great! The crowd was a good size and the routes were well marked. Even then, I wasn’t paying attention and missed a turn. No big deal, I had my handy, dandy high tech map that I drew free-hand with me so I got back on course. I hate that it cost me 6 minutes when I was trying to catch Steve and Sean and it ruined my average speed since I stopped to read the map, but who’s counting?

I did have fun, though. I made a new friend named Steve. Seems he and I battled back and forth for miles during the ride. I would pass him on the climbs and he would pass me going down hill. We were both bound and determined not to give an inch. I caught him on video several times and I have another hour of video to go through so I’m sure I caught him again if my battery was still good. We will see if he turns up in part two. Stay tuned!

More videos from that area:

Sutherland Springs Gravel

Pay Back


Palmetto Gravel Ride

^Palmetto Gravel Ride from James . See Strava map here.

I wanted to post this video of our recent gravel ride from Palmetto State Park so everyone could see what the roads are like out there. We rode about 40 miles and it was about 90% gravel. The roads were great, traffic was very low and it appears we can add more milage very easily. We need to do some more exploring out there for sure.

We went out there for a casual ride but I think the Tempo Monsters would love those long endless straights. Our ride only had about 1,000 ft of climbing and none of it was steep. Oh well, other than that, it was great.

The starting point was in the park itself so you need $3 for a day pass. I didn’t look around much but I did see some paddle boats and the restrooms were clean. It’s a good place to start and finish. I’ve got more video to go through so stay tuned!

The Nauseator

^The Nauseator from James . See Strava map here.

You know those people. You love to ride with them. They have been at many of your most memorable rides and yet, when you drive into the parking lot where the ride starts, and you see them there,  you get that queasy feeling because you just know, “This is going to hurt.”

Still, you can’t wipe that smile off your face. You know it’s going to hurt but it’s also going to be a blast. This was one of those rides. I knew the area so I knew what would happen when we hit this road. It’s mostly flat with shallow rollers so the Tempo Monsters love it. There was a group on the road that had left before us and we caught and passed some of them. Some would jump on our wheel and go for a ride and some continued on their own workout. Or maybe they were saving it for another segment?

And speaking of segments, I set a PR on this. There were some nice pulls from the group and I felt great during mine but it’s not the same as when you do it solo or pull the whole thing. But it’s going to be a long time before I do that speed on my own so training with these animals can only help. If they don’t kill me first…..




Pay Back

^Pay Back from James . Click here for Strava map.

So there we were riding some very nice gravel. It wasn’t a race, despite what I say in the video. It was just a nice day out on some country roads. It rained while we were out there so the roads were wet, but they were not muddy. The rain did not catch us until the end, which was good, because the rain was cold.

I will post more video on this ride soon to show more of the roads. Here’s two more videos of gravel rides that we did.

Another Sutherland Springs ride here.

Graveltopia video here.

Coffee Run

^Coffee Run from James . Strava map here.

There was no warm up. Twenty to twenty-five right from the start. Why? They wanted coffee. Must have coffee.

This is a ride that George and Ela use for training. I joined them for the company since I like that area. It was a great workout. I drafted for most of the ride since I’m not much of a Tempo Monster, but then, that’s exactly why I needed this. Thanks to George for pulling us the whole time. It was probably the only way he could get a workout!

Starbucks was the half way point and if we wanted, we could have some coffee or something good to munch on. The ride was about 35 miles of tempo intervals with some nice rolling climbs for good measure. It’s a great area and has some nice “stingers” that can be added when needed. I’ve got more video of the area so stay tuned and George, you’re in the next one. Anyway,  I posted this video to show that going down hill can be fun too. It’s not going up, but it ain’t bad.

The Beast

^The Beast Part I from James . See Strava map here.

This video is of a century ride we did a while back. Luis, a friend of mine, was doing his first 100 miler. Now in my opinion, a century in the middle of summer, with 100 degree temperatures is not the way to go. However, if you add 4,000 feet of climbing, well, then it’s ok. So off we went.

Not everyone was doing the century, but for those of us that were, there was plenty of company at the start. The problem with that is that those doing the shorter route started playing from mile one. And of course, I got drawn into it. I had fun, played on most of the route and finished 97 miles feeling great. The last three however, were grueling. It’s funny how everything turned against me at the end. The heat, the pace, the hills and of course, the distance. Those last 3 miles lasted forever. I don’t know how Luis felt or what he thought of his first century or how the others felt but I was wasted which made everyone else look fresh.

I think everyone enjoyed the ride. Everyone was probably tired, except Joe, who may not have even warmed up and went on to do more, but that’s another story. The challenge was fun and at the end we all felt we had accomplished something. Like they say, you discover something about yourself when you face your demons, when you push to your limits.   I can honestly say, that what I discovered was that riding for 97 miles can be a blast, but riding 100, well, that can be a beast.

Moving Pictures: Cancer Awareness Ride

^Moving pictures – Cancer Awareness from James . See Strava map.

A while back we rode the Cancer Awareness Ride. Rather than post separate pictures I’m posting this Moving Pictures video showing everyone that was on the 38 mile ride. It started at McAllister Park and took the Salado Creek Greenway down to  Southside Lions Park.

There is a section that comes out to a road that goes up to the Ft. Sam Armory, then on the access road to Jack White Park. It’s really the only time you’re out on the road and is about 1 mile long then you’re back on the paved trails. It’s an excellent ride. More to come.

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…..