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.

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!

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.

And the Payments Started

^The Terminator Part II from James . Strava  map. Part one here.

We all know, cycling is about suffering. Sometime during the ride you will have to pay. What is really hard is when it comes early. We’ve all been there and we’ll be there again. I think it was Greg Lemond who said “It never gets easier, you just go faster.” How true!

This is part two of a ride on the Wild Dogs route with a club called 700c. Part one is found here. It’s mostly flat, perfect for all the tempo monsters. If you remember, we didn’t have much of a warm up that day, and in this video, at least for me, payments were due.

There are many different things that can tax you on your ride. Most people look at milage or speed. But how much climbing was there? Was it windy? Hot? What bike were you on? I remember going on a ride that I thought was just a casual gravel tour in our area. It turns out most of the people were gravel or cross country racers. At least that’s what it seemed like. It was a training ride for them and they stormed out of the gate. Anyway, it was hotter than hell and I was on my heavy cruiser. It was like I had a knife at a gun fight. Needless to say, I have never felt worse on bike in my life. At least I made it to the end. Barely.

Going on a challenging bike ride is like preparing for a fight. You do everything you can to get ready. You work on strategy and tactics, you develop your weapons and work on your weaknesses. Then you step into the ring and think on the fly. Once you’re there, whether it’s in the ring or on the start line, you hope all your preparation works, and that, at the very least, you don’t make any mistakes.  You just want to make it to the end. And not get yourself knocked out…..



The Slow Roll Bike Ride

^Dead Horses, Dead Legs from James on Vimeo.

Some of my friends wanted to know  about a route I call Dead Horses. Why that name, they asked. Well, it’s because it starts in an area where many of the roads have the word “horse” in them. There’s Iron Horse, Spirit Horse, Walking Horse, horse this, horse that, horse crap. Well, maybe not the last one. And, by the time I’m done, I’m er…..done. Dead.

Click here to see the Strava map.

I have been working on it for a while and I think I now know enough of the area to be able to make it 60 miles and 6,000 feet. Yes, it will have some repeats and I’ll have to do some of the areas twice but there are no mountains here. So there’s that…..

I’ll have more video of the area soon. With people next time! There’s plenty of double digits and some fun rollers too. It may be a while, though. I need to get over my knee pain, and hip pain….wrist pain…pain this, pain that. Pain. Crap! Oh how I love the ……rusty years.

Another nice climb video, Don’t Look Up.


Edge Falls Road

^On the Edge from James on Vimeo.

This video shows part of Edge Falls Road on our way to Kendalia. It was a ride I did with the Cyclones that was 57 miles of mostly rollers with 2300 feet of climbing. Most of the roads are low traffic and the busy roads we go on have good shoulders.

Click on Strava to see a map of the ride.

The ride starts at Bullis County Park. There are three good recovery stops on the ride. The first one is in Bergheim at mile 14 at the corner of 46 and FM 3351 at the gas station. The next one is in Kendalia at mile 27. Take a left on 473 and there is a store about .2 of a mile up the road. The last one is at mile 51 at a small gas station where Bulverde Road meets Bulverde Lane. If you prefer, you can stop at the park on Bulverde Lane about half a mile further.

It’s a great ride with plenty of fun rollers. And before I forget, there are several “stingers” that can be added on to bring the milage up to 65 miles and added another 1000 ft of climbing. But that’s for another time.