How to Pass on a Bicycle


^The Devious Pass from James on Vimeo.

This was a ride I led for the store. It was 43 miles and had 2200 feet of hills. As ride leader I sometimes have to wait and make sure everyone makes the turn and then get up to the front to do the same thing. And sometimes it hurts.

Strava map.

Maybe I just want to feel fast by passing someone. It’s much easier if they don’t know I’m coming. After I pass they come after me like hornets and that part is fun too. I have some good video of some of the catches my friends make, but those are for another time. Now it’s just time for a devious pass.

Mystery Man


^Mystery Man from James on Vimeo.

When I ride, I go with different groups here in town. Sometimes just with friends and some just by myself. They’re all fun in their own way. However, most of the video I take is in the group rides. Obviously, having a cyclist in the video makes it much more interesting. When I do video on solo rides it’s usually because I want to show someone a certain section or maybe a Strava segment that I like. Maybe even a nice climbing section. That way, people can see what the route is like and what kind of workout to expect.

Strava map.

The whole purpose of the video however, is so that I can watch them later, in my old age (about a month from now) and see my friends. It’s funny, but when I go back and watch them I see so many things I was not aware of. I see people that jumped in, like in this video, and join us for part of the ride. He just jumped in, hammered along with us, and then went on to complete his own workout.

One of the segments in the video is called Tailwind. We’re at about mile 22 of 45 with 2200 feet of climbing, most of it on easy rollers. The segment itself is basically flat and about three miles long depending on which one you like. Look closely and you’ll see that this section has three in the same area that just happen to start and end at different points. Since anyone can set up segments this can and does happen. Just pick the one you like. Anyway, I don’t set out to look for PRs but it sure feels good to look back and see why it was so much fun. In this case, I set PRs on two of them. I guess I should pick one of those to remember.

Anyway, I don’t know everyone in the video and I do not know who the mystery man was but if you recognize him or one of the others let them know they were caught on video with the hammer down!


Attacked by Hornets


^Attacked by Hornets from James on Vimeo.

This video is of one of the rides Jack and I lead out in Bulverde. It was 50 miles with 2,300 ft. of climbing. There are no mountains here so any climbing that you do has to be out in the Texas hill country. And if you want to do a lot of climbing you have to plan very carefully in order to do as many of the small hills as possible. The link below will show you the map of the ride. The segment in the video is Last Mile to Bullis.

Strava map.

I like this segment. You do a nice steady tempo for a flat half mile then maintain what you can for the second half that goes up hill. Then you’re at the park for refueling for the next stage. It’s a fun ride with good climbing at the end.

This day was beautiful. It was 82 degrees and sunny. We all played hard on the first 20 but I still wanted to open it up a little on this segment. I started at the back so I could get this group in the video as I passed them. The second group had not made the turn onto this segment yet.

As I passed everyone I thought about how much fun I have on these segments. Everyone has their own favorite and they’re spread throughout the route. As I passed people most were lost in their own thoughts. Most were saving their energy for the climbs that were coming up. But some people are like hornets. When you pass them they wake up. Some of them come after you ready to sting!

And that’s what makes it fun. I don’t always know what’s going on behind me when I ride, so it’s cool when I get to see it on the video. What I see is people having fun. People putting the hammer down to make a hella catch! And I wonder, do the people in front of me know how much fun I had trying to catch them?


The 14 mph Ride


The 14 mph Ride from James on Vimeo.

This is a video of an old ride I called The 14 mph Ride. It was a great ride with some good friends and we had a blast. We even had someone who just latched on for the fun. My Garmin said we had a 14 mph average pace. Now, if you judge a ride’s fun factor by the speed this may seem like a boring ride. But is the fun factor directly proportional to your speed? The faster you go the more fun it is?

Click on Strava to see the map.

Remember the first time you rode a bike? You may not have gone over 10 mph but you felt like you were flying! It was effortless compared to walking. It was freedom! Admit it, you were hooked after that. Now, you’re training, eating right, getting the right gear – and maybe even shooting for Strava Segments. Either way you’re probably either looking for a top speed or a high average. Or maybe not either one. Maybe the speed you find fun is the speed at which you can talk to friends while you do something good for your heart. To each, his own, right?

Everyone has a different idea of what speed is fun. Whether it’s a pace of  15 mph or 20, or even 30, it doesn’t matter. Your top speed can be 25 or 50, again it doesn’t matter. It’s all about feeling like you did when you first got a bike. That feeling that you were flying!

So what fires you up? Speed? Distance? Climbing? I don’t know if speed is the most important for you or not but we all know speed is fun.  If you have the right speed, the right distance and the right amount of climbing you’re going to have fun. In the right ratio they can even make for the perfect ride. Add in great weather and good friends and you get another day in paradise.


Saturday Night Home Movies


Lord of the (Chain) Rings Part II from James on Vimeo.

Ok, I’ve played enough with this thing already. I need to post some bike videos that have bikes! I have tons of video of rides here in San Antonio with some great friends that I’m finally going to post.

Strava map.

In fact that was the whole purpose of this blog. I needed some place to collect them all. They’re nothing special, that’s why I call them Home Movies. You know, the kind your family forces you to watch when you would really rather be somewhere else. There’s no exotic scenic views, no death defying jumps, no bloody crashes. It’s really just plain old home movies. It’s just a camera taking pictures on the move without me having to do much. Sounds easy, right?

Well there’s a lot more work involved than I thought. Maybe not as much as with still pictures. Those require an eye for a good shot. I have many friends that take great pictures but I just can’t seem to get the hang of it. There’s an art to it that I just don’t have so this will have to do.

I hope you see yourself in there somewhere. If not, and you were on that ride, just be patient. I’ll post one eventually. Like I’ve said before, it may take me a while and you may not get to see it but your great grand kids are going to love it.